White Arkitekter wins competition to design new waterfront park in Bergen

Today White Arkitekter was selected as the winner of the competition to design a new beach park and sea bath in Bergen, Norway. The proposal, called True Blue, is based on water, which is the most tangible element in Bergen. The exciting architectural approach creates a park which is both beautiful and sustainable.

In connection with the extension of a new tram route, Lungegårdsparken will be expanded and upgraded. In the competition brief, the municipality of Bergen asked for an identity-creating public space that will become the best park in Bergen for 100 years. It will offer a wide range of activities and recreation areas, while providing innovative solutions for environmental and climate adaptation.  


– The aim is to create an attractive and inclusive urban space for movement, recreation and events of various kinds. A new meeting place for Bergen, where the residents will be challenged to experience the water’s qualities throughout the year, says Niels de Bruin

Water is Bergen’s elixir of life; from the estuaries, fjords and ocean as well as from the sky. It therefore characterizes our entire proposal.
Niels de Bruin, Lead Architect at White Arkitekter

The beach park stretches over one kilometre and we have divided it into three zones that establish themselves in a gradient based on how the urban and natural components are experienced. The first zone, which will also be the largest meeting place, begins in the city centre with a city beach, a floating sea bath and space for sports activities and events. Further on, the park shifts to nature and recreation, eventually focusing on life under and above the water. Both fixed and floating structures are established, such as islands, bridges and bathing jetties enabling people to go out on and into the water.

–  Already at this stage, we have involved local players in order to succeed in the identity creation, including an art association, a high school, Bergen’s Aquarium and an environmental organization. Their input has been an important aspect of the design of the park, says Niels de Bruin.


Another important aspect was to create something that is both socially and ecologically sustainable over a long period of time. Amongst other things, this is realized by creating a robust base that can withstand all kinds of weather conditions and by focusing on improving the water quality in the area. Therefore, White has developed a system for natural purification of supply water and measures to increase life and biodiversity in the underwater environment. No life in the water – no life along the water.

We are pleased to have been able to interlace a concept of design excellence, sustainability and local engagement.
Niels de Bruin

– The last few years, we have had a strong focus on water and architecture, in particular through our work on the project and book Out of the Blue, where architects, landscape architects and designers from all over the world have contributed with their stories about sustainability and water in combination with urbanism and city life. With True Blue, we have the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice and also use the experiences from our work with Havnepromenaden in Oslo, says Jenny Mäki, Architect and Creative Manager at White Arkitekter’s Oslo studio.


The ambition is for the new beach park and bathing facility to be ready by 2023.


The competition is made in collaboration with Fredrik Pettersson Arkitekt AS, Dipl. Ing Florian Koshe AS and AFRY.

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