One of the most exciting new destinations on the architecture and urban expansion scene is Trondheim, located on the river Nidelva. With a population of 193,000, of which 30,000 are students, Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway. Originally named Nidaros, the city is more than a 1000 years old, and is now considered the technology capital of Norway, with a vibrant startup scene.
The city was built on a series of docklands and includes an artificial harbour. The docks have been converted into residential waterfront areas, commercial and cultural spaces, and include transportation hubs. It is also home to the largest wooden palace in Scandinavia, the Royal Palace.
One of Trondheim’s 2020 city plan objectives is becoming an internationally known Technology and Knowledge City, which University development and the built environment are a large part of. Sustainability and smart solutions are a very dominant part of the urban landscape.
Trondheim has been on the path of sustainable developments for a while now. For example, Agraff Arkitekter’s Sparebank was the lowest energy office in the country when it was completed in 2010. The project won Trondheim Municipality’s energy saving award 2011. Another notable development is the NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) Headquarters by Pir II, winner of the prestigious Wood in Architecture 2013 Award.
One of the newest and most exciting projects in this field is the Powerhouse Brattørkaia, the World’s Northernmost energy-positive building, a collaboration of industry partners Entra, Skanska, ZERO, Snøhetta and Asplan Viak. The building produces over twice as much energy as it consumes daily, which is supplied to the neighbouring buildings, electric buses, cars and boats through a micro grid. The development has received the BREEAM Outstanding Certification, which is the highest possible ranking by the world’s leading sustainability assessment method, taking into consideration the environmental, social and economic performance.
The Åsveien school and multi-use hall by Eggen Arkitekter is the municipality’s first school building that meets passive house requirements, completed in 2015. The facility is the pilot project in Future Building with the goal of 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for transport, energy consumption and material use, which was achieved through the commitment to extensive use of wood in load-bearing structures, walls, cladding and ceilings.
Svartlamoen is an interesting experimental ecological building district, full of unique timber housing, ranging from student halls to self-built family homes. Other notable student housing projects are the Moholt Timber Towers, completed by MDH and winner of many sustainability awards, and Teknobyen by MEK Architects, winner of the Trondheim Europan 9 Award, among others.
Trondheim is also known for its wonderful level of local cuisine, as well as historically notable vernacular waterside warehouses.
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Text: Producer Kiira Halinen