IKEA and Queen Silvia of Sweden are teaming up to rethink housing the elderly. The project, called SilviaBo, is an offshoot of the furniture giant’s affordable housing arm, BoKLok, and extends its same principles of wooden, prefab architecture for the masses to the world’s aging population. These days, architects and designers are being challenged to create inclusive spaces that not only offer shelter for the elderly but also promote healing and are physically accessible to people with a range of mobility and emotional energies. When choosing retirement housing, many families have anxiety over the cost of living and the often lack of social support or physical care staff available at lower-cost institutions. BoKlok and SilviaBo aim to squash that fear and claim to be at the forefront of a movement that addresses sustainability, economics, and physical well-being in elderly care. The flatpack-style SilviaBo homes are manufactured in partnership with another Swedish company, construction firm Skanska. The original units that have been in production since the late 90s still serve as the base for the new customized homes. They are assembled as prefab parts in a factory and delivered to the construction site where they are set up as one unit. Made mostly of wood, the homes feature a minimal, clean design. Currently, the units are available via BoKlok in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the UK. The result of BoKlok's work is a cost-effective and environmentally sensitive model for the future of retirees. The company claims that only 1 percent of its materials go to landfill and that it has a carbon footprint of less than half of a standard building project. Sensitive design choices derived from the most recent research on dementia include kitchen appliances with physical buttons rather than digital screens to bathrooms without mirrors or dark flooring, two factors deemed aggravating to individuals suffering from dementia.
Posts tagged with "Sweden":
Kiruna, Sweden, is a small town on the edge of the Arctic Circle that exists almost solely to serve the world’s largest iron ore mine. After over a century of aggressive mining, however, soil subsidence, sinkholes, and other geologic anomalies are threatening to destroy the town. Facing this dire future, local officials crafted a 100-year plan in 2004 with Stockholm, Sweden–based White Architects to gradually relocate the 18,000-resident settlement 2 miles to the east. The plan will transform Kiruna into a collection of urban neighborhoods interspersed with arctic landscape and parks. Central to that vision is the idea that the government and its citizens must work together closely and transparently to ensure an equitable transition. Danish architects Henning Larsen, tasked with turning this ethos into built form, have delivered by crafting a democratic new city hall that wraps stacked public spaces with humdrum municipal offices. Henning Larsen partner Louis Becker said, “We knew that losing a sense of place could be a major challenge to the town’s residents. Our hope is that this town hall is not only an effective seat for the local government, but a space that celebrates Kiruna’s history and establishes an enduring symbol of local identity.” In order to meet these goals, the new town hall is designed to have a somewhat divergent relationship with the structure it is replacing. For one, the original town hall—faced with red brick and designed in a pragmatic Nordic modernist style in 1958 by Swedish architect Arthur von Schmalensee—was much more stoic than its golden, vertically oriented, stone- and metal-clad replacement. Whereas the original was organized as a series of repetitive slabs, the new structure is more donut-shaped in section and features a new county art museum at its core. To foster a connection between old and new, an iconic rooftop clocktower from the original town hall was saved and is now installed beside the new building. There, it will anchor a generous outdoor plaza that will one day be framed by offices and apartments. The spare steel and metal clock tower is topped with bells and features a gold-rimmed timepiece, an element the architects tapped into as inspiration for the new structure, which is faced inside and out with 5,600 golden metal panels. On the ground floor of the building, a cafe, restaurant, and large public meeting room encircle a multistory foyer complete with a public stage. The space, designed to function as a giant living room for the city’s residents, is topped by a staggered central core that frames a soaring atrium wrapped with offices. The interior catches the subarctic light as it beams in from overhead transom windows and bounces off the golden walls. On the fifth floor, a double-height council assembly room is outfitted with public viewing stands and joined by several large gathering areas and a canteen. Each living room, framed by high walls covered in the aforementioned metal panels, is filled with tables and chairs oriented around picture windows that peer out over the landscape. As is the case with the ground floor public spaces and the circular walkways that overlook the atrium, the upper levels offer cozy, domestic qualities. Here, the golden walls mimic the qualities of wood while long, curved handrails made of oak and salvaged door handles (repurposed from the original city hall) bring tactile warmth to some of the most immediately accessible aspects of the building. The result of the redesign is a series of welcoming public spaces that will give Kiruna residents the opportunity to keep an eye on their drastically changing city both from the ground and up above.
The Center Party, a Swedish political party, has commissioned Anders Berensson Architects to design a speculative plan for a mass timber development in Stockholm. The design for the scheme was recently released without a timeline for execution. The development is a collection of towers and sky bridges built on top of the existing waterfront neighborhood of Masthamnen. The plan would leave the buildings below relatively untouched but would cap them with a public park and walkway level over which the new towers would rise. The designers embraced wood as a building material because it "releases the least carbon dioxide." Renderings show interiors and exteriors clad with wood finishes, and the architects describe the buildings using mass timber technologies like cross-laminated timber (CLT). The imaginative scheme is meant to provide additional housing close to the center of Stockholm, where the housing market is tight and space is expensive. There are no apparent plans to enact the proposal. The Center Party has worked with Berensson before on speculative designs for the city, many of which have included timber high-rises. The party has relatively little power to realize these ideas as they are the opposition party in the city's government, which is controlled by the Social Democrats. Timber has received a lot of attention in Sweden as a structural material for high-rises, although it's not clear what the country has been able to realize so far. Globally, mass timber is starting to make inroads as a standard building technique, but it faces a long road to widespread adoption in the U.S.
From October 24 to 28, the Center for Architecture and Van Alen Institute will host Swedish Design Moves New York, a program exploring Swedish innovation in architecture and design. In addition to a series of public panels, an exhibition of Swedish architecture projects called Aiming for Democratic Architecture will be on view at the Van Alen Institute from October 26 to 28, curated by Architects Sweden and the Swedish Institute. This program is part of the Center for Architecture's Archtober 2017. The program, curated by an international nonprofit called STHLMNYC, will focus on the concept of democratic architecture using Sweden as a progressive touchpoint. According to the series' press release, "Sweden's egalitarian society and intimate relation to nature have generated great examples of balanced architectural solutions that accommodate both community and environmental needs." Through multidisciplinary panels that bring together architects, planners, and designers from the U.S. and Sweden, Swedish Design Moves will look at the application of these principles worldwide. Previous iterations have been hosted in Stockholm, Milan, London, and Paris. The four-day program will open with The Process of Democratic Architecture, a panel that will include Christer Larsson from the Department of City Planning in Malmö, Sweden, Alexandra Hagen from White Arkitekter, Per Franson from the KTH School of Architecture, David Burney from Pratt Institute, Claudia Herasme from the New York Department of City Planning, and Chris Sharples from SHoP Architects. The series will also include a conversation on nature and well-being with panelists from Wingårdhs, Urbio, Marge, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and RAAD STUDIO, a conversation on culture and people with panelists from GoDown Arts Centre, White Arkitekter, Mandaworks, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and a conversation on innovative solutions with panelists from CFMoller, Färgfabriken, Stockholm City, ORE Design, and HPD Architecture. Along with the panels, several workshops will also offer an in-depth look at questions of a "new urban agenda" and the potential of self-built housing. Equity in design will be a central topic at each panel. "One of the largest challenges we face when it comes to the built environment is affordability," said Chris Sharples, Principal at SHoP Architects. "Our role as architects and planners is to come up with new material systems and design/building processes that allow us to address the cost constraints." Swedish Design Moves New York was organized through a partnership between Visit Sweden, STHLMNYC, Architects Sweden, The Swedish Institute, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York. The full program for Swedish Design Moves New York (October 24 - 28) at the Center for Architecture and Van Alen Institute is available here.
Brought to you with support fromLocated approximately halfway between Stockholm and Copenhagen, the city of Jönköping is situated at the southern end of Sweden's second largest lake, Vättern. Swedish architects Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designed two urban housing blocks that aim to balance private domestic interiors and a vast landscape with a screened balcony threshold. Titled Västra Kajen, which literally translates to West Quay, the waterfront project is the result of an invited competition from nearly 10 years ago. Rather than a row of standard housing “slabs,” the apartment units were assembled into two compact volumes. The architects say these buildings urbanistically help to establish a “solid position” that is proportionally acceptable both to the city as well as the adjacent lake, while minimizing the building envelope area for their ambitions to minimize building energy usage. An outer layer of terraces surrounds the perimeter of both buildings, providing every unit with a generous portion of outdoor space. These balconies are contained within a transparent screen of anodized aluminum that diffuses daylight. The system is composed of arched shapes that create alternating open and filtered views, offering a buffer zone between the intimate domestic interior of the apartments and the vast scale of the landscape outside. By shifting the voids in the screen every second level, a characteristic pattern emerges that unites the six floors into one distinct cubical volume. Both apartments are organized around a large vertical atrium with a top-lit stairwell to delineate a central social space that doubles as a circulation stairwell for the units. This atrium hall naturally preheats fresh air, contributing to overall energy efficiency of the building. Notably, the majority of the apartments are located at corners of the building, benefiting from good views and light. The two buildings are set at an offset angle to one another, to deliberately open up the inward facing sides to further prioritize daylight and views. The angle is determined by the geometry of the property, which accommodates a road that follows the edge of Lake Munksjön, a smaller body of water that taps into Lake Vättern by means of a harbor canal. While both six-story buildings are detailed similarly, subtle differences add variation to the project. This begins with the orientation to the siting of the building but extends to the interior geometry of their atria—a square cube volume in one building and a cylindrical volume in the second building. The aluminum screen and trim details further delineate the two buildings, finished in a dark and light anodized bronze color scheme.
Out of 55 entries in an international design competition for a mixed-use cultural center and hotel, Swedish firm White Arkitekter’s 19-story “Sida vid sida” (“Side-by-side”) design won the bid, according to a press release from the firm. When built, the Kulturhus i Skellefteå will be the tallest timber tower in the Nordic countries. The city of Skellefteå, Sweden, is surrounded by forests which will provide the wood for the construction. The city has a reputation for its abundance of timber and its applications, both in buildings and building techniques. One of the lead architects, Oskar Norelius, stated, “A cultural centre in Skellefteå just has to be built with wood! We’re paying homage to the region’s rich tradition and we’re hoping to collaborate with the local timber industry. Together we will create a beautiful venue, open for everyone, which will both have a contemporary expression and timeless quality,” according to the press release. The tower will be built with prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. The facade will be fully glazed while interior retractable walls will allow for versatile rooms. A green roof will top the building, “providing thermal insulation, sound insulation, biodiversity and rain water absorption.” The county theater, city library, Anna Nordlander Museum, and Skellefteå’s art gallery will be located on the lower floors of the building, accessible to the public. The top sixteen floors will comprise the building’s hotel. White Arkitekter is working with structural engineering firm Dipl.-Ing. Florian Kosche AS (DIFK) for construction detailing and specifications. Completion of building is slated for 2019.
This synchrotron radiation laboratory—basically a fancy term for a type of particle accelerator—dubbed MAX IV is set to open outside of Lund, Sweden this summer. (If you want to get more technical, synchrotron radiation involves charged particles releasing electromagnetic energy when they’re forced to move fast along a curved path. Objects in space can naturally emit synchrotron radiation, too.) Designed by Swedish-based architecture firm Fojab, with landscape design by Norway- and U.S.-based Snøhetta, the lab will hold two storage rings. They're curved to allow charged particles to move close to the speed of light. The landscape design and larger ring—approximately 1732 feet in circumference—will open this summer. (We can’t help but point out that the lab bears a resemblance to the under-construction Apple 2 campus.) In designing the landscape for the sloping 45 acre site, Snøhetta looked to the surrounding area (which is mostly agricultural) and the planned accelerator's curves. Their design features waves of grass meadows forming mini-valleys oriented. Snøhetta focused on four key needs: minimize ground vibrations, include storm water management, define plant selection and maintenance, and reuse excavated land. “A cut and fill strategy was needed to keep the existing masses on site as it secures the option of reversing to agricultural use when the synchrotron no longer will be on the site,” said Snøhetta in a release. “By uploading the digital 3D-model directly into the GPS-controlled bulldozers, we were able to relocate the masses to their final position in one operation.” Their design will include local grasses and feature two ponds (wet and dry) for storing storm water on site. Sheep will help maintain the meadows and the valleys will help with storm water management. Construction is wrapping up on the MAX IV Lab. (Ground breaking was in 2010.) The lab is part of Lund University and also operated by the Swedish Research Council and will replace the three previous synchrotron labs at the University—MAX I, II, and III. Funding for the project is coming in part from Lund University, the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, and the Swedish Research Council. There are many synchrotron radiation facilities around the world. The largest one is the famous CERN Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland with a 17-mile circumference.
"Our ambition was to design a house adapted to the site and the nature."Ulla Alberts and Hans Murman, partners at Murman Arkitekter, have designed and built a vacation house in Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic sea, serving as a summer and weekend retreat. Fondly named Juniper House, the building is cloaked with a large format graphic print camouflaging the structure into its natural setting. Friends and family of the architects assisted in the assembly of the purposefully economical, easy to construct, functional design. Simple, locally-sourced materials are prioritized in the project. A natural wood cladding treated with turpentine, tar, and linseed oil serves as the primary facade material, while the foundation is a conventional concrete slab on grade, and a roofscape that is flat clad with tar paper. Despite this conventional residential construction assembly, Murman says the project was an opportunity to attempt something out of the ordinary for Gotland—a playful commentary directed toward restrictive local planning regulations: “This is an experiment and investigation in what you see and do not see of a house and how this affects you and how you experience color, texture, surface, material, transparency, through the facades. For us as architects, it is an important experience.” The building is approached via a cul-de-sac that ends in a sheep fence leading to open land framed by a backdrop of large juniper trees. It is in this glade of trees that Alberts and Murman have embedded their building. “The house is barely visible, like a mirror of its own surroundings. We wanted it to be experienced as being part of the area it stands on.” This dissolve into nature is as much a part of the interior experience as it is on the exterior. Planned views on the diagonal through the interior of the structure lead to a wall of glass from floor to ceiling, providing uninterrupted views into the landscape. “From the master bedroom there is a lot of sky visible, due to the glass partitions from floor to ceiling. Through a low placed window beside the bed, one can spot wild rabbits in the morning from bed.” The patterning of the printed graphics consists of a base photograph of juniper trees from the site. The vinyl cloth material was custom tailored at over 100 feet wide by 10 feet tall, and wraps three sides of the building, extending into the landscape to provide screening for an outdoor shower. Supported by a galvanized steel framework, the fabric is offset from the building envelope by 16 inches. The architects enlisted the support of an graphics firm working in advertising and the film industry to optimize and fabricate the large format graphics. The architects credit the printed facade concept to an early preservation project they worked on over a decade ago for the Boston Consulting Group’s Stockholm office renovation. In this project, the structure of the building was not allowed to be modified, so the project team designed a series of fabric shelled rooms within the historic structure. Murman says the assembly of the retreat was assisted by neighbors and family members, who have all become a part of the project. Colleagues, visitors, and even the local authorities will visit during the summer months. Their take on the project? “Fascination is the most common reaction.”
Each year, guests flock to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, for a chance to stay at ICEHOTEL, a seasonal hotel made of ice from the Torne River. But in 2016, guests will have the chance to enjoy ICEHOTEL all year long. The new 12, 900-square-foot extension will connect to ICEHOTEL’s existing structure during the winter months and feature a curved roof with greenery, providing space for tobogganing. To prevent ice from melting, Swedish energy company Solkompaniet will install a solar-powered system to keep the building cool during the summer and the 100 days and nights of the midnight sun. “We will use the physics of Isaac Newton. In the same way we normally make energy efficient housing that keeps the cold out, for this project we’ll use it in reverse to keep the cold in,” architect, sustainable construction design expert, and hotel, bar, and art gallery project partner Hans Eek said in a statement. Some aspects of the design will change on a yearly basis. “Ice has an interesting effect on creativity. As it’s not permanent, it makes you dare to try ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s very liberating. The idea of a project that marries this transient tradition with a semi-permanent, year-round element is very exciting,” project artist and creative senior advisor Arne Bergh said in a statement. The project is currently sourcing investments and is scheduled to open December 2016.
David Chipperfield has curtailed plans for his design for Stockholm's Nobel Center (or Nobelhuset) just five months after winning a competition for the project back in April this year. In a statement on the modified project, David Chipperfield Architects said that "the modified design integrates the nobel center even better in its urban context and establishes a lively interaction with the citizens and visitors of Stockholm." When AN first covered the story, the jury comments from the competition were: "The proposed building conveys dignity and has an identity that feels well balanced for the Nobel Center. The limited footprint of the building allows room for a valuable park facing the eastern portions of the site, with plenty of space for a waterfront promenade along the quay. The facade surfaces will also reflect light from the sky down into the street or open space on Hovslagargatan." Sited on the Blasieholmen peninsula on the edge of the Klara Sjö canal, the Nobel Center will host ceremonies for the natural science, humanities, and peace effort Nobel prizes as well as acting as a civic meeting place. In doing so it will be the first building ever to be dedicated to the event. Despite a reduction in size, the idea behind the project remains intact. The building has become slightly more legible as now onlookers can gaze into all floors from the exterior, meanwhile the top floor responds to the surrounding typologies. Surrounded by slithers of opaque glass and metal pilaster strips, the facade according to the architects, "envelopes the building like a dress." This feature is meant to establish visual connection with the city and buildings surroundings. Other changes to the scheme include the implementation of a south terrace and a new plaza inspired by the nearby Blaisieholmstorg Square on the north side. The program includes an auditorium, a museum, conference facilities, educational spaces, and offices, as well as a restaurant, a bar, café, and shop. The focal point of the building is the auditorium which has also been developed during the alteration process, with the intention for it to be the future venue of the Nobel Prize Ceremony for Sciences, Literature, and Economic Sciences. The building is currently set to open in 2018.
The roster of cities across the world going car-free is growing, joining Paris, Stockholm and Dublin
The concept of car-free city centers is fast spreading throughout Europe as increasingly gridlocked thoroughfares render the private car intolerable. Brussels, Belgium, has announced the development of pedestrian boulevards in its city center—with a ban on cars effective from June 29, 2015—where the city will stage recreational and cultural activities throughout the summer. A new traffic circulation plan will be test-driven, literally, for an 8-month trial period, during which the city will submit a request for an urban planning redevelopment permit. In the meantime, expect the development of eight distinct temporary spaces to enhance the appeal of a car-free city—from a welcome space with picnic tables, a dedicated area for rollerskaters and bikers, a stage at the Place de la Bourse, and a game area for kids at the intersection of Marché aux Poulets street. Stockholm, Sweden, well-reputed for having Europe’s highest share of clean vehicles, will host a one-day car ban on September 19 to galvanize citizens to envision life in the city without four wheels. Automobiles will be barred from the streets of Gamla Stan, the partially pedestrian “old city” of Stockholm, to the perpetually thronged Sergel’s Square, as well as roads around the central station and some of the city’s surrounding bridges. The ban is the Stockholm's contribution to European Mobility Week, a project by the European Commission that seeks to promote sustainable transportation. Over 200 cities will participate this year, touting various green initiatives. For instance, Ridderkerk, in the Netherlands, will hold Groene Voetstappen from September 14–18, during which children will be expected to walk and cycle to school. Meanwhile, Mosfellsbær, Iceland, will start a widespread distribution of bike maps, create new bike trails near Mount Esja and Reykjavik city, and launch a pilot project offering tourist bus services between the main attractions of the municipality. Appetite to reappropriate the roads has spread even to Mumbai, where car-free Sundays on a scenic, oceanside road are a much-anticipated affair on roads that are ordinarily lethal to cyclists and pedestrians, some of them lacking sidewalks and choked with vendors or parked cars. Given the proliferation of cities subscribing to car-free ideals—even those lacking public transportation networks sufficient to replace the private car—New York City’s passivity on this front becomes even more stark. On June 18, Mayor de Blasio announced a ban on cars at Central Park north of 72nd street and the West Drive of Prospect Park starting June 29 and July 6 respectively, but these vehicle scale-backs are minor in comparison, especially for one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the USA. New York does set aside half a Sunday three times a year for its popular Summer Streets event where Park Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park is temporarily shut to cars. This year's event kicked off over the weekend with a large slip-n-slide in Foley Square among other attractions.
Bjarke Ingels might be using his talents to embellish another European power plant. With his ski slope-topped waste-to-energy plant underway in Copenhagen, the Danish designer has unveiled plans for a biomass cogeneration plant in Uppsala, Sweden. DesignBoom reported that city officials asked Ingels to design the facility that would supplement the region's energy infrastructure during the winter. Since the building will not be used during the summer, BIG opted to create a colorful public amenity. That meant topping the plant in a geodesic rainbow dome which gives the whole thing a very funkadelic greenhouse-y feel.