Henning Larsen Architects, in collaboration with Tema Landscape Architects Sweden, WSP Engineers Sweden and UiWE Cultural Designers, has won the competition for a new city hall in Kiruna, northern Sweden.
The city hall, named Crystal, will feature two building volumes with the inner facility planned to be designed like a crystal inspired by the deposits of iron ore in the area’s underground.
The outer building will be like a ring around the crystal and will protect it against severe weather conditions.
The round shape of the new city hall creates a better microclimate both inside and outside, allowing 17% additional daylight.
After completion, the new city hall will replace Kiruna’s existing city hall, which was designed by Artur von Schmalensee.
The bell tower from the old city hall will be re-used in the square and most of the materials and building parts will also be re-used.
Henning Larsen Architects director and partner Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen said it was important for the team to get the best out of the rough weather and wind conditions and allow as much daylight into the building as possible.
"Kiruna’s new city hall is a democratic building, open to everybody. Inside the building, the democratic process is supported by the interplay between offices at the periphery and public functions at the heart of the building," Jeppesen said.
Kiruna Municipality is moving the existing city hall and surrounding buildings due to the effect of the excavations on the city’s underground.
Under the plans, a total of 2,500 flats and 200,000m² of commercial, office, school and healthcare buildings will be moved by 2035.
The new city hall is expected to be opened in 2016.
Image: An impression of the new Crystal city hall. Photo: Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects.