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Spotlight: Gunnar Asplund

As a professor of architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology and often cited for his contributions to Nordic Classicism, Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund (September 22 1885 – 20 October 1940) was a notable theorist on the most important architectural challenges of his time, first exemplified by his lecture entitled “Our architectonic concept of space.”

Spotlight: Gunnar Asplund Stockholm Public Library / Gunnar Asplund. Image © Sam Teigen Stockholm Public Library / Gunnar Asplund. Image © Sam Teigen Gothenburg City Hall Expansion / Gunnar Asplund. Image © Wikimedia CC User pruxo

Combo Competitions: Emphasis On The Idea

Combo Competitions, an organisation founded by Swedish, London based architect Per Linde, organises international idea competitions for architects, designers and students. With a gentle emphasis on the ideas presented in proposals, rather than aesthetics alone, their main driver is to promote design concepts "where everything comes together to form a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts."

With the increasing ease in producing "amazing renderings and images," underling concepts can often be lost - or hidden by - a seductive final image. Combo Competitions seeks to reverse this trend by rewarding an emphasis on "well advised concepts" alongside appearance and presentation. Their latest competition, entitled Hello Nature, invites participants to explore a way of re-introducing nature into people’s consciousness.

Find out more about the competition and hear from Per Linde after the break...

Skyttelbron Bridge / Metro Arkitekter (Sweco Architects)

  • Architects: Metro Arkitekter (Sweco Architects)
  • Location: Lund Centralstation, 222 21 Lund, Sweden
  • Architect In Charge: Rafael Palomo, Claes R Janson
  • Design Team: Karin Andersson, Alberto Tenti
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Felix Gerlach, Courtesy of Rafael Palomo

Courtesy of Rafael Palomo © Felix Gerlach Courtesy of Rafael Palomo © Felix Gerlach

3XN Chosen Over Windgardh, Arkitema to Design University Building in Sweden

3XN has won an architectural competition -- beating out WingårdhArkitema DotChristensen & CoJuul/Frost, and White -- to design a new educational building for Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna (southwest of Stockholm, Sweden). The project not only includes a new 18,250 square meter building, but also the renovation of a listed Modernist Public Bath Paul Hedquist. The new campus is planned to be ready in 2018. Read the architect's description of the winning project, after the break.

© 3XN © 3XN © 3XN © 3XN

SOM Wins Competition for Sweden's Tallest Tower

SOM, working alongside Danish practice Entasis Arkitekter, has been selected to design a new residential building in Gothenburg that will be Sweden's tallest tower. Coming out on top against an international shortlist that included Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM's 230m tall proposal 'The Pole Star' features four connected prisms which twist 90 degrees near the top.

The competition, run by developers Serneke, called for proposals for a 32,000 square meter mixed-use masterplan, including a 200+ meter residential tower, in Gothenburg's Lindholmen area. A particular focus for the jury was for proposals to "demonstrate how the skyscraper can be integrated into the structure of the neighborhood," adding that "the building should be a part of the area’s social and architectural context, not stand as a solitary monolith."

Read more about the jury's decision after the break

Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke

"Forms of Freedom: African Independence and Nordic Models" - The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

From the Curators. The exhibition at the Nordic Pavilion has been titled FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models. The exhibition explores and documents how modern Nordic architecture was an integral part of Nordic aid to East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. The resulting architecture is of a scope and quality that has not previously been comprehensively studied or exhibited.

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

Swedish Team Win Urban Design Competition in Trenčín

Swedish based Mandaworks + Hosper Sweden have recently won an international competition to find the "best comprehensive urbanistic proposals for connecting the city centre of Trenčín with both waterfronts of the River Váh." The winning scheme - Tracing Trenčín - "is not a proposal which is noticeably stunning" but is, according to Thomas Matta, deputy chair of the jury, "considerate to the existing structure of the historic core of the city."

HB6B / Karin Matz

  • Architects: Karin Matz
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Area: 36.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Karin Matz

Courtesy of Karin Matz Courtesy of Karin Matz Courtesy of Karin Matz Courtesy of Karin Matz

Dalarna Media Library / ADEPT

  • Architects: ADEPT
  • Location: Högskolan Dalarna Akademin Språk & medier, Campus Falun, Högskolegatan 2, 791 31 Falun, Sweden
  • Area: 3000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Wilhelm Rejnus & Linus Flodin, Kaare Viemose

© Kaare Viemose © Kaare Viemose © Kaare Viemose © Kaare Viemose

The Lime Barn / Skälsö Arkitekter

  • Architects: Skälsö Arkitekter
  • Location: 624 64 Bungenäs, Sweden
  • Client: Bungenäs Kalkbrott AB
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Anna Sundström, Bruno Ehrs

© Anna Sundström © Bruno Ehrs © Anna Sundström © Anna Sundström

Zaha Hadid and SOM Among 5 Competing to Design Scandinavia’s Tallest Tower

Proposal #1: “Ursa” (214 meters). Image Courtesy of Serneke
Proposal #1: “Ursa” (214 meters). Image Courtesy of Serneke

Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM, Ian Simpson Architects, Manuelle Gautrand Architects, and Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor are all competing to design what will be the tallest tower in Scandinavia. Submitted anonymously, the five shortlisted proposals have just been unveiled by Serneke, who has envisioned the skyscraper as an integral piece to a larger 32,000 square meter mixed-use masterplan in Gothenburg that has been in the making for more than ten years. 

Check out each shortlisted design, after the break...

City of Kiruna To Move Two Miles Over This June

Officials announced this week that, starting in June, the city of Kiruna, Sweden will begin to migrate. Founded in 1900, the town is the product of Sweden’s largest state-owned mining company, LKAB. The company extracts iron from the nearby Kirunavaara mountainside, and now the expansion of the mines threatens to destabilize the ground beneath 3,000 homes as well as many of the town’s municipal buildings. 

The 100-year master plan put forth by White Arkitekter, in collaboration with Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitetker, calls for the city to expand two miles eastward along a linear axis. This new plan will rebuild the town on solid ground, retain its historical and cultural presence, and slowly wean it off its dependency on the mining industry by opening the community up to new businesses.

Swedbank / 3XN

  • Architects: 3XN
  • Location: Landsvägen, Sundbyberg, Sweden
  • Area: 45000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Adam Mõrk

© Adam Mõrk © Adam Mõrk © Adam Mõrk © Adam Mõrk

Umeå Campus Park / Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects

  • Architects: Thorbjörn Andersson, Sweco Architects
  • Location: Umeå, Sweden
  • Design Team: Staffan Sundström, Emma Pettersson, Mikael Johansson
  • Area: 23000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects

Courtesy of Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects Courtesy of Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects Courtesy of Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects Courtesy of Thorbjörn Andersson + Sweco Architects