Anna Storm

Anna Storm
Anna Storm
Anna Storm
In the late 20th century, many Western cities and towns
entered a process of de-industrialisation. What happened to
the industrial places that were left behind in the course of this
transformation? How were they understood and used? Who
engaged in their future? What were the visions and what was
achieved?
Hope and Rust: Reinterpreting the industrial place in the
late 20th century examines the conversion of the redundant
industrial built environment, into apartments, offices, heritage
sites, stages for artistic installations, and destinations for
cultural tourism. Through a wide-ranging analysis, comprising
the former industrial areas of Koppardalen in Avesta, Sweden,
the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Britain, and Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord in the Ruhr district of Germany, a new way of
comprehending this significant phenomenon is unveiled.
The study shows how the industrial place was turned
into a commodity in a complex gentrification process. Key
actors, such as companies and former workers, heritage and
planning professionals, as well as artists and urban explorers,
were involved in articulating values of beauty, authenticity
and adventure. By downplaying the dark and difficult aspects
associated with industry, it became possible to showcase rust
from the past fuelled with hope for a better future.
Anna Storm is affiliated with the Division of History of Science and Technology
at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2006, she
received the Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize for best-presented paper from the
Society for the History of Technology. Hope and Rust is her doctoral dissertation.
HOPE AND RUST
HOPE AND RUST
Reinterpreting the industrial place in the late 20th century
HOPE AND RUST
Reinterpreting the industrial place in the late 20th century
Anna Storm
© Anna Storm 2008
Division of History of Science and Technology
Royal Institute of Technology, KTH
SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm Papers in the History and Philosophy of Technology
TRITA-HOT-2057
Editor: Helena Törnkvist
ISBN 978-91-7178-855-9
ISSN 0349-2842
Cover picture from Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Germany
Photo: Anna Storm 2007
Layout and cover montage: Markus Trapp
Printed by Daus, Östersund Sweden 2008
ABSTRACT
Storm, Anna, Hope and Rust: Reinterpreting the industrial place in the late 20th century.
Stockholm Papers in the History and Philosophy of Technology, TRITA-HOT-2057.
Industrial society has changed thoroughly during the last half a century. In many Western
cities and towns, new patterns of production and consumption entailed that centrally located
industrial areas became redundant. The once lively workplace and urban core became silent
and abandoned, gradually falling into decay.
In recent decades, the former industrial built environment was reinterpreted and reused
as apartments, offices, heritage sites, stages for artistic installations and destinations for cultural
tourism. Companies and former workers, heritage and planning professionals, as well as artists
and urban explorers, were some of the actors involved in the process.
The overall aim of the study is to contribute to an understanding of this transformation,
and hence it addresses questions about what happened to the industrial places that lost their
original function and significance. How were they understood and used? Who engaged in their
future? What were the visions and what was achieved?
Three former industrial areas are examined from a historic perspective and with a critical
hermeneutic approach: Koppardalen in Avesta, Sweden, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in
Britain, and Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in the Ruhr district of Germany. Included in
the results that challenge previous research, the study claims that the key figures were often
newcomers to the place, and white-collar professionals, rather than former workers asserting a
historic perspective from below on the basis of a crisis experience.
In general, the study shows how the redundant industrial place became an arena for
visions of the future in the local community, and, furthermore, how it was being turned
into a commodity in a complex gentrification process. The place was given new value by
being regarded as an expression of the overall phenomenon of reused industrial buildings,
and, simultaneously, as a unique and authentic entity. In the conversion of the physical
environment, the industrial past became relatively harmless to many people, because the
dark and difficult aspects were defused in different ways. Instead, the industrial place was
understood in terms of adventure, beauty and spectacle, which included rust from the past as
well as hope for the future.
Key words: industrial history, history of technology, cultural history, industrial heritage,
hermeneutics, museology, Sweden, Avesta, Ironbridge, Duisburg, 20th century, reuse, place,
materiality, authenticity.
Anna Storm, born 1973, Division of History of Science and Technology, Royal Institute of
Technology, Teknikringen 76, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: [email protected]
ISBN 978-91-7178-855-9
ISSN 0349-2842
1. INTRODUCTION
28
CONTENT
1. INTRODUCTION
The traveller
The aim and questions
Theoretical considerations
Industrial revolutions – industrial pasts
Reinterpretation of an industrial place
Delimitations
Previous research
Sources and source criticism
Thesis outline
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
Development of a heritage perspective
Heritage and industry – a troublesome relation
A new attitude
Everybody’s history and heritage
Contexts of debate and diminishing radicalism
3. Koppardalen in Avesta:
CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The bison
A place in the forest, along the river
A redundant industrial area
Finding a new image
A municipal project
Traces of the sheet rolling mill
Industrial apartments in a company town?
Contradicting ideals of cleaning and greenery
4. Koppardalen in Avesta:
NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
The iron girders
The company as heritage producer
Professional heritage recognition
A new name
Spirit of the company town
Visions of the enthusiasts
A bridge or an excavation?
Elitist and popular approaches
Unique by comparison
9
9
12
13
13
17
21
23
25
26
29
31
35
36
39
43
47
47
49
55
59
64
68
71
73
77
77
78
80
82
83
86
89
91
95
5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum:
HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
A museum takes shape
Articulating the industrial past
Positioning within the branch of museums
An experience of thorough changes
Commodifying iron in an idyllic setting
A local museum?
6. Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord:
NATURE AND ART ON STAGE
Meidericher Hütte as a test arena
A private place made public
Industrial nature
A substitution story?
Industrial art – orientation, inspiration, reconciliation
The authenticity of ruination
7. Planning, commodification and spectacle
A planning perspective
Loft living and waterfront development
A gentrified place for memory and oblivion
The beauty of decay, the adventure of abandonment
Authenticity in heritage and planning?
8. Concluding discussion
Notes
References
Index
101
103
107
109
112
113
115
119
120
122
125
129
133
137
141
143
145
150
153
157
161
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199
211
PREFACE
Genuine interest and curiosity about how things might be are personal
qualities I regard highly. The characterisation is true for the two people who
have been my supervisors during these years of postgraduate studies: first
Marie Nisser and thereafter Sverker Sörlin. I hope I will be able to hold in
trust some of the richness of experiences you have shared with me, with the
same devotion, openness and accuracy as you have shown to my work. I also
hope that you can share my happiness and pride in having finished this thesis,
because without you it would not have been completed.
I have also been fortunate enough to have two co-supervisors: first
Anders Houltz and thereafter Eva Silvén. Close and precise readings have
distinguished your efforts, along with much needed encouragement when
confidence from time to time has been tottering. Your tactful remarks about
my argumentation and recommendations of literature I need to be familiar
with have also been invaluable.
The thesis has been written within the academic context of industrial
heritage research and the history of science and technology. Beside my
supervisors, Arne Kaijser and Maths Isacson have been key figures as
respectively the head of the department and the leader of the research project
of which I was a part. Far beyond your obligations, you have been careful
readers and untiring sparring-partners.
In a similar manner, several other researchers have contributed to the
improvement of the text in a decisive way; among them I especially mention
Peter Aronsson and Jan Garnert. At a late stage in the process, Thomas
Brandt undertook the crucial task of acting as opponent at a final evaluation
seminar and Per Högselius served as internal pre-examinator. All of you have
influenced my theoretical understanding and ability to articulate complex
empirical findings, for which I am most grateful.
One feature which marks my studies and owes much to the above
mentioned individuals, has been the incitement to become acquainted with
an international field of research, something that is not always a matter of
course in a history department. I have profoundly enjoyed the opportunity
to travel and meet researchers from abroad at conferences and in joint
fieldwork, which in addition is the reason I dared to include non-Swedish
empirical material in the thesis.
However, most of the daily work has been carried out at the Royal
Institute of Technology in Stockholm in the company of a great many kind
and clever colleagues, and with the department colloquium as a centre. My
room mates of different periods, Dag Avango, Isabelle Dussauge, Martin
Emanuel, and Johan Gribbe, together with Nina Wormbs have, in particular,
made the supposedly lonely thesis writing a shared experience. In addition,
the weekly discussions about our respective works in progress that you,
Isabelle, and I have had during the last couple of years have been a lifeline.
Apart from working in the archives, libraries and in the field, interviews
have made up a substantial part of my investigation. This has been nothing
but inspiring and I would like to thank Ingrid Bengts, Ulf Berg, Jan Burell,
Lars Åke Everbrand, Anders Hansson, Benny Hedlund, Axel Ingmar, Åke
Johansson, Hans Kristoffersson, Kenneth Linder, Karin Perers, Per-Erik
Pettersson and Jan Thamsten in Sweden, Wolfgang Ebert in Germany and
Sir Neil Cossons, David de Haan and Stuart B. Smith in Britain, for offering
your time answering my questions in such a generous manner. Furthermore,
the empirical material provided by Örjan Hamrin and Kersti Morger was
crucial for my initial understanding of Ironbridge and Duisburg. Thank you
for your kind guidance.
My studies have received financial support from a number of contributors.
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the European Union project
Framtidshyttan Norberg, Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse, Jernkontoret:
Stiftelsen Prytziska fonden nr 1 – bergshistorisk forskning, Jernkontoret:
Stiftelsen Wilhelm Ekmans fond för bergshistorisk forskning, Lars Erik
Lundbergs Stipendiestiftelse, Marianne och Marcus Wallenbergs Stiftelse,
Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond, and Stiftelsen
Vargöns smältverk, for mainly funding my salary, and to Allan Wetterholms
stiftelse för arkeologisk utbildning och forskning vid Örebro universitet,
Knut och Alice Wallenbergs stiftelse, Nordiska ministerrådet, Ragnar och
Astrid Signeuls stiftelse, Senator Emil Possehls stipendiefond, the Society
for the History of Technology, Stiftelsen för internationalisering av högre
utbildning och forskning, Svenska Nationalkommittén för teknikhistoria,
and the Swedish Institute, for mainly funding my travels.
The final product, this book, is indebted to Vera Lindroos who proofread a late version of the text, Stig Söderlind who drew all the maps, and
Markus Trapp who gave the book its form. Thank you all for providing a
first-class finish to my sometimes muddled text.
My young friends Alvar, David, Markus and Natasja have continuously
and without negotiating possibilities, reminded me that work, luckily, is not
the only yardstick by which human value is measured. I am looking forward
to spending more time with you from now on.
Stockholm in January 2008,
Anna Storm
1. INTRODUCTION
1. INTRODUCTION
The traveller
A traveller at the beginning of the 21st century looks out of the window of a
train. He or she sees a large, neat six-storey brick building with symmetrical
rows of windows that are newly painted and have corresponding shades. The
building stretches along the track close to a railway station and the centre of
a middle-sized Western European town. How can this view be spontaneously
interpreted? Perhaps the traveller’s first thought is “Oh, they have a textile
mill in this town” or perhaps it is rather “Oh, another regional college or
business park.” I believe the second interpretation has successively become
more common, at least among travellers without previous knowledge or their
own experience of, relatively speaking, older industrial built environments.
What can then be regarded the most adequate interpretation? If the
building was a textile mill and it is presently used as a school or business park
– can it be considered a former mill, or is it really in the first place a school
or a location for small enterprises? Which group of people have priority
of interpretation of their previous or present workplace: the former textile
workers or the present teachers, students and entrepreneurs? And what about
the real estate owners, urban planners, architects, historians and politicians?
A chosen interpretation will not only assert the building as being primarily a
former mill or a new school, but will also characterise it in terms of meaning
and value.
The traveller’s interpretation of the view from the train is one expression
of more general and complicated processes that have exerted an influence on
individuals and places all over the Western world, where symbols and material
structures have been placed in new contexts and given new significance.
Reused industrial places are today a common feature of many cities and
towns, but it has not always been like that. With a historic perspective it is
possible to follow how this phenomenon emerged and developed during the
second half of the 20th century. It has not only been a process of contamination
and material decay, during which large-scale buildings and structures have
become security risks, but also a process of political controversies and
negotiations about what should be remembered.
9
1. INTRODUCTION
Gradually, the reused industrial place moved from being the exception
to the rule, and managing the transformation became a knowledge and
an experience that could be shared. Individuals and groups with different
associations to the place, with memories of its past and ambitions for its
future struggled together or in disagreement to define its new meanings. The
industrial place was a monument over something lost, as well as a problem
representing a ambiguous past and an often uncertain future. Sometimes
the negotiations between national and regional authorities, local actors and
commercial interests ended in a demolition of the redundant industrial
place. At other times the outcome was a transformation of the site into a
place for tourists or into dwellings. There has not been one single solution
applicable to all the places, nor has there been a single characteristic in the
negotiation processes. Nevertheless, apart from the many national and
regional differences, this study’s examples, gathered from several countries
and periods of time, identify a discernable logic and a number of common
denominators between the reused places.
In the study, three places are examined more closely, namely redundant
industrial areas of Avesta in Sweden, Ironbridge in Britain and Duisburg
in Germany. All three illustrate how the reinterpretation and reuse process
has been crucial in the search for a local future, that is, how negotiations
about the past, with regard to meanings attributed to artefacts and the built
environment, have become decisive in the search to meet contemporary
needs. The memory and oblivion of individuals and collectives, the creation
of monuments and heritage sites and the reuse of the built environment
for new purposes, all signify local place bound manifestations of changing
cultural, political and economic relations within a wider geography.
In the course of the 20th century, the factory became the most prominent
symbol of the industrial society, both in a physical sense and as an imaginative
tool.1 A production environment with people, machinery, buildings and
surroundings became easily recognisable and somehow understandable as had
its metaphorical expressions. The factory as a symbol also encompassed what
could be labelled a duality, with bright and dark aspects existing side by side.2
While the assembly line, the salary work and the smoke from the chimneys, on
the one hand spoke of beauty, modernity and progress, on the other hand they
also spoke of pollution, suppression and the extinction of the individual. This
duality certainly affected those who were or had been industrial workers but
also included almost everyone living in the industrial society.3
The changes in industrial production patterns that began in the 1970s –
sometimes called the third industrial revolution – implied that many Western
cities and towns, because of closedowns or relocations, faced the challenge of
a centrally located redundant industrial area. Certain branches encountered
the structural crisis earlier. The textile industry, for example, was hit in the
late 1950s and 1960s, while iron and steel works began to stand unused to a
10
1. INTRODUCTION
The factory, with smoke from the chimneys and different buildings and structures for each
moment of the production process, has become a prime symbol of the industrial society,
both as a material reality and a generally understood metaphor. Paper mill outside
Norrköping, Sweden. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
larger degree in the 1970s and 80s.4 The mill or factory that had had the best
location in relation to waterpower and transport could not fulfil the needs of
modern industry or was no longer competitive on a world market and was
therefore abandoned.
In many places where the factory ceased to be a workplace and a
production unit, individuals and societal organisations had to deal with its
dual symbolic qualities and often an ambivalent attitude was recognised and
articulated in different ways. Old industrial buildings in many communities
are said to represent “a common and proud, though often painful, past.”5
During their adaptation to new use some parts of these representations are
“deemed attractive, while other features – like child labor, dirty surroundings,
low wages – obviously aren’t useful for marketing purposes.”6 In short,
industrialisation left a physical legacy and “an overwhelming emotional
ambivalence that dominates our attitude towards this most important
period of our past.”7 It has been suggested, however, that time will erode
this ambivalence and when the “generation that worked in the factory
disappears, there is no doubt that their industrial culture by many people will
be embraced by the same sentimentality that has for many centuries marked
the peasant culture.”8
In the late 20th century, the redundant or outdated industrial built
environment has to a various extent been torn down, left as ruins, or adapted
11
1. INTRODUCTION
and reused for new kinds of activities. In the case of reuse, previously company
owned industrial symbols, artefacts and milieus have in large numbers been
turned into projections of visions of the future in local communities. How
is it that former industrial places – with all their ambiguity – have been
reinterpreted to represent a new future with the past as a reference? This is
the topic of the present study.
The aim and questions
Redundant industrial places do, in many respects, epitomise what I suggest
to name the materiality of a post-industrial situation. The place is a material
reality and the meanings attached to the place are often expressed through
the physical environment. Knowledge that is difficult to articulate verbally,
like an experience of loss and uncertainty of the future, could be visible in the
changing materiality. The built environment, a skyline, the way one moves
around in a city or town, the smell, sound and sight of hot slag in front
of you while your back is freezing cold because of the non insulated blast
furnace plant, the tacit knowledge that becomes relevant only in relation to
the physical tool or the colour of the flames, the structures of transportation
and storage that are readable and transparent to those who know it by heart
– this materiality has become redundant.
The knowledge and experiences connected to it has, to a large extent,
also become redundant and by being reused the place has changed in a
material sense. The changed materiality has affected its meanings – a previous
production environment standing unused or adapted to new activities
signifies other meanings than before. The new meanings have, in turn,
influenced the materiality of the place – its decay, its demolition or reuse. The
dialectic between a changing materiality and changing meanings constitute
a reinterpretation process, and the overall aim of this study is to contribute
to an understanding of such processes; why they have taken place, what they
have signified in the late 20th century Western world and, not the least, how
the places in a post-industrial situation have been affected.
In order to trace some important characteristics of this phenomenon
of reinterpretation and reuse, the present study addresses the following
questions:
• In what contexts have the redundant industrial place attracted attention?
• What actors have been involved in the processes of reinterpretation and
reuse, and what have been the issues of negotiation, conflict and
agreement?
• What has been the outcome of the reinterpretation of the industrial
place – in its materiality and meanings – and how is this outcome to
be understood?
12
1. INTRODUCTION
A redundant industrial materiality, rusting and overgrown with vegetation. The people who
understood and managed the production process are no longer around. Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord, Germany. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
Theoretical considerations
Industrial revolutions – industrial pasts
As industrialisation, the way of relating to the industrial past differs in pace
and character between countries, regions and branches. Furthermore, the
analysis of a series of changes depends on which perspective is chosen. From
an economic-historian’s point of view, the process of industrialisation has
been marked by three decisive stages, or industrial revolutions, and from
an industrial heritage aspect it can be argued that each one of these three
industrial revolutions has corresponded to a particular way of relating to the
recent past.9 Although this is a rough simplification, and even though the
study focuses on the third revolution and the correlating societal response
concerning the industrial past, this conceptual pair makes up one frame for
the following analysis, and needs a somewhat more elaborate presentation.
The first industrial revolution brought about technology such as steam
power and in some countries also railways. It gained momentum in Britain
during the last decades of the 18th century and spread to other parts of the
Western world during the first half of the 19th century. One distinctive feature
of this period of change was that the work process was split into elements and
carried out in a certain building, a factory. Earlier forms of production that
constituted prerequisites or represented other possible ways of development,
like the workshops and the company towns had certainly existed. These
forms did not necessarily cease with the first industrial revolution but a shift
13
1. INTRODUCTION
was nevertheless discernable.10 Corresponding to this shift was a public and
societal response that intended to save some traces from what was perceived
as a vanishing agricultural way of living. The factories and the steam-powered
machinery along with urbanisation were seen as threats. At this stage, industry
represented novelty and innovation and hence almost an antithesis to the past.
The second industrial revolution, with electrification and rationalisation,
took place around the turn of the 20th century. The important change during
this period was that the worker, instead of being paid for a ready-made product,
was paid according to the time spent in production. Industrial leaders were
hence eager to control the workforce, in order to ensure they were actually
working in the most efficient way. Two main solutions appeared: scientific
management and the assembly line. Frederick W. Taylor often represents the
scientific management in which each element of the work was analysed in
order to reduce the need for skilled people and to maximise productivity. The
assembly line is connected to Henry Ford and especially to the production
of cars. While the assembly line regulated the pace of each work element,
the workers had only to adapt. The resulting mass production furthermore
corresponded to mass consumption. The aim was that the production, for
example, of cars would be so cost effective that the worker could afford to buy
a car himself.11 The factory of the second industrial revolution is described
by Håkon W. Andersen as a “unit factory” in two senses: it made possible the
mass production of standard units, and it was in itself a unit comprising and
controlling the entire production process. Beside car factories, steel works are
regarded typical unit industries.12
A conscious defining of some industrial techniques and built
environments as belonging to the past appeared with the second industrial
revolution.13 During this period, the function of the identified industrial
past, among other things, meant to work as a contrast to the modern industry
and the modern society as a whole. By displaying new machinery beside the
old, the new stood out as even more modern.14 This was also a time when the
Western countries in more general terms established institutions that were
to deal with the past, in order to form a foundation of the modern society.15
Eric J. Hobsbawm strengthens this picture by showing how a great many
political and social traditions were invented during the three or four decades
before the First World War.16 Even if he does not connect the new interest in
the past directly to changes in industrial production, but rather to the decline
in old traditions and the democratisation of politics, his analysis is related to
the modern project of which the industrial past then formed a part as well.
The period between the second and the third industrial revolution,
approximately from the 1930s to the 1980s, is termed by Maths Isacson
“the high industrial period.”17 With a peak in the decades around the mid20th century this period shaped images of the future that, to a minor extent,
included references to the past. Instead, the future was marked by social and
14
1. INTRODUCTION
material progress that conquered space and transformed everyday life with
materials such as plastic, concrete and asphalt.18 Furthermore, in the 1960s
and the early 1970s, the real breakthrough of futurology occurred, that is,
research about the future.19
The third industrial revolution, which was connected to the structural
crisis that had its major impact during the 1970s and 80s, was marked by
flexible specialisation, increasing consumption and global markets.20 The
form of production that developed has been called the “network factory”
and from this period onwards, the symbolic values of products have become
almost as important as the actual price.21 If the unit factory correlated to
the class society and a buy and sell relation, the network factory of the
third industrial revolution correlated to the consumption society, where the
production process no longer was the centre of interest, but rather what was
possible to sell.22
By avoiding the term “post-industrial” and instead labelling the changes
of the 1970s and 80s a third industrial revolution, a number of economic
historians emphasise a continuing industrial production as the basis of
society.23 They assert that the concepts of post-industrial or “post-modern,”
often used to describe the contemporary society, set a misleading and too
strong focus on the differences between the periods before and after the 1970s.
A similar argument is proposed by David Harvey, who suggests that “even
though it has been a ‘sea-change’ in cultural as well as in political-economic
practices since around 1972” these changes “appear more as shifts in surface
appearance rather than as signs of the emergence of some entirely new postcapitalist or even post-industrial society.”24 The key question seems to be not
if the 1970s brought thorough changes, but if these changes are to be labelled
something including the prefix “post,” and by that indicating a break and a
focus on what no longer characterises society. Some of the discontinuities
of the late 20th century have been stressed by Zygmunt Bauman who draws
attention to all these people who believed they were “forever settled” in a place
– be it in geography, in society or in life – and who woke up just to find it
no longer existing or accommodating, while neat streets “turn mean, factories
vanish together with jobs, skills no longer find buyers, knowledge turns into
ignorance, professional experience becomes liability, secure networks of
relations fall apart and foul the place with putrid waste.”25
For this study I have chosen to comprehend the Western society
since the 1970s as characterised by a third industrial revolution, including
profound changes as well as seminal continuities, as well as images of the
future that have became subject to change. The optimistic expectations of
the 1960s were, during the following decades, replaced by notions about
the future more often based on references to the past. A general Western
questioning of society, fast changes in the industrial landscape and structural
crises contributed to a greater awareness of, and interest in, the past.26 Among
15
1. INTRODUCTION
other things, attention grew in giving industrial milieus and artefacts status as
history and heritage, although the opposite was also present. The industrial
archaeologist and museum critic, Kenneth Hudson, wrote in the introduction
of his book, The industrial past and the industrial present, published in 1967,
that “people who recommend that money and time should be devoted to
the history of technology can all too readily be accused of fiddling while
Rome burns.”27 However, Hudson continued to assert that technological and
business history “is a source of strength, not of weakness.”28 Parallel to the
redundant factory being seen as a potential museum object or heritage site, a
commercially driven adaptation of the outdated industrial built environment
within the realm of city planning and regional development took place. In
the latter case the goal was often the creation of fancy stages for cultural
events or providing urban areas with fashionable apartments, based on a
new appreciation of industrial aesthetics. In these various reinterpretation
processes the bright and dark aspects, the duality of the factory, became
emphasised or neglected according to the notion of the past sought after.
In Lowell, Massachusetts, in the United States, some of the former textile mills have been
converted into museums or heritage sites (left), while others are being reused as office
space or apartments (right). Photos: Anna Storm, 2005.
To conclude, in the contemporary consumption society that followed
the third industrial revolution, there are places which, in their meaning and
their materiality, are marked by a post-industrial situation – places where
industrial production once happened but no longer does. These places are my
object of investigation. And even though there, more or less, has always been
abandonment of outdated structures and buildings, as well as adaptation and
reuse, this study asserts that the reinterpretation and reuse of industrial places
in the late 20th century is a significant feature of investigation in an attempt
to understand how, during this period, the Western world has related to its
past and its future.
16
1. INTRODUCTION
Reinterpretation of an industrial place
Reinterpretation is a concept closely connected to the hermeneutic circle,
which describes a perspective concerned with the achievement of knowledge
and understanding. The hermeneutic circle has two main stages, one during
which the human subject finds itself close at hand, within reach of the details,
and one where he or she takes a step back to a position from which the totality
is discernable. The detail affects the understanding of the totality, which in
turn implies a new understanding of the detail. The hermeneutic circle thus
becomes a spiral moving between detail and totality positioned in layers
towards an increasingly richer or fuller knowledge and understanding.29
Interpretation and reinterpretation correspond to the dialectic between
detail and totality. One level of understanding, that is, one interpretation,
is continuously replaced by a new level of understanding, that is, a
reinterpretation has taken place. The reinterpretation becomes established
and turns into the valid understanding or, in other words, the legitimate
interpretation. The use of reinterpretation as a theoretical concept for this
study thus implies a search for understandings that in some respects are
regarded novel and challenging in relation to the previous interpretation.
Another central dialectic is that between explanation and understanding.
The interpretive process begins and ends – the point of departure and also the
goal – is understanding. Explanation, however, constitutes a necessary step back
from the subjective position, and by means of distance, a critical perspective is
made achievable.30 Paul Ricœur, who explored the relation between time and
narrative and also the relation between memory, history and forgetting from
an interpretative perspective, expressed, as an old man at the turn of the 21st
century, his fears for too much of both memory and forgetting in a society he
found obsessed with commemoration activities. Taking his point of departure
in some of the most difficult events of the 20th century, such as the Holocaust,
he asked for a legitimate politics of the memory.31 He thus positions himself,
certainly not as a positivist, but as a critic towards a too relativistic approach.
Some interpretations are better than others. There is no absolute truth, but
– as in legal processes in court – neither complete relativism or arbitrariness.
A critical hermeneutic approach hence makes it possible to regard the
reinterpretation of the industrial place as a political activity and furthermore to
unite a consciousness about historical continuities with a search for challenging
attitudes. The contemporary use of the past, of history or heritage, has always
in a broad sense political implications.32
In this study the reinterpretative perspective is valid for how I understand
and describe the investigated actors and processes, but also for how I regard
my own researching activity. Reinterpretation is thus to be considered relevant
theoretically as well as methodologically, and also constitutes an underlying
narrative frame in the following chapters.
17
1. INTRODUCTION
What then characterises the object of reinterpretation in this study
– the place in a post-industrial situation? While the industrial context has
been dealt with above, it is now time to turn to place as an entity and an
arena of investigation. If the historians and economic historians were the
principal guides to my understanding of industry, geographers are the
prominent figures in the following. According to Yi-Fu Tuan, geographers
have approached the study of place from two main perspectives, and from
my point of view it is possible to relate these to the hermeneutic approach.33
One perspective regards place as a point in a spatial system, which could
correspond to the reinterpretative stage of seeing from a distance, trying to
understand the larger picture. The other perspective regards place as a unique
artefact that can be experienced by the senses, which hence corresponds
to the reinterpretative stage of being close at hand. Somehow confirming
this understanding, Tuan rhetorically asks if it is “possible to stay close to
experience in the study of place and yet retain the philosophical ideal of
systematic knowledge?” and immediately answers “yes” with the qualification
that the key lies in the nature of experience.34
What is then the nature of experience? In order to develop a “sense of
place” in Tuan’s terminology, one must also know the past – one’s own past
preserved in the built environment as well as that of the village or city. He thus
emphasises how a place can be constituted by memory and history, objectified
in things that can be seen and touched.35 Ricoeur expresses something similar
when he claims that “places ’remain’ as inscriptions, monuments, potentially
as documents”, and that buildings could be “inscribed in urban space like a
narrative within a setting of intertextuality.”36 Also Doreen Massey suggests
that memory is fundamentally spatial in character, because the real events of
the past, to which the memory refers, have actually taken place some time
and somewhere.37
A connection between place and memory in terms of meanings of the
materiality can thus be established. What are the possible consequences of this
link? David Harvey refers to an idea of a contemporary rootlessness that could
possibly be met by the security of the home, that is, a place where personal
memories are firmly established in the materiality. His own argument is,
however, that despite how seductive this might sound, one has to be cautious.
By asserting the familiarity of the home as a secure place in which to be in a
changing world, one probably also includes strong elements of exclusiveness,
neither possible nor wanted in Harvey’s vision of society. Another potential
outcome of the correlation between place and memory is suggested by Kevin
Lynch, who takes his point of departure in people’s perceptions of the city
environment. Lynch argues, “the external physical environment plays a role
in building and supporting [a personal] image of time” and “a desirable image
is one that celebrates and enlarges the present while making connections with
past and future.”38 In this way Lynch stresses the positive opportunities of a
18
1. INTRODUCTION
A sign informing those with the adequate knowledge, what purpose this building at a
shipyard in Klaipeda, Lithuania, once served. Photo: Anna Storm, 2002.
The characteristic shape of a shed roof, together with a chimney, still constitutes the very
symbol of industry. Picture from Helsingborg, Sweden. Photo: Anna Storm, 2002.
time dimension in the experience of a place, not limited to the idea of a safe
home. However, he notes that when a “place changes rapidly […] people no
longer ‘know how to behave’” hence identifying the novel and unpredictable
character of the reinterpretation activity.39
19
1. INTRODUCTION
When one is not sure of where one belongs, questions of identity,
connected to both time and place, appear. Reinhart Koselleck asserts that the
divergence between the space of experience and the horizon of expectation has
increased in modern society ever since the mid-19th century. The possibility
of orientating towards the future on the basis of past experiences has thus
successively diminished.40 Although identity is a noun it works like a verb,
something that has to be created, changed or maintained, which Bauman
describes as a “project.”41 The meaning of places can thus be regarded an
issue of fundamental importance, while the solidity of identity, according to
Bauman, has been lost in contemporary society.42
Memory and expectations of the future are thus related to place, and
are, in addition, the basis for the selective and interpretative actions leading
to what we call history. History differs from fictional stories in its claims of
telling about the past in a way that corresponds to a bygone reality.43 In this
way history becomes a kind of verified memory, but which is nevertheless
created to meet contemporary needs and ideals. Corresponding to the
relation between memory and history, I suggest that a designated industrial
heritage – one way the place in a post-industrial situation has been given
new meaning – can be regarded as a selected and confirmed memory of the
industrial past. The political aspects of a reinterpretative act thus include not
only explicit notions about what has really happened, but also agreement or
conflict about what is to be regarded important and appropriate.
While time is partly examined above as an important aspect connected
to orientation and identity, it is in addition relevant for social relations.
Massey asserts that places are in fact processes, and as such, moments in a
network of social relations and understandings. I agree with this description
and suggest that this is yet another facet of the reinterpretative perspective.
When every new moment in a network of relations and understandings, in
some sense, is a new place, the place is continuously created in a process of
interpretation and reinterpretation.
To conclude this discussion about place and its relevance in trying to
understand the reinterpretative activities connected to the materiality of the
post-industrial situation, Harvey notes that place has to be one of the most
multi-layered words in our language, while Tuan asserts that places are the
centres of meaning.44 I believe both depictions are useful and enlighten the
complexity of the concept of place. It is therefore not surprising that the late
20th century has witnessed an intense struggle over the meaning of certain
places. What is its symbolic quality, how could it be used or changed, for
instance, when searching for a new identity or cultivating a marketing image?
The place in a post-industrial situation – a material reality loaded with
meanings – hence becomes a prime empirical source for the detection and
analysis of the reinterpretation processes.
20
1. INTRODUCTION
Delimitations
The empirical focus chosen for this study is former iron and steel industry,
located in heavily industrialised regions where metal manufacturing once
formed a backbone in the community. Furthermore, iron is a material which
carries centuries of narrative layers. From the Eddic poems to the iron of
modernity, the material comprises both the good and the evil.45 The 20th
century steel works are furthermore closely connected to the branches they
have served: the railway, the building industry, the armaments industry
and the car industry – corresponding to communication possibilities, sky
scrapers, weapon systems and the car society.46
The steel works represent a stereotypical male industrial work place. Chusovoi, Russia.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
One could object that this empirical choice reflects a Western stereotype
of how industry is and has been understood, among other things, in terms
of company towns with a skilled male workforce struggling in a hard
and dangerous environment. However, this is on the contrary the main
motive for the delimitation. The simplified picture is to be regarded here as
emblematic and thus a significant object for reinterpretation when a postindustrial situation has occurred, not the least when today’s making of semi
products most often lack the national glory that earlier marked the iron and
steel industry in many countries.47
It could furthermore be asserted that such a large extent of the reused
industrial places so far represent either textile mills or storage buildings and
21
1. INTRODUCTION
that the specific characteristics of these building types therefore should be put
at the forefront.48 Michael Stratton has made a distinction between what he
calls conventional buildings, like a mill or a warehouse, and process-specific
industrial structures, like an iron and steel work, pinpointing the latter as
being more difficult to reuse.49 These special reuse challenges will, together
with the emblematic conception, on the contrary make a former iron and
steel plant a particularly interesting empirical object to investigate.
The former iron and steel structures, examined in the following, have
been subject to reinterpretation and reuse in order to meet public and private
interests, and this study attempts to look at both. The division in interests
mirrors different actors and goals, but is also a tool to analyse two different
logics influencing the changes. The public logic here concerns reuse for
museums and educational purposes and is articulated in terms of a search
for a confident identity and a sustainable future society. The private logic,
on the other hand, concerns reuse for housing purposes and commercial
entertainment and is expressed in image building and tourism strategies. The
two logics interrelate and overlap, not the least in how public bodies lately have
begun to be more actively involved in local trade and industry development.
Nevertheless, the division helps the observation of, for example, professional
fields that act in different arenas, like the fields of heritage and planning
respectively. Taking the two logics into consideration has meant a broader
spectrum of previous research to relate to, while many academic disciplines
deal with only one of the aspects. The balance between the two in this study
implies overweight for the public logic and the heritage perspective, while,
for example, the economic prerequisites within the planning perspective are
more rudimentarily treated.
I have chosen a geographical focus on the Western world, meaning Western
Europe and North America. Here, an abundance of places in a post-industrial
situation was one significant consequence of the third industrial revolution and
so a feature in a wealthy society that had to be managed on a large scale. Within
these overall boundaries, the former industrial area of Norra verken – later
renamed Koppardalen – in Avesta, Sweden, is investigated at a detailed level.
Two other places, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in the Midlands of Britain
and the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in the Ruhr district of Germany, have
– in line with the hermeneutic approach – also been examined in some depth,
putting Avesta in perspective. In addition, a number of reinterpreted industrial
places appear in the study, to contradict or to strengthen the main arguments,
among them Norrköping, Eskilstuna, Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden,
Helsinki in Finland, London in Britain, as well as Lowell, North Adams and
Baltimore in the United States.
The time delimitation is approximately from the second half of the
20th century to 2007. While the emphasis is, however, on the latter decades,
the main analysis focuses on the different places and activities during their
22
1. INTRODUCTION
respective establishing phases. This implies a slightly displaced chronology
that has to be taken into consideration in terms of the spirit of the time apart
from the national and regional characteristics.
Previous research
Various traditions within different disciplines are of relevance for the present
study. While some of them comprise political dimensions, others have the
character of action research and all are marked by national characteristics.
The reinterpretation processes of the three industrial places that are
examined more closely have not, as far as I know, been previously investigated.
The story of how the industrial areas of Avesta, Ironbridge and Duisburg
became reused for museum purposes, leisure activities and offices has been told
by the leading actors themselves in the form of project programmes, evaluations
and shorter articles, but not in a thorough manner by an independent scholar.
Although the present investigation does not offer such an all-embracing
examination since the questions are too specific, within its limitations it still
constitutes a first attempt to analyse three intriguing local processes.
Another ambition of this study is to put together elements that have
earlier mainly been looked upon separately. The materiality of the postindustrial situation has opened for an investigation where there is no readymade frame of understanding. This is partially due to its amalgamation of a
legacy of the past, an uncertain present, as well as visions, hope and fear of the
future. The empirical material as well as the theoretical perspectives have thus
had to establish connections between different arenas in order to deal with
the research questions. I have for example chosen to treat the professional
perspectives of heritage and planning as parallel and interrelated.50 In addition,
I attempt to understand the activities of industrial archaeology, ecomuseums
and dig-where-you-stand study groups as parts of a popular appeal established
in the 1960s and 70s. Moreover, I explore the changing meanings of location
and design as they have been asserted from below as well as an expression of
gentrification. Since most of the Swedish historical research is presented only
in Swedish, this study also contributes to the access of a Swedish body of
literature in the field. The dig-where-you-stand activities have, for example,
not been presented to non-Swedish speaking public before.51
A contemporary approach towards the processes where urban and
industrial places and landscapes change meaning is represented within
several disciplines, among them anthropology, human geography, sociology
and urban planning. I am especially influenced by Sharon Zukin’s
investigations about how former industrial buildings in cities and towns in
the United States have been turned into housing, galleries and museums in a
gentrification process.52 Two other researchers who have a profound impact
23
1. INTRODUCTION
on my understanding are Dolores Hayden and Kevin Lynch. They explored
ordinary peoples’ experiences of the urban built environment, its changing
appearance and meanings from perspectives that focused on time and power
relations.53 Furthermore, in a more prescriptive manner, Tim Edensor’s
mission to upgrade the official recognition of industrial ruins with examples
mainly from Britain has been encouraging reading.54 Edensor argues that
abandoned industrial places are not empty and useless, but instead necessary
counter-areas within an all too well organised contemporary society. As
such, they can question normative regimes of memory and materiality.55 My
ambition has not been elucidating to what extent different perspectives are,
possibly, inconsistent. Instead, the referred researchers have functioned as
guides in my attempt to understand the empirical material.
In the research on industrial heritage, Marie Nisser established many of
the essential perspectives – among them the need for international comparison
– on which this study is based.56 She has additionally pioneered the articulation
of an international historiography.57 The group of doctoral candidates Nisser
supervised, and to which I belong, furthermore influenced the directions of my
research, especially concerning how the physical environment can constitute
a mine of empirical material.58 The present study hopes to contribute to this
field of interest by situating the efforts to recognise the industrial past in
relation to an understanding of three industrial revolutions. In addition, the
theoretical approach of a hermeneutic understanding of place, along with the
use of concepts such as liminality and gentrification is new to the field.
Three Swedish dissertations deal specifically with the reinterpretation
of the industrial place. Annika Alzén investigated how a centrally located
industrial area in the Swedish town of Norrköping successively became looked
upon as cultural heritage during the period from 1950 to 1985.59 She asserts
the process consisted of four phases, of which she explores the first three. The
fourth phase which starts in the mid-1980s is characterised by Alzén with
a “dramatisation” of the past in order to attract new activities to the former
industrial area.60 In a critical way, the Norrköping case inspired the present
study and the series of events described in Avesta chronologically follow on
from where Alzén’s investigation ends.
Johan Samuelsson explored public historical narratives as they were
expressed in the museum of the Swedish town of Eskilstuna from 1959 to
2000 in different exhibitions and events.61 On this basis he analysed the
shaping of a municipal identity. During the investigated period, Eskilstuna
changed from being an industrial town to a more diverse urban centre
in a newly formed municipality. At the beginning of the 21st century, the
museums of Eskilstuna were mainly located in former industrial buildings
and the investigated narratives are thus also relevant with regard to the built
environment. The Eskilstuna study comprises a group of key actors consisting
mainly of politicians, civil servants and museum curators. It does not include,
24
1. INTRODUCTION
for example, local history societies or private companies, something that the
present study attempts to touch upon.
In conclusion, Gabriella Olshammar analysed a degenerated industrial
area in the Swedish city of Gothenburg at the turn of the 21st century with the
concept, “permanent-provisional state.”62 Her investigation is relevant to the
present study in many respects, among them through the careful description
of a place in a liminal situation – being in-between in time and space – open
towards reinterpretation. Olshammar asserts, although in other words, that
the liminal state has in fact become the new legitimate interpretation of
the industrial area. All three dissertations mainly relate to the local and the
national scale and thus differ from the present study, which aims to deal
primarily with the local and the international level, and their interrelation.63
Sources and source criticism
For the investigation of the reuse process of the former industrial area of
Norra verken/Koppardalen in Avesta, Sweden, I used written sources kept in
the ATA archives (Antikvarisk-topografiska arkivet) at the Swedish National
Board of Antiquities, the municipal archives in Avesta, the archives of the
local newspaper, Avesta Tidning, as well as the archives for the Johnson group
of companies located in Ängelsberg. I mainly searched in these four archives
for material directly concerning the industrial area. More recent municipal
documentation including for example meeting protocols, broadcast
recordings and video recordings that were not at the time filed away, I was
able to find stored in the town hall in Avesta. I conducted fourteen interviews,
participated in one meeting with a group of veteran iron and steel workers,
and had numerous informal chats with people in Avesta. With regard to the
conversations and interviews, the actors placed additional written sources
at my disposal. Furthermore, I made use of photos, paintings and maps
in combination with on-site observations on ten different occasions over a
period of four years from 2003 to 2006.
For the study of the processes that have taken place in Ironbridge and
Duisburg I combined in a similar way written sources with interviews and
fieldwork. Privately owned published and unpublished documents about
Ironbridge were placed at my disposal by Örjan Hamrin, Stuart B. Smith and
Sir Neil Cossons. I travelled to Ironbridge once in the summer of 2006 for two
days during which I visited eight of the ten individual museum sites of the area.
In addition, I made use of the museum project archives located in the library of
the Ironbridge Institute and interviewed three important actors.
Kersti Morger placed at my disposal privately owned published
and unpublished written sources about Duisburg and the Internationale
Bauausstellung Emscher Park. With the help of Tarmo Pikner I was also
25
1. INTRODUCTION
able to use the reports produced within the research project “Flagships of
the Ruhr.” I visited Duisburg twice, in the spring of 2002 and in the winter
of 2007, each time for one day. Furthermore, I took part in a guided tour
through the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord and conducted one interview
with a key actor.64
For the analysis of heritage and planning perspectives, I used written
documents that often functioned as both primary and secondary sources.
While many of the books, conference proceedings and articles were placed at
my disposal by Marie Nisser, who has a large private collection in the field, a
number of titles were also found in public libraries and on the Internet.
My empirical material is thus, to some extent, filtered through the
retrospect of a number of key figures. Their selective memories, their choice
of which papers to keep, as well as what to inform about and exhibit, have
undoubtedly affected my understanding and what I am able to tell. In
contrast, at least with regard to Avesta and Ironbridge, there are several
people who were able to give their, at times, contradictory versions, which
hence increased the scope of my results.
The risk of misunderstandings in the interview situation due to language
difficulties is, of course, always at hand. However, it is my impression that
few misunderstandings occurred. Hopefully, any mistakes were corrected
when most of the interviewees had the opportunity to read the text before its
final version. The risk of misinterpretations due to a too familiar approach in
the Swedish case is certainly also present and for me perhaps more difficult to
observe. Since this aspect has been a matter of concern, I hope the Swedish
readers corrected anything I may have taken for granted.65
Thesis outline
Following the first introductory chapter, chapter two investigates how the
redundant industrial place was reinterpreted as heritage. The development
of a professional heritage perspective is contrasted to radical activities within
industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-where-you-stand study groups
of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, which challenged the official understanding of
history and heritage.
In the third chapter we attend to the local level with a detailed study of
the industrial area of Norra verken/Koppardalen in the town of Avesta in the
Bergslagen region of Sweden. The industrial place is analysed with respect to
its changing meanings connected to its changing materiality. While Norra
verken/Koppardalen is also the empirical focus in the fourth chapter, the
investigation here concerns the actors and their arguments in the negotiations
about the local future. The main period of investigation in these two chapters
is the late 1990s and the first few years of the 21st century.
26
1. INTRODUCTION
A contrasting picture from Ironbridge Gorge Museum in the Midlands
of Britain is launched in chapter five. Relating itself to the findings in Avesta,
this chapter addresses questions about the articulation of industry in the
heritage arena and about the local anchorage in a reinterpretation process.
From Britain we move to the Ruhr district in Germany for yet another
outlook. Chapter six examines the relation between a former industrial site
– Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord – the natural environment and the use of
art respectively.
The results from the detailed study in Norra verken/Koppardalen in
Avesta are thus put in contrast to two reused and reinterpreted sites that
represent different geographical and period contexts. The periods in focus are
the early 1970s when Ironbridge Gorge Museum was established and the early
1990s when the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord found its form. The sites in
Britain and Germany were also chosen because they act as important icons in
a historiography of the reinterpretation and reuse of former industrial places.66
Moreover, they were significant points of reference for the actors involved in
the transformation process of Norra verken/Koppardalen in Avesta.
After analysing these three places, the seventh chapter attempts to
supplement the professional heritage perspective sketched out in chapter two,
with how professionals in planning, art and design approached the redundant
industrial place. Taken together, a broader picture of the significance of the
reinterpreted industrial place is suggested which has been known in its parts,
but not, I claim, articulated in its entirety before. The thesis concludes with
a section in which the various results are examined within a common frame
of understanding.
The set of questions raised in this introduction are dealt with in all the
chapters, and the structure, to some extent, corresponds to the theoretical
and methodological considerations within the hermeneutic approach. This
introductory chapter, which launches the conceptual pair of industrial
revolutions and industrial pasts, as well as the heritage perspective of chapter
two, could hence be read as a first suggestion of a broader pattern seen at a
distance. Chapters three and four examine the texture of a local everyday
reality in more detail. In chapters five and six, the sketched entirety and
the detailed examination lead to the unveiling of new possible features
characterising the reinterpretation of the industrial place in the late 20th
century. Finally, in the seventh chapter the larger picture seen at a distance is
revisited and enriched by new perspectives that did turn out to be crucial.
In combination, the different characters of the chapters hopefully renders
the study a general relevance, contributing to our understanding of the
materiality of a post-industrial situation – an understanding we will see is
marked by hope and rust.
27
1. INTRODUCTION
28
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
A team of workmen walk through the steel works area in the city of Chusovoi
in the Ural mountains of Russia. The picture is taken at the beginning of
the 21st century when a group of historians and heritage professionals visited
the premises as one part of an international conference on the theme of
industrial heritage. The visitors were unanimously thrilled to be able to see
an operating Bessemer converter, a technique taken out of use in the Western
world half a century ago and now shown in museums. However, the steel
works with its Bessemer converter is also – evidently – the active workplace
for a large number of people in Chusovoi, and in that respect not at all a
place of the past. The pace of change, and consequently the experiences of
what is past and what is present are certainly a complex issue, especially with
regard to how redundant industrial equipment from more affluent parts of
the world have often been dismantled and exported for reuse in Asian, Latin
American or African countries.1 The places in a post-industrial situation
hence elucidate material patterns in the contemporary global geography, and
the third industrial revolution as having various implications depending on
what point of view is chosen.
In the introductory chapter the conceptual pair of industrial revolutions
and industrial past was launched, together with a critical hermeneutic
approach of reinterpretation of the industrial place. One way the industrial
place has been reinterpreted is as a heritage or memory site. In this chapter
we look at the heritage profession as well as a number of heritage related
organisations and phenomena that have come to influence the general
understanding of the industrial past. The purpose is to outline a broader
pattern relevant for the reinterpretation process seen through the lens of
heritage, and the guiding questions are: How did industry become part of the
established heritage? Who have, and who have not taken part in this process,
and why? To begin with, the development of a general heritage perspective is
briefly sketched out.
29
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
A team of workmen is on its way from a shift. Another team is visible further down the road.
Chusovoi, Russia. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
The Bessemer converter represents a technology which, in many countries, is considered
redundant and only to be found in museums. In other parts of the world, however, such
converters are still in full production. Picture from Chusovoi, Russia. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
30
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
Development of a heritage perspective
Apart from personal and family belongings representing memory, when
did a more general concern for the past emerge? A collective and societal
attention to a bygone materiality created within a national framework, has
developed during the last two centuries. In a first phase this consisted of the
establishment of inventories, simply lists of buildings that were regarded
valuable from a national historic perspective.2 In most European countries
this phase of the articulation of an official heritage began in the mid- or
late 19th century and three criteria dominated the selection: age, beauty and
historical significance.3 Many countries explicitly defined the age criterion
as a minimum. A building had to be at least of a certain age, usually fifty
or a hundred years old, to be considered for heritage designation. There are
certainly examples of both longer and shorter time perspectives. In Britain,
for instance, the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, founded in
1908, ended their scope in the year 1700, thus demanding that buildings
must be at least two hundred years old to come into question.4 On the other
hand, in 1970 the Ministry of Housing and Local Government set the official
date limit for historical architecture to 1939 when they began to list inter-war
buildings, consequently setting an age range of only thirty years.5
The presupposed logical second step from inventory to protection and
preservation, however, typically took several decades to realize. Hence, a
second phase began during the first decades of the 20th century, characterised
by the establishment of legislative instruments. However, the legislation
was in general too weak to have any real influence on what was done to
the listed buildings and instead it often depended on voluntary initiatives
and the good will of landowners.6 In Sweden, a change in attitude towards
older buildings and monuments, marked by a focus on social and economic
aspects connected to an experience of thorough change and high growth rate
was present in the 1920s.7 At the same time, intellectuals in Britain began to
argue for the protection of rural parts of the country, which they saw severely
threatened by growing cities and the consequences of increasing numbers of
motorcars and thus tourists.8 Later, the Second World War became important
for the diffusion of ideas of preservation policies between some European
countries, among other things with lists of which monuments to safeguard,
that were handed out to the combatants.9
In the post Second World War years a third phase began, with the
development of a professional practice followed by decisive changes in the
approach towards the older built environment. The criteria for designating
something as heritage were broadened and some tendencies are noteworthy
here. The emphasis on the very old was stretched to also include the not so old.
To an earlier focus on the large and spectacular was added an interest for the
small and ordinary. The idea of heritage as a monumental building was replaced
31
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
The number of listed industrial heritage sites has increased dramatically during the last
couple of decades. One site that was recognised early is Engelsberg ironworks in Sweden,
originating from the late 17th century. Photo: Gabriel Hildebrand, RAÄ, 1997.
A site that heritage authorities are deliberating on at the present time is the Barsebäck
nuclear plant in Sweden, built in the 1970s. The two nuclear reactors were taken out of
use in 1999 and 2005 respectively. Photo: Bengt A. Lundberg, RAÄ, 2005.
32
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
by a broader definition that embraced other building types and, for example,
machinery and vehicles as well. Successively, whole landscapes and townscapes
started to be recognised as heritage. The ongoing inventory work coupled with
this widening of criteria led to inflation of designated heritage and, as a result, also
to different kinds of ranking to support the professional priority of attention.10
Pierre Nora observed how it became impossible to predict what should be
remembered and, as a consequence, the number of sites and artefacts connected
to memory was enormously extended, and the memory institutions – of which
the heritage institutions formed one part – were equally strengthened.11
The heritage creation process in general relied on a few competing
ideals, one of them concerning what was to be considered the most correct
preservation policy. A well-known debate that arose during the 19th century,
and stayed relevant during the 20th century as well, is associated with a couple
of individuals; Eugene Etienne Viollet-le-Duc, John Ruskin and William
Morris.12 The two basic principles could, in a simplified manner, be described
as restoration to – what was decided to be – a buildings original shape or
instead, minimal intervention with the purpose of leaving the building to
change as a kind of living organism.
The first idea of restoration to original shape implies that there was
a certain moment when a building appeared in a true way, and that this
appearance should be the primary guidance to future owners and users.
In practice, this means that features not belonging to the selected original
shape, that is, elements added or removed, were to be replaced with elements
analogous to the sought after shape. The second idea of minimal intervention
looks upon a building as something that is born, grows, ages and dies. The
role of the owners and users is therefore, when necessary, only to slow down
the process of dilapidation through limited maintenance, stressing the value
of patina and atmosphere. According to this view, a building should retain all
its layers from the different periods of change.
The two ideals mark contemporary professional approaches to the
built environment. To make a harsh generalisation, the first ideal could be
related to professions such as architects and urban planners, who in this way
demonstrate respect for the intentions of the original architect of the building,
and attempt to create cities of “genuine” quality. The second ideal could then
be connected to heritage professionals in general who care about all the traces
from the past, with the aim of making them visible and understandable. Both
ideals are represented in public and political opinions.
Probing into this seemingly easy division reveals that the attitude within
the heritage professions is far more complex. The first ideal of restoring to
original shape was apparent as official rhetoric and every day practice at least
up to the 1970s. After this period, the heritage sector went through a radical
transformation and the official rhetoric was dominated by the second ideal
of minimal intervention. Nevertheless, many decisions in every day practice
33
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
remained influenced by the first ideal of an original shape. The reasons for
the survival of the original shape ideal are many, among others that it is often
regarded to provide superior aesthetics in terms of a homogeneous style, and
likewise pedagogical values in terms of clarity. Basic evaluation criteria of age
and beauty mentioned earlier were hence qualified.
When the industrial place has been reinterpreted as a heritage site, these
two ideals emerge as arguments in different actors’ opinions, for example,
when choosing to restore or create a site based on one frozen moment in time.
One example is to be found in the North of England Open-Air Museum at
Beamish, which was built to demonstrate an environment in 1825 and 1913,
in order to show the visitor a rural and an industrial society respectively.13
Also during the transformation of an industrial built environment to other
kinds of new use, for example, apartments or concert halls, the adaptive work
could strive to retain the present aesthetical impression or, instead, seek to
contrast existing features.
Together with a growing public awareness and appreciation of the
existing built environment, the widened conception of what constituted
heritage led to a shift in legislation in most Western European countries
during the 1960s and 70s. The radical political climate of the period was
mirrored in an emphasis on local management, on planning at the expense of
architecture, on milieus instead of single monuments and on considerations
of present and future use of buildings and areas. The public conscience then
favoured the small and old instead of the large and new, and the demolition
of residential and industrial built environments in many cities gave rise to
protest.14 A series of spectacular cases and polemic publications like “The
Erosion of History” and “The Rape of Britain” fuelled the debate.15 Two
demolitions that were brought to public attention, with implications for how
the heritage perspective was nearing industrial buildings, were the Euston
Arch and the Firestone Factory in London.16 The Euston Arch, inspired by
Greek architecture, constituted the original entrance to the Euston station in
London and was already threatened by destruction in the 1930s. After the
Second World War the issue was negotiated anew and the arch was finally
demolished in 1962, causing a storm of protest. The Architectural Review
characterised the event as “The Euston Murder.”17 The Firestone Factory was
a modernist building from the late 1920s, vacated and sold by the company
in 1979. Different heritage organisations requested its listing but the new
owners hastened, in fact over a weekend, to demolish it before the listing
could come into force. As a result, a large number of inter-war buildings,
including factories and power stations, were instead listed in great haste.18
The onset of the third industrial revolution thus demanded a new heritage
perspective with long lasting influences upon regulations and professional
practice, not the least with regard to remnants of industrial character.
34
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
Heritage and industry – a troublesome relation
Remains from the industrial past have been looked upon both in contrast to,
and included in, these two hundred years of official heritage development. As
noted in the introductory chapter, the factory and other industrial structures
and artefacts initially made up the very contradiction to heritage. Annika
Alzén compiled a list of major obstacles as to why industry could not easily
be regarded cultural heritage. The factors she mentions are that industry
and culture were regarded to be the exact opposites of each other, and that
industry was seen as the emblem for the modern society. She also notes
that the industrial remnants symbolised misery and poverty. Furthermore,
industry was marked by change while cultural heritage was characterised
by authenticity and constancy, and finally there were seminal economic and
practical preservation problems.19 It seems as if almost everything spoke against
the combination of industry and heritage. So how and where did they meet?
While the first industrial revolution brought about an interest for
agricultural milieus, the second industrial revolution at the turn of the 20th
century and next few decades entailed attention for the early industrial history
in order to contrast the then modern industry. One peculiar example from
the United States is the industrialist Henry Ford who in the late 1920s built
a historic village outside Detroit in a nostalgic vision of a small New England
town, which was also combined with a celebration of the great heroes of
American industrialisation. The aim was in Ford’s words “to show how far
and fast we have come” in a tone of optimism for the future, and which I
understand as just another way to articulate the function of contrast.20
The broader range of heritage criteria that accompanied the third
industrial revolution was reflected in an increasing professional and public
interest for industrial milieus as representing something actually belonging
to the past. In 1973 a first international conference on the theme was held
in Ironbridge, Britain, followed by a second conference in Bochum in the
Ruhr district of Germany in 1975, and a third one in Grangärde of the
Bergslagen region of Sweden in 1978. During the third conference, an
international organisation was formed called “International Committee
for the Conservation of Industrial Monuments.”21 The industrial place
was, however, looked upon with scepticism and as a highly controversial
heritage applicant from the point of view of many heritage organisations.22
Simultaneously, as the professional and public interest grew, the companies as
owners and former users of the redundant industrial place seem, in general,
to have taken a step back. When the built environment was no longer useful
for practical purposes, the companies did not distinguish any other value.
A possible history or historical image of the company dependent upon its
material legacy was typically not identified.23
35
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
Beside the “International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial
Monuments,” international organisations dealing with heritage contributed
to discussions around charters, conventions and codes of practice relevant for
the industrial heritage.24 Their power to act was however quite limited. The
impact, for example, of the World Heritage List, administered by UNESCO,
has no doubt been profound, but probably not in connection with selection
of the most important natural and cultural heritage sites in the world, but
rather as a stimulus to national engagement, financing and legitimisation.
The nomination process and the final appointment have for many industrial
heritage sites enhanced their national prestige and possibilities of receiving
financial support, partly through an increased number of tourists.25 The
first industrial site to be appointed world heritage by UNESCO was
Røros mining town in Norway in 1980, only two years after the very first
world heritage designation. This official recognition was followed by the
appointment of Ironbridge Gorge in Britain in 1986, Engelsberg Ironworks
in Sweden in 1993 and Völklingen Ironworks in Germany in 1994. Specific
for the number of industrial sites on the World Heritage List is that they,
with a few exceptions, represent the three nations of Britain, Germany and
Sweden, as well as the industrial branches of mining and iron and steel.26 This
state of affairs further strengthens the relevance and emblematic character of
the empirical focus in this study.
While international or world level interest has not been able to truly
challenge the nation state as the main heritage-creating actor, regional and
local perspectives have instead successively become more influential.27 To
some extent, from the 1980s onwards this trend is the result of a more
conscious way of looking upon heritage as an economic resource. History
and heritage could serve as a kind of intrinsic value of a place, indicating
continuity and distinctiveness, thus making it more interesting as a choice of
location for companies and individuals, but also as a more direct economic
asset in terms of property and as a base for tourism.28
A new attitude
Does the broader definition of heritage criteria, the increasing number
of redundant industrial places, a public experience of thorough changes
and a few sites given official heritage status constitute an understanding
of the entirety, the whole picture? Ola Wetterberg analysed a shift from
“monument” to “environment” in Swedish building conservation during the
early 20th century. He asserts the shift did not so much concern a difference
in the kind of object that caught the heritage professionals’ interest, but
rather concerned a difference in attitudes. The arguments for preservation
that traditionally were mostly based on age, beauty and historical significance
36
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
during certain periods became supplemented or even exceeded by social
and economic criteria. Wetterberg claims that this wider “environmental”
attitude towards heritage prospered partly between 1900 and 1920, and
partly in the 1960s and 70s.29 How was this change in attitude visible in the
arenas where heritage and industry met during the latter period? In the search
for an answer, I will, in the following, investigate the characteristics of three
phenomena that implied a challenge to the established heritage structures:
industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-where-you-stand study groups.
It is true that these activities emerged and flourished in different geographical
and institutional contexts, but the fact that several individuals and ideas
overlapped strengthens the relevance of trying to discern a larger picture.
What marked the challenging attitude these phenomena represented, and
which actors and arenas were involved?
In 1955 some enthusiasts in Britain asserted that industrial heritage
was as valuable as any other heritage and invented the concept of “industrial
archaeology.” This meant abandoned factories, old railway stations and derelict
canals became identified as important by a greater number of activists.30 The
activities of industrial archaeology were thus set in motion and grew during
the 1960s.31 To a large extent the work was volunteer based and many times
undertaken as a way of protesting against demolition, in a feeling that society
was changing rapidly and thus destroying valuable traces of the recent past.
Examples of the activities in the 1960s include several conferences on
industrial monuments, the publication of a journal and an introductory
book, the BBC series of programmes on the theme, and the Council for
British Archaeology that took on a National Survey of Industrial Monuments.
The increasing interest also resulted in thousands of volunteer recordings of
industrial milieus.32 Industrial archaeology also spread to Germany, France,
Belgium and the United States.
In France in the early 1970s, an international movement striving to
renew the idea of what constituted a museum, “new museology,” took shape
as an experimental new museum type called the “ecomuseum.”33 The prefix
“eco,” derived from the Greek “oikos” – meaning a house, living space or
habitat – gives associations to ecology, ecosystem and economy. While
these uses might suggest that ecomuseums primarily deal with the natural
environment, this was however not the case.34 Instead, from the ecomuseum
advocates’ point of view, while a traditional museum was represented by a
building, collections, experts and a public, the ecomuseum was represented
by a territory, heritage, memory and a population.35 It was a museum without
walls, consisting of built environments still in their original location, scattered
over a comparatively huge area, centred around a common theme and with
a strong connection to local people and local development processes. The
inauguration in 1974 of the Museum of Man and Industry, situated in the
French district of Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines in the southern part
37
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
In its newsletter, the Society for Industrial Archeology in the United States reported on the
rescue of a rare 19th century pump, engaging not only the local archaeological society and
museum crew, but also local commercial firms and the US Army. Courtesy of the Society for
Industrial Archeology.
of Bourgogne is often regarded as a starting point. Although France remained
the foremost geographical centre, ecomuseums were formed in other countries
as well, especially in Scandinavia and the French-speaking areas of Belgium
and Switzerland.36 The keen reception by the Scandinavian countries can
partly be explained by already existing networks of small museum sites that
38
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
resembled the ecomuseum concept, among them Husbyringen, a heritage
and nature trail in the county of Dalarna in Sweden, developed in 1970.37
In France, there was a considerable growth in numbers of new ecomuseums
in the mid-1980s, and when a plateau was already reached at the end of that
decade about forty ecomuseums had been established in the country.38
The Swedish phenomenon “dig-where-you-stand” is said to have had
its lightning spark in two books; Stiga vi mot ljuset: Om dokumentation av
industri- och arbetarminnen (“Towards the light we ascend: On documentation
of industry and workers’ memories”) by Gunnar Sillén and Gräv där du står:
Hur man utforskar ett jobb (“Dig where you stand: How to explore a job”) by
Sven Lindqvist, published in 1977 and 1978 respectively.39
Inspired by these two books, local study groups were established where
people spent their spare time checking archives, conducting interviews and
doing fieldwork in order to write the recent and local history of the ordinary
people, in contrast to the history of the big companies. In general, perspectives
of change and visions of the future were the mobilising forces. Sillén’s book
was used as literature in over four hundred study groups in the late 1970s but
was successively replaced by Lindqvist’s book.40 The latter was a handbook
for amateur research, produced by one of Sweden’s biggest publishing firms,
strongly supported by the press and sold in twenty-five thousand copies.41
The main phase of the dig-where-you-stand activities occurred between
1975 and 1985, and was characterised by intense work in the study groups,
exhibitions and theatre performances.42 The interest thereafter diminished. It
has been estimated that the number of study groups in Sweden between 1975
and 1985 reached ten thousand and involved about one hundred thousand
people.43
Everybody’s history and heritage
How did industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-where-you-stand study
groups influence the then prevailing idea of history and heritage? One common
denominator was the claim that everybody could – and ought to – participate
in the creation of history and heritage. Storytelling was not an exclusive
activity reserved for professional historians and museum curators. R. Angus
Buchanan articulated this claim by asserting that industrial archaeology
is a study to which everybody can bring some expertise, whether it be the skill
of the architect or engineer, the experience of the manual worker or housewife,
or the craft of the teacher or historian, and expect to find a useful and
rewarding field of investigation.44
For the ecomuseums, the focus was instead put on the museum as a process
involving all the inhabitants of the region where the museum was active. At a
39
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
The book, Gräv där du står: Hur man utforskar ett jobb (“Dig where you stand: How to
explore a job”), written by Sven Lindqvist and published in 1978, was a handbook for
amateur research. It encouraged each and everyone to start writing their own local history,
from a grass-roots perspective. Front cover: Bo Berling. Courtesy of the Bonnier group.
40
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
general level, Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard suggest that heritage is to
be understood more as a process than a product, while possible heritage is “all
around, and can come into the process given the right circumstances.”45 The
director of the Ecomuseum Bergslagen in Sweden, Ewa Bergdahl, formulated
a vision for the future of the museum very much in line with this emphasis
on the process. She referred to the body and soul of the museum as being the
buildings and physical environment on one hand, and the local intellectual
processes on the other. She asserted that the special identity of the ecomuseum
was formed by being more of an idea than an institution, a process for the
population and a mentality for museum professionals.46
The dig-where-you-stand study groups went even further and asserted
that the workers were experts of their work and therefore the best ones suited
to write the history of that work.47 Since the upper classes were regarded
to represent the enemy, a conflict perspective had to dominate the workers’
writing of history. The books by Sillén and Lindqvist were a combination of
ideological appeals as well as concrete handbooks in documenting industrial
milieus, and their purpose was to encourage each and everyone to write their
own part of the history of industrial work.48 The title of Silléns book, Towards
the light we ascend, was fetched from a paragraph in the Internationale, used
by Sillén with an imagined question mark behind, but by most readers
perceived with an imagined exclamation mark.49
For industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and the dig-where-you-stand
study groups, history and heritage were furthermore understood as having
social and political implications. The early period of industrial archaeology
was one of decline, and the public enthusiasm could partly be regarded as a
way of contrasting and compensating the contemporary state of affairs with
the glorious history of the early industrial revolution. The ambition with the
ecomuseum was to widen the museum concept, from the artefact, and time
and space, to encompass a fourth dimension, the society.50 Peter Vergo argued
in the introduction to a book about the broader concept of new museology
that “what is wrong with the ’old’ museology is that it is too much about
museum methods, and too little about the purposes of museums.”51 The
social role of museums was later developed, particularly in Portugal and Spain,
while the mobilising and strengthening of the community was emphasised in
the northern European countries. In France the museum concept was applied
in attempts to convert former industrial sites and abandoned rural areas.52
As a whole the endeavour of the new museology activities was to establish
a consciousness about previous forgotten groups and cultures – the less
privileged – such as ethnic minorities and industrial workers.53
In the dig-where-you-stand study groups a political ambition was obvious,
because in many towns and villages the study group became an instrument
in the fight against factory closedowns and threats of unemployment. This
was expressed not the least through activities that extended into massive
41
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
local theatre plays involving amateurs as well as professionals. These plays,
in Swedish “arbetarspel,” literarily translated “workers’ plays,” typically based
their story lines on actual historical events and findings from the research of
the study groups. The plot was often one of a big strike or a similar decisive
fight theme. Every part of the work with the play included both amateurs and
theatre professionals in formally equal positions. One of the most well known
workers’ plays depicts a strike in the Swedish mining village of Norberg. The
play involved over four hundred people and summer performances were
given outdoors for six years.54
Who were then the driving forces in the three phenomena? Was it
primarily people outside the universities and established heritage institutions?
The answer is both yes and no. In Britain, industrial archaeology was volunteer
based. The priority of interpretation between amateurs and academics was
nevertheless an area of conflict – in spite of the quotation earlier about a field
“to which everybody can bring some expertise.” In some respects it led to a
division where the amateurs stayed in the field with hands on recording and
preservation, and the academics formulated their task as analysing the new
knowledge in a broader historic context.55 In 1974, a national organisation
was formed in Britain, called the Association for Industrial Archaeology, and
according to Henrik Harnow, the division between academics and amateurs
was still present in the beginning of the 1990s. The leading actors of the
association at that time represented ambitions of high academic standard,
although the majority of its members consisted of amateurs.56
Industrial archaeology in the United States differed from the activities
in Britain in the sense that it did not involve a large number of volunteers
or non-professionals.57 Instead, a variety of public and private organizations
made up the actors of the field.58 The Society for Industrial Archeology in the
United States was formed in 1971, although the starting point is placed four
years earlier at a seminar where Kenneth Hudson, the author of the first book
introductory on industrial archaeology, was the key speaker. The Society for
Industrial Archeology from the beginning consisted mostly of professionals
like museum curators, government officials in historic preservation and
representatives of engineering societies.59 The establishment conference was
held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and thus situated
the society in a governmental context.60 Furthermore, the majority of the
fieldwork was carried out by the Historic American Engineering Record,
HAER, a federal agency that also offered “emergency recordings” and worked
as consultant.61
For the ecomuseums the collaboration between amateurs and the often
few employed museum professionals was emphasised, but also questioned.62
In general, the ecomuseums have involved a large number of volunteers, but
the principal discussion about the sought after characteristics of the museum,
was carried out among the museum professionals.63
42
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
In the dig-where-you-stand study groups, one basic idea was to deprofessionalize the interpretation of the past. This entailed that professional
historians criticised the extensive amateur research as lacking in understanding
of source criticism, as well as relevant research questions and context. In
addition, internal criticism directed towards the unorganised quality of
the activities also existed.64 Furthermore, many of the prominent figures
had a professional platform from where they raised the de-professionalizing
arguments. Sillén, for example, an architect employed at the National Board
of Antiquities, carried out a controversy against academics, museum curators
and antiquarian authorities about the priority of interpretation in history
writing, which caused an intense public debate.65
Contexts of debate and diminishing radicalism
The three phenomena, industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-whereyou-stand study groups, developed mainly within different contexts such as
archaeology, history of technology, labour history and museums respectively.
The very name of industrial archaeology caused a lot of debate – how was it
possible to put two such disparate concepts together?66 Among other things,
the archaeological approach was considered disputable for investigations of
such recent periods as the centuries following industrialisation.67 Although
questioned the name did remain, probably because in the end it revealed
more than it brought into confusion, by emphasising the fieldwork in
the material environment as a crucial technique. In the words of one of
the British participants at the third international conference on industrial
heritage, British industrial archaeology in the late 1970s was “certainly
alive but possibly somewhat confused.”68 A principal contradiction was
also present between, on one hand, those who regarded knowledge about
industry, technology and industrial architecture as the prime target of their
work, and on the other hand, those who focused on the social dimension of
the former working places.69 According to Marie Nisser, these two centres of
attention constituted the two main components of the field.70
The Society for Industrial Archeology in the United States partly
developed as a kind of lobby organisation and consultant in city planning
connected to reuse of industrial buildings. In 1976 the society initiated and
sponsored a handbook about how to work with former industrial buildings.
In the society’s newsletter, the members were encouraged to suggest possible
case-studies for inclusion in the handbook defined as “[r]emodelings for
industrial, commercial, residential, and educational purposes […] as long
as they respect the original structure’s character.”71 In addition, the society
administered a register of consultants and firms that offered expertise
knowledge in the area of industrial archaeology.
43
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
Industrial archaeology also paved its way into the universities of both
Britain and the United States with individual courses entitled “industrial
archaeology.” The first class was run by the University of Birmingham in
Britain in 1958. Fieldwork was carried out in Coalbrookdale – close to
Ironbridge, which we visit later in this study – and in the early 1980s an
institutional centre for the study of industrial archaeology and heritage
was formed.72 In other countries the academic development was less
pronounced.
Sven Lindqvist, the author of the book, Dig where you stand, was
inspired by industrial archaeology and one chapter in his book presents the
activities going on in Britain. This chapter was also pre-printed in one of the
major daily newspapers, Dagens Nyheter, in Sweden and therefore reached
even more readers.73 Lindqvist also gave a lecture on the topic at the third
industrial conference on industrial monuments in Sweden in 1978, the year
his book was published.74 However, the dig-where-you-stand study groups
never established a formal organisation, even if the educational organisations
within the trade unions formed a kind of backbone for the activities.75
Gradually, the activities found a form and the radical aspects diminished.76
It is sometimes asserted that the activities of the dig-where-you-stand
study groups were in a kind of way prolonged in so called “work life museums,”
although some investigations contradict this.77 These work life museums, or
work place museums, are run by volunteers, often former workers, and are
based in former industrial buildings. According to Ewa Bergdahl, these
volunteers keep a lot of tacit knowledge alive concerning certain machinery
and work procedures, but the stories they are able to tell lack many important
pieces if one is attempting to understand industrialisation, especially in terms
of large scale industrial processes and infrastructure.78 In general they do not
represent a political force, striving for revision of the official history. At the
beginning of the 21st century, the number of work life museums in Sweden
was estimated to be more than one thousand.79
Finally, many of the ecomuseums, and especially those founded early in the
1970s and 80s, were established in former industrial regions and dealt directly
or indirectly with themes related to industrial or technological processes and
de-industrialisation.80 The ambitions of the museum professionals adhering
to the visions of new museology strived to turn the past into a social resource
with emancipatory possibilities. The ecomuseum challenged the established
institutions in some countries, while the new museology ideas took shape
under other headings elsewhere, such as neighbourhood museums in the
United States and open-air museums in Britain.81
44
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
This chapter asserts that industry became part of the established heritage
partly by means of a new attitude and a widening of criteria within the
heritage profession throughout the 20th century, and partly by activities like
industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-where-you-stand study groups
which in the 1960s and 70s challenged existing ideas and practices. The
radical spirit of the last-mentioned period, together with rapid changes in
the industrial landscape, formed two important prerequisites for the growing
public and professional interest in the old industrial environments. Common
denominators for industrial archaeology, ecomuseums and dig-where-youstand study groups were the emphasis on everybody’s right to take part in the
history and heritage creating process, and the understanding that history and
heritage have social and political implications. In all three phenomena, the
relation between heritage professionals and those who, in this respect, were
amateurs, was also an issue of debate. Many times the driving forces seem to
have been individuals with a professional platform, although the activities
involved large numbers of volunteers.
The redundant industrial place was recognised and its value asserted in
the different heritage related contexts of archaeology, history of technology,
labour history and museums. During the late 1980s, it seems as if the radical
aspect of the activities – where it had been prominent – diminished. This
change was perhaps most clearly discernable in the dig-where-you-stand
study groups. However, the tendency is strengthened by other indicators, for
example, the plateau reached in creation of ecomuseums in France as well as
the formation of an academic centre for the study of industrial archaeology
and heritage in Ironbridge, Britain. The industrial past had, I believe, been
incorporated into the heritage arena, together with some challenging ideas,
while other parts of the radical agenda were left out. Hence, the industrial
place also lost some of its difficult character, and the dark and problematic
aspects were reinterpreted to fit into the new understanding of heritage.
While this chapter attempts to outline a broader picture of a heritage
perspective related to the reinterpretation of the industrial place, the
following one looks more closely at the details, to the stones and bricks of a
local materiality in a post-industrial situation. The place for this investigation
is the Norra verken or Koppardalen industrial area in the company town of
Avesta in Sweden.
45
2. HERITAGE, MEMORY AND POPULAR APPEAL
46
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
3. Koppardalen in Avesta:
CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The bison
In a square in the town of Avesta, Sweden, stands a bison sculpture made
of stainless steel. It is male, muscular and slightly oversized compared to its
living model. The pedestal is built of dark green slag stone, and on a signpost
the passers-by can read that the bison represents timelessness and strength,
just like stainless steel is said to stand for strength and immortality.1 The
European bison has taken on different roles in Avesta.2 During the first half
of the 20th century, there were about ten live animals that were being cared for
in a fenced park just outside the town by the owner of the local iron and steel
company. Throughout the entire century the company brought customers
to the park to see the impressive animals. The visit, together with a dinner
of roast bison and perhaps a gift in the form of a small bison sculpture, was
supposed to influence the customers when they later were about to choose an
iron and steel contractor.
In 1952 the bison was incorporated as the fundamental element of the
company’s logotype, and soon it became a valuable trademark. The idea of
the similarity between the bison and the stainless steel, the strength and the
immortality, sent a clear message to the customer. The value of the bison
can be illustrated by the fact that throughout the 20th century the company
employed a special bison keeper. In addition, for more than three decades, the
company had its own artist whose main occupation was to create sculptures
and fancy goods in stainless steel, with the bison as the most frequent theme.
When the company was to inaugurate a new sheet rolling mill in 1976, the
large stainless steel sculpture was unveiled and placed on a small hill just
outside the company’s industrial area, clearly visible from the road which
carried most of the traffic passing through Avesta. Until 1989, when a new
through road was built, the bison sculpture functioned as a landmark and
distinctive feature for the town.
From 1984, the iron and steel company began to merge with other
companies and, gradually, the once strong connection between the industrial
management and the town of Avesta weakened. The iron and steel company,
that at the most had employed 3 600 people in the late 1960s, had a workforce
47
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
In the main square of Avesta, Sweden, between the shopping mall and the town hall, stands
a stainless steel bison sculpture. The newly built pedestal is made of slag stone, and the
sign informs that the sculpture was presented to the town in 2001, by the local iron and
steel company. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
of about 1 000 twenty years later.3 From the 1980s the number of inhabitants
began to decrease and at the beginning of the 21st century there were about
22 000 people living in the municipality, one third of which in the central
town of Avesta – a reduction of about 5 000 people. While Avesta is located
160 kilometres northwest of the Swedish capital of Stockholm, the time
48
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
distance for train commuters is approximately one and a half hours. Beside
the iron and steel works, now with a Finnish owner and named Outokumpu,
one larger industry, the cardboard factory Stora Enso Fors Bruk AB employing
730 people, is situated fifteen kilometres outside Avesta and like Outokumpu
dominated by a male work force and with a foreign owner.4 Avesta is still
labelled an industrial municipality, in spite of the fact that the public sector
employs more people than private industry. The number employed in largescale industry is, however, comparatively high, 29 percent, while the number
of small entrepreneurs is far below national average.5
In 2001 the European bison disappeared from the logotype. The company
also removed the sculpture from its hill, which caused an indignant reaction
from the inhabitants of Avesta. The local manager however assured that the
bison was in safe keeping and would to be placed elsewhere in the town.6 If
it not had done so before, the company then became aware that the bison
had not just been a trademark but had also become an icon for the town. In
consultation with representatives for Avesta municipality, the iron and steel
company decided to move the sculpture to the square between the town hall
and the shopping street, that is, the most prominent place of the town.7
The company symbol had become a symbol for the town, and one of
its material expressions, the stainless steel sculpture, was in a physical sense
moved from the industrial area to the town centre. The European bison that
for half a century had represented work and the future would through its
move represent a new future with the past as a reference. Another paragraph
on the signpost close to the sculpture is illustrating: “To the inhabitants
of Avesta the bison became a symbol for continuity and confidence in the
development of Avesta society [...] In 2001 the bison disappeared from the
company logotype, but in the hearts of the people of Avesta it will always
remain.” The wording shows that a symbol can remain constant while at the
same time its meaning does change.
In Avesta, not only the bison as a symbol became subject to change,
but also the industrial area where the iron and steel company was originally
established, and where previously there had been a copper works. In the
following, the changing meaning and changing materiality of this industrial
area is investigated. What has characterised it in a physical sense, how has it
been looked upon and used?
A place in the forest, along the river
Avesta industry has for centuries been centred on forestry and metal industry.
In 1636 a copper works was established on a site along the river Dalälven.
The ore was transported from the copper mine in the town of Falun, about
seventy kilometres northwest of Avesta. Besides producing raw material for
49
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
household goods and roof plates, for a long time all Swedish copper coins
were manufactured in Avesta.8 The main localisation factor was the two falls
in the river that were used as a source of energy. The chosen place was also
beneficial with regard to exportation of products through the harbour city of
Västerås, and because of the surrounding woodland needed to make charcoal
to fuel the smelting processes. At the end of the 18th century the copper works
was internationally known for its size and advanced technology, and had no
counterpart in Sweden and perhaps not even in Europe.9
In many aspects Avesta and its early development followed a more general
pattern. Previous to the development of the electricity transmission system
– in most Western countries up to the end of the 19th century – industrial
production, as a rule, had to be located close to waterpower, that is, a stream
or river with a sufficient fall height. Furthermore, an ideal location included
proximity to the raw materials, be it ore, metal, flax or rags, and to transport
possibilities such as waterways, and later railways and roads. For industry
dealing with copper and iron another source of power, namely charcoal or
coke to fuel the smelting processes was necessary for a long time. Charcoal,
which was made of wood and was very brittle, could not be transported
longer than a few kilometres. In order to supply a blast furnace a surrounding
forest or available deposits of coal to make coke were hence needed. For the
charcoal based production, this meant that the metal industry had to be
spread out in order to share the resources of the timber.10
In general, within the industrial area the different buildings and structures
were organised with regard to the production process, to the raw material
coming in, being treated, manufactured, finished, stored and transported to
further manufacturing or selling.11 Each step in the production process often
took place in its own building. Between the buildings were transportation
systems, specifically designed for the material or product that was to be
moved, for example, track based wagons moving ore from the ground, or
aerial ropeways moving charcoal from storage barns, two systems that ended
at the top of a furnace.
A system which supplied the industry with raw materials, power,
transportation and a workforce was formed around the industrial area. The
housing for owners, management and employees was an easily recognisable
feature around most industrial places, often designed in integration with other
important functions in society like schools, shops and religious buildings.
Places with a certain homogenous economic and spatial organisation that put
the factory in the very centre are sometimes called company towns.12
In Avesta the refining of copper successively diminished in importance,
and in 1869 it was replaced by iron making.13 In 1883, the company
Avesta Jernverks AB was founded. An ironworks, modern for its time, was
established comprising all the parts of the process from ore to plate. Here
were the blast furnace plant, an open-hearth plant, rolling mills, foundry and
50
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The ironworks of Avesta in 1912. To the far left is a row of coal barns, and the three gables in
the middle are different rolling mills. The blast furnace plant is located behind the rolling mills.
To the right is a plate rolling mill. The whole area is criss-crossed by rails and other transportation
systems. To the right flows the river, Dalälven, while the waterway in the middle is called
Flaten, a creek of the river. The picture is taken from the east looking west. Photo in ENC.
The old industrial community of Avesta in 2002. To the left is the old workers’ housing area
with the church in the middle, and one can also glimpse the manor house. Further to the
right is the northern works industrial area, Norra verken or Koppardalen. The whole area
borders on the river, Dalälven, to the north, and on the present town centre to the south,
from which it is separated by a road and the railway. The picture is taken from the west
looking east. Photo: Jonas Palm, 2002.
51
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
Map of the town of Avesta. From the mid-20th century, the old industrial area located
along the river, Dalälven, was called the “northern works,” or in Swedish, “Norra
verken,” to distinguish it from the new industrial area located south of the town
centre, the “southern works.” To the left of the northern works is the old industrial
community, with workers’ housing, a church and a manor house. The border between
the built environment along the river and the new town centre is marked by a road,
the railway and a difference in altitude of fourteen metres at the most.
1. The initial site of the bison sculpture (1976–2001), located on a hill outside the
main industrial area and along the through road of that time.
2. The present location of the bison sculpture, after its 2001 move to the main town
square in front of the town hall.
3. One of the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s few buildings in Sweden is to be
found in Avesta, the “Sundh centre.”
Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
mechanical workshop. The first blast furnace was ready to use in 1874 and
stainless steel began to be manufactured in 1924.14 At the end of the Second
World War the ironworks employed approximately 2 300 people and in the
1960s the number had risen to 3 600.15
The copper works had been established on a long narrow piece of land
along the south shore of the river, and the ironworks later took over and
expanded within the same area. At the end of the 1930s, almost all the land
within the industrial area had been used and to ensure continued expansion
the company planned to tear down a nearby workers housing area. However,
through the use of electricity transmission it instead became possible to
establish a completely new industrial area, south of the town centre and
separated from the river.16 The new area was called “the southern works”
and the old area consequently started to be called “the northern works,” or
in Swedish “Norra verken.” In the 1950s – delayed because of the Second
World War – Avesta Jernverks AB started to move its production units from
the northern to the southern works. At least for Swedish conditions this
seemed to follow a general pattern. Up to the 1950s, factories as a rule were
located close to the city centres while the industrial areas thereafter normally
became located in the urban outskirts, often leaving the old premises empty.17
The Norra verken industrial area in Avesta, stretching almost one and a half
kilometres from east to west along the river and about 300 metres from
north to south, was also gradually abandoned. The area remained fenced
and the two gates, one at each end, stayed closed and guarded.18 The strong
boundaries of the industrial area, which made it accessible only to those
authorised, is a scenario likely to be found elsewhere, and because of the usual
river front location this often implied that the waterfront was inaccessible to
the public as well.19
Generally, a factory that was left empty due to a closedown was regarded
radically different by the surrounding community, than a factory left empty
because the company moved to another part of the city, keeping or increasing
the number of its employees. The expected employment situation thus
decided the community’s evaluation of the empty factory, at least during the
immediate stages after the abandonment. A positive employment prospect
meant a positive or indifferent attitude towards the old factory. A scene of
unemployment and economic decline often implied a negative view on the
material remains of the lost workplace.20
An abandoned factory or industrial area could furthermore be characterised
as an urban place that is somewhat in-between. The concept of a “liminal
phase” was coined by Arnold van Gennep in the early 20th century and has
been developed by later researchers, among them Victor Turner. Turner defined
the characteristics of a subject in a period of liminality as ambiguous and
suggested that the subject “passes through a cultural realm that has few or none
of the attributes of the past or coming state.”21 Sharon Zukin used the word
53
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
A picture showing the previous fenced and guarded entrance to the northern works,
Norra verken. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
54
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
liminality to describe, not a human subject but a kind of no-man’s-land where
public and private, culture and economy, market and place are combined in
unpredictable ways.22 Other concepts like “in a waiting stage,” a “permanentprovisional state” and “space of possibilities” have, in a similar manner, been
used to focus potential futures as an approach to define and understand urban
places in transition.23 For this study I regard this state of undecided meanings
as the opening in which a reinterpretative and reuse process can take place, for
example, an industrial area which the company has left.
A redundant industrial area
During the first decades of the 20th century Avesta started to take shape as a
modern town south of the industrial area.24 The two parts, the old industrial
community and the new town centre, were separated by a road, a railway
and a considerable difference in altitude, at the most fourteen metres.25
When Avesta expanded substantially in the 1920s, the industrial area and the
adjoining workers housing area were reduced to a district on the town fringe.
The expansion first occurred comparatively unplanned, but quite soon
initiatives were taken to create a more city like built environment. A new town
plan was formulated in 1935 and during the Second World War the famous
Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed a new town centre for Avesta, called
“Acropolis.”26 The proposal included municipal and commercial localities
assembled around the main square. It constituted Aalto’s first worked-out
design of a town centre and was probably his most important Swedish work.27
The design was, however, regarded too spectacular and too expensive by the
local politicians and the issue was tabled.28 Aalto had a close connection to
the owners of the iron and steel works – the Johnson family – and probably
the rejected proposal also had its explanation in the complex relation between
the powerful local industrialist and the social democratic political leadership
of the town.29 Nevertheless, two decades later another less ambitious proposal
signed by Aalto was ordered and built by an Avesta building contractor, Ernst
Sundh, who was also Aalto’s companion. The “Sundh Centre” was finished in
1961 and covered a block, combining shops, offices and dwellings. The main
building is still the highest residential structure in the town and has become
a landmark with its blue colour and sharp angle of the roof.30
During the 1970s the town centre of Avesta changed radically. Buildings
around the town square were torn down and the old main street became a
pedestrian mall partly under the roof of an arcade with a large connected
parking space. The intention was to promote Avesta as a shopping town.31
The 1970s also brought about severe challenges for the branch of iron and
steel, similar to many other industrial branches before and after. However, the
crisis initially hit the production of ordinary steel and in Avesta, where the
55
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
main production was special steel, the great realignments and downsizings
did not strike the town until the beginning of the 1980s.
While the Swedish producers of ordinary steel were unified in Svenskt
Stål AB (SSAB), the companies that produced special steel were in a similar
manner unified step by step, including fusions with foreign companies.
Avesta Jernverks AB merged in 1984 with Nyby Uddeholm AB and Fagersta
Stainless to form Avesta AB. Next, what had then become Avesta AB merged
with British Steel to become Avesta Sheffield. During this period, the
number of employees within Swedish industry as a whole diminished from
942 000 in 1975 to 750 000 fifteen years later.32 Within the then borders of
the European community the period between 1974 and 1984 meant a loss
of 350 000 work opportunities only in the iron and steel industry, which was
45 percent of the total. In Sweden the number of lost jobs in the iron and
steel branch was 21 000.33 In 2001 Avesta Sheffield together with the Finnish
group Outokumpu Steel formed Avesta Polarit. Since 2003 all the parts in
the group of companies are named Outokumpu.
How did this development affect the old industrial area? The iron and
steel company that for more than three decades had carried out production
in both the southern and the northern industrial areas of Avesta decided in
1984 to concentrate all units to the southern works. In 1987 the company
sold the northern works to the municipality of Avesta and the company then
stepped back and left its original location without any vital claims for its
future use.34 In the contract between the company and the municipality, the
company’s right to remain in the area during a transitional period including
some activities was regulated for a rent that corresponded to the purchasesum.35 The contract further stipulated that under ground contamination to
be dealt with according to environmental legislation was even henceforth the
responsibility of the company, while the municipality undertook the task
of clearing the pollution above ground.36 The company had investigated
and cleaned some of the buildings from asbestos in the year before the
takeover.37
What was going to happen to the redundant industrial area? The general
significance of certain places being crucial for industrial production, with
regard to its material environment as well as assets in the form of local skills,
was a topic of interest during the 1990s.38 Manuel Castells and David Harvey
among others found the concept of place severely challenged.39 The forms of
production, consumption and information exchange during the last decades
of the 20th century, described by Castells as a “network of flows,” had led to a
development where the meaning of places for people tended to disappear or
change radically. Castells pointed to a spatial and cultural separation between
the people and their history. However, both Castells and Harvey identified
counter movements that strived to reclaim the place and its meanings.
Harvey, for example, suggested that “while the collapse of spatial barriers has
56
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
undermined older material and territorial definitions of place, the very fact
of that collapse […] has put renewed emphasis upon the interrogation of
metaphorical and psychological meanings which, in turn, give new material
definitions of place by way of exclusionary territorial behaviour.”40 The Norra
verken industrial area had become an abandoned place but its meaning could
be negotiated or even created anew.41
The municipality of Avesta became the new owner of Norra verken with
the intention of putting the partly derelict industrial area in order and trying
to attract another big company, hence supporting new valuable workplaces
for the town. One peculiar, but perhaps typical, state of affairs that Helena
Kåks points out, is that the downsizings of the iron and steel industry in
Avesta during the 1980s were mainly perceived in terms of a threatening
unemployment situation. While this caused protest marches, the actual
number of work opportunities did not in fact diminish due to a growing
public sector. Those employed in public work places such as childcare,
schools and hospitals were, however, to a large extent women, and women
were not traditionally regarded breadwinners in the company town. Kåks
strengthens her argument by revealing that in the 1990s the Avesta hospital
had to dismiss as many employees as had the iron and steel company, about
four hundred respectively. The public debates about the two work places
were, however, completely disparate. The anxiety for the future of the
hospital concerned local access to qualified care, while the male industrial
work place again was solely connected to work opportunities.42
At the municipal take over of the Norra verken industrial area, every
possibility of increasing or stabilising the number of workplaces was
nevertheless significant for the municipality. The industrial area, however,
soon showed a mixture of empty buildings and localities on lease to smaller
engineering industries and associations. There were among others the hot
rod club, Steel Town Cruisers Avesta, and the Avesta Kennel Club, there
were companies working with energy insulation and metal cutting, and
some locations housed publicly financed activities, such as the recycling of
old furniture and household goods, a youth club and government subsidised
work places. Furthermore, private persons and companies rented storage
space in the former industrial buildings.43 Some of the buildings were
comparatively well kept while others were falling into decay. Many windows
were broken or covered, and buildings that had no tenants provided tempting
refuges for youngsters. The long road through the area was illicitly used for
street racing.
The initial idea of finding a new big company that was willing to
establish its production in the industrial area was unsuccessful, and the
municipality had to redirect its goals. During the first half of the 1990s, a
number of investigations were undertaken, about what the future of Avesta
and the old industrial area could be.44 Although buildings and areas in many
57
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
cities and towns have always been reused, the adaptive reuse of industrial
buildings had now become a more conscious policy in many countries.45
Michael Stratton considers it amazing that the “long-established process of
adaptive reuse, as common as individuals renovating their houses, had to
be re-discovered.”46 Zygmunt Bauman even asserts that if “the catchword of
modernity was creation, the catchword of postmodernity is recycling.”47 This
meant, among other things, that the existing understanding of the location
of a factory was re-evaluated. If an empty factory was to be used for other
purposes, what then were its strong and weak features? What were the crucial
structures and details, and who were the new potential users?48
Stratton suggests that one way to examine the reuse potential of an
abandoned industrial place is to analyse its location, the building form and
the physical conditions. The location and the building form, whether multistorey mills and warehouses, daylight factories, great halls, single storey sheds
or process-specific industrial structures must be matched with an approach
towards preservation issues and future use. Was the new use sought after to
be characterised by commercial adaptive reuse, housing, offices or mixed use,
perhaps with cultural elements?49 Cultural centres in abandoned industrial
places emerged as a concept in the 1960s, although offices constituted the
prime category of reuse for industrial buildings from the mid-1970s to the
late 1990s, and housing has increased in quantity probably since the turn of
the century.50 For some abandoned factories, for example, textile mills and
warehouses, a city centre location close to water, together with a building
construction that showed material stability and endurance, large windows
and open interior spaces, reuse was regarded relatively easy, since these
features were welcome in many needs for space. For other empty factories,
however, a less favourable location in relation to service and nature, together
with a weak building construction, contaminated land, remaining industrial
surroundings, small windows and low ceilings made reuse more unlikely or
difficult. Decontamination could, for example, be expensive and would thus
require especially high development pressure to be profitable.51
The result of the first investigations by the municipality of Avesta
pointed to a more diversified use and included smaller companies, preferably
within the service sector, combined with public cultural and educational
activities. The municipality’s actions in the matter can easily be understood as
part of something typical of those times, identified among others by Margit
Mayer. Mayer observes that “[w]hile traditionally the economic development
measures of local authorities would focus on attracting mobile capital with
conventional location inducements such as financial and tax incentives,
infrastructure improvement or assistance with site selection, a shift in the
approach of local economic development offices is now obvious.”52
In the Swedish town of Eskilstuna the town representatives in a similar
manner stated that the old factories in the town centre could only be preserved
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
if it was possible to find new use for them, preferably cultural use. If that was
possible to achieve, then they considered the “problem with the 19th century
factory buildings would have had a very successful solution.”53 Also in the
Swedish town of Norrköping the centrally located industrial area became
recognised as a built environment possible to reuse for cultural purposes.54
In Eskilstuna and Norrköping the public reuse plans preceded those in
Avesta with about two decades.55 An influential and likewise pioneering
public reuse effort outside Sweden is Lowell, Massachusetts, a textile city
on the east coast of the United States. In the mid-1980s it was described
as a city that had turned from depressed mill town to a “vibrant revitalized
healthy” community by turning the vast amount of vacant mill buildings
into premises for “high-technology companies […] attracted by the available
labor pool, favorable state and local tax structures and aggressive promotion
by community leaders.”56
Not only did these industrial cities and towns change their approach
towards reuse of industrial buildings, they also tried to turn the reused
industry into a positive image of the place. Mayer states that in “declining
old industrial areas, anti-unemployment programmes and local labour
market policies were put into place: diverse strategies were explored to
foster a more favourable business climate: many cities increased spending on
culture and leisure facilities or implemented strategies to upgrade the ‘image’
or the ambiance of a town.”57 Gert-Jan Hospers agrees with Mayer that local
characteristics could make the difference in a global economy. He claims
that for “older industrial regions in decline this ‘localization’ may contribute
to economic renewal” giving examples from rustbelt regions like the Ruhr
district, Wales and Sheffield.58
A slightly different perspective is presented by Mattias Legnér based on
his investigation of Woodberry in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States.
Here the industrial area of textile manufacturing was looked upon with
nostalgia, described by a journalist as “picturesque views of rolling hills and
glimpses of the industrial past.”59 Although I believe the nostalgic gaze is the
exception, its existence highlights the duality of the factory, both the bright
and dark meanings it carries.
Finding a new image
In Avesta at the beginning of the 1990s the search for an appropriate reuse
concept started with more pragmatic issues when the municipal real estate
company Avesta Industristad decided to investigate the physical condition
of the old blast furnace plant. It was soon verified that in several places the
roofs were leaking and in need of considerable repair. Furthermore, the
building had many broken windows and the floors were covered with thick
59
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
layers of dove droppings. In 1991, Avesta Industristad received governmental
employment subsidies for an initial restoration of the blast furnace plant,
but even after the roofs and windows had been repaired and the interior
somewhat cleaned, the impression of a dirty, ruined place remained. “When
you were there, you could not stay for long because you got totally black from
dust” was a common comment.60 However, a few years later the industrial
milieu began to be transformed, through material changes, as well as through
new associations and meanings attached to the built environment.
Map of the northern works (Norra verken/Koppardalen). The dashed line marks
the borders of the industrial area. The dotted lines mark the division of the area
into the western, the central and the eastern sections. The western section contains
the oldest and most spectacular buildings, built in slag stone brick (1, 2, 3, 4). This
section has also been prioritised in the integration with the present town centre,
among other things by the new bicycle and pedestrian bridge (6).
1. blast furnace plant
2. open-hearth plant
3. different rolling mills, including the sheet rolling mill
4. building including, among other things, a briquette plant,
a mechanical workshop and a plate rolling mill
5. cold rolling mill
6. bicycle and pedestrian bridge
7. location of underground remains of the copper works
8. laboratory building, housing research and development
9. sulphate mill
Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
In 1993, the old blast furnace plant had been cleaned enough in order
for a theatre group to be able to use it. Their play, “Krylbosmällen,” which
involved a large number of actors, was based on a real event during the
Second World War, when a railway coach exploded in Krylbo, a village near
Avesta. The blast furnace plant was used actively during the play with real fire
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
in the furnaces, light, smoke and sound effects. The producer maintained the
industrial environment was definitely an asset and that the blast furnace plant
had a “fantastic, magic atmosphere,” so articulating what she perceived was
an aesthetic value of the blast furnace plant.61
Two years later three local people realised an idea about an exhibition
of contemporary art in the blast furnace plant.62 The exhibition was named
“Avesta Art” and inaugurated with a program called “The blazing hearth of our
ancestors” which was said to connect Avesta Art to the history of the region.63
In one part of the inauguration program, an actor dressed as an old ironworker
described the work in the blast furnace plant. When one of the initiators, the
writer and later chairman of the municipal council, Karin Perers, in an article
described the event, she suggested that a new team of workmen had thus taken
charge in the old blast furnace plant – a team of cultural workmen.64
In connection to Avesta Art, the aesthetic value identified earlier by the
theatre producer was more strongly attributed to the blast furnace plant.
The built environment was regarded as one explanation for the success of
the exhibition; “contemporary art in interplay with shimmering slag stone
and powerful furnaces give birth to unexpected encounters as well as magic
adventures.”65 The very blast furnace plant was called a “cathedral of work,”
an “Inca temple” and a “medieval castle.”66 Adjectives such as shimmering,
powerful and magic all appealed to an aesthetic experience, while metaphors
such as cathedral, temple and castle triggered fantasy and associations to
other places loaded with meaning. Within a few years, the blast furnace plant
in this way became a stage for theatre and an art exhibition. In retrospect, one
of the other initiators, Lars Åke Everbrand, to whom we return in more detail
further on in this study, clearly remembers the feeling during the planning of
the art exhibition. “It was like when you say you are good […] ashamed to
say so […] how are we to do anything international with contemporary art
[…] down there in that rubbish […] what will people think about this?”67
This statement can partly be understood in the light of what is called the
“spirit of a company town,” according to which it is always wrong to laud
oneself, a topic that is expanded upon in the following chapter. Nevertheless,
Everbrand was assured the exhibition was going to work and describes the
idea of showing contemporary art in the old blast furnace plant as only
“natural.”68
Were there any similar initiatives at this time? In the old factory town
of North Adams, Massachusetts, in the United States there was at least a
planning process beginning in the mid-1980s concerning a museum of
contemporary art to be housed in a complex of twenty-eight derelict 19th
and early 20th century industrial buildings.69 Sharon Zukin has analysed the
process and suggests that the preservation of old redundant buildings for
historical or cultural purposes was a strategy that satisfied both the elite who
protested against demolition and “populist demands for slowing change.”70
61
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
Visitors to the exhibition, Avesta Art, on their way into the blast furnace plant.
Photo: Jan af Geijerstam, 2003.
62
3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
“Drömmen att kunna flyga” (“The dream of flying”) by Jyrki Siukonen, one of the pieces of
art displayed in the blast furnace plant during the exhibition, Avesta Art.
Photo: Lotta Lindbeck, 2002.
She shows how the new activity could be approved by different groups of
actors for different reasons. Using the potential of history and culture to
create service-sector jobs could be regarded an excellent solution to several
problems and needs like urban renewal, revival of civic pride and community
identity, as well as new work opportunities.71 And, as Karin Perers in Avesta
put it, the change could just be regarded as a new team of workmen coming
in, not as a problematic and uncertain break with the past.
What is the relation between a local or regional image, on one hand,
and identity on the other? David Harvey suggests that in the late 20th century
both image and identity have become increasingly important. The search for
historical roots constitutes, in his view, a sign of a “search for more secure
moorings and longer-lasting values in a shifting world” that does not seem to
contradict the image creating efforts.72 A possibility of simultaneously being
visible in a market and part of a community identity could thus be regarded
ideal. Henrik Widmark provided one example of this possible double
function in his description of how the old fortress in Helsingborg in Sweden
was to give the inhabitants of the city a common space of experience at the
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
same time as the building was used to market the city and different company
products.73 Also in Eskilstuna, visionary goals were articulated to strengthen
the local identity and uniqueness by advertising the history of industrial
development. Creating an image of the town of Eskilstuna included using its
industrial heritage as a possible development tool.74 Harvey, however, finds
that the effort to sell a place by emphasising what makes it special often leads
to “a kind of serial replication of homogeneity.”75 Is it so? The question of
being unique by comparison is further developed in the next chapter.
A municipal project
Due to a series of mergers in the late 1960s and early 1970s and thus a decrease
in the number of municipalities in Sweden, together with decentralising
several governmental tasks to the county councils, the local and regional
levels at this time obtained more control in questions concerning regional
development and cultural heritage. In addition, the planning system in
Sweden gives the municipalities the main responsibility for spatial planning.76
The trend of increasing financial control at the local and regional level was
further strengthened in the mid-1990s when Sweden joined the European
Union, and the flow of redistributed economic subsidies largely went through
the regional county administration. This was valid especially for the means
distributed within the so-called structural funds, by which the European
Union intended to support certain branches and regions. As a consequence,
the national level was, in some respects, comparatively weakened.
Between 1995 and 1999, 583 million Swedish crowns were put into
526 different projects in the Bergslagen region via the European Union
structural funds. In general, this money represented forty percent of the
projects’ financing. The co-financing came from county administrations,
municipalities or the Swedish government. The two main goals of the
Bergslagen programme were to keep or create work opportunities and attract
new companies to the declining industrial and countryside regions. However,
the goals were only partly achieved and the character of the financing made
the activities unstable in a long-term perspective.77 The strive to renew
the old industrial area of Avesta benefited from governmental economic
subsidies directed towards industrial regions in decline in order to promote a
restructuring of their trade and industry. Later it became one of the Swedish
projects that largely depended on European Union funding in the late 1990s
and early 21st century.78
The first municipal investigations in Avesta had among other things led
to the formation of a municipal project team given the task of working with
the development of Norra verken, now renamed Koppardalen.79 In a report
at the beginning of 1997, the project team proposed dividing the industrial
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
Map of the Nordic countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the Baltic states
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, situated around the Baltic Sea. The town of Avesta is located
160 kilometres northwest of the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
area into three sections, depending on existing characteristics and as an
expression of future plans. The western section contained the oldest and most
spectacular buildings, such as the old blast furnace plant, built in slag stone
brick, and the open-hearth plant, both from the late 19th century. The central
section contained a mixture of buildings from different periods, but its major
part was empty ground that had earlier been used for storage, including land
created by a filled creek of the river. The eastern section contained modern
industrial plants that different companies used for production, but it also
contained an abandoned sulphate mill.
Avesta municipality directed its ambitions through this division into
three sections. The overall aim of adapting the industrial area for more
diversified use was articulated in different ways in each section. The western
section was mainly to become a place for cultural and educational activities,
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
while preparations in the central section were designed to accommodate
smaller companies within the service sector. In the eastern section,
continuous industrial production was to be retained, at least for the time
being. In early 1998, the project team presented a proposal for the renewal of
Koppardalen. The suggestion implied a five-year development plan divided
into two phases.80 The first phase ranged from 1998 to 2000, and the second
from 2001 to 2003. The overall idea was to integrate Koppardalen with the
existing town centre and by doing so create a more attractive centre that
“could give a strong local identity to Avesta and the Avesta inhabitants, to
contribute to make Avesta known within a larger region and to attract both
visitors and entrepreneurs.”81
In the mid-1990s the municipal real estate company, Avesta Industristad,
in agreement with the County Antiquarian, Ulf Löfwall, decided to carry out
some demolitions within Koppardalen. The aim was to increase accessibility
to the buildings and locations that were regarded most suitable for reuse.
When Avesta Industristad contacted Ulf Löfwall about the plan to demolish
a sheet rolling mill, he replied that a demolition was acceptable since the
building had a “universal design that is not significant for the distinctive
character of the area.”82 He expressed his concern about the dimensions of
the demolition, however, and some adjustments to the plan were made.83
The politicians and the different professional groups in the municipality’s
administration agreed to the sheet rolling mill being torn down in order to
enhance the usability of the place. However, the demolishing process was
comparatively slow, due to the choice of letting unemployed workers do the
job with governmental subsidies and on an irregular basis. During the six
years between 1994 and 2000, the rolling mill disappeared piece by piece.
In the programme for the development of Norra verken/Koppardalen,
the municipal project team commented on the need to tear down some parts
of the built environment. They wrote that equally important to converting
some of the buildings was getting rid of “ugly, dilapidated milieus and so
increase access to more valuable buildings and to enhance the contact with
the river.”84 This would be achieved through a “selective demolition of the
old sheet rolling mill to open up the area towards river Dalälven and at the
same time make the architecturally more valuable buildings along the river
more visible and accessible.”85 The project team saw that their task was to
identify which buildings were more or less valuable in order to be able to
prioritise between them. In the quotation above it becomes clear that the
oldest buildings, and especially those built in slag stone brick, were regarded
the most beautiful, as well as the most valuable, while the others by not being
mentioned, were placed lower on the scale.
Most of the municipal representatives, politicians and civil servants,
agreed on singling out the slag stone brick buildings as a key feature of the
area. A few opposing voices were instead raised from actors outside Avesta.
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The sheet rolling mill was considered negligible and priority was given to other structures.
To the left one can glimpse the blast furnace plant. View from the south east.
Photo: Kent Lindström, 1999.
The sheet rolling mill during the demolition process, carried out between 1994 and 2000.
One can glimpse the river, Dalälven, to the right. View from the south.
Photo: Kent Lindström, 1999.
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The architect, Caroline Tholander, for example wrote an undergraduate paper
about the Koppardalen project in which she criticised the transformation
process for being too fast, and for lacking sufficient documentation
procedures.86 She pursued the case to both the county administration and the
National Board of Antiquities. Her request to prevent the demolition of the
sheet rolling mill was, however, rejected, with reference to the far advanced
stage of the project. Tholander appealed against the verdict to the county
administrative court, but also this authority rejected her appeal.87
Nevertheless, the preconception of the slag stone brick being the most
valuable building material has not been severely threatened. Reasons for the
high appraisal of the slag stone brick can be found in relation to its age. The
slag stone brick buildings were the oldest ones within the area and age is, as
mentioned in the previous chapter, a common criteria of value. Although
there are other circumstances that could have made the younger buildings
competitive – such as being designed by famous architects – the slag stone
brick triumphed with good margins over clay brick and plate.88 The two
buildings that were totally or partly demolished during the reuse process in
Koppardalen, investigated in this study, were built of clay brick, and taken
down in order to make the slag stone brick buildings more visible.
Traces of the sheet rolling mill
In the visualisation of the renewal of Koppardalen, the above mentioned sheet
rolling mill had been standing on a kind of borderline within the industrial
area. Before the mill was demolished, this part of the area was densely built.
There were only a few metres between some of the buildings, generating
narrow corridors for people and vehicles. The sheet rolling mill was physically
linked to the building complex of the western section of the three established
by the municipal project team, but belonged in the reuse plans to the central
section. Its existence could thus be seen as a question of negotiation between
the endeavour to create cultural and educational activities and the efforts to
provide commercial locations for smaller companies.
During the demolition, the town architect, Dan Ola Norberg, the head
of the department for cultural and educational matters, Lars Åke Everbrand,
and the County Antiquarian, Ulf Löfwall, discussed different ways of
letting the sheet rolling mill leave some traces on the place. In a municipal
programme text, their ideas about traces and references in the environment
were developed:
To understand the historic cultural heritage from the copper works period up
to today it is as important to protect the traces as to preserve certain buildings.
It is by being able to read the history in the material environment that we can
tell and explain the daily life at the works and the development of industry.89
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The industrial area was densely built. Some of this density has been kept while demolitions
have opened up other parts of the area. View from south west. In the background, the river,
Dalälven, is visible. Photo: Kent Lindström, 1999.
When the sheet rolling mill had been demolished, some traces were left, among them a
coloured gable (left) and a row of iron girders (centre). Low walls of net cages filled with
brick from the demolished mill were constructed to mark the place of the former building.
Photo: Kent Lindström, 1999.
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
The discussion ended in a decision to leave a row of iron girders from one
of the long sides of the sheet rolling mill. Another trace the group prioritised
was to leave an exposed gable – a former interior wall – untouched. The
gable was seen as a of piece of art when it showed a multiplicity of colours
and patterns originating from earlier floor levels, a staircase and partition in
rooms. As an addition to the retained traces, they also decided to create a
new material reference to the sheet rolling mill. This was done by framing
a number of new parking lots with low net cages filled with bricks from the
demolition.
When the demolition was finished, a row of iron girders, an exposed
interior wall and a series of net cages around the parking space could thus be
seen. In general, Paul Ricoeur articulated the character of traces by asserting
that in their quality of being something left remaining and interpreted,
the traces represent the past in the sense that they replace the past.90 This
understanding is relevant to the sheet rolling mill demolition process where,
for example, the iron girders and the gable were traces from the past in the
respect that they constituted parts of no longer existing buildings, and at the
same time neither of them had been visible in this way before.
On one rare occasion, a representative for the iron and steel company
expressed an opinion concerning the renewal of Koppardalen, in connection
to another way of understanding the concept of leaving and creating traces.
The company had offered the municipality material support with the new
roofs needed for many of the buildings. Referring to historic correctness the
municipality refused the offer because it was not regarded authentic to put
stainless steel on the old mills. The surprised company representative asked
why it was not appropriate to use stainless steel on the roofs of the very cradle
of stainless steel, that is, Koppardalen.91 Leaving traces on a place could hence
be interpreted differently by different actors.
In a reuse project in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States, several
rows of steel columns were preserved in a similar way as the iron girders in
Koppardalen. There the columns were reused as torches in order to enhance
the romantic senses of a ruin, when what had been a tractor building was
converted into an exclusive pool area.92 Another example can be found in
Leith, Edinburgh, in Scotland, where columns from an upper floor of a
warehouse was spared in order to be moved and used as decoration, forming
rows around a car parking area.93 In Avesta, the iron girders did not, however,
evoke romantic associations, but instead some actors said they reminded the
viewer of a concentration camp.
The managing director of Avesta Industristad, Jan Thamsten, was one of
those actors who regarded the remaining traces from the sheet rolling mill as
strange and ugly features in the environment. During meetings with potential
tenants for the area, the row of iron girders and the coloured interior wall
became, in his eyes, obstacles, something that needed an explanation and
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
did not benefit the advertising of the place. When the oil company OKQ8,
after several years of discussion, decided to move its customer support for the
Nordic countries from Stockholm, to Avesta, and into a new office space in
an old plate rolling mill in Koppardalen, it was regarded as a great success
from the municipality’s point of view. The oil company also brought about
forty new work places and – probably most importantly – it legitimised the
public money spent on adapting the building to new use.
Why did OKQ8 move to Koppardalen? Was the company’s choice
influenced by the place’s image or identity? Was the management searching
for what Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard describe as an “atmosphere
of historicity [that] confers an aura of continuity and even of artistic
patronage upon activities located in it – an inference of reliability, integrity
and probity, conferred by association.”?94 According to the local manager of
OKQ8, Benny Hedlund, while there were several concurrent grounds for the
company moving its customer support to Avesta, the conclusive one was the
economic benefits. The rental expenses in Koppardalen were considerably
lower compared to Stockholm. Another economic aspect concerned the
work force. In Avesta, OKQ8 expected to find comparatively older and
more loyal workers than in Stockholm, where customer support had the
character of a transit occupation. The company also appreciated that the
Avesta municipality and the local employment agency contributed to the
recruitment and education of employees.95
However, when the local manager and the chief executive presented
the new locations in the company magazine, they used more poetic terms.
The new work place was described as a “modern office in an old slag stone
building – with a fantastic view of the river” and the combination of old and
new was especially mentioned as contributing to the restful milieu.96 Thus,
there was no explicit relation between the choice of location and the specific
character of the built environment of the place, although the character was
pointed out as something positive. Nevertheless, the local hearsay is that the
decisive factor for the new localisation was that the chief executive of OKQ8
had his roots in Avesta.
Industrial apartments in a company town?
The imagined future of Koppardalen also included one of today’s more
common kinds of reuse, seen from a national as well as an international
perspective: for residential purposes. The general conception of an earlier
closed industrial area on the waterfront being transformed into attractive
housing has been characterised by Gene Desfor and John Jørgensen as “a
rediscovery, a return and re-integration of the waterfront” and the examples
are manifold.97 In Avesta, while the old meaning of the water’s proximity in
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
relation to the copper and the ironworks location was energy and a means
of transportation, the new meaning became associated with beauty as well as
good working and living standard. In the OKQ8 magazine, the new location
in Koppardalen was described this way:
If this building had been a private house in a big city, the rateable value
would be astronomic. You cannot get closer to the water. One of the exterior
walls hits the very river. It is told that once someone caught a really big salmon
with a casting rod by leaning out of a window in the adjoining building.98
The economic value of the water thus remained, but the focus shifted
from making production possible to the trading of attractive office spaces and
apartments.99
At one stage, local politicians envisaged that the sulphate mill, located in the eastern
section of the Norra verken/Koppardalen industrial area, could be reused as apartments.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
In Avesta in the beginning of the 21st century, there were ideas to adapt
a former sulphate mill into modern apartments. The sulphate mill was
located in the far east part of the industrial area, with no real connection,
physically or visually, to the cultural-educational western section and the
commercial central section. The distance between the sulphate mill and the
other industrial buildings in the process of reuse was dominated by the open
flat land that had been a creek of the river Dalälven, and which had been
filled and used for storage purposes. The location of the sulphate mill was
described as “empty” and “dreary,” although the mill itself was regarded “old
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
and beautiful.”100 The local conservative councillor, Ulf Berg, expressed that
he would very much like to see the mill converted into housing. In his vision,
the sulphate mill would become a perfect place to live, with the immediate
proximity to the river, and a planned pedestrian bridge to the other shore
where a golf course is located. “You can take your golf bag and walk across
the new bridge […] you can just slip into the golf course and start at hole
number nine, and then you can go back home again.”101
The ideas to convert the sulphate mill into apartments have not been a
matter of priority in the municipality of Avesta. The need for new housing
areas in the town has not been pressing, because the number of inhabitants
has been constantly decreasing. In the village of Krylbo, close to the town of
Avesta, the municipality has instead discussed tearing down unused blocks
of flats.102 The weak demand for new apartments is, however, not the whole
picture. Even the most enthusiastic advocates for adapting the sulphate mill
into housing, doubt if anyone would like to live in the mill.103 In the words
of the former local councillor, Åke Johansson, when questioned if he thought
that anyone would like to live there, and if he would like to live there himself:
“I do not know. […] I do not think I would like to live there, no.”104 Therefore,
it can be seen that the reinterpretation of the industrial place, in this respect,
differs between larger cities and smaller company towns like Avesta.
Contradicting ideals of cleaning and greenery
Both the department for cultural and educational matters as well as the
department for commercial issues were actively involved in the process of
reinterpreting and reusing the Koppardalen area. Margit Mayer and Jan
Turtinen have, from separate perspectives, observed that marketing interests,
on one hand, and preservation interests, on the other, have increasingly
begun cooperating and benefiting from each other.105 Mayer furthermore
asserts that these partnerships often focus on “the physical upgrading of a
large area near the central business district” thus even more placing the series
of events in Avesta within a broader Western world pattern.106
In both the cultural and commercial visions, Koppardalen was imagined
becoming a lively and appreciated place. The question was how best to
achieve this vision. How was the old industrial area to become a place where,
as in the old days, thousands of people had their workplace and where, for
the first time, the present town centre could find itself extended into the
waterfront lowland that had previously been closed to public access? The
changes followed two lines; sometimes contradictory, sometimes in parallel.
One strove towards the idea of cleaning up and adding greenery in order to
soften the area, while the other attempted to reinterpret and raise the value of
the existing rusty industrial look.
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
By analysing an inventory completed in 2001, aimed at identifying
“carriers of value” in the built environment of Koppardalen, it becomes
clear that the two lines were not represented by two distinctive groups of
advocates. One curator, one architect and two engineers carried out the
inventory, and the report was commissioned by the municipal real estate
company, Avesta Industristad. The four authors documented and analysed
the buildings and the remaining technical equipment in Koppardalen. In the
investigation, the contradictory ambitions became clear. On one page the
authors noted how the old blast furnace plant had been “cleaned and adapted
for exhibitions and social events. The building is tight and heated, it has a
moulded floor and the environment is neat and tidy at the same time as parts
of the industrial environment create a suggestive atmosphere.”107 On another
page they discuss the concept of authenticity in relation to a building’s future
use as an “experience milieu:”
In the blast furnace plant and around the furnaces the environment was very
dirty. […] The working environment at the different stages in the processes is
very important in order to achieve a total experience. All cleaning should be
related to the authentic working environment.108
The message from the expert group to the municipality about how
to handle the built environment with regard to practical reuse and the
preservation of authenticity was hence ambiguous. In retrospect, Lars Åke
Everbrand regrets the decision to put a moulded floor in such a large part of
the old blast furnace plant and thinks they should have preserved a corner as
a point of reference to show how it looked in the late 1980s.109 Furthermore,
this perspective gradually became the prime attitude among certain groups of
heritage advocates in many countries. As formulated by a Finnish architect
in the late 1990s when describing the planning of the Soumenlinna Galley
Dock in Helsinki: “Tidiness should be kept out of the dockyard! […] The
patina is the outmost layer and cleaning is a severe threat to it.”110
The approach towards greenery had another character. In this question,
public opinion was clearly in favour of adding greenery to Koppardalen. In
the late 1990s the standard of the external appearance of Koppardalen was
regarded to be low. In a questionnaire about the ongoing renewal project,
the municipality asked the inhabitants of Avesta about their opinions of the
project, and if they had any ideas for the future use of Koppardalen. Some of
the answers recommended that the municipality should “plan the area so it
becomes nice [with] green areas” and “take away all the ugly, grey and brown
houses [and instead make] oases and other walking areas.” Others suggested
that one should “tear down the slag stone buildings and build dwellings with
a view of the river, take away the asphalt and establish green areas.”111 A
group of architect students from Stockholm who made a case study in Avesta
in 1999 also found the abandoned industrial area to be an “ugly wound in
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
nature,” something they argued could be solved with new planting. If the area
could also become more accessible, the students foresaw that Koppardalen
could be the “most beautiful place in Avesta.”112
The blast furnace plant in the Norra verken/Koppardalen industrial area. The lower building
contains roasting furnaces and a crusher, and the taller building behind contains the blast
furnaces. In the foreground flows one of the canals that according to an expert investigation
offered a visual quality, based on its bare industrial character. This was potentially
threatened by the growth of the greenery. The manor house is located opposite the
blast furnace plant to the right outside the picture. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
However, the four authors of the inventory of “carriers of value” raised
objections to this opinion. They asserted that the lack of greenery in itself
was a carrier of value and that flowerbeds, lawns and trees must be laid out
sparsely. They also found the natural elements that grew in Koppardalen, due
to neglected maintenance, a problem. Describing one of the canals in the
area, they commented that the water
in a beautiful way mirrors the yellow autumn leaves, but in the long run the
roots of the trees jeopardize the wall edges and do furthermore give the area a
woody quality that is unfamiliar to its character.113
This message seems to have influenced the municipal decisions only
partially. The town architect, the town landscape architect and representatives
for the municipal real estate company mainly adhered to the opinion that
Koppardalen should be developed through planting.114 However, vegetation
in direct connection to industrial buildings and structures was removed.
Thus, vegetation and greenery could be seen as a threat or a possibility in
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3. Koppardalen in Avesta: CHANGING MEANINGS, CHANGING MATERIALITY
relation to the future use. Together with the discussions about leaving traces
in the area, the approach towards greenery shows how the industrial place
was reinterpreted in a variety of ways.
In a mining village called Norberg, near Avesta, an even more explicit
conflict of parallel character arose. Just outside the central village three groups
of actors shared a comparatively small area. There were historians eager to
protect remnants from the opencast mining era, botanists who wanted to
protect rare orchid habitats that had came into existence because of the
mining, and finally a cross-country skiing club that had their best prepared
ski tracks in the mountains. Therefore, all the actors in Norberg as well as
in Avesta could agree that the place was valuable and suitable to use, but the
details of the future vision were, to some extent, contradictory.
This chapter examines the changing materiality and the changing meanings
of a post-industrial situation, that is, the Norra verken industrial area being
turned into the publicly owned Koppardalen. During the reinterpretative
and reuse process the closed, dilapidated and abandoned industrial area was
successively opened up and used for cultural events such as a theatre play and
a recurrent art exhibition. The earlier unrecognised industrial aesthetics were
articulated and given positive and suggestive meanings by comparisons to
established understandings of palaces and temples. Material hierarchies were
established where the oldest buildings built in slag stone brick were regarded
the most valuable, and the location between the present town centre and the
river was likewise identified as an asset.
The overall imagined future of Koppardalen as a lively and useful place
was shared by most people in Avesta. The details of how to reach this future
have, however, revealed different ideals, for example, with regard to cleaning
up, the role of greenery and the ambition of leaving and creating traces from
buildings that were torn down. In the next chapter, we take a closer look at
the actors in the reinterpretative and reuse process. Who were they and what
were their arguments? What is the “spirit of the company town,” and how has
it affected the attitude towards the future of the industrial area?
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4. Koppardalen in Avesta: NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
4. Koppardalen in Avesta:
NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
The iron girders
A Sunday afternoon in early spring 2003, the chairman of the municipal
council in the town of Avesta in Sweden was about to show some council
members and a couple of guests a development project she was very proud of.
The project in question concerned the reuse of the Koppardalen industrial area
in the immediate proximity of the town centre. The chairman, Karin Perers,
requested the group to gather at a row of high vertical iron girders in the middle
of the industrial area. When they arrived at the designated place there were no
iron girders to be seen. Astonished and dismayed, the chairman realized that
the iron girders had been hastily taken away without her knowledge.
Why was there a row of high vertical iron girders standing in the middle
of the industrial area to begin with, and why were they secretly taken away?
The iron girders constituted some of the material remains after a sheet rolling
mill had been demolished during the second half of the 1990s, described
in the previous chapter. The iron girders, marking one of the former outer
walls of the mill, visually dominated the place where the building had been
standing. The decision to tear down the mill was motivated by the assumed
higher value of the surrounding built environment. By demolishing it, the
adjacent buildings would become more visible and accessible, and thus more
suitable for the new kind of use sought after.
In connection with the oil company OKQ8 moving into its new
localities in Koppardalen in 2003, the managing director of the municipal
real estate company, Avesta Industristad, decided to remove the iron girders
and an adjoining coloured interior wall that had been preserved as traces
of the sheet rolling mill. After conferring with the County Antiquarian he
promptly executed the decision. The iron girders were cut down and the
gable was plastered into one homogeneous grey surface.
The presence and subsequent disappearance of the iron girders could be
regarded as expressions of different reinterpretations of this particular industrial
place in Avesta. According to some of the actors involved in the reuse process,
the iron girders represented a historical trace from the demolished factory. At
the same time, these actors believed that the iron girders made the transformed
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4. Koppardalen in Avesta: NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
Some of the traces that were deliberately retained after the sheet rolling mill was demolished
were hastily removed in 2003. The coloured gable was plastered and the iron girders were cut
down. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
industrial place aesthetically interesting. According to other actors however, the
iron girders were seen instead as ugly obstacles that made the place unattractive
and unsuitable for reuse. In this chapter, the actors and their arguments in the
reinterpretative and reuse process are in focus, and the first actor in this story of
an industrial place is not surprisingly, the company.
The company as heritage producer
The iron and steel company, Avesta Jernverks AB, not only built and used
the industrial place for the company’s production in a physical sense, but was
also the first to interpret it from a historical perspective. Marie Nisser has
shown how certain industrial branches in Sweden, most notably the mining
and iron and steel industry, worked consciously during the whole of the 20th
century to establish archives and to preserve their older built environment.1
The owner of Avesta Jernverks AB – the Johnson family – was one of these
industrialists, who invested a lot of effort into establishing archives and in
preserving several of the various premises within their group of companies.
Avesta Jernverks AB and the Johnson family also commissioned one of their
employees, the engineer Bo Hermelin, to be in charge of “cultural matters” at
the company. Hermelin collected old, no longer used artefacts from different
industrial places owned by the company, and in the 1940s the ambition was
to establish a metal and mining museum in Avesta. The idea was to show the
development of the company and iron making in general “from oldest times
to the present day” from an international perspective.2
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4. Koppardalen in Avesta: NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
Almost in parallel to the town centre proposal, described in the previous
chapter, the architect Alvar Aalto was asked to design a research institute
for the Johnson group of companies, including laboratories, offices and a
museum. The institute was to be built just outside Avesta and the museum
was to occupy a considerable centrally located space in the institute complex.3
Situating a museum alongside research laboratories and representative
localities could be seen as one way of using history and old artefacts to make
the present and the future of the company look more modern and promising.
A visible history was a contemporary asset.4 The Johnson family’s actions during
the first half of the 20th century thus fitted well into the general depiction of how
the industrial past was used as a response to the second industrial revolution
by offering a contrast to the modern production. The research institute was,
however, not realised, like so many of Aalto’s proposals in Sweden.5
In the 1960s, the management of Avesta Jernverks AB was still planning
to establish a museum, but instead of a new building the intention was to
adapt the old and at the time two decades abandoned blast furnace plant to
house the museum.6 Bo Hermelin wrote to the executive director about how
he imagined the realisation of the museum:
In general, all that conceals the architecture, the powerful walls and the
beautiful arches, will be taken away, if it not has or has had a function that
is obvious or if it in other respects is interesting or perhaps has a picturesque
appearance.7
Hermelin furthermore suggested that the selection and display of
suitable objects should be done in consultation with the director of the
Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm. Avesta
Jernverks AB thus worked actively and ambitiously to create a museum.8 This
also meant that the old blast furnace plant would be preserved, even though
it would no longer fill any vital function for the company.
During the so called European Architectural Heritage Year in 1975,
representatives for the Swedish National Board of Antiquities journeyed the
country in order to visit industrial milieus, and one of the places they visited
was Avesta and its old blast furnace plant. Avesta Jernverks AB acted as host
during the daylong visit, and the national heritage representatives were very
impressed with the company’s committed work for their older redundant
industrial buildings.9
In relation to Koppardalen the active role of the company ceased in
1992 when the Johnson family sold their part of the shares, and Avesta AB
merged with British Steel Stainless to form Avesta Sheffield. The Johnson
group at that time chose to leave Avesta and the company’s interest in the
local history was decisively reduced.10 In general, Maths Isacson has described
Sweden’s old mining and iron and steel district – Bergslagen, where Avesta
is also located – in terms of companies closing down or merging during this
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period, implying a disappearing company responsibility for the towns that
had grown and changed together with it.11 The company stepping back and
a public body taking over the ownership and caring for the local industrial
history and heritage is furthermore a picture that is to be found in many
places around the Western world during the last decades of the 20th century.12
The iron and steel company in Avesta was still in the first years of the 21st
century after several mergers, the biggest private employer of the town, but
after the Johnson family left in 1992 it did not, to any appreciable extent,
take part in the reinterpretation and reuse of Koppardalen.
Professional heritage recognition
The company could thus be characterised as an active heritage producer
in Avesta, at least until the 1970s. Professional heritage recognition, seen
from the Swedish national level, nevertheless developed in parallel. During
the first half of the 20th century a number of museums, focused upon the
history of technology and industry, were inaugurated. A company museum
in the mining town of Falun opened in 1922, and what is said to be the
first industrial open-air museum in the world was established in the town of
Ludvika in 1938.13 In 1923 a great exhibition was held in Sweden’s second
city, Gothenburg, a main section of which was devoted to industrial history.14
The ambitious work of collecting artefacts from all over the country for the
exhibition later led to the creation of the National museum of Science and
Technology, founded in 1924.15 Apart from drawing attention to venerable
origins and progenitors, the societal way of responding to the second industrial
revolution during the first half of the 20th century, in terms of how to relate
to the recent past, these more public activities can also be understood as acts
of contrast, making the modern society seem even more modern.16 The early
interest was principally directed towards one single branch, the iron industry,
and originated in the history of certain companies.17 Furthermore, many
larger companies engaged professional historians to write comprehensive
company histories, which reached a peak in the 1940s and 50s.18 There are
certainly other types of activities to be found as well. The Swedish National
Museum of Cultural History, the Nordiska Museet, for example, conducted
documentations of industrial sites from the 1920s and from the 1940s it
collected workers’ memories by means of questionnaires and interviews.19
In the 1960s a more general interest among professional historians for
industrial history and its material remains emerged. An often mentioned
event is a meeting at the National Museum of Science and Technology in
1968 when Gunnar Sillén and Marie Nisser formulated an appeal with the
aim of bringing about “volunteer inventory work of buildings and milieus
connected to work.”20 The British pioneer in industrial archaeology, Kenneth
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Hudson, spoke at the meeting about inventory work done in Britain in
order to inspire similar work in Sweden.21 The appeal did not result in any
immediate and concrete measures, but was nevertheless one expression of an
emerging dialogue at the time.22 Among historians, architects and building
conservationists, an interest in older industrial buildings had slowly grown
and the topic was discussed at professional conferences and in the papers.23
By that time industry had begun to be understood as something about to
disappear, something that had to be saved before it was too late. The activities of
the late 1960s and 1970s are hence to be seen as the beginning of a response to
the third industrial revolution. The appeal at the National Museum of Science
and Technology in 1968 demonstrated that a new group of actors had entered
the arena, but also that the industrial companies were still important players.
The appeal was directed to the industrial leaders in order to encourage them to
better care for their own history, for their own benefit and also for the whole
society. A few years later special attention was paid to the built environment
because of the Council of Europe’s designation of the earlier mentioned
European Architectural Heritage Year in 1975. This year became important
with regard to industrial buildings in Sweden, both in a sense of highlighting
industrial monuments among other types of heritage and from a perspective of
reuse opportunities.24 Each country was supposed to appoint a number of pilot
projects and among other sites Sweden chose the Engelsberg Ironworks, which
belonged to the Johnson family that also owned Avesta ironworks. Engelsberg
Ironworks had been declared a historic building complex the year before and
the appointment in the European Architectural Heritage Year became symbolic
to those engaged in preserving industrial buildings.25
In the mid-1980s, in parallel with the municipal take over of Norra
verken/Koppardalen in Avesta, two local conservative politicians submitted a
motion that the old blast furnace plant should be declared a historic building.
At the same time, Axel Norberg, the Avesta Jernverks AB archives manager,
requested Marie Nisser – then representing the historical committee of the
Swedish Steel Producers’ Association and president of the International
Committee on the Conservation of Industrial Monuments – to express her
opinion on the old blast furnace plant and the open-hearth plant, in view
of the industrial area’s passing into new ownership. Nisser wrote a memo
in which she emphasised the importance of the old premises in Avesta and
stated that they had few equivalences within Europe and the United States.
Consequently, she strongly recommended that they should be preserved.26
In 1987 the old blast furnace plant was declared of national interest to
heritage conservation and Nisser’s memo has been referred to since then, as
an authoritative document that clearly shows the value of the old industrial
remnants in Avesta.27 External professional heritage recognition thus played
an important role in Avesta during the 1970s and 80s.28
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A new name
As the new owner of the old industrial area in the late 1980s, Avesta
municipality strived to attract companies as tenants or purchasers in the
industrial area of Norra verken.29 As one part in these efforts, Avesta
Industristad, the municipal real estate company that had been formed
especially to manage the area, initiated a competition. The inhabitants of
Avesta were invited to propose a new name for the area, and from the almost
600 proposals a jury chose the name “Koppardalen” (“the Copper Valley”).
Other proposals that were ranked highly were “Koppardalern,” “Myntforsen,”
“Bruksstaden,” “Industridalen” and “Industristranden” (approximately “the
copper coin,” “the coin falls,” “the company town,” “the valley of industry“
and “the industrial shore”) the two first bearing a clear reference to the earlier
copper works of the place.30
Naming and renaming are powerful acts of interpretation. With an
example from the London Docklands, Doreen Massey has examined how
different names, like Docklands, Millwall, the Isle of Dogs or the Venice
of the North, allude to different stories about the area, directed at different
groups of people. Massey suggests that when industrial buildings are
converted, the renaming is “an attempt to evoke a connection with a past,
equally romanticised but this time in a different version.”31 With reference
to Walter Benjamin she asserts that a whole world could be maintained in
the names of, for example, old streets, but not only maintained – a historical
world could, in fact, be created by the names.32 Massey concludes that naming
is one part of telling the story of a place, and that the identity of places is
bound up with these stories.33 The story that turns out to be the dominant
one, sometimes expressed in a new name, is therefore of significance in an
attempt to understand the reinterpretation of a place. In addition, Anssi Paasi
argues that territorial symbols strengthen the inhabitants feeling of belonging
and that the most important symbol is the name of the place.34
The new name of the industrial area of Norra verken, “Koppardalen,”
alluded to the copper works and the coin manufacturing which were part of a
proud history that, beside the prestigious task of the national coin production,
encompassed spectacular orders of copper plate for the roof of the Versailles
palace outside Paris in France.35 Perhaps the naming was also influenced by
a then recently inaugurated copper coin museum. In 1983, the Johnson
family had celebrated the 100 years anniversary of Avesta Jernverks AB, and
the museum was opened in the presence of the Swedish king as one part of
the festivities. Four years later the Norra verken was renamed “Koppardalen”
in a public ceremony in the presence of the Swedish Minister of Industry.36
Paradoxically, both the company and the municipality chose to focus the
timely distant copper manufacturing by the opening of a museum and a
renaming of the ironworks. The choice of the name Koppardalen may have
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referred to the past, the aim was, however, to point towards a better future,
and the name may perhaps be regarded as nothing but logical since it is often
easier to unite around a distant event or early symbol than around a more
recent history with not yet forgotten controversies and interpretations.37
In Avesta the search for a new image not only implied the renaming
of the old industrial area but also brought to light expressions of regret. In
a compendium put together by the Avesta municipality in 1993, the role
of Alvar Aalto and his proposals for the town were commented: “If these
three projects had become reality, they would not only have unanimously
changed the townscape but would also have made the town richer in tourist
attractions. They would probably, in a decisive way, have influenced the life
of the inhabitants in Avesta.”38 A reader can imagine the opinion that their
municipal predecessors had been penny-wise and pound-foolish concerning
Aalto’s suggestions. A strong image of the town as it could have been was
lamented.
Spirit of the company town
As described in the previous chapter, the municipality’s initial idea of finding a
new big company to inhabit the Koppardalen industrial area was unsuccessful.
After a couple of years the local politicians and civil servants instead worked
towards an idea of a more diversified use that included many different activities,
both public and commercial. However, the strategy of the local politicians also
revealed other problematic aspects of a company town. Gert-Jan Hospers has
asserted that industrial communities in general have a “poor ability […] to react
to the rising demand for services: firms and their workers are so accustomed
to the industrial structure that they find it hard or are even unwilling to shift
to new circumstances.”39 The Swedish concept of “bruksanda” approximately
translated into “spirit of the company town” can be perceived both negatively
and positively, but it connects in several aspects to Hospers’ formulation.40
The basic characteristics of the “bruksanda” are, according to Maths Isacson, a
division of responsibility and function, loyalty and positive connotations to hard
physical work, class divisions visible in the built environment, the individual
as subordinate to the collective, discipline and control, a strict division
between male and female, and an ideal of being conscientious.41 The negative
connotations comprise much of what Hospers points out about a stubbornness
against change and a strong confidence in the responsibility of the leaders, be
it in the company, the union or the state. Due to the “bruksanda” it has been
difficult, in many company towns, to change the expectation that the company,
the municipality or the government should solve the problems.42 Although the
class society is certainly present, the contemporary company town can also be
understood in relation to its origins in a pre-industrial period where the work
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4. Koppardalen in Avesta: NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
was more marked by guilds than by social classes, and where the leadership was
more paternalistic than administrative.43
According to Isacson, the “bruksanda” furthermore contains a consciousness
of the place. The inhabitants do identify themselves with the place, the big
company, the collective norms, the organisations, the built environment
and the common history. The place grounds the people in time. And, says
Isacson, when the companies have disappeared or become more anonymous,
the municipality and the politicians have taken over the role as community
leaders.44 One of the leading persons in Avesta municipality in the 1980s, a
newcomer, was described in strong words such as “a saviour” who was going to
take care of everything. Although this man later left Avesta because of economic
irregularities, the leading politicians and civil servants were, in general, expected
to do what has to be done, and this is also a possible explanation of why – in
spite of the comprehensive changes – an all-encompassing mobilisation of
study groups and amateur plays that was present in nearby towns and villages
during the 1970s and 80s, did not happen in Avesta.45
In addition, not at any point does there seem to have been a collective
experience in Avesta of being in the midst of a severe crisis.46 With regard to
the town of Eskilstuna and the Swedish Social Democratic Party respectively,
Johan Samuelsson and Åsa Linderborg have shown that a presumed conflict
between company or party leaders and workers in relation to history and
heritage was not always present. Instead, a spirit of cooperation, a vital
part of the so-called Swedish model, or just indifference also influenced
the attitude towards the recent past.47 One could, for example, compare
how former workers vividly protested against the new development of
London’s Docklands, or how the transformation and reuse of a gas factory
in Amsterdam in the Netherlands was said to have a problem with too much
community involvement.48
Yet another image to strengthen this picture of Avesta as a place with
strong leaders is the two groups of retired iron and steel workers that have
met regularly every week since the mid-1980s to talk about their working
life memories and about contemporary society. They do not at all represent a
radical force with an ambition to influence the creation of history and heritage
based on their own work experience. Neither have they taken part as a group in
the reuse process in Koppardalen. In 1995 the trade unions and the then newly
opened Swedish Museum of Work investigated, at the national level, how the
trade union organisations worked with their history and heritage. The result
showed that the metal union members were among the most active, which was
explained by a strong collective and clear identity with proud workers.49 Ten
years later Kjersti Bosdotter, responsible for culture matters at the metal union
in Sweden, gave another picture, however. Bosdotter asserted that the workers
in an unprivileged position did not feel they could take part in work concerning
the industrial heritage. According to Bosdotter, it was difficult to get former
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workers tell their stories, and all in all it seemed there was no room for the
stories of conflict and difficulties anyway.50 In the case of Norrköping, Annika
Alzén tried to find sources that would talk about retired textile workers’ view of
their former workplace. However, Alzén concludes that in the life narratives of
the old workers, the stories in main concern the work itself and not the factories
as part of a larger building complex. Nevertheless, many people in the 1970s
expressed in general a categorical and negative attitude towards the abandoned
industrial landscape in the town centre.51 Whether it depends on the spirit of
the company town or not, the workers and the public, in general, have not, to
any significant extent, taken part in the reinterpretation and reuse process in
Koppardalen in Avesta.
In the late 1990s and early 2000, a local guide association as well as a
local history society were formed in Avesta. Apart from being established
comparatively late, these organisations were, however, not radical either in the
way of asserting a workers history. While Maths Isacson points to an increasing
interest in local history at the turn of the 21st century due to the vanishing
industrial society, and also links, on one hand, voluntary activities by local
history associations, and on the other, industrial buildings that have been
reused as museums and art galleries, this connection cannot be confirmed by
the present study of Avesta.52 The former workers and the general public did
not take part in the struggle to preserve and adapt the old ironworks, and they
were not prominent participators in the reinterpretation process.
The first phase of the municipal development project in Koppardalen
was finished in the year 2000 at a cost of about 40 million Swedish crowns,
of which the municipality had contributed 25 million. This meant it was
the largest separate project of the municipality in terms of money. During
these years the municipality had torn down the sheet rolling mill, parts of
a cold rolling mill, decontaminated land from mercury, repaired and put
new roofs on a number of buildings, built a pedestrian and bicycle bridge
between Koppardalen and the town centre and, finally, almost finished
the construction of a sports arena. Towards the end of the first phase, the
earlier mentioned questionnaire indicated that a clear majority of the local
inhabitants were positive to the renewal of Koppardalen.53 Nevertheless, there
were also voices raised against the changes, sometimes in anger suggesting
that the buildings in the area should be forgotten, torn down or burnt. One
inhabitant of Avesta wrote in the local newspaper:
The municipality’s buying of the Norra verken industrial area and the
conglomeration of unprofitable littered buildings at a cost of 36 million
crowns plus interest plus undertaking of demolition and clearance plus
maintenance of the heritage listed buildings for ever and ever […] could
something worse fall upon a small town like Avesta? This is crazy […] The
inhabitants of Avesta have had enough of the old ironworks, you do not go
there in order to feel happy. It is a narrow dirty blind alley in history.54
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Although the municipality, on the whole, found public support for
their activities through the questionnaire, one can conclude that the public
objections of the reuse process in Koppardalen concerned the municipal
economy rather than the priority of interpretation of the past. The public
economic undertaking to preserve and adapt the old industrial area was
expected to affect municipal responsibilities like childcare and lead to
increased taxes.55 Because the project was public and largely financed by
taxes, the activities naturally had to compete politically in the same arena
as, for example, the school and the hospital. What new meanings became
attached to the local materiality of the past was obviously not a big issue.
During the remarkably long period between 1919 and 2002, the Social
Democratic Party was in political majority in Avesta. After the election in
2002, a coalition consisting of the Conservative Party, the Centre Party,
the Green Party, the Liberal Party, the Christian Democrats and the local
party Axel Ingmars Lista – Avestapartiet, came into power. The direction
of the municipal project in Koppardalen was, however, not changed, which
indicated that the project was supported by an overall majority of the political
representatives.56 The political agreement is notable, and could also probably
be understood in the light of the spirit of the company town.
Visions of the enthusiasts
When the meanings of the old industrial place were not really a topic of
public debate, those who really cared about a new understanding were
instead people with a personal agenda, many with a professional platform.
The second phase of the municipal project concerning Koppardalen began
with two people, the head of the department for cultural and educational
matters, Lars Åke Everbrand, and the town architect, Dan Ola Norberg,
being commissioned to formulate ideas for a possible continuation of the
project.57 Their proposal was presented in the spring of 2001 and described
two alternatives for continuing the project. One alternative showed a high
level of ambition and the other contained a lower level of ambition. The less
ambitious alternative, which had the character of a nightmare scenario with
broken windows, a decreasing population and increasing unemployment,
was presented first.
The more ambitious alternative showed a vision of the future that was in
all essentials different. This alternative envisioned international conferences
taking place in Koppardalen, where big service companies were already
established and students enthusiastically gathered around exciting technical
models in a visitors centre. The higher ambition was compared to the ill-fated
Acropolis, Alvar Aalto’s plan for a new town centre in the 1940s. In the text,
the future of Koppardalen was called “the new Acropolis,” and the authors
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4. Koppardalen in Avesta: NEGOTIATING THE LOCAL FUTURE
A proposed vision of the future Koppardalen. To the left, the former cold rolling mill is
converted into a cultural centre, while to the right a pedestrian bridge connects Koppardalen
and the present town centre. In the middle, the train makes a stop in Avesta and thus
increases the accessibility of the place. The open space has been given the character of a
park with trees, benches, street lightning, and walking paths. Painting: Petra Sahlin, 2001.
raised a warning not to repeat the mistake made in the 1940s when the town
centre design came to nothing.58
Everbrand and Norberg asserted that the future use of Koppardalen
concerned nothing less than the future of the town of Avesta and they
rhetorically stated: “The question is not if we can afford to invest, but if
we could afford not to invest.”59 The municipal council also decided first
to increase the budget in order to finish the sub-projects begun during first
phase, and second – with two thirds of the votes – to continue the project
into a second phase.60 The decision to launch a second phase of the project
did not, however, imply an unconditional acceptance of the analysis and
proposal formulated by Everbrand and Norberg. Instead, elements were both
added and removed, and the biggest investment plans during the second
phase became the conversion of a plate rolling mill and a sheet rolling mill
into mainly office space, and the development of “historic milieus” in the old
blast furnace plant respectively. The plans also included pilot studies for a
swimming hall, an educational centre and a science centre.
The existence of one or a few truly dedicated persons have been crucial
to the success of many reuse projects, especially during the formative stages.61
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For Lars Åke Everbrand, ambitions were high from the very beginning, or
in his own words, he personally carried “a rather great dose of aspirations,”
describing himself as a competitive kind of person, always aiming at creating
something innovative.62 In retrospect he does not regret anything and if he
had to repeat it, he would not change his decisions: “I wanted rather to do
something that is noticed and worth something,” comparing the work of
renewal in Koppardalen with the daily work of municipal administration.63
He describes how he and a few other people have their hearts in Koppardalen
and that this has made them very immune to working overtime. However, he
expresses concern should the project become more institutionalised and the
personal devotion probably colliding with an administrative form. Then he
believes it would feel “meaningless, I will not take part in that.”64
Everbrand describes the possibility of realising new and innovative ideas
in Avesta in terms of freedom. He thinks he has been able to do almost
everything he wanted, as long as he only used the money within his own
administration, characterised as “a kind of economic dictatorship.”65 Informal
groups have been able to work unobstructed, initiate ideas and carry them
through, without any formal political direction. According to Everbrand, it
was, however, important to get external recognition, for example, when one
of Sweden’s biggest television news programmes, Aktuellt, reported about the
art exhibition Avesta Art during peak viewing hours. He asserts that as soon
as they received this nation-wide exposure the local politicians also regarded
the exhibition as terrific.
At the offices of the municipality and the municipal real estate company,
Avesta Industristad, the story of Koppardalen was put within the narrative of
a bright future for the town and the inhabitants of Avesta. The reuse process
in Koppardalen was regarded as the road to success, to new work places, to an
increasing number of inhabitants and to an image of the town in which Avesta
was considered a magnet for external commercial investment and cultural
interest.66 David E. Nye suggests that landscapes, like the Koppardalen
area, are created by an act of imagination and expropriation, hence socially
constructed by the activity of landscaping, a process of “changing the
appearance of the world.”67 The actors in Avesta took part in a dialogue about
their differing perceptions, often expressed in narrative form in order to
make sense of the new meanings. Connecting the never realised town centre,
Acropolis, and the industrial area of Koppardalen is one example of this kind
of pervasive imagination. Creating a narrative is, however, not the same thing
as inventing a story. There has to be a balance between pre-figuration and
what others can possibly be convinced about.68 The imaginative act that can
create a narrative of a landscape – or the meaning of a place – can thus also be
seen as a way of establishing a legitimate interpretation, something Everbrand
and Norberg – although not in every detail – managed to do.
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A bridge or an excavation?
Another actor with a personal agenda, Axel Ingmar, was instead engaged in the
older history of Avesta. Ingmar was a local party leader, as well as an amateur
geologist and former history teacher. In the early 1990s, he wrote an article in
Avesta Tidning in which he asserted to have localised the remains of the old
copper works from the 17th century, situated mainly underneath the through
road in Koppardalen.69 He showed how it was possible to observe the remains by
going into a culvert partly filled with water. His statement was received with
interest by the municipal project team and mentioned in the programme for the
first phase of the project. However, an excavation was indefinitely postponed.
Ingmar struggled for an excavation. Among other things he advocated
that younger buildings from the ironworks period should be torn down in
order to make it possible to excavate a larger area of the copper works. He later
abandoned this opinion and the question of the excavation instead became
connected to the plans of the municipal project team to build a pedestrian
and bicycle bridge between Koppardalen and Avesta town centre. The lack
of easy connections between the two areas had for long been a prioritised
issue. Earlier schemes had included a car tunnel but later, in connection to
the new plans for Koppardalen, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge was regarded
more appropriate. Emphasising or breaking up boundaries is – like the act
of naming – a powerful activity. In general terms, boundaries structure many
narratives and influence the perception and meanings of spatial relations, like
the division between the Avesta town centre and the Koppardalen industrial
area into two separate worlds.70
The municipal project team initially suggested that the bridge should cross
the roof of a cold rolling mill or a laboratory building and then descend to the
ground. Axel Ingmar reacted strongly because this suggestion implied that the
area where he had located the copper works would in that case be built over,
making an excavation impossible. After a period of animated argumentation
the municipality finally decided to tear down thirty metres of the cold rolling
mill building in order to make place for a stairwell and an elevator closer to the
railway. A gravel road that could easily be removed if or when an excavation
was to be undertaken was constructed from the stairwell.71 The remains of the
copper works were hence prioritised at the expense of the cold rolling mill, in
line with the naming of the whole area. The older – the more valuable, could
be a valid heading for the choices made. As Doreen Massey has claimed, the
competing stories of a place’s past are simultaneously arguments about what its
future should be.72 In the visions of the future of Koppardalen, the materiality
of the post-industrial situation was arranged in a hierarchy, not only consisting
of certain entities like slag stone or a waterfront location; the old copper
works was not important enough to be excavated immediately, but still more
important than the overall impression of the cold rolling mill.
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The border between Koppardalen and the town centre was strongly marked by a difference
in altitude, causing the two areas to be somewhat disconnected visually.
Photo: Kent Lindström, 1999.
A road with rather heavy traffic and the railway line further emphasised the separation.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
In June 2000 the pedestrian and bicycle bridge was inaugurated. The
structure bridged the difference in altitude between Koppardalen and Avesta
town centre but also infrastructure in the form of the railway and a road. From
the town centre the bridge connection was a prolonging of the ground level
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and at the lower level Koppardalen there was an elevator and a stairwell. The
opening ceremony featured, among other things, an amateur actor dressed as a
worker, carrying a thick rope and walking from the Koppardalen area. On the
newly built bridge he met two young people holding a band that represented
broadband for computer communication, walking from the town centre. In
a symbolic gesture they knitted together the rope and the broadband, the
old and the new, which the bridge was to unite.73 Thereafter the audience of
about 1 500 people crossed the bridge for the first time and went down to
Koppardalen.74 The two bands that were knitted together and their carriers
mediated a clear message: the old worker from the history of Avesta and
the young people, the future of the community, belonged together and the
industrial work was replaced by an activity with a strong post-industrial
marker. The physical and the mental barriers between Koppardalen and the
town centre were in that way challenged.75
Elitist and popular approaches
Apart from those people with a personal agenda described above, who took
part in the reinterpretation process? What were their arguments and from
which platforms did they act? A comparatively small group of actors led the
reinterpretation and reuse of the Koppardalen industrial area. They were
found in the municipal project team, as well as in other positions outside
the municipal administration. The group consisted of approximately ten
men forming a tight network. They were all middle-aged and had known
each other in different constellations their entire professional life, that is, for
twenty or thirty years. While some of them regard Avesta their hometown,
others moved into the town or the surrounding area in the 1970s or early
80s. Most of them did not work at the iron and steel company themselves,
and furthermore had not been into the old industrial area at all before the late
1980s or early 1990s. Hence, the Koppardalen area was mainly interpreted
and reshaped by individuals whose first experience of the place was in its
abandoned and derelict state. This group includes no full time politicians,
although some of them have served, from time to time, as part time
politicians. Their professional bases instead included positions as municipal
civil servants or employees at the municipal real estate company, the county
museum, the county administration or the university.76
The ease by which the adaptation work in Koppardalen mostly proceeded
could largely be explained by the reliable communication that was established
within the group.77 When something had to be decided or executed in
a hurry, a simple phone call could solve the problem. The group of men
were not only long time acquaintances, they also held the same professional
positions in their organisations during this whole period. In the publicly
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Since 2000, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that spans the road, the railway and the
difference in altitude connects the town centre and the Koppardalen area. To the right is the
cold rolling mill with its new gable, after thirty metres of the building had been torn down.
In the background one can glimpse the blast furnace plant. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
A view from the new bridge over the eastern part of the Koppardalen area. To the far left
is a power station, designed by Torben Grut, and in the middle the blast furnace plant.
In front of the blast furnace plant is a new, gravelled road – a compromise to enable
any future excavation of the remains of the old copper works, located beneath.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
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owned old industrial area of Koppardalen, the political representatives should
have directed the actions taken. It was, however, almost without exceptions,
the professional civil servants who took the initiatives and formulated the
visions. The fact that there were very few occasions when different opinions
explicitly collided can probably be understood in the light of the confident
network in charge of the reuse process, probably together with a general
acceptance in the town for the municipality’s ambitions. Lars Åke Everbrand
is of the opinion that even though he could see the need for more people to
do the huge amount of work, he preferred working with the small number
of persons involved. He argues that this is the reason “we can make decisions
rather fast” and if there had been a large staff they would have had to ask for
support in everything and in this case that was not needed.78 Nevertheless,
the relative consensus characterising the negotiating process concerning the
changing role of Koppardalen in Avesta is noteworthy.
What more characterised the group of leading actors? Several of
them consciously worked to educate others: the politicians, the company
representatives renting office space in Koppardalen and the inhabitants of
Avesta. The issues of education were, for example, connected to what should be
regarded historically correct in terms of architecture, the characteristics of the
international arena in which Avesta wanted to play and the appropriate way of
viewing contemporary art.79 The attitude of knowing more was exemplified by
the politicians towards the inhabitants of Avesta, for instance, in the words of
the local councillor, Ulf Berg, when commenting on difficult decisions:
You have to be brave and push things when you have knowledge and perhaps
another kind of input, which influence the decisions you make, compared to
those who just read the local newspaper.80
Similarly, Lotten Gustafsson has shown how civil servants in a heritage
creating process on the Swedish island of Gotland viewed resistance towards
the plans as mainly a pedagogical problem. The solution to differing opinions
was thus simply enlightenment.81
For several of the leading actors, the attitude of knowing more also
includes an ambition to create something that will become a public good. The
architect who has been extensively engaged in the reuse process, Jan Burell,
emphasises that the effort of making Koppardalen a place of public access has
been very important to him. As an example he made a first draft of a swimming
hall located in one of the former ironworks buildings, but it was subsequently
decided not to build the swimming hall within the old industrial area. Beside
the disappointment of a rejected proposal, Burell expressed his concerns about
other future plans for the industrial building. One idea was to convert the
building into housing and this idea he found “exciting, but then in the worst
case it could become private property. It should rather be something public.”82
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At the time when the iron girders suddenly disappeared, the chairman of
the municipal council, Karin Perers, had held this position for only a couple
of months. The visit to the old industrial area of Koppardalen – introducing
this chapter – was a first step in an ambition to bring new knowledge and
ideas to the members of the council. The guided walk through the industrial
area when the iron girders were discovered taken away, was labelled a “study
visit” and followed by an extended council meeting a few days later. Perers
had invited special guest speakers who were to give their views on the future
of the area, together with representatives from all the political parties in the
council to this meeting.83 In this way, the chairman mobilised different nonpolitical professionals to direct the discussion, several of whom I regard to
belong to the ten men network.
At the meeting, none of the speakers made the removed iron girders
an explicit issue in their speech – in spite of the fact that most of them had
taken part in the Sunday study visit.84 Several of them did however mention
the episode incidentally or indirectly. Professor Maths Isacson, for example,
concluded his speech by giving some advice to the municipal council. Among
other things, he emphasised that even though economic and practical reasons
made it impossible to preserve all the built environment within the industrial
area, it was nevertheless of great importance to also make less attractive
structures visible, and if they were torn down, to leave some traces in the
ground or elsewhere.85
In the following speech, the County Antiquarian, Ulf Löfwall, praised the
municipality for the previously carried out inventory, the purpose of which had
been to identify material “carriers of value” in Koppardalen.86 He continued to
discuss the relationship between seemingly insignificant material details and
the total impression of a place. In a subordinate clause he rhetorically refused
to probe into the question of the iron girders, but nevertheless connected it
to a statement where he asserted that a certain detail may not be essential in
itself, but together with other details it constituted the base for the identity and
character of the area. He warned that if the details were not respected the area
would soon become trivial and reduced to the commonplace.87
Of the political representatives, the leader of the Conservative Party
and then also local councillor, Ulf Berg, meant that there was no evident
answer to what was right and wrong, whether the iron girders should or
should not have been removed, but the important thing was to continue an
open discussion about the reuse process.88 Others were less diplomatic and
declared their opinion that cutting down the iron girders and plastering the
coloured gable, was a self-willed decision and that “these two details had a
really important history to tell, which is now gone.”89
The study visit to the industrial area was presented in the local newspaper,
Avesta Tidning, and the municipal council’s meeting was broadcasted live on
the local radio channel. The main impression is yet that all actors were eager
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to smooth over the incident of the removed iron girders and the plastered
gable. The superior goal of adaptive reuse of the old industrial area could not
afford too many explicit internal conflicts. The incident was furthermore not
regarded absolutely crucial, although several of the actors still commented on
it with frustration some years later.90
The first decision to spare the iron girders and the coloured interior wall
in connection with the demolition of the sheet rolling mill, and the second
decision a couple of years later to take them away when the oil company was
about to move in, indicate two conscious but different ways of reinterpreting
the industrial place. The division of the industrial area into three sections,
indicating the municipality’s intentions, was challenged by the existence
of the iron girders that were saved by the actors representing cultural and
educational activities, and then taken away by the actors representing the
commercial and real estate issues. The two directions of adaptation to new use
collided on the borderline between the two sections, not only as an expression
of two geographical areas of responsibility, but also as an expression of two
somewhat different visions of the desired future of the place. According to
Everbrand, it could be compared to a game where different departments
within the municipality rivalled each other.91
Unique by comparison
What then were the qualities of the Koppardalen industrial area that the
different actors could agree upon? And how were these qualities articulated
and asserted? Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard have pointed to how
history is used to “stress continuity and distinctiveness sometimes as a
condition deemed in some way relevant to economic production and
sometimes as no more than a formal assertion of the unique existence and
thus identity of a place.”92 Convincing images have, however, been created in
Avesta also in other ways than by making references to the past and to visions
of the future. Comparing Avesta and Koppardalen to other places within the
country and abroad has been one important aspect in the local process of
adapting the industrial area of Koppardalen to new use. Many of the actors
travelled to other countries in order to find inspiration and also to discover
unsuitable examples, that is, what kind of changes should be avoided.93 These
international experiences have also been used to spread and anchor visions
upheld by some of the municipal civil servants to the local politicians, who in
the end were supposed to approve the direction of the reuse process.94
Ann-Kristin Ekman suggests that identities based in territoriality
are difficult to define, and that the everyday experiences are most often
connected to a rather limited geographical area. The village, the housing area
or the municipality is to most people the relevant territory that is loaded with
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meaning.95 Anssi Paasi similarly observes that compared to “the individually
experienced and produced ‘place,’ the ‘region’ has an explicit institutionalised
and thus collective nature. Place refers to the process by which everyday
practices of individuals relate to the structures of institutional power, whereas
region is a symbolic entity beyond direct experience produced by individuals
only by collective means.”96 By focusing the more local and geographically
limited place of Koppardalen in Avesta, this study indicates that the main
frame of reference for a certain municipality or individual was not the
Bergslagen region, but other places within the country or abroad. Other
local places, interpreted and loaded with meaning, constituted the main
comparison when the uniqueness of Koppardalen was articulated.
The four authors of the inventory of “carriers of value” was one group
that formulated value by comparison. Among other things they emphasised
how the old blast furnace plant was “magnificent with its elevated stairs and
its expressive chimneys” and that the slag stone façade in its “solemn severity
bring your thoughts to a Florentine renaissance palace.”97 Different actors
describing the area, among them the Avesta guide association which showed
visitors around, later rephrased these comparisons.98 According to Doreen
Massey, the local uniqueness is always “a product of wider contacts; the local
is always already a product in part of ’global’ forces.”99 The conception of
the uniqueness of the place, Koppardalen, in Avesta was thus created by a
presupposed relationship between the assumed identity of a place and its
past, but also and more distinctively by comparison with other places.
To articulate meaning and value by making references to other wellknown places is a common strategy. Norrköping has, for example, sometimes
been called the Manchester of Sweden because of its once dominant textile
industry. In addition, Annika Alzén suggests that perhaps the comparison
with the famous textile city could have given extra incentive to the efforts
of preserving the industrial built environment in Norrköping, because of
the powerful preservation forces that were active in Britain.100 Another
example is to be found in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States where
the redevelopment of a former industrial site included new custom-made
railings designed by a famous metals artisan using objects retrieved from a
former factory as models. This way of making the place unique, trying to
make it look different from similar development projects, was described by
the project manager as ”a little bit of Las Vegas in Baltimore;” Las Vegas itself
of course building much of its value upon references to other places.101
The articulation of value in Avesta by comparison was, however, not only
made through written texts or spoken words, but by travelling to other places
in order to discern differences and similarities. The number and range of
journeys made by politicians and municipal civil servants to other countries,
motivated by the reuse process in Koppardalen, were extensive. In smaller
and larger groups, they travelled primarily to Finland, Britain and Germany,
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to visit former industrial places that had been reused in different ways. Any
possible Swedish references, like Norrköping and Eskilstuna, were almost
totally neglected by the politicians and municipal civil servants, because they
thought there was little to be seen within the national borders, if the process
in Koppardalen was to be at the forefront conceptually.102 The inspiration
and the less successful examples the travellers brought back concerned,
among other things, possible activities in the former industrial buildings,
ways to work with aesthetic and pedagogical issues and practical solutions for
heating in non insulated constructions, for example. Two features have been
commonly mentioned in Avesta within this context: the remaining building
complex of the old ironworks in its entirety as a pedagogical resource, and
the two remaining furnaces from the open-hearth plant as exclusive objects.
There are, however, also more reflecting comments to be found:
The journey to England [...] was incredibly important, because then they
saw, then they accepted. They had not visited any place like that before and
we were able to see a development that they could compare to Koppardalen,
how Koppardalen could develop in the same way. That was important, we are
part of an international trend.103
In this manner, Lars Åke Everbrand described his impressions and
the functions of the trips, connected to the reuse process of Koppardalen.
The quotation concerned a visit to the industrial districts of the Midlands
in northern England in 2001. Local politicians and civil servants from the
municipality took part in the journey, a total of fifteen people, and the
comment illustrates how the travelling could be part of a local discussion, in
this case strengthening the political will to implement some of the ideas that
had been put forward in the process to change Koppardalen. “They” in the
quotation thus refers to the local politicians, those who had to be convinced
for the project to become successful in the long run. Everbrand describes the
principal aim was getting support for their ideas, although there was always a
risk that the politicians could start interfering with the details of the process,
which was “none of their business.”104
Another reflection was made by Kenneth Linder, civil servant in the
department of cultural matters in the municipality, based on his several
journeys to the Ruhr district in Germany:
…they have preserved some fragments, skeletons and framework. In the
landscape you could somehow imagine, that here has been a building, there
it has been a wall. And it is also done through greenery, important to conquer
the area with greenery. They have such an abundance of industrial areas so
probably they think they have to take away the dirt and make it green, but still
you could get a feeling of a structure, that this place has been different...105
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Linder’s reflection illustrates what the transformation process in the
Ruhr district looked like at the beginning of the 21st century, against the
backdrop of related processes in Avesta. “They” in this quotation refers to the
unnamed people who had been working to change the redundant industrial
landscape of the Ruhr district into something more adapted to contemporary
needs. The major characteristics pinpointed by Linder are the vast number
of former industrial structures, the lack of natural greenery and finally the
vague but still readable landscape of the industrial past. At least the two first
mentioned features definitely differed from the physical environment in which
Koppardalen is located and his reflection somehow mirrors this difference.
Another group of actors in Avesta, mostly pensioners interested in local
history, travelled mainly within the country. Their frame of reference was based
more on networks and organisations connected to the so called “work life
museums” mentioned in the second chapter, local history associations and trade
unions, than to large scale reuse projects.106 The ideas brought back by these
actors concerned, for example, the possibility of showing ongoing handicraft
activities or the inferior example of exaggerated use of text information in an
exhibition.107 These travels have nonetheless also worked as a way of asserting
the unique value of Avesta and furthermore to strengthen a feeling of pride. The
former chairman of the local industrial history society in Avesta, Ingrid Bengts,
described a meeting with amateur historians from other places in this way:
Oh, do you come from Avesta, they say, […] where you have had the sense to
preserve the industry […] and I cannot help feeling such an enormous pride
to be from Avesta.108
According to Maths Isacson, the way to assert one’s hometown as very
special is an expression of how the place is connected to the concept of
“bruksanda” or spirit of the company town.109 The local inhabitants of a
company town identify themselves with the place and if the place is regarded
valuable and unique, this, to some extent, counts for its inhabitants as well.
Isacson explains the function of travelling – using Avesta and the municipal
project in Koppardalen as an example – as neutralising blindness to defects
in one’s home and thus avoiding standardisation.110 In contradiction I argue
that the understanding and the appreciation of one’s local place are generally
formed and expressed in a far more complex way, and that travelling can be
a way of asserting local uniqueness which in many cases though has led to
replication and homogeneity.
This chapter shows how various actors were involved in the negotiations
about the local future in Avesta, as it was expressed in connection to the reuse
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process in Koppardalen. The company was the first to interpret the industrial
area from a heritage perspective, and the company’s preservation and
museum activities was paralleled and strengthened by growing professional
heritage recognition at the national level. In the late 1980s, Koppardalen was
taken over by the municipality, which then became the most prominent actor
in defining what the desired future and hence accurate understanding of the
area was. Many different actors articulated the value and meaning attributed
to Koppardalen by a comparison with a wide range of other places and
initiatives, like the Acropolis proposal by Alvar Aalto, Florentine renaissance
palaces and activities in the Ruhr district.
Within the municipality there were a few people with a strong
personal agenda, primarily civil servants, who together with a small number
of professional actors outside the municipality formed a network that
influenced the actions taken very much. This group was able to develop their
ideas about, for example, contemporary art in the old blast furnace plant,
relatively undisturbed. The local public opinion was generally in favour of
the renewal project and the objections raised concerned financial issues rather
than interpretative ones. One exception was the large number of proposals in
the competition to rename the industrial area.
On some occasions, different municipal ambitions collided, as in the
case with the pedestrian and bicycle bridge versus an excavation of the old
copper works, and the case with the hastily cut down iron girders. The level
of general agreement is however remarkable and could perhaps be explained
by a combination of different factors: the spirit of the company town that
implies great trust in the community leaders, a cooperative attitude based
on the Swedish model, the lack of an experience of crisis, and the mutual
confidence within the tight and stable network of devoted individuals driving
the reuse process.
In the following two chapters, some of the findings from Koppardalen
and Avesta will be put in contrast to two other reinterpretation and reuse
processes. First, we visit Ironbridge in the Midlands of Britain and examine
issues of the articulation of industry as heritage, and of a museum project in
relation to its local context.
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum:
HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
… a living museum is being formed around the relics of one man’s momentous
achievement […] The project is being undertaken by men who believe that an
industrial civilisation, whose prosperity is still based largely on the metal
extracted from iron ore, cannot allow these most precious monuments to fall
into dereliction.1
At the time of its inauguration, industrial archaeologist, Arthur Raistrick,
in this manner described the Ironbridge Gorge Museum as based on the
inventive genius and still an activity of decisive importance in contemporary
society; iron and steel making. The formulation focuses the material remnants
and also provides a hint that these “precious monuments” had been neglected
until recently. Through the efforts of preservation, the museum would be
able to pay the remnants the attention they deserved, and in addition it was
to become a “living” museum and not anything commonplace.
This chapter describes the formation of an industrial museum in Britain
in the late 1960s and 70s and addresses questions about the articulation of
industry in the heritage arena, as well as the establishment of a museum
project in its local context. The actors in this process were, apart from the
local population, primarily newcomers to the area and, in addition, heritage
and museum professionals. The activities of industrial archaeology and the
ideas concerning ecomuseums furthermore made up an outer frame for the
establishment of the museum. Who articulated the value of the old abandoned
industrial places in the Ironbridge gorge, and what was the outcome of their
argumentation? What characterised the relation between the local inhabitants
and the newcomers, and how did this affect the museum?
The gorge with the river Severn at Ironbridge in the West Midlands of
Britain is by many looked upon as the cradle of the industrial revolution.2 At
the beginning of the 18th century, successful experiments to make iron using
coke instead of charcoal were carried out here, and during the second half of
the century, the region was a leader with regard to a number of important
products.3 Among these could be mentioned iron cylinders for steam engines,
rails, iron boats, and iron for construction purposes. The 18th century was a
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
The world’s first iron bridge is located in Ironbridge in the West Midlands of Britain.
The iron was manufactured in the surrounding area and the bridge was erected in 1779.
Photos: Anna Storm, 2006.
period during which fires were commonplace occurrences, a fact which
strengthened the importance of iron as construction material.4
In 1779, the gorge became the place for the first bridge in the world
made of iron, manufactured in the surrounding area. Since the slopes of
the gorge were unstable, the existing techniques for bridge construction,
with stone or wood as building material, were difficult to use here. Almost
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immediately after its erection, the bridge became a symbol for engineering
knowledge and attracted tourists as well as artists.5 The industrial image as
a genre, in general, came into existence in the second half of the eighteenth
century in the wake of rapid industrialisation in England.6 The idyllic
pastoral setting along the river Severn, combined with the industrial built
environment is still appreciated two hundred years later and regarded
“something of a masterpiece and […] one of the most picturesque industrial
settlements in existence.”7
The bridge affected the communication patterns and the nearby
settlements, which resulted in its surrounding area becoming a centre for
trade. At the northern hold a town called Ironbridge was established. In 1862
the railway reached the region and a station was built close to the southern
hold of the bridge, which thus continued to be a junction between the railway,
the waterway and the road.8 The gorge prospered during the second half of
the 18th century when almost one third of all the iron produced in Britain
was smelted in the area. However, the 19th century implied a stagnating
economy and from the 1870s the area declined rapidly.9 Instead production
grew in areas such as South Wales and the Black Country. The remaining iron
foundries of the gorge subsequently mainly concentrated on architectural
and decorative casting.10 The 1850s also brought new industrial activity to
the valley such as decorative tile manufacturing and a china factory. About
seventy years later, in 1926, the china factory stopped production. The iron
bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1930s, and in the 1950s the tile
manufacturing ceased.11
A museum takes shape
In the 1950s the local ironworks, the Coalbrookdale Company, traced its
roots back to the successful experiments at the beginning of the 18th century
of smelting iron ore using coke instead of charcoal. The company was to
celebrate its 250th anniversary in 1959 and the preparations included, among
other things, an excavation of the old blast furnace that was located on the
company’s premises.12 The furnace was known about, but hidden beneath
many decades of waste material. At the anniversary festivities, the excavated
furnace and a small museum, dedicated to telling the story of the innovative
iron master Abraham Darby and his two later namesakes, were inaugurated.
The museum was mostly directed towards visiting customers and school
children from the region.
In the 1970s, the Coalbrookdale Company was bought and the local
enterprise became a division within a much larger organisation with blast
furnace plants and employees in several countries.13 The people leading the
work locally lost most of their power over the interaction with the local
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
View from the south overlooking the bridge itself, as well as the village of Ironbridge.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2006.
A display in the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, showing the tapping of liquid pig iron into
moulds in the floor. Photo: Anna Storm, 2006.
society. In parallel to the Johnson family and the iron and steel company
in Avesta, the connection between the company and the local society of
Ironbridge was mostly lost.14
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust was formed in 1967, its first
director appointed in 1971 and the museum fully opened to the public
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
in 1973.15 It was planned that the museum should consist of the remains
of the early industrial activity preserved in situ along five kilometres of the
river Severn between the villages of Coalbrookdale and Coalport, covering
40 hectares along the wooded river valley of rural character. A network of
museums was to include the old blast furnace in Coalbrookdale, the homes of
the Darby family, the china factory, the tile factory and an open-air museum
where buildings and machinery that could not be preserved in situ were to be
moved or reconstructed.16 The museum did, naturally, also comprise the very
iron bridge that had given a village and the museum their names.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum was said to become a new kind of
museum since it had the ambition of recreating a whole workers’ society
with remains from an earlier industry “of national importance for a time of
world-wide fame.”17 The relation between the establishment of the company
museum of the Darby furnace in the 1950s and the opening of the Ironbridge
Gorge Museum twelve years later has been a matter of some debate among
the actors. While some indicate a clear link between the two, others reject
this connection.18
The establishment of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum had, however, one
unquestioned prerequisite in the designation of a new town.19 During the
Second World War, many housing areas and much industrial infrastructure
in Britain were destroyed. After the war, the government set up a committee
to organise a grand scale improvement of the built urban environment,
including not only damaged areas but also completely new settlements. One
important aim was to limit the growth of the bigger cities. The “new towns”
were inspired by the garden city movement with an emphasis on green areas
and a balance between living and working estates.
In the New Towns Act of 1946 it was stated that the new towns were
to be built with government funds, and, at the local level, carried out by
a development corporation, which had the possibility to acquire land and
property within the designated area. While the first stage was built just after
the war and comprised mainly satellite towns comparatively close to London,
the second and third stage in the 1960s focused on the declining industrial
areas of northern and western England, emphasising ways of attracting new
employment.
Among the new towns designated during this period was Dawley
new town in 1963, comprising a number of existing towns and villages
in Shropshire in the West Midlands. The designated area was extended in
1969 and the new town was renamed Telford, after the famous civil engineer
Thomas Telford. Other suggested names at the time were Dawelloak and
Wrekin Forest City. The extension meant that the area of Ironbridge gorge
a few kilometres south of Telford, comprising the villages of Coalbrookdale,
Ironbridge, Madeley, Broseley, Jackfield and Coalport, was included. The
gorge was, from the new town perspective, regarded a cultural component
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
Map of the steep and wooded Severn valley indicating the spread out villages of
Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, Broseley, Jackfield, Madeley and Coalport, as well as the
ten main museum sites within the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. The position of the
Bedlam furnaces is also marked (11). The “new town” Telford is located about ten
kilometres north of Ironbridge.
1. Darby Houses
2. Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron
3. Enginuity (interactive design and technology centre)
4. Museum of the Gorge
5. Iron Bridge and Tollhouse
6. Broseley Pipeworks
7. Jackfield Tile Museum
8. Blists Hill open-air museum
9. Tar Tunnel
10. Coalport China Museum
11. Bedlam furnaces
Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
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5. Ironbridge Gorge Museum: HERITAGE STATUS AND LOCAL ANCHORAGE
and a beautiful recreation area for the expected increasing population of
Telford, and described as a vicinity “most valuable for amenity purposes.”20
On behalf of the development corporation, a project team was given the
task of investigating possibilities for a museum in the gorge. The enthusiastic
members of the team strongly argued for the establishment of the museum
and for the preservation of a number of different sites in the valley.
In terms of money the museum was a small part of the new town’s
activities, but nevertheless, in terms of visions of the future it was the more
important. The focus of the enthusiasts in the project team was, however,
not only to create a natural and cultural environment for the new town
population but rather to promote and reward what they considered the
outstanding industrial history of the valley. In the minutes from the project
team’s meetings the superlatives are almost endless, and the members of the
group especially emphasised the significance of the valley as the birthplace of
industry from a worldwide perspective. Accordingly, the project team wanted
to create a museum that attracted national and global interest rather than just
local or even regional attention. The invention of smelting iron using coke,
in the early 18th century, and the list of “firsts” of the region, such as the first
iron bridge, were a foundation for the justification of the existence of the
museum. The project team found they had a responsibility to take care of
these valuable remnants.21
Articulating the industrial past
Their endeavour coincided in time, and somewhat in place, with the then
growth in industrial archaeology activities, examined in the second chapter,
and the project team cooperated with and could, to some extent, be said to
be part of this phenomenon. According to Peter Davis, a general interest
in local history occurred in Britain in the 1970s, which coincided with
the recognition of old industrial remnants. As a consequence increasing
numbers of industrial and rural life museums were opened.22 Although this
explanation is probably valid for Ironbridge as well, I believe the ambitions of
the new town development corporation cannot be overlooked and that these
represented a somewhat different set of ideas.
However, when the project team was about to present their ongoing
investigation to the development corporation, they had a small exhibition
on the theme of industrial archaeology in the town hall in order to convince
the corporation of the importance and possibilities of a museum in the
Severn valley. The response was “warm, enthusiastic, wholehearted and
committed.”23 At different occasions during an intensive planning year from
1966 to 1967 the project team also invited guests to give speeches during the
corporation’s meetings. Among the speakers could be mentioned Michael
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Map of Great Britain and western Germany showing the location of Ironbridge and Duisburg
(chapter six), respectively. Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
Rix, lecturer at the University of Manchester and the person who launched
the concept of industrial archaeology.24
In his speech to the development corporation, Rix argued that it should
be possible to visit the place of the birth of the industrial revolution as a
“living display” and that the project was not just for the local area “nor
just for the country, but for the world.”25 His words seem to have made a
great impression on the listeners. Barrie Trinder, who was also engaged in
industrial archaeology at the time, asserted that the museum plans along with
similar initiatives elsewhere mirrored a “real and widespread popular concern
for the preservation of the monuments of the Industrial Revolution.”26
Trinder compared the importance of the early industrial remnants for Britain
to “those of classical antiquity to Greece, or the Renaissance to the cities of
Northern Italy.”27 Value was hence attached to the place by its comparison
with sites and phenomena in other parts of the world in a manner similar to
the arguments articulated in Avesta, described earlier.
The general attention paid to former industrial buildings and structures
had, however, not diffused so far at that time. The later curator and director at
the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Stuart Smith, gave one illustrating example.
In the mid-1960s, he had completed his masters degree on the history of
technology in Manchester when he for the first time heard someone mention
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a place in Shropshire with an iron bridge. Although he had specialised his
study in textile industry and the introduction of cast iron, he had not known
there was a cast iron bridge from the late 18th century not far away from his
university. When he heard about the bridge, he did not go there anyway
“because it was, you know, forgotten.”28
Instead Smith took part in industrial archaeology activities of preservation
and recording at other places. He recalls the massive public protest when the
Euston Arch in London, mentioned in the second chapter, was torn down in the
early 1960s and believes that the widespread interest in old industrial buildings
could be dated from about that time.29 Neil Cossons, the first director of the
Ironbridge Gorge Museum, asserted in 1975 that even though the destruction
of the arch was a major loss, he foresaw that in the future one may regard the loss
“as the first great sacrificial price that had to be paid before other monuments
of Britain’s industrial heritage could be spared.”30 The demolition of railway
stations seems to have been decisive also in the United States with regard to a
wakening interest and appreciation of older buildings with industrial character.
Sharon Zukin suggests that the demolition of Pennsylvania Station in New
York City “threatened people with a sense of irreparable loss.”31 While these
events formed a background, they were not, however, directly involved in the
definition and creation of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
Positioning within the branch of museums
The suggestion the project team made to the new town development
corporation was to form a trust as the organisational platform for the museum.
According to the minutes from the meetings and later the final suggestion, the
project team was mainly occupied with ideas concerning the open-air museum.
The group did undertook a couple of studies of existing open-air museums from
a national and international perspective. The open-air museum of Skansen in
Sweden was one of the role models given special attention. The activities being
undertaken in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century – when Skansen and a
great number of local history societies were formed in an endeavour to preserve
knowledge and artefacts from the vanishing agricultural society – were put
in parallel to the new interest in industrial history in Britain. In 1976 Barrie
Trinder asserted that just as “local open-air museums sprang up all over Sweden
between 1870 and 1914, so we are witnessing a similar phenomenon in Britain
as steam, coal, iron and cotton are ousted from everyday life by electricity, oil,
plastics and synthetic fibres.”32
Apart from the open-air museum that was to be built in an area called
Blists Hill, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum initially included a number
of former industrial sites in their original location. Among them was the
Coalbrookdale blast furnace museum inaugurated in the 1950s, which was
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handed over to the museum trust in 1970 by the then owners, Glynwed
Foundries, on a ninety-nine-year lease.33 Neil Cossons and Stuart Smith,
employed at the museum from 1971 and 1972 respectively, both regarded
the in situ preservation concept as an important new and innovative feature
of the museum. Museums were, at this time, mostly understood as indoor
displays behind glass with small labels of provenance and dates. A few openair museums existed in Britain, but in situ preservation of industrial milieus
or vernacular buildings at all, systematised and presented in a museum
context, was, on the whole, an unexplored field.34
Cossons, Smith and David de Haan, later the deputy director of the
museum, all remember these first years as a period of great enthusiasm and
self-confidence. Everything seemed possible and within reach.35 Ironbridge
was seen as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and as an important
node in the new interest for industrial archaeology and industrial history.
Consequently, Neil Cossons notes how it was regarded as nothing but logic
that the initiative to organise the first international meeting on the topic of
industrial history, mentioned in chapter two, was taken in Ironbridge. About
seventy people were invited to the meeting in 1973, and approximately
forty came to Ironbridge. Rather than calling the meeting a conference it
was termed a congress in order to add significance and weight to the event.
The congress became important not the least because most of the people
attending had never met before. Cossons describes how proud he was that
the congress was held in Ironbridge, that it was an idea no one had had before
and that the mission they were carrying out in the valley was expanded to
include the rest of the world as well.36
Between 1973 and 1990, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum grew with the
opening of one new museum or exhibition a year.37 In 1978 the museum received
the very first Museum of the Year award created by the Council of Europe, and in
1986 the Ironbridge Gorge was designated world heritage by UNESCO.
That the museum represented something new became clear when work
began on excavating and restoring the industrial sites remaining in situ. For
example, when the museum was about to excavate the Bedlam furnaces, dating
from 1758 and among the first built specifically for coke smelting, there were
no one to ask for advice because a furnace from that period had never been
excavated in Britain before. Stuart Smith recalls a discussion with inspectors
from the Ancient Monuments Board about how to consolidate the brickwork
but since the heritage professionals had experience only of castles they could
not really provide any help. Smith reflects that today “we would never have
been allowed to excavate a site like that any longer, I say excavate, what we
really do was take away the rubbish, the archaeology followed later.”38
The establishment of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum was parallel in time
and yet sparsely connected to the development of ecomuseums in France and
some other countries, described in the second chapter. Simultaneous to the
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process of creating the museum in Ironbridge was the inauguration of the
Museum of Man and Industry, situated in the French district of Le Creusot
and Montceau-les Mines in the southern part of Bourgogne.39 This museum
covered an area of 500 square kilometres including an urban centre, a mining
town and rural parts.40 The area had been an important industrial region
in France, producing armaments and locomotives, from the late 18th to the
mid-20th century, when most of the production had ceased. The museum
consisted of approximately twenty sites as well as an administration and
information centre located in the castle of the former industrialists.
The ecomuseum in Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines early on
received a vast number of visits from museum professionals who were
interested to see how the museum worked with enriching the lives of the local
population, and putting the ideas of the “new museology” into practice. The
Museum of Man and Industry in France thus became a role model or source
of inspiration for similar initiatives on an international arena.41 One example
is the Ecomuseum Bergslagen in Sweden. It was inaugurated in 1986, located
in one of the industrial regions of the country, Bergslagen, and it comprised
an area of 750 square kilometres.42 The formation of the Ecomuseum
Bergslagen was decisively influenced by the ideas developed in France,
among other things in its ambition to encourage volunteer participation and
to strengthen local identity.
The ecomuseum experiment was, however, looked upon with disapproval
by the French museum profession at large, and it was regarded almost an antimuseum.43 Similary while the ideas of new museology in general found a hold in
Britain, the ecomuseum concept did not. In a book devoted to new museology
published in Britain in the late 1980s, the national perspective totally dominated
and the only two non-British examples were gathered from the United States
and Australia.44 The ecomuseums was consequently not mentioned at all.
One of the key figures in the development of ecomuseums, Georges
Henri Rivière, was a great admirer of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum and
thought it fitted well into the ecomuseum model.45 This characterisation
was, however, rejected by the museum representatives in Ironbridge. David
de Haan, for example, declared that Ironbridge Gorge Museum could not
be regarded an ecomuseum because the involvement of the local population
was non-existent or of the right character due to the ecomuseum concept,
a question we return to later in this chapter.46 The reasons for the British
indifference to the ecomuseum ideas could probably be understood in
terms of national competitiveness. However, it has also been asserted that
there were organisations in Britain, which approximately met the same
needs. Institutions like the Groundwork Foundation and the Common
Ground dealt with local initiatives of restoring landscapes and promoting
the importance of a common cultural heritage respectively.47 Hence, another
concept was not deemed necessary.
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An experience of thorough changes
The 1960s and 70s was a period of great changes in the industrial landscape
of Britain.48 Initially, it was, however, not a period of great crises in terms
of unemployment and a difficult economic situation. The rapid changes
nonetheless brought feelings of uncertainty and a desire to save some traces
from the past. A more severe crisis appeared later, which among other things
also lead to government unemployment schemes that, in terms of a cheap
work force, the museum could somehow benefit from.49 While the museum
was thus not born from a crisis situation, it was subsequently strengthened by
actions taken to soften the impact of those crises which occurred later.
Many researchers have interpreted the creation of heritage sites and
museums as compensatory acts in periods of decline, some of them – like
Robert Hewison – with negative connotations and others with a more positive
or indifferent approach.50 Hewison asserted that the nostalgia of museums
is incompatible with a proper future orientation. He argued that cultural
vitality should instead be displayed by investing in the future.51 The open-air
industrial museum of Beamish, located 300 kilometres north of Ironbridge,
is one example of a museum created in a period of decline. This museum’s
peak collection year was 1978, a height reached because of the demise of
the coal industry in several towns of the area.52 Other industrial museums
established in Britain during the same period were the Black Country
Museum opened in 1975 and the Chalk Pits Museum at Amberley opened
in 1979.53 Another way of articulating the relation between periods of decline
and the formation of heritage sites and museums is that dying or no longer
useful things can get a second life as heritage, and the creation of heritage
could become a means of supporting a dying activity.54 Sharon Zukin asserts
that by connecting oneself to what is designated heritage, one also chooses to
“return to a more manageable past.”55 Or, in the words of Barrie Trinder in
the mid-1970s: “There has been a great change in popular taste. In 1950 few
would have thought a gas holder or a bottle oven beautiful, and the ruins of
a blast furnace, a working corn mill or a row of weavers’ cottages would not
have been regarded as appropriate venues for family outings.”56
Another voice critical to the increasing interest in creating heritage sites
and museums was Pierre Nora’s, who asserted that these places became very
artificial in character. A true and integrated treatment of memory and heritage
was, however, according to Nora, unfortunately something lost in modern
society.57 Raphael Samuel, on the contrary, argued that the interest far from
being regressive was instead progressive, because the expansion of heritage had
meant that democratic and domestic parts of the collective memory had been
included, among other things through the creation of industrial museums.58
According to its directors, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum did not cause
much in-depth discussions or controversies about what story the museum
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was to impart and how. Critical voices were, however, not totally lacking.
Barrie Trinder had enthusiastically described the benefits of the museum in
one of the first issues of the History Workshop Journal.59 In a following issue
a reader replied with his impressions from a recent visit. The reader meant
that the museum’s “most striking defect” was the complete absence of any
information about the labour movement, the trade unions, local politics as
well as working-class living and working conditions. According to this reader
the museum emphasised great men and technical innovation.60 In spite of
the radical agenda of the time, the new museum of industrial history had
not chosen that perspective. This is not, however, very exceptional. In fact,
according to Michael Stratton, many industrial museums have been criticised
for their right-wing bias in terms of celebrations of technology, inventiveness
and entrepreneurship at the expense of perspectives emphasising the common
man and the often negative social aspects of industrialisation.61
Similarly, the open-air museum of Beamish is described as displaying
a continuation of middle class identity. Ryan Trimm suggests that Beamish
“by failing to represent actively functioning industry, […] presents a past
embodied almost exclusively in domesticity and the service industry.”62
Furthermore, Annika Alzén asserts that the industrial archaeology activities
were in general lacking a political ambition, and that the perspectives from
below were instead carried by “oral history” and the “history workshop.”63 In
the two last-mentioned, the focus was not so much on the built environment
but on the people. Other researchers have, on the contrary, found the late
1950s and 1960s a time when many industrial archaeological projects were
launched with an aim to explain, not the technology or how it developed,
but rather “the social and economic reasons behind developments.”64
One can conclude that the perspectives and ambitions of heritage and
museum activities related to industry and work were not homogenous and,
furthermore, a topic of debate at the time.
Commodifying iron in an idyllic setting
During the first twenty years of the existence of the Ironbridge Gorge
Museum, Neil Cossons and Stuart Smith, then director and curator
respectively, shared the work so that, in general terms, Cossons developed the
ideas and Smith realised the actual building process. The museum displays
were formed in close cooperation with a private design firm based in London,
Robin Wade Design Associates, who were also friends of Cossons. Smith
in fact states that without this company “the museum could not have been
created.”65 The design company not only developed the museum displays but
also the publications, the graphic profile and “everything.”66 Cossons argued
that the choice of engaging an outside design firm was very carefully managed
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in order to guarantee quality and that the firm fulfilled a “fundamental role in
the development of interpretive policy […] of vital importance to the visitor’s
enjoyment and understanding of the gorge.”67 Michael Stratton asserts in
retrospect that the design firm established practically “a model in relating
displays to industrial monuments through their work at the Ironbridge
Gorge Museum in the late 1970s.”68
One example of the detailed level of this work was the paper bags in the
museum shop. Initially, they resembled any paper bags, colourfully decorated
with flowers. Smith explains how after a lot of discussion they ”suddenly
realised that Ironbridge was about iron and fire” – not about flowers – and
subsequently designed a pattern with the word “Ironbridge” in red on a
background depicting the iron bridge itself in black. According to Smith,
besides the in situ preservation, the most innovative aspect of the museum
was in fact its commercial focus, with an entrance fee, elaborate souvenirs
and so on.69 This aspect had also been developed earlier by Kenneth Hudson
and Neil Cossons who had discussed the relation between cultural heritage
and tourism in different publications since the late 1960s. They meant that
history and archaeology were not only interests for the professionals, but also
the tourists had to be taken into account and valued in discussions concerning
preservation.70 Several researchers have traced the roots of industrial heritage
tourism to Britain as a consequence of the early decline in manufacturing.71
The initiatives of the leading actors of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum are
certainly to be regarded as additional reasons for this development.
During the first years of the 1970s, a director, a curator, a marketing
professional, a secretary and a few other people made up the entire museum
organisation. The creation and development of the museum was in many
respects led by this core, together with a couple of external consultants
like the London design firm. When the museum organisation expanded,
a number of committees and expert groups became involved in different
subprojects, often related to one of the sites, like the Coalbrookdale iron
works, the Coalport China factory or the Jackfield Tile factory. Within the
open-air museum at Blists Hill, there were committees dedicated to almost
every particular building that was to be built, moved or restored.
The idyllic character of the gorge with the river Severn was at no point
regarded a problem. Instead, the natural beauty constituted one of the factors
which caused the new town development corporation to regard the valley
a potential recreational area, including walking paths, canoeing possibilities
and camping, along with the museum sites. One of the individual museums
also featured topics of ecosystems and environment friendly behaviour, next
to the historical exhibition. One could compare this to the attitudes that were
present in Avesta, described in the third chapter. When most people suggested
to the municipality that the Koppardalen industrial area would be more
welcoming with the addition of greenery, some of the heritage professionals
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View to the east through the iron bridge railing, overlooking the river, Severn, and the gorge’s
rural character. Photo: Anna Storm, 2006.
and municipal civil servants asserted that the industrial character of the area
would be lost by such an alteration. Instead, they gave prominence to the
existing rusty look, believing it was significant in the ambition to make the
place special and interesting. These kinds of arguments never occurred in
Ironbridge.
A local museum?
Apart from its national and international ambitions, in what respect was
the Ironbridge Gorge Museum a local museum? When the new town was
designated in 1963, the built environment of the valley was in a very derelict
state. That same year, the Severn Valley Railway closed and shortly thereafter,
the station building was demolished. The vast amount of government
money that the new town generated made it possible for the development
corporation to buy almost one third of the private property within the village
of Ironbridge. The corporation restored the houses and then sold them back
to private owners. The sellers of the derelict houses were, however, not the
same individuals as the buyers of the restored houses. Those who had lived
there before made some money selling their dilapidated houses and then
moving away. The newcomers who bought the restored and more expensive
houses were in general people with a higher education and also better
incomes. During a short period, the buildings in Ironbridge were thus not
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only restored, but the local population, to a large extent, replaced in a rather
fierce version of a gentrification process. In 1987, Stuart Smith ambiguously
lamented the rapid changes: “When I came here […] you could buy a house
for £100. Now, you would pay £20,000, even for a derelict one.”72 Of the
original inhabitants, only old sick people remained, since they did not have
the strength or possibility to move away.73 When many of these elderly
people died in the 1980s and 90s, there was actually no one left of the valley’s
original population. According to Sharon Zukin, the replacement of the local
population is one of deindustrialization’s characteristics, repeated in cities all
over the Western world.74
During the first years of the museum’s existence in Ironbridge there were
some expressions of disapproval to the museum staff, for example, “why are
you keeping this site, my father suffered here, he spent his miserable life
working at this furnace, it should be destroyed.”75 Nevertheless, this kind of
protest disappeared rather quickly due in part to the gentrifying replacement
of the local population, and partly because of a changed attitude toward the
museum. Furthermore, a fact to take into consideration is that many of the
industrial remains that were included in the museum had been abandoned
for several decades, in some cases for centuries, which means that even if
the original population had remained, not many of them had had their own
memories of working in these places.
The contrast between the working class experience of the industrial place
on one hand, and the preservation and tourism ambitions on the other, was,
however, a possible area of conflict in the museum project. A problematic past,
in the introductory chapter discussed in terms of the duality of the factory,
is generally shaped in a balancing act between memory and oblivion. One
insight is how the difficult easily becomes harmless with the passing of time,
that is, when it is no longer a part of many people’s individual experiences.
Another insight is that the difficult can become harmless when contrasted
to contemporary progress, for example a more humanistic treatment of
offenders or better working conditions in the factories.76 The establishment
of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum might be considered an expression of such
contemporary progress, turning the partly problematic industrial past into a
tourism commodity.
A second wave of local objections against the museum had its origin
in the group of newcomers, the more affluent new inhabitants of the valley.
When the museum expanded and groups of tourists occupied more and more
of the every day scene in the area, the permanent inhabitants found this state
of things disturbing. This wave of protest, however, also rapidly disappeared.
According to Neil Cossons, the local population was, in general, quite strongly
supportive because the people realised that Ironbridge and the surrounding
area was near extinction and the museum was one part of a possible brighter
future.77 However, when the original population had moved away and
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the scope of the museum was not primarily local, a communal feeling of
ownership – “this is our museum” – was unsurprisingly not really present.
In spite of the extensive number of people working for the museum – at
some point the museum employed approximately 700 people of whom 200
were full time staff – the interaction between the core group and the other
people including the trustees and the development corporation were not
particularly significant with regard to how the museum’s ideas developed. As
Stuart Smith says in retrospect: “Neil Cossons and I didn’t listen to a great
many people, we just did our own thing.”78 A description by Barrie Trinder is
illustrative. In an article from the mid-1970s he emphasised how the general
public was involved in the museum by issuing tickets, acting as guides
or operating a steam engine at Blists Hill. The reason behind this largely
voluntary participation was, according to Trinder, that these people “feel that
the project is sufficiently worthwhile to devote some of their time to.”79 He
noted that an association of museum friends in 1976 had over 700 members,
of which about 150 were actively involved in some way. The local and
volunteer involvement did not, however, question the museum leadership
but was instead regarded a valuable complement to the “highly professional”
standards of conservation and presentation.80
David de Haan later argued that it was important to try to engage
the local people more, even though it was difficult. In his opinion it had
been “thirty years of us and them here” and that this state of things was
difficult to undo.81 This was also why de Haan so vividly rejected the label
“ecomuseum” for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Neil Cossons, on the other
hand, described the relation between the museum and the local population as
passionate, that people liked the museum or had strong antipathies towards
it.82 Nevertheless, when the museum had been running for more than thirty
years, almost everyone living in the valley had, at some point, been working
for it, or had a close friend or relative that had been doing so. Thus, a new
kind of memory connected to the area’s industrial history – as it existed
within the frames of the museum – was created.83
The formation of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum became part of the
articulation of the industrial past as valuable heritage, from a national and
international perspective. The financial prerequisites were based in the
establishment of Telford New Town, but for the individual actors taking
part in the museum project, the importance of the place was mainly
understood in terms of heritage. The birthplace of the industrial revolution
was regarded a forgotten national treasure and a possible tourist attraction.
The museum succeeded in the double ambition of firmly establishing old
industrial remnants as proper heritage, confirmed among other things by
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the world heritage designation, and also of positioning itself as a new kind
of museum. Many labels have been put on the Ironbridge Gorge Museum
such as a “network museum,” an “ecomuseum” and a “theme park.”84 The
museum management has, however, asserted the uniqueness of the activities,
partly in terms of pioneering commodification ambitions. The industrial past
thus became a common heritage that needed special interpretation forms.
Similar to Koppardalen in Avesta the external heritage professionals and
newcomers were important in giving the site heritage status. However, unlike
Koppardalen, the idyllic natural setting of the gorge did probably contribute
to the heritage designation. In comparison to the established heritage sites of
the 1970s, such as manors or farmhouses, the designation of the Ironbridge
gorge as heritage was not an insuperable step to make.
For the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, the local context was about
changing the future prospects of a declining area in economical terms, not
primarily in relation to memory or identity. Because of the age of many of
the museum sites, few people had a personal relation to them as former
workplaces. Eventually however, local inhabitants experienced them again as
workplaces, but this time as places where one worked with the promotion of
the industrial heritage.
In the next chapter we leave Britain for Germany to visit the heavily
industrialised Ruhr district focusing on how nature has begun to re-conquer
the landscape and how artists express the meanings of the past and present.
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6. Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord: NATURE AND ART ON STAGE
6. Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord:
NATURE AND ART ON STAGE
In the 80’s, the Ruhrgebiet was seen as a giant dying from physical space
and social issues diseases, besides the negative region image due to the soil
contamination, huge unemployment and little creativity on the labour market.1
This was a picture and a reality that leading politicians and business executives
in the Ruhr district in Germany were eager to change, and several initiatives
were also taken during the decade, encouraging local ideas and enterprises.
A new image had to be established and the material legacies from the past
had to be transformed by new understandings that could bring hope in the
future. As in Avesta, both the materiality and its meanings were thus subject
to change in processes of negotiation. Among many possible aspects, this
chapter focuses on the role of nature and art in the endeavour to transform a
former ironworks, known as the Meidericher Hütte, into the Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord, within the larger context of an encompassing restructuring
programme.
In 1989, the ten-year long programme, Internationale Bauausstellung
(IBA) Emscher Park, was launched, inspired by the German tradition of
building exhibitions. The aim was to promote urban development from
a social, cultural and ecological perspective.2 In changing the industrial
landscape towards ecological sustainability, through the reuse of old industrial
facilities and the building of new housing areas, the initiators hoped the
district would also obtain a new image.3 In an early memorandum for the
IBA Emscher Park programme, the potential of unused industrial buildings
was labelled “industrial monuments as carriers of culture” and constituted
one of altogether seven areas of investment.4
The industrial landscape was to be reshaped with a special focus on
access to rivers and lakes, on walking paths and bicycle ways.5 The reuse of
old industrial buildings was formulated as a task to “better than hitherto
make conscious the importance of these industrial and technical historical
monuments for the historical and cultural identity of the region” and
to develop organisational and financial trade and find forms for use and
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The Ruhr district has been marked by an overwhelming industrial landscape for a long time.
Picture from the Duisburg area. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
preservation.6 The managing director of the IBA Emscher Park, Karl Ganser,
stated: “Even the best planned new buildings are no match against the
preservation, modernization, conversion and re-use of existing buildings
when it comes down to the consumption of resources.”7 In the large scale
building exhibition programme the materiality of the post-industrial
situation was hence treated as a resource. But how was the built environments
to become “carriers of culture” in the sense that they could contribute to
brighter visions of the future? And how could the duality of the factory – the
bright and dark aspects of the industrial past – be managed in a district where
the complicated issues included not only the factory, pollution, heavy work
and unemployment, but also politics and the realities of war, Nazism and an
extensive immigration situation that had brought about social tension?
Meidericher Hütte as a test arena
Within the IBA Emscher Park programme more than one hundred individual
projects were carried out. One of them was the transformation of the former
Meidericher Hütte in Duisburg, into the leisure area Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord.
When the Meidericher Hütte closed down in 1985, after more than
eighty years of activity, no one lost their job, the workplace just simply moved
to a more modern plant nearby. This meant there was no feeling of crisis
– as in Avesta and Ironbridge described in the previous chapters – and no
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one really seemed interested in the old site. The owner, Thyssen AG, kept
and maintained the Meidericher Hütte for about a year to have in reserve,
until the production had become successfully transferred to the new plant.
After this period in limbo, it was generally expected that the company would
demolish the old ironworks.8
However, a number of enthusiasts started instead to argue that the
ironworks should be preserved, and the local press supported the idea.9
Meanwhile, the planning process leading to the IBA Emscher Park had started
on a small scale, partly influenced by the activities in Duisburg. From this
moment the restoration and re-opening of the former ironworks as a landscape
park, in many respects, went hand in hand with the more large-scale thinking
connected to the idea of a building exhibition. According to Wolfgang Ebert,
president of the German Society for Industrial History and involved in the
transformation of the Meidericher Hütte, the landscape park constituted a core
and “a small galaxy of the overall ideas” that later characterised the IBA Emscher
Park.10 Everything that was developed within the grand programme was first
established in the landscape park at Duisburg. The ironworks thus functioned
as a test arena from its announced closedown in 1984 until the IBA Emscher
Park programme started in 1989, and to the conclusion of the programme ten
years later. When the IBA Emscher Park programme was completed in 1999,
the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord played a central role in the festivities.
Among other things, the final exhibition presenting the whole programme
with its many individual projects, was held in the landscape park.11
The ideas to reuse the Meidericher Hütte were inspired by, at the time,
recent examples of efforts to preserve iron and steel works elsewhere. In
Birmingham, Alabama, in the United States, the Sloss Furnaces, originating
from the 1880s, had been closed down in 1970. The private company
subsequently donated the property to the Alabama State Fair Authority with
the hope that it could be developed into a museum of industry. However,
after several years, the State Fair Authority found preservation not feasible
and announced their plans to demolish the plant. Public response, among
other things, involved the organisation of a lobby group that intended to
work for the preservation of the furnace. Their arguments were based on
Sloss’s “historic and cultural importance to the City and its role as a symbol
of the technology that once made Birmingham the foremost industrial center
of the South.”12 Their struggle drew national attention, among other things
the Historic American Engineering Record, and the City of Birmingham
funded a documentary survey of the site. In 1977 the State Fair Authority
transferred control of Sloss to the city, the site was designated National
Historic Landmark in 1981, and two years later it opened as a museum of the
City of Birmingham. It was later a venue for concerts, festivals, conferences,
as well as workshops and exhibitions of metal art. The major emphasis was
put on the history and identity of the local people and workers.
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The Völklinger Hütte, also in Germany, was another iron and steel
works that had been preserved and reused prior to, or simultaneous with,
the Meidericher Hütte. This plant also originated from the 1880s, employed
17 000 people in the 1960s and closed down in 1986. The ironworks was
owned by the Röchling family until 1978 when they sold their shares and
withdrew from the steel business. The Saarland Council of Ministers agreed
to preserve the parts of the closed works that were regarded significant as
historic monuments. Later, in 1994 the Völklingen Hütte was designated
world heritage by UNESCO.13 There were thus possible role models of
preserving and reusing iron and steel works, although the concept cannot be
characterised as commonplace at the time.
A private place made public
Emscher, as in IBA Emscher Park, is one of the rivers flowing through the
Ruhr district from east to west, and the river as well as the surrounding area
have been heavily exploited and contaminated.14 From the beginning of the
20th century and until the 1990s, the river was an open sewer because, due to
land sinking, it was impossible to build underground sewerage and to many
the stinking trench epitomised the depressing image of the Ruhr district.
In general, the landscape of the district is flat marshland, and the coal
– the basis for the regional industry since the 1830s and consequently the
dense settlement – is typically found in tilting layers in the ground. The
coal layers come to the surface in the southern part of the district and go
deeper and deeper northwards. Hence the oldest remains of coal mining
and early industrial activities are to be found in the south, close to the river
Ruhr. As mining techniques developed, the industry could follow the coal
layers further north, and at the beginning of the 21st century the industry
was concentrated just north of the river Emscher. The salaries paid in the
area were high and somewhat compensated for the polluted environment.
The land in the immediate proximity of the Emscher had, by the late 1980s,
largely served its use and was said to be the area with the largest problem
density in the country.15 The fact that the building exhibition focused on this
highly problematical part of the Ruhr district is therefore not surprising.
In the 1980s, the city of Duisburg, along with the other cities in the urban
conglomeration of the Ruhr district, evidently faced tough environmental
and societal challenges. However, the local politicians were not convinced
that a transformation of the Meidericher Hütte would solve any of these
problems. Decisive initiatives with regard to the redundant ironworks were
taken instead from the federal government of Nordrhein-Westphalia. The
65 million D-mark of public money that was spent on restoring the old
ironworks did not in the first place come from the local government but
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Map of the Ruhr district. Three rivers flow through the area from east to west:
the Ruhr, the Emscher and the Lippe. In a north bound direction flows the Rhine.
The coal – the basis of the region’s industry – is found in tilting layers under
the ground, coming to the surface in the southern parts of the area, and going
deeper further north. Industrial production and settlements have gradually moved
north, following the coal layers as mining techniques developed. Along the river
Emscher, the flat landscape is currently heavily exploited, and criss-crossed by
transportation systems. The area included in the Internationale Bauausstellung
Emscher Park, 1989–1999, is marked by the dashed line. The unbroken line marks
the industrial heritage trail “Route Industriekultur,” launched in the mid-1990s.
The arrow locates the place of the former Meidericher Hütte, now transformed into
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
from federal and national subsidising schemes.16 However, a public company,
Landesentwicklungsgesellshaft NRW GmbH, acted as trustee for the city and
became the new owner, buying the 230 hectare old ironworks area on the
outskirts of the city from Thyssen, for a symbolic sum.17
Gradually, the earlier “forbidden city” of the ironworks was opened up
to the public.18 There were a few special guided tours from 1987, and from
1989, concurrently with the launching of the IBA Emscher Park programme,
the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord was made accessible to everyone. In
retrospect, Wolfgang Ebert asserts it was important that the first events taking
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View from the top of a blast furnace at the former ironworks, Meidericher Hütte, now
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. In the foreground part of the cowper stowe battery, used for
preheating the air blown into the blast furnace. To the left the cylindrical gasometer, and in
the background the extensive view over the flat landscape. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
Scrawl on a girder at the top of the blast furnace in Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord,
signifying the place as a refuge for young lovers. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
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place in the park were visible and clearly directed towards the public, the
major attraction being just to walk around and experience the place.19 This
statement emphasises the importance of public approval giving authority to
the group of people that strived to transform the former ironworks.
Relatively early in the transformation it was possible to climb up a
remaining blast furnace via a prepared stairway, and from there to experience
an extensive view over the landscape. For most of the visitors it was a
surprising sensation to go in there, for they had never been able to see
something like that, despite the fact they are surrounded by this landscape,
they do not know what is in there.20
This story of discovery can also be found elsewhere.21 At this stage, there
were almost no former workers involved in the transformation process. Later,
there was a group of retired workers and engineers voluntarily engaged in
maintenance work. The first visitors to the landscape park were, however, as
in Avesta, mostly people with no previous personal experience of the place
behind the fence. It has been argued that the entire region was “reconstructed
for a not-yet-existent middle class,” explaining the low involvement of the
local population in the process.22
The previously hidden industrial place had, in its post-industrial
situation, become accessible and visible to everyone. The possibility of
walking around, climbing and touching the redundant industrial structures
brought about new experiences of both the details and the totality. The
texture of an ore bunker and the literally new perspectives of the district one
could get from the top of the blast furnace became parts in the formation of
new meanings for the abandoned materiality.
Industrial nature
What is the relation between industry and nature?23 Is it a connection primarily
marked by contradiction where industry brings about the destruction of
nature in terms of polluted ground, exploitation of natural resources and
visually devastated landscapes? The interplay between industry and nature has
certainly had varying outcomes in different regions. While the human built
environment dominates in Duisburg, the wooded valley and the agricultural
surroundings mark Ironbridge, and around Avesta the forests could seem
almost endless. Furthermore, are industry and nature two sharply distinct
concepts, or are there examples of blurred boundaries? Could nature be
comprehended as something culturally produced, like industry? With the term
“Industrienatur” in German, or “industrial nature,” the two words have been
put together to describe a new understanding of a phenomenon which will
also turn out to signify one kind of reinterpretation of the industrial place.
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In the long perspective and according to Yi-Fu Tuan, the word nature
has lost its meanings of connecting heaven and hell, and instead become
associated with qualities of charm and picturesqueness. In addition, the
word landscape, which is sometimes used as a synonym to nature, has gone
through another transformation, from referring to the real world to signifying
a view or a scene, thus connecting to the world of art and imagination.24
Consequently one can understand landscape as a “material and territorial
entity and, at the same time, a way of seeing, a culturally defined way of using
and perceiving the physical environment.”25
At the end of the 1980s, before the fall of the Berlin wall and the German
reunion, the Ruhr district was regarded one of the weakest part of West
Germany, which influenced the political will to invest in the district, both at
a federal and a regional level.26 Another important factor for the realisation
of the IBA Emscher Park was that the green party, “Die Grünen,” had many
voters at all levels in the country, and the environmental issues played a
significant role in the political debate. However, the ecological approach of
the IBA Emscher Park programme not only included efforts to clean the river
and the polluted ground. There was also an articulated appreciation of what
was called industrial nature, exemplified in the landscape park in Duisburg
in the following, but at hand in many of the projects carried out within the
programme. The very symbol of IBA Emscher Park was an abstract figure
with three coloured fields, relating to each other as jigsaw pieces not yet fitted
together. One field was blue, another was green and a third was red, referring
to water, greenery and buildings respectively.27 Two thirds of the symbol was
therefore directly focused on the improvement of the natural environment
within the heavily industrialised landscape.
At the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, nature – in terms of overgrowing
– is a prominent part of the visual impression of the site.28 In addition, at one
place in the area, there are straight rows of planted broad-leaf trees forming
a small well-organised army in the midst of the former industrial area.
The view of the blast furnace and the strict rows of tender greenery is one
example of how a post-industrial landscape was visualised at the beginning
of the 21st century, scattered and comprising unexpected combinations.29 In
connection to the development of cultural parks within the IBA Emscher
Park programme, the industrial monuments were even described as “germs,”
the core from which the new life would sprout.30
From the first opening of the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord there were
guided tours dedicated to showing the nature, that is, the large number of
species growing in the former industrial area because of the earlier industrial
activities. There is a special term, ruderal species, which describes the plants
that have the nitrogenous ground often found at former industrial land as
their locality.31 The ruderal species could therefore be regarded as the special
greenery of industrial ruins, and the word, “Industrienatur,” mentioned earlier
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Vegetation has been allowed to grow almost everywhere within the former ironworks area.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
At some places, vegetation has been consciously planted, such as these strict rows of tender
greenery just beneath the blast furnace. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
symptomatically exists in the German language.32 The “Industrienatur” has
been portrayed in photographs in the genre of delightful scenic nature, and
a specific tourist route in the Ruhr district is dedicated to visiting certain
industrial nature places.33 This might appear as a way of concealing industry
with nature. On the contrary, I would argue that the actions taken and the
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A huge traverse now stands silent over the system of bunkers that once contained ore, coke
or lime stone. Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
At the far end of the system, climbers use the walls, hence further strengthening the new
understanding of the place in terms of a landscape park. Photo: Hans-Jürgen Wiese, 2006.
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new meanings attached to the changing materiality are ways of making the
place visible anew, although in a somewhat altered shape.
The new name of the former ironworks is also intriguing – landscape
park – describing an area dominated by a rather modern blast furnace plant,
casting machines, railway lines, overhead cranes, ore bunkers, storage facilities
and administration buildings. The reinterpretation of the place is thus, by
the name, directing the pre-conception away from the industrial towards
the natural allusion. To rename the Meidericher Hütte, Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord, was not a big issue, and certainly not the subject of a
controversy, although there were other suggestions like “Feuerland” (“Land of
fire”) that, if chosen, would have sent radically different signals to the visitor.34
One can notice the similar interpretation of iron and fire in Ironbridge, which
became visible in the chosen graphic profile, described in chapter five.
Moreover, the landscape park has been used in a way that is somehow a
translation of activities that are usually carried out in a natural environment,
such as climbing, biking and diving. The climbing routes at Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord are built on the walls of the former ore bunkers, the biking
paths meander throughout the whole former industrial area of the ironworks
and the diving takes place in a former gasometer, complete with a wrecked car
at the bottom. All these activities have become very popular. The climbing
walls comprise a large number of different routes open to the public and a
local division of the German Mountaineering Association has, since 1990,
had its own climbing garden within the landscape park. The diving in the
former gasometer is, in a similar manner, open to the public, and hosted by
the Park Diving Club.35
A similar translation of activities in Bottrop, not far from Duisburg, shows
the far-reaching reinterpretation of the industrial area as landscape and nature.
Since 2001 an indoor ski slope, built as a pipe, winds over six hundred metres
down a slag heap. In the comparatively flat Ruhr district the possibility to go
downhill skiing in Bottrop has been very much appreciated. All year round you
can here ride the escalator to the top of the waste heap, enter the minus four
degrees atmosphere and go skiing, or you can stay in the alp cottage bar at the
top and have a beer while listening to tyroler music from the loudspeakers.36
A substitution story?
How could one understand the overwhelming focus on nature and
landscaping in the restructuring of the Ruhr district, remembering the notion
made by Kenneth Linder from Avesta, rephrased in the fourth chapter: “They
have such an abundance of industrial areas so probably they think they have
to take away the dirt and make it green, but still you could get a feeling of a
structure, that this place has been different…”?37 One possible track to follow
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The former Meidericher Hütte, today Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, is located
in the midst of a heavy traffic system. The buildings of the ironworks cover only a
small part of the area, while the remainder includes, among other things, space for
transportation and storage of waste material. Today, these open areas include bicycle
and walking paths.
1. main entrance
2. the blast furnace which can be climbed, and from which one has an extensive
view of the surrounding landscape
3. the gasometer which has been transformed into a place for skin diving
4. climbing-walls at the far end of the system of bunkers
Map: Stig Söderlind, 2007.
starts in the many difficult events of the past connected to the Ruhr district;
the First World War, the French occupation of the Ruhr district in the early
1920s and the Second World War, the latter perhaps of a particular dignity
due to the question of guilt.38
Coal mining and steel production in the Ruhr district were of decisive
importance for the German forces during the Second World War, and thus also
an obvious target for the allied bombing. When the war was over, 75 percent
of the Ruhr industry and built environment were partly or entirely destroyed,
and the rebuilding was a priority during the 1950s.39 The rebuilding effort was
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partly financed through the Marshall Plan and could also be connected to the
creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952. The district that
had been crucial for the war was to become crucial for the peace.
Towards the end of the 1950s, the coal mining was hit by a crisis, partly
due to overproduction and rising international competition, and partly to
competition from new energy sources such as gasoline and oil.40 A wave of
closedowns followed. Just over a decade later, at the beginning of the 1970s,
the oil crises occurred, severely affecting the Ruhr district. Between 1960
and 1980 the number of workers in the mines diminished by 50 percent and
even if the service sector increased in importance it was not enough to replace
the vanishing industrial work opportunities. Out of the 150 mines that were
active in 1950, only 13 were still in use fifty years later.41 The first university
in the Ruhr district was not inaugurated until 1962, with classes opened in
1965.42 In 1982, the unemployment figure was 14 percent and still at the
beginning of the 21st century, unemployment was 12 percent for the entire
Ruhr district. Some parts of the district struggled with numbers close to 20
percent.43 The earlier problems with contamination, a low level of education
and a one-sided trade structure, remained.
How would it be possible to deal with the overwhelming material legacy
of this painful past? In an interview with German photographer Hilla Becher,
she reflects upon the fact that in the 1980s it was impossible to talk about
her and her husband Bernd Becher’s joint photographic work of industrial
structures. Hilla Becher describes how it was indeed regarded old-fashioned,
but the main point was that people wanted to look towards the future, not
the past. In Germany, she claims,
nobody wanted anything to do with the past. But even if you left out the Nazi
time you still had the First World War, and going back further to even the last
century it was all left out and you wouldn’t find anything in the history books
about it. So we both thought that the last century was historically the most
interesting period of time.44
The creation of history and heritage involves a lot of choices about which
aspects to stress and which to suppress. Newly independent nations, for
example, often chose to sweep away a hated past and replaced it with an older
heritage.45 David Lowenthal has suggested that while individual forgetting is
largely involuntary, collective oblivion is mainly regulated and has an aim.46
But are the stories of war and Nazism really suppressed? And if so, is there a
collective purpose to be disclosed? There are certainly museums and heritage
sites in the Ruhr district dealing with the region’s 20th century history.
Nevertheless, perhaps the determined focus on the natural environment, the
“Industrienatur,” presents a possibility, if not to replace, then to balance these
more difficult elements of the past. If the polluted nature could be seen as the
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main representative of the difficult past that contemporary society has to deal
with, the focus of the IBA Emscher Park programme for a sustainable natural
recovery could became more than a way of making the district a physically
healthy place to live in. The work to overcome the environmental disasters
from the past could then also be seen as a choice to deal with, speaking with
Sharon Zukin, “a more manageable past.”47
A similar choice, although at a smaller scale, could be said to be present in
the Swedish province of Ångermanland. In the village of Lunde, four workers
on strike and a female spectator were shot to death by the Swedish military
in 1931. Although the number may seem insignificant, this incident became
a national trauma and, for a long time a complicated event for the national
labour movement to relate to. Today, almost nothing of this history, or about
the industrial history on the whole is told to visitors of the region. Jan af
Geijerstam and Sverker Sörlin assert that it is “as if the very interpretation of
the place defused the memory of the shots.”48 Instead, the natural environment
has been put in focus since the 1970s. The regional identity has been connected
to the extraordinary elevation of the land that is marking the area. The concept
and naming of “the High Coast” has become the uniting theme and advertising
tool, replacing the history of industry and the complicated political events.49
The focus on the natural environment did express yet another characteristic
of the reuse process in the Ruhr district, namely, the main orientation of the
work towards the future. While the past was evidently part of the process, the
direction, the emphasis and primary value was in relation to visions of the
future. The history could be visible as a source of inspiration and used to show
the progressive quality of the district and its people. One historical event often
referred to is the early regional cooperation in the Ruhr district which began in
the 1920s. At the time, the association, Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk,
worked to solve severe common environmental problems, such as water and
sanitation, as well as to facilitate transport and infrastructure.50 Within the
framework of the Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk, extensive planning for
green corridors was carried out, the result of which still marks the district’s
geography.51 The work of environmental planning in the IBA Emscher Park
programme is both rhetorically and practically connected to these pioneering
efforts. In 1979 the Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk was transformed
into Kommunalverband Ruhrgebiet with the task of promoting green areas
and landscaping, developing possibilities for leisure activities and working
with waste and sewage problems.52 The Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk/
Kommunalverband Ruhrgebiet has thus, for a long time, worked to counteract
the negative effects of industry on humans and the natural environment.
Consequently, the severe problems that nevertheless had to be addressed
within the IBA Emscher Park could also find brighter aspects to relate to.
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord has been looked upon as an incarnation
of a post-industrial landscape, but what is generally included in this concept?
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According to Niall Kirkwood’s introduction to an anthology on the theme,
there are two main issues on the agenda: first the decontamination of the
soil, groundwater and the fabric of buildings and structures, and second,
“the motivation to return these manufactured sites to productive use and
the physical means by which this can be carried out.”53 That is, issues about
memories of the past are not prominent, although they are mentioned in
terms of “acknowledgement” and “celebration.” According to Rebecca
Krinke, the remembrance at Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord is not done via
the preservation of the blast furnace plant as a museum, but through giving
the buildings an “active new life.”54
At the beginning of the 21st century, Peter Latz, the landscape architect
responsible for the transformation process of Meidericher Hütte into a
landscape park reflected on the past and future of the site:
In time, the greenery will dominate the technical constructions of the
gateways. So bit by bit another history, another understanding of the
contaminated site and of the idea of the ‘garden’ is developing.55
In this way nature is taking the landscape back, sometimes directed by
human intervention, sometimes without human interference. Culture and
nature thus combine in new ways. The redundant industrial place becomes
an overgrown ruin, not through abandonment, but by controlled changes
including spare time adventure activities in the industrial nature.
Industrial art
– orientation, inspiration, reconciliation
If nature is a controlled force of continuous change, and perhaps also a
possible substitution story, art has been given the function of constituting
reference points in the Ruhr district. Parallel to the ecological focus, the
aesthetic approach to the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord and within the
IBA Emscher Park programme was important. According to the driving
forces of the programme, the green vision was not regarded enough to change
the image of the Ruhr district – something more was needed.56 Consequently,
the reshaping of the landscape was carried out in combination with artists’
installations emphasising and commenting the environment, its past and its
future, some of them quickly becoming new landmarks.
While the landscape before industrialisation was mostly flat, the
silhouette did change through the above ground storage of waste materials
from the mining activity. Today, the slag heaps constitute a number of hills
or small mountains of the Ruhr, and they are also most commonly used
for the new artistic installations. Some artists and landscape architects have
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A 60 metres high tetrahedron, named Haldenereignis Emscherblick and designed by
Wolfgang Christ, is at the top of the Bechstrasse slag heap near Bottrop. It has become a
landmark, illuminated at night, but also an outlook place from which visitors can gaze over
the surrounding landscape. Photo: Babs Bathe, 2007.
even chosen to reshape these slag heaps into artistic creations. For example,
there is a fourteen metres high, vertical oriented and slightly tilted, steel slab
at the top of the Schurenbach heap, a thirty metres high artificial cliff with
a compilation of concrete blocks on the top of the Rheinelbe heap and a
tetrahedron on the Bechstrasse heap, illuminated during the dark hours and
possible to climb in the daytime. These pieces of art, which are visible from
afar, form landmarks, but also constitute outlook places from which you
can get a view of the surrounding landscape. These places thus work in dual
directions.
The landmark art, in most cases, consists of huge abstract sculptures
made from materials relating to industry, such as steel and concrete, as the
above mentioned, and could be regarded as lenses through which to visually
comprehend the area. According to a case study carried out in the 1990s by
the United States Environmental Protection Agency within their programme
for brownfields and land revitalisation, local residents described the industrial
landscape viewed from the metal tetrahedron on Bechstrasse heap as the
“Seven Hills of Rome;” perhaps an act of imagination as intriguing as the
new Acropolis in Avesta described earlier.57
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The bridge at Ironbridge in Britain already became an artistic motif
in the late 18th century. Furthermore, industry and technology increasingly
became a theme of fine art.58 The wars of the 20th century, especially the two
world wars complicated the previously comparatively homogeneous positive
interpretations. Although the power of the machines now became understood
as a possible destructive force, industry was continuously also described as a
major source of inspiration: “Any important art coming out of the industrial
age will draw inspiration from industry, because industry is alive and vital.
The beauty of industry lies in its truth and simplicity: every line is essential
and therefore beautiful.”59 Was the industrial landscape of the Ruhr district
regarded beautiful? Or perhaps a more adequate question would be: What
could it impart and what associations did it evoke?
In general, the relation between art and place has been considered
positive and powerful in terms of how people are able to associate themselves
with a place. Yi-Fu Tuan, for example, claims that art “induce[s] an awareness
of place by holding up mirrors to our own experience; what had been felt
can now be seen, what was formless and vacillating is now framed and still.
[…] A work of sculptural art or architecture […] creates place materially as
well as in the imagination.”60 Furthermore, in Tuan’s analysis, the function of
landmark art could become crucially important to changing the experience
of the region. Tuan asserts that art “trains attention and educates sensibility:
it prepares one to respond to the character of alien places and situations” thus
pinpointing art as a possible tool of navigation in a changing world, a tool of
reinterpretation.61
For the leading actors in the organisation of the IBA Emscher Park,
the aesthetic approach became important in the effort of attracting people
and applying for support, in short a marketing tool. According to Zygmunt
Bauman, the “the tourist’s world is fully and exclusively structured by
aesthetic criteria,” thus describing art and the aesthetic component as a
rather prosaic commodity for visitors.62 The interest from different kinds of
artists in taking part in the reinterpretation process of the Ruhr district was
nevertheless substantial, and not only in the form of sculptural installations
on the landscape. A specially designed light show, for example, illuminates
the former ironworks of the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in late
evenings. The landscape park has also become the place for nearly sixty movie
productions during the ten-year period of the IBA Emscher Park programme.
At a more general level, it has been argued that the performance of artworks
plays a crucial role in the process of de-industrialisation.63 Sharon Zukin
talks of art present in the industrial as a kind of material and symbolical
infrastructure “in the transition from an industrial to a de-industrialised
urban economy.”64
In the early process of de-industrialisation, Bernd and Hilla Becher
began photographing industrial structures such as blast furnaces, water
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Reproductions of Bernd and Hilda Becher’s photographs of water towers have been
displayed on the façade of the former power plant in Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2007.
towers and limekilns, and one of the main areas for their work was the Ruhr
district. From the 1960s and during the following decades they returned to
take new series of pictures, and also travelled to other countries like Britain
and the United States. For example, during the 1980s they photographed the
Sloss furnaces and the Völklingen Hütte mentioned earlier. They called their
work “anonymous sculptures” in a pictorial language somewhat between
document and art.65
Beside the motives of the individual artists, are there other connections
between industry and art? In 1926, Henry Winram Dickinson, then
Honorary Secretary of the Newcomen Society and Keeper of the Mechanical
Engineering Department at the Science Museum in London, made a
reflection about one noteworthy connection. He wrote: “One would
conclude that it was almost indecent to engage in industry, but having
done so, and been successful, only a peace offering to the Muses would
suffice as reparation.”66 His comment concerned the matter of successful
industrialists often making donations to establish an art gallery in order to
gain immortality. The industrial achievements could not stand free from the
human and environmental suffering that came with it, and therefore it had
to be somewhat justified by a tribute to the arts. The connection between
industry and art could hence, among other things, take shape as orientation,
inspiration and reconciliation.
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The authenticity of ruination
Another way to approach the relation between industry and art is through a
discussion about the concept of authenticity, referring to a quality of being
true, genuine and original. Wolfgang Ebert believes there has been a lack of
authenticity in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, despite all the ambitions.
According to Ebert, authenticity implies that interpretations and activities
should evolve from their own environment. While it is indeed exciting to
perform operas or rock concerts with the Meidericher blast furnace number
five in the background, from his perspective it is not an authentic event,
but only a translocation of a rather ordinary event. He believes the present
fashion of using industrial sites as stages is dangerous, because it could soon
be out of fashion and then suddenly nothing is left. Instead, according to
Ebert, one should think of the site’s own potential and what a sustainable
activity could be grown out of it. His prime suggestion for the Meidericher
Hütte is live role playing which could bring the plant back to life.67
Is this a representative attitude? Lars Åke Everbrand, involved in the
reuse process of Koppardalen in Avesta, has had very clear ideas of what the
appropriate interpretation and activities in the old blast furnace plant could
be. He has expressed his opinion in decisions concerning the overall direction
of the reuse process, including details about wine being preferable to beer
when the plant hosts cultural events, in order to create the right atmosphere.68
The existence of strong visions among the actors in a transformation project
is thus not a rare phenomenon, but the explicit reference to authenticity
as the basis for one’s argumentation, as made by Ebert, is, however, more
unusual.
Authenticity and integrity are two of many factors examined in the
process of nominating sites for the World Heritage List. While authenticity is
a concept mainly valid for cultural heritage sites, integrity is the counterpart
regarding natural heritage sites. Authenticity refers to the places being
original in form, material, design and location, and integrity refers to places
being typical and with interdependent components.69 In general, authenticity
is a Western cultural product connected to modernity in its search for the
untouched, genuine and traditional.70 For the World Heritage List this way
of thinking is also transferred to a bureaucratic ranking where the most
genuine cultural or natural heritage sites are the most valuable. Jan Turtinen
argues that together with other sought after characteristics, this ranking gives
the sites aesthetic qualities – the most genuine place is also regarded the most
beautiful.71
Furthermore, the concept of authenticity applies to the strong feelings
awakened by abandoned and derelict industrial places. In a memorandum
from 1988, it was imagined that achieving the new use of abandoned
industrial sites within the IBA Emscher Park programme would go via
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The entrance to Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord highlights the combination of industry and
nature. The “natural” framing stresses the sculptural qualities of the industrial structure,
rather than its identity as a production site. Photo: Hans-Jürgen Wiese, 2006.
a partial preservation forming “marks of truth of the past in the form of
ruins.”72 In a detailed survey in a British context, Tim Edensor has shown
how industrial ruins, at the beginning of the 21st century, are appreciated
and valued by many people, and not always by those with a strong official
voice. Instead the industrial ruins are hiding-places and sites for fantasy
and adventure, used by children and youngsters, criminals and addicts,
lovers and scrap dealers. His basic assumption is that society has become so
overwhelmingly organised that people are trapped in the predictable. The
ruins thus offer a rare place of disorder and openness of interpretation.73 The
same argument, for peripheries in general, are made by Terttu Pakarinen,
who asserts that peripheries could make place for appropriation of the urban
space and hence for emancipation and freedom.74
To the planners and heritage professionals, the official voices, on the
other hand the ruins often represent a problem.75 The unused, uncontrolled
and dangerous places are seen as scars in the urban fabric that have to be
healed and incorporated into the planned space. Nevertheless, to the heritage
professionals, this organising and interpretative ambition is ambiguous. If
a place is organised into a heritage site, with the application of labels and
of a logical story, then it has, in addition, often lost some of its spirit, the
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immediate feeling of time passing by. When it is cleaned up and explained,
it is consequently no longer open to interpretation.76 In other words, here is
an example of the contradicting ideals of preservation described in chapter
two – of restoring into original shape or of striving towards a minimum of
intervention. The actors within the IBA Emscher Park programme and the
transformation of Meidericher Hütte into Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord
thus express a fairly unusual ambition of minimal intervention concerning
both nature and the built environment in order to retain the “secrets” and the
“mystery” of the place.77
The materiality in a post-industrial situation in the Ruhr district has been
made visible in new ways by means of nature and art. The previously closed
and forbidden world behind the fence has become accessible to everyone, and
the tactile and visual experience has been understood as a discovery.
The new use of the redundant industrial place is also partially marked
by adventure activities that represent a translation of pastimes traditionally
associated with nature. Skiing, climbing, diving, walking and biking are
examples of spare time hobbies that now take place in the “Industrienatur.”
It is also possible to understand dealing with the contaminated built
structures, ground and water and reshaping it into landscape parks, like
the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, in terms of a substitution story. The
material legacy of occupation and wars during the 20th century could,
through the lens of industrial nature, turn into a more “manageable past.”
The redundant industrial structures have furthermore become stages
and backgrounds for, among other things, concerts, movies and artistic
installations. The industrial materiality makes up a source of inspiration,
while the new landmark art is regarded as important nodes for geographical
orientation in the district. A new appreciation of industrial aesthetics
contains a search for authenticity through ruination, as well as a tourist
commodification of the industrial place. The conscious aesthetic view,
together with the appreciation of industrial nature in the Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord, hence show a rather atypical way of combining clarity with
ambiguity and control with decay.
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7. PLANNING, COMMODIFICATION
AND SPECTACLE
During 2005 and 2006 at a festival in Austria, the stage design for Giuseppe
Verdi’s opera ”Il trovatore” shows an oil refinery replica, built with effects of
light, smoke and fire. The designer commented that his work embodied a
“fortress of today’s industrial society” connected to the opera performance
because power, affluence and revenge were all key factors of the plot.1 While
at many places old industrial structures have been used as backgrounds to art,
concerts and shows, this was a completely new built replica of an industrial
plant.
Has the landscape of the industrial past become a place of spectacle, a
place to consume? And how should one understand a newly built industrial
place like the oil refinery replica which was never a place for production of
goods? The meaning of a former industrial building, whether production has
just ceased, or it is being reused for other purposes or it is just a newly built
fake, is certainly beyond the scope of what is traditionally regarded heritage.
And, as shown by the reinterpretation processes in Avesta, Ironbridge and
Duisburg, the professional heritage perspective along with the challenging
popular appeal are not sufficient, when trying to understand the complex
issue of how places in a post-industrial situation have been given new
meanings in the late 20th century.
In this chapter we therefore start from a different perspective by turning
to how former industrial buildings became interesting to planning and
design professions, a motif for artists and an arena for hobbies like “urban
exploration.” Among other things, the industrial place has been reused as
offices, dwellings and restaurants, and the industrial ruin appreciated as a
beautiful environment and provocative necessity in society. By using the lens
of planners, architects and photographers perhaps some of the missing pieces
in the jigsaw will be found, contributing to a new understanding of the arena
where the industrial past has been negotiated.
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Industry as stage scenery: At the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, a replica of an oil refinery
served as an opera stage design. Photos: Karl Forster, 2005. Courtesy of the Bregenzer
Festspiele.
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A planning perspective
The existing built environment, its material conditions and geographical
location, became a subject of discussion for the planning sector in the
1970s and 80s.2 The post-war decades, dominated by new construction,
had been followed by an interest in adaptive reuse. The reasons for this were
manifold; the relative economic decline, the high density in numerous urban
environments that did not allow new buildings without demolishing existing
ones, and a wide-spread critique of the extensive building programmes of the
1960s and early 70s.3 The new approach put the reuse of abandoned factories
and other building categories on an agenda of economical and sustainable
behaviour. This was true for many Western countries, among them the
United States and Sweden.4
In the United States a handbook directed towards preservationists,
businessmen and potential investors was published in 1976. The target
groups were assumed to recently have discovered the industrial buildings as
architecture, as important evidence of the past and as high quality space for
offices, housing et cetera.5 The book included descriptions of numerous cases
of profit and non-profit reuse of industrial buildings in the country – some of
them probably recommended by members of the “The Society for Industrial
Archeology” as described in chapter two – with detailed information about
budgets, ownership, technical considerations and architectural solutions. A
prime example was Lowell, Massachusetts, one of the textile cities of New
England mentioned earlier, where federal tax incentives had contributed to
a considerable growth in building renovation, especially concerning older
industrial properties.6 Lowell was already in the late 1970s regarded a reuse
success that was expected to be repeated in other urban places. The reuse in
Lowell included retail and service, culture and entertainment, housing and
recreation, and it was argued that one vital element was the combination of
public and private funding.7
In Sweden the topic of the adaptive reuse of industrial buildings was
dealt with in a dissertation, Återanvändning av industri- och specialbyggnader
(“Reuse of industrial and special buildings”), by Bo Hedskog, defended
in 1982 at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and in an
official governmental investigation, Sanering efter industrinedläggningar
(“Conversion after industrial closedowns”), published the same year.8 In
both publications the focus was set on real estate economy, technical and
functional aspects and the decontamination of land. The industrial buildings
were seen as overlooked resources that had to be brought into a conscious
discussion about building economy, urban planning, and environmental
sustainability. Both Bo Hedskog’s dissertation and the investigation were
based on inventories carried out through nationwide questionnaires and
several case studies.
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Among the authors’ conclusions could be mentioned their slightly
surprised notion of what a broad spectrum of possible ways to reuse industrial
buildings they had found. Beside the expected reuse by another industrial
branch or smaller handicraft enterprises, they found industrial buildings reused
as offices, schools and housing. Seemingly more in line with the questions
raised to justify the investigations, they concluded that it was generally cheaper
and faster to adapt a building for reuse than to tear it down and replace it with
a new construction. Important aspects in this process leading to what was
considered a successful reuse, were the technical standard of the building, its
functional and architectural features and not the least its location.9
While Hedskog dealt mostly with solitary buildings in city centres, the
governmental investigation was directed towards larger industrial areas in
company towns where the reuse was closely connected to questions of local
and regional employment. From this perspective the investigation examined
the issue of ownership and financing in relation to reuse of industrial
buildings. The results showed that the privately owned industrial area was
often sold to the municipality in which it was located, in connection with
a closedown or when the private company moved to other localities within
the city or the region. The municipality then typically tried to adapt the
industrial area to attract new companies, of similar kind or smaller size. The
company that closed down or moved was often involved in and supported
this process. This is a pattern we can recall from Avesta, where the northern
works industrial area was bought by the municipality and adapted to new use.
The investigation also drew attention to the changing role of Swedish
municipalities in the trade and industry sector. The geographical borders of
the municipalities were re-drawn in the 1960s and 70s, and the basic principle
was to group areas that shared trade and industry characteristics. During this
period the attitude towards governmental intervention in trade and industry
shifted from negative to cautiously positive.10 However, the investigation, and
Hedskog as well, emphasised that the examples of successful reuse they had
identified, would probably not have been achieved without a few devoted
individuals. It was asserted that because of the novel nature of these kinds of
reuse processes, there were no regular procedures which could be launched
automatically. Instead, a couple of individual driving forces had to be present,
whether as civil servants in the municipality, company representatives or local
politicians, to enable the necessary cooperation in a reuse process. This is a
crucial pattern we can recall from all the three places visited earlier in this
study. In Avesta, Ironbridge and Duisburg, people with a personal agenda
played an important role in changing both the meanings and the materiality
of the redundant industrial place.
In both the dissertation and the governmental investigation, heritage
aspects were mentioned and taken into consideration. The latter nevertheless
meant that the preservation of the industrial buildings, and perhaps also
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the machinery, from a heritage perspective was something very specific and
unusual.11 According to the answers in the questionnaire, only about ten
percent of the unused industrial buildings had been evaluated and documented
with regard to their possible heritage qualities. The heritage institutions had
accordingly been sparsely represented in the closing down processes.12 In a
formal statement on the investigation from the Swedish National Board of
Antiquities, a discontentment with the treatment of the heritage questions was
also expressed, together with an emphasis on the fact that proper knowledge
was lacking. The conclusion from the main national heritage authority was
therefore that these aspects needed further investigation.13
At the earlier mentioned third international conference on industrial
heritage, held in Stockholm and Grangärde in Sweden in 1978, several of the
participants expressed their concern about what adaptive reuse could destroy.
Stuart Smith, known from Ironbridge, stated that “If in fact adaptive re-use
is the only economic solution to a problem then one must ensure that the
archaeology which is carried out prior to the renovation programme must be
of the highest standard.”14 Also Neil Cossons declared that the
question now to be asked is: can those industrial archaeological sites and
monuments that survived the years of neglect now survive the period of
rampant rehabilitation?15
The industrial place was in this way recognised by architects and planners
as a potential resource. However, their interest was met with ambiguous
feelings from the heritage professionals.
Loft living and waterfront development
Since the end of the Second World War, in the city of New York, artists had
reused rundown industrial buildings and warehouses as cheap spaces where
they could combine working and living. At the beginning of the 1970s larger
groups of people started to regard the open floor spaces of multi-storey
industrial buildings – the lofts – as fashionable living space.16 According to
Sharon Zukin, the lofts changed from being industrial production places
to “items of cultural consumption” because of new social and cultural
values of the time, among them a rising status of art and artists, a rising
ecological awareness and a broadened idea of historic preservation.17 Zukin
furthermore suggested an aesthetic component as part of the popularity
of loft living. Old factories became an expression of contemporary society
through a “heightened sense of art and history, space and time” and a
modern search for authenticity.18 She states that living in a loft was an
“attempt to replace modernism’s mass production of the individual with an
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individualization of mass production” and that the industrial aesthetic was
hence “domesticated.”19
Harbour areas also became subject to reinterpretation and reuse in
the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. What was labelled
“waterfront development” became a widely spread strategy against dereliction
of urban areas close to water.20 The case of Baltimore is often mentioned as an
example that inspired other places, both in the United States and in Western
Europe, with regard to the organisation of investment as well as the character
of the new activities established in the old harbour. In Baltimore, new use
included residential areas for upper middle-class inhabitants, heritage and
leisure activities connected to water, retail trade, offices and hotels.21 Jussi S.
Jauhiainen has described the heritage aspect of the waterfront development
in the cities of Barcelona, Cardiff and Genoa as being represented by a sole
chimney or gas tower left as a reminder of the industrial past, or a restoration
of a few warehouses or an old ship.22 The transformation of a harbour in
Amsterdam into a residential area could constitute yet another example of
the concept where a preserved crane was said to establish “a link with the
past.”23
When waterfront development became prominent in Western Europe
during the 1980s and 1990s, the concept from Baltimore was copied in many
cities. However, Jauhiainen observes that while Baltimore was a success in
economic terms, the social aspects were not as positive, among them increased
The transformation of former textile mills in Norrköping, Sweden, into offices and
educational localities includes direct access to the mirror of the water from newly built
walking paths along the outer walls. Photo: Anna Storm, 2003.
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local costs and massive gentrification.24 Other researchers have found that the
gentrification process could be based, not on the housing needs at the time,
but on a conscious strategy to attract “quality people” by offering what was
regarded quality housing on the waterfront.25
The flour mill “Juvelkvarnen” in Gothenburg, Sweden, is being rebuilt for housing purposes.
One page in the advertising brochure shows the old façade with a rooftop water cistern, which
is said to give the building “a special identity.” The sketch below illustrates a possible interior
of the new apartments when the conversion process is finished. Courtesy of JM.
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By the harbour of Sweden’s second largest city Gothenburg, at the
beginning of the 21st century, a flourmill, Juvelkvarnen, was rebuilt for residential
purposes.26 The advertising brochure is full of references to the industrial past
of the place. The main connection made between then and now is between
nostalgia and character on one hand and fresh creativity and technology on the
other.27 The industrial past is not something that is mentioned in a subordinate
clause but included in the main characterisation of the residential area, which is
said to be “marked by warehouse living, a concept where qualities from the past
meet the present and so create a unique living environment.”28
The qualities from the past referred to are exemplified in the brochure
with preserved visible steel girders and plastered interior walls, original deep
windowsills and open floor spaces. On the roof, an old water cistern is said
to give the building a “special identity.”29 Next to the rebuilt flourmill, the
construction company is about to erect a completely new high-rise building,
which will borrow characteristic features from the old environment of the
area. The potential buyers of apartments in the newly built house are being
offered rough concrete walls as an optional choice.30 The young urban couple
dressed in proper but comfortable clothes, smile in front of their car outside
the old mill in the pictures of the brochure. The industrial past, as expressed
in material features, in detail as well as in the urban landscape of the 21st
century, has become an advertising tool directed towards a young urban
middle or upper middle class.31 Speaking with Sharon Zukin, the industrial
aesthetics has, undoubtedly, been domesticated.
Furthermore, in the Swedish capital of Stockholm and its immediate
proximity, reused industrial buildings as residential areas on the waterfront
have become prominent features. The advertising concept of these partly
rebuilt, partly newly built areas is very similar to the example of the flourmill
in Gothenburg.32 The materiality of the industrial past is emphasised and
connected to positive descriptions of uniqueness, beauty and quality.
Architectural qualities are also often highlighted as part of the reinterpretation
of the industrial place. The architectural language validated by a famous, or
at least a named architect, has become an important component in the new
appreciation of the place.33
In addition to these different strategies of attaching a new image to the
industrial place, certain buildings or whole areas have been renamed mainly
along two lines; water and nature on one hand, and the former industrial
production or individual industrialists on the other. One can discern a
division in which larger areas have been renamed with reference to a lake, a
shore or a harbour, while the names of the streets and individual buildings
connect to the former industry with reference to personal names of leading
industrialists or words picked from the production process.34 The pattern is
confirmed by the three reinterpretation processes described earlier. In Avesta
the old industrial area was renamed “the Copper Valley,” in Ironbridge the
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In Gustavsberg, Sweden, some of the porcelain factory buildings have been converted into
studios, housing, shops and restaurants under the joint name “Gustavsberg’s harbour.” The
picture depicts a café located in the former administration building, and in the background
one can glimpse the water. Photo: Anna Storm, 2005.
At some places the industrial past has been emphasised, not only by referring to a certain
production process, but also by using connotations of the factory concept in general. In
Nacka strand, Sweden, a former factory has been rebuilt to house conferences, fairs and
exhibitions, as indicated on the sign in the middle. Photo: Anna Storm, 2002.
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idyllic gorge was emphasised in the name of the museum, and in Duisburg
the blast furnace plant was transformed into a “landscape park.”
The role of aesthetics in the gentrification of former industrial places could,
in some respects, be compared to the heritage creating process. Both represent
a practice of selecting and evaluating certain features for contemporary needs.
In the case of aesthetics, the chosen features such as raw interior surfaces,
large windows, high ceilings, proximity to water and consequently also nature
have very much been the same, irrespective of geographical location or kind
of new use. Furthermore, in some places, aesthetics and heritage could be
regarded as two sides of a coin, mutually reinforcing each other. The famous
architect and the successful industrialist were ingredients of the same story,
the same attractive image of the reinterpreted factory. In other places the two
perspectives have instead implied a competition, in which heritage concerns
obstruct the implementation of chosen aesthetics and vice versa, where the
strive towards a certain idea of aesthetics threatens heritage values of, for
example, a multi-layered historical understanding. The changing meanings
of location and design – outlined in chapter three – are thus easy to read in
the urban landscape, where former industrial built environments have been
turned into downtown or waterfront residential areas.
The reuse for housing purposes has mainly been a feature of bigger
cities where loft living has been regarded a fashionable concept, and strong
images of some old factories have made reuse profitable.35 In smaller towns
and villages the reuse has most often had another character. Michael Stratton
has emphasised how location is a key factor in the property market and notes
somewhat sadly that “Britain is littered with fine industrial buildings in the
wrong places” while, on the other hand, this could be the reason for a factory
surviving, because land values are too low to justify demolition.36
A gentrified place for memory and oblivion
If artists were one of the first groups of people to make use of abandoned
industrial places, they did not disappear when wealthier middle-class
inhabitants found their way to the reinterpreted industrial environment, but
the activities somewhat changed. The galleries became more frequent than the
ateliers, and prestigious projects like the Bankside Power Station in London,
opened as Tate Modern in 2000, and the Montemartini Power Station in
Rome, which houses collections from the Capitoline Museums, proved
that the industrial place is appreciated in the arts world three decades after
the concept of loft living emerged, although in another scale and setting.37
Sharon Zukin has shown how the lofts in New York were transformed from
being mere work places to scenes on which artists exhibited their artistic
creations, and the industrial aesthetics hence not only became middle-class
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fashion but also, in some places, a stage for artistic expressions.38 The former
blast furnace plants in Avesta and Duisburg that were used as an art gallery
and a background for concerts respectively, together with the huge power
stations of London and Rome that were transformed into art museums,
hence signify a trend in which industrial milieus have been chosen as stages
for, or backgrounds to, pieces of art.
As previously mentioned, gentrification was one of the negative social
consequences of loft living and waterfront development. I argue, however,
that gentrification could be understood as a complex concept that possibly
also includes positive social change in terms of making previously closed
areas accessible and visible to everyone. In Norrköping for instance, the
industrial area along the river had always belonged to the textile companies
and although it had been a working place for many, to most people
the area was unknown.39 By means of reinterpretation and reuse – with
consequences of gentrification – the industrial area was transformed into the
“Industrilandskapet” (“the Industrial Landscape”) and became a public space,
in a pattern often repeated elsewhere.
Gentrification could thus, in some respect, mean opening up, making
the redundant industrial place accessible. How has this affected the former
workers? Have they established a new relation to their previous workplace?
In other words, how is this new public access related to issues of personal and
collective memories? Michael Stratton suggests it was young professionals who
were to adopt the loft living life style, noticing the importance of generation
and educational level as decisive for the new users.40 Thus Stratton identifies
not only gentrification but also a break with the possibility of having personal
memories and earlier experience of the place. Similarly, Sharon Zukin asserts
that only people who do not know “the steam and sweat of a real factory can find
industrial space romantic or interesting,” thus further stressing the importance
of a break between the old and new users of a place in a reinterpretation
process.41 She argues that the succession of uses and users is to be seen as a
reflection of larger social changes where working-class neighbourhoods are
gentrified in parallel with a replacement of industrial production by “higherlevel post-industrial activity.”42 The young urban couple in the advertising
brochure for apartments in the flour mill in Gothenburg, and the replacement
of the local population in Ironbridge, of course, support this analysis.
Memory, history and gentrification of a place have been dealt with from
different research perspectives. Dolores Hayden has shown how bitter or
ambiguous memories, like those that could be connected to the abandoned
industrial place, are often difficult to embrace in an urban landscape.43 Pierre
Nora also claims that it is a complex matter to embody memory in a certain
site at the same time as a feeling of historical continuation persists.44 Not only
could the memories themselves be complicated, but also the very feeling of
time passing could give the site, building or artefact, the role of an obstacle.
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If this textile mill in Riga was to close down and the buildings became redundant from the
perspective of textile production, perhaps a reuse process would begin, adapting the mill for
new purposes. The process would most probably imply a gentrification of the place, whereby
a new group of people would use it in its new function. Photo: Anna Storm, 2002.
The duality of the factory has undoubtedly become a factor in the material
changes of the industrial built environment.
What about the newcomers, those who do not know the “steam and
sweat” of a real factory? According to Zukin, the middle-class users and
inhabitants that have often taken over the industrial place and established
new meanings, are able to do so because of their appropriation of a certain
history. Instead of relating to an existing lower-class population, they identify
themselves with an earlier group of, perhaps, wealthier inhabitants which
allows them to make the place their “own.”45 In this case, memory as a factor
in the reinterpretative process takes on a radically different role compared
to Hayden’s study. Instead of revealing and evaluating difficult memories
of one’s own life, the new middle-class inhabitants attach themselves to a
certain period and a chosen lifestyle of the place where they intend to live.
A proper heritage has consequently been created to suit the new meaning of
the place.
Something has been remembered or created, and something has been
forgotten or actively not chosen to be remembered. As the contrasting
perspectives show, there is no easy parallel between memory and oblivion
on the one hand, and good and bad on the other. Oblivion, forgetting or
not choosing to remember could be labelled political oppression, rootless
gentrification, or a necessity in the contemporary society depending on the
specific place and its past.
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The beauty of decay, the adventure of abandonment
The opposite of preservation and reuse might be leaving the redundant
industrial place to fall into decay, gradually turning it into a ruin. The
industrial ruins do not, however, simply represent a reverse perspective but,
in many ways, even further strengthen both the heritage and the planning
perspectives, which, for example, was shown in the previous chapter about
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord.
During the late 18th century, the ruin became an object of appreciation,
in paintings, poetry and as newly built entities in private gardens. The ruin
was seen as emblematic of the cycle of life and death and the inevitability of
time passing, in short a prime ingredient of the Romantic scenery. A patina of
age sent signals of authenticity and was considered aesthetic.46 Two hundred
years later, in the late 20th century, there is what Tim Edensor calls “the golden
age of industrial ruination,” valid at least for the Western world.47 In relation
to the praised ruins of the 18th and 19th century, the industrial ruin did not
immediately evoke similar connotations of melancholic beauty, but instead
represented a wasteland of dark urban nightscapes and abandoned parking
lots that were loaded with meanings of ugliness and danger.
Nevertheless, industrial ruins have also been used as objects for the
arts, but perhaps more in popular media forms than in painting and poetry.
Edensor analyses a range of movies made from the mid-1980s to the late
1990s in which the industrial ruin constituted a main stage for the plot. He
found four main categories: the industrial ruin as a backdrop for spectacular
action, as a dystopic scene for science fiction, as a nostalgic landscape that
is lamented as something passing, and finally as a marginal place where
dissident identities are positively reclaimed.48
Another genre of artistic interpretation of industrial ruins is photography.
Bernd and Hilla Becher, mentioned in the previous chapter about
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, have been working since the 1960s with
black and white photographs of blast furnaces and steel works, lime kilns,
water towers, gasometers, winding and cooling towers, most of them
redundant, in Europe and the United States. The industrial structures are
depicted frontally and in isolation, in order to reveal basic forms of a certain
type of construction. By bringing together groups of images into tableaux
they have tried to reveal similarities and dissimilarities. Most of the industrial
structures they portrayed have since been demolished, and their awardwinning work has been exhibited in art museums and books.49
The Bechers commented in an interview that the main objective of their
work was
to prove that today’s shapes are technological forms even if they did not arise
for form’s sake. Just as the medieval thought is manifest in a Gothic cathedral,
our age reveals itself in technological buildings and devices.50
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This statement was made in 1971, before the oil crises and the
formulation does not give a hint of what was to come. Instead, it again
confirms the power of giving and explaining value by comparison, of which
we have seen several examples in this study. The utterance also emphasises
the industrial structures as emblematic, and as representatives of something
present. During the following decades, however, many of their motifs were
reinterpreted as structures belonging to the past.
Later photographers have followed in their steps. One is Gustaf Karlsson,
who at the beginning of the 21st century took colour photos of abandoned
industrial places in the Bergslagen region and Stockholm in Sweden, as well
as the Ruhr district and Berlin in Germany. In a book titled “That no longer
are” he introduces the pictures with a short poem: “There are places that
no longer are./I’ve seen some of them./Silent factories and breweries./Quiet
mining areas./Once well guarded./Now unlocked doors./Traces of men, but
not a single man./The past yet the present./The feeling of another world.”51
His pictures emphasise graphic patterns with a focus on details or perspectives.
The sky is often dark and cloudy. Like the Bechers’ photos, Karlsson’s pictures
represent a way of seeing the industrial structures as beautiful surfaces and
forms, the texture of a place that once housed production but which is now
empty, silent and immovable. The documentary and repetitive character of
the Bechers’ projects is however not prominent in Karlsson’s pictures, which
have instead an atmosphere of sudden redundancy.
Not only photographers have gone to see the redundant industrial place.
A phenomenon called “urban exploration” traces its roots to the late 18th
century, but the activities show a notable increase from the late 1980s and the
term was coined in 1996.52 One urban explorer, with the alias Ninjalicious,
asserts that one has a moral duty to explore abandoned sites, because if “you
don’t go and appreciate these beautiful palaces of decay, it’s possible no one
will, and that would be a terrible shame.”53
What is past, what is present? What is continuation, what is change?
When today’s urban explorers refer to the term industrial archaeology as just
an everyday expression, what does it imply?54 Has industrial archaeology
been transformed or prolonged in the activities labelled urban exploration?
Or has the concept of industrial archaeology begun to signify a multiplicity
of ways to take an interest in old industrial environments? Both industrial
archaeologists and urban explorers investigate and appreciate abandoned
industrial buildings and structures, but while the first-mentioned focus
on recording and sometimes preservation, the latter’s centre of attention is
on adventure. Both groups, however, encompass an attitude of opposition
towards authorities, and the activities are carried out within a community
that shares values and experiences.
As previously mentioned, Tim Edensor suggests that the industrial ruin
works as a place of refuge for those not fitting into society, and furthermore
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The redundant and sometimes abandoned industrial place can be appreciated in terms of
beauty and adventure. Picture from shipyard in Karosta, Latvia. Photo: Anna Storm, 2001.
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as a place representing disorder in a too well-organised and thus sometimes
stifling society. He argues that the industrial ruin forms a critique of the highly
regulated urban space and so questions normative materiality. Through being
a sort of counter area the industrial ruin becomes inconsistent with the myth
of progress.55 For the urban explorers, the kind of non-arranged surroundings
seem to constitute an important aspect of the temptation. Ninjalicious
describes how people who
live in towns made of sloppy junk buildings constructed with a few silly
architectural gimmicks to disguise their overall banality can’t help but notice
the amount of authentic beauty and character that these old abandoned
buildings exude, even beneath all the dirt and decay.56
The ruins hence offer a contrast that is experienced as more genuine
than the neat and tidy façades behind which urban life usually takes place.
The urban explorers do not, however, seem to solely represent
individual misfits in society. Many of them, for example, use an alias when
communicating with others about their activities, because they want to keep
their hobby a secret from their employer and colleagues at work.57 Instead,
the risk seems to consist of being accused of devoting oneself to a childish
game for grown ups. Economic historian, Jan Jörnmark, for example, has
stated that also tough and smart guys are interested in ruin tourism which
thus makes it possible for him to indulge in this activity too. In 2005
Jörnmark launched a website where he published photos of abandoned places
that had lost the “roulette of transformation” in the process of globalisation.58
Two years later he wrote a personal and popular account of the Swedish high
industrial period which together with a large number of his photos became a
coffee-table book, gaining a lot of publicity.59
The text tells one story, full of people. The pictures tells another one,
a story of empty blocks and holiday camps, offices and canteens, sugar
factories and mine shafts, rust and greenery, often in tilting perspectives. In
one picture, a few paint ball enthusiasts and traces of role-playing come into
sight. Jörnmark introduces his book with a description of how he and his wife
“discovered” and “found” some of these places in 2004. He characterises them
as bizarre and strange, and expresses his surprise that no one else had tried to
document the phenomenon.60 Obviously, the fascination of abandonment,
of places where people have left their binders on the writing-desk and never
come back, is something he shares with many others, although it seems as if
the interest has become especially intense after the turn of the millennium.
The above described approaches are all quite passionate, some of them
emphasising an exotic otherness as the basis of their interest. This distinction
between the familiar and the adventure, or theatre, or romanticised past, is
identified by several researchers as what makes these places something to
consume. Robert Willim, for example, uses the concept of “industrial cool”
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to claim that the allurement of industrial ruins is established because, for
many people, industry was located at a distance or as something absent, while
others talk about a “theatrical image of the urban past” or a “construction of
a landscape of display and spectacle.”61
The redundant industrial place has, however, also caught the interest
of other academics’ with a slightly different approach. In the United States,
Julie Bargmann is head of the design research project D.I.R.T. studio which
engages architects, engineers, artists and historians in the practical urban
regeneration of derelict areas. Bargmann and her team describe their project
as a way to “give voice to the landscape” and they “aspire to the extraordinary to create grounded authentic places.”62 The interaction with the
local community is emphasised and the goal is vital cities and landscapes
with “ecological and cultural production.”63 One could hear echoes of the
community involvement in the ecomuseums, and of the nature and art on
stage in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. Like Jörnmark, Bargmann and
her studio have received a lot of publicity and have thus contributed to a
public discussion on the topic of new use for redundant industrial places.
Authenticity in heritage and planning?
Authenticity is a word that is frequently repeated in the above quotes. The
urban explorer, Ninjalicious, living in Toronto, Canada, elaborates his
thoughts about what qualities it carries:
Whereas in most parts of the city it’s easy to forget that the past ever happened,
in abandoned buildings you’re surrounded by the past and can’t help but feel
connected to it and a part of if. Along with their decay, their emptiness and their
history, abandoned buildings offer city and suburb dwellers an all-too-rare taste
of authenticity.64
The materiality is understood here, not as a link to his own personal
memory but as a reminder of the past as such. The connection is the rare
flavour of something genuine.
The experience of authenticity by means of ruination is well-known, as
with the 19th century decorative garden ruins, and as one strong argument for
the preservation ideal of minimum intervention, described in chapter two. How
has this immediate experience taken shape in the professional planning context?
Is it the feeling of authenticity that makes us look upon industrial buildings as
aesthetic and fashionable? And is it actually details of ruination that are preserved
in order to give the new apartments in the reused mill their special identity
sought after? When the layers of dirt are taken away, visible rusty iron bars and
rough concrete walls certainly bear some kind of patina and witness of decay. The
difference would thus only be to what extent one is interested in the industrial
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ruin – untouched and in its totality as the urban explorers and industrial
photographers, or as a detail giving the living room or office a certain character.
And what about the heritage professionals? The experience of authenticity
and adventure at least constitutes one important aspect in industrial
heritage tourism. This is exemplified from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum,
via Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord to extensive schemes like the “Route
Industriekultur” in the Ruhr district launched in the 1990s as one part of
the IBA Emscher Park programme and today comprising more than fifty
different sites. Also the “European Route of Industrial Heritage,” launched as
a European Union project in 2002 and today involving five Western European
countries, among them Britain and Germany, exemplifies industrial heritage
tourism. Advertising characterisations like “full of surprises” and labelling a
combination ticket a “discovery pass” indicate an industrial heritage visit as
being an exploration into something exciting and unknown.65 While industrial
heritage tourism sites are managed and financed by a variety of private and
public means, the phenomenon can certainly be regarded one part of a new
heritage arena, one that along with the increasing attention paid to redundant
industrial places has come to involve numerous actors outside the core of
professional heritage institutions and organisations.
Many heritage institutions as legislative and expert authorities can,
however, be regarded a part of the general regulation of space in society, as
suggested by Tim Edensor. The idea of designated heritage has, in his view,
become too dominant in how we apprehend the past, and the industrial ruin
hence represents a kind of anti-heritage by being unorganised and ambiguous.
The heritage perspectives are said to represent a “monumental banishment”
of ambiguity as well as of the dark and mysterious.66 Heritage is instead
increasingly taking shape in terms of commodification and mediation, and
simultaneously an erosion of negative aspects of the past. The duality of the
factory is evidently still present.
What then are the consequences of commodification? One example is to
be found in Britain where a symbolic stone at a commemoration place was
moved and “placed in a glass case in the heritage centre.” Edensor suggests
that, as a result, the stone was denied its authenticity and could no longer
serve as a place of remembrance. He concludes that the knowledge that
possibly emerges out of ruins is not intellectual but sensual and intuitive.67
And it seems that the changing industrial society and many of its material
remains have somehow evoked more questions than triggered pleasant
feelings of authenticity among heritage professionals. At least in Sweden
one can note that an investigation commissioned to suggest directions for
a three-year governmental scheme for industrial heritage in the late 1990s
resulted in a report named Frågor till det industriella samhället (“Questions
to the industrial society”).68 Another Swedish example includes the National
Board of Antiquities which in its 2001 programme for industrial heritage
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put the strongest focus on the development of methods and approaches.69
A governmental investigation of 2002 which was to report on the three-year
scheme and come up with ideas for future work did furthermore not lead to
any real change.70 The questions raised in the various official reports to a large
extent concerned issues of representation of many voices and perspectives – for
example of marginalised groups like women and ethnic minorities – within
the narratives of the industrial society. In contrast to the photographers,
urban explorers and construction companies, the heritage professionals
appeared to avoid the nostalgic, aesthetic and emotional devotion, as well as
direct normative proclamations of how the industrial society and its physical
and immaterial legacy were to be understood.
The emphasis on representation and narratives also implies an
underlying critique of the close connection often made between heritage
and built environment. According to the above referred investigations and
programmes, the immaterial heritage should be regarded as important as
the material and, in my interpretation, this immaterial heritage should be
based on a distanced and intellectual questioning approach. The museum
that Ninjalicious describes is thus not likely to become a part of an official
heritage definition:
Half castle and half playground, the abandoned factory or hospital or theatre
or train station that looms darkly on the edge of the skyline is virtually
irresistible to those with a passion for seeking out and discovering the
unknown and forgotten. Abandoned buildings can be incredibly moving
and beautiful places; the whole tragic process of decay and entropy is both
sad and breathtaking to behold. […] In addition, abandoned sites provide
the best and most interactive museums of industrial archaeology and local
history you’ll ever find. Those buildings that haven’t been stripped bare often
house incredible old machines or technology we’ve all but forgotten today.71
The experience of the industrial place could thus be intellectual, visual
and tactile, understood in some respects and a complete mystery in others.
A poem by the writer and journalist Göran Greider published in 1995
expresses something similar: “The factories though remained forbidden
cities./Childhoods passed by in the sign of a mystery./The adults hold an
averted, inaccessible component./When the factories become silent they turn
visible again./Not until now they are unfamiliar to us.”72
The factory has turned visible by becoming redundant and then being
rediscovered.
Beginning from the planning perspective has provided some missing pieces
to the understanding of the changing meanings and changing materiality of
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the industrial place. It is also possible to discern a point when the planning
and the heritage perspectives met or began to converge, approximately in
the mid-1980s. This period saw both an awakening broader interest in the
reuse of the industrial built environment and a diminishing radicalism in
the formation of an industrial heritage. A decade later, heritage rhetoric
was used to advertise offices and apartments, while planning, and local and
regional development ambitions, were used to justify the existence of heritage
activities in society.
The challenging claims and the popular appeal of the 1960s and 70s
had, in the 1990s, been replaced with a complex gentrification process where
closed private industrial areas were opened up, and where difficult stories of
the past were turned into industrial aesthetics that constituted an essential
part of a commodification of the industrial place. Another popular approach,
expressed in hobbies like urban exploration and photographic expeditions
based on a fascination of abandonment, has also been visible in the late
1990s and early 21st century. Consuming the materiality of the industrial
place has been chiefly visual, and one key word seems to be authenticity,
meaning a thrilling but pleasant experience of something real and genuine.
This longing for authenticity also constitutes, I suggest, the main reason for
the appreciation of visible rusty iron girders in newly-produced apartments
in former industrial buildings.
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8. CONCLUDING DISCUSSION
This study examines the redundant industrial place as it was reinterpreted
and reused in the late 20th century Western world, with the overall aim of
contributing to a richer understanding of this transformation. What actors
were involved in the process, what were the issues of negotiation, and what
was the outcome? The empirical focus includes three former industrial areas
which are investigated from a critical hermeneutic perspective: Koppardalen
in Avesta, Sweden, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Britain, and
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in the Ruhr district of Germany.
A traveller’s view from a train, a bison sculpture that was moved from
the industrial area to the town square, a row of iron girders that suddenly
disappeared, the industrial place as a tourist attraction and leisure area,
industrial aesthetics as spectacle and appreciated ruin all exemplify how
the reinterpretation of the materiality in a post-industrial situation can take
many different shapes and involve a wide range of actors.
During the period investigated, a logic was established concerning what
kinds of industrial structures that were preserved or demolished, and which
meanings and material features that were hidden or emphasised. The duality
of the factory – the bright and dark aspects associated with the industrial
place – was a rich source for individual actors to use for reinterpretative
purposes. However, the main structuring principle of the transformation
was focused on the future orientation and the expected benefit, be it a
commodified industrial past or a confident local identity. In general, the new
understanding of the redundant industrial place is that it offers a projection
of visions of the future in a local context.
While some of the study’s findings contradict or modify previous research,
others are observations contributing to an understanding of the character
and significance of the changing industrial place. The main results, which
can be grouped into four themes and are examined in the following, concern
gentrification and commodification, the role of former workers and whitecollar newcomers, a search for similarities as well as uniqueness, and, finally, the
reinterpretation process turning the industrial past comparatively harmless.
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Gentrification into a commodity
The redundant industrial place was turned into a commodity through a
process of gentrification, expressed in new activities, users and meanings. The
relation between industry and art was one arena in which this process became
visible. During the late 20th century, many industrial places were used as stages
or backdrops for high culture, such as photography and opera, as well as for
popular culture, such as movies and rock concerts. One kind of stage gained
value mainly by virtue of its patina, for example, the Bankside Power Station
that became the Tate Modern in London. Another, more uncommon, category
did not play on any kind of decaying ruin atmosphere, but was instead newly
built and sent a message of full production, for example, the oil refinery replica
used for the opera stage design at the Bregenzer festival (chapter seven).
Furthermore, the industrial built environment became appreciated, as
such, from an aesthetical point of view. This was expressed in its adaptive
reuse as apartments, offices and public localities. Somewhat paradoxically, the
same esteem of industrial aesthetics also made the abandoned and decaying
industrial place, on its way to becoming an industrial ruin, praised as a
materiality offering an experience of the passage of time – a classical vanitas
motif. While this study suggests that the artistic interpretations of the former
industrial place could be regarded as a kind of reconciliation with the past,
this understanding, however, also had the purpose of creating the place anew
in order to meet present needs.
Another aspect elucidating the gentrifying commodification concerned
nature. From being a comparatively indifferent feature, nature gradually
became significant in the transformation process. The relation between the
redundant industrial place and nature was expressed in two principal ways.
On the one hand, some actors looked upon nature as a threat, something
that challenged the bare industrial character. It was perceived as distorting
the true character of industry, most apparent in Avesta (chapter three). On
the other hand, nature was regarded as a resource which contributed to an
idyllic setting, or as a way to re-conquer the place with vegetation and hence
change its appearance in a supposedly positive way. The former ironworks
area in Duisburg is characterised by the controlled overgrowth of vegetation
that makes it visible and used in new ways – many of them, like climbing,
diving and biking, in a kind of translocation from a natural environment into
the “Industrienatur” (chapter six).
Nature was also a sought-after connotation in the reinterpretation
process through the renaming of places that included elements such as
valley, landscape, park and shore. In Avesta, the industrial area was renamed
Koppardalen, “the Copper Valley,” and in Ironbridge the beautiful gorge was
emphasised in the museum’s advertisements. The use of such terminology
connects different spatial scales and merges nature and the built environment
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into a common materiality. This study suggests that the focus on nature’s
recovery constitutes a possible substitution story that defuses more difficult
and potentially dangerous elements of the past, the latter perhaps being
particularly manifest in the built structures. A new and more sympathetic
understanding of the industrial landscape contributed to changing the
meanings of the materiality in connection to future prospects.
Furthermore, material hierarchies were also established at the detail
level. In Avesta, negotiations about retaining and creating traces from
demolished buildings revealed different ideals. While some actors saw the
traces as facilitating the readability of the place and making it aesthetically
interesting, others considered them ugly and obstacles to future development.
Related to this issue were the place’s rusty appearance and its atmosphere of
abandonment. Whether the place should be kept rusty or, rather, softened by
cleaning it up and planting greenery (chapter three), became a question of
quite intense local debate as part of the gentrification process.
While gentrification is usually perceived as a process of distinction
and exclusion, the present study suggests a more complex situation. The
sophisticated cultural activities that have come to inhabit many of the places
in a post-industrial situation indeed signify gentrification in the traditional
sense. Yet, compared to the previously closed industrial area, the new
ownership and activities impart a sense of accessibility, that material and
mental barriers have disappeared and the place has become public, open to
larger groups of people. Thus, the gentrification process can have contrasting
effects, on the one hand creating distinction and exclusiveness, and on the
other, openness and accessibility.
Not former workers, but newcomers
Who was involved in the reinterpretation and reuse processes? A short answer
is that it was not, primarily, the former workers or the company, but instead
white-collar professionals who were usually also newcomers to the place.
Previous research has often supposed a clear connection between, on
the one hand, activities asserting a workers’ history from below and, on the
other, the reinterpretation and reuse of the industrial built environment
(chapter four). However, according to the present study, this connection is
not evident. Instead, the key figures of the industrial past – the workers and
the company management – have been strikingly absent in the process of
reinterpretation and reuse. In their place, the main actors were public bodies
such as municipalities and trusts, or private construction companies.
The main actors, the newcomers, often had a strong personal agenda. In
addition, their geographical relocation as well as their lack of personal memories
of the industry, when it was still in operation, appears to have contributed to
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how they identified and acknowledged the industrial place. The newcomers
in this respect discovered the former industrial place for the first time at a
stage when it was marked by liminality (chapter three), a state of undecided
meanings with openness towards reinterpretation. While the company that had
earlier carried out its production in the industrial place withdrew its interest,
the meanings attached to the place were gradually taken over by the new actors.
This pattern is valid for all three former industrial areas investigated. Prior to
the municipal take-over in Avesta, the company had been an active heritage
producer for several decades, establishing archives and planning for a museum.
In Ironbridge, the public museum had a forerunner in a smaller company
museum. At these two places, the company not only chose to relinquish its
material legacy as a production site, but also its role as a heritage creator.
While the new meanings were not articulated by the factory workers or
those in management when production was still running, the radical spirit of
the 1960s and 70s nevertheless influenced the recognition of the redundant
industrial built environment. The arguments presented, among others,
by industrial archaeologists, ecomuseums and dig-where-you-stand study
groups, which asserted a new and different relation to the recent past (chapter
two), affected the established heritage, as well as planning professionals and
the general interest in the industrial place. These arguments did not, however,
constitute the direct cause of the initiation of the reinterpretation process. In
Ironbridge, the creation of the museum occurred simultaneously as intense
industrial archaeological activities and the formation of ecomuseums, but
it was not an immediate result of these ideas. Instead, the museum was
criticised for not being radical, while, at the same time, it was awarded for its
innovative museum approach, emphasising, among other things, costumed
guides and elaborated souvenirs.
Is it possible to understand why the former workers and the companies
were not major participants in the reinterpretation process? I suggest the
answer consists of three separate parts, possibly linked together: an experience
of crisis, an increased interest in the past, and the reinterpretation and reuse of
the built environment, respectively. The results of the present study provide
reasons to further investigate these links empirically.
The connection between a crisis experience and a search for stability
through structures of the past is a link examined and acknowledged in
previous research (chapter five). Translated into the place in a post-industrial
situation this could be formulated as a presumption that when industrial
production ceases, people lose their workplace and in a feeling of crisis
seek new confidence by engaging in activities that deal with the past. The
amateur research of the dig-where-you-stand study groups (chapter two)
is one example. However, the transformation from an industrial to a postindustrial situation does not necessarily imply a crisis experience that leads
to an increased interest in the past. In none of the three places investigated
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was there a complete closedown at one specific moment in time, nor was
there any widespread mobilisation of activities that made the past visible and
manifest. Although the wider surrounding regions faced severe challenges
of restructuring and unemployment, in Avesta, Ironbridge and Duisburg
a feeling of crisis and despair does not seem to have been dominant at the
time when the respective reinterpretation processes began. Instead, there
was an experience of general rapid changes in society, which not only
included negative connotations but also hope and belief in the future. As
already mentioned, in order to elucidate if these aspects were exceptional or
something that commonly occurs, further research is needed.
The possible connection between an increased interest in the past and the
reinterpretation and reuse of the built environment has, so far, been sparsely
investigated empirically, but nevertheless often assumed as a matter of course
by researchers dealing with industrial heritage. Applied to the place in a postindustrial situation it could be understood as a presumption that former
workers would choose to engage in transforming their former workplace into
something useful for the future. This conception is probably accountable,
for example, for the Swedish volunteer run “work life museums.” However,
as noted above, in the investigated large-scale reuse schemes, former workers
did not, to any considerable extent, take part in the conversion process. This
can be explained not only by the first link described above (that is, no crisis
experience and no special interest in the past), but also by the existence of the
“spirit of the company town,” which implied a strong reliance on community
leaders to take care of everything that had to be done. This was most obvious
in Avesta (chapter four) but probably also present in Duisburg.
A state of affairs which further indicates that the main incentives for
commencing the restructuring processes were not locally initiated but a
result of external ambitions concerned the financial prerequisites. In contrast
to comparable projects in cities with high exploitation pressure, the three
investigated reuse processes were based on national or international funding,
directed towards places and regions in decline. The transformation in
Avesta was dependent on European Union structural funds. In Ironbridge,
the museum was created as part of a recreation area, which contributed
to the upgrading of a quite derelict neighbourhood and was based on the
government resources for the British “new towns.” The former ironworks in
Duisburg was transformed mainly with regional funding through the tenyear restructuring programme, IBA Emscher Park.
Similar, but also unique and authentic
Previously, I claim that the reinterpretation of the industrial place in the
late 20th century was a phenomenon with relatively similar characteristics
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all over the Western world. I also repeatedly observe how the redundant
industrial places were appreciated for being unique and authentic (chapters
three, four, five, six and seven). Taken together, how can these two statements
be understood? Do they contradict each other, or is there a conceivable
combination?
One frame for the entire investigation was the third industrial revolution
and the corresponding contemporary consumption society, in which the
production process in itself is not the centre of interest but what is possible
to sell. This is not just a matter of money, since the symbolic value of a
certain product becomes equal to, or even more important than the actual
price (chapter one). When the redundant industrial place was transformed
into a consumer experience within the realm of a commercial logic (chapter
seven), this experience was based on general characteristics, such as a new
appreciation of industrial aesthetics and an appraisal of waterfront and city
centre locations, as well as conceptions of authenticity. This was most obvious
in reuse processes for offices and housing (chapters two, three and seven).
Similarly, the industrial place became valuable at the local level, because
of its comparisons with other places, which not only emphasised the local
as being part of something bigger, but also as a unique entity. In Avesta,
the actors created compelling images of the industrial area by claiming
references to, for example, an Inca temple, and in Duisburg the associations
with landscape parks stressed another kind of similarity. Ironbridge, on the
other hand, was incessantly labelled “the cradle of the industrial revolution”
and thus a place of national and international importance. In this way it
declared its uniqueness in relation to the rest of the world. Both perspectives
– of similarity and uniqueness respectively – were present in each of the
three places investigated. The museum in Ironbridge, for example, both
adapted and distinguished itself against prevailing norms and practices.
While the idyllic setting in the Severn valley made it similar to other kinds
of heritage, the concept of a “living” museum with its in situ preserved built
environments made it special and authentic.
In general, the larger picture became an argument in the local
community, asserting similarity as well as uniqueness. Thus, I claim that
the homogeneity of the phenomenon and the aspect of authenticity and
uniqueness of individual places have mutually reinforced each other. An
international frame of reference was used to strengthen the conception of the
local industrial place both as truly unique, and as a prominent part of a larger
context. The chosen framework elucidated the locally articulated value, and
constituted a ground for local recognition and economic support. Thus, it is
possible to understand the reinterpreted industrial place both as a “point in
a spatial system” and as a “unique artefact” that can be experienced by the
senses, as it was suggested in the introduction (chapter one).
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The industrial past becomes harmless
The dark and difficult aspects of the duality of the factory have in the
reinterpretation and reuse process been selectively emphasised or suppressed.
The literal overgrowth of vegetation of industrial material structures, or the
comparatively wealthy recreational activities carried out in former industrial
places indicate that the political dynamite attached to the place has been
defused to a certain extent. The parts of the difficult past that some actors,
nevertheless, have chosen to stress are somehow manageable, and fit into
the general endeavour to change the former industrial place into an asset
in a local future project. In addition, the creation of new understandings
in all three investigated places was most often marked by agreement or
compromise. Hence, in its entirety, the reinterpreted industrial place has to
many people become fairly inoffensive and without risk. A commodity can
be created on the basis of a fascination for danger and misery, but it cannot
afford to be unpleasant.
At the same time, this study suggests that the reinterpretation of the
industrial place can be regarded as an expression of reconciliation with the
industrial past. Harmlessness and reconciliation certainly connote a different
kind of dignity, and many people would probably endorse neither of them.
The negotiations concerned with memory and meaning and the creation of
history and heritage have different outcomes in different communities and
periods of time. The individual and collective memory can be in accordance
or not. The necessity of forgetting is a reality, not only because the past in
its totality is naturally too encompassing and chaotic to be remembered or
given shape, but rather because meaning and intelligibility are also created
through oblivion, through what we choose not to remember. However, these
choices are never self-evident or natural, but expressions of power relations
and contemporary needs.
Hope and rust
The reinterpretation of the industrial place has been a way to formulate and
project visions of hope in local contexts. The industrial past, as heritage as
well as in other forms, mirrors contemporary calls for new identities and
new economic activities in society. Implicitly, a crucial part of the search for
new identities refers to a traditional male identity. The muscular and heroic
steel worker had to be replaced by another ideal, connected to values of
entrepreneurship and creativity, and expressed in more symbolic currencies.
Similarly, the understanding of what constitutes a “real” workplace and “real”
products is subject to change.
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Traces of young visitors to the blast furnace plant in Koppardalen in Avesta.
Photo: Anna Storm, 2006.
Rust represents industry becoming something that belongs to the past,
something that in many respects is being lost in the third industrial revolution
and the consumption society. An ambiguous lamenting over what has turned
rusty includes both relief and sorrow over what was left behind. The rust
implies that industry is no longer what it once was, but nevertheless forms
an important part of the new hope. Rust has become fashionable, signifying
the aesthetics of middle or upper middle class people, their apartments and
offices, art galleries and coffee table books. Rust signifies a valuable patina that
has become part of the commodification, demanded by urban intellectuals,
but also, although not fully and with some scepticism, by inhabitants of old
industrial communities.
When those who knew the “real sweat” of working in factories are no
longer around, some heritage professionals have suggested that the industrial
past will be encompassed by the same sentimentality as the agricultural
society. However, perhaps sentimentality is not the word I would choose,
but instead adventure, beauty, uniqueness and spectacle. Nevertheless, in the
global, third industrial revolution, the real sweat of workers in factories still
exists, but more in the non-Western places of the world, such as East Asia, or,
for example, Chusovoi in the Ural mountains (chapter two).
And while the northern works, later Koppardalen, in Avesta was being
reinterpreted and reused, the steel production in the southern works industrial
168
8. CONCLUDING DISCUSSION
area of the town continued, because the company managed to retain a strong
position in specialised niches of the global steel market. And although it
is still terribly hot in the rolling mills of the southern works, the workers
nowadays usually manage the process using a computer behind the glass walls
of a tempered room. The hard labour in front of the hot blast furnace when
the worker’s back was freezing cold because of the non-insulated plant is now
only a memory and a tale told in Avesta.
What will be the redundant industrial places of the future? This study
has not dealt with anonymous single-storied industrial buildings from the
post Second World War period, which are without windows, marked by the
fork-lift truck, located on the outskirts of the cities far from the waterfront.
How will these industrial landscapes be understood and used when they no
longer fill their present purpose? That is a question for further investigation.
I conclude that the view of former production sites, from the window
of a train, which opens this study, will most often signify an interpretation of
a college or business park, the mass production sites of our time. In parallel,
but as a less dominant reinterpretation, the redundant industrial place will
be understood as heritage or a museum. In sum, the industrial place has been
domesticated aesthetically, made democratic with regard to perspectives and
become accessible to a large audience by being transformed into a spectacle.
In the late 20th century, the factory as a material reality and an imaginative
tool has, undoubtedly, obtained new possible functions and users, new
possible pasts and futures.
169
8. CONCLUDING DISCUSSION
170
NOTES
NOTES
INTRODUCTION
1. Introduction
1
Håkon W. Andersen et al., Fabrikken, Oslo: Scandinavian Academic Press/Spartacus
Forlag, 2004; Anna Storm, ”Fabriken är död, länge leve fabriken” Svenska Dagbladet,
March 12 (2006).
2
Andersen et al., Fabrikken, p. 111ff.
3
Andersen et al., Fabrikken; Kjersti Bosdotter, ”’Ett rosigt skimmer och en hänsynslös, brutal
verklighet’” in Industrisamhällets kulturarv: Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets
kulturarv, 129–138, Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67, p. 133.
4
In the United States the textile industry of New England was declining already in the
1920s and 30s. Maura Doherty, ”Canaries in the coal mine: The deindustrialization of
New England and the rise of the global economy, 1923–1975” Essays in Economic and
Business History (1999), 149–162. In Norrköping, Sweden, the ”death of the textile
industry” was a continuous process during the 1950s and 1960s. Annika Alzén, Fabriken
som kulturarv: Frågan om industrilandskapets bevarande i Norrköping 1950–1985, Stockholm/
Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion, 1996, p. 72.
5
Pam Alexander, ”Conservation-led regeneration” in Proceedings of ”Making heritage
industrial buildings work” 19–24, London: Business in the Community, 1999, p. 19.
6
Mattias Legnér, ”The cultural significance of industrial heritage and urban development:
Woodberry in Baltimore, Maryland” in Stockholms Lilja: Stadshistoriska studier tillägnade
professorn i Stockholms historia Sven Lilja 23 juli 2007, ed. Lars Nilsson, 111–143, Stockholm:
Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, 2007, p. 122.
7
Neil Cossons, The BP book of industrial archaeology, Newton Abbot Devon: David & Charles,
1993, p. 10.
8
Thomas Birket-Smith, Industriens bygninger : Bygningskulturens dag 2007, København:
Kulturarvsstyrelsen, 2007, p. 4.
9
The word ”revolution” could be misleading. Although it is often used to describe fast,
and sometimes violent change, it is also possible to understand in terms of profound
– rather than rapid – transformation. The latter meaning is here the most relevant.
”Revolution” could also mean cycle, and thus a return to the point of departure. For
a semantic analysis of the word, see Reinhart Koselleck, Futures past: On the semantics of
historical time, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004, pp. 43–57. Original
publication Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Sematik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt am Main, 2000
(1989). Other researchers have suggested slightly different chronologies. See for
example Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 23ff; Eva Silvén, Bekänna färg: Modernitet,
maskulinitet, professionalitet, Stockholm: Nordiska museets förlag, 2004, p. 17ff.
10
Andersen et al., Fabrikken, p. 96ff.
11
Ibid., pp. 126, 137.
12
Ibid., p. 119. Andersen does not, however, use the concept of a second industrial revolution.
13
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 23, with reference to Marie Nisser.
14
Anders Houltz, Teknikens tempel: Modernitet och industriarv på Göteborgsutställningen 1923,
Hedemora: Gidlund, 2003, p. 275f.
15
Ola Wetterberg describes the same phenomenon within Swedish building conservation, but
stresses the contrast more as a critique of modern society. Ola Wetterberg, Monument och
171
NOTES
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
172
miljö: Perspektiv på det tidiga 1900-talets byggnadsvård i Sverige, Göteborg: Chalmers, 1992, p. 325.
Eric Hobsbawm, ”Mass-producing traditions: Europe, 1870–1914” in The invention of
tradition, eds. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, 263–307, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1983, pp. 263, 271f, 303ff.
Maths Isacson, ”Den högindustriella epoken” in Industrialismens tid: Ekonomisk-historiska
perspektiv på svensk industriell omvandling under 200 år, eds. Maths Isacson and Mats Morell,
115–124, Stockholm: SNS förlag, 2002; Maths Isacson, ”Industrialismens faser och
utveckling” in Industrisamhällets kulturarv: Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets
kulturarv, 75–84, Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67.
Klas-Göran Karlsson, ”Historia och samhälle: Exemplet det moderna Sverige” in Den
välsignade tillväxten: Tankelinjer kring ett århundrade av kapitalism, teknik, kultur och vetenskap,
eds. Peter Elmlund and Kay Glans, 201–213, Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1998.
Johan Asplund, Teorier om framtiden, Stockholm: Liber, 1979, p. 38ff.
Maths Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige: Arbete, ideal och kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur,
2007; Maths Isacson and Mats Morell, eds. Industrialismens tid: Ekonomisk-historiska
perspektiv på svensk industriell omvandling under 200 år, Stockholm: SNS förlag, 2002; Isacson,
”Industrialismens faser och utveckling.”
Andersen et al., Fabrikken, p. 143.
Ibid., p. 122.
In Sweden the concept of a third industrial revolution has been suggested primarily by
economic historians Lars Magnusson, Lennart Schön, Mats Larsson and Maths Isacson.
The concept has however been used internationally since the mid-1960s in contexts
like space engineering et cetera. For a historiographic survey, see Maths Isacson, ”Tre
industriella revolutioner?” in Industrialismens tid: Ekonomisk-historiska perspektiv på svensk
industriell omvandling under 200 år, eds. Maths Isacson and Mats Morell, 11–28, Stockholm:
SNS förlag, 2002.
David Harvey, The condition of postmodernity: An enquiry into the origins of cultural change,
Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1990, p. vii.
Zygmunt Bauman, ”From pilgrim to tourist – or a short history of identity” in Questions
of cultural identity, eds. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, 18–36, London: SAGE Publications
Ltd, 1996, p. 29.
According to a survey of research about the use of history, an experience of thorough
changes or crises can generally be related to an increased interest in the past. Peter
Aronsson, Historiebruk: Att använda det förflutna, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2004, p. 286.
Kenneth Hudson, ”Introduction” in The industrial past and the industrial present, ed. Kenneth
Hudson, vii–ix, Bath: Bath University Press, 1967, p. viii.
Ibid. According to Peter Aronsson, historical arguments are more often used explicitly
in order to slow down a threatening development, than to legitimise change. Aronsson,
Historiebruk, p. 278.
Paul Ricœur, Memor y, history, forgetting, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004, p. 333ff.
Original publication La mémoire, l’histoire, l’oubli, Éditions du Seuil, 2000.
Paul Ricœur, ”Vad är en text?” in Från text till handling: En antologi om hermeneutik, eds.
Peter Kemp and Bengt Kristensson, 29–64, Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings
bokförlag Symposion, 1993, p. 39ff. Original publication ”Qu’est-ce qu’un texte?
Expliquer et comprendre” in Hermeneutik und Dialektik, ed. R. Bubner, 181–200,
Tübingen: J C B Mohr, 1970.
Paul Ricœur, Time and narrative, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984–1988.
Original publication Temps et Récit, Éditions du Seuil, 1983; Ricœur, Memory, history,
forgetting.
Aronsson, Historiebruk, p. 275f.
Yi-Fu Tuan, ”Place: An experiential perspective” The Geographical Review, 2 (1975), 151–165, p. 151f.
Ibid., p. 151.
Ibid., p. 164.
Ricœur, Memory, histor y, forgetting, pp. 41, 150.
Doreen Massey, ”Places and their pasts” History Workshop Journal 39 (1995), 182–192.
Kevin Lynch, What time is this place?, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1972, p. 1.
Ibid., p. 40.
Koselleck, Futures past, p. 257ff.
NOTES
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
Bauman, ”From pilgrim to tourist” p. 19.
Ibid., p. 23, with reference to Christopher Lasch.
Paul Ricœur, Time and narrative, vol. 3, p. 5.
David Harvey, ”From space to place and back again: Reflections on the condition of
postmodernity” in Mapping the futures: Local cultures, global change, eds. Jon Bird et al., 3–29,
London: Routledge, 1993, p. 4; Tuan, ”Place: An experiential perspective” p. 152f. See
also Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values, New
York: Columbia University Press, 1974, p. 146.
Andersen et al., Fabrikken, p. 464.
Ibid., p. 467.
Ibid., p. 477.
Michael Stratton, ”Understanding the potential: Location, configuration and conversion
options” in Industrial buildings: Conservation and regeneration, ed. Michael Stratton, 30–46,
London: E & FN Spon, 2000, p. 34.
Ibid., p. 37f.
One way the two professional perspectives previously have been investigated together
is when cultural heritage is regarded as infrastructure in a planning process. See for
example Krister Olsson, Från bevarande till skapande av värde: Kulturmiljövården i kunskapssamhället, Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology, 2003; Catrin Jonsson, Postindustriella
parker : Industriella platser som offentliga parker, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Ultuna, 2007.
One of the key texts for the dig-where-you-stand activities, Gräv där du står : Hur man
utforskar ett jobb by Sven Lindqvist, has according to the publisher, the Bonnier group,
however, been translated into German, Norwegian, and Danish.
Sharon Zukin, Loft living: Culture and capital in urban change, New Brunswick, New Jersey:
Rutgers University Press, 1982; Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of power : From Detroit to Disney
World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991; Sharon Zukin, The culture of cities,
Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1995.
Dolores Hayden, The power of place: Urban landscapes as public history, Cambridge: The MIT
Press, 1995; Lynch, What time is this place?
Tim Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality, Oxford: Berg, 2005.
Ibid., p. 122.
Marie Nisser has worked actively to establish networks where scholars and heritage
professionals from different countries can increase their knowledge by exchanging
experience. This ambition has taken shape among other things in training courses in
industrial heritage concerning the Nordic and Baltic countries, and furthermore
through Nisser’s work – during 1984–90 as president – in the International Committee
for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage, TICCIH. See also Andis Cinis et al.,
eds. Industrial heritage around the Baltic Sea, forthcoming. A national comparative
perspective has furthermore been emphasised in the Swedish industrial heritage
research. See for example Jan af Geijerstam, ed. Industriarvsmiljöer i förändring: Rapport från
en konferens i Ramnäs, Västmanland 6–8 oktober 1999, Smedjebacken: Ekomuseum
Bergslagen, 2000; Jan af Geijerstam, ed. Industriarv i förändring: Rapport från en konferens,
Koppardalen, Avesta, 7–9 mars 2006, Avesta, 2007.
See for example Marie Nisser, ”Industriminnen på den internationella arenan” in
Industrisamhällets kulturarv: Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets kulturarv, 217–226,
Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67; Marie Nisser, ”Industriminnen
under hundra år” Nordisk Museologi, 1 (1996), 73–82.
Dag Avango, Sveagruvan: Svensk gruvhantering mellan industri, diplomati och geovetenskap 1910–1934,
Stockholm: Jernkontoret, 2005; Eva Dahlström, Verkstadsmiljöer under 1800-talet: Mekaniska verkstäder mellan hantverk och industri, Eslöv: Brutus Östlings bokförlag Symposion,
1999; Jan af Geijerstam, Landscapes of technology transfer: Swedish ironmakers in India 1860–1864,
Stockholm: Jernkontoret, 2004; Houltz, Teknikens tempel; Brita Lundström, Grundat 1876:
Historia och företagsidentitet inom Ericsson, Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology, 2006;
Helene Sjunnesson, Papper och lump: Studier av kontinuitet och förändring i nordisk pappersindustri
från 1600-tal till 1900-tal, Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology, 2006. See also Dag
Avango and Brita Lundström, eds. Industrins avtryck: Perspektiv på ett forskningsfält, Eslöv:
Brutus Östlings bokförlag Symposion, 2003; Dag Avango et al., Industrins avtryck: Rapport
från en seminarieserie 2004–2005, Stockholm: Avdelningen för teknik- och vetenskapshistoria,
173
NOTES
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
Royal Institute of Technology, 2005.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv.
Ibid., p. 77.
Johan Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia: Museer, identitet och berättelser i Eskilstuna 1959–2000,
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005.
Gabriella Olshammar, Det permanentade provisoriet: Ett återanvänt industriområde i väntan på
rivning eller erkännande, Göteborg: Chalmers, 2002.
In an overview of research connected to use of history, a field to which this study is
related, Peter Aronsson emphasises the need for local and international investigations,
for comparative perspectives and an interest in emotional and aesthetic components.
Aronsson, Historiebruk, pp. 277–285.
A second important interviewee unfortunately decided, after more than one year of
continuous contact, not to answer my questions, and I was not able to trace a third
sought-after interviewee.
Regarding the interviews, it has been my impression that most of the actors have given
interviews about their work before, within different contexts, but not to a great extent
about their own incentives and experiences. This made the interview situations in
general relaxed and concentrated but still the interviewees had to reflect upon these
issues in a fresh manner and not answer by habit. With a few exceptions, the
interviews were recorded and partly or entirely transcribed. The Swedish actors were
interviewed in Swedish, the British actors were interviewed in English, which is not
my mother tongue but theirs, and the German actor was interviewed in English as
well, thus creating a situation where none of us were talking in our mother tongue.
All quotes from the interviews in Swedish – as well as the quotes from Swedish,
Danish, Norwegian and German texts – were translated by the author.
See for example Nisser, ”Industriminnen på den internationella arenan.”
2. Heritage,
and
poplular
appeal
HERITAGE,memory
MEMORY
AND
POPULAR
APPEAL
1
Jan af Geijerstam, Landscapes of technology transfer: Swedish ironmakers in India 1860–1864,
Stockholm: Jernkontoret, 2004, p. 11–16.
2
Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard, European heritage planning and management, Exeter:
Intellect Ltd, 1999, p. 55.
3
Ibid., pp. 35–59.
4
Michael Hunter, ”Introduction: The fitful rise of British preservation” in Preserving the
past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 1–16, Gloucestershire: Alan
Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 11.
5
Gavin Stamp, ”The art of keeping one jump ahead: Conservation societies in the
twentieth century” in Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael
Hunter, 77–98, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 92.
6
Ashworth and Howard, European heritage planning and management, p. 42; Andrew Saint,
”How listing happened” in Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed.
Michael Hunter, 115–134, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 115ff;
Hunter, ”Introduction” p. 9.
7
Ola Wetterberg, Monument och miljö: Perspektiv på det tidiga 1900-talets byggnadsvård i Sverige,
Göteborg: Chalmers, 1992, p. 9f.
8
Saint, ”How listing happened” p. 117; Hunter, ”Introduction” p. 7f.
9
Saint, ”How listing happened” p. 124.
10
Revision and perhaps exclusion of what has already been appointed heritage was, and
still is, extremely rare. One obvious exception is the former Soviet states where new
selections of heritage have been part of the formation of a new national identity.
Ashworth and Howard, European heritage planning and management, p. 49.
11
Pierre Nora, ”Between memory and history: Les lieux de mémoire” Representations 26
(1989), 7–24, p. 14.
12
The ”restoration à la mode” is associated with Eugene Etienne Viollet-le-Duc in France
174
NOTES
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
and the ”anti-restoration movement” is associated with John Ruskin and William
Morris in Britain. For Morris see for example Chris Miele, ”The first conservation
militants: William Morris and the Society for the protection of ancient buildings” in
Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 17–37,
Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996.
North of England Open-Air Museum at Beamish website, http://www.beamish.org.uk/,
accessed December 3, 2007.
Sharon Zukin, Loft living: Culture and capital in urban change, New Brunswick, New Jersey:
Rutgers University Press, 1982, p. 59; Hunter, ”Introduction” p. 10; Sophie Andreae,
”From comprehensive development to conservation areas” in Preserving the past: The rise
of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 135–155, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton
Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 147.
Timothy Champion, ”Protecting the monuments: Archaeological legislation from the
1882 Act to PPG 16” in Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael
Hunter, 38–56, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 53; Andreae,
”From comprehensive development to conservation areas” p. 142ff.
Michael Stratton, ”Open-air and industrial museums: Windows on to a lost world or
graveyards for unloved buildings?” in Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern
Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 156–176, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd,
1996, p. 160.
Gavin Stamp, ”The art of keeping one jump ahead: Conservation societies in the
twentieth century” p. 86ff.
Ibid., p. 94f.
Annika Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv: Frågan om industrilandskapets bevarande i Norrköping
1950–1985, Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion, 1996, p. 15.
Stratton, ”Open-air and industrial museums” p. 157f. See also Colin Sorensen, ”Theme
parks and time machines” in The new museology, ed. Peter Vergo, 60–73, London: Reaktion,
1989, p. 64.
The organisation was later renamed the International Committee for the Conservation
of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).
Marie Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år” Nordisk Museologi 1 (1996), 73–82.
There are of course exceptions. See for example Marie Nisser, ”The documentation of
the paper and pulp industry in Sweden: Project to convert a paper mill into a
museum” in The industrial heritage: The third international conference on the conservation of
industrial monuments. Transactions 2. Scandinavian reports, ed. Marie Nisser, 85–86, Stockholm:
Nordiska museet, 1978, p. 85.s
The Council of Europe and the European Union, for example, both influence the
agenda. The Council of Europe has among other things drawn attention to the urban
built environment through the naming of years, for example the European
Architectural Heritage Year in 1975. Hitherto, the European Union has not been a
major actor in this field, partly depending on its internal organisation that split the
heritage questions between several different areas of responsibility. The United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) founded in 1945,
the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) founded in 1946 and
the International Council of Museums (ICOM) founded in 1964 are other actors that
have contributed to the international discussions.
Ashworth and Howard, European heritage planning and management, p. 73; Jan Turtinen,
Världsarvets villkor : Intressen, förhandlingar och bruk i internationell politik, Stockholm:
Stockholm University, 2006, p. 172f. The World Heritage List is one way in which
UNESCO seeks to ”encourage the identification, protection and preservation of
cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value
to humanity.” The ambition is embodied in an international treaty called the
”Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”
that was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. World Heritage List website, http://whc.unesco.org/,
accessed September 12, 2006.
Beside the four sites mentioned, world heritage designations of industrial sites include
Maritime Greenwich in Britain in 1997, the Naval Port of Karlskrona in Sweden in
1998, Mountain Railways of India in 1999, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape in
175
NOTES
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
176
Britain in 2000, the Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun in Sweden in
2001, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen in Germany in 2001,
Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City in Britain in 2004, the Varberg Radio Station in
Sweden in 2004, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape in Britain in 2006, and the
Sewell Mining Town in Chile in 2006. World Heritage List website, http://whc.unesco.org/,
accessed September 12, 2006. On the World Heritage List as a whole there is an
imbalance between Western architectural monuments and ”other types of heritage,”
something that UNESCO strives to change. Turtinen, Världsarvets villkor, p. 71.
Ashworth and Howard, European heritage planning and management, p. 72; David Lowenthal,
The heritage crusade and the spoils of history, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 80.
See for example Gert-Jan Hospers, ”Industrial heritage tourism and regional
restructuring in the European Union” European Planning Studies (2002), 397–404; Bo
Hedskog, Återanvändning av industri- och specialbyggnader : Fastighetsekonomiska, tekniska och
funktionella aspekter på val av ny användning, Stockholm: Institutionen för fastighetsekonomi,
Royal Institute of Technology, 1982; Sanering efter industrinedläg gningar : Betänkande av
industrisaneringsutredningen, Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 1982:10.
Wetterberg, Monument och miljö, p. 9f.
Michael Rix, ”Industrial archaeology” The Amateur Historian (1955), 225–229; Annika
Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse: En jämförande studie” in Kulturarvens gränser : Komparativa
perspektiv, eds. Peter Aronsson et al., Göteborg: Bokförlaget Arkipelag, 2005, p. 212. See
also Barrie Trinder, ed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Industrial Archaeology, Oxford, 1992,
p. 350; Kenneth Hudson, ”Ecomuseums become more realistic” Nordisk Museologi
(1996), 11–19. Already in 1878, Isaac Fletcher wrote an article where he connected
archaeology with comparatively modern industry. Isaac Fletcher, ”The Archaeology of the
West Cumberland Coal Trade” Trans. Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian Society (1878).
One can assert that the activity that was later to be labelled industrial archaeology had in
fact been going on within the Newcomen Society since its formation in 1919,
although the Newcomen Society was a learned society and its members consequently
considered the industrial archaeology movement in the 1960s not to be scientific
enough. Henrik Harnow, ”Industriel arkæologi – modefænomen eller tiltrængt nybrud?”
Fortid og Nutid 4 (1992), 253–271, p. 263. See also Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” p. 211.
Journal of Industrial Archaeology was established in 1964 by Kenneth Hudson. The name
was later changed to Industrial Archaeology and in 1976 followed by the Industrial
Archaeology Review. The voluntarily made recordings of industrial milieus were
collected in the National Record of Industrial Monuments, NRIM, and administred
initially by the Council for British Archaeology, and from 1965 by the History of
Technology at Bath University. Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 26f. See also Stafford M.
Linsley, ”Recent development in British industrial archaeology” in The industrial
heritage: The third international conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions
1. National reports, ed. Marie Nisser, 19–30, Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1978. For a
description of the industrial monuments survey, see Rex Wailes, ”The organisation
and progress of the industrial monuments survey” in The industrial past and the industrial
present, ed. Kenneth Hudson, 18–33, Bath: Bath University Press, 1967.
The word ”ecomuseum” was coined at the ICOM general conference held in 1971 in
Grenoble named ”The museum in the service of man today and tomorrow.” John
Aage Gjestrum, ”En bibliografi om økomuseer” Nordisk Museologi 2 (1996), 57–70, with
reference to Hugues de Varine. See also Ashworth and Howard, European heritage
planning and management, p. 81.
However, there has been a struggle about how to define the concept, including some
advocates for a bias towards ecology. The concept was also coined during the rise of
environmentalism and can as such be regarded to meet political needs of the time.
Peter Davis, Ecomuseums: A sense of place, London: Leicester University Press, 1999, p. 3.
Ibid., pp. 67ff, 228.
There are, however, some European countries where no ecomuseums exist in name,
notably in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece and Spain. Ibid., p. 114.
Ibid., p. 121; Örjan Hamrin, ”Ekomuseum Bergslagen – nyckelord då och nu” in
Industriarv i förändring: Rapport från en konferens, Koppardalen, Avesta, 7–9 mars 2006, ed. Jan
af Geijerstam, 107–111, Avesta, 2007, p. 108.
NOTES
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39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 83ff.
Gunnar Sillén, Stiga vi mot ljuset: Om dokumentation av industri- och arbetarminnen, Stockholm,
1977; Sven Lindqvist, Gräv där du står: Hur man utforskar ett jobb, Stockholm, 1978. Sillén
was an architect working at the National Board of Antiquities. Lindqvist was a wellknown writer. See also Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 81f.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 84.
Ibid.
The increasing activity of local amateur research in the form of study groups did start
before the books of Sillén and Lindqvist, but flourished most intensely in connection
to these publications in the last years of the 1970s. Activities preceding the dig-whereyou-stand study groups were, for example, the travelling exhibition ”Land du
välsignade” made by Riksutställningar and touring from 1973 and onwards, the radioand TV-series ”Bygd i förvandling” sent in 1974, that were inspired by about five
hundred study groups in northern Sweden. Ibid., p. 79ff. See also Maths Isacson,
Industrisamhället Sverige: Arbete, ideal och kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2007, p. 249ff.
Maths Isacson, ”Arbetarrörelsen och lokalhistorien” Kronos (1989); Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 250. The dig-where-you-stand activities coincided with a
governmental shift in Sweden. The Social Democratic Party had to step back in 1976,
after forty-four years in power. The whole labour movement at this time also began
to balance its focus on future change with an interest in and consciousness of the
past. The concepts of history and heritage, earlier strongly attached to what were
regarded conservative ideals, were turned into progressive weapons for the labour
movement. The dig-where-you-stand study groups could therefore also be said to
constitute a part of a process of democratisation and decentralisation that marked the
Swedish politics of the 1970s. Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” pp. 82, 217.
R. Angus Buchanan, Industrial archaeology in Britain, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd,
1972, p. 19.
Ashworth and Howard, European heritage planning and management, p. 21.
Ewa Bergdahl, ”Ekomuseet i en framtidsvision” Nordisk Museologi 2 (1996), 35–40.
Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” p. 219.
Primarily the male industrial work was in focus. Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 93.
Ibid., p. 83. The title is a phrase from the Swedish translation of the Internationale.
Ibid., pp. 95, 101. See also Hugues de Varine, ”The museum in the fourth dimension”
Nordisk Museologi 2 (1996), 51–56.
Peter Vergo, ”Introduction” in The new museology, ed. Peter Vergo, 1–5, London: Reaktion,
1989, p. 3.
Hugues de Varine, ”Ecomuseum or community museum? 25 years of applied research
in museology and development” Nordisk Museologi 2 (1996), 21–26.
Marc Maure, ”Identitet, økologi, deltakelse: Om museenes nye rolle” in Økomuseumsboka:
Identitet, økologi, deltakelse, eds. John Aage Gjestrum and Marc Maure, 16–32, Tromsø:
Norsk ICOM, 1988, p. 24.
The amateur theatre in Sweden overall differed from that in the neighbouring Nordic
countries of Finland, Denmark and Norway by this proletarian emphasis, which
however disappeared in the mid-1980s. Leif Dahlberg, ”Varför arbetarspel just i
Sverige?” in Historia och framtid: Det internordiska lokal- och arbetarspelseminariet på Arbetets
museum i Norrköping 1986, ed. Jan af Geijerstam, Stockholm, 1987. There is a long
Swedish tradition of amateur theatre. See for example Bodil Axelsson, ”Sommarteater
som spelplats för demokrati: Möjligheter och dilemman” in Demokratiskt kulturarv?
Nationella institutioner, universella värden, lokala praktiker, eds. Annika Alzén and Peter
Aronsson, 216–226, Norrköping: Linköping University, 2006, p. 220ff.
Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år.”
Harnow, ”Industriel arkæologi – modefænomen eller tiltrængt nybrud?” p. 266.
In the late 1970s, industrial archaeology carried out in Canada was described as ”remarkably similar” to that in the United States, although the field in Canada was not yet
fully developed. Dianne Newell and Robert M. Vogel, ”A north American report” in
The industrial heritage: The third international conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions 1. National reports, ed. Marie Nisser, 91–108, Stockholm: Nordiska
museet, 1978.
177
NOTES
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59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
178
Ibid., p. 93.
Furthermore, the Society for Industrial Archeology was said to be international, thus
not only comprising the United States. Ibid., p. 93f.
Charles K. Hyde, ”Birth of the SIA” IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology (1991).
Newell and Vogel, ”The industrial heritage” p. 95f. The Historic American Engineering
Record was established in 1969. HAER website, http://www.nps.gov/hdp/haer/,
accessed July 6, 2007.
Hudson, ”Ecomuseums become more realistic.” According to Hudson, the actual work
was carried out by the professionals providing guidelines, while the amateurs
collected material, and the professionals finally presented the result in a meaningful
way. This was the case for the ecomuseum at Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines, but
also for many ecomuseums in France and other countries later on.
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 223ff. Davis does not explicitly assert that it was the museum
professionals that carried out the principal discussions, but he formulates the
volunteer participation in terms of ”use of volunteers” which I understand as they
were neither leaders nor opponents.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 91.
See for example Gunnar Sillén, ”Visa arbetets villkor!” Form (1978), 16–19; Helena
Friman, ”Du skapar onödig fejd mellan amatörer och kulturhistoriker” Fönstret: ABF:s
tidning (1979), 6–7; Bengt Olvång, ”Har vi någon nytta av historiens lokomotiv?”
Aftonbladet January 11 (1979). See also Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” p. 223.
For a discussion about the early debate, see chapter 1 ”What is industrial archaeology?”
in Kenneth Hudson, Industrial archaeology: An introduction, London: John Baker
Publishers Ltd, 1963. For a later discussion, see Marilyn Palmer, ”Industrial
archaeology: A thematic or a period discipline?” Antiquity (1990), 275–285.
There were, however, people that asserted that the archaeological approach was
appropriate, although the time period had to be expanded to include industrial or
industry related activities from pre-historic periods. See for example Arthur Raistrick,
Industrial archaeology: An historical survey, London, 1972.
Linsley, ”The industrial heritage” p. 21.
According to Alzén however, neither in the United States nor in Britain did industrial
archaeology comprise an ambition of social and political character. Alzén, ”Kulturarv
i rörelse” p. 224.
Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år.”
”Adaptive use handbook grant to SIA” Newsletter : Society for Industrial Archeology (1973).
Avaliable on the Society for Industrial Archeology website, http://www.siahq.org/,
accessed August 23, 2007.
Hudson, Industrial archaeology: An introduction, p. 20f; University of Birmingham website,
http://www.ironbridge.bham.ac.uk/staff/tribute.htm, accessed September 15, 2006.
For a description of the educational development, see also Patrick E. Martin,
”Industrial archeology and historic mining studies at Michigan Tech” CRM: The Journal
of Heritage Stewardship 7 (1998); William Crandall, Alan Rowe, and John A. Parnell, ”New
frontiers in management research: The case for industrial archeology” The Coastal
Business Journal 1 (2003); Helena E. Wright and Eric N. Delony, ”National reports:
United States” in Industrial heritage Austria 1987. Transactions 1: The sixth international
conference on the conservation of the industrial heritage, eds. Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer,
Peter Swittalek, and Manfred Wehdorn, 141–149, Wien, 1987, p. 144; Bruce E. Seely
and Patrick E. Martin, ”A doctoral program in industrial heritage and archeology at
Michigan Tech” CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship 1 (2006).
Sven Lindqvist, ”Arbetets historia” Dagens Nyheter November 6 (1977). Lindqvist was also
influenced by oral history and when the key text of oral history (Paul Thompson, The
voice of the past: Oral history, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978) was translated into
Swedish, Lindqvist wrote the preface. Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” p. 218.
Sven Lindqvist, ”How to research a job” in The industrial heritage: The third international
conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions 3, ed. Marie Nisser, 31–38,
Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1978.
Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse” p. 220.
Annika Alzén, ”Rörelser i det förflutna” in Idéer om hembygden: Utmaningar för en folkrörelse
NOTES
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78
79
80
81
med lokalsamhället i fokus i en glokaliserad värld, eds. Peter Aronsson and Annika Sandén,
Norrköping: Tema kultur och samhälle, Linköping University, 2007, p. 49ff.
Birgitta Burell, Man måste vara lite tokig! En undersökning av arbetslivsmuseernas villkor och
engagemang , Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet, 2001, p. 5.
Ewa Bergdahl, ”Form och förmedling” in Industriarv i förändring: Rapport från en konferens,
Koppardalen, Avesta, 7–9 mars 2006, ed. Jan af Geijerstam, 71–78, Avesta, 2007, p. 76.
Jan af Geijerstam, ”Arbetets historiska landskap – bevarat men i förändring” in Arbetslivsmuseer i
Sverige, Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet i samarbete med Arbetets museum, 2004, p. 12.
E-mail from Peter Davis to the author, October 16, 2007.
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 227.
3. Koppardalen
Koppardalen ininAvesta:
CHANGING
CHANGING
MATERIALITY
Avesta:
ChangingMEANINGS,
meanings, changing
materiality
1
For a thorough cultural history of the European bison, see Simon Schama, Landscape and
memory, London: Fontana Press, 1996, pp. 37–74. Slag is a rest product from smelting
of ore, for example, copper and iron ore. The copper slag is almost black while the
iron slag has shots of green, blue or grey. Beginning in the 18th century, and because
of the scarce resources of wood, slag was used as a building material, as moulded
bricks or chips. Ann Marie Gunnarsson, ”Hus av slagg” Dagsverket, 4 (2003), 8–9.
2
For a more detailed description of the European bison in Avesta, see Anna Storm,
Koppardalen: Om historiens plats i omvandlingen av ett industriområde, Stockholm, 2005; Anna
Storm, ”Visenten – identitetssymbol eller varumärke?” in Attraktivitet – hur och för vem?,
ed. Marja-Leena Pilvesmaa, 57–59, Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet 2005:4.
3
Helena Kåks, Avesta: Industriarbete och vardagsliv genom 400 år, Falun: Dalarnas forskningsråd,
2002, p. 137.
4
Avesta municipality website, http://www.avesta.se, accessed March 21, 2005.
5
Kåks, Avesta, p. 145.
6
Anne-Marie Nenzell, ”Bubbelbadad visent tar plats mitt i stan” Avesta Tidning, October 17 (2001).
7
At this place, the company expected it to be noticeable both for the local population
and for visitors. Hopefully it would so also avoid being damaged. The local manager
emphasised that it was still the company that owned the sculpture and what it
represented also henceforth was of concern for the iron and steel company. He even
warned that the company would take the sculpture back as the ”darling” it was, if it
was subject to damage. Ibid.
8
Einar Lövgren, Folkare din hembygd, Avesta, 1977, p. 120.
9
Kåks, Avesta, pp. 27, 37. At the most about 100 people worked at the copper works, in 1675.
10
See for example Eva Vikström, Industrimiljöer på landsbygden: Översikt över kunskapsläget,
Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet, 1994, p. 16ff; Maths Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige:
Arbete, ideal och kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2007, p. 44ff. A location that is striving
to minimise the cost of transportation has for long been a dominant paradigm in
location theory, although the model has been extended in different directions. The
location of the firm is a subject initiated by Launhardt (1882) and Weber (1909).
Extensions have been made for example to deal with location choices of multi-plant
firms. Jacques-François Thisse, ”Introduction” in Location theory, eds. Jacques-François
Thisse, Kenneth J. Button, and Peter Nijkamp, xvii–xxxii, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
Publishing Limited, 1996, pp. xviii–xix.
11
Thisse mentions two polar cases of separation, one that is associated with segments of
the market, and one that corresponds to the production process. Obviously I am here
referring to the latter. Thisse, ”Location theory” pp. xviii–xix.
12
Vikström, Industrimiljöer på landsbygden, pp. 42–73; Eva Vikström, Platsen, bruket och samhället:
Tätortsbildning och arkitektur 1860–1970, Stockholm: Statens råd för byggnadsforskning,
1991, p. 23ff. Beside the company towns there are of course more diverse cities
where different kinds of industry make up just one part together with, for example,
trade and governmental institutions as the basis of the urban conglomeration.
13
The coin manufacturing came to an end already in 1832 when the Swedish government
179
NOTES
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15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
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35
36
37
180
decided to move it to the capital of Stockholm. Kåks, Avesta, p. 66.
Blast furnace number one was built in 1874 and taken out of use in 1938. Blast furnace
number two was built in 1876 and taken out of use in 1920. Blast furnace number
three was built 1915 and taken out of use in 1918. All three blast furnaces were
temporarily put out of operation. The open-hearth plant in Avesta was in operation
between 1887 and 1954. Verket website, http://www.verket.se, accessed March 21, 2005.
Svenska Dagbladet, November 3, 1976, Bo Hermelins samling, F1:10, ENC. Note that the
number of employees indicates those employed at the company, which is not
equivalent to those working in the industrial area of Norra verken. In this area about
2000 people have been working at the most. Anteckningar rörande Avesta Jernverk under
disponent Walfrid Erikssons tid (1927–49), Meddelande 18.2, 1971, Avesta Jernverks AB,
F2B:119, ENC.
Sten von Matérn, ”Hållpunkter i Avestas historia” in Koppardalens utveckling: Underlag för
prioritering och detaljerad planering av Koppardalens vidare utveckling och exploatering, 1996, Avesta
municipal archives, p. 2.
Gabriella Olshammar, Det permanentade provisoriet: Ett återanvänt industriområde i väntan på
rivning eller erkännande, Göteborg: Chalmers, 2002, p. 41.
Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Avesta Industristad AB. Bilaga 2, Hyreskontrakt 1, 1986, Avesta
municipality, p. 3.
Annika Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv: Frågan om industrilandskapets bevarande i Norrköping
1950-1985, Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion, 1996, p. 73.
For example, one can compare the attitude towards the abandoned industrial areas in
Avesta with those in Norrköping. Ibid., p. 58.
Victor Turner, The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure, London: Routledge & Kegan
Paul, 1969, quote from p. 94.
Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1991, p. 269.
Mattias Qviström, ”Väntans landskap: Om studier av stadsranden och dess morgondag”
Nordisk arkitekturforskning, 3 (2005), 96–105; Olshammar, Det permanentade provisoriet;
Torsten Hägerstrand, ”Perspektiv på teknik och teknikhistoria” Polhem, 12 (1994), 2–72.
The Swedish words in original: ”vänteläge,” ”permanentat provisorium” and
”möjlighetsrymd.”
For an architectural perspective on Swedish company towns during the 20th century, mainly
regarding the built environment outside the industrial areas, see Eva Vikström, Bruksandan
och modernismen: Brukssamhälle och folkhemsbygge i Bergslagen 1935–1975, Stockholm: Nordiska
museet, 1998. A section about Avesta is to be found on pp. 171–178.
The altitude varies between 71 and 84 metres above sea level, with an inclination
towards the river. Detaljplan för Koppardalens industriområde, Planbestämmelser, July 26,
1989, Avesta municipality.
Vikström, Bruksandan och modernismen, p. 174ff.
Eva Rudberg, Alvar Aalto i Sverige, Stockholm: Arkitekturmuseet, 2005, pp. 66–77.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 219.
Jan Fredriksson, ”Alvar Aalto och den uteblivna förnyelsen av Avesta stadscentrum”
Dalarna (1997), 141–154.
Rudberg, Alvar Aalto i Sverige, p. 118ff. Sundh Centre is one of two out of Aalto’s many
proposals in Sweden that were actually built. The other one was Västmanland-Dala
student clubhouse in Uppsala, finished in 1965. Rudberg, Alvar Aalto i Sverige, p. 128ff.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 219f.
Ibid., p. 22. The numbers include mining but exclude the building sector.
Ibid., p. 207.
The municipality at the same time also bought the old workers housing area ”Gamla
byn.” Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Gamla Byn AB. Köpekontrakt, 1986, Avesta municipality.
Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Avesta Industristad AB. Huvudavtal. Letter of intent, June 4, 1986,
Avesta municipality; Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Avesta Industristad AB. Ramavtal, 1986,
Avesta municipality, p. 1.
Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Avesta Industristad AB. Bilaga 1, Överenskommelse om fastighetsreglering, 1986, Avesta municipality. p. 1f.
Avtal mellan Avesta AB och Avesta Industristad AB. Bilaga 1:14, Asbestförekomst i ventilations-
NOTES
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39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
anläggningar – Avesta AB i Avesta, 1985, Avesta municipality; Avtal mellan Avesta AB och
Avesta Industristad AB. Bilaga 1:15, Angående asbest i Norra Verken, 1986, Avesta municipality.
Sergio Conti, Edward J. Malecki, and Päivi Oinas, ”Introduction: Rethinking the
geography of enterprise” in The industrial enter prise and its environment: Spatial perspectives,
eds. Sergio Conti, Edward J. Malecki, and Päivi Oinas, 1–10, Aldershot: Avebury, 1995, p. 8.
Manuel Castells, Informationsåldern: Ekonomi, samhälle och kultur, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2000,
p. 472ff; Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots: A cross-cultural theory of urban social
movements, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. See for example p. 314; David
Harvey, ”From space to place and back again: Reflections on the condition of
postmodernity” in Mapping the futures: Local cultures, global change, eds. Jon Bird et al., 3–29,
London: Routledge, 1993.
Harvey, ”From space to place and back again” p. 4.
Sverker Sörlin has suggested that the process of giving value and meaning to natural or
cultural landscapes or objects could be viewed as a ”trading zone” where different
actors present their arguments in order to define the status of the landscape or
object. The concept is borrowed from Peter Galison. Sverker Sörlin, ”The trading
zone between articulation and preservation: Production of meaning in landscape
history and the problems of heritage decision-making” in Rational decision-making in the
preservation of cultural property: Report of the 86th Dahlem workshop, Berlin, March 26–31, 2000,
eds. Norbert S. Baer and Folke Snickars, 47–59, Berlin: Dahlem University Press, 2001.
Kåks, Avesta, p. 137ff.
Jan Thamsten, interview, Avesta, September 16, 2003.
For an overview, see Caroline Tholander, Koppardalsprojektet ur ett uthållighetsperspektiv: Begreppsoch verktygslåda. Teorier och erfarenheter från Chalmers, m. fl., Göteborg: Chalmers, 1999. Part 3.4.2.
Michael Stratton and Barrie Trinder, Twentieth century industrial archaeology, London:
E & FN Spon, 2000, p. 201.
Michael Stratton, ”Understanding the potential: Location, configuration and conversion
options” in Industrial buildings: Conservation and regeneration, ed. Michael Stratton, 30–46,
London: E & FN Spon, 2000, p. 40.
Zygmunt Bauman, ”From pilgrim to tourist – or a short history of identity” in Questions
of cultural identity, eds. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, 18–36, London: SAGE Publications
Ltd, 1996, p. 18.
See for example Helena Westin, Fabriker som blivit museer, Stockholm: Royal Institute of
Technology, 1995; Lauri Putkonen, ”Reuse of old industrial buildings from the
preservation point of view” in Industrial heritage ’84 proceedings: The fifth international
conference on the conservation of the industrial heritage, 101–105, Washington DC, 1984;
Matthew Roth, ”The reuse of historic industrial sites in New England: An evaluation”
in Industrial heritage ’84 proceedings: The fifth international conference on the conservation of the
industrial heritage, 109–113, Washington DC, 1984; Jo De Schepper, ”The
interdependence of environmental planning and the reuse of industrial sites” in
Industrial heritage ’84 proceedings: The fifth international conference on the conservation of the
industrial heritage, 106–108, Washington DC, 1984.
Stratton, ”Understanding the potential.”
Ibid., p. 42ff.
Olshammar, Det permanentade provisoriet, p. 66f.
Margit Mayer, ”Post-Fordist city politics” in The city reader, eds. Richard T. LeGates and
Frederic Stout, 229–239, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 231f.
Quoted in Johan Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia: Museer, identitet och berättelser i
Eskilstuna 1959–2000, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005, p. 88.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv.
Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 89ff; Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 57f.
Eric N. Delony, ”Industrial archeology in the United States 1981–1984” in Industrial
heritage ’84 national reports: The fifth international conference on the conservation of the industrial
heritage, 117–123, Washington DC, 1984, p. 121.
Mayer, ”Post-Fordist city politics” p. 231.
Gert-Jan Hospers, ”Industrial heritage tourism and regional restructuring in the
European Union” European Planning Studies, 3 (2002), 397–404, p. 401. See also Lisbeth
Lindeborg, ”Kultur lönar sig!” Kultur-bulletinen Kultur-i-Roslagen, 3 (2005).
181
NOTES
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61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
182
Quoted in Mattias Legnér, ”The cultural significance of industrial heritage and urban
development: Woodberry in Baltimore, Maryland” in Stockholms Lilja: Stadshistoriska
studier tillägnade professorn i Stockholms historia Sven Lilja 23 juli 2007, ed. Lars Nilsson,
111–143, Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, 2007, p. 118.
Lars Åke Everbrand, interview, Avesta, May 18, 2006.
”I juni smäller det!” Dala-Demokraten April 16 (1993).
Karin Perers, ”Avesta Art” Folkarebygden (1995), p. 17f.
Ibid., p. 24.
Ibid., p. 15.
”Hyttan blev konsthall” Attraktiva Avesta (2002). See also ”Avesta Art invigs i morgon”
Avesta Tidning, May 3 (2002). At many places in Europe, former industrial buildings are
looked upon as contributing to or stimulating art and creativity. Fazette Bordage, ed.
The factories: Conversions for urban culture, Basel: Birkhäuser, 2002.
Perers, ”Avesta Art” p. 15f.
Everbrand, interview.
Ibid.
Sharon Zukin, The culture of cities, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1995, p. 84.
Ibid., p. 81f.
Ibid., p. 106.
David Harvey, The condition of postmodernity: An enquiry into the origins of cultural change,
Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1990, quote from p. 292. See also Klas-Göran
Karlsson, Historia som vapen: Historiebruk och Sovjetunionens upplösning 1985–1995, Stockholm:
Natur och kultur, 1999, p. 51.
Henrik Widmark, Föreställningar om den urbana världen: Identitetsaspekter i svensk stadsbild med
exemplet Helsingborg 1903–1955, Uppsala: Fronton förlag, 2007, p. 119.
Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 126f.
Harvey, ”From space to place and back again” p. 8, with reference to M. Christine Boyer.
Mattias Qviström and Katarina Saltzman, ”Exploring landscape dynamics at the edge of
the city: Spatial plans and everyday places at the inner urban fringe of Malmö, Sweden”
Landscape Research, 1 (2006), 21–41, p. 25.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 270f.
The Swedish governmental investment in the declining industrial region of Bergslagen
was 475,5 million Swedish crowns during the 1980s and early 1990s, a larger part of
which was reserved for roads and railways. Other parts were reserved for research
and education, development of companies and employment subsidies. The main idea
was to strengthen the existing industrial structure, although areas like tourism, culture
and special programmes for women and young people were included during the
latter part of the period. Ibid., p. 263ff.
The process of renaming will be further dealt with in the next chapter.
Program för utveckling av Koppardalen 1998–2003, 1998, Avesta municipality.
Koppardalens förnyelse: Slutredovisning etapp 1, 2001, Avesta municipality, p. 2.
Brev från Ulf Löfwall till Hans Ångman, September 30, 1994, Dalarna CAB. The sheet rolling
mill number three was built mainly in 1940 and enlarged in 1961. Sheet rolling mill
number three was also built together with sheet rolling mill number two from 1934,
the blooming mill from 1885 and the medium section rolling mill from 1924. The
different rolling mills were in their turn built together with the earlier stages in the
production process: crusher, roasting furnaces, blast furnaces, Bessemer steel plant
and open-hearth plant. The plate rolling mill is the ordinary name on a building
complex along the river. From west to east it has housed a briquette plant from 1909,
a medium section rolling mill from 1924, polishing hall from 1937, plate rolling mill
number one from 1875, plate rolling mill number two from 1920 and a mechanical
workshop mainly from 1898. The mechanical workshop later became the ingot
grinding unit in 1957.
Anhållan om rivningslov från Lars Markström och Hans Ångman, Avesta Industristad AB, till
Miljö- och stadsbyggnadskontoret, Avesta kommun, September 26, 1994, Dalarna CAB.
Program för utveckling av Koppardalen 1998–2003, Avesta municipality, p. 14.
Ibid.
Tholander, Koppardalsprojektet ur ett uthållighetsperspektiv.
NOTES
87
Brev från Caroline Tholander till Riksantikvarieämbetet, nr 331-5213-1999, October 14, 1999,
ATA; Tjänsteanteckning, nr 5213-1999, November 19, 1999, ATA; Beslut 1999-11-15.
Länsstyrelsen Dalarnas län, kulturmiljöenheten, biträdande länsantikvarie Tommy Nyberg, nr
221-9974-99, 311-5885-1999, November 18, 1999, ATA; Länsrätten i Dalarnas läns dom i
mål nr 3005-99, överklagande av Länsstyrelsens beslut den 15 november, 1999, Avesta municipality;
”Kallvalsen blir inte kulturminnesmärke” Avesta Tidning, November 22 (1999).
88
Well-known architects, such as Torben Grut and Ivar Tengbom, designed several
buildings in the industrial area, among them a power station, finished in 1938, and a
cold rolling mill, finished in 1940. Björn Björck et al., eds. Koppardalens förnyelse, etapp 2.
Projekt dokumentation: Identifiering av värdebärare. Koppardalen i förändring , Avesta: Avesta
kommun, 2001, p. 15.
89
Koppardalens förnyelse: Etapp 2, 2000–2003, 2001, Avesta municipality, p. 51, see also p. 57.
90
Paul Ricœur, ”Vad är en text?” in Från text till handling: En antologi om hermeneutik, eds.
Peter Kemp and Bengt Kristensson, 29–64, Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings
bokförlag Symposion, 1993, p. 222. Original publication, ”Qu’est-ce qu’un texte?
Expliquer et comprendre” in Hermeneutik und Dialektik, ed. R. Bubner, 181–200,
Tübingen: J C B Mohr, 1970.
91
Anders Hansson, interview, Avesta, September 18, 2003.
92
Legnér, ”The cultural significance of industrial heritage and urban development” p. 127f.
93
Dimitra Babalis and Mark Watson, ”Leith’s dockside transformation: Conversion of the
commercial street bonded warehouses” in Maritime technologies: 10th international
conference, transactions, ed. Christine Agriantoni, 101–106, Athens: TICCIH, 2000.
94
Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard, European heritage planning and management, Exeter:
Intellect Ltd, 1999, p. 89.
95
Benny Hedlund, interview, Avesta, August 28, 2003; Bengt Silén, ”OKQ8.s etablering i
Avesta är långsiktig” Avesta Tidning, September 13 (2002).
96
Göran Lindblå, ”Det handlar om pengar...” Oqtan: Tidning för OKQ8, 1 March (2003); ”Här
ska OKQ8:s kundservice bo: Välkommen till ’Grovplåten’” Oqtan: Tidning för OKQ8, 1
March (2003).
97
Gene Desfor and John Jørgensen, ”Flexible urban governance: The case of Copenhagen’s
recent waterfront development” European Planning Studies, 4 (2004), 479–496, p. 480. In the
seventh chapter, this phenomenon will be examined more thoroughly.
98
”Här ska OKQ8s kundservice bo.”
99
Lately, water has in addition got connotations of danger affecting not only certain
tourism destinations but also waterfront development in general. See for example
Sanna Casson, ”Boverket varnar kommuner för att bygga i sjönära lägen” Dagens
Nyheter, August 4 (2007).
100
Ulf Berg, interview, Avesta, May 17, 2006; Karin Perers, interview, Avesta, April 27, 2006.
101
Berg, interview.
102
Åke Johansson, interview, Avesta, May 18, 2006. Outokumpu’s announcement of a 550
million Euro investment in the steel works in Avesta in the autumn of 2007 affected
not only the number of expected workplaces, but also the housing market. Bosse
Andersson, ”Finländsk stålbjässe gör miljardinvestering i Avesta” Dagens Nyheter,
September 17 (2007). See also ”Boom i Bergslagen” Dagens Nyheter, January 3 (2008).
103
Berg, interview; Johansson, interview; Perers, interview.
104
Johansson, interview.
105
Mayer, ”Post-Fordist city politics” p. 232; Jan Turtinen, Världsarvets villkor: Intressen,
förhandlingar och bruk i internationell politik, Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2006, p. 172f,
with reference to Regina Bendix and Birgitta Svensson.
106
Mayer, ”Post-Fordist city politics” p. 234.
107
Björck et al., eds. Identifiering av värdebärare, p. 41, see also p. 62.
108
Ibid., p. 66.
109
Everbrand, inter view.
110
Amanda Eskola, ”The past and future of the Soumenlinna galley dock” in Maritime
technologies: 10th international conference, transactions, ed. Christine Agriantoni, 75–78,
Athens: TICCIH, 2000.
111
A compilation of the answers to the questionnaire is to be found in Anteckningar från
projektgruppen Koppardalens förnyelse möte den 30 juni 1999, September 2, 1999, Avesta municipality.
183
NOTES
112
113
114
Johan Hiller et al. Avesta projekt Kopparlänken dialog. Stockholm: Royal Institute of
Technology, 1999.
Björck et al., eds. Identifiering av värdebärare, p. 36.
Anders Dickfors, Dan Ola Norberg, and Marianne Wahlström, Koppardalen, Avesta:
Skyltning, parkering och markdisposition, Avesta kommun, 2002; Kersti Lenngren,
Gestaltningsprogram del 1 och del 2, Kersti Lenngren Arkitektkontor, 2003.
4. Koppardalen
Koppardalen ininAvesta:
THElocal
LOCAL
FUTURE
Avesta:NEGOTIATING
Negotiating the
future
1
Marie Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år” Nordisk Museologi, 1 (1996), 73–82.
Utredning beträffande erforderligt utrymme för museisamlingarna 1944: Förslag till allmän plan för
bergstekniskt och brukshistoriskt museum i Avesta. Meddelande från Bo Hermelin, LAP 43/69,
October 3, 1969, Bo Hermelins samling, F1:6, ENC. See also Några industrihistoriska
minnesmärken, 1946, Bo Hermelins samling, F5B:6, ENC.
3
Maths Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige: Arbete, ideal och kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur,
2007, p. 217.
4
Brita Lundström has analysed the Ericsson company’s use of its own history and shown that
a visible history became an asset several times in different contexts during the 20th century.
Brita Lundström, Grundat 1876: Historia och företagsidentitet inom Ericsson, Stockholm, 2006.
5
Eva Rudberg, Alvar Aalto i Sverige, Stockholm: Arkitekturmuseet, 2005. As noted earlier,
Sundh Centre is one of two out of Aalto’s many proposals in Sweden that were
actually built. The other one was Västmanland-Dala student club house in Uppsala,
finished in 1965.
6
The blast furnace plant and the open-hearth plant had been continuously maintained by
the company since their close down. PM angående äldre anläggningar inom norra verksområdet i Avesta, docent Marie Nisser, June 15, 1987, Karin Perers private archives.
7
Masugnsbyggnaden såsom museum. Meddelande från Bo Hermelin till VD m.fl., March 4, 1970,
Avesta Jernverks AB, F2B:98, ENC. See also Betr. museum i hyttan. Meddelande från Bo
Hermelin till VD och EZ, May 20, 1970, Avesta Jernverks AB, F2B:98, ENC.
8
At the same time, in Eskilstuna there was a cultural park established, mainly consisting of
forges from the 17 th century. The local companies did not contribute to the financing but
the town itself financed most of the costs. Eskilstuna was, however, unlike Avesta, not a
one-company town and the forges were since the beginning of the 20 th century
owned by the town. Johan Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia: Museer, identitet och
berättelser i Eskilstuna 1959–2000, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005, pp. 41, 80f.
9
Preliminärt program för informationsresa till industrimiljöer i Sverige, April 9, 1975, Bo Hermelins
samling, F5B:3, ENC; Lunchgäster lista den 12 juni 1975, F5B:3, Bo Hermelins samling,
ENC; Brev från Riksantikvarieämbetet, avdelningsdirektör Åke Nisbeth, till direktör Gunnar
Almström, AJA, July 21, 1975, Avesta Jernverks AB, F2B, ENC.
10
Per-Erik Pettersson, interview, Avesta, May 17, 2006; Kenneth Linder, interview, Avesta, May
18, 2006; Åke Johansson, interview, Avesta, May 18, 2006. In Eskilstuna where the companies
had not been history producers to any large extent even earlier, the towns biggest company,
Volvo BM, almost opposed the town’s plan for a museum because they refused to contribute
to the museum with historical items. Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 99f.
11
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 262.
12
In Finland, for example, textile mills in many cities and towns closed in the 1980s. Soon
they were purchased by the city and reused as centres for small businesses, theatres,
offices, flats, housing and universities. Lauri Putkonen, ”National reports: Finland” in
Industrial heritage Austria 1987, transactions 1: The sixth international conference on the
conservation of the industrial heritage, eds. Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer, Peter
Swittalek, and Manfred Wehdorn, 57–63, Wien, 1987, p. 61f.
13
A fund for the museum in Ludvika was established and preparatory work started in
1924. The museum had a focus on mining and was inspired by the Swedish
agricultural open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm. Nisser, ”Industriminnen
under hundra år.” See also Marie Nisser and Fredric Bedoire, ”Industrial monuments
2
184
NOTES
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
in Sweden: Conservation, documentation and research” in The industrial heritage: The
third international conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions 2. Scandinavian
reports, ed. Marie Nisser, 73–78, Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1978, p. 74.
Anders Houltz, Teknikens tempel: Modernitet och industriarv på Göteborgsutställningen 1923,
Hedemora: Gidlund, 2003.
The Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology was founded approximately
at the same time as several other museums of science and technology in Europe and
the United States. Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 24.
Houltz, Teknikens tempel, p. 275f.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 23f.
Nisser and Bedoire, ”The industrial heritage” p. 77.
Ibid., p. 74.
Maths Isacson, ”Industrisamhällets faser och industriminnesforskningens uppgifter” in
Industrins avtryck: Perspektiv på ett forskningsfält, eds. Dag Avango and Brita Lundström,
Stockholm/Stehag: Symposion, 2003, p. 21; Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år”
p. 79. Gunnar Sillén is also mentioned in chapter two as the author of the book Stiga
vi mot ljuset, one of the important publications in the dig-where-you-stand activities in
Sweden.
Annika Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse: En jämförande studie” in Kulturarvens gränser :
Komparativa perspektiv, eds. Peter Aronsson et al., Göteborg: Bokförlaget Arkipelag, 2005, p. 221.
Marie Nisser, ”Industriminnen på den internationella arenan” in Industrisamhällets
kulturarv: Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets kulturarv, 217–226, Stockholm:
Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67, p. 220.
See for example ”Skrota eller underhålla masugnspipor och ruiner?” Falu Kuriren,
September 3 (1962); Isacson, ”Industrisamhällets faser och industriminnesforskningens
uppgifter” p. 21; Nisser, ”Industriminnen under hundra år” p. 79.
Konferensrapport: Byggnadsvårdsårets avslutande konferens 4–5 november 1975, 3, Att genomföra
byggnadsvården – byggnadsvårdsfrågor, Stockholm, 1975.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 29.
PM angående äldre anläggningar inom norra verksområdet i Avesta.
Jan Burell, interview, Avesta, April 26, 2006; Lars Åke Everbrand, interview, Avesta,
May 18, 2006.
This was also the case in Norrköping, and Marie Nisser was here as well, one of the
more prominent and influential advocates for the preservation of the redundant
industrial built environment. Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 46ff.
See also Magnus Eklund, Att möta krisen: Strukturomvandlingen i Avesta 1960–90 och
kommunalt motagerande 1978–86, Uppsala University, 2000, p. 25f.
”Koppardalen blir namnet” Avesta Tidning, May 19 (1987). In Eskilstuna the proposed
new name for the former industrial area was Carl Gustafs stad (”The town of Carl
Gustaf ”) referring to the Swedish king that gave the privileges to the 17th century
forges. Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 95. In Avesta there have also been
references to the ”great men” of the town, represented among other things by the
naming of streets and public places.
Doreen Massey, ”Places and their pasts” History Workshop Journal 39 (1995), 182–192, p. 187.
Ibid., p. 186f.
Ibid., p. 186.
Anssi Paasi, ”Geographical perspectives on Finnish national identity” GeoJournal, 1
(1997), 41–50, p. 43.
In Woodberry in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, similar interpretations of a
local industrial history that enhances the place’s contribution to a national or international past that one should be proud of, are to be found. Mattias Legnér, ”The cultural
significance of industrial heritage and urban development: Woodberry in Baltimore,
Maryland” in Stockholms Lilja: Stadshistoriska studier tillägnade professorn i Stockholms historia
Sven Lilja 23 juli 2007, ed. Lars Nilsson, 111–143, Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska
institutet, 2007, p. 128. ”The Copper Valley” can also give associations to the ”Silicon
Valley,” the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the
United States. The name refers to the high-tech business in the area, and was coined
in 1971. Wikipedia website, http://en.wikipedia.org/, accessed January 9, 2008.
185
NOTES
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
186
”Koppardalen blir namnet.”
Ann-Kristin Ekman, ”Kultur och utveckling i Bergslagen” in Bruksandan – hinder eller
möjlighet? Rapport från en seminarieserie i Bergslagen. Ekomuseum Bergslagens skriftserie no 1,
eds. Ewa Bergdahl, Maths Isacson, and Barbro Mellander, 36–45, Smedjebacken:
Ekomuseum Bergslagen, 1997, p. 37. This is obvious not the least if considering the
changes in for example Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, where the recent past marked by
the Soviet Union has been actively erased in many places. Klas-Göran Karlsson,
Historia som vapen: Historiebruk och Sovjetunionens upplösning 1985–1995, Stockholm: Natur
och kultur, 1999, pp. 218–233.
Rundvandring i Avesta, kompendium sammanställt av Avesta kommun 1993, Avesta
municipal archives, p. 27. The three projects referred to are the town centre, the
research institute and furthermore a block of terraced houses, all proposed in the
1940s.
Gert-Jan Hospers, ”Industrial heritage tourism and regional restructuring in the
European Union” European Planning Studies, 3 (2002), 397–404, p. 400, with reference to
Jean Fourastié.
Ewa Bergdahl, Maths Isacson, and Barbro Mellander, eds. Bruksandan – hinder eller möjlighet?
Rapport från en seminarieserie i Bergslagen, Smedjebacken: Ekomuseum Bergslagen, 1997.
Maths Isacson, ”Bruksandan – hinder eller möjlighet? Sammanfattning av fyra seminarier i Bergslagen 1995–1997” in Bruksandan – hinder eller möjlighet? Rapport från en seminarieserie i Bergslagen. Ekomuseum Bergslagens skriftserie no 1, eds. Ewa Bergdahl, Maths Isacson, and
Barbro Mellander, 120–132, Smedjebacken: Ekomuseum Bergslagen, 1997, p. 127.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 275.
Håkon W. Andersen et al., Fabrikken, Oslo: Scandinavian Academic Press/Spartacus
Forlag, 2004, p. 107.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 267f. This conception is also confirmed by local
actors. Everbrand, interview.
In Horndal near Avesta there were, for example, extensive reactions against the
devastating closedowns of an ironworks and a sawmill in the late 1970s. The
inhabitants demonstrated, wrote books and articles, organised study groups and
theatre plays that gave echo on the national level. Karin Perers, ”Järnets väg genom
Folkarebygden” in Förändring i Folkarebygd: Minnen, möten, möjligheter, eds. Karin Perers,
Per-Erik Pettersson, and Lars Östlund, 37–79, Avesta: Avesta kommun, 2003, p. 72f.
Karin Perers, interview, Avesta, April 27, 2006.
Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 106; Åsa Linderborg, Socialdemokraterna skriver historia:
Historieskrivning som ideologisk maktresurs 1892–2000, Stockholm: Atlas, 2001, p. 380ff.
Massey, ”Places and their pasts” p. 182; International brownfields case study:
Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Environmental Protection Agency website,
http://www.epa.gov, accessed October 15, 2007.
Barbro Bursell, ”Bruket och bruksandan” in Bruksandan – hinder eller möjlighet? Rapport från
en seminarieserie i Bergslagen. Ekomuseum Bergslagens skriftserie no 1, eds. Ewa Bergdahl, Maths
Isacson, and Barbro Mellander, 10–20, Smedjebacken: Ekomuseum Bergslagen, 1997, p. 19.
Kjersti Bosdotter, quoted in Jan af Geijerstam, ”Sammanfattning och reflexioner –
referat av diskussioner” in Industriarv i förändring: Rapport från en konferens, Koppardalen,
Avesta, 7–9 mars 2006, ed. Jan af Geijerstam, 146–153, Avesta, 2007, p. 153.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 73f, with reference to Eva Dahlström.
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, pp. 240, 247. In addition, Isacson gives the dig-whereyou-stand activities a broader role as influencing the whole agenda in Sweden at the
time, including the governmental effort to preserve the industrial heritage and the
preservation of certain valuable industrial places, the formation of the Museum of
Work, and the formation of a society for work life museums. Isacson, Industrisamhället
Sverige, p. 252f.
Anteckningar från projektgruppen Koppardalens förnyelse möte den 30 juni 1999, September 2, 1999,
Avesta municipality.
Kjell Lundberg, ”Dialog” Avesta Tidning, January 24 (2001).
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 238.
Ulf Berg, interview, Avesta, May 17, 2006; Everbrand, interview; Johansson, interview;
Linder, inter view.
NOTES
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
Koppardalens förnyelse: Etapp 2, 2000–2003, 2001, Avesta municipality, p. 2.
Lars Åke Everbrand and Dan Ola Norberg, Koppardalsprojektet inför etapp 2, Avesta, 2000. One
can note that other well-known architects had their proposals built in Avesta, for
example Ralph Erskine, Torben Grut and Ivar Tengbom. Both Grut and Tengbom
designed buildings within the industrial area of Koppardalen.
Everbrand and Norberg, Koppardalsprojektet inför etapp 2, p. 31.
Roland Bärtilsson, ”Lång debatt om Koppardalsprojekt” Avesta Tidning, October 27 (2000).
See for example International brownfields case study: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam,
Netherlands. Environmental Protection Agency website, http://www.epa.gov, accessed
October 15, 2007.
Everbrand, interview.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid; Berg, interview; Johansson, interview.
David E. Nye, Narratives and spaces: Technology and the construction of American culture, Exeter:
University of Exeter Press, 1997, p. 4f.
Ibid., p. 8.
Axel Ingmar, ”Unika fynd från kopparbrukets tid” Avesta Tidning, April 5 (1994). Axel
Ingmar, interview, Avesta, April 27, 2006.
David Newman and Anssi Paasi, ”Fences and neighbours in the postmodern world:
Boundary narratives in political geography” Progress in Human Geography, 2 (1998), 186–207,
p. 195ff.
Everbrand and Norberg, Koppardalsprojektet inför etapp 2, p. 33.
Massey, ”Places and their pasts” p. 185.
A similar connection, although in verbal form, was to be found in Eskilstuna in 2001:
”Från järnband till bredband” (”From iron plate to broadband”). Similar to Avesta the
industrial heritage here became part of a narrative where the past could serve as a role
model. Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 115.
”Bron som länkar samman invigdes med folkfest” Avesta Tidning, July 3 (2000).
With examples from Gothenburg, Olshammar asserts that a mental barrier is often
stronger than a physical one. Gabriella Olshammar, Det permanentade provisoriet: Ett
återanvänt industriområde i väntan på rivning eller erkännande, Göteborg: Chalmers, 2002, p. 24.
In Norrköping, the group of leading actors were primarily newcomers, while in
Eskilstuna the leading actors instead were mainly local. Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv,
p. 45ff; Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 96.
Burell, interview; Everbrand, interview.
Everbrand, interview.
See for example Burell, interview; Everbrand, interview.
Berg, interview; see also Everbrand, interview.
Lotten Gustafsson, Den förtrollade zonen: Lekar med tid, rum och identitet under Medeltidsveckan
på Gotland, Nora: Nya Doxa, 2002, p. 155ff. With examples from landscape history,
Sverker Sörlin has shown how preservation, from a sociological point of view, in
general has been an elitist project. Sverker Sörlin, ”The trading zone between
articulation and preservation: Production of meaning in landscape history and the
problems of heritage decision-making” in Rational decision-making in the preservation of
cultural property: Report of the 86th Dahlem workshop, Berlin, March 26–31, 2000, eds. Norbert
S. Baer and Folke Snickars, 47–59, Berlin: Dahlem University Press, 2001, p. 56.
Burell, interview.
The guest speakers included the town architect, Dan Ola Norberg, the head of the
department for cultural matters, Lars Åke Everbrand, the managing director of the
municipal real estate company, Jan Thamsten, the professor in economic history at
Uppsala University, Maths Isacson and the County Antiquarian, Ulf Löfwall. Avesta
municipal council, recording of meeting, March 20, 2003, Avesta kommun.
Bengt Silén, ”Fönster mot masugnarna en ny upplevelse i Hyttan” Avesta Tidning,
March 17 (2003).
Maths Isacson, Avesta municipal council, recording of meeting, March 20, 2003, Avesta kommun.
Björn Björck et al., eds. Koppardalens förnyelse, etapp 2. Projekt dokumentation: Identifiering av
187
NOTES
värdebärare. Koppardalen i förändring, Avesta: Avesta kommun, 2001.
Ulf Löfwall, Avesta municipal council, recording of meeting, March 20, 2003, Avesta kommun.
88
Ulf Berg, Avesta municipal council, recording of meeting, March 20, 2003, Avesta kommun.
89
Lars Levahn, Avesta municipal council, recording of meeting, March 20, 2003, Avesta kommun.
90
Everbrand, interview; Perers, interview.
91
Everbrand, interview.
92
Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard, European heritage planning and management, Exeter:
Intellect Ltd, 1999, p. 89.
93
Everbrand, interview; Linder, interview.
94
Everbrand, interview.
95
Ekman, ”Kultur och utveckling i Bergslagen” p. 37.
96
Anssi Paasi, ”Deconstructing regions: Notes on the scales of spatial life” Environment and
Planning A, 2 (1991), 239–256.
97
Björck et al., eds. Identifiering av värdebärare. p. 15, see also p. 23.
98
In Eskilstuna, this kind of giving aesthetic value through metaphors was also present, for
example by comparing the industrial built environment to courtyards and upper-class
buildings. Samuelsson, Kommunen gör historia, p. 91.
99
Massey, ”Places and their pasts” p. 183.
100
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 58.
101
Legnér, ”The cultural significance of industrial heritage and urban development” p. 127.
102
Everbrand, inter view.
103
Ibid.
104
Ibid.
105
Linder, interview.
106
Ingrid Bengts, interview, Avesta, April 26, 2006; Hans Kristoffersson, interview, Avesta,
April 26, 2006; Pettersson, interview.
107
Pettersson, interview; Bengts, interview.
108
Bengts, interview.
109
Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 195.
110
Maths Isacson, ”Bärande idéer” in Industriarv i förändring: Rapport från en konferens,
Koppardalen, Avesta, 7–9 mars 2006, ed. Jan af Geijerstam, 48–56, Avesta, 2007, p. 51f.
87
5.
Ironbridge Gorge
HERITAGE
ANDlocal
LOCAL
ANCHORAGE
5. Ironbridge
GorgeMuseum:
Museum:
HeritageSTATUS
status and
anchorage
1
Arthur Raistrick, Industrial archaeology: An historical survey, London, 1972, p. 280.
See for example Keith Falconer, Guide to England’s industrial heritage, New York: Holmes &
Meier, 1980, p. 180ff; Neil Cossons, The BP book of industrial archaeology, Newton Abbot
Devon: David & Charles, 1993, p. 246.
3
Neil Cossons and Barrie Trinder, The iron bridge: Symbol of the industrial revolution, Bradfordon-Avon: Moonraker Press, 1979.
4
Kenneth Hudson, A guide to the industrial archaeology of Europe, Bath: Adams & Dart, 1971, p. 23.
5
Cossons and Trinder, The iron bridge, p. 53; Neil Cossons, ”The museum in the valley,
Ironbridge Gorge” Museum, 3 (1980), 138–153.
6
Susanne Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher: Life and work, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006, p. 17.
7
Origins of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Report of Honorary Secretary, February 3, 1982,
appendix F, texts of interim and final reports of working party, IGM. See also Barrie
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history: Reflections on the Ironbridge
Gorge Museum” History Workshop Journal (1976), 171–176, p. 171.
8
Cossons and Trinder, The iron bridge, p. 37.
9
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 172.
10
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
11
Ibid.
12
Raistrick, Industrial archaeology: An historical survey, p. 280.
13
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
14
David de Haan, interview, Ironbridge, July 26, 2006.
2
188
NOTES
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 172; Emyr Thomas,
Coalbrookdale and the Darby family: The story of the world’s first industrial dynasty, York: Sessions
Book Trust, in association with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, 1999, p. 201.
Cossons, The BP book of industrial archaeology, p. 23.
Raistrick, Industrial archaeology: An historical survey, p. 281.
Arguments repudiating a connection is to be found, for example, in Origins of the
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, IGM, p. 1; Thomas, Coalbrookdale and the Darby family, p. 201.
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge”; Thomas, Coalbrookdale and the
Darby family, p. 201.
Rephrased in Thomas, Coalbrookdale and the Darby family, p. 200.
Origins of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, IGM. In a similar manner, New England in the
United States has been considered the birthplace of the industrial revolution in this
country. In this case, however, the textile industry was the branch in question. Maura
Doherty, ”Canaries in the coal mine: The deindustrialization of New England and the
rise of the global economy, 1923–1975” Essays in Economic and Business History (1999),
149–162, p. 149.
Peter Davis, Ecomuseums: A sense of place, London: Leicester University Press, 1999, p. 49.
Origins of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, appendix F, texts of interim and final reports
of working party, IGM, p. 8.
Michael Rix, ”Industrial archaeology” The Amateur Historian, 8 (1955), 225–229.
Origins of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, appendix E, minutes of meetings of working party
on industrial archaeology held on February 22, April 4, May 10 and June 14, 1967, IGM.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 172f.
Ibid.
Stuart B. Smith, interview, Camborne, February 22, 2007.
Ibid.
Cossons, The BP book of industrial archaeology, p. 281.
Sharon Zukin, Loft living: Culture and capital in urban change, New Brunswick, New Jersey:
Rutgers University Press, 1982, p. 59f.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 173.
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
However, in the 1980s, Cossons described Blists Hill as ”an open-air museum of more
traditional type” and that there were more of North American principles in its
reconstruction work rather than the Scandinavian or mid-European folk-museum type
of approach. Ibid.
Neil Cossons, interview, London, February 21, 2007; de Haan, interview; Smith, interview.
Cossons, interview.
Chronology of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, 1991, Stuart B. Smith private archives.
Smith, interview.
The district of Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines encompasses sixteen municipalities.
At the beginning of the 1970s the district had about 150,000 inhabitants. Hugues de
Varine, ”Eit museum i delar: Museet om mennesket og industrien, Le CreusotMontceau-les-Mines” in Økomuseumsboka: Identitet, økologi, deltakelse, eds. John Aage
Gjestrum and Marc Maure, 90–101, Tromsø: Norsk ICOM, 1988, p. 90. The ecomuseum
of Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines is often regarded the first ecomuseum.
However, Kenneth Hudson argues that it was not in fact the first, but the one that got
the professional sanctified label. Hudson gives an example of earlier efforts in
Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Kenneth Hudson, ”Ecomuseums become more realistic”
Nordisk Museologi, 2 (1996), 11–19.
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 66.
Hudson, ”Ecomuseums become more realistic.” Hugues de Varine, however, asserted
that the ”pilgrimage” for museum professionals to Le Creusot and Montceau-les
Mines most often resulted in misunderstandings of the important features of the
museum. Hugues de Varine, ”Rethinking the museum concept” in Økomuseumsboka:
Identitet, økologi, deltakelse, eds. John Aage Gjestrum and Marc Maure, 33–40, Tromsø:
Norsk ICOM, 1988, p. 37.
Sweden, Denmark and Norway were all influential in the new museology movement,
for example through the ”folkhögskolor” literary translated into ”peoples’
189
NOTES
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
190
universities.” Hugues de Varine, ”Skandinavias plass i ny museologi” in
Økomuseumsboka: Identitet, økologi, deltakelse, eds. John Aage Gjestrum and Marc Maure,
41–46, Tromsø: Norsk ICOM, 1988.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 173; Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 61f.
Peter Vergo, ed. The new museology, London: Reaktion, 1989.
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 143.
David de Haan, ”Ironbridge – from museum to World Heritage Site” Nordisk Museologi 2
(1996), 41–50.
Davis, Ecomuseums, p. 144f.
For a general description of the time period, see Simon Schama, A history of Britain: The
fate of empire, 1776–2000, London: BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2002, p. 415f.
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
Robert Hewison, The heritage industry: Britain in a climate of decline, London: Methuen, 1987, p. 21.
Rephrased in Michael Hunter, ”Introduction: The fitful rise of British preservation” in
Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 1–16,
Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 13f.
Ryan Trimm, ”Taking you back: Region, industry, and technologies of living history at
Beamish” (forthcoming). See also John Gorman, ”The Beamish collection and
photographic archive” History Workshop Journal (1978), 195–206.
Michael Stratton, ”Open-air and industrial museums: Windows on to a lost world or
graveyards for unloved buildings?” in Preserving the past: The rise of heritage in modern
Britain, ed. Michael Hunter, 156–176, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1996, p. 160.
See for example Jan Turtinen, Världsarvets villkor: Intressen, förhandlingar och bruk i internationell politik, Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2006, p. 153; Lotten Gustafsson, Den
förtrollade zonen: Lekar med tid, rum och identitet under Medeltidsveckan på Gotland, Nora: Nya
Doxa, 2002, p. 141f.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 73.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 173.
Pierre Nora, ”Between memory and history: Les lieux de mémoire” Representations, 26
(1989), 7–24, p. 7.
Raphael Samuel, Island stories: Unravelling Britain. Theatres of memory: Volume II, London: Verso,
1998, p. 219f.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history.”
Rod Prince, ”Readers’ Letters” History Workshop Journal (1978), 219–220, p. 220.
Stratton, ”Open-air and industrial museums” p. 170, with reference to Bob West.
Trimm, ”Taking you back.”
Annika Alzén, ”Kulturarv i rörelse: En jämförande studie” in Kulturarvens gränser: Komparativa
perspektiv, eds. Peter Aronsson et al., Göteborg: Bokförlaget Arkipelag, 2005, p. 224.
Stella V.F. Butler, Science and technology museums, New York: Leicester University Press, 1992, p. 63.
Smith, interview.
Ibid.
Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
Michael Stratton, ”Understanding the potential: Location, configuration and conversion
options” in Industrial buildings: Conservation and regeneration, ed. Michael Stratton, 30–46,
London: E & FN Spon, 2000, p. 45.
Smith, interview.
See for example Neil Cossons and Kenneth Hudson, eds. Industrial Archaeologists’ Guide
1969–70, Newton Abbot Devon, 1969, p. 177.
Gert-Jan Hospers, ”Industrial heritage tourism and regional restructuring in the
European Union” European Planning Studies, 3 (2002), 397–404, p. 398.
Quoted in Michael Burkes, ”History wrought by expert enthusiasts” The Birmingham Post,
February 28 (1987). Twenty years later, Smith estimates the value to be £400,000. E-mail
from Smith to the author, January 2, 2008.
de Haan, interview; Smith, interview.
Zukin, Loft living, p. xivf.
Smith, interview.
This becomes obvious not the least in how the difficult past takes shape through the
cultural heritage designated by UNESCO to be of concern to the whole world. Georg
NOTES
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
Drakos, ”Kulturarv, berättelser och subjekt” in I industrisamhällets slagskugga: Om problematiska
kulturarv, eds. Lars-Eric Jönsson and Birgitta Svensson, 42–65, Stockholm: Carlsson, 2005, p. 62f.
Cossons, interview.
Smith, interview.
Trinder, ”Industrial conservation and industrial history” p. 171f.
Ibid., p. 172.
de Haan, interview.
Cossons, interview.
Smith, interview; Cossons, ”The museum in the valley, Ironbridge Gorge.”
Colin Sorensen, ”Theme parks and time machines” in The new museology, ed. Peter Vergo,
60–73, London: Reaktion, 1989, p. 62f.
6.
NATURE
AND
ONstage
STAGE
6. Landschaftspark
LandschaftsparkDuisburg-Nord:
Duisburg-Nord:
Nature
andART
art on
1
Polise Moreira De Marchi, ”Ruhrgebiet: Redesigning an industrial region” in Exploring
the Ruhr in Germany, Bochum, 2001, p. 29, with reference to Bernhard Butzin.
2
Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher-Park: Werkstatt für die Zukunft alter Industriegebiete,
Düsseldorf: Der Minister für Stadtentwicklung, Wohnen und Verkehr des Landes
Nordrhein-Westfalen, 1988. According to David E. Nye, exposition displays ”often
became the basis for new urban design.” David E. Nye, Narratives and spaces: Technology
and the construction of American culture, Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1997, p. 182f.
3
Moreira De Marchi, ”Ruhrgebiet: Redesigning an industrial region.”
4
Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher-Park, p. 35.
5
Ibid., p. 36.
6
Ibid., p. 44.
7
Karl Ganser, ”The present state of affairs... Karl Ganser in a conversation with Carl
Steckeweh and Kunibert Wachten” in Change without growth? Sustainable urban development
for the 21st century. VI. Architecture biennale Venice 1996, ed. Kunibert Wachten, 12–23,
Braunschweig/Wiesbaden: Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1996, p. 14.
8
Wolfgang Ebert, interview, Geldern, February 12, 2007. See also Rainer Slotta, ”Industrial
archaeology in the Federal Republic of Germany” in Industrial heritage ’84 national
reports: The fifth international conference on the conservation of the industrial heritage, 37–45,
Washington DC, 1984, p. 40.
9
Ebert, interview.
10
Ibid. Besides, the German Society for Industrial History was founded in 1986.
11
”A selection of projects: IBA Emscher Park” Topos: European Landscape Magazine, 26
(1999), 97–128, p. 126.
12
The Sloss furnaces website, http://www.slossfurnaces.com, accessed October 15, 2007.
13
The Völklinger Hütte website, http://www.voelklinger-huette.org, accessed October 15,
2007. In the beginning of the 21 st century, the Völklinger Hütte had about two
hundred thousand visitors per year. From 2004 there was a science centre described
as an ”adventure world of iron.”
14
Gaëlle Covo, ”Spatial planning, structural change and regional development policies
within the Ruhr area in Germany” in Exploring the Ruhr in Germany, Bochum, 2001.
15
Thomas Sieverts, ”Die Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park: Werkstatt zur
Erneuerung alter Industriegebiete – Eine strukturpolitische Initiative des Landes
Nordrhein-Westfalen” Arcus Architektur und Wissenschaft: IBA Emscher Park,
Zukunkftswerkstatt für Industrieregionen, 13 (1991), 4–11, p. 6.
16
Ebert, interview. The figure is specified in Marie Nisser, ”Nytt liv i Europas gamla
industriområden” Kulturmiljövård, 6 (1994), p. 15.
17
”A selection of projects: IBA Emscher Park” p. 98. Local governments and private
companies often jointly financed the projects within IBA Emscher Park. However, at
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord most of the expenditures were publicly funded.
International brownfields case study: Emscher Park, Germany. Environmental
Protection Agency website, http://www.epa.gov, accessed October 15, 2007.
191
NOTES
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
192
Quote from Ebert, interview.
Ibid.
Ibid.
International brownfields case study: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Environmental Protection Agency website http://www.epa.gov, accessed October 15, 2007.
Ursula Poblotzki, ”Transformation of a landscape” Topos: European Landscape Magazine, 26
(1999), 43–52, p. 48, with reference to Klaus M. Schmals.
Environmental debates in Germany have generally focused the best way to harmonise
cultural and natural landscapes, rather than asserting a sharp dichotomy between the
two. Thomas Lekan and Thomas Zeller, Germany’s nature: Cultural landscapes and
environmental history, New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005, p. 4.
Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values, New York:
Columbia University Press, 1974, p. 132f.
Mattias Qviström and Katarina Saltzman, ”Exploring landscape dynamics at the edge of
the city: Spatial plans and everyday places at the inner urban fringe of Malmö,
Sweden” Landscape Research, 1 (2006), 21–41, p. 22.
Heiderose Kilper and Gerald Wood, ”Restructuring policies: The Emscher Park
international building exhibition” in The rise of the rustbelt, ed. Philip Cooke, 208–230,
London: University College London Press, 1995, p. 226. Wolfgang Pehnt, ”Changes
have to take place in people’s heads first” Topos: European Landscape Magazine, 26 (1999),
16–23, p. 22. On the contrary, in 1984, Slotta asserts that Nordrhein-Westphalia actually
was economically the strongest state in the Federal Republic. Slotta, ”Industrial
archaeology in the Federal Republic of Germany” p. 39.
Gerhard Seltmann, ”Eine unmögliche Ausstellung? Merkzeichen für die Internationale
Bauausstellung Emscher Park” Arcus Architektur und Wissenschaft: IBA Emscher Park,
Zukunkftswerkstatt für Industrieregionen, 13 (1991), 15–17.
The process of plants starting to colonize derelict land and buildings can be divided
into stages depending on different predominating species. Tim Edensor, Industrial
ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality, Oxford: Berg, 2005, p. 43, with reference to
Oliver L. Gilbert.
Niall Kirkwood, ed. Manufactured sites: Rethinking the post-industrial landscape, New York:
Spon Press, 2001, front cover.
Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher-Park, p. 44.
Ruderal, from Latin, ”rudus” meaning rubbish.
In Britain many plants found in ruins are labelled ”weeds” which according to Edensor
is the ”botanical equivalent of dirt.” Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and
materiality, p. 45, with reference to Tim Cresswell.
Jörg Dettmar, ”Wilderness or park?” Topos: European Landscape Magazine, 26 (1999), 31–42.
”Industrienatur” is one theme trail within the ”Route Industriekultur.” Website,
http://www.route-industriekultur.de, accessed August 26, 2007.
Ebert, interview.
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord website, http://www.landschaftspark.de, accessed
March 19, 2007. On a larger scale, a former huge steam power station is planned to be
reused as an adventurous public baths in Västerås in Sweden. Intelligence Energy
Centre – Kokpunkten website, http://www.kokpunkten.se, accessed December 5, 2007.
For an analyse of different experiences of nature including examples from the Ruhr
district see Klas Sandell, ”Var ligger utomhus? Om nya arenor för natur- och
landskapsrelationer” in Utomhusdidaktik, eds. Iann Lundegård, Per-Olof Wickman, and
Ammi Wohlin, 151–170, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2004.
Kenneth Linder, interview, Avesta, May 18, 2006.
One could note how Germany became industrialised and urbanised later and more
rapid than many other countries like France and Britain, and also that it experienced six
different political regimes from 1871 up to 1990. Lekan and Zeller, Germany’s nature, p. 4.
Deniz Altinbas Akgül, ”The economic role of the Turkish population in restructuring
process of the Ruhr area” in Exploring the Ruhr in Germany, Bochum, 2001.
Gaëlle Covo, ”Spatial planning, structural change and regional development policies
within the Ruhr area in Germany” in Exploring the Ruhr in Germany, Bochum, 2001.
Ingerid Helsing Almaas, ”Regenerating the Ruhr – IBA Emscher Park project for the
NOTES
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
regeneration of Germany’s Ruhr region” The Architectural Review, February (1999).
Covo, ”Spatial planning, structural change and regional development policies within the
Ruhr area in Germany.”
Jaroslaw Pawlowski, ”The institutional milieu of regional restructuring: Roles of the
selected institutional actors in facilitating the change” in Exploring the Ruhr in Germany,
Bochum, 2001. Moreira De Marchi, ”Ruhrgebiet: Redesigning an industrial region.”
Susanne Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher : Life and work, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006, p. 195.
Excerpted from art press 209, January 1996, pp. 21–28.
Gregory Ashworth and Peter Howard, European heritage planning and management, Exeter:
Intellect Ltd, 1999, p. 24.
David Lowenthal, The heritage crusade and the spoils of history, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1998.
Sharon Zukin, Loft living: Culture and capital in urban change, New Brunswick, New Jersey:
Rutgers University Press, 1982, p. 73.
Jan af Geijerstam and Sverker Sörlin, ”Det glömda Ådalen” Dagens Nyheter, November 29 (2000).
From 2007, the official interpretation of the place has changed by means of new signs, which
tell also about the death shots.
Gabriella Olshammar, Henrik Borg, and Jan af Geijerstam, Bilden av industrin i kulturmiljövården: Ett utvärderingsprojekt för Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet,
2004, pp. 49–69.
See for example Michael Schwarze-Rodrian, ”Intercommunal co-operation in the
Emscher landscape park” Topos: European Landscape Magazine, 26 (1999), 53–59.
Morger, ”IBA – Emscher Park: Ekologisk omdaning av en industriregion” p. 104.
Covo, ”Spatial planning, structural change and regional development policies within the
Ruhr area in Germany” p. 5.
Niall Kirkwood, ”Manufactured sites: Integrating technology and design in reclaimed
landscapes” in Manufactured sites: Rethinking the post-industrial landscape, ed. Niall
Kirkwood, 3–11, New York: Spon Press, 2001, p. 5.
Rebecca Krinke, ”Overview: Design practice and manufactured sites” in Manufactured
sites: Rethinking the post-industrial landscape, ed. Niall Kirkwood, 125–149, New York: Spon
Press, 2001, p. 138. See also Maths Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige: Arbete, ideal och
kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2007, p. 282f.
Peter Latz, ”Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord: The metamorphosis of an industrial site”
in Manufactured sites: Rethinking the post-industrial landscape, ed. Niall Kirkwood, 150–161,
New York: Spon Press, 2001, p. 157.
Ebert, interview.
Environmental Protection Agency website, http://www.epa.gov, accessed October 15, 2007.
Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher, p. 21.
Ibid., p. 19. Quote from photographer Margaret Bourke-White in 1930, rephrased on p. 78.
Yi-Fu Tuan, ”Place: An experiential perspective” The Geographical Review, 2 (1975), 151–165,
p. 161ff.
Ibid.
Zygmunt Bauman, ”From pilgrim to tourist – or a short history of identity” in Questions
of cultural identity, eds. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, 18–36, London: SAGE Publications
Ltd, 1996, p. 30.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 111f. The conversion of former industrial buildings for cultural
purposes takes place at many places in Europe. See for example Fazette Bordage, ed.
The factories: Conversions for urban culture, Basel: Birkhäuser, 2002.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 111f.
Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher, pp. 35f, 64, 76ff.
Quote rephrased in Neil Cossons, ”Capturing the age of industry: Twenty-fourth
Dickinson Memorial Lecture Read at the Science Museum, London on Wednesday
9 May 2001” Trans. Newcomen Society (2005), 1–16.
Ebert, interview.
Lars Åke Everbrand, interview, Avesta, April 16, 2003.
Jan Turtinen, Världsarvets villkor: Intressen, förhandlingar och bruk i internationell politik,
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2006, p. 60f.
Ibid., p. 61, with reference to Regina Bendix and Richard Handler.
193
NOTES
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
Ibid.
Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher-Park, p. 44.
Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality. Edensor stresses that it would be
”insensitive to ignore the images of ruination which accompany war and [that] it is
indeed a sobering thought that the twentieth century has produced more ruins than
ever before.” Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality, p. 16f. See also
Richard Pettersson, ”Plats, ting och tid: Om autenticitetsuppfattning utifrån exemplet
Rom” in Topos: Essäer om tänkvärda platser och platsbundna tankar, 202–216, Stockholm:
Carlssons Bokförlag, 2006; Klas Sandell, ”Friluftsliv, platsperspektiv och samhällskritik”
in Topos: Essäer om tänkvärda platser och platsbundna tankar, 274–291, Stockholm: Carlssons
Bokförlag, 2006.
Terttu Pakarinen, ”Periphery – a ’rupture of hope’?” in The dissolving city, ed. Ola
Wetterberg, 25–53, Göteborg: Chalmers, 2001, with reference to M. Christine Boyer
and Henri Lefebvre.
Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality, p. 8ff.
Ibid.
Dettmar, ”Wilderness or park?” p. 35f.
7. Planning,
PLANNING,
COMMODIFICATION
AND SPECTACLE
7.
commodification
and spectacle
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
194
”’Cultural’ industrial plant engineer KRESTA: Stage setting for Bregenz Festival” GAW
group imteam: News from the group, 1 (2005).
See for example Bertil Andreasson, ”Bevara för att använda” in Konferensrapport:
Byggnadsvårdsårets avslutande konferens 4–5 november 1975, 3, Att genomföra byggnadsvården –
byggnadsvårdsfrågor, Stockholm, 1975; Annika Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv: Frågan om
industrilandskapets bevarande i Norrköping 1950–1985, Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings
Bokförlag Symposion, 1996, p. 66; Jussi S. Jauhiainen, ”Waterfront redevelopment and
urban policy: The case of Barcelona, Cardiff and Genoa” European Planning Studies, 1
(1995), 3–23, p. 3.
Sharon Zukin, Loft living: Culture and capital in urban change, New Brunswick, New Jersey:
Rutgers University Press, 1982, p. 59.
See for example Betsy Bahr, ”Adapting a future from the past: Reusing old industrial
buildings for new industrial uses” in Industrial heritage ’84 proceedings: The fifth international
conference on the conservation of the industrial heritage, 191–195, Washington DC, 1984; Marie
Nisser, ”Industriminnen på den internationella arenan” in Industrisamhällets kulturarv:
Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets kulturarv, 217–226, Stockholm: Statens
offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67, p. 223.
Walter C. Kidney, Working places: The adaptive use of industrial buildings, Pittsburgh: Ober Park
Associates, Inc., 1976, foreword p. xi.
Ibid., p. 35ff; Eric N. Delony, ”Industrial archeology in the United States 1981–1984” in
Industrial heritage ’84 national reports: The fifth international conference on the conservation of the
industrial heritage, 117–123, Washington DC, 1984, p. 118.
Dianne Newell and Robert M. Vogel, ”A north American report” in The industrial heritage:
The third international conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions 1.
National reports, ed. Marie Nisser, 91–108, Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1978, p. 101f.
See also Evelyn F. Murphy, ”Welcome” in Industrial heritage ’84 national reports: The fifth
international conference on the conservation of the industrial heritage, iv–v, Washington DC, 1984, p. v.
The issue of heritage as a product combining public and private interests is dealt with
in W. Lipp, ”Monuments as products: Sketches of an economic theory of architectural
heritage” in Rational decision-making in the preservation of cultural property: Report of the 86th
Dahlem workshop, Berlin, March 26–31, 2000, eds. Norbert S. Baer and Folke Snickars, 197–209,
Berlin: Dahlem University Press, 2001.
Bo Hedskog, Återanvändning av industri- och specialbyggnader : Fastighetsekonomiska, tekniska och
funktionella aspekter på val av ny användning , Stockholm: Institutionen för fastighetsekonomi, Royal Institute of Technology, 1982; Sanering efter industrinedläggningar :
NOTES
Betänkande av industrisaneringsutredningen, Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar
(SOU) 1982:10. The Swedish word ”sanering” in the title of the governmental
investigation could mean ”conversion” as well as ”demolition” and chemical
”clearance.”
9
The characteristics are familiar compared to the analysis made two decades later by
Michel Stratton, referred to earlier in this study.
10
Sanering efter industrinedläggningar, pp. 69, 78.
11
Ibid., p. 35. One of the experts who took part in the investigation especially emphasised
the importance of industrial heritage as a possible counterweight to problems caused
by lack of history and local identity. Ibid., p. 160f.
12
Ibid., appendix 2:17, 4:13.
13
Yttrande över industrisaneringsutredningens betänkande (SOU 1982:10) Sanering efter industrinedläg gningar. Riksantikvarieämbetet och Statens historiska museer, Byrådirektör Staffan Nilsson,
2413/82, November 1, 1982, Marie Nisser private archives.
14
Stuart B. Smith, ”Adaptive re-use of industrial buildings and landscapes” in The industrial
heritage: The third international conference on the conservation of industrial monuments. Transactions 3,
ed. Marie Nisser, 101–102, Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1978.
15
Neil Cossons, The BP book of industrial archaeology, Newton Abbot Devon: David & Charles,
1993, p. 17ff.
16
Zukin, Loft living, pp. 1f, 75.
17
Ibid., p. 3ff.
18
Ibid., pp. 14f, 67.
19
Ibid., pp. 68, 71.
20
Jauhiainen, ”Waterfront redevelopment and urban policy” p. 3. See also M. Christine
Boyer’s analysis of the transformation of South Street Seaport in New York. M. Christine
Boyer, The city of collective memory: Its historical imagery and architectural entertainments,
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994, pp. 426–438.
21
Jauhiainen, ”Waterfront redevelopment and urban policy” p. 7.
22
Ibid., p. 10ff.
23
Peter Nijhof, ”The eastern docklands in Amsterdam: From harbour to residential area”
in Maritime technologies: 10th international conference, transactions, ed. Christine Agriantoni,
113–116, Athens: TICCIH, 2000. This area was transformed in the early 1980s and it was
the biggest post-war building project in central Amsterdam. Differing from many
other places, dwellings were in the social rent sector and owned by a public social
housing company.
24
Jauhiainen, ”Waterfront redevelopment and urban policy” pp. 7, 20. Also Baltimore had
sources of inspiration. According to Sharon Zukin the transformation of Ghirardelli
Square in San Francisco was copied along the waterfronts of Boston, New York and
Baltimore. Zukin, Loft living, p. 78.
25
Gene Desfor and John Jørgensen, ”Flexible urban governance: The case of
Copenhagen’s recent waterfront development” European Planning Studies, 4 (2004), 479–496,
p. 489f.
26
For a history of Juvelkvarnen, see Lasse Brunnström, Bengt Norling, and Bengt Spade,
Juvelkvarnen i Göteborg: En hörnpelare i svensk livsmedelsförsörjning 1915–2001, Göteborg:
Göteborgs stadsmuseum, 2002.
27
JM, ”Kvarnen: Warehouse living på Norra Älvstranden” Advertising brochure (2007), p. 7.
28
Ibid., p. 16.
29
Ibid., p. 8.
30
Ibid., pp. 3, 6.
31
In the words of Sverker Sörlin, there has been ”a packaging of space and a commodification
of history” in order to raise real estate values. Sverker Sörlin, ”The trading zone
between articulation and preservation: Production of meaning in landscape history
and the problems of heritage decision-making” in Rational decision-making in the
preservation of cultural property: Report of the 86th Dahlem workshop, Berlin, March 26–31, 2000,
eds. Norbert S. Baer and Folke Snickars, 47–59, Berlin: Dahlem University Press, 2001, p. 56.
32
See for example websites for Järla sjö (”The lake of Järla”) http://www.jarlasjo.se/,
Nacka strand (”Nacka shore”) http://www.nackastrand.se/, Gustavsbergs hamn
(”Gustavsberg’s harbour”) http://www.gustavsbergshamn.se/, all accessed August 21,
195
NOTES
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
196
2007. In an undergraduate paper in art history the reuse of the flour mill Saltsjöqvarn
is dealt with. Katya Sandomirskaja, Saltsjöqvarn: Utbyggnad av staden, ombyggnad av
industrin. Södertörn University College, 2007.
See also Maths Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige: Arbete, ideal och kulturarv, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2007, p. 240.
See note 32. Naming of places in Baltimore described by Mattias Legnér is however
different. Here the new overall names have not alluded to nature but to the former
production of the place, such as ”The Shoe Factory,” and ”Brewers Hill,” explained
by Legnér as an ”interest in former production and branding [that] should be seen as
an expression of a consumer society’s view of heritage.” Mattias Legnér, ”The cultural
significance of industrial heritage and urban development: Woodberry in Baltimore,
Maryland” in Stockholms Lilja: Stadshistoriska studier tillägnade professorn i Stockholms historia
Sven Lilja 23 juli 2007, ed. Lars Nilsson, 111–143, Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska
institutet, 2007, p. 120.
Stratton, ”Understanding the potential” p. 41f.
Ibid., p. 31.
Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilson, eds. Tate Modern: The handbook, London: Tate Gallery
Publishing Limited, 2000; Stratton, ”Understanding the potential” p. 45f.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 80.
Alzén, Fabriken som kulturarv, p. 73.
Stratton, ”Understanding the potential” p. 33.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 59. See also Edward S. Casey who has used the concept ”place
memory” by which he means the place as a stable container of experiences. Edward S.
Casey, Remembering: A phenomenological study, Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press,
1987, p. 186f.
Zukin, Loft living, p. 173.
Dolores Hayden, The power of place: Urban landscapes as public history, Cambridge: The MIT
Press, 1995.
Pierre Nora, ”Between memory and history: Les lieux de mémoire” Representations, 26
(1989), 7–24, p. 7.
Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1991, p. 193.
David Lowenthal, The past is a foreign country, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1985, pp. 148–155.
Tim Edensor, Industrial ruins: Spaces, aesthetics, and materiality, Oxford: Berg, 2005, p. 3ff.
Ibid., p. 36ff.
Susanne Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher: Life and work, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006, p. 9.
Rephrased in Lange, Bernd and Hilla Becher, p. 10.
Gustaf Karlsson, Som inte längre är/That no longer are, Solna: Blyerts design, 2004. The
poem is written in Swedish as well as in English.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas: A users’s guide to the art of urban exploration, Toronto: Infiltration,
2005, p. 229ff. A Swedish website on the topic is http://rostsverige.blogs.se, accessed
December 11, 2007.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas, p. 89.
Ibid., p. 88.
Edensor, Industrial ruins, pp. 14, 17.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas, p. 88f. See also Edensor, Industrial ruins, p. 172.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas, p. 215f.
Jan Jörnmark, Övergivna platser, Lund: Historiska media, 2007, p. 5f.
For example, the book was presented in several of Sweden’s biggest newspapers, among
them Svenska Dagbladet. Adam Svanell, ”Platserna som Sverige glömde” Svenska Dagbladet
May 21 (2007).
Jörnmark, Övergivna platser, p. 5.
Robert Willim, ”Industrial cool: Om det materiellas närvaro och industrisamhällets
frånvaro” in Materialitet og dannelse: En studiebog, eds. Lene Otto and Minna Kragelund,
159–174, Copenhagen: Danmarks Paedagogiske Universitets Forlag, 2005; Zukin, Loft
living, p. 202; Edensor, Industrial ruins, p. 58. See also M. Christine Boyer’s argumentation
about ”the City of Spectacle.” Boyer, The city of collective memory, p. 57f.
NOTES
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
D.I.R.T. studio website, http://www.dirtstudio.com/, accessed November 22, 2007.
Ibid.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas, p. 88. See also W. Lipp, ”Monuments as products” p. 208.
Kersti Morger, ”IBA – Emscher Park: Ekologisk omdaning av en industriregion”
Bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift, 36 (1998), 101–119, p. 115; Ironbridge Gorge Museum website,
http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/, Route Industriekultur website, http://www.routeindustriekultur.de/, European Route of Industrial Heritage website, http://www.erih.net/,
all accessed December 1, 2007.
Edensor, Industrial ruins, pp. 18, 133–141. Quote from p. 135. See also Lipp, ”Monuments
as products” p. 207.
Edensor, Industrial ruins, pp. 126–138, 164. Quote from p. 130.
Frågor till det industriella samhället, Norrköping: Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 1999:18.
Berättelser om vårt samhälles historia – svenska industriminnen: Riksantikvarieämbetets program för
det industrihistoriska arvet, Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet, 2001.
Industrisamhällets kulturarv: Betänkande av Delegationen för industrisamhällets kulturarv, Stockholm:
Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) 2002:67; Isacson, Industrisamhället Sverige, p. 243.
Ninjalicious, Access all areas, p. 88.
Göran Greider, När fabrikerna tystnar : Dikter, Stockholm: Bonnier, 1995, p. 138. The
quoted paragraph constitutes one part of a longer poem titled ”När fabrikerna
tystnar.” The original runs: ”Fabrikerna förblev dock förbjudna städer./Barndomar
förflöt i tecknet av ett mysterium./De vuxna hade en bortvänd, oåtkomlig sida./När
fabrikerna tystnar blir de åter synliga./Först nu är de främmande för oss.”
197
NOTES
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210
INDEX
INDEX
Aalto, Alvar 52, 55, 79, 83, 86, 99
Acropolis 55, 86, 88, 99, 134
Alzén, Annika 24, 35, 85, 96, 113
Amsterdam 84, 146
Ancient Monuments Board 110
Andersen, Håkon W. 14
Ashworth, Gregory 41, 71, 95
assembly line 10, 14
Association for Industrial Archaeology 42
Australia 111
Austria 141–142
Avesta 10, 22–27, 45, 47–99, 104, 108, 114,
118–120, 125, 129, 134, 141, 144, 148,
151, 161–166, 168–169
Avesta AB 56, 79
Avesta Art 61–63, 88
Avesta Industristad 59–60, 66, 70, 74, 77, 82,
88
Avesta Jernverks 50, 53, 56, 78–79, 81–82
Avesta Polarit 56
Avesta Sheffield 56, 79
Avesta Tidning 25, 89, 94
Baltimore 22, 59, 70, 96, 146
Bankside Power Station 150–151
Barcelona 146
Bargmann, Julie 157
Bauman, Zygmunt 15, 20, 58, 135
Beamish, see North of England Open-Air
Museum at Beamish
Becher, Bernd and Hilla 131, 135–136,
153–154
Bedlam furnaces 106, 110
Belgium 37–38
Bengts, Ingrid 98
Benjamin, Walter 82
Berg, Ulf 73, 93–94
Bergdahl, Ewa 41, 44
Bergslagen 26, 35, 64, 79, 96, 111, 154
Berlin 154
Bessemer converter 29–30
Birmingham, Alabama 121
Birmingham, University of 44
bison 47–49, 52, 161
Black Country 103
Museum 112
Blists Hill, open-air museum 106, 109,
114, 117
Bochum 35
Bottrop 129, 134
Bosdotter, Kjersti 84
Bregenzer Festspiele 142, 162
British Steel 56, 79
Broseley 105–106
bruksanda (see also spirit of the company
town) 83–84, 98
Burell, Jan 93
Canada 157
Capitoline Museums 150
Cardiff 146
carriers of value (inventory) 74–75, 94, 96
Castells, Manuel 56
Chalk Pits Museum 112
Chusovoi 21, 29–30, 168
Coalbrookdale 44, 103–106, 109, 114
blast furnace museum 109
Company 103
Coalport 105–106, 114
China factory/museum 103, 105–106,
114
company town 13, 21, 45, 50, 57, 71, 73,
82–83, 98–99, 144
consumption society 15–16, 166
Cossons, Sir Neil 25, 109–110, 113–114,
116–117, 145
Council for British Archaeology 37
Council of Europe 81, 110
Dagens Nyheter 44
Darby, Abraham/family/houses 103,
105–106
Davis, Peter 107
Dawley 105
de Haan, David 110–111, 117
Desfor, Gene 71
Detroit 35
Dickinson, Henry Winram 136
211
INDEX
dig-where-you-stand 23, 26, 37, 39, 41,
43–45, 164
D.I.R.T studio 157
Docklands, London 82, 84
duality of the factory 10, 16, 59, 116, 120,
152, 158, 161, 167
Duisburg 10, 13, 22–23, 25–26
Ebert, Wolfgang 121, 123, 137
Edensor, Tim 24, 138, 153–154, 158
Edinburgh 70
ecomuseum 23, 26, 37–39, 41–45, 101,
110–111, 117–118, 157, 164
Ecomuseum Bergslagen 41, 111
Ekman, Ann-Kristin 95
Emscher, river 122–123
Engelsberg Ironworks 32, 36, 81
Environmental Protection Agency 134
Eskilstuna 22, 24, 58–59, 64, 84, 97
European Architectural Heritage Year 79,
81
European Coal and Steel Community 130
European Community 56
European Route of Industrial Heritage
158
European Union 64, 158, 165
Euston Arch 34, 109
Everbrand, Lars Åke 61, 68, 74, 86–88, 93,
95, 97, 137
Fagersta Stainless 56
Falun 49, 80
Finland 22, 65, 96
Firestone Factory 34
Ford, Henry 14, 35
France 37–39, 41, 45, 82, 110–111
French occupation 130
gable, see interior wall
Ganser, Karl 120
Geijerstam, Jan af 62, 132
Gennep, Arnold van 53
Genoa 146
gentrification 23–24, 115, 146–147,
150–152, 160–163
German Society for Industrial History 121
Gothenburg 22, 25, 80, 147–148, 151
Gotland 93
Grangärde 35, 145
Greider, Göran 159
Gustavsberg 149
Gustafsson, Lotten 93
Harnow, Henrik 42
Harvey, David 15, 18, 20, 56, 63–64
Hayden, Dolores 23, 151–152
Hedlund, Benny 71
Hedskog, Bo 143–144
Helsingborg 19, 63
212
Helsinki 22, 74
Hermelin, Bo 78–79
hermeneutics 17–18, 22, 24, 27, 29, 161
Hewison, Robert 112
high industrial period 14, 156
Historic American Engineering Record
(HAER) 42, 121
History Workshop Journal 113
Hobsbawm, Eric J. 14
Hospers, Gert-Jan 59, 83
Howard, Peter 40, 70, 95
Hudson, Kenneth 15, 42, 80, 113
Husbyringen 38
industrial archaeology 23, 26, 36–37, 39,
41–45, 80, 101, 107–110, 113, 154, 159
industrial revolution 27, 29, 41, 101, 108,
110, 117, 166
three 13, 24
first 13, 35
second 14, 35, 79, 80
third 10, 14–16, 22, 29, 34–35, 81, 166,
168
Industrienatur 125–127, 131, 139, 162
Industrilandskapet 151
Ingmar, Axel 88–89
interior wall 70, 77, 95
International Committee for the
Conservation of Industrial Monuments
(TICCIH) 35–36, 81
Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA)
Emscher Park 25, 119–123, 126,
132–133, 135, 137, 139, 158, 165
Il trovatore 141
iron girders 69–70, 77–78, 94–95, 99,
160–161
Ironbridge 10, 23, 25–26, 35–36, 44–45, 99,
101-118, 120, 125, 129, 135, 141,
144–145, 148, 151, 162, 164–166
Gorge Museum 22, 27, 101-118, 158, 161
Isacson, Maths 14, 79, 83–85, 94, 98
Jackfield 105–106
Tile factory/museum 106, 114
Jauhiainen, Jussi S. 146
Johansson, Åke 73
Johnson group/family 25, 55, 78–82, 104
Juvelkvarnen 147–148
Jørgensen, John 71
Jörnmark, Jan 156–157
Karlsson, Gustaf 154
Karosta 155
Kirkwood, Niall 133
Kommunalverband Ruhrgebiet 132
Koppardalen 22, 25–27, 45, 47–99, 114, 118,
137, 161–162, 168
Koselleck, Reinhart 20
Krinke, Rebecca 133
INDEX
Krylbo 60, 73
Krylbosmällen 60
Kåks, Helena 57
Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft NRW 123
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord 13, 22,
26–27, 119–139, 153, 157–158, 161
Las Vegas 96
Latvia, 65, 155
Latz, Peter 133
Le Creusot and Montceau-les Mines 37,
110
Legnér, Mattias 59
Leith 70
liminality 24, 53, 55, 164
Linder, Kenneth 97–98, 128
Linderborg, Åsa 84
Lindqvist, Sven 39–41, 44
loft living 145, 150–151
London 22, 34, 82, 84, 105, 113–114, 136,
150–151, 162
Lowell 16, 22, 59, 143
Lowenthal, David 131
Lunde 132
Lynch, Kevin 18, 24
Löfwall, Ulf 66, 68, 94
Madeley 106
Manchester 108
of Sweden 96
University of 108
Massey, Doreen 18, 20, 82, 89, 96
Mayer, Margit 58–59, 73
Meidericher Hütte 119–139
minimal intervention 33, 139, 157
Ministry of Housing and Local
Government 31
Montemartini Power Station 150
Morris, William 33
Museum of Man and Industry 37, 110
Museum of the Year Award 110
Museum of Work 84
Nacka strand 149
National Board of Antiquities 25, 43, 67,
79, 144, 158
National Historic Landmark 121
National Museum of Science and
Technology 79, 80–81
National Survey of Industrial Monuments
37
Nazism 120, 131
Netherlands 84
new museology 37, 41, 44, 111
new town 105–107, 109, 114–115, 117, 165
New York 108, 145, 150
Ninjalicious 154, 156–157, 159
Nisser, Marie 24, 26, 43, 78, 80–81
Nora, Pierre 33, 112, 151
Norberg 42, 76
Norberg, Dan Ola 68, 86–88
Nordiska Museet/National museum of
cultural history 80
Norra verken 22, 24, 26–27, 45, 47–99
Norrköping 11, 22, 24, 59, 85, 96–97, 146,
151
North Adams 22, 61
North of England Open-Air Museum at
Beamish 34, 112–113
northern works 47–76, 144, 168
Norway 36, 64
Nyby Uddeholm 55
Nye, David E. 88
OKQ8 71–72, 77
Olshammar, Gabriella 25
original shape 33–34, 139
Outokumpu 49, 56
Paasi, Anssi 82, 96
Pakarinen, Terttu 138
Pennsylvania Station 109
Perers, Karin 61, 63, 77, 94
Portugal 41
post-industrial situation, materiality of/
places in 12, 16, 18, 20–23, 27, 29, 45,
76, 89, 120, 125, 139, 141, 161, 163–165
Raistrick, Arthur 101
Ricœur, Paul 17–18, 70
Riga 151
Rivière, Georges Henri 111
Rix, Michael 107–108
Robin Wade Design Associates 113
Rome 16, 134, 150–151
Route Industriekultur 123, 158
Royal Commission on Historical
Monuments 31
ruderal species 126
Ruhr district 22, 26–27, 35, 59, 97–99,
118–139, 154, 158, 161
Ruskin, John 33
Russia 21, 29–30
Røros mining town 36
Samuel, Raphael 112
Samuelsson, Johan 24, 84
scientific management 14
Scotland 70
Sheffield 59
Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk 132
Sillén, Gunnar 39, 41, 43, 80
Skansen 109
Sloss furnaces 121, 136
Smith, Stuart B. 25, 108–110, 113–114,
116–117, 145
Society for Industrial Archeology 38,
42–43, 143
213
INDEX
southern works 52–53, 56, 168–169
Stockholm 22, 48, 65, 71, 74, 79, 143, 145,
148, 154
Spain 41
spirit of the company town (see also
bruksanda) 61, 76, 83, 85–86, 98–99,
165
Stora Enso Fors Bruk 49
Stratton, Michael 22, 58, 113–114, 150–151
Sundh Centre 52, 55
Svenskt Stål AB (SSAB) 56
Switzerland 38
Sörlin, Sverker 132
Tate Modern 150, 162
Taylor, Frederick W. 14
Telford 105–107, 117
Thamsten, Jan 70
Tholander, Caroline 68
Thyssen 120, 123
TICCIH see International Committee for
the Conservation of Industrial
Monuments
Toronto 157
trade union 44, 83–84, 98, 113
Trimm, Ryan 112
Trinder, Barrie 108–109, 112–113, 117
Tuan, Yi-Fu 18, 20, 126, 135
Turner, Victor 53
Turtinen, Jan 73, 137
UNESCO 36, 110, 122
union, see trade union
United States 16, 22–23, 34, 37–38, 42–44,
59, 61, 70, 81, 96, 109, 111, 121, 134,
136, 143, 146, 153, 157
Ural mountains 29, 168
urban exploration 141, 154–155, 157–160
Verdi, Giuseppe 141
Vergo, Peter 41
Viollet-le-Duc, Eugene Etienne 33
Västerås 50
Völklinger Hütte 122, 135
Wales 59, 103
waterfront 53, 71, 73, 89, 144, 146–148,
150–151, 166, 169
Wetterberg, Ola 36–37
Woodberry 59
work life museums 44, 98, 165
workers’ plays 42
world heritage 36, 110, 118, 122
World Heritage List 36, 137
World War 135
First 14, 130–131
Second 31, 34, 53, 55, 60, 105, 130, 145,
169
Widmark, Henrik 63
214
Willim, Robert 156
Zukin, Sharon 23, 53, 61, 109, 112, 116, 132,
135, 145, 148, 150–152
Ångermanland 132
INDEX
215
Anna Storm
Anna Storm
In the late 20th century, many Western cities and towns
entered a process of de-industrialisation. What happened to
the industrial places that were left behind in the course of this
transformation? How were they understood and used? Who
engaged in their future? What were the visions and what was
achieved?
Hope and Rust: Reinterpreting the industrial place in the
late 20th century examines the conversion of the redundant
industrial built environment, into apartments, offices, heritage
sites, stages for artistic installations, and destinations for
cultural tourism. Through a wide-ranging analysis, comprising
the former industrial areas of Koppardalen in Avesta, Sweden,
the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Britain, and Landschaftspark
Duisburg-Nord in the Ruhr district of Germany, a new way of
comprehending this significant phenomenon is unveiled.
The study shows how the industrial place was turned
into a commodity in a complex gentrification process. Key
actors, such as companies and former workers, heritage and
planning professionals, as well as artists and urban explorers,
were involved in articulating values of beauty, authenticity
and adventure. By downplaying the dark and difficult aspects
associated with industry, it became possible to showcase rust
from the past fuelled with hope for a better future.
Anna Storm is affiliated with the Division of History of Science and Technology
at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2006, she
received the Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize for best-presented paper from the
Society for the History of Technology. Hope and Rust is her doctoral dissertation.
HOPE AND RUST
HOPE AND RUST
Reinterpreting the industrial place in the late 20th century
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