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The city must move because the continuous extraction of iron ore on the western border of the city (which began over 100 years ago) has led to deformation and subsidence effects which will soon reach the city centre. White is masterplanning the relocation of the city to a new location 3 kilometres to the east by 2033, as one part of a much
longer-term 100-year strategy.

Moving the city is a huge challenge, and one that provokes both anxiety and anticipation among the citizens of Kiruna. As well as its function as a workspace, the new studio will act as a community centre, welcoming the public for informal coffee mornings, hosting events and exhibitions.

The new office occupies a vacant store in Kiruna’s current city centre. Furniture and other materials have been collated from the city and reused to construct a studio interior imbued with a local identity.

A key strategy in the masterplan for the new Kiruna is an ambition to recycle, rebuild and reclaim building materials from the former city in a ‘build it yourself’ facility called the Portal. The interior of ‘An Architecture Office’ emulates this by showcasing upcycling and the reuse of materials. As well as reducing material consumption, this allows for the preservation of artefacts from the city that would have otherwise been lost and which embody both the culture and identity of Kiruna. The assemblage of objects that make up the interior span styles and decades; their historical legacy intrinsically links the studio with the emerging character of the new city. Objects that have been locally sourced or donated by residents, including furniture and housewares, have been retrofitted with new elements to alter or improve their functionality. This hands-on approach of the studio’s interior design allows it to evolve over time to accommodate its users’ needs.

Ett Arkitekt Kontor

  • Client: White
  • Project Start/End: 2014-2015
  • Completed: 2015
  • City: Kiruna
  • Photographer/Illustrator: Fredrik Sweger

Team

  • Martin Johnson
  • Tomas Landfeldt

Building Type

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