Kiruna City Hall - The Crystal, Kiruna, Sweden


The city of Kiruna, Sweden, is building a new city hall named Krystallen (The Crystal) as part of the city's relocation.

The city relocation will be completed in phases with the first phase involving the construction of The Crystal designed by Henning Larsen Architects.

Serving as a new public meeting point in the relocated city, construction of the new city hall started in 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2018. The project won the 2016 LEAF award in the Future Building - Under Construction category.

Kiruna City relocation master plan

Founded in 1900 by the state-owned mining company Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB), the city of Kiruna has a population of approximately 18,200. The city is heavily dependent on the iron ore mine situated nearby, from where approximately 90% of European iron ore is extracted.

Mining activities are now moving closer to the city centre causing deformation and subsidence. To enable mining activities to continue and benefit the community, the Kiruna Municipality and LKAB decided to relocate the entire city of Kiruna 3km north-east.

An international design competition was launched in 2013 for developing the master plan of the new city. The competition was won by White Arkitekter and Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitekter. The relocation, which will be funded by LKAB, will enable sustenance of the mining activities until 2033.

"The design of the new city hall is inspired from the culture and heritage of the city."

The master plan aims to create a more diverse, environment-friendly and sustainable city. The new city will feature vibrant public spaces and be well-connected to the Lombolo and Tuolluvaara regions, the airport and the Kirunavaara mine.

An estimated 5,000 homes and 700,000m² of commercial, office, school and healthcare facilities for 10,000 residents will be redeveloped by 2035.

The first phase of the project also includes the development of a new public square, which includes the new city hall, a new library, swimming pool and relocation of the historic clock tower.

The Crystal city hall design

The design of the new city hall is inspired from the culture and heritage of the city. The structure includes an inner building volume and an outer building volume.

The crystal-shaped inner volume is inspired from the iron ore concentration in the region. It is publicly accessible and will house exhibition areas, workshop spaces, a council hall, meeting rooms and balconies. Each of these elements is stacked on top of another throughout the building.

The outer volume of the building is shaped like a ring, which opens up to the city. It will house the offices of various departments of the Kiruna municipality. The building's shape provides protection from rough weather conditions in the region by forcing wind to move around it and preventing snow from settling.

The new city centre will serve as a natural gathering point for political, social and cultural events. The bell tower of the existing city hall will be reused by placing it in front of the new city hall.

Sustainable features of the new Kiruna City hall

The design of the Crystal is aimed at reducing energy consumption. The outer building will feature ribbon windows designed to ensure that maximum daylight is reflected into the offices. Further, the atrium in the inner building will feature bright surfaces on the roof structure and interiors to ensure optimum daylight conditions.

Materials and parts of the existing building will be reused to the maximum possible extent, and materials with safe environmental profiles will also be used for the construction of the building.

Contractors involved

WSP Sweden is the project engineer, while Tema Group Sweden is the landscaping architect and UiWE is providing the culture design.