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Architecture Highlights in Stockholm

Walking about the city looking at buildings has always been one of my favourite pastimes. Luckily for me, being an architecture student means I get to call this “studying”.  The city can be endlessly interesting, especially for those of us who are moving to or visiting a new place. Stockholm being a city well known for its long history of design and architecture, I thought I might break down some of the best bits from around the city for you.

Of course, this being a large city full of great design, I can’t mention it all, so instead I’ll break down only a few of my favourites… 

Golden Oldies  

Stockholm's Stadhuset, City Hall
Stockholm Royal Palace

At the centre of the city, you will find a host of important older buildings that have become the touchstones of what Stockholm is known for. The Royal Castle and Stadshuset are two of these wonderfully picturesque buildings sitting out at the water’s edge. Today they give the city a sense of nobility and old romance, full of history and stories that have seen the changes of years.

Grace

A view from Skogskyrkogården, Woodland Cemetery
A view of Stadsbiblioteket

The names of the Swedish architects Sigurd Lewerentz & Gunnar Asplund are known internationally in the architecture culture. One of their most famous projects is one they worked together on, at the Woodland Cemetery at Skogskyrkogården, just South of Stockholm. Here they have crafted a huge landscape of graveyards, memorials, crematoriums and churches. The walks around this park are like sculpted experiences. Around Stockholm, Lewerentz and Asplund have also worked on some of the city’s best buildings like Stadsbiblioteket and Markuskyrkan.

Concrete

The Filmhuset in Gärdet
The Kulturhuset in Sergels Torg

In the years when concrete was cool, some of Stockholm’s architects were playing with it in the best of ways. Peter Celsing’s studio designed the Filmhuset in Gärdet as a spectacle of length and fun. The same team also the produced the Kulturhuset at Sergels Torg, which was part of a huge project including a theater and the Swedish national bank. This Kulturhuset has just been renovated this year and so is looking better than ever. As a side note, the café on the third floor is one of the best places in town for a coffee.

Closer to Home

KTH Architecture Building

The Architecture School at KTH was drawn by the office of Tham & Videgård and won the national prize for architecture in 2015. It’s something special to be studying in an (almost brand new) award winning building and it has lots to be learned from. Its rusty red skin makes it both fit-in and stick-out from the brick landscape of KTH. It’s clever curves squeeze it into a snug place and they also give the studio spaces inside a rounded, continuous view.

There are many more unique buildings in Stockholm that will always stand out, such as Globen and Norra Tornen, but go and see for yourself! Most of the best design in Stockholm can be found by wandering around the city, the parks, and in the tunnelbana (metro) stations. And if you get a chance to go, you can find a great history of Swedish Architecture at Arkdes, the architectural museum.

~Declan

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