Cultural Masterplanning with EGA Architecture

During 2017 we will consolidate our collaboration with Swedish/French architects EGA. With them we have worked on the proposal for a new travel centre and public space in the city of Jönköping in Sweden. The philosophy behind our design is based on the connection between the city and its surrounding nature and lakes. The link was created through the use of a light and playful wooden canopy structure, partly transparent and open to the city on one side and to the lake on the other. The matchstick-like quality of the canopy pays homage to the city’s past as the matchstick capital of Sweden while at the same time capturing the atmosphere of confidence and creativity present in this entrepreneurial city.

More recently we have submitted our proposals for the waterfront regeneration of Varberg, a municipality in Halland County, in southwest Sweden, known as Northern Europe’s windsurfers’ paradise. The key concept behind our proposal is to make the most of water sports and other activities (e.g. by creating an exciting floating pier and a water park), and also by supporting local talent and innovation through the implementation of a dedicated ‘creative avenue’ with new spaces for co-working, incubating, networking and meeting.

In 2015 we prequalified to propose ideas for how Nyhamnen, a neighbourhood adjacent to the central station of Malmö, should develop in the next twenty years. The approach to the regeneration of this large former industrial part of the city was to first gain a deeper understanding of the broader local cultural context (e.g. its history, topography, geography, demography, social ecology and urban fabric) and then to brainstorm with local stakeholders (through a system of charrettes) potential scenarios for future development. Malmö is Sweden’s most diverse and cosmopolitan city, and our final submission was developed around the guiding principles of ‘diversity and inter-culturality’, using food as a way of both socialising and creating new economic opportunities. Thus, our proposal included many ideas for the creation of intercultural public spaces (such as markets, squares, leisure-focused waterfronts, and visitors’ attractions such as the ‘house of cultures’) as well as intergenerational housing, multiuse public buildings and community gardens.