Riddarholmen is owned and conducted by Statens Fastighetsverk (The National Property Board Sweden), which plans to renew and develop all the island’s public places to become more attractive and accessible. As a whole, Riddarholmen is culture-historically interesting and holds great antiquarian values that have to be respected and taken care of. In the process of developing, renovating and meeting today’s modern requirements for function, Riddarholmens rich history has been central.
Södra Riddarholmen was the first part of the island’s public places to be completed.
When standing by the quays of Riddarholmen, the scenery of the water and the magical view is striking. Key conditions in the design have been to create larger areas for walking and staying by the water and to manage the old ground materials and open harbour feeling. By letting new areas follow the quay’s direction, in the same way as the older harbour area did, the design creates areas where the usage can vary. The large space can be used for various situations, facing needs for temporal arrangements, as well as parking for cars and buses. This also allows the quays to be widened and more space is created adjacent to the buildings. The docks may also be used to tear larger boats, both liner and charter boats.
Water always creates attractive seating spots. The benches of Södra Riddarholmen are specially designed for the location and are made of the King’s oaks from Visingsö, an island located in Sweden’s second-largest lake Vättern. The spacious and unrestricted areas close to the buildings enable the visitor to experience the houses up close. The triangular areas formed between the houses are sheltered, south-facing quiet areas to meet and socialize. At these spots, you find comfortable benches along the facade of Kammarrättens Hus. Here you also find a custom-built bench that follows the mountain wall between the facade and Västra Gymnasiehuset.
Historically, the areas closest to Riddarholmens buildings were often empty and open – coated in different kinds of cobblestone and all-natural stones like granite. The new cobblestone areas are placed where people rarely walk because of their uneven surface. The stones are traditionally placed in rows. These vary in size and create quite interesting beautiful areas. The square’s natural stones are placed in walking and traffic areas. Different used areas are separated with different techniques of stone pitching and stones colours. Most of the material is recycled old stones that have been found at the spot in the ground.
The linden trees on the quays were planted in the 60’s and today the trees are large and magnificent. They contribute to a positive experience, and subtleties the impression of the parking lot. A few new trees have been added and they help to give shelter and help to spatially divide the site into smaller spaces.
Project location: Riddarholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
Design year: 2015-2016
Year Built: 2016-2017
Photo: Kasper Dudzik