Arena Bekkestua at Nadderud Sports Park just outside Oslo is a multi-use facility for young people. It has an activity area of approximately 1000 sq.m. indoors, and approximately 3000 sq.m. outdoors. Activities accommodated by the facility include skateboarding, BMX, inline, new circus, dance, concerts and fashion shows. Arena is intended to meet the activity needs of a constantly changing youth culture. While the facility is designed for current activities, it must be rapidly adaptable to new ones. With this point of departure, the architects have created flexible areas with potential for different uses.
By varying the size and degree of finish of the areas, the building satisfies a wide variety of needs. This is most clearly manifest in the juxtaposition of the two main volumes of the building: a hall designed for rough activities and an inserted section with a higher degree of finish. Large doorways in the long sides of the hall connect outdoor and indoor areas. Areas of glass and translucent plastic also provide different forms of exposure. The building has a daily average of about 300 visitors in addition to events for up to 1200 people.
Youth representatives took part in the programming and planning of the facility. Owing to their diversity and their ability to enthusiastically engage and promote participation, the activities of the young cultural practitioners provide a central arena for the formation of identity, dissemination of knowledge and general socialising.