Stockholm Kungsträdgården

This design research considers the position of the architectural discipline in shaping what will become the post recession identity of capitalist architecture. It does so with the design of a Global Economy and Trade Center at a location that is marked in many ways by the rise of capitalism; Stockholm Kungsträdgården. The inquiry has confronted me with the way in which architecture is subjected to and dependent on forces outside of the disciplinary bubble. It has been of exceptional value for my conception of the position of architecture in society and its abilities as well as impotence to live up to the expectations that result from that position.

Date August 2015 • Client Gratudation Project • Filed under Mixed use

  • 1642
  • 1825
  • 1866
  • 2015

Historical Reconstruction

The history of Kungsträdgården is marked by the transition from economical control by an absolute monarch into a Constitutional Monarchy and Laissez Faire Capitalism. Originally functioning as cabbage garden for the palace, the flourishing of the Swedish kingdom led the King to transform Kungsträdgården into a pleasure garden in 1642. Since then, societal pressure forced the king to gradually open up the gardens to the public; first to the bourgeoisie in 1825 and in 1866 to all levels of society. In return, the king paved part of the garden and placed a statue of himself at its center. With the rise of modern- and laissez faire capitalism, the public park required less garden and more paved terrain for markets and events. Today, little of its historic majestic image remains and its only purpose is hosting as many public events as possible.

Urban Setting

Standing on the border between the city and Kungsträdgården, the atmosphere at the north facade is substantially different from the one on the southern. The underpass of the building thus acts similar to the old portal of the royal pleasure gardens. This results in a objective; visible from the far corners of Kungsträdgården the building becomes a follie, while at the other side its shape is an integrated part of the historical urban tissue.