In 1937, a harbor bath was built on Knubben, a 750 square meter skerry just outside of Arendal city center. The public facility boasted a ten-meter diving platform, a children’s pool, changing rooms and a kiosk, and is known as one of the clearest examples of functionalistic architecture in Norway from the same time period. In 1947, the harbor bath closed its doors before being taken back into use during the 1960s, this time as a jazz club. After substantial decay however, the diving platform was demolished by the Norwegian Armed Forces in the 1980s.
In 2018, Snøhetta was commissioned to revitalize the facility with a feasibility study. The new Knubben will rise as a man-made structure founded on steel core piles with architecture that draws inspiration from the shapes we find in the islets and skerries along the Norwegian coast. It will resemble a block of stone shaped during the Last Glacial Period, characterized by abraded shapes where soft concave and convex walls form cavities in the landscape.
The aim is for Knubben to be a lively meeting place that can be used all year round. The facility will accommodate an open-air stage alongside an amphitheater, in addition to housing indoor areas for both a restaurant and more intimate concerts.