During the spring of 2016, LAND won an invited competition to design Skövde’s central square, Hertig Johans torg, and the street connecting the square with the train station. With roots dating back to the Middle Ages, the open square serves as a pause in the surrounding urban grid. Preserving the character of a spacious urban square and introduce new functions to accommodate a diverse range of activities while enhancing the connection between the square and the train station, was central to the design. The project was nominated for the Swedish Landscape Architecture Awards, Landmärket, in 2022.
The overarching concept was to orientate the square towards the adjacent church, using furniture and terrain to shape the space. Situated on an evenly sloping plane, the slant made it possible to form a more flat, inner square space where the edges were steeper. This separates the square into different levels and scales, all the while the expansive spatial character is preserved. To further define smaller scale spaces within the large space, the furnishings create a structure with new tree plantings, a café pavilion, various seating options and plantings in urns. In the very midst of the square the stone pavement is rotated to outline space in an even more subtle approach.
Hertig Johans street is spatially enhanced with a park path and suggestions for new buildings. The pavement is widened to provide more space for outdoor dining and pedestrians while establishing a clearer connection to the adjacent city park and connecting streets.
In summary, the project involves connecting three urban spaces that were previously separate: the church with the church park, Hertig Johans square, and Hertig Johans street, into a cohesive whole.
Landscape Architecture: LAND arkitektur
Team LAND Arkitektur: Anders Kling, Alf Orvesten, Lina Andersson, Clara Eckersten, Emilia Molin, Viktor Nilsson, Therese Lemos, Brage Ullbrandt.
Client: Skövde municipality
Project location: Hertig Johans torg. Skövde, Sweden.
Year constructed: 2018-2019
Photo credits: Tobias Andersson
Other designers involved: Andrén Fogelström (furniture), Black (lightning), Markcon (stormwater).