Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is not a common place - a common place!

Concept model of BIKS today. Located in narrow streets that are not much visited, especially in the evenings. The big scene, Fensalen, is reached through several halls and staircases. You cannot know what is going on there from the outside, a problem since the program always varies.

Lately I have been thinking about how to create a program that can make a background for meeting, a place where people of different cultures can meet, understand... but not forced socializing. I have been aware of the many young women/girls that have an immigrant background and that have many restrictions as to which activities they can participate on. Many have school as one of the few places to meet new people. Others, anyone, are blinded by their own cultural or familiar traditions, and do not know of alternatives.

Sports are often divided by age, not everyone can join (certain bodily functions must be all intact) and to join a sport you often feel like you have to belong to the already established group because you can identify - belonging to place, being in the same situation (for example being a student).

At the Ghanan party last Saturday at BIKS I saw so many young women of African descendant there dancing - if you go to normal places you get the impression that immigrants are mostly men. At the party there were entire families, even a woman with a baby. For many there parties are places where they are allowed to meet new people, with their parents careful presence.

So I've let a question run in my mind since this weekend - "What program/establishment would attract me and also attract someone with that background, and a program that her parents would let her go to?".

Yesterday an idea fell in my head - a bath house! Not a swimming pool, but a bath. It could be located on my location at Nøstet near Bergen center.

Reestablishing coastal identity in Bergen. Also been on my mind is the effect of nature on the perception of place. Bergen is a coastal city, but rarely are we confronted with that idea. Most places there is a built port that meets the water, but you cannot reach the water - it is several meters below you. One of the great things in Bergen is that we have established some central bathing places - what a beautiful thing! Like at Nordnes, by USF Verftet, and the newly opened ocean bath (sjøbad) at nøstet by Nøsteboden. However people that are not comfortable being so undressed with people of the other sex, or that have restrictions about this (individual, religious etc) do not get the opportunity to get this bodily connection with the water, a presence in Bergen.

The other location I am working on by Skostredet is in an area called Vågsbunnen (The bottom of the fjord), but who would know? It's historically an important place in town which is now sort of "downtown", filthy... Reestablishing historical ideas is for me not because of the historicity of it, but rather because it is still somehow the genius loci of the place, however camouflaged.


vibeke jensen said...

i like the idea of a bath house b.

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