Winning double, a possibility – Kiruna and Aabenraa are candidates for an MIPIM Award

28 January, 2016

White Arkitekter has the possibility of winning one of Europe’s most prestigious architecture awards for a second consecutive year. Two projects are on the MIPIM Awards 2016 nomination list. Aabenraa Psychiatric Clinic in Denmark is in the final rounds in the category “Healthcare” and Plans for the Future Kiruna is competitive in the category “The Best Future Mega Projects”. The winners will be awarded on March 17 at the Palais de Festivals in Cannes.

“We are unbelievably proud to have two of our submissions reaching the finals at one of Europe’s most significant competitions for architecture. It’s a confirmation of the relevancy of our work on an international level. At the same time, it is especially rewarding to be acknowledged for being a forerunner in healthcare architecture and sustainable urban development”, says Carl Bäckstrand, Vice President, White Arkitekter.

The 115 bed psychiatric clinic in Aabenraa was inaugurated in 2015. It welcomes patients of all ages with an architecture that can strengthen a patient’s feeling of safety while also promoting contact with the outside world during treatment. The building is fan-shaped revolving around a central axis. Patients have access to gardens, terraces, exterior spaces and locations for training as well as the un-manicured nature which surrounds the clinic. From private consultations in quiet rooms to generously sized rooms for group exercise – the interior is designed to support social interaction of all forms.

Kiruna, an urban transformation project, is a collaboration between White, the local municipality and inhabitants. Since winning an international competition in 2013, White has developed the initial plans that map out the extents of the new Kiruna; included are a city centre, square and city hall. The dialogue with the residents of Kiruna creates a strong foundation for the work by creating a tight, rich urban fabric with a variety of places to meet.

“Last year, White was the only Swedish architecture firm advancing to the final and ultimately taking home an MIPIM Award for Würths new headquarters in Örebro in the Industry and Logistics category. Winning at Cannes is certainly an honour and generates attention at the international level for White and our clients”, says Carl Bäckstrand.

Marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier, MIPIM, is one of the most important fairs for the real estate industry in Europe. Taking place annually in Cannes, France, last year’s event hosted a record of over 20,000 visitors.

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

Press images:
For high resolution press images, please contact Ann Nilsson at +46 70-588 65 00

(Image: Tegmark)

By: Margaret Steiner

Published: 28 January, 2016

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White wins school project in Norway

16 September, 2015

In collaboration with Veidekke Entreprenör AS, White has won an architectural competition to design an extension to Hjalmar Johansen’s Videregående school for youths with special needs in Skien, Norway.

The proposal is characterised by its open spaces, ample use of natural light, and its emphasis to provide support functions for students’; designing conducive environments for their individual development. Described by the jury, it is an “appealing architectural expression…the presentation describes an interesting use of materials that provide both stunning facades and sustainable solutions”.

The floor plan creates flexibility by arranging rooms in a modular system, and to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and ensure a sense of safety, the extension’s structure is transparent and easy to navigate. The compact building layout and use of daylight significantly reduce the extension’s energy consumption, and has been designed to awaken and encourage curiosity and creativity.

“Projects such as this are always close to our hearts, as school and the school environment play a central role in students’ well-being, learning and future prospects. We have designed an extension that sits in harmony with the existing buildings yet retains its own identity. And it always keeps the student in the centre”, says Jenny Mäki, architect and head of office at White’s practice in Oslo.

Previous school projects in Norway include Bråtejordet School in Strømmen and Færder Videregående School in Tønsberg.

Hjalmar Johansen videregående skole, Skien (1920x1200)

Hjalmar Johansen videregående skole, Skien (1920x1200)

By: Rickard Andersson

Published: 16 September, 2015

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White wins Gold for going Green in international competition for Royal Institute of Technology new campus plan

22 June, 2015

White developed the winning plan for the Campus World’s premier award: the International Sustainable Campus Excellence Award, which was awarded today to the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Akademiska Hus, who will act as the developer. According to the jury’s verdict, the targeted sustainability plan was, “An outstanding example of excellence in sustainable campus planning and integrative design and management”.

Each year the International Sustainable Campus Network, ISCN, awards a prize to four universities in the categories of Building, Campus, Integration and Student Leadership. About fifty universities worldwide were included in this year’s ISCN, whose goal is to incorporate sustainability in teaching, research and campus development.

“It’s very fun and stimulating”, say architects Linda Mattsson and Caroline Varnauskas White. “This new campus plan sets the bar for the further development of KTH, and it is an eye-opener to discover how many sustainability issues relate to property at this level”.

White’s campus plan is a catalyst for efforts to increase KTH’s attractiveness as a dynamic institution in the world. The design team created a master plan with a 15-20 year perspective for the new KTH campus, and a list of 33 concrete projects to be implemented within five years.

Some of the first projects to be completed include 600 new apartments for student housing, new facilities for the School of Architecture, a new information center, new office premises and the refurbishment of a former hospital building. A new square for innovative meetings with associated hotels are also included, as well as the transformation of an old boiler for a new heating plant that utilizes the heat waste stemming from large computer server rooms.

The plan is based on BREEAM Communities, the world’s leading certification system for sustainable neighborhoods. By using the campus as a “living laboratory” for research on the plan’s efficacy, the hope is that the parties are constantly learning more about sustainability, and simultaneously showcasing the ongoing work.

White is currently involved in several other higher educational projects; the campus plan Albano in Stockholm, the campus plans for Örebro University’s three campuses and the campus plan Kristianstad University.

For more information:
Linda Mattson, lead architect at White in Stockholm
+46 70 334 97 89

KTH Campusplan (1920x1200)

By: Karolina Gerdin

Published: 22 June, 2015

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Expansion of Hospital Simón Bolívar in Colombia

27 April, 2015

Scandinavian architectural firm White is conducting a feasibility study for the modernization and expansion of Hospital Simón Bolívar in Bogotá, Colombia. The project is financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the grant is administrated through the Nordic Investment Bank.

Hospital Simón Bolívar is a public institution located in North East Bogotá. White’s objective is to analyze the current situation and the development needs for the hospital, and to develop a feasible long-term master plan for the functional and physical development.

– Hospital Simón Bolívar is one of Colombia’s most acknowledged hospitals, and we’re taking on this assignment with a very humble attitude. The essence here is our work process which focuses on involving both staff and management, says Cristiana Caira, Lead Architect at White.

The hospital has a need to grow from about 24,000 square meters to 50,000 square meters, on the same site where the hospital is today – without taking more land in use and without closing the hospital during construction. To get the best local expertise in the fields of traffic planning and structural engineering, White collaborates with Arup Colombia.

– With several trips planned to Colombia, our interdisciplinary team of Architects, Healthcare- and Sustainability Specialists will work closely with the hospital staff at Simon Bolivar to get the best out of Scandinavian and South American healthcare practices, says Andreas Ohlsson, Project Architect at White.

For Hospital Simón Bolívar, White’s goal is to achieve a long term sustainable design based on ecological, economic and social perspectives. White has extensive experience from large scale healthcare projects in Scandinavia and internationally, where sustainability is a key driver. Currently, White is working with the New Karolinska Solna University Hospital outside Stockholm in Sweden. The 320 000 square meter multi-building facility opens in 2017.

For further information:
Cristiana Caira, Lead Architect
+46 31 60 87 77

Press image:
 Hospital Simón Bolívar, Bogotá (1920x1200)

By: Matti Kataja

Published: 27 April, 2015

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White Arkitekter won the MIPIM Award 2015

12 March, 2015

The Swedish headquarters of Würth won the MIPIM Award 2015 in the Best Industrial and Logistics Development category. The landmark building designed by White was the only Swedish building shortlisted in the 2015 MIPIM Awards, which celebrate the best of international real estate.

The architect and head of White’s office in Örebro, Viktoria Busqkvist, accepted the award during the prestigious MIPIM Awards Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.

The headquarters of Würth Sverige lives up to its location as an iconic gateway building to the city of Örebro in the heart of Sweden. The building is home to a highly efficient automated warehouse system, a shop and the headquarters for office workers. The building merges the vernacular colour of Falu red which is embedded in Swedish culture with the colours of Würth. Falu red adorns many of the vernacular buildings in Sweden and seen here in a new contemporary context.

For further information:
Viktoria Buskqvist, Architect and Head of Office White Örebro
*protected email*
+46 76-767 22 11

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By: Matti Kataja

Published: 12 March, 2015

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Key position for White when the EU invests in research on digital design

4 February, 2015

White arkitekter and the KTH School of Architecture get key positions in the international research network InnoChain to develop new digital design methods. The EU has invested 4 million Euro in a consortium of six internationally recognised academic research institutions and 14 pioneering industry partners.

InnoChain (Building Innovation in the Extended Digital Chain) is an interdisciplinary network that links research institutions with professional practice from architecture, engineering, design software development and fabrication. Six European research institutions and 14 leading practices from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and the UK join forces under the Horizon 2020 programme, examining how advanced digital design tools can positively challenge future building culture, enabling more sustainable, better informed and materially smarter design solutions.

Jonas Runberger, architect, Director of White’s Dsearch development environment for research and methodology in parametric design and Adjunct Professor at KTH:
– With InnoChain, we will be able to provide young researchers and specialists in digital design the opportunity to develop new knowledge in relation to real architectural commissions. Furthermore, White will be able to contribute to the European research agenda for applied digital design. The collaboration also strengthens our own research and development, says Jonas Runberger, architect at White and Adjunct Professor at KTH.

The pioneering network has recently received a 4 million Euro grant from the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme under Horizon 2020 and will include 15 new doctoral projects within the fields of architecture and engineering. The doctoral researchers will be enrolled at the partner research institutions and InnoChain’s 14 industry partners will offer hands-on experience, exposing them to the applied reality of situated research and development across the digital chain.

The consortium also includes a programme of joint research events, including workshop-seminars, colloquia, a summer school and research courses. The project is led by Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

– The InnoChain project collates outstanding research competence in the field of digital design innovation. White provides an innovative research environment as well as an advanced architecture practise, in close relation to academic networks, says Malin Zimm, Director of Research and Development at White.

The PhD positions will soon be advertised on the project website:

For more information, contact:
Jonas Runberger, architect at White and Adjunct Professor at KTH, Director of the Dsearch development environment, a part of the Digital design & BIM area at White
+46 (0)8-402 2694

Malin Zimm, Director of Research and Development at White
+46(0)8-402 25 52

Further information on InnoChain:
Professor Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen: kd.kd1498330212ak@ne1498330212smoht1498330212.ette1498330212m1498330212

Hi-res image:
The completed interior installation for Quality Hotel Globe, produced directly from a parametric model. Photo: Thomas Zaar. Download hi-res image.

By: Matti Kataja

Published: 4 February, 2015

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Väven Cultural Centre in Umeå wins Kasper Salin Prize 2014

3 December, 2014

Väven Cultural Centre in Umeå, designed by Swedish practice White in collaboration with Norwegian practice Snøhetta, has won the Kasper Salin Prize 2014, Sweden’s most prestigious architectural prize.

The cultural centre, which opened in Umeå at the end of November, was awarded the prize at a gala ceremony in Stockholm on Friday 28 November 2014, as the city of Umeå’s year long celebrations as European City of Culture for 2014 draw to a close.

Väven (which in Swedish means ‘weave’) brings together a diverse range of cultural amenities including the city’s library, museum, conference centre, black-box theatre, and hotel – into one 25,000 sqm building which is itself woven into the city centre in a newly regenerated quayside location. The centre symbolises the city’s ambition to entwine a whole series of disciplines within a cluster of flexible spaces that could change according to the needs of its citizens.

Väven is White’s fourth project in Umeå. Previous built works include: Umeå’s Cultural Campus with its schools of architecture, design and fine arts; Bildmuseet, a centre for visual culture; and Umeå Östra Travel Centre, which serves the University Hospital and Umeå University. Creating the second largest cultural centre in Sweden has been the crown jewel of this work.

Press images of Väven.

For further information:
Maria Olsson, Lead Architect, +46 90 70 41 52

By: Ylva Nyrén

Published: 3 December, 2014

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Jacob Sahlqvist new Marketing Director at White

25 August, 2014

Jacob Sahlqvist is the new Marketing Director at White, one of Europe’s largest architecture firms and a leading actor in sustainable architecture.

With experience of physical branding in architecture and product design, Jacob Sahlqvist has had central positions at several Swedish architecture firms. At White, he will be responsible for business development and strategic marketing.

Jacob Sahlqvist holds a Master in Architecture from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and a Master in Interior Architecture from the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg.

He is the President of the Swedish Association of Architects, a professional branch organization with 12 000 members. He has been on the board since 2004 and strives for architects to be more engaged in a public debate.

– White has great resources and ambitions to grow internationally. Working at White gives me the opportunity to influence and drive development in architecture and design, says Jacob Sahlqvist.

– We are very pleased that Jacob is our new Marketing Director. He is an experienced and skilled architect with a great interest in business development and marketing. Furthermore, he has an extensive network all over Scandinavia, which is very valuable. This is an important step in our recruitment helping us to achieve our ambition to become the leading Scandinavian architecture firm on the international market, says White’s CEO Monica von Schmalensee.

Press image of Jacob Sahlqvist.

For further information:
Jacob Sahlqvist, Marketing Director at White
+46 31 160 86 66

Monica von Schmalensee, CEO at White
+46 8 402 25 84

By: Ylva Nyrén

Published: 25 August, 2014

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Malin Zimm new Director of Research and Development at White

20 August, 2014

Malin Zimm is the new Director of Research and Development at White arkitekter. She will lead the firm’s research and development department.

Research is integral to our practice; we conduct strategic development work within its own R&D department and in the White Research Lab, staff members run research based R&D projects in order to develop new knowledge.

White is also a leader in the research field of the built environment. The firm has representatives in Mistra Urban Futures, Formas’ Scientific Council and the Swedish Energy Agency Development Platform for Construction. White also funds an adjunct professorship at KTH, as well as several industry-employed doctoral students at the schools of architecture, and partakes in a number of international research and demonstration projects.

Malin Zimm joins us from the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design (formerly the Swedish Museum of Architecture), where she was a senior advisor in architecture. She has also been a researcher and lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, where she earned her doctorate in architecture (2005). Between 2007-2009, Malin was Editor-in-Chief of the architecture magazine Rum. She is still active as a freelance writer and architecture critic.

– White conducts extensive research that builds on the commitment and knowledge of its staff. It is my aim to disseminate the outcomes of this research more widely. Research is a way of looking around corners and it can place architects in new contexts, said Malin Zimm.

– We invest in research and development in order to contribute to a sustainable societal development. This investment is crucial for us as a company in order to stay ahead of the curve and produce meaningful design. At a research-intensive firm such as White, the Director of Research and Development holds a key position, said White’s CEO Monica von Schmalensee.

Press image of Malin Zimm.

For further information:
Malin Zimm, Director of Research and Development at White
+46 8 402 25 52

Monica von Schmalensee, CEO at White
+46 8 402 25 84

By: Ylva Nyrén

Published: 20 August, 2014

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Plans take shape to move the city of Kiruna

22 May, 2014

The city of Kiruna, in the north of Sweden (founded 1900, population approx 18,200), is about to undergo one of the biggest urban transformations of our time. The entire city will be moved approximately two miles east. This is a huge challenge, provoking anxiety and anticipation among the citizens of Kiruna.

It is also a unique opportunity to transform the city for the better. It requires careful strategic planning and close consultation with the entire community to harness a collective memory whilst creating a common vision for the future. Unprecedented in its ambition the project raises the question: is it possible to move a city to a new location and build anew whilst preserving the unique identity of the city and its residents?

The city of Kiruna has to move. A vast body of iron ore is being extracted at Kirunavaara on the western border of the city, causing deformation and subsidence effects which will soon reach the city centre. The state-owned mining company, LKAB, which founded the town in 1900 and is now the largest iron producer in Europe and the greatest energy consumer in Sweden, will fund the relocation of the city in order to sustain mining activity at Kirunavaara up until the year 2033.

In February 2013 White arkitekter working with Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitekter won an international competition for a 20-year masterplan of Kiruna’s phased relocation by 2033. Challenging the Municipality’s brief White is taking a much longer view and has initiated a 100-year masterplan with the aim to create a sustainable model city, a city with a diverse economy that is less dependent on the world market for iron ore.

This week LKAB and the Municipality of Kiruna announced the first phase of that masterplan, with LKAB pledging an investment of €415.5 million for the development of the new town centre. Construction of phase 1 will commence in June with estimated completion in seven years.

White’s vision for the transformation of Kiruna will take place in phases. A series of projects will allow the city to ‘crawl’ along a new urban belt to its new home. This belt, focused around a central street Malmvägen, will link central Kiruna to the nearby settlements of Lombolo, Tuolluvaara, the airport and the mine at Kirunavaara. The character of the former Kiruna will be retained through the re-use of materials from demolished buildings, and some of the culturally significant built elements, including a historic church, will be relocated unaltered. The old Kiruna will be gradually phased out and once the town becomes more vibrant further to the east, the community will relocate.

The relocation presents an unparalleled opportunity for Kiruna to transform itself into a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable city. The new development will be designed to a carbon neutral agenda. A denser more intelligent plan, equipped with meeting places and cultural amenities, will promote public life, broadening the male dominated demographic of Kiruna’s past, allowing a more diverse community to settle and thrive. Kiruna has the fastest-growing rate of small businesses in Sweden and after years of population decline it now has a huge demand for new housing. New housing
developments will be built in addition to the 3000 homes that will be relocated.

The physical relocation of the city centre and the social dimension of the process are the project’s greatest challenges. Kiruna’s climate and location present further challenges. Located 140 km/87 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, Kiruna is extremely remote. It has a sub-arctic climate where the sun never sets in summer and never rises in the winter and temperatures can plummet to -22°C. The new masterplan will utilise resources efficiently, harnessing the enormous amounts of waste heat generated by the mining activity, combined with wind turbines to generate energy and recycling infrastructure to reduce freight and waste.

The first phase of the masterplan is a new civic square, which will be home to Kiruna’s historic clock tower as well as a new travel centre (2018), facilitating connections between old and new, and a new city hall, The Crystal, designed by Henning Larsen Architects (2016). Phase 1 will also comprise a new library (2019) and swimming pool (2016) and by 2021 the Kiruna Church will be carefully demounted and reconstructed on the new site.

Extending out from the central civic square and the central axis of Malmvägen, neighbourhoods will form prongs or ‘urban fingers’ into the surrounding arctic landscape so that residents are never more than three blocks away from nature.

Central to White’s strategy are the citizens of Kiruna. A continuous dialogue between the Municipality, masterplanners and residents of Kiruna is vital to the success of the transformation. White’s methodology, conducted by in-house social anthropologists headed by Viktoria Walldin, is exploratory, to reach beyond the expected and realise desired outcomes. Engagement with the community has informed the masterplan, and an ongoing dialogue will be implemented in the following three ways: formal and informal discussions and feedback with the community; a proposed Kiruna Biennale to exhibit the vision for the city and host events to share the story; and the Kiruna Portal, an extra-large communal shop and ‘build it yourself’ facility and construction recycling depot, where remnants of the old city can be reused, recycled and retrofitted into the new.

The relocation of Kiruna has been in debate for over ten years since LKAB alerted the city to the deformation effects of the mine. The ratification of the masterplan and LKAB’s investment in phase 1 mark a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the town. It means that the citizens of Kiruna no longer have to put their lives on hold and can start planning their future.

Mikael Stenqvist, Partner at White and Lead Architect on Kiruna, said:
‘We are delighted to be making the first steps in our Kiruna plan. Kiruna will be like a walking millipede, crawling, moving slowly with a thousand feet a few kilometres east.’

Kirster Lindstedt, Partner at White and Lead Architect on Kiruna, said:
‘We are expanding the city eastward rather than creating a new satellite city. This will ensure that Kiruna remains a coherent city throughout the process.’

Viktoria Walldin, Social Anthropologist, White, said:
‘The Municipality of Kiruna wants to make this the most democratic urban transformation in the world. The city plan is for a hundred years and the conversation with the residents of Kiruna needs to be for a hundred years as well.’

Eva Ekelund, Land and Development Manager, Kiruna Municipality, said:
’I hope that the citizens of Kiruna think in 30 years’ time that we have a made a modern and attractive town which still retains the identity of the Kiruna of our past. If we can reach that then we will have succeeded in the process.’

Kiruna 4-ever, a vision for the new Kiruna, will be exhibited at the following architectural festivals this summer:
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature, the sixth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, 29 May – 24 August 2014.

14th Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition ”Time Space Existence” at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora, 7 June – 23 November 2014 (Preview 5 – 6 June 2014).

Press enquiries:
Claire Curtice Publicists
+44 (0)20 7613 1442

White arkitekter
With over 60 years’ experience in architecture and masterplanning, White arkitekter is Scandinavia’s leading architectural firm and, with around 600 employees, one of Europe’s largest. White’s expertise encompasses architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design, with an emphasis on making sustainable architecture that contributes to building a sustainable society. The practice’s commitment to creating a balanced society is reflected in its composition, which includes a team of anthropologists working collaboratively to interpret community needs to inform White’s designs.

White has had an active role in the internationally acclaimed city developments of Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm and Western Harbour in Malmö.

In 2008 White International was established to bring innovative and sustainable design to the UK, across Europe and the rest of the world. In the UK, White’s Royal Pavilion, Southend Pier has won a 2013 RIBA East Award and 2014 RICS Award. In New York City, White won the FAR ROC [For a Resilient Rockaway] international competition in October 2013. In Olso, White is designing the harbour promenade, one of the key elements of Fjordbyen, Oslo’s major urban development project of the early 21st century.

In Sweden, the practice is working on Stockholm’s New Karolinska Solna, a £1.3bn hospital, which will also be Europe’s greenest.

By: Ylva Nyrén

Published: 22 May, 2014

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