stockholm loop project reuses existing structures to create new infrastructure, by belatchew labs

stockholm loop project reuses existing structures to create new infrastructure, by belatchew labs

according to swedish government agency statistics sweden, 700,000 new homes will be needed over the next ten years in the country. the task for belatchew labs was to find the answer to the question of how metropolitan regions can be developed in order to find the solution to the housing crisis without establishing new cities and avoiding costly infrastructural initiatives — the ‘stockholm loop’ project applies sustainable existing resources instead.

gubbängen running track (exterior)
typology: station house
program: subway station, workplaces, e-commerce, culture, and leisure distribution, sports (running)



stockholm is a center-oriented city, where the metro network doesn’t allow for a change of trains elsewhere than in the city center. as a consequence, the outskirts of the city are depopulated during the daytime and connections between the existing neighborhoods in these places are weak. belatchew labs‘ strategy is based on transit oriented development (TOD) and the fact that there are under-utilized locations at the outer edges of the subway lines, which can be densified and activated by establishing new homes and other functions at the existing stations. by upgrading existing infrastructure instead of building a new one, a sustainable solution of the housing issue is created, where residential outlying areas are activated and made attractive during the day.

gubbängen running track



however, in order to achieve this, the architects faced a number of challenges — to begin with, a bridging of physical barriers in the form of open water, railway tracks and motorways must be solved. belatchew labs’ solution for breaking these barriers is based on the introduction of a new high-density neighborhood typology and the creation of new types of buildings, such as an updated station building, a transport hub and bridge houses over motorways, railways, and open water. these buildings create an identity for the new neighborhoods with the potential to counter the city’s depopulation during the daytime through innovative programs for housing, workplaces, distribution, trade, culture, and sports, which also create ties between people over social barriers, while simultaneously retargeting the spotlights from the center to the periphery.

gubbängen running track (interior)



belatchew labs’ implementation of the TOD strategy in metropolitan stockholm is the stockholm loop concept — an effective catalyst for more than 120,000 new homes and its residents’ need of housing, distribution, trade, and sports. the concept comprises the establishment of new urban development areas around twelve existing stations within a radius of 400 to 800 meters from each of them which in total utilizes more than 400 hectares of previously unused land. in order to illustrate the above strategy, belatchew labs designed a number of buildings — station houses in bergshamra and gubbängen municipalities, as well as bridge houses in masmo and huddinge.

bergshamra basecamp
typology: station house
program: subway station, workplaces, e-commerce, culture and leisure distribution, and sports (climbing)



one way to give these outlying areas a common identity could be the establishment of an annual sports event that fuses all the nodes in stockholm loop through a race that includes swimming, cycling and running. the route in total constitutes 64 km, which comprises about 1.5 marathon runs. in addition to positive health effects that result from sports, stockholm loop will also retarget interest from the city center towards the outskirts.

masmo footboat
typology: bridge house
program: person and car ferry, sports (soccer)


huddinge velodrome
typology: bridge house
program: walking and cycling bridge, transhipment freight, distribution tower using drones, sports (cycling)




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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