Far from the Danish mainland, in the corner of the map and just south from Sweden, Bornholm lies in the Baltic Sea. Not only is Bornholm far from the mainland in distance, but also the landscape is standing out compared to the rest of Denmark. Many years of quarrying have left its mark and traces in the landscape while the story of the formation and why we are even able to extract granite from the island remain hidden and with the project I want to investigate how the quarries once again can be active spots in the landscape and be included in the overall connections, and stories of Bornholm and tell the story that for now is hidden deep under ground.
Bornholm lies on a fault line caused by a breakage of the Eurasia tectonic plate that lead to a geological division, and gave the island the unique st.ructure and shape. Having this unique area with granite and gneiss made Bornholm an attractive place to extract and mine building materials. those extractions have left big holes – clear scars in the landscape. These scars have made the unique landscape even more dramatic and are left empty and unused once the extraction have stopped.
The former quarries that provided Denmark with granite are now left behind, empty from the vibrant and dramatic activity they once contained. Most of them have over time filled with water and are now small lakes and quite areas scattered out over Bornholm. The story of these left areas have yet to be told and I think these unused areas holds great potential for special and extraordinary experiences in the Danish landscape, while it gives us as architects the chance to reuse huge spaces already manipulated by man instead of taking up new spaces and areas for development.
This mindset links to a greater and general debate in how we treat our empty areas, whether it is empty houses, abandoned industrial buildings, cultivated areas or in this case inactive quarries. So I am asking why we are not using these artificial areas and spaces that differs so much from the rest of Denmark and create something – maybe spectacular and extraordinary, for people to experience.
I believe that we as architects are not (re)using or taking enough advantage of the structures handed down to us. Maybe we are not dreaming big enough, maybe we do not see the potentials, maybe in some cases our design is too linked to a certain function and program and not enough to the qualities of the space we create making them difficult or even impossible to transform. What we build or create is only a small fragment of time, so our architecture needs to be polyvalent – able to transform, and build on qualities instead of functions.
I think it is important and interesting to understand and tell the stories about the specific sites and areas. Bornholm contains so many fragments of cultural heritage, tourism and unique landscapes that holds great potential to connect them with the history, unique geology and quarries to create a joined story of Bornholm that could be used as a place of geology and history, contain a raw material database while being able to boost Bornholms outdoor tourism and have a project that works from the local scale all the way up to an international scale where bornholm is just a fragment of a greater story of a broken Eurasia, geology and fault lines and .