Where high in Stockholm?

What would I answer, if a person asked me: I want to build around sixteen skyscrapers in Stockholm - where shall I build them?

That could be an interesting thought to play around with. No, I will not get into details here.

Practical thoughts
First I would go through the question, and find that it is not specified whether they shall be built as a group or spread out in for example smaller groups here and there. Nothing said about costs, and nothing about construction details.

Then I would list some basic demands, a rough list that will help me when I look at various areas. Suitable ground both in strenght to keep the skyscrapers steady and in size to fit such buildings. Here I would feel free also to suggest areas where elder buildings have to be pulled down.

It is also obvious that there would be a high demand for effective traffic solutions, and on other infrastructure. The construction would take a rather long time, which have effects on the surrounding areas among others for transports.

I would also give some thoughts to the shadows the skyscrapers give, the sun reflecting in their facades, and probably more if I got the question for real.

With this in my mind, it is time to take a look at Stockholm.

Scenic thoughts
First I take the most scenic entrance to the city - by boat from the Baltic Sea side.

Stockholm, central waterfront

The city has a skyline that is rather even. Church towers and some other buildings break the line, but otherwise the highest buildings are of similar height.

Stockholm, central waterfront south side

Towards the south with its higher ground, and towards the Royal Castle, this harmony is consistent.

Stockholm, central waterfront towards Royal Castle

The skyline is broken in one area, "Slussen", with the locks to Lake Mälaren.
Stockholm, Slussen
Here the tempting opening in the skyline reveals that there are more open space behind, with more vegetation. It gives me a feeling that the city is not so heavily compact.

On the other side is one end of the large Lake Mälaren, here with Slussen to the right in the photo.
Stockholm, Lake Mälaren
The skyline has the same harmony.

Would I suggest this waterfront as a suitable site for some skyscrapers? Or near the waterfront? Maybe like Manhattan in New York, USA?
New York, part of Manhattan

No, I would not.

A skyline can change its appearance when you see it from a higher level. You may see taller buildings situated further away.

Stockholm from a southern height
Here I feel the same harmony.

How could it look with some skyscrapers here and there in the city, at distance from this waterfront?
Stockholm from a southern height

As you probably understand, I don't like the idea to erect skyscrapers in the central area of this city.

View over Stockholm from Huvudsta
Two more views over Stockholm, from a higher level. The large global Globen arena is a landmark.
View from Skansen

View over Stockholm from up on Globen
With the Skyview* I can look at the city from an even higher point. The octagonal building to the right was initially planned to be higher, but authorities didn't allow it to be higher than this. I had mixed feelings about that when it was constructed, since I understood their decision but also thought it would be interesting with a high building with that design in Stockholm. (* A cabin that climbs up to the top of Globen.)
View over Stockholm from the top of Globen

The question remains unanswered. Where in this city shall the person build the skyscrapers?

I would have to take a wider view into my thoughts.

View from hot air balloon
There are plenty of unexploit land near central Stockholm.

To live in a skyscraper near the large archipelago would give you a fantastic view, but what about the infrastructure? Like traffic.
Large ships in Stockholm archipelago

However, there is one exception to the low-profile skyline in Stockholm. It is visible at the horizon in one of the photos from Globen. There is a single skyscraper in Kista, north of Stockholm city.
Single skyscraper in northern Stockholm
Kista, an area for living and working, is close to the highway between Stockholm and Arlanda Airport. There are commuter traffic with buses, subway and also local trains nearby.

Why not build all the new skyscrapers (around sixteen in this scenario) in that area?
Paris, La Defence area
There are many buildings around and near the tower, but there are areas nearby that could be used.

To create a skyscraper park in a new area does not interfere so much with city functions during the construction period. The area can be built from the ground with suitable infrastructure, both for early planned buildings and possible later additions.

With interesting architecture, a mix of office and dwelling houses, green parks and playgrounds, art decorations, restaurants et cetera the area can be an attraction in itself. And the overall low harmonic city skyline will not be interrupted by single or small groups of skyscrapers here and there.

These photos show the area La Defence in Paris.
Paris, La Defence area
The playful architecture makes it a pleasure just to walk around in the area.
Paris, La Defence area

Yes, this is what I would suggest if I get the question:
I want to build around sixteen skyscrapers in Stockholm - where shall I build them?

Paris, La Defence area


8 July 2010   AG Informice www.granfoss.se/aginformice   Arne Granfoss ©