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Two student projects will inject new life into Kongens gate (The King’s road) public area along Nidelven. The Municipality of Trondheim wishes to tie the city closer to the water and at the same time vitalize the listed ware houses on the bank of Nidelven.

The Municipality of Trondheim therefore challenged architect students at NTNU to show how the connection from Kjøpmannsgata down to the open public square by the river at the end of Kongens gate could be improved.

The answer to this challenge was the project “Tremenningen”: a staircase which connects the upper and lower level of the divided Kjøpmannsgata and leads to a pier by other students out into Nidelven. These preliminary student projects will give public access to the ware houses, the public space and the river in totally new way.

Popular view point on Nidelven

The projects are built in two separate fazes. Before the summer holiday the two students Anders Gunleiksrud and John Haddal Mork built a cantilevered pier from the edge of the public space in the end of Kongens gate into Nidelven.

The goal was to give visitors a view point on the river between the old ware houses. The pier has already become a popular place both for the locals and the tourists. On the pier they are able both to look at and take pictures of the ware houses and the river.

The students from NTNU have wanted to create a beautiful construction in wood produced in an efficient industrialized way. To achieve this students have collaborated with Nathalie Labonnote at SINTEF. The construction consists of a simple trussed framework and is so called parametrically built up. Figures concerning the section and forces within the trusses are automatically updated in a digital model from which the students themselves could produce the construction at Snekkeriet Verdal.

The main parts of the pier are made by a large CNC- cutting machine. This has been quite decisive in relation to the students being able to build it in two weeks. The parametrical modeling of the whole construction made the design very flexible in relation to changes in construction and production conditions.

A staircase floating over a listed mound

During the last weeks 17 students from NTNU and UWE Bristol in England, have participated in an intensive workshop concerning the public area at the end of Kongens gate, to finish the last lap of the project. The challenge was to establish a connection from the upper level to the lower level of Kjøpmannsgata. The work shop is a so called DesignAndMake – a work shop where all the students in the cause of two weeks both design and build the project together.

Culture historical preservation values in the mound which divides Kjøpmannsgata in two, presented many challenges to the students. They were only allowed to place foundations on the ground where excavation had been done earlier so the design was strongly influenced by this.

The result was a wooden staircase made in a flexible bypass-construction which allows it to be modeled according to the shape of the surface of the mound. The stairs offers the by passers an opportunity to sit down and thereby use a green lung in the city which otherwise would not have been used.

The upper part of the stair is visible from the Square in the town centre and thereby advertises the public space below.


Teaser for the wood conference

The actual reason for this challenge from the Municipality of Trondheim to the students is the Nordic wood building conference in Trondheim 24th to 26th of September this year, Forum Holzbau Nordic.

Kjøpmannsgata will during the conference week in September be an exhibition area for innovative wood works, while the public space below will be filled with boat builders, exhibitions and markets.

A future with extended use of wood in the city demands both innovation and good ideas for the development of the rich handy craft traditions we already have. The innovative wood works which will be on show during Holzbau Forum Nordic gets a great deal of inspiration from the cultural history and handy craft traditions embedded in older wooden buildings.