white builds an architecture office for kiruna as the city plans for relocation
photography © fredrik sweger

 

 

 

as a result of continuous iron ore extraction on the western border of kiruna, deformation and subsidence effects mean that the entire swedish city must relocate. the huge transformational project is being masterplanned by white arkitekter and will see the region shift three kilometers eastwards (1.86 miles) by 2033, as one part of a long-term 100-year strategy.

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
kiruna’s architecture studio is seen as a platform to engage the community as the city is relocated

 

 

 

named ‘ett arkitekt kontor’, kiruna’s recently completed architecture studio is a platform for white to engage the community as the city is replanned. occupying a vacant plot in kiruna’s current city center, furniture and other materials have been collated and reused to construct an interior imbued with a local sense of identity.

 

moving the city is a huge challenge, and one that provokes both anxiety and anticipation among the local citizens, explain the architects. ‘as well as its function as a workspace, the new studio will act as a community center, welcoming the public for informal coffee mornings, hosting events and exhibitions.’

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
people can work at the work desk during the day before clearing the space for community events

 

 

 

a key strategy in the masterplan is the ambition to recycle, rebuild and reclaim building materials from the former city in a facility called ‘the portal’. the scheme’s interior showcases different methods of upcycling as well as reducing material consumption. consequently, this allows for the preservation of identifiable artifacts from the city that would have otherwise been lost.

 

 


ett arkitekt kontor: desk timelapse
video courtesy of white arkitekter

 

 

 

the assemblage of objects that make up the interior span a range styles with a historical legacy that intrinsically links the studio with the emerging character of the new city. objects that have been locally sourced or donated by residents, including furniture and housewares, have been retrofitted with new elements to alter or improve their functionality. this hands-on approach allows the studio to evolve over time, continually accommodating its users’ needs.

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the small meeting room is glazed with windows donated by a resident who salvaged them from his back yard

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the studio’s interior is imbued with a local identity

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
a key strategy in the masterplan is the ambition to recycle, rebuild and reclaim building materials

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the scheme’s interior showcases different methods of upcycling

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
walls are lined with hooks, used to hang magnetic whiteboards for meetings, workshops and exhibitions

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
identifiable artifacts from the city, that would have otherwise been lost, have been reused

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the day after the office opened a member of the community posted a stencil sign on the window

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the welcoming office viewed from the passing street

an architecture office kiruna white arkitekter ett arkitekt kontor sweden designboom
the project occupies a vacant plot in kiruna’s current city center

 

 

project info:

 

name: an architecture office
address: 27 arent grapegatan, kiruna, sweden
project architects: martin johnson & tomas landfeldt
construction company: elmqvist inredning & tapetseri AB
photography: fredrik sweger

 

relocation schedule: 2013-2033
2017: new town hall by henning larsen completed
2020: phase 1 including new town square, new library, swimming pool, travel center
client: LKAB & municipality of kiruna
architects: white arkitekter