Stortorget, Hamar, 1960s
Last Saturday dreamhamar was officially launched in Hamar. Officially that is, as the project has been already running for already 3 months. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to dreamhamar!
For the past 50 years, the main square of Hamar, Stortorget, has been a parking lot. Alread busy one in the 60’s, as you can see in this picture. This is how things were, until now. The time has come to say good bye to engines and honks in Stortorget Square.
In December 2013, the construction of the new Stortorget Square will be finished and the square will become public space again. Like back on the day, it will be a public square made of people – rather than cars -, made of the sounds of laughter and distant conversations.
As you may already know, ecosistema urbano is the chosen architecture and urban design firm that will lead the redesigning process of the new square. We decided we didn’t want to wait until to 2013 to enjoy a public space in Hamar, since the city needed it and we needed an outdoor working space for the upcoming workshops where every citizen of Hamar will be able to shape the future of the square. So we set a date: Saturday 17th, September 2011.
To celebrate this new beginning for Stortorget, we managed to close the parking lot by simply moving and changing the use of the existing granite bollards, from being the limit of the parking lot, to benches and tables for this temporary public space. As you can see in the picture, we have Frank and his team to thank for this space. It was a simple, but impressive, transformation.
Stortorget 2011, not a parking lot anymore
A little sunshine is enough to draw people to the square. Now the stone cubes are places to rest, have an ice-cream, jump or talk.
Stortorget was still grey and uninviting. So we called Boa Mistura, an urban art collective from Madrid, to re-interpret the temporary public space.
Boamistura recreating a pattern based upon Norwegian cultural roots
It took 3 days, 52 hours of work, 120 litters of paints and 10 hands, to transform the space in a cheerful, colorful, stage for creativity and innovation.
Starting at 14h, the city of Hamar gathered at Stortorget for the opening event of dreamhamar. At the beginning, no one dared to walk over the new paint, but little by little the space filled with people.
Gry Veronica Engli, a lovely energetic woman who supported the project since the competition phase, presented dreamhamar and invited everyone to participate. Then, the acknowledgements: We thank to Eidvisa Breadbånd, who provides FREE wi-fi to the square! Hamar sentrum who helped us with communication and sound system, MEDIA 1 who supported us with the printing and graphic design, the viking ship for letting us the LED screen and folkehøgskole for letting us use their sound system.
The Mayor had the honour of the opening speech:
These wore some of his words to the citizens of Hamar:
“Today we are building the foundation of what the citizens, in a 100 years from now, are going to feel about our main square. In the future, the question will be: - Where were you when Stortorget was redesigned? Then you will have to possible answers: Either you can tell us about your participation, or you can explain why you weren’t there. If you are not participating, don’t complain afterwards. The only certain thing is that the square has to change. So please, come join us for this process. Stand up and be a responsible citizen!”
There were many other speeches (we are planning on publishing them too). When they were over, Gry invited everyone to visit the dreamhamar office in the basar building - the physical LAB, which was quickly filled with people who were looking at the interactive model, registering for the workshops, reading information about the project. Overall, it was a great sucess as over 60 names were registered!
This is how Stortorget looked after the artistic intervention of Boamistura.
It makes you wanna jump, doesn’t it?
It is amazing what some paint and lots of imagination can do. Get used to experimenting with Stortorget! It has potential!
Those who stayed outside, watched the video introducing the different collaborators of the project. I will leave you with them. As you can see, dreamhamar is in good hands!