Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Our proposal for Nordhavnen is being discussed in the latest issue of Conditions magazine. Under the interesting label Dead or Alive the uncertain futures of winning competition proposals are being researched.
Encircling the Øresund dynamics
During 2008 the Tromsø based firms 70°N arkitektur and Dahl&Uhre architects were awarded 1.prizes in two important competitions in the Øresund region. In 2007 the cultural fund Realdania launched the two parted idea competion Öresund Visions 2040. 70°N and D&U’s concept Mosaïc::Region recieved one of two first prizes. The discoveries in this larger geographical and time scale made it mandatory for the team to take part in the Nordhavnen competition. Also in this ambitious idea and planning competition, 70°N and D&U received one of three first prizes with the concept Excentral Park – Edge Dynamics. The competition was organized by Copenhagen City and its institution City and Harbour (By og Havn). The timeline for realizing Nordhavnen is unto 2060.
The jury in Öresund Visions 2040 consisted of leading academics, artists and young architects. The jury in the Nordhavnen competion was more of a political stronghold including lord mayor of Copenhagen Ritt Bjerregaard and mayor Klaus Bondam among others.
So, it is possible to say that together the statements, signals and terminology of these two competions from the Norwegian team are accepted as highly relevant views on the future Öresund, in time to come. Both by the academic and the political environment in the
region – in theory.

The Nordhavnen experience
Nordhavnen is part of an extension strategy for Copenhagen with 40 000 residents and
40 000 workplaces on an industrial landfill out into the seascape of Öresund.
The competition program was ambitiuos on all levels of sustainability, bordering on images of the ideal city, as the political and planning forces of Copenhagen see it to day, prolonged into an unknown future. The fact that Copenhagen hosts the United Nations Climate Conference in December 2009 (COP15) informed the program with the ambition that Nordhavnen can be presented here as a world leading Copenhagen example.

The jury said this about Excentral Park – Edge Dynamics: “The jury believes that the entry presents, through its strategies, a genuinely new perception of a structure plan and consequently sets new horizons for urban development”.
With this enlightening jury comment the Norwegian firms entered a second phase with the two Danish winners as opponents. During three months, in continuos dialogues with a board of representatives from the Copenhagen authorities, City and Harbour and three former jury members, the concept was tested related to a series of questions from this board, and the jury.
After these explorations of the concept the Norwegian firms recieved a short note from the board that one of the Danish groups was chosen as advicers for the planning process in Nordhavnen. Up to now the Norwegian team has not seen any extensive response of any kind on this second step.

Uncertain futures and public debate
The team has lately been debating their concept in the context of both the Danish and Swedish associations of Landscape Architects. Before a very vibrant discussion on their Edge Dynamics concept took place at the conference World in Denmark this summer, the Norwegian team asked Kent Martinussen, leader of DAC and part of both the jury and the board in Nordhavnen, why this enormous extension of Copenhagen is nearly not visible in the media. He said that there are three reasons. The first is that COP15 is dominating all media, nothing else makes the headlines. The second is that nothing is discussed before the building cranes are in Nordhavnen, the third is that strong political forces goes for a freezing of the whole Nordhavnen concept, in a time of financial crisis.
An experience with both competitions in the region is that there to a very little extent is an offensive attitude from the inviting parties towards the media. No press conferences and debates of any importance, no debating arrangements around the exhibitions and so on.
If and when the team and the Edge Dynamics concept will reappear in the Nordhavnen context is yet unknown.

To be continued….
Conditions will present the Norwegian team’s Öresund findings in an upcoming issue. For the moment The Nordhavnen concept is exhibited in Hamburg, and the team, 70°N and D&U, is now following up their Öresund encircling in a master studio at BAS
, possibly waiting for the next challenge in the Öresund Metropole.

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