A future-oriented urban design in Ulstein, Norway
27. August 2021 | News, Shop Fitting, Store Design & Visual Merchandising, Visions of Retail

“Powered by Ulsteinvik” was selected as the winner of Architizer A+Awards 2021

The project was selected from over a hundred nominations worldwide as the Architectural model/Render category winner. Imagining the future of architecture and urban form is an important aspect of how Kaleidoscope works. “Powered by Ulsteinvik” is a future-oriented strategy for a small town on the Norwegian west coast. The core idea of the project is to utilize the location’s natural cycles and energy flows to create an attractive place to live and work.

A graphic model of a town center with open spaces

A model of the SmartHub and the Generation Gardens in Ulstein, Norway // © Kaleidoscope Nordic

By creating new meeting places, opening the connections to the sea, and increasing accessibility for pedestrians, a car-based center will be transformed into a lively town center in just a few steps. The vision proposes a more concentrated center to form a clear urban structure, and a new multi-purpose square that opens the axis from the sea towards the Bjørndals Minne cultural heritage building, highlighting its existing qualities. The concept of a 300-meter city is strengthened by combining the existing connections with a new smart-grid, autonomous electric buses, and blue-green structures to provide the city with new energy and a network of attractive meeting places.

The smart-grid is an important overall connection system in the vision. With a plug-in module grid, an urban power system combines renewable energy, technology, and social urban spaces. Here you can use the expertise of local businesses to develop a photovoltaic module that we call ‘SmartPergola’. SmartPergola creates city roofs, meeting places, generates energy, connects Ulsteinvik, and becomes a point where you can connect both as a city and a citizen, and become “Powered by Ulsteinvik”!

A modern open building at a Plaza in a town


Blåtur (The Blue path) is a new seafront promenade that connects the green transverse axes in Ulsteinvik, forming part of a new mobility plan. The inner part of the marina has been proposed as an activity center with a maritime playground, where small autonomous boats and automated fishing rods provide digital learning combined with nature experiences.

Furthermore, the vision contains three main concepts: Smarthub in the center, Generation Gardens in Ulshaugen, and Circular Neighbourhoods in Holsekerdalen.

A modern open building with plants growing on many balconies


  • The SMARTHUB is a multi-functional building forming innovation networks between public and private actors. It contains new town hall premises, a business hub, a public café, and a 24h innovation lab for the whole city. The facade is built up of an external sun protection system with photovoltaic panels that produce electricity for the local smart-grid.
  • The GENERATION GARDENS feature shared facilities between kindergarten, youth club, care homes, and offices for health services. The perimeter configurations create graded outdoor areas with sheltered inner courtyards for children to play safely. Its proximity to the city center brings activity and life to the urban context.
  • The CIRCULAR neighbourhood is a new housing typology with a circular system and shared facilities that provide sustainable solutions. The buildings harvest rainwater from the roofs for use in the apartments. Greywater is transferred to plant beds in the balconies and in the common “GrowHouse”, providing nutrient-rich water to green plants and vegetables. The GrowHouse is a common greenhouse with a large kitchen where residents can cook and eat together and arrange club nights and other social gatherings.

Source: Kaleidoscope Nordic

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