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.
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.
REMOVING LESS DENSE VOLUMES FOR LE PROJECT,