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Blok P

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Blok P

Blok P, South side
Blok P, North side with flag
Blok P, balconies

Blok P was the largest residential building in Nuuk, as well as the largest in all of Greenland . It contained around 320 apartments and it is said that approximately 1% of the total population of the entire country lived in the building.[1] The building was demolished on the 19th of October, 2012.[2]

History

The building was built and erected in 1965–1966 as part of the Danish parliament's Folketinget programme since 1953 to modernize and urbanize the Greenlandic infrastructure by moving people away from the coastal settlements which were deemed "unprofitable, unhealthy and unmodern".

When it was built it was the largest building construction in what was then the Kingdom of Denmark.[3] The size and floor plan of the apartments were entirely unsuitable for the Inuit lifestyle, with narrow doorways making it difficult, or sometimes impossible to enter and exit wearing thick cold weather clothing, and common European style wardrobes were too small to store fishing gear. This gear was then stored on the balconies, blocking fire exits and creating a security hazard.[4] During the first years there were minor problems with coagulated blood clogging up the drainage, stemming from the fishermen using the only available reasonable place to carve up their catch; the bathtubs.

The building was only five stories high but at a length of 64 apartments, translating to over 200 metres, it cut right across Nuuk in an east-west direction. Block P was generally viewed very unfavourably by the local population, and it was even presented to tourists as "so depressing that it's almost an attraction in itself".[5]

There are no concrete plans for Blok P area yet, however since July 2013 the commune has developed a community building project called 'Nuuk Playground', designed to address the needs of the community.[6]

Recent developments

Greenland Home Rule in conjunction with Nuuk City Council proposed a plan in 2010 to dismantle and sanitize the building. The current residents are being offered housing in Qinngorput.[7] Presently the building is to be dismantled in four, possibly five stages, starting in 2011 with the final stage of land clearing and handover in 2014–2015.

Largest Greenland flag

The northern end of the house was decorated with the biggest known Greenlandic flag. The flag, which consisted of discarded articles of clothing, was sewn by a local artist with the help of schoolchildren.[8]


References

  1. ^ Rudy Brueggemann. "Greenland: The Last Great Place - Greenlandic Architecture". Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. ^ Lea Wind-Friis: "Berømt og berygtet grønlandsk bygning fik dramatisk afslutning", tilgået 19-10-2012
  3. ^ "Farvel til blok P" (in Danish). Politiken.dk. Retrieved 06-02-2011. 
  4. ^ "Nuuk, Mike Bode and Staffan Schmidt". Retrieved 06-02-2011. 
  5. ^ "Block P in Nuuk Town (Godthab)". Retrieved 06-02-2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.thefourthcontinent.com/2013/06/05/just-add-sand-beach-volleyball-the-arctic-and-nuuk-playground
  7. ^ "Block P-dwellers resettled in Qinngorput" (in Danish). Sermitsiaq.AG. Retrieved 06-02-2011. 
  8. ^ Tim Folger. "Changing Greenland". National Geographic. Retrieved 06-02-2011. 

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