We received this tragic news from reader, Johan Nordstedt, concerning Stockholm’s School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology. Early Wednesday morning, the roof of the lecture hall situated on Östermalmsgatan quickly filled with smoke. From 7.10 in the morning until 7.30 in the evening, fire fighters worked to contain the flames and prevent the building from collapse. More than 80 fire fighters were on call to put out the flames, yet due to the building’s old construction, the fire spread quickly.
The Architecture School, which measures approximately 600 students and 130 staff members, was evacuated from the affected buildings. “I am very pleased that no students or staff were hurt in the fire. We will now do our utmost to minimise the effect on the school’s activity,” the principal Peter Gudmundson said in a statement on Thursday. Meetings have been held to discuss how to proceed if a student’s work was lost in the fire. “That we have to discuss, there are a few months remaining. But we follow all the examination work and the events of today have to be taken into account. Our goal is that students should not be affected,” explained Leif Brodersen. Luckily, the university has reported that all servers are functional and all data has been backed up.
The fire damaged the lower part of the building and the upper stories have suffered damaged due to smoke and, to some extent, water. KTH has not yet been allowed access into the building, so there is no information regarding interior damage. The building has been voted as one of Stockholm’s ugliest buildings, so it will be interesting to see how the public reacts if it must be torn down with a new building taking its place. “If the building is heavily damaged the chances are it will be removed completely and the discussion is bound to crop up as it always makes the top of the list of Stockholm’s most hated buildings,” Martin Rörby of the Council for the Protection of Stockholm’s Beauty.
We are relieved no one was injured in the fire and wish the students luck with finishing their semesters.