Ypsilon bridge by night
Drammen used to be the town with the bad reputation, known for traffic jams in the town center, pollution and noise. And a polluted river dividing the town into two. But this has all changed, and those hanging on to these old views will get a surprise visiting Drammen today. The river has become clean, there are now beaches and walkways along it. The throughfare traffic has been put in tunnels. And the center area has been restored and renewed.
The gem of it all is the Union or Grønland area, where used to be a paper mill area, now totally transformed. Here you find a dozen cultural institutions: art center, library, concert scene, residency and more. And the university, hotel, residential buildings, shops, bus station and cafes. The area is linked with the park on the other river bank with a state of the art suspension bridge. The name "Ypsilon" is from its Y-shape. According to the locals it always takes three times the expected time to cross the bridge, as you always meet friends here, walking on the circuit along the river.
The Ypsilon is also part of an art installation. The vibrations of the bridge from wind, current and passing people are sent to two large metal spheres, one on each river bank. From these spheres, called the River Harp, sound emerge in correspondence with Ypsilon. The sounds consist of harmonies sung by a local choir. In this way it all gets connected, the wind, the river, the walkway, the local culture, and the architecture is reflected together with its inhabitants in the surface of the spheres.
Union Scene and the River Harp
In this area is also the Artist Center of Buskerud county (Kunstnersenteret i Buskerud). Their location is great, where you will sooner or later pass by whether you are living in or just visiting Drammen. They have eight exhibitions every year.
From the exhibition "Groove is in the Heart" by Catrine Thorstensen at the Artist Center in Buskerud