Celebration to mark success of the Outbuilding Project in Røros, Norway

The success of the Outbuilding Project in Røros in the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2015 was celebrated on 21-22 September with a varied programme, featuring a workshop on traditional Norwegian wooden craftsmanship, an award ceremony, guided tours of restored outbuildings and visits to related exhibitions at the Røros Museum. Around 100 people from both the heritage and culture sectors as well as the general public attended the events, which also marked the 20th anniversary of the Outbuilding Project. Thorbjørn Berntsen, former Norwegian Minister of Environmental Affairs, Hans Vintervold, Mayor of Røros, Erlend Gjeldsvik, Coordinator of the World Heritage Site of Røros, and Carl von Essen, Council Member of Europa Nostra, addressed the audience at the award ceremony.

Photo: Courtesy of the Roros Museum

Photo: Courtesy of the Roros Museum

Located in central Norway, Røros was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1980. It is a former copper-mining town, comprising a large number of 18th-19th century timber-built houses and their outbuildings. This project involves the restoration and maintenance of the outbuildings, which supported the systems of urban agriculture employed by the miner occupants. The Awards’ Jury was particularly impressed by “the excellent relations established between the state, the municipality and the house owners.” The result has been not only a successful restoration exercise covering 400 buildings since 1996, but also the development of a local, highly skilled group of restorers.

The workshop on traditional Norwegian wooden craftsmanship was held at the Røros Museum on 21 September. Local craftspeople from the Outbuilding Project and the Røros Museum worked together demonstrating different traditional craft techniques, skills and methods of repair. The workshop focused on carpentry, roofing, restoration of windows and doors, surface treatment and masonry. Jon Godal, an expert on wooden constructions from Norway, was among the guests.

The Local Award Ceremony for the Outbuilding Project, winner in the Education, Training and Awareness-Raising category, took place at the Røros Museum that evening and was opened by Erlend Gjeldsvik, Coordinator of the World Heritage Site of Røros, and Hans Vintervold, Mayor of Røros.

Carl von Essen, who is also President of Europa Nostra Sweden, congratulated all those involved in the project on their remarkable heritage achievement and stressed the importance of training people in traditional crafts and techniques to ensure the full preservation of our shared cultural heritage for future generations.

Thorbjørn Berntsen, former Minister of Environmental Affairs, talked about his work in the Norwegian Government during the early 1990s and the steps taken to get the required national support and funding to launch the project.

Eir Grytli, Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, recalled the first stages of development of the project.

Eli Høsøien, owner of one of the houses, shared her experience of restoring an 18th century building in the centre of Røros and highlighted the need for a training hub for a variety of crafts and skills.

Kjell Andresen, from Riksantikvaren – the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, put the Outbuilding Project in a national context and compared it with other restoration and environment programmes in Norway.

The guided walk ‘Exploring the Outbuilding Project’ took place in Røros city centre on the morning of 22 September. The two-day programme ended with visits to exhibitions on related themes at the Røros Museum.

Latest articles about Awards

Message by Executive President and Secretary General

Europa Nostra Board and Awards Jury have meetings and engage with the vibrant heritage scene in Potsdam

Europa Nostra joins the 2024 European Summit of Regions and Cities

More Articles +