Architect: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Jan Ammundsen and Bo Boje Larsen, 3XN (Denmark)
Result: Not selected
As an admired and global symbol of knowledge excellence, the new Nobel Center in Stockholm reaches outwards to the World in an open and inviting manner. Just as a butterfly’s gentle movements can have an impact on our planet, the celebrations that will take place in this building will have effects throughout our society. The new home of the Nobel Prize Ceremony is an expression of movement; and reflects the prestige of the grand occasion.
More than a Building
Folding itself upwards, the Nobel Center can be interpreted as land-art. It becomes more than a building in the way that it encourages interaction through its permeability towards the waterfront promenade; extending the public realm into the building. Its rooftop landscape with remarkable views of the harbour invite people to experience Stockholm in an entirely unique way; and the Nobel Center’s two grand staircases provide areas for public enjoyment on the lower levels of the building bringing people closer to the water and the park. It engages in a dialogue with the National Museum, where the two act as anchors for the area, defining a green park zone between them; thus giving the whole site of Blasieholmsudden additional recreational qualities.
The Nobel Center is a modern building, but fits into the surroundings through its careful attention to elements such as height, volume and materiality. In particular, the building’s façade, pavements and texture work to establish a connection to the city’s warm palette of colour and materiality. Thus, the Nobel Center respects the historical context in a new interpretation, while reinforcing the traditions of Stockholm. This is further emphasized through the retention of the historical customs building.
Landscape to Encourage Recreation in Blasieholmsudden
The landscape strategy for the Nobel Center provides a range of different spaces and plazas that serve as a dialogue between the buildings, and connect the Blasieholmsudden peninsula with both the City and water. One of the key elements has been to convert what has been considered the backside of the park to an inviting central ‘green park zone’ between the buildings. This contains a green plaza capturing the early evening sun, drawing people towards it throughout the day, after work or before an event. The landscape also creates a strong connection with the waterfront both by encouraging a circulation around Blasieholmsudden, and a connection to the water through three waterfront plazas; at the foyer entrance, directly to the water, and on the café side. Extending the Green Park Zone across the promenade and into the water, a floating island has been incorporated into the design to stand as a symbol of the Nobel Center. Together these elements work to show the Nobel Center as a good Neighbour to the City.
Permeability between the Public Realm and the Nobel Center
Upon approach to the Nobel Center, the water, park and public realm all seem to converge into the Foyer and Entrance Hall with a permeability that is enhanced by several entrances, dramatic views and a blurred line between the indoors and outdoors. Encouraging public circulation, the Nobel Center is a democratic building welcoming all in an uplifting gesture, drawing people inwards and making them feel welcome. The auditorium, home of the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is unique in its functionality. With excellent sightlines from all seats, and perfect acoustics, the room also has a playful and wavelike expression that creates a very special mood, allowing natural daylight in for daytime events.
A Flexible Functional Program
Flexibility is the key feature of the Exhibition area; able to take on any form required. Within the two floors of the Exhibition space, the modular flooring allows openings in the floor above so that the two exhibition floors can be combined together in any configuration for state of the art displays, with heights of up to 8 meters clear. The design provides areas along the façade for special events, gatherings or for visitors to enjoy the views outwards along the façade. In addition, the circulation strategy is in one direction to provide for less crowds and easier wayfinding. Areas such as Conference and Meeting Facilities have been designed to be Stockholm’s most prestigious meeting venues, with impressive views to the Harbour or into the Auditorium. Office space for staff and researchers is designed in a flexible manner, with a range of configurations possible. The Café is located on the sunny side of the building, spilling out into an intimate plaza along the waterfront; while the fine dining restaurant is located on the rooftop landscape, with both indoor and outdoor seating and its own separate kitchen giving it full potential to be a gastronomic destination in its own right.
Pictures: Copyright Nobelhuset AB