An innovative take on historical farming: White Arkitekter, finalist in Nordic Built Challenge

5 February, 2016

“The Eyes of Runavik” is a landmark which explores historical modes of farming and settlement in an innovative way, and suits the steep terrains and the climatic conditions of Runavik in the Faroe Islands. A collaborative effort between White Arkitekter and the Norwegian engineering company DIFK/Florian Kosch, the project stands as one of four finalists of the prestigious Nordic Built Challenge.

“The Eyes of Runavik” aims to establish a harmony between nature and man-made, with low impact and high standards of economic, social and environmental sustainability. It draws inspiration from traditional Faroese agriculture, where the outfield, “hagi”, is used for summer grazing, whereas the cultivated land, “bøur”, is generally used for growing crops. Each building ring – or “eye” – can be seen as a settlement in itself, with the outfield as the landscape all around, and the infield as the cultivated microclimate in the centre.

“It’s an innovative landmark building typology adapting to the terrains in Runavik and respecting the local climatic conditions and resources. The interior garden shelters from the harsh Faroese winds, while the area surrounding individual homes remains an unspoiled wilderness”, says Mikkel Thams Olsen, architect at White’s office in Copenhagen. “To adjust to the steep terrain, individual building rings are created; each “eye” possesses a unique character while every home has a view over the fjord”.

 White’s team will now move into the design development phase as the project enters the competition’s second phase.

 “Nordic Built Challenge is an important competition for us. We’re happy to pool resources and expertise from White’s offices in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, bringing the strongest skills to the table. We have also been collaborating with a Norwegian engineer familiar with projects sited on this challenging terrain”, says Morten Vedelsbøl, creative director at White.

The proposal is a direct composition of Faroese context and uses local resources, such as basalt rock, water, wind, geothermal heat, vegetation and sheep wool. The aim is to make the buildings and the roads highly sustainable and harmonious with local architecture and the surrounding nature.

Contact and photos:  kd.et1508784231ihw@s1508784231maht.1508784231lekki1508784231m1508784231, +45 601 50 660

About Nordic Built:
Nordic Built is initiated by the Nordic Ministers for Trade and Industry. It combines key Nordic strengths, provides attractive and effective arenas for collaboration and realises concrete projects that demonstrate world-class scalable solutions.

By: Ann Nilsson

Published: 5 February, 2016

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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

Download high res image

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.kd1508784231ak@ne1508784231smoht1508784231.ette1508784231m1508784231

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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