A unanimous competition jury selected David Chipperfield’s and Christoph Felger’s slender brass shimmering building as the winner in the Nobel Center architectural competition in April 2014. The winning proposal served as the basis for a new local plan on which the City of Stockholm held two public consultations before approving it in April 2016. The building has been significantly reduced in height and length, but the original appearance of the building is maintained. Further programming and design developments are ongoing.
The building has an elegant, timeless and attractive external appearance, which can symbolise Nobel-related activities in a persuasive way. At the same time, it has a lightness and openness that are appealing. The building also features a good, clear floor structure that can allow future changes. The slim shape and moderate footprint of the building create good opportunities for pleasant outdoor settings on all sides of the building.
Next to the Nobel Center, a new public park will be created south-east of the building. During the summer months, it will be possible to open up the façade and let the Nobel Center café move partly outdoors. Here the adjacent National Museum and the Nobel Center will meet. Visitors to Stockholm from faraway places will be able to spend a day combining a look at Swedish art and design with an opportunity to learn more about the Nobel Prize. Boats will dock along the quay, and the whole peninsula will become safer and more accessible to Stockholm residents. The façade of the Nobel Center will be decorated with glass, natural stone and brass-coloured vertical stainless steel fins. Image: www.tmrw.se / © Nobelhuset AB. Architecture: David Chipperfield Architects.
We have created an open entrance level that draws visitors into the building's activities and experiences. They will be able to see straight through the building, from the Hovslagargatan street side out towards the park and the new outdoor café. Exhibitions, an information counter, a café and a museum shop will be located here. The entrance hall is where visitors will begin to learn more about the courage, creativity and perseverance of the Nobel Laureates. Image: www.tmrw.se / © Nobelhuset AB. Architecture: David Chipperfield Architects.
The beautiful site is located on the Blasieholmen peninsula, at Nybroviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea in the heart of Stockholm.
David Chipperfield describes the exposed location next to the National Museum almost like a stage for the city, where manifold views to the city, but also manifold views from the city into the site are possible. The site is both part and not part of the city fabric. In a figurative sense this interrelation of both looking in and out or being part as well as not being part reflects notions of the essence of science and literature as well as the Nobel idea and as such form a dialectic basis for the approach of the conceptual development.
The architects’ concept for the new Nobel Center comprises four major ideas:
- Nobel House – The placement of the new building as a freestanding ‘solitaire’ is fundamental to the urban and architectural considerations reflecting the notion of a ‘house’ as a civic building. In this way the identity of the new institution is established tying in harmoniously with the immediate urban context on Blasieholmen.
- Nobel Auditorium – The auditorium is placed high up in the new building, with large panoramic windows allowing for dramatic views over the city. In this way the auditorium establishes a public presence crowning the building not merely by architectural form but by the experience of human interaction.
- Public place – The creation of a large public space, garden or park in the southern area of the site – exploiting the openness of the site in relation to its visibility and the course of the sun connecting the eastern and western waterfronts of Blasieholmen and thereby giving a major new public realm to the citizens of Stockholm.
- Nobel Path – The introduction of a public path through the building starting from an open public ground floor connecting as well as organising all programmatic functions and thereby establishing what the Nobel House is about – a dynamic place of encounter, exploration, representation and inspiration.
The auditorium has been designed to take full advantage of the fantastic views of Stockholm that the site offers: for example looking across Nybroviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea, towards elegant Strandvägen boulevard. The auditorium will be linked together with the city, which will both be invited inside and serve as a backdrop to the stage – thereby tying the Nobel Prize together with Stockholm. It will serve as a year-round venue for performances and scientific seminars, open lectures and conversations with Nobel Laureates and other great thinkers. It will bring together researchers, students, business and political leaders and interested Stockholm residents. From the auditorium, it will be easy to continue to the public restaurant level, located at the very top of the building. Image: www.tmrw.se / © Nobelhuset AB. Architecture: David Chipperfield Architects.
Several levels at the Nobel Center will house both temporary thematic exhibitions and permanent exhibitions about the Nobel Prize, the Laureates and Alfred Nobel. One innovation in the building will be its free "vertical exhibitions" that will provide a consistent theme along the opened-up stairwells, linking together the different levels and their activities. Here visitors from near and far will rub shoulders with Stockholm residents who are out for a stroll in their beautiful city. The exhibitions will also serve as the focus of programmes designed for school classes. The objective is for all children in Sweden to visit the Nobel Center at some time during their school years. Image: www.tmrw.se / © Nobelhuset AB. Architecture: David Chipperfield Architects.