The design concept for the town hall square (Rådhustorget) has its origin in the historical and cultural Vadstena. The inspiration comes from its rich cultural life, theatre, opera, art, music and the intriguing history of this town by Lake Vättern, with its cobbled lanes and medieval buildings. The proposal transforms the town hall square into two clear spaces: the entrance and the square. These spaces have contrasting designs, materials and functions but are both connected to the history and culture of Vadstena, inspired by the concept of a theatre setup.
The entrance (entréplatsen), resembling the foyer, is where the audience swarm under the chandeliers, eat a snack or chat over a drink. The entrance creates a clear edge towards the adjacent street with a cohesive floor. On the sunniest part of Entrance Square, there is a paved area with space for outdoor seating. The space is framed by lush perennial plantings with evergreen elements that turn the entrance into a semi-green square.
Moving on to the salon, the town hall square, a spacious lounge where the parquet is. Rådhustorget is Vadstena’s “fine room”, a gathering place for everyday life and celebrations. A rectangular surface stretches like a stage floor with smooth granite slabs laid in a parquet pattern at the foot of the town hall’s stairs, which forms the stage. The strict shape and angle of the surface highlights the town hall’s importance as one of the city’s oldest and most important buildings. Rådhustorget is designed as a traditional paved square, free from trees and plantings. The parquet floor is framed by an embroidery border. A uniform floor of smaller natural stones, laid out in squares, extends around it.
To highlight the building’s historic character a border of cobblestone runs along the facades of the town hall. To regain the town hall’s historic position on the square the building is cleared from the closest adjacent greenery and all the facades are lined with small granite stones. The square offers plenty of seating with a variety of long sofas, chairs and sunbeds.
The lighting has been developed in collaboration with Black lighting design. Elegant lanterns and poles with spotlights reinforce the different scales of the space and create a comfy light all year around. Lanterns provide a glowing light over both the square and surrounding walkways. Spotlights illuminate facades with warm soft light to define the square and create the backdrop for the space and “stage”.
Landscape Architects: Karavan landskapsarkitekter
Other designers involved in the design: Lighting by Black Ljusdesign
Project location: Rådhustorget, Vadstena, Sweden
Design year: 2019
Year Built: 2021
Client: Vadstena kommun
Photos: Anders Ristenstrand and Kasper Dudzik
Streetview may show the location before the intervention