Stavanger is the base for Norway’s burgeoning oil industry, and home to a museum all about oil. When they were commissioned to develop a new park on a vacant site beside the museum, Helen & Hard drew on three local resources for the design process: the geological and seismic expertise of the oil industry, technology and materials related to the production of oil, and the ideas of local youth groups.
The topography of the park is based on the geological layers of the most valuable Norwegian oil field, reconstructed at a scale of 1:500. By partially “peeling away” some of these layers in the design, the park slopes toward the sun and the centre of the public square. Next, the layers were programmed for activities such as biking, climbing, concerts, jumping, ball play, and relaxation.
A skate park was constructed, and some of the walls were used as exhibition spaces for graffiti and street art. The various installed elements were created using recycled and reshaped elements from petroleum installations, an abandoned oil platform, offshore bases, equipment suppliers, and scrap heaps. The result is an exciting, colourful space that inspires imaginative play and appeals to all ages. In a way, this design is a nod to the adventure playground.