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 Harstad Arbeidersamfund

Harstad Arbeidersamfund ( Harstad Workers Society)
Address: Storgata 18, Harstad
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Client: Harstad Labourers Association
Construction System /
Woodwork; planks
Building Type: Village hall
Keywords: woodwork, planking, village hall, Swiss style, horizontal boarding, dormer
Year of Construction: 1900
In the southern part of Harstad's town centre, lies an old wooden building which previously housed the town's Labourers Association. The Worker's Society building has been used as an active meeting place, especially during the years leading up to the war. It has also been an important cultural venue for the town, a place for revues, plays, dancing and music. During the Festival in Northern Norway (FINN) the building has also been used as a venue for the Children's Festival. Two earlier residences are located on each side of the Worker's Society. Together they constitute the three buildings in the Swiss style group on the southern part of the Generalhagen District.

The stately Harstad Worker's Society building is two-storied along with a loft. The building has a symmetric façade with side projections, pointed dormers and a saddle roof. The walls are clad with horizontal panelling that is painted red, with cornices and window frames that are painted a light yellow colour. One may notice the pointed dormers with a gable motif, these are characteristic of the Swiss style. Originally the building was erected without a foundation wall, but in 1920 it was raised and a cellar storey was added. The Harstad Labourers Association obtained an exemption from the "murtvangloven" (law that requires one to build in brick or stone), and could therefore built their large village hall out of wood. During the 1980s the building was renovated and was awarded Harstad Sparebank's protection prize in 1985.
Literature: Bruun, Ola og Jim Myrstad, "Gammelt kulturhus - Bylandskap Harstad 100 år 2004", in Harstad Tidende 06.07.2003, pp. 34-35
Prizes /
Harstad Sparebanks protection prize, 1985
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 07.12.2004
Author: T.A
Photographer: T.A 2004

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