Friday, September 26, 2014

The Space Between: In and Out Historicism in Stavanger.

Lessons to be applied in the Trondheim Project; Sketches of Helen and Hard's Finns Bakery.

Project Site Analysis and non-scalar MENTAL MAP of Trondheim

SITE PLAN: block at the north-east  corner of Olav Tryggvasons Gata and Nordre Gata

The Dura I II are massive NAZI U-boat Bunkers for the 13th Flotilla built with 5 meter thick walls to withstand aerial bombing.Das Boot i Norge  Now Germans just come to Trondheim to buy things not on U-boats, but Cruise ships. Speaking of other shifts of empire and ideology, the Nidaros Cathedral of Trondheim, was built of the burial spot of King Olaf.  The former King is now Saint, for having died in battle with a sword in one hand and the Cross in the other.  death of a king 

Though centuries later, the Roman-Catholic Cross was brought to area a mere mile from the foothold of continental power's twisted-cross.

Maybe Space Group's hotel is the illegible-Gehry distorted/extruded cross of global late-capitalism.  LOL!

But, seriously, the horizon has weight.  

my site is in [YELLOW]

Ol' Trondhiem

 Fall has come early this second half of September, as to be expected at 60 degrees North.  Studies at AHO have been going great as the Trondheim-Vignaes studio begins to pick up steam.  Along with the studio project, which charge has been to create a new Timber-based density within the historic city of Trondheim, I have been taking a history of Norwegian Architecture elective.  While broad reaching and aimed at the theoretical deconstruction of "Norwegian" Architecture, this class has had a strong phenomenological underpinning and allowed me to further digest my summer travels through the lens of Christian Norberg-Schulz.   
The program for the studio project is part dormitory for Trondheim's NTI University, part community center.  Though geared specifically for students, the project is part of a greater effort to approach density with a softer edge so that Trondheim might become truly Urban in its layers, usage and richness.  Below are early sketch proposals which intend to show an organization which allows the historically relevant timber buildings to hold their ground and edge, while at the same time through a glazed facade and gutting permit the new housing project to emerge both over and through its context.

                           MATERIAL ORIGINS

The formal genesis of this project has grown out of the amalgamation historical of styles present at the specific site, and for that matter greater Trondheim as well.  Seeking not to merely reflect the messy and somewhat disjointed layers of material and time present throughout the block, the project’s  tectonic order, spatial qualities and structure must be resolute and undoubtedly of the PRESENT.
Like any center of learning or modern city, the collective consensus is not perfectly elemental, but rather an evolving body of diverging and converging perspectives.  Likewise, this project is so too a unified volume, yet one comprised of fragmented and cascading obliques.  Within the work, shifting orientations create a fluid formal rhythm that moves beyond the stasis of traditional timber construction, as well capturing the present condition more fully than the tired, monolithic, geometry of the CUBE.

In this sense, the tectonic order of a timber-walled  building currently on the site, offers an intelligence in its relationship to part and whole that can be applied on a grander spatial scale.  In the corner union of the timber elements, beveled notches and shifting planes are part of a system that allows discrete parts to form a regular whole.   The aim of this project and the challenge of the present is an inverse of this relationship established by the timber joint. In seeking an economy mitigated by the need for nuance, the charge of this project is to not make a regular volume out of dynamic parts, but to rather, to realize a dynamic volume out of regular parts.  In this manner, this project will serve many, well, through spaces derived from and in a continuum with local building technology.   


The site on a whole possesses an unbalanced character.  To the North, a massive modernist cube along with a weighty masonry building anchor a comparatively light timber grouping of structures that reach out towards Nordre Gata. In other words, its as if the three little pigs built all their houses successively from South to North.  At present, there is discordant tension with the scale, material and approach that characterizes the Northern and Southern extremes of the site.  It would be overly-romantic and shortsighted to remove these large non-timber buildings because of the density they offer.  Similarly,  The challenge of urban-timber construction is not to simply evolve out of current wooden buildings, but to rather rise sharply to meet the economy, scale and modern possibility currently present only in steel construction.  It is not out of the rejection steel construction that timber will reach its full potential, but rather it will only remain relevant through a process of engagement with the scale and processes of industrialization.  That being the case, in order to save the relevancy of timber in principle, this project calls for the removal of a band of wooden structures in example, so that a NEW-timber can mitigate the scalar shifts of construction and craft.