The Ephemeral Tower, Moss

By Olivier Grossetête (FR)

Østfold International Theater invites all the residents in Moss to join this autumn’s most fantastic construction project: A spectacular reconstruction of the pulp tower of the old cellulose and paper mill – made from 1300 cardboard boxes!


The Ephemeral Tower is a playful art project that unites young and old in joint activity: Together with the French artist Olivier Grossetête, we are creating a giant cardboard building at Verket in September!

The finished tower will be more than 20 meters tall and will weigh more than a ton! It is assembled with muscle power only and requires working together and lifting in groups. This collective project will provide you with memories for life! This is how you can join the adventure:

«Together we can achieve great things and bring the wildest ideas to life.»

– Olivier Grossetête

  • Spania, Barcelona, La Mercè Mac Festival, 2016. Foto: Olivier Grossetête

Join free workshops

The first part of the construction will take place indoors in workshops that are free to attend:

Daily, 30. august – 3. september
at 10-12, 12-14 and 18-21.
Choose a day and time that suits you!

Participants from all age groups can take part in making the giant building blocks the tower will be assembled from. This is a fun and active experience for everyone between 9 and 100 – perfect for team building!


Join in construction

On Saturday, both participants from the workshops and everyone else are invited to join the process of raising the magnificent building on the old Peterson site at Verket! With the help of hundreds of inhabitants, without any machine power, the temporary theater can stretch as tall as 22 meters and weigh more than a ton!

Verket, lørdag september 4th from 10:00- 19:00 (approximate end time)
Come and go as you please.

First, the roof if put together. Then some of us will lift it up, while others will put cardboard pillars underneath. Then we put the floor together – and a new storey is complete. This is repeated until the construction is finished. The build will take about 9 hours in total, but participants can come and go as they please throughout the day. We promise that the excitement will increase along with the size and height of the building! We have to work together – especially towards the end of the day to get the last storeys completed!

«Together we are stronger and can go further. We can lift a magnificent construction that is 15-22 meters tall and that weighs more than a ton!»

Olivier Grossetête

Join the demolition

Ephemeral means fleeting – and the monumental work of art is allowed to exist for only 24 hours. On Sunday, the magnificent construction will be demolished in the same way it was built: Together.

At Verket, Sunday the 5th of September from 15:00-16:30 (approximate end time)

This is a great opportunity to release some pent up energy! When the construction has fallen, everyone is invited to step on the cardboard boxes, which are of course recycled afterwards.

To build the new Moss

The choice of Verket and the Peterson site as a “construction site” is not accidental. The cornerstone company produced linerboard, the main material in cardboard boxes – and the source of the infamous Mosselukta. Today, Verket is an area of new development in the new, merged municipality. In our jointly produced work of art, we use key materials from Moss’ past to build the new Moss.

Koketårnet på Verket

The pulp tower in cardboard

Grossetête has previously made over 200 monumental buildings, including constructions together with the residents of Moscow, Marseille, Sydney, Shanghai and Helsinki. When we knew that the artist had the opportunity to come to Moss, Østfold International Theater and Moss Avis launched an open announcement and competition where the residents of Moss could submit proposals and vote on what was to be built here.

The pulp tower from the old cellulose factory won the competition, and will now be reconstructed as a unique work of art, precisely in cardboard!

The materials for the building are delivered from Glomma Papp, and are recycled after use.

Ephemeral Tower Moss, Koketårnet i pappesker
This is the working drawing of the cardboard tower that will be erected at Verket: The reconstruction of the old pulp tower will be 22 meters tall!

Infection prevention and control

The construction is done with all necessary safety measures and in line with current guidelines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
Read more here (in Norwegian). The project has been carried out in other countries during the pandemic, and the team leading the work is well trained in the rules and guidelines for infection prevention and control.

Some of Grossetêtes earlier masterpieces!


Olivier Grossetête, artist
Francis Ruggirello, construction manager
Estela Quintero, builder
James Moore, curator-producer ØIT
Fredrik Borgund, project coordinator ØIT
Bjørn Otten, technical manager
….And you?

Olivier Grossetête’s constructions are created solely through audience participation. The grandiose buildings require people to participate in building and lifting. We therefore include as many people as possible in the project and in the production process. In 2021 he invites all residents of Moss to take part in this large and spectacular project, an artistic and human adventure!


The Ephemeral Tower is presented in collaboration with Moss 2020, Byliv Moss, Verket/Höegh eiendom and Glomma Papp. Arts Council Norway and Viken county municipality supports the project financially.

It was originally a co-production with IN SITU – European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space and part of the collaborative project META 2011–2015. The project is co-financed by the European Commission through the cultural program DGEAC.

Press photos

You can download the press photo for the production here >>

ØITs earlier projects at Verket:

This is not the first time Østfold International Theater has taken over Verket. Under the names Scenekunst Østfold and later Østfold kulturutvikling avdeling scenekunst, we have staged a number of experiences of site-specific art in these surroundings.

The first time was with Cooperatzia (The Trail) by Le G. Bistaki (FR) in 2014. The following year we returned with The Baïna Trampa Fritz Fallen by Le G. Bistaki (FR), Animal Exodus, One Step Before the Fall og Sniper’s Lake by Spitfire Company (CZ), and Batagraf Extended by Batagraf (NO). At the same time we organized the seminar IN SITU Focus 2015.
I 2017 Verket was used by several artists for research and experimental staging as part of PICTURE Budapest – Østfold. One of the concepts developed through the project was Drømmefabrikk II by Naja Lee Jensen (DK).

Press photos