Project Specifications

  • Project Name: Ruten Park
  • Project Architect: SpaceGroup
  • Project Year: 2021
  • Project Location: Sandnes, Norway
  • Structural Engineer: Dipl.-Ing. Florian Kosche AS
  • Traffic: Norconsult
  • Lighting: Light Bureau
  • Head Architect: Gro Bonesmo
  • Design Director: Gary Bates

Architects Team: Naofumi Namba, Zarina Belousova, Zlatko Nikolic, Javier Elvira López de la Cova, Aleksandra Chylinska, Marin Kulaas Fredrik Krogeide, Jose Hernandez, Asya Guney, Anna Nilsson, Britt Alexandra Johnson, Peder Brand, Saga Andersson, Erik Solheim

  • Visualization: Weiss
  • Partners: Floire Nathanael Daub
  • Landscape Architect: Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse
Ruten Park

Ruten Park is more than just a public space. It’s a story that transforms junk space into a beautiful one that is safe, easily accessible, and free space. Covered in lush greenery, Ruten Park is a fun and quiet space to spend time and skate around.

With the development of this park, a street battle has come to an end. Transformation of the central parking to a central park has turned a hard structure into a soft one. Homed between two different contexts in the city of Sandnes, Ruten Park is in between a picturesque area formed by a big shopping mall and a train track elevated from the ground level.

The parking lot was initially utilized as a central open space safeguarded by the capacity of car parking. The park still remains as a buffer zone in the city development just like the Central Park of New York with a building grid surrounding it. Also read about Qianhai City Center Landmark

Sandnes, i.e. the host for this park is a fast-growing city in Norway with a flourishing oil industry that has resulted in congested networks due to more car ownerships and less public transportation. Ruten, situated in the heart of this city, has served as the locality’s transit exchange point.

The proposal floated by SpaceGroup addressed the challenges associated with transit systems and the movement patterns of the residents. The aim was to get hold of the security and qualities required for a public space.

The design is a reflection of plans for the development of the city by conserving the historical local roots associated with the site. The proposed public area and transport hub is well-knitted with each other by a swooping ring that offers shade and shelter with its floating roof. 

Ruten Park with small garden

The basic concept of this urban development is to lay the foundation for open, flexible, intimate, and big-scale events. Accommodated in the center of this ring is a central plaza featuring water spray to cool off and impart levels of comfort for the visitors during summers.

The historic center of the city is a compact urban fabric with a proposal of a new district having a different dimension. The newer developments are updated with post-industrial buildings on site. The design of the new Ruten Park adapts both design languages. Owing to the historic city placed adjacently, a grid measuring 6mX6m of trees, lamp posts, and columns are added to the site. know more about Getaway House

The design of the ring demonstrates the large scale of this developing city. With an overlapping of the two contexts, Ruten Park by SpaceGroup can be considered a turning point for future cities injected with local history and authenticity. The natural center offers new connections and character.

Ruten Park pillars and structure

This urban umbrella with its floating structure elevated 5-6m from the ground offers public space below it and celebrates extreme weather conditions and welcomes an expanded use of the space for the rainy days of the locality. 

The lighting plan for the design is incorporated into the sixty supporting columns of this floating ring. 110 LED bulbs with 1000 lumens lighten up the space and create an appealing pattern with uplights and downlights. The lighting aids in defining the usages specific to a zone like a waterfall, seating area, stage, and playground. 

two boys rides skateboard in Ruten Park

The skate park is placed next to the central circular ring outlines with well-paved pathways shaded with trees and foliage. Skate park offers an essence of recreation and with strategically placed track and field running along the park’s edge, urban runners are offered a safe landscaped trail secured from traffic.

The outdoor seating areas spread all throughout the space, serve as different gathering and celebration zones. These areas are well-blended with natural landscaping to form an intimate relationship between the users and nature.

The ideology behind this design was to offer a large urban public area for the current and future populations. The space has been designed keeping in mind multiple functions and occasions that can be celebrated there. The proposal offers various possibilities with subdivision of spaces allowing diverse activities and different levels of intimacy.

The big open space has the potential to accommodate activities ranging from a common meeting point to organizing a concert or circus in it. The proposal serves as a great modification to the former scenario of space.

The firm’s principals believe in offering a role to an architect that holds the responsibility for society, a redefined role with enthusiasm and an optimistic approach. Architects often neglect the actual needs of the society in the spark of proposing new buildings oriented with high-tech principles and vague ambitions.

Ruten Park with fountain in centre

The city of Sandnes with its current vision into the near future and urban developments needed a creative solution and new architectural vision. Ruten Park is one such example that has transformed the normal grey road into a lush green oasis placed in the center of the city. 

The otherwise boring route with this new design proposal transforms it into an engaging meeting point imparting positivity. What’s remarkable about the proposal is the tribute to the history associated with the site with its design elements.

With the hustling cities and daily stress, urban residents seek a retreat from the typical routines and often wander in search of nature. With the rapid growth in urbanism, open public spaces have gained importance to offer local residents a place to connect with nature.

Green spaces have a significant contribution to the term sustainability and enhance the microclimate of the site. SpaceGroup has achieved these goals in their proposal of Ruten Park with a thoughtful design. The design takes into consideration the local climate, site conditions, and societal needs.

Ruten Park next to the garden

The exciting route ornamented with natural landscaping is a rich model that connects the past, present, and future with the concept embedded in the design. The design brings together communities to gather and celebrate under this large floating urban umbrella.

Sandnes, being a rapidly expanding city, is experiencing a hike in its industrial development. Considering the urban scenario, this park offers a breathing space to the city. It is a natural retreat from the concrete jungle running with advancing technology. 

a women walking in Ruten Park

Ruten Park, by SpaceGroup, is a model for the future with the potential to be used as a learning, gathering, and recreational space. The park binds together two striking contexts of the historic city and rapid urban development. The floating ring design does not make the proposal look overwhelming and forms great balance among the built environment and natural environment.

Natural landscaping, syncing well with the 60-columned ring leaves a positive impact on the user’s mind and creates a serene environment contrasting to the stressful city life. This transit exchange spot serves as a strong ground for various ideas, moods, and thoughts to transform.

This design project serves as an example for the current and upcoming generations of how to put forward modern ideas and at the same time, stay in touch with the local roots and history. This park is all about the harmony of natural and built aesthetics blending to offer a great open public area.

play area of Ruten Park
Ruten Park construction
a big red chair placed in Ruten Park
a kid play in Ruten Park
two old person sitting on their wheelchair in Ruten Park

Discover More