The Aerial Ropeway Junction Building in Longyearbyen is part of the transport system bringing coal from the mines in the valleys Longyeardalen and Adventdalen to the vessel loading area. Designed by German engineers the building is situated on top of the hill, above the part of Longyearbyen called Sjøområdet, where three aerial ropeways met. The building rests on tall steel frames and posts and consists of four narrow wings with convex floors. The structure has sculptural qualities and may from a distance look like a huge insect just landed. However, the expressive shape and position are simply the result of purely technical considerations.

The building's purpose was to protect the technical installations where the three ropeways met. Coming in from three different directions each ropeway entered its own wing at ceiling level, joined up and then departed through the fourth wing. The steel frames on which the building rests, are reinforced with strong struts and ties to counter the horizontal impact. The building also had to be this tall to stand above an older installation, which was still in use while this one was being built.

The current aerial ropeway angle station was completed in 1957 and remained in use until 1987, as the only mine being extracted by this time was Mine 7. This was furthest away from the harbour and the coal was from then on transported by lorries.

In 2003 the aerial ropeway junction buildings, the trusses, angle stations, terminals etc were given protected status in accordance with the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act.

Year of construction

1957
1959
1969

Architect

Gesellschaft für Förderanlagen, Ernst Henkel, Saarbrucken

Client

Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS

Building Type

Aerial ropeway angle station
aerial ropeway
transport system

Construction System / Materials

Steel
iron
corrugated galvanized sheeting
wood

Literature

Norling, Dag: Tautrekking i friluft, Byggekunst nr. 5, 1992
Riksantikvaren fredningsvedtak av 24.01.2003

Sysselmannen på Svalbard rapportserie 1/2010: Teknisk industrielle kulturminner i Longyearbyen med omegn

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