White in collaboration for new mother and baby unit in Democratic Republic of Congo

21 October, 2016

White Arkitekter, Panzi Hospital, Centre for Healthcare Architecture (CVA) at Chalmers, Gothenburg University and Födelsehuset are initiating a new collaboration. The aim is to develop a new Mother and Baby Unit at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. This week we met with Dr Denis Mukwege to discuss this very important mission. Dr. Mukwege is the founder […]

White Arkitekter, Panzi Hospital, Centre for Healthcare Architecture (CVA) at Chalmers, Gothenburg University and Födelsehuset are initiating a new collaboration. The aim is to develop a new Mother and Baby Unit at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. This week we met with Dr Denis Mukwege to discuss this very important mission.

Johan Lundon, White arkitekter, Doktor Denis Mukwege. Handelshšgskolan i Gšteborg. Foto: Anders Deros
Dr. Mukwege is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and a prominent human and women’s rights defender. He has been awarded with the Sakharov Prize and Europe’s top human rights awards. The aim of the meeting with Dr Denis Mukwege is to develop a new center at the Panzi Hospital where women is to give birth in a safe and professional environment. A center that will stand model for a modern maternity and neonatal care in DR Congo.


Prof. Marie Berg (GU), Maria Hogenäs (Födelsehuset) and prof. Peter Fröst (CTH) have visited Panzi Hospital and delivered a first report based on workshops and design dialogues. The next step is to develop a sustainable concept design for the new center.
We will share more news on this project as it progress.

Meanwhile read more about the Panzi Foundation here.

Published: 21 October, 2016

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Summary of #STHLMNYC with Linda Thiel, Director of our London Studio

18 October, 2016

Hi Linda! Give us a little wrap-up about the STHLMNYC event.  We had two intense days with a lot of discussions and amazing site visits. It’s difficult to wrap up in a few words, but what was at the heart of every discussion was that we need to be much more innovative when it comes […]

Hi Linda! Give us a little wrap-up about the STHLMNYC event. 
We had two intense days with a lot of discussions and amazing site visits. It’s difficult to wrap up in a few words, but what was at the heart of every discussion was that we need to be much more innovative when it comes to providing a wide range of housing solutions. Also, co-housing and lifetime homes are on top of the agenda in both Stockholm and NYC, as well as in London and across all major cities.

What would you say is a major difference between the architectural industry in New York and Stockholm/Scandinavia?
I’d say our approach to the projects. With urban projects in Scandinavia we (almost) always use the place and context as a starting point and asking the question of how the building can contribite to the place, extending beyond the property lines. In NYC it seems as if they start with the building with respect to the redline – pushing maximum density and viability all the way to the streets that surround the building. Both ways of working contribute to activating life in the streets and to good buildings. It’s just a matter of taking on the projects from the two different ends. Obviously the planning process is very different – which dictates a different approach and results in a different outcome. I think we as architects, planners and developers have a lot to learn from each other.

Were there any major learnings that you took back to the White London office?
I came back to London with a great feeling that we can design buildings where we share amenities/facilities. I think there is a new era of new innovative solutions to co-housing. In Scandinavia we have already been designing homes for a long time with high accessibility standards that enable people to stay in their home for life – now we can take that vast knowledge and core of that essence and redesign to meet today’s requirements for contemporary solutions.

Any ah-ha moments?

We already have a long tradition of off-site manufacturing and prefab for housing and in NYC, this is considered an up-and-coming alternative method of constructing buildings.

Linda, you are a Londoner now. Londoner vs. New Yorker? What are your thoughts?
The scale and density in London and NYC are very similar with tall buildings in clusters and suprisingly many lowrise/low density buildings. In comparison, Stockholm – at least within the “tulls” (the city centre)- is midrise, 5-7 storey high city blocks. I realised that London and NYC are both equally vibrant world cities, but with completely different characters. Although all three cities have different contexts and vibes, they share a similar challenge when it comes to the need to provide innovative housing solutions. I think we can learn a lot from each other and that is what makes collaboration so valuable.

Thank you Linda!

Read more about the event here.

Published: 18 October, 2016

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Hi Ulrika Stenkula, architect and partner at White!

17 October, 2016

You are in Quito, Ecuador together with Viktoria Walldin and Johan Dahlberg from White, tell us more! Habitat III is taking place there. Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The goal is that the member states will agree on The New Urban Agenda — an action-oriented document which sets global goals in sustainable […]

You are in Quito, Ecuador together with Viktoria Walldin and Johan Dahlberg from White, tell us more!

Habitat III is taking place there. Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The goal is that the member states will agree on The New Urban Agenda — an action-oriented document which sets global goals in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. All of this needs to be done by engaging all stakeholders.

Ulrika, Viktoria and Johan in Quito.

You participate in a panel with the Swedish Minister of Housing, Peter Eriksson. What will you discuss?

The international research platform Future Earth launches a major new initiative – the Future Earth Urban Knowledge Action Network – to bring together researchers, policymakers and practitioners to co-produce the knowledge needed for sustainable cities. The panel we’ll be participating in will discuss how we can use research to make sure policy makers make informed decisions. That way we can make meaningful contributions to achieving Agenda 2030 and a more sustainable future for our cities, all in all.

In addition to your panel discussion, what other commitments does White have during Habitat III?

There is a rich program to dive into. We are going to have big ears and listen to the conversations and lessons learnt in different projects from cities all over the world. We are part of the Swedish delegation and will take part in the official opening of the Swedish pavilion and get to know the Swedish stakeholders better. This will be important since one important mission is to spread and implement the knowledge we gather at Habitat III in Sweden when we get back. We are also looking forward to being present in the Swedish pavilion where we will tell the story of our projects and interact with visitors.

What do you personally hope that Habitat III will lead to?

I hope that we will get new insights on sustainable urban development on the global arena and form new relationships with stakeholders. And that all of this leads to fruitful collaborations with the eyes on effecting change through our future research, competitions and projects.

Finally, can you give us three examples of how White works to create sustainable cities?

– We have a people centered approach. Since 2007 we have anthropologists with special expertise in understanding and conveying human needs.

– We work in an interdisciplinary way. It is essential to combine knowledge from different fields to solve the complex tasks of designing sustainable cities.

– We do research; both in research projects but also in study trips and in competitions. Every project is a form of research, too. The knowledge built up is shared in our networks and used in the coming projects.

Thank you Ulrika, and good luck in Quito!


Published: 17 October, 2016

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STHLMNYC brings the Swedish and American architectural industries closer

5 October, 2016

This Friday some of us at White are heading to New York with a crew of other Swedes to meet our counterparts in the USA. Just like last year, we will all meet under the initiative STHLMNYC at the annual Architectural festival Archtober. This year’s topic for the seminar is Innovative Solutions for the Future Housing Challenge. We had a chat with Sander Schuur, Architect at White and one of the guys behind the initiative.


Tell us a little bit about STHLMNYC?

STHLMNYC – Stockholm New York City – is a platform for collaboration between Stockholm and New York to discuss and formulate a future urban environment that is adaptive to uncertainties of the future. STHLMNYC includes all professions involved in shaping our cities, such as architects, urban planners, policymakers, developers and academia, to ensure an inclusive and successful conversation. We see great potential in knowledge exchange and collaboration between Stockholm and New York as both cities face very similar challenges, but differ in their approach. A certain boldness, high ambition and pride from New York combined with a thoughtfulness, inclusiveness and equitable processes from Stockholm will lead to new successful strategies for the future.

As a former New Yorker, what would you say is the difference between the architectural industry in New York and Scandinavia?

I am not sure I can call myself a former New Yorker having lived just three years in New York. However, it seems that three years in New York equals at least the double amount of time elsewhere. Life in New York is so much more intense and always pushing new innovative development. Architecture in New York is driving the project to the highest possible level, while in Scandinavia architecture focuses on people, ensuring quality for every individual. Scandinavian architecture can be characterized by its inclusive process that drives equitable urban development. 

What do you hope will come out of this seminar this Friday?

STHLMNYC starts, engages, and enables a conversation and encourages a continuing dialogue between participants and between the cities of Stockholm and New York at large. Our goal is to start a conversation that will continue and lead to successful collaboration and ultimately to sustainable urban environments that are adaptive for the future as sustainability promotes adaptive capacity.

Last question, what is your favorite building in New York and why?

Rem Koolhaas described in his book Delirious New York how the homogeneity of the grid forces every building into fighting for its identity. New York is a context that pushes its architecture. The Highline is a perfect example of a project that became so over-iconic, but intentionally was not more than an attempt to preserve the elevated train tracks. For me, New York City is what makes the architecture – the place and the energy and diversity of the population. It is always about people.

Read more:


From Sweden:
KTH, Milou Group, Okidoki, Stockholm Stad, Tengbom, Urban Minds, Vasakronan and White Arkitekter.

From USA:
ARExA, DCP, DDC, Doberman, Heinz Endowments, HPD, IBI Group – Gruzen Samton Architects, Plastarc and SHoP.

Published: 5 October, 2016

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‘The Bike Home’ – White Arkitekter improve cycle access in London

22 September, 2016

The London studio of White Arkitekter has been commissioned by Southwark Council to make street interventions to improve cycle access in the city of London. A prototype of the improvements ‘The Bike Home’ will be installed in Southwark to coincide with the conference ‘Transforming London Streets’ at Southwark Cathedral on 22-23 September 2016.

Read more about the conference here.

London has made huge investments in its cycling infrastructure over the last decade. The Santander bikeshare, Cycling superhighways, Quietways, and other programmes reflect a very keen interest in alleviating traffic and promoting a healthier, sustainable, inclusive, liveable city.  Given the scale of London and its constellation of many boroughs, those initiatives require great financial and political commitment.

Denmark and Sweden have made great strides in establishing a strong cycling culture through careful planning and activism over the last 50 years, but all of that success has been achieved in a much different context. How can White Arkitekter’s Scandinavian experience be of relevance to the already considerable efforts to make London a cycling utopia?

Local initiatives to strengthen the cycling culture 
Rather than attempting to influence the entire city of London with broad strokes of planning and infrastructure, we chose to look at improvements to the cycling culture from a more local and accessible perspective.  By engaging the local communities, we hope to encourage individuals to invest themselves personally in a cycling oriented lifestyle, where it becomes safer to ride, easier to move through the city, more secure to store your bike, and where people can experience the myriad of health benefits that come from active transport.

Creating a positive environment for cycles and cyclists requires collective effort. We forged a partnership with Copenhagenize, a group specializing in cycling urbanism, as well as the Borough of Southwark, a borough very active in promoting cycling, most notably through their development of the Southwark Spine. Copenhagenize previously initiated a campaign to ‘Treat the Cyclist’ where different elements like custom trash receptacles, foot rests for cyclists, etc. were installed around Copenhagen to make the experience more comfortable. Southwark similarly has made community engagement and participation a key component of their plan to foster a better cycling culture.  Together we saw an opportunity to work parallel to the existing programs that are under development across London by focusing on establishing more inhabitable bike infrastructu e.

The Bike Home – a pilot project
There are an incredible number of places to park a cycle throughout the borough of Southwark, but in many cases the designated spaces lie in barren expanses of pavement, along inhospitable highways, besides trash bins, or in dark corners. We see bikes as more than just a tool, more than a vehicle, and certainly not a hindrance to life in the city. It’s time we treat bikes the way they deserve to be; it’s time to give them homes.

The Bike Home installation is a pilot project where we hope to establish inhabitable places around existing bike parking facilities. Initially, we plan to establish brightly colored, brightly lit zones where bikes are celebrated and where people feel comfortable inhabiting parts of the street sale that was previously neglected. Elaborate ‘carpets’, painted by different designers and artists from the borough will fit under the bike racks. Chandeliers made of bike components will provide additional light and security, while emphasizing how much people value their cycles. Salvaged furniture will provide places to sit and socialize. Potted plants will help soften and freshen the urban environment.

Eventually, we expect to establish a chain of unique and permanent Bike Homes that protect bikes and promote greater accountability within each local community. Southwark aims to be the best place to live if you are a cyclist or bicycle.

Launch at Transforming London Streets Conference
The project will be launched at the Transforming London Streets Conference. Linda Thiel, Architect and Partner at White Arkitekter will be giving a keynote speech about a Scandinavian approach to cycling provision on 23rd Friday.


By: Sergio Guimaraes

Published: 22 September, 2016

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Clerkenwell Design Week. It’s on!

24 May, 2016

White has designed The Museum of Making, one of the site-specific pavilions for the 2016 Clerkenwell Design Week, which runs in London from 24-26 May 2016.

Located on St John’s Square and visible from Clerkenwell Road, The Museum of Making is at the centre of the festival, which celebrates Clerkenwell as one of the most important design hubs, home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The form of the pavilion – a Swedish barn – references to our Scandinavian heritage. The Museum of Making is built from Equitone cladding panels arranged in section to create an open yet sheltered space to bring people together.

Dezeen presents five “must-sees” at this years event:

Linda Thiel, Director of White’s London studio, will speak at “Waste not, want not: Conversations at Clerkenwell” programme, on Wednesday 25 May, 14.30.

Nina Borgström and Steven Rowland will share White´s reflections and experiences from living the digital revolution in a large, changing organisation: BIM – the tension in change. From minding your own business to a participatory culture.

Clerkenwell Pavilion

By: Peter Nilsson

Published: 24 May, 2016

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White Arkitekter discusses urban equity at the Venice Biennale 2016

16 May, 2016

Urban equity and the Kiruna transformation will be at the centre of White Arkitekter’s participation at the Architecture Biennale 2016, which opens in Venice on May 28th.

A seminar under the topic “Honestly, Sweden, it’s time for equity”, which is to be led by White Arkitekter, is taking the Nordic pavilion’s spotlight on May 27th (13:00-13.45). The event, initiated by White in cooperation with the Nordic pavilion, is reporting from the fronts of practice, where architects take long-term action and lead equitable change. The seminar includes three different talks:

  • “Kiruna – Thinking in time”: Krister Lindstedt, White Arkitekter and Johanna Hurme, Co-Founder, 5468796 Architecture
  • “Malmö – Urban equity in practice”: Åsa Bjerndell, White Arkitekter and Christer Larsson, Director of City Planning, Malmö
  • “What is our contribution to a global society?”: Monica von Schmalensee, CEO, White Arkitekter and David van der Leer, Director, Van Alen Institute.

The talks will be moderated by Malin Zimm, research strategist at White.

“We’re proud to lead this important discussion at the Biennale on how to address global challenges, such as equity, migration and social justice. As architects, we play an important role effecting change”, says Monica von Schmalensee, CEO at White Arkitekter.

The theme of the 2016 Biennale – curated by Alejandro Aravena – is “Reporting from the Front”, calling upon the role of architecture in providing decent living conditions to people all around the world, despite the increasingly difficult global context. The exhibition at the Nordic pavilion – named “In Therapy – Nordic Countries Face to Face” – consists of 300 architectural projects that respond to Aravena’s call for action. The pavilion’s content is provided by architects from Sweden, Finland and Norway and has been curated by the founder of ArchDaily David Basulto.

White Arkitekter will be represented by ten projects covering all three categories – i.e. Foundational, Belonging and Recognition – of the exhibition: Johanneberg Science Park (Gothenburg, Sweden), Bråtejordet School (Bråtejordet, Norway), Radiotherapy Building, Skåne University Hospital (Lund, Sweden), Väven (Umeå, Sweden), Tele2 Arena (Stockholm, Sweden), Messingen (Upplands Väsby, Sweden), Naturum Kosterhavet (South Koster, Sweden), Chameleon Cabin, Naturum Vattenriket (Kristianstad, Sweden), Hasle Harbour Bath (Bornholm, Denmark).

The opening of the Nordic pavilion will be presided by the Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke.

White represents Sweden in collateral event

In addition, White has been selected by a jury as the architectural practice representing Sweden at “INpractice – the state of committed architecture in Europe”, part of the collateral event “Architects meet in Fuoribiennale_now>next”. Nearly 40 European offices – one per country – will compose a high-profile international network, curated by AIAC (the Italian Association for Architecture and Criticism) and the magazine A10.

White will discuss the transformation of Kiruna as an example of qualitative architecture in Europe that inspires the world. Krister Lindstedt, process leader and lead architect, will present this project on May 26th in the afternoon. Following the presentations and round table, a book, featuring Kiruna as well as the other participating projects, will be launched.

What: “Honestly, Sweden, it’s time for Equity” When: May 27th (13:00-13.45)

Where: Nordic pavilion

For more information (in Swedish):

What: Kiruna at “Architects meet in Fuoribiennale_now>next”

When: May 26th (14:30 – 21:00)

Where: Calle Widmann, 30121 Cannaregio, Venice

For more information:

Contact information:

Monica von Schmalensee, CEO, +46 (0)8-4022584

Malin Zimm, research strategist, +46 (0)8-4022552

Published: 16 May, 2016

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White Arkitekter featured in ”Bo. Nu. Då.” exhibition at ArkDes

14 April, 2016

White Arkitekter’s work is to be featured at ArkDes’ exhibition ”Bo. Nu. Då”, which reflects on housing crises since 1917, describes the latest attempts to solutions and discusses sustainable possibilities for the present and future.

In one room of the exhibition, White has researched about daylight in housing during five periods between 1920 and today. Five boroughs show how natural light indoors is affected by denser urban infills and geometry and by the shape of the façade and choice of materials. This is correlated to the adoption of clear daylight requirements in the legislation. The exhibition marks the importance of daylight management in how we experience architecture and contributes to the debate about the role of architecture as cities are becoming denser.

White Arkitekter is represented by two other projects, which are featured in the exhibition, discuss (and present solutions to) planning of student and youth housing.

The exhibition itself runs between 16 April 2016 and 8 January 2017 at the Architecture and Design Center in Stockholm but several debates and seminars are planned in Stockholm, Kiruna and Malmö.

For more information:

Published: 14 April, 2016

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White designs housing development in Stapelbädden, Malmö

4 March, 2016

The new residential area – to be named “Sjöporten” – will be built in one of Malmö’s most unique areas, as White Arkitekter was selected to work on a new zoning plan for the Stapelbäddsparken area.

”The park is a fantastic location and has a reputation that stretches beyond Sweden’s borders. We want to create housing which breathes even more life into this exciting urban area in Stapelbädden”, says Sven Gustafsson, Head Architect at White Arkitekter in Malmö.

The company’s proposal was chosen – amongst tough competition with other reputed architectural firms – to work on the zoning plan for the area “Sjöporten” in Västra Hamnen. Work is commissioned by Sundprojekt AB and the City of Malmö.

This unique neighbourhood features one of Europe’s largest leading skateboard parks and Scandinavia’s first boulder park for climbing. It boasts views towards northwest to the Vavsparken and the Turning Torso building and towards east to Stapelbäddspark, the location where the well-known shipyard Kockum Naval Solutions has its single remaining, well-preserved shipway. (“stapelbädd”, in Swedish).

The jury was impressed with White’s proposal for Stapelbädden and commented that “having a tall building is very fitting and gives the area, once viewed as a neglected space, a new identity”. The jury also appreciated the project’s architectural profile and clear identity and how it positively combines with the surrounding urban space and buildings. Another parameter which was considered by the jury to be in White’s favour is the feasibility proposal, comprising a construction plan divided into phases, plans for the management of construction noise and the natural light requirements applicable to the apartments.

“The Stapelbäddsparken will receive a dynamic, beautiful and prominent identity with new apartment buildings”, says Sven Gustafsson.

By: Ann Nilsson

Published: 4 March, 2016

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Packed schedule for White Arkitekter at MIPIM 2016

26 February, 2016

White Arkitekter will be present at the world’s leading property market, MIPIM (“Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier”), in Cannes, 15 to 18 March 2016. And has double hopes of repeating last year’s feat, bringing home one of Europe’s most prestigious architecture awards.

White’s twelve people strong team includes representatives from the company’s Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, Oslo and Stockholm studios, participating in a series of meetings and events. Among them, White will be present at the stands – inaugurated on 15th March – and different activities of the Greater Copenhagen, Business Region Göteborg, Oslo Metropolitan Area and Stockholm Business Region delegations.

Ulla Bergström, head of White’s Stockholm studio, will present on the topic “Better cities, better life: Stockholm-London” on the 16th. Johan Lundin, head of White’s Göteborg studio, will present on the topic Urban Planning in the Perspective of ElectriCity on the 17th of March.

White’s Aabenraa Psychiatric Clinic in Denmark and Plans for the Future of Kiruna in northern Sweden have made the MIPIM Awards 2016 nominations list. The awards ceremony takes place at Palais des Festivals on the 17th of March.

That same day, White hosts its annual luncheon, whose theme this year is “Urban equity” and Jenny Mäki, head of the Oslo studio, will present White’s take on Scandinavian architecture, “Nordic Noir”.


Contact person (on site in Cannes):

Carl Bäckstrand, Vice President, White Arkitekter +46 70-299 68 43 *protected email*

Aabenraa Psychiatric Clinic (photos/images: Adam Mørk, Signe Find Larsen, DEVE)

By: Sergio Guimaraes

Published: 26 February, 2016

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