Frequently Asked Questions

Activities

Ever since the Nobel Foundation was established in 1900, there have been plans for a Nobel Prize building in Stockholm. What we are creating with the Nobel Center is finally the home where we can bring together, build up and develop public activities that take advantage of the fantastic opportunities provided by the Nobel Prize to stimulate knowledge and inspire people to work towards a better world.

We envision a building seething with activity both during the daytime and evenings. It will create a new platform for exhibitions, scientific seminars, lectures and discussions about current topics and events of various kinds.

The Nobel Prize has a unique position in the world and an appeal that Stockholm and Sweden can benefit significantly more from. We are confident that the Nobel Center will be of major importance to the Swedish educational system, the research and business communities, for us Stockholm residents and for Stockholm as a destination for visitors.

We will continuously organise programmes to gather ideas about the activities of the Nobel Center. It will be important to us to hear people’s thoughts and expectations about the Center throughout the process. Anyone can also contact us directly by sending an e-mail to nobelcenter(at)nobel.se.

Yes. The intention is that the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony will be held at the Nobel Center. The formal decision will be made at a later date.

 

Currently there are no plans to move the Nobel Banquet (i.e. the dinner following at the Prize Award Ceremony) from the Stockholm City Hall.

The Nobel Center will have ample space for exhibitions and rooms for debates, lectures, performances and other activities. School classes will be able to take part in both discussions and experiments. There will also be a shop, restaurant and café. Under one roof, we will create a meeting place for everyone who wants to think innovatively, be inspired and make our world greater and hopefully better. It will be a place for ideas and optimism in the heart of Stockholm. Young and old – there will be something for everyone at the Nobel Center.

Design

Prior to the architectural competition, we made an estimate of the space needed to accommodate the planned activities and implement our vision of the Nobel Center. After the City of Stockholm held public consultations during the spring of 2015, the height of the building was lowered by about one floor and its length was shortened by about 4.5 metres.

The selection of architects took place through a careful process in which over 140 architectural offices worldwide were considered by a specially appointed evaluation committee. In the first stage, we were keen to achieve large geographic diversity and breadth in our selection. Then twelve architectural offices were selected and eleven of these submitted proposals on how the Nobel Center can be designed. In November 2013 the jury chose three proposals whose authors were asked to continue to the second stage of the competition, before finally selecting David Chipperfield Architects Berlin as the winner in April 2014.

 

David Chipperfield and Christoph Felger at David Chipperfield Architects Berlin were announced as winners in an international competition in April 2014. See the winning proposal here.

The winning proposal served as the basis for a new local plan for the Nobel Center on the Blasieholem peninsula. Among other things, the local plan establishes the exact location of the building and its maximum size.

The City of Stockholm held consultations on this local plan during the spring of 2015. The proposal was further refined and a second consultation was held during the autumn of 2015.

In March 2016 the Stockholm City Planning Committee approved the local plan for the Nobel Center. The City Council’s adoption of the plan is preliminarily scheduled to occur during the first half of 2016. Further detailed planning of the inside and outside of the building will now follow before an application for a building permit is submitted.

 

Dialogue and Process

It is be important to us to hear the thoughts and expectations of the general public about the Nobel Center. The project is thus be characterised by a desire for the most transparent possible process. During construction, we intend to have an “open building site” and we will continuously organise various programmes aimed at gathering ideas about the activities of the Nobel Center.

During the architectural competition, the proposals were available on the Internet and at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. Presentations of the architects and their proposals were also organised by the Stockholm Association of Architects and others.

The winning proposal from the architectural competition served as the basis for a local planning process, including consultations and exhibitions under City auspices during the spring of 2015 and a second consultation period during the autumn of 2015. During this period, the County Administrative Board, interested parties, residents, public authorities and others had an opportunity to present their comments of the proposal. A revision of the proposal took place between the spring and autumn consultation periods.

Both we and the City of Stockholm have endeavoured to maintain openness and dialogue throughout the local planning process.

 

During the planning consultation period, which was held during spring 2015, the general public could submit comments about the local plan to the City of Stockholm. A second consultation period was held during autumn 2015.

We will continuously organise programmes to gather ideas about the activities of the Nobel Center. It will be important to us to hear people’s thoughts and expectations about the Center throughout the process. Anyone can also contact us directly by sending an e-mail to nobelcenter(at)nobel.se.

Financing

The ambition is to finance the building through private donations. Using 2012 prices (September 2012), we estimated a budget of SEK 1.2 billion Swedish kronor. Through a donation of SEK 800 million from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, we secured most of the financing in 2013. Aside from this initial donation, SEK 200 million in additional funds for the project have been pledged from several donors and partners. This is a unique project both for Stockholm and Sweden, and we thus expect to bring in additional donors during the project period.

The Swedish government has endorsed the project and promised operating grants after the Center has opened. Otherwise the aim is to finance the future activities of the Center using its own revenues from such sources as entrance fees, the shop and restaurant, conferences as well as donations and grants from partner organisations. In addition, the City of Stockholm will provide operating grants.

Neither the construction of the Nobel Center nor its future activities will be funded using the proceeds from the fortune left behind by Alfred Nobel- As previously, these proceeds will only be used to fund the Nobel Prize.

General questions

Ever since the Nobel Foundation was established in 1900, there have been plans for a Nobel Prize building in Stockholm. What we are creating with the Nobel Center is finally the home where we can bring together, build up and develop public activities that take advantage of the fantastic opportunities provided by the Nobel Prize to stimulate knowledge and inspire people to work towards a better world.

We envision a building seething with activity both during the daytime and evenings. It will create a new platform for exhibitions, scientific seminars, lectures and discussions about current topics and events of various kinds.

The Nobel Prize has a unique position in the world and an appeal that Stockholm and Sweden can benefit significantly more from. We are confident that the Nobel Center will be of major importance to the Swedish educational system, the research and business communities, for us Stockholm residents and for Stockholm as a destination for visitors.

It is be important to us to hear the thoughts and expectations of the general public about the Nobel Center. The project is thus be characterised by a desire for the most transparent possible process. During construction, we intend to have an “open building site” and we will continuously organise various programmes aimed at gathering ideas about the activities of the Nobel Center.

During the architectural competition, the proposals were available on the Internet and at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. Presentations of the architects and their proposals were also organised by the Stockholm Association of Architects and others.

The winning proposal from the architectural competition served as the basis for a local planning process, including consultations and exhibitions under City auspices during the spring of 2015 and a second consultation period during the autumn of 2015. During this period, the County Administrative Board, interested parties, residents, public authorities and others had an opportunity to present their comments of the proposal. A revision of the proposal took place between the spring and autumn consultation periods.

Both we and the City of Stockholm have endeavoured to maintain openness and dialogue throughout the local planning process.

 

Exactly as with other attractions in central Stockholm, the best way to visit the Nobel Center will be on foot or by bus, metro or boat.
Studies of the traffic situation have examined the consequences of the project and presented proposals to deal with them. Today many visitors to the Blaiseholmen peninsula and the adjacent isle of Skeppsholmen already arrive on public transport. The assumption is that the same will be true of visitors to the Nobel Center.

The underground car park previously proposed below the Nobel Center has been removed from the local plan. This will spare the Blasieholmen peninsula from additional automobile traffic. Both we and the City of Stockholm would instead like to prioritise pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as public transport, which will be necessary given the limited area.

The local plan will allow the quay along the Blasieholmen peninsula to be used by vessels providing sightseeing and commuter services to the area. This will also potentially reduce the need for both automobile and other public transport.

The Nobel Center will have ample space for exhibitions and rooms for debates, lectures, performances and other activities. School classes will be able to take part in both discussions and experiments. There will also be a shop, restaurant and café. Under one roof, we will create a meeting place for everyone who wants to think innovatively, be inspired and make our world greater and hopefully better. It will be a place for ideas and optimism in the heart of Stockholm. Young and old – there will be something for everyone at the Nobel Center.

Site and existing environment

The question of a suitable location for a Nobel Center has been discussed for many years. Research has been conducted to study a number of locations for the Center. Examples of locations that were studied by the Nobel Foundation and the City of Stockholm earlier are Norra Djurgårdsstaden (a harbour district north of Djurgården), Slussen (just south of the Old Town) and Hagastaden (on Stockholm’s northern border with Solna).

No, the site on which the Nobel Center will be built is located outside the Museum Park, which belongs to the National Museum of Fine Arts (Nationalmuseum).

The question of a suitable location for a Nobel Center has been discussed for many years. Research has been conducted to study a number of locations for the Center. Examples of locations that have been studied earlier are Norra Djurgårdsstaden (a harbour district north of Djurgården), Slussen (just south of the Old Town) and Hagastaden (on Stockholm’s northern border with Solna).

The Nobel Center will be one of Stockholm’s most attractive destinations. A central location in Stockholm with good transport connections is thus essential to its activities.

After the Nobel Foundation and the City of Stockholm had made a joint effort to identify suitable locations for the Nobel Center, the City offered a site on the Blasieholmen peninsula on Nybroviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea, and behind the Nationalmuseum (National Museum of Fine Arts) building. The site has been reserved by the City for many years for just such a building as the Nobel Center that will draw a large number of visitors. Blasieholmen can easily be reached on foot and by metro, boat or bus.

In line with the City’s master plan and Vision 2030, the Nobel Center – with its broad public activities – will enhance the value of this location and make it more accessible for Stockholm residents and for visitors from faraway places. The pearl-band of cultural institutions extending from central Stockholm to the isle of Skeppsholmen will gain an important addition. Skeppsholmen’s connection to Nybroplan square will become stronger, and the waterfront promenade between these two locations will be revitalised.

In the architectural competition, the jury made the assessment that the best comprehensive solution for this location is achieved by placing the Nobel Center in the north-west corner of the site, close to the buildings on Hovslagargatan street. In this way, the Nationalmuseum building is not obscured and it is possible to preserve the view through the park towards the Royal Palace. It makes the quay available and provides better potential for a more vibrant harbour environment than today. It also allows the creation of an attractive park to the south-east that both Stockholm residents and visitors can really enjoy.

The City of Stockholm has studied the potential for moving the Customs House and the two warehouse buildings to other locations within its borders. For the Customs House, no possible alternative has been found that would enable the preservation of the building’s architectural heritage value combined with the history of the new location. Nor have the property owners who have been asked shown an interest in receiving the Customs House. Based on these circumstances, the City proposes that the Customs House be demolished.
The Royal Djurgården Administration has shown an interest in studying whether it is possible to move one or both warehouses to the nearby isle of Beckholmen. The City is continuing to pursue a discussion about this possibility.

In the extensive architectural competition, that took place during a year, the placement of buildings on the site and their relation to the existing environment – especially its cultural heritage – were highly important in the evaluation process. Among the supporting documents for the work of the architects was a comprehensive competition brief, in which the cultural heritage aspects were thus addressed in great detail (link to PDF).

The implementation of the project will lead to changes in the existing environment, but we are convinced that the Nobel Center – with its public activities – will add new qualities to this location that can compensate for any changes.

The location of the proposed Nobel Center building on the site will make the quay fully accessible and allow better potential for lively activity on the waterfront, ensuring that vessels can continue to moor along the quay. Maritime transport services will enjoy priority. The building’s location on the site will not affect the use of the quay by vessels for mooring on summer nights or during the winter.

We have a good dialogue with the City, the Ports of Stockholm and the Waxholmsbolaget ferryboat company, which are working jointly to resolve issues related to maritime services in Blasieholmen in the best possible way.

The objective is to provide vessels with well-functioning, efficient infrastructure (berths for ferries and boats) to meet the need for continued good maritime services in the area.

The architectural competition

A unanimous competition jury selected David Chipperfield’s and Christoph Felger’s slender brass-clad building “Nobelhuset” as the winner in the Nobel Center architectural competition. Find the proposal here.

A comprehensive competition brief described the task in the architectural competition. Read more here.

The selection of architects took place through a careful process in which over 140 architectural offices worldwide were considered by a specially appointed evaluation committee. In the first stage, we were keen to achieve large geographic diversity and breadth in our selection. Then twelve architectural offices were selected and eleven of these submitted proposals on how the Nobel Center can be designed. In November 2013 the jury chose three proposals whose authors were asked to continue to the second stage of the competition, before finally selecting David Chipperfield Architects Berlin as the winner in April 2014.

 

A specially appointed evaluation committee was assigned to review all the expressions of interest that had been submitted, based on the following criteria:

  • Design talent
  • Knowledge and experience of working in an older urban environment where the natural setting and the historical context must be considered
  • Practical ability to develop the project in close collaboration with the client over a long planning process

Eleven entries were submitted at stage one of the competition. You can find them here.

The three proposals that were then selected for refinement in stage two of the competition can be viewed here.

The architectural competition is designed as an invitational competition with two stages. Eleven entrants have been selected by means of a pre-selection process. Only these entrants have the right to participate in the competition.

Timetable

According to the preliminary timetable the Nobel Center can be ready for inauguration in 2020.

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