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General Architecture, Stockholm, Sweden

Tuesday 13 Mar 2012

Engaging with the past

Photo: Mikael Olsson (image 1-5), Eson Lindman (image 6) 
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Award Entry

New projects from Swedish-based Genral Architecture address themes of history and context 

General Architecture has recently completed two projects that, on very different scales, address issues concerning history, typology and context.

The publicly owned power production company Skelleftea Kraft commissioned, after an invited competition, General Architecture to design their new headquarters in the northern town of Skelleftea. The aim was to create a building that enables its users to appropriate it and at the same time strengthen the common historical identity of the company and the city.

The new building is characterized by a strong structure and an articulated tectonic, based on an overall three-dimensional order. The exterior of the building can be seen as a fabric of copper, folded around the shifting volume to give it a solid and coherent appearance. The deeply set windows create a striking relief that describes the structural system of the perimeter walls. The interior organisation is based on the notion of the building as a city. The open structure, centered around a central atrium, enables multiple ways of appropriating the space. The interior space is characterized by light and intimacy, where the the deep window niches moderate the low nordic light, almost like a traditional Swedish glass veranda.

As in the Skelleftea Kraft building, questions of order and structure has been central in the work with a small summer house in the countryside outside Arboga, in the middle of Sweden. An old timber barn, planned to be destoyed, was the starting point of the project. The barn was dismantled and transported to the new site. Upon a new foundation the barn was reconstructed, with an addition of a modern wood contruction to allow for a top story. These two juxtapositioned tectonic systems, the timber structure and the modern wooden frame structure, are seen as integral parts of the building. The architects aimed to work within the tradition of the archtypical red barn and at the same time introducing contemporary building methods and aestethics.

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General Architecture

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