Winning proposal for Forumtorget

By transforming one of Uppsala’s more anonymous spaces into a dynamic living space, White took victory in the architectural competition concerning a new design for Forumtorget. The winning proposal centres around an orange super-sofa which invites meetings and relaxation right at the heart of the city’s shopping centre.

Uppsala city centre is being upgraded on an ongoing basis, to retain its power of attraction. A string of pearls is being developed in the form of significant spaces and distinctive streets within the city centre. Four teams were selected for the competition on Forumtorget and the adjacent Smedsgränd lane, and White emerged victorious with its ”SOfFtA” proposal.

As the name makes clear, the proposal is very playful and, at the same time and as requested, brings together and strengthens the identity of the square – perhaps mainly in comparison with the huge, recently face-lifted Åhléns department store with its powerful façade. Or in the words of the competition jury itself:

“A robust and well functioning proposal with a clear concept that is judged to fit into an increasingly self-confident Uppsala in which historic beauty and cultural inheritance exist in a harmonious relationship with a new era. Forumtorget becomes a square to move across as well as an attractive new meeting place for everyone.”

“Our vision is for the Forumtorget of the future to be one of Uppsala’s most attractive meeting places. We perceive it as a new obvious meeting place in the city,” says Gustav Jarlöv, Lead Architect for the proposal which is based on three strong design elements: subdued paving, a powerful sofa and a generous plateau.

In the square, you can forget shopping, take a break from shopping or gather your strength for more shopping. The paving, sofa and plateau form pawns in the most fundamental board game being played out on this square – seeing and being seen. They can all be used for spontaneous performances as well as more formally arranged meetings – political speeches, dancing exhibitions, displays. However, they also function as places of respite and as seating for spectators.

• The sofa offers varied seating areas with different heights and designs. The sofa’s interpretation can be varied over the year, using changes in lighting and featured plants. There is an opportunity for flexibility in its use, for different purposes and requirements.
• The plateau is a sculpture, a seating area and a place for playing. It also contains an integral water feature, which is a positive, soft element within this city environment.
• The paving is a ground covering that fits in well with the paving in the city round about, yet having its own strong identity.
“The sofa is probably the component that will be talked about most,” Gustav Jarlöv believes. “In principle, from a pure design perspective, it can be as long as you like. It is going to be extremely exciting to be involved in developing this low-lying landmark in Uppsala.”

For further information:
Gustav Jarlöv
+46 (0)18 18 38 16
For pictures: See “download”. Please indicate illustration: White