Building on the 'beautiful city'

Niki May Young
Monday 02 Mar 2009

Stockholm district masterplan awarded to archi5

Their tourist board can think of no better word to describe the city than 'beautiful', and Stockholm has beauty in abundance. Now following an international design competition for the masterplan design of the Nya Årstafältet district, the protection of this beautiful city has been entrusted to French architects archi5 with landscape architect Michel Desvigne with their winning design 'Arkipelag'.

Covering 105 ha the masterplan includes 210,000 sq m of office space and 400,000 sq m residential. While blocks present a uniformity, the difference of scale and lack of symmetry lead to an abstract and unpredictable landscape submerged in pastures green.

Fully aware of their burden of responsibility, the jury, consisting of 8 experts in the fields of the environment, archaeology, traffic, spacescape, revenue and areas (quantities and expenditure) conducted their scrutiny over 5 days of judging working both individually and in groups.

"Arkipelag builds on a convincing and pragmatic analysis of the nature of the site and forms a concrete urban development scheme of high architectural class and with original features inspiring further planning work," reads the jury report. "The analysis, by far the best achieved by any of the competitors, affords a very good foundation for the programming work which lies ahead. Arkipelag develops a block pattern in a sophisticated manner so as to build up great variety and potential in various axes and piazzas. Arkipelag lays visionary foundations for planning which can endow Nya Årstafältet with City-wide significance.”

The jury also awarded honourable mentions to the schemes entitled Årsta Händer and Årsta Urban Natures.

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