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The School of Architecture at Umeå University is the first architectural training institution to start up in Sweden since 1964. The building has been designed to stand up straight, tolerating being looked at and spoken about – a proud and beautiful box filled with the foundations for a better future.

The building is unmistakably Nordic with its stark elegance and rustic durability. Its location just south of the Arctic Circle is accentuated on the outside by an untreated timber façade. The interior is characterised by openness and a robust environment, in which an almost industrial impression is created by the ceiling height and materials creating what its architects call a workshop for the architects of the future.

The open design with the surprise of its atrium, therefore responds well to modern training courses in creative subjects. There are innumerable meeting places; the flow between the various departments is wide open; the interior is light and the view over the river never disappoints.

The drafting rooms are arranged along the outer edges of the building, in a rhythmic module of columns and beams, all cohering in one continuous space. The structure is rational and simple, while the building’s interior is also playful in its landscape of stairways and meeting rooms. The contrast between the privacy of the drafting rooms and the rich dynamics of the centre is clear.

Training at the new School of Architecture has an artistic foundation, with an active, intimate interplay with its creative neighbours as well as the surrounding community.

Umeå School of Architecture

  • Client: Balticgruppen Design AB
  • Project Start/End: 2009-2011
  • Completed: 2011
  • City: Umeå
  • Photographer/Illustrator: Åke E:son Lindman


  • Lennart Sjögren
  • Marianne Rutberg
  • Johanna Olsson
  • Mirja Westling
  • Jens Lindh
  • Albin Holmgren
  • Gustav Jarlöv
  • Mattias Nordström

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