The Gigaphone (Talerøret), Trondheim’s Giant Megaphone

The Gigaphone at its fullest glory, perching along Trondheim’s waterfront

photography by: Omri Westmark

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As any architecture student can testify, the five years graduates spend at school are where nearly everything is possible, at least on paper (or computer screen). Rare are the cases where an outlandish idea emerges out of the confines of the classrooms into the real world. For a group of local students from Trondheim’s well-renowned university, that’s exactly what happened when their idea for an oversized bullhorn became a tangible monument and one of the city’s quirkiest attractions.

Unconstrained by neither budget nor building codes, architecture schools all over the world are known for encouraging students to conceive the boldest ideas out there. As seldom these sketches see the light of day, no one really has to worry about their feasibility. In sheer contrast to the previous statement, however, a couple of students from Trondheim’s Norwegian University of Science and Technology, or simply NTNU, were fortunate enough to actually execute their wild concept.


As part of a joint venture between several private companies including the architecture firm of Brendeland and Kristoffersen, the NTNU’s students were entrusted with designing a large-scale megaphone, aptly named the Gigaphone (Talerøret). Following a few intense weeks where their full-sized model was assembled, the Gigaphone was inaugurated on September 2010 at the city’s Tordenskiold Park.


Built out of 3-millimeter-wide steel sheets, the 18-meter-long cone sits on an 8-leg pedestal, which from afar might seem like an elaborate telescope. Whereas its exterior part is colored in white, its inner surface is as black as the night sky. Featuring a 6-meter diameter, the device’s massive opening serves not only as a potent loudspeaker, but also as a sound collector that reflects the surrounding hubbub in an unusual way. Thanks to its colossal proportions, visitors can actually stand inside in an upright position without evoking feelings of claustrophobia.


After a period of time in downtown Trondheim, the quirky art installation was relocated to its current whereabouts in the city’s Lade neighborhood, where it lies at the shores of the nearby fjord.