Trondheim burning

May 17th, 2007

The latest from back home:


Yes, that's right, yet another fire. Trondheim chock full of wooden houses has been a feast to fires in the past couple of years. The biggest one destroyed a whole block:


The city decided to reinvent itself by putting up an ugly ass new building:


And that's just a prospect from the architects, believe me it looks crap up close. But the fun didn't stop there. A restaurant smack in the middle of town caught fire. The place is so central that it's practically a landmark.


I don't know if you shop at Hennes&Mauritz much, but their building burnt to the ground a few years ago:


And apparently, last year in April while I was here in Holland, yet another fire.


Come see Trondheim, a city that enjoys a good bonfire. Here's a full timeline, but unfortunately doesn't list upcoming events. That's just the big ones, there are bound to be plenty of smaller fires as well, like one covered in the past.

On the upshot, I don't think any people were hurt in any of these fires. "But", you say, "that's good, Trondheim center is packed with these old wooden houses that are all the same and the city badly needs urban development. At least this way, new buildings can come up." Well, that's true, but it would be nice if this could come about through controlled change and some proper innovative thinking, not clumsy accidents followed by damage control. As it is, the city is hell bent on preserving these "cultural treasures" instead of actually building something that is worthwhile. Conservativism to the fullest. The cathedral is one of those landmarks that really stand for something, the rest of the city center is practically expendable architecturally. Well, it's little old Trondheim, with all its close minded provincial mindset, don't expect urban progress.

Oh, and happy Constitution Day.

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3 Responses to "Trondheim burning"

  1. erik says:

    Lack of vision regarding architecture is all too prominently present. Someone needs to make graduating from architecture school a hell of a lot tougher.

  2. numerodix says:

    It's not really the architects' fault, though. If you think about it, when you're an artist you want to express yourself, you want to innovate. Who's putting the brakes on that? The people who decide which project to build. You have these urban architecture "specialists" sitting in the city council somewhere and telling everyone how important it is that the city as it was built 150 years ago (or whenever) never can change, cause we have to preserve it (even though there's nothing to preserve).

    I could understand it if they decided to make a certain neighborhood off limits, to preserve the old urban style architecture, and a lot of cities do that. But to say that nothing must ever be changed, and for every fire like this it's "a cultural disaster", that's ludicrous.

  3. Adio11 says:

    I've been to stavanger, for a brief while, two weeks holyday.
    Enjoyed it, surely, meanwhile spending time hiking, norways natural way.
    Also met some cool Weezer type fellas, when bonking in a summerhouse, Denmark.