Sweden’s Got Talent – 10 Examples of Landscape Architecture in Sweden
Article by Radenka Kolarov – Following up on our world series, we have selected 10 awesome projects that perfectly represent landscape architecture in Sweden today.
Do you like winter? How about a cold, dark, long winter? You have to admit that it sounds like I am going to tell you a scary story. But let me introduce you to a country where you can spend a night in an igloo if you want to. You might also be rewarded with a chance to see one of nature’s most spectacular displays – the Aurora Borealis — and perhaps drive your own dog sled. Who knows? Landscape architecture at its best adjusts to its natural environment and very specific climatic conditions. So let’s take a look at the top 10 projects in landscape architecture in snowy, wintry Sweden.
(Click on any of the images to read more about that project)
Landscape Architecture in Sweden
10. Fish Market Plaza, by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects, Karlskrona
The only thing fishy about this former market is its name. Nowadays, it is a square where people can meet leisurely by the sea, reshaping Karlskrona’s city identity. A wooden surface called the “Sun Deck” is illuminated during the night, creating a landmark that can be seen from a distance. The Fish Market also is home to a sculpture made of granite and glass called “Doldrums”, by the artist Pål Svensson.
9. Sjövikstorget Square, by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects, Stockholm
As we have learned from Japanese gardens, a space can be “borrowed”. This is the case with Sjövikstorget Square, which is designed in such a way that the views toward the water and the distant surrounding landscape appear to be a part of the square. With the site being convex in shape, it naturally impels outward motion toward the water and more distant views. One-hundred-meter-long wooden promenades frame the plaza and bracket the view, acting as a framing device to limit the borrowed scenery to desirable elements. Terrific!
8. Sankt Johannesplan & The Konsthall Square, by White Arkitekter, Malmö
This project is divided into two squares. The first one, Konsthalltorget, is adjacent to the city’s art gallery and the Triangeln shopping center. This space acts as an extension of the art gallery and was designed to complement and showcase the gallery’s unique and stunning architecture, as well as to host temporary outdoor exhibitions. The second square, Sankt Johannesplan, is oriented toward St. Johannes Church, also called the Church of Roses, as an important landmark in the city. The paving is inspired by the Art Nouveau architecture of St. Johannes Church, perfectly adding dynamism to the space.
7. Umeå Campus Park, by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects, Umeå
A campus design like this is very promising, because visitors can be a part of the landscape in a natural space molded by the architects. The hills and the birch trees create a unique, well designed atmosphere. It can be said that “minimalistic design” is almost always the best design. Campus Park is made up of three terraces that connect the park and the lake with floating piers. The paths are projected around the lake, with very subtle, clean lines and a few connections with the buildings, leaving free spaces that provide users with comfortable and quiet spaces to interact.
6. Sandgrund Park, by Thorbjörn Andersson, Karlstad
Situated by the Klar River, this authentic park marks its place. The city’s central axis has been extended from the train station, through the museum, and into the Sandgrund Park peninsula, finally dissolving into an almost infinite view of the river. As the design team points out: “While the museum is a collection of the world, the train station collects the world.”
5. Liljeholmstorget, by Nivå Landskapsarkitektur, Stockholm
Liljeholmstorget is a great example of the historical tradition of the Stockholm school. The main aim was to create an intimate room for meetings. Benches are turned in different directions, and holes inside the iron material catch the sun throughout the day, giving the square a unique look. With Robinias trees and curved benches, the square looks rather minimalistic. But the detail that makes it original and atypical is a pavement patterned with flowers.
4. Winter Bay Culture Park, by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects, Stockholm
This is the place where Alfred Nobel established his factory and research lab, where he invented an enormous revolution for armaments and explosive manufacturing — dynamite. Today, the site is renovated due to the major reconstruction that provided the park with sculptures, walking paths, small gardens, restaurants, and a café. It serves as an art gallery, and the area around it is a big lawn, terraced into several levels, lightly curving and blending with the landscape.
3. Plantscraper, by Plantagon
One of the big conundrums of modern life is that while people want to live in cities, we must still produce enough food to feed us all. How can that be done in the city? Plantscraper! This is a building exclusively designed for growing crops exactly as you would in agricultural fields, but in an urban environment — vertically, floor after floor.
WATCH >>> Plantagon
2. Hornsbergs Strandpark, by Nyréns Architects, Stockholm
The talented landscape architects who worked on this project definitely thought about every element and the way it would integrate into the landscape. Three floating piers have been added to extend the connection between land and water. Park visitors feel like they can practically float on the water, enjoying the way the sun makes the water shine.
1. Borås Textile Fashion Center, by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects, Borås
This center is designed to pay homage to the long history of the textiles industry in Sweden. By incorporating details of the textiles industry into every aspect of the design, both inside and out, the Fashion Center is a living history laboratory. During the design process, the client received a gift — a 25-foot-tall sculpture by Jaume Plensa, valued at about 2 million euros. It was really a challenge to fit the sculpture into the project, but the sculpture now rests near one of the entrances, marking the gateway to textiles knowledge and innovation.
“Venice of the North” — Heart of the Sweden
Generally, “The Land of the Midnight Sun” is one of the most environmentally friendly countries, and that is the huge secret that lies behind all of these projects. And the landscape architect behind the transformation of most of the public spaces in Sweden is Thorbjörn Andersson. Oh, I can see, you will love him!
Let me leave you with one fun fact: Sweden has run out of trash, so it is importing garbage from Norway. Think about it!
From which country would you like to see another Top 10? Let us know in the comment section below!
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
Article by Radenka Kolarov
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