About Work

Converting a World War 2 bunker in to a center of contemporary art.


Dora Island and the Woodblock House
Trondheim, Norway

Program: Masterplan, Museum and Housing
Client: City of Trondheim
Size: 16,000sf
Team: Oana Stanescu, Dong-Ping Wong
Status: Competition
Year: 2009

There are two primary ambitions for the revitalization of the Nyhavna region: the creation of an arts and cultural destination, and the activation of the waterside for a more vibrant residential and commercial neighborhood. We propose to surround Dora, a submarine hanger from World War 2, with water: a single intervention that simultaneously transforms the bunker into an icon of contemporary art, introduces a new animated shoreline to the Svartlamoen neighborhood, and creates a large public park as a connection to the city center. The new park and lake invigorates the site while maintaining the inherent character and history of the building stock. It is an urban strategy of revitalization that affects the context in order to reframe the content, in turn transforming an isolated corner of the city into a new arts and cultural destination.

The Museum and The Village
The separation of Dora from the surrounding neighborhood allows for two distinct ways of organizing existing and future cultural programs: the museum and the village. The village is simply an extension of the small galleries and cafes that currently dot the Nyhavna area. Integrated into the residential, commercial and industrial programs of the district, these intimate spaces, including the Woodblock House at Strandveien 27, stitch together an in-situ, in-city arts district dedicated to the fostering of the local arts community through an active rotation of quick exhibits and informal events.In contrast, the museum typology is a formal, organized and structured institution. Within the concrete walls of Dora the Kultimathule can mount large-scale, international blockbuster shows. The striated submarine docks provide an ideal framework for organization and expansion of shows across an infinite range of styles and types. Surrounded by water, Dora is positioned as a sovereign space removed from convention, an island of cultural experimentation at the heart of Trondheim’s new arts district.