White Architects was recently named the winner of the competition for the Forumtorget project in Uppsala, Sweden. The proposal, with its subdued paving, expressive sofa and generous plateau, is powerful, substantive and empathetic. Here, the people of Uppsala have a natural meeting place and an open breathing space within the built-up business district. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Forumtorget is one of Uppsala’s most important central squares. It is directly adjacent to the pedestrianized street of Kungsängsgatan which, together with Smedsgränd, forms a wide passageway to Dragarbrunnsgatan. The new Forumtorget square issues a friendly, playful challenge. A powerful statement, matching the surrounding buildings, inviting and inspiring rest, activity and participation. The square is a respite, a contrast to what the surroundings offer, an urban oasis. It is small, and its framework and its liveliness produce the statement and the power of attraction. The interpretation supports this while also giving the square its identity.
Here, you can forget shopping, take a break from shopping or gather your strength for more shopping. The floor, sofa and plateau form pawns in the most fundamental board game being played out on this square – it is all about seeing and being seen. They can all be used for spontaneous performances as well as more formally arranged meetings – political speeches, dancing exhibitions and displays. However, they also function as places of respite and as seating for spectators.
From the jury’s citation: “A robust and well functioning proposal with a clear concept that is judged to fit into an increasingly self-confident Uppsala in which historic beauty and cultural inheritance exist in a harmonious relationship with a new era. The proposal takes the characters of the lane and the square and builds further on them. Forumtorget becomes a square to move across as well as an attractive new meeting place for everyone.”
Architects: White Architects
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Team: Gustav Jarlöv, Sam Keshavarz, Jens Modin, Viktoria Walldin, Jonas Runberger, Hamia Aghaimeybodi, Andreas Milsta, Rikard Sjöberg, Erik Hedman, Johanna Uddén
Client: Uppsala kommun