LILA 2024 — Call for entries now open!

Gasworks Area with Boberg Square


designed by + + /



Location: Stockholm / Sweden / Type: Post-Industrial / Squares and Plazas / Built: 2024 /
Published on March 26, 2024

Boberg square in the Gasworks area is an example of how an industrial heritage area can be transformed regarding its content, yet keep alive the historical values. A formerly closed world has opened for social use and city life.

Brief report

After more than 100 years of industrial activity, the Gasworks area in Stockholm closed in 2011. In 2017 the process began to physically transform the area from a closed industrial area into a vivid city district. Once a polluting industry, now a sustainable urban development.

The exterior spaces have been given special attention and the balance between the public realm and the buildings has been treated respectfully. We have worked with a light hand, basically trying to do as little as possible, still adding a grammar of carefully selected actions. All materials used blend into a carefully chosen palette. The main green element is an elevated pipeline that, completed with climbers, forms a 400-meter-long trellis. The main public space is the central square, which is a focal point in the area, connecting streets and alleys. The Gasworks area is an example of how an industrial heritage area can be transformed regarding content, yet with historical values intact. A formerly closed world has opened for social use and city life.

Key idea

The area is developed with respect for the unique architecture, using a light hand and high-quality paving materials that relates to the industrial character. The main public space is the central square, connecting streets and alleys. An elevated pipeline is turned into a 400 m long, verdant trellis.

Presentation

Background and history


After more than 100 years of industrial activity, the Gasworks area in Stockholm closed in 2011. The area is 15000 sqm and has a building collection of some 30 different production units, the most notable ones being the two cylindrical gas-holders; 50 m high and with a diameter of 30 m. It is an architectural heritage area of high significance. Ferdinand Boberg (1860—1946) has been the architect for the most notable buildings. The gas production in the area once represented cutting edge technology, supplying stockholmers with heating and light, and the area was architecturally designed to manifest and celebrate this great achievement. The jewels of the architecture were the two gas-holders that were surrounded by a formal park with trees, lawns and trimmed hedges. This was the only location in the area where vegetation was present.

Transforming process


The Gasworks area is unique not only in its architecture and by being a landmark from an era. The restoration has had high ambitions to re-use not only single buildings and materials but the whole structure of the site. Almost every part of the overall architectural fabric with its alleys and streets have been preserved in its original state. 2017 the process began to physically transform the area from a closed industrial area into a vivid city district. New housing is being built on the perimeter outside of Gasworks area, clearly emphasizing the contrast between the old and the new.

Once a polluting industry, now a sustainable urban development with integrated stormwater treatment.

Preserving character in the outdoors


The exterior spaces have been given special attention and the balance between the public realm and the buildings has been delicately evaluated. We have tried to work with a light hand, basically trying to do as little as possible, still adding a grammar of carefully selected actions. For that reason, vegetation is limited in the historical part of the area, the flatness of this industrial ground is kept flat, and all materials used blend into a carefully chosen palette. Clay pavers mark all spaces for social activities. A two-meter wide, historical framing of granite setts around the buildings is reestablished. The intermediate areas, where people and vehicles mix, are laid with asphalt.

Only one tree will be planted in the historical parts of the area. Instead, an elevated pipeline, transporting gas from production to storage, is refitted and completed with climbing plants to form a 400 m long, verdant trellis.

The main public space is the central square, which is a focal point in the area, connecting streets, paths and alleys. The square has a brick surface, relating to the material used in most of the buildings. The brick has been laid out in a distinct pattern inspired by contemporary textiles and is complemented by sturdy furniture for public use.

The project also comprises an activity park, providing space for youngsters – a group often lacking places to gather.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Sweden
Sweco Architects
with Landscape Architects: Thorbjörn Andersson and Staffan Sundström

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Project Completion: 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Products by Maglin