Technical Building In Stockholm Royal Seaport (Norra Djurgårdsstaden), Stockholm

CompanyU.D. Urban Design AB
Lead DesignerHelena Glantz (U.D. Urban Design AB)
Design TeamErik Jarlöv, Anders Ohlin and Karin Ask (U.D. Urban Design AB)
PrizeGold in Architectural Design / Industrial Buildings

Modern cities are filled with small technical buildings; sub- and pump stations that provide essential electrical, water and sewer supplies to their citizens. These buildings are often a kind of unassuming anti-architecture; something that works best when it is not seen at all. Stockholm Royal Seaport has decided to take a very different approach. Here, a new addition to Storängstorget (the public square in the Stockholm township of Norra Djurgården) takes the form of a small building that houses both an electrical substation as well as pumps for the square’s new fountain. The building’s asymmetrical volume is primarily of Corten steel with a south-facing façade in sculptural wooden ribs that doubles as a generous seating bench oriented toward the square and the afternoon sun. The remaining sides of the building are composed of a graphic pattern of grazing deer made by laser-cutting into the Corten steel, as well as an interactive light image that shows real-time information on how much electricity is being consumed in the homes located around the square. The goal is to allow this small, but essential part of the neighborhood´s infrastructure manifest itself by clearly communicating its public function. We have created a sunny perch to sit on and watch the activities on the square while the building talks about its content for people strolling by on their way home to their machines and electrical outlets.