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Wood City Festival in Early Adopter City Trondheim & the neighbouring city of Orkanger

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Gjølme Bridge made through parametric design, Orkanger

The Wood City Festival took place on 21 & 22 June around Trondheim, Norway, the first of its kind. The festival was arranged by the Build-in-Wood project in collaboration with Trondheim Municipality and a volunteer community in Orkanger, in relation to the project work with the Early Adopter Cities and experience sharing across European cities.

Trondheim is a pioneering wooden city with clear goals for sustainable urban development and increased quality of living, which is achieved through deliberate and increased use of wood in buildings and the built environment. Likewise, the neighboring town of Orkanger has a 150-year-long history of wood industry and also strives to become a modern wooden city. Combining the visit of these two wooden destinations all interested people, experts, professionals and Early Adopter City stakeholder had been invited to participate, and more than 48 participants attended the festival.

The first day took place in Orkanger, where the participants visited a wood bridge made through parametric design, Evjen school, Damphuset and Strandheim Brug, took part in backyard events to learn about wooden house restoration of old historical houses, ending the day with a local concert at Thams Pavilion and hearing about the history of the pavilion.

The second day was spent in Trondheim, focusing on the city development over the years. The participants both visited the old part of the city, and went to some of the new modern constructions, including Moholt 50|50, Ranheimsfjæra Kindergarden, Lade School, and Lilleby/Maskinparken.

Besides bus and walking tours of wooden constructions, the Festival concentrated on the Build-in-Wood project and Early Adopter Cities working for sustainable built environments, including a case by case discussion on the following points:

  • Build-in-Wood: A system for all European cities

  • Digital Pilot Project presentations: Haringey, Amsterdam, Innsbruck and Trento

  • Build-in-Wood Policy Catalogue: Overview and Insights

  • Existing best practices from experienced cities

Interactive presentations of the Build-in-Wood project were led by consortium partners, who aimed to emphasise the benefits of timber construction, but are also aware of the obstacles that the timber construction industry still has to face:

"It's not only about designing a building in wood, but about clearly communicating why we build in timber. The transformation of construction to a future of building in wood needs to be collaborative to be truly effective."

explained Andrew Waugh, from Waugh Thistleton Architects.

  1. Thams Pavilion which was originally industrially produced for the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. The pavilion has recently been brought back to Orkanger and is used as a culture house today.

  2. Wood City Nerøra, Orkanger

  3. Bårdshaug Manor, Orkanger

  4. Lilleby apartment block ©Veidekke

  5. Moholt 5050

  6. Ranheimsfjæra Kindergarden, Trondheim

The Wood City Festival was organised in collaboration between Build-in-Wood, Trondheim Municipality, WoodWorks! Cluster, TreFokus, Tredriver in Trøndelag and Orkanger Aktivum.


For more information about the Early Adopter Cities read here!



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