The False Mirror / Det falske speil

EUROPAN 13 Competition | Trondheim, NO | 2015

Europan 13 addressed the matter of adaptability, temporaryness and sustainability to the ever-changing condition of cities.
In a context where such acclaimed concepts are no longer a conscious attitude, but a dogmatic precept, the false mirror internalizes such premises facing the enslavement to this belief and questions the foundation of this trend:

to what extent can the use of standardized, repetitive and adaptable elements represent a solution for a whatever city without losing the identity of that city itself?

Europan turns into the perfect playground to experiment an innovative approach where the obsolete slogan “from local question to global solution” naturally switches to a more appropriate “from global requests to specific solution”.

Trondheim’s district of Nyhavna is the testing ground where playing out our personal declination of the adaptable, through an approach which combines a new waterfront, the existent heritage, the renovation of an industrial district and the presence of cultural actors.

Looking at this miscellaneous context, we launch an inedited process in which combining the reinterpretation of four local archetypes

The typological reinterpretation of the warehouses
The canalization of the whole neighbourhood
The new fleet of temporary and multi-programmatic barges
A new land-water network

The combination of these features takes shape through the development of a typological abacus consisting in 52 elements (sorted by type and characteristics): rather than standard, universally applicable devices, each element rapresents a direct declination of the four archetypes.

Contextually adapted rather than generically adaptable, the abacus gives Trondheim an inedit compromise between innovation and tradition, flexibility and permanence.
The urban context can no longer rely on programs whose completeness is the only guarantee of success, as well as on those aislated processes whose lonely success reveals the inability to build up a system within the metabolism of the city taken as a whole.

Without the need to outline the future of Strandveikaia through the boundaries given by a strict time schedule, the false mirror is based on a process which grows through a network of interactions unlinked to a precise time sequence, but through a system of situations based on the interactions between the conditions offered by the context and the specific solutions derived from the abacus.

Strandveikaia becomes this way the stage of an interactive process of interconnected situations, a new thrilling scenery for the waterfront of Trondheim, through a plan that works with time and against the generic city.

Go to The False Mirror dedicated mini-site.


Andrea Anselmo
Gloria Castellini
Guya Di Bella
Filippo Fanciotti
Giovanni Glorialanza
Boris Hamzeian


Trondheim Havn
Trondheim Kommune
Europan EUROPE

site: 25.000 m2
heritage: 5.530 m2
residential: 10.000 m2
residential: 10.000 m2


interview on Europan Europe
article on Beta Architecture
article on MVRDV news
article on Primocanale
article on Divisare
article on Bustler
interview on Trondheim 2030
interview on KooZA/rch
"The Architectural screenplay" on Yearbook Étudiant 12, ENSAV 2017
Ferrando, Davide Tommaso ”Spreading the Word: Victor Hugo's Tumblr Account” Architectural Review, no. 1457
Carnet (ed.). “Architecture Is Just a Pretext.” Anteferma Edizioni, 2019
“Du Og Jeg Og Nyhavna” on Trondheim 2030
CENTRALA, Simone De Jacobis, and Malgoratza Kuciewicz. "Imaginarium" Architektura i Biznes, no. 2 (February 2019 2019): 77
"Rekordstor Interesse for Utforming Av Nyhavna" on Trondheim 2030
"Ideer for Nye Nyhavna" on Trondheim 2030