When Sid White and PA Ekholm set up the practice in Gothenburg in 1951, the focus was on raising the quality of every day life through the design of the home. Sid lay the groundwork for developing the multidisciplinary culture with out-of-the box thinkers that the company still relies on.
The first commission was the result of a successful competition entry that became a housing experiment called “Baronbackarna” in Örebro in the 1950s. The focus was on raising the quality of every day life for families in Sweden. The boundary between the kitchen and the living room was eliminated, making the living room the heart of the home with a dining area and a balcony overlooking a car-free playground. The view from the kitchen into the bathroom meant that mothers could supervise their bathing children whilst cooking. Baronbackarna became a part of the Swedish solution to overcrowding in housing, relevant then as it is now.
“Teamwork is key”
When the programme to build a million homes in a 10 year period was initiated by the government in the 1960s in Sweden, White were well prepared. The practice had both young and more experienced architects and engineers, who together lay the foundation of ‘teamwork’, by bringing a rich mix of knowledge and personalities. Having started with residential commissions the practice started to win commissions to design schools, shops and hospitals. The larger projects required a new way of working of shared responsibility, collaboration and research, which has become our successful business model.
Working locally with local partners is one of our great assets. After the company was founded in Gothenburg in 1951, another office was opened in Örebro to support the project “Baronbackarna” following the competition win. In the late 1960s, the Stockholm office was opened to work on masterplanning and hospital commissions, followed in the 1970s by new offices in Malmö and Halmstad assigned to healthcare projects. Futher offices opened in the late 1980s in Uppsala and Linköping opened. In the mid-1990s, an office was established in Umeå, which in later years developed several successful projects of wood. In 1990 White merged with Coordinator, (also established in the 1950s) to become Sweden’s single largest architectural practice. The merger meant that White could provide a full service and with its geographical spread placed itself on a national and international platform.
... and international presence
Today, White is a Scandinavian architectural practice with offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK. Our cutting-edge expertise in environmental design, sustainable master planning and healthcare projects has garnered attention around the world. We have also had several successes in competitions and built up a well-developed network of partners. Over the years, White has completed projects in some 50 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa and is currently working on projects in 9 different countries with the ambition to continue to expand internationally.
Curiosity is our driving force
Right from the start, White has fostered a better understanding of the world. We are an architectural practice where research and development are essential to create new concepts for urban planning, architecture and design. White has pioneered combining diverse teams and disciplines resulting in a dynamic practice where people take the initiative and are driven by curiosity, resulting in award-winning projects, competition wins and repeat clients.