Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, made international headlines last year when it was announced that the entire town would be relocated two miles to the east due to mining operations by the state-controlled company. Now, the first phase of the Kiruna square redevelopment is set to commence with a design by Stockholm-based Kjellander + Sjöberg for an urban block of housing units around the town’s central square.
Kjellander + Sjöberg, along with development group Skanska, won a competition held by Kiruna Municipality for the square's regeneration. Under the moniker Fjällbäcken, the urban block responds to the idiosyncratic subarctic climate in a manner the architects describe as "sustainable in the long term." When realized, the 2000m2 housing development will have 90 apartments and feature a host of sustainable solutions. Onsite rainwater management facilities are incorporated into the project's planning, alongside provisions for green space and ecofriendly heating and cooling systems.
Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Kiruna is subject to extreme weather, particularly during the Swedish winter, a design constraint to which Kjellander + Sjöberg have paid close attention. The irregular, enclosed shape of the overall block is optimized to withstand large snow and wind loads, and roofs designed for minimum snow retention and maximum resistance to deflection.
Kjellander + Sjöberg hope that the completed project will provide "seasonal social meeting places...for all generations". Masterplans of the project delineate spaces for various snow sports and other recreational activities, and a central public staircase connecting the block to the Kiruna Square proper is transformed into a ski slope under fallen snow.
The project is part of a multi-stage renewal of Kiruna Square, which like the rest of the township has been moved 3km east as a result of ground fractures caused by ore mining. Our previous coverage of the relocation can be found here.
Architect in ChargeStefan Sjöberg
Design TeamPontus Nilsson, Joel Yngvesson, Alessandro Macaluso
PhotographsCourtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg