Kjellander Sjöberg, one of the leading architectural practices in Scandinavia, in collaboration with GHB Landskabsarkitekter, Mogens A. Morgen, Realise and Tyréns, was selected to design a strategic development plan for Faaborg. The coastal town in southern Denmark is facing many challenges like a high risk of flooding and an important decrease in its population.
One of the oldest trading cities in the country, Faaborg, like countless other towns on the coast, is facing a high risk of flooding because of climate change. Moreover, the Danish town has also other key issues that are threatening its existence. In fact, according to the architects, “the historically and culturally valuable city center needs to reinforce its connections to the surrounding landscape and the entire town suffers from a decrease in the population”.
The Faaborg municipality and Realdania organized a competition that aims to address these problems and develop the town’s status “as an attractive urban environment and a travel destination”. Three teams were invited to the open process. The winning proposal concentrated on “refining the existing urban environment by strengthening the current relationships and reviving several closed-down industrial areas with new content and attractive qualities”. Old buildings will be revitalized, new extensions created and novel functions introduced.
KS or Kjellander Sjöberg, the multi-nationality office, led by partners Ola Kjellander, Stefan Sjöberg, Mi Inkinen, and Lena Viterstedt, along with their team focused on revitalizing 3 key areas: Slagterigrunden, Bangården, and Kulturområdet. Aiming to give each agglomeration its own distinct character, every entity presented different interventions.
Actually, for Slagterigrunden with its marina and shipbuilding yards, “a transformation of a former slaughterhouse was proposed, converting the old brick building into a venue for major events, a meeting place for the regional food culture and a public square. The nearby former grain silo on the quay is to become a new Island Maritime Museum”. On another hand, for Bangården, “marked by a railway station shutdown, relocation of post offices and abandoning a bus wash, the area will be designed to become a new residential neighborhood with strong connections to Faaborg’s old town center as well as the sea”. Finally, for Kulturområdet, the Faaborg Museum will be surrounded by a new cultural park and the soon to be discontinued CHP plant will house a new wellness actor, the Kurkultur Faaborg.
On the issue of climate change and adaptability, the proposal suggests activating the coastline by securing the port and the medieval city center with various innovative types of coastal defense techniques. Moreover, part of the city that is built on reclaimed land is to receive a modified foundation. Furthermore, “the Sundrännan culvert will be restored into an open channel where water can be regulated whilst recreating the original character of the landscape; a former peninsula in the southern archipelago of Funen”.