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 Hydro-boligene i Glomfjord

Hydro-boligene i Glomfjord ( Hydro-Residences in Glomfjord)
Address: Glomfjord
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Architect: Jens Selmer; Wilhelm Swensen
Client: Norsk Hydro A/S
Construction System /
Woodwork; timber frame
Building Type: Residence
Keywords: residence, woodwork, half timbering,
Year of Construction: 1947-1960
Once the company Norsk Hydro started operating in Glomfjord in 1947 they had to build new residences, even though many of the older residences in Glomen and Haugvik were already used by Hydro. The new residential area in Haugvik was zoned. Situated close to the town centre were mainly a number of terrace houses and blocks with four flats. The middle section had detached houses as well as linked homes. More blocks with four flats and other blocks were located farthest in, where the terrain began to slope upwards towards the hillside. The Hydro-residences from the 1950s were characterised by a plain and simple design, both the expression of the façades and the plan solutions. At the same time, the lovely detailing and dimensioning provided the houses with character. These architects belonged to the generation and the architectural tradition who found it challenging to work within the confines of a strict budget. The bank Husbank had restrictions regarding the size of the premises. This simple standard was accepted as a necessary instated precaution used to establish a living standard for all of the residents, in line with the ideals of Functionalism.

In 1955 Hydro had built and owned 65 new residences with 125 flats. In addition there were 50 freeholder residences. The type of residence the employees were offered to let was decided by the company. Most workers lived in the blocks with four flats or in other blocks. The officials had their own separate residences. Yet concerning the construction of the freeholder residences, the workers residences were on an equal level with the officials. Hydro provided sites, offered financial support in conjunction with loans from the bank Husbanken and let out machinery and equipment. For individuals who wanted to build themselves, there was a certain number of housing types that they could choose among, the same types of houses that Hydro built. Architects working for Hydro in Oslo decided upon the exterior colours of all the residences in the Hydro-town in Glomfjord. They were blue, yellow, red, grey and white, and portrayed a well-designed, clean and unified expression. Around 1970 such restrictions were adjusted; as Hydro started to sell houses to the tenants they lost their ability of enforcement.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 20.12.2004
Author: I.H
Photographer: I.H 2003

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