How can public school plays a greater civic role in rural Norway? Good meeting places are important for good public health and a good local environment. We work with Vestland County Council for the development and construction of simple, local meeting places with varied and attractive low-threshold offers for physical activity. These must be innovative in function, organization and activities.
Skakke is today the heart of Etne and is a center for school, sports and culture. The building houses a large sports hall, library, cinema and theater hall and a youth club. Through the spring of 2022, LOCAL and Pir II have been engaged as advisers to design an innovative activity facility in connection with Skakke, where primarily young people will spend free time, breaks, lunch and parts of their everyday life.
Today, the space is a 2000m2 paved surface with a single basketball goal, two table tennis tables and some loose benches, as well as a grassy terrain with a stone amphitheater. The area is little used during breaks.
today, the young people prefer to be inside during their free time. A survey shows that young people in Etne are not satisfied with their local environment, they are less active and more lonely than the average in the county and the rest of the country.
But, – we were able to get to know the local environment through a participation process together with the young people in the area and it is a unique involvement in Etne. Young people are particularly engaged, and want rooms they can take ownership of. They want places where they can be welcome to use and be active together.
Young people need informal places to meet in order to be together both during and outside school hours. The chess square must therefore be a place that young people can always come to and that they can feel ownership and belonging to, and can be proud of.
For us we also believe that the project should appeal for all generations and that the seniors living around the area in villas or at the nearby carehome and retirement have a role to play. They have a strong commitment to participate in local activities, and good knowledge to repair and maintain the area once it is developed. This a chance to create a multi-generational public space for the city.
The square will offer varying active offers throughout the year, and be a place for games and events. The space will be used for ball games, for places to be in the garden, a place to go for a walk and hang out. The stage roof will provide many opportunities such as outdoor cinema, concerts and take part in the Etne Cup. Through transformation, the square becomes part of the heart of Etne.