Construction work is underway in Stockhlom at the site of the city’s new Slussen masterplan. developed by Foster + Partners, with C.F. Møller as local architects, the project forms one of the largest urban transformation projects in Sweden. Working in collaboration with city authorities, the SEK 12 billion ($1.4 billion USD) scheme seeks to create a dynamic urban quarter that responds to its historic context.
Constructed in 1642, ‘Slussen’ is the lock that separates the sea from the fresh water of Lake Mälaren. In 1935 the lock was covered by a concrete road structure that is now dangerously eroded. The new masterplan offers an opportunity to readdress balance between road vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists while enhancing the public realm.
Foster + Partners’ design attempts to preserve the city’s character, ensuring the protection of existing views and nightlines. A series of new public spaces — an accessible quayside, pedestrian, and cycle routes — enhance connectivity between Södermalm and the 18th century buildings of the old town — Gamla Stan. The plan establishes pedestrian connections between these two districts that have long been separated by roads and concrete passages. The scheme also expands the existing infrastructure to minimize the threat of flooding by expanding the lock’s capacity. A central feature of new Slussen is the ‘Water Plaza’, a pedestrianised public space animated with restaurants, cafés, and cultural amenities.
On the Södermalm side, the area around the existing city museum is extended out over the new below-ground transport interchange to create a series of additional communal zones. A range of mixed-use buildings are brought together, enhanced by a new street and pedestrian bridge. A dedicated cycle crossing is also planned as part of the site’s future development. The project currently has a targeted completion date of 2020.
‘The city of Stockholm has truly embraced a wonderful opportunity to re-establish and reinforce the vital link between Stockholm’s central islands of Södermalm and the heritage site of Gamla Stan, rehabilitating the historic fabric of the city while creating a lively new urban destination for all,’ says Spencer De Grey, head of design at Foster + Partners. ‘This is a once in a life time undertaking in a uniquely significant and spectacular setting. We are honoured and very proud to be a part of this incredible and visionary project.’