From bustler: BIG continues their winning spree this time entering and (in my opinion) mastering the controversial territory of ‘Landscape Urbanism’ in a way that is fresh and intersects with both infrastructural and cultural aspects of the sites environment as well as being a true interdisciplinary project with collaboration from all parties in the final product: I particularly like the way technical daring and technological innovation ( the sphere) combine with dramatic sculptural land-art and are shown off by digital representation, physical models and diagrams explain the intentions – no doubt contributing to their being selected as the winner:
“The Energy Valley is a cross-over between urbanism, landscape, architecture, art and infrastructure into a new neighborhood of Stockholm. Harnessing the momentum of the massive investment in tunnels and highways and putting the excess excavation to use as a man-made valley, we create an interdisciplinary hybrid of logistic, economic, environmental and social infrastructure.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG.The planned Hjulsta Intersection 15 km north of Stockholm where two European highways, the E18 and E4 Bypasses, converge into a three level intersection, amounts to the largest infrastructure project in Sweden, required due to the growth and development of the capital.
The Stockholmsporten competition seeks to define the Hjulsta intersection through sculpting the surrounding landscape and framing the automotive scale of the intersection. Additionally the proposal connects the adjacent Järvafäl tet recreation area through a continuous promenade to the distinctive natural and heritage-laden environment and adds new qualities to the site.
”The magnificent bowl shape of this proposal is an ingenious solution which interacts with the geometry of the intersection while at the same time creating an urban context linking together the different areas surrounding the site. Possibilities of adding qualities and activities to the place which will benefit residents are very elegantly added.” Jury Report, Stockholmsporten.
Prior to this competition, the intersecting roads would create physical and visual barriers between the surrounding neighborhoods and divide them into four areas totaling 580,000 m2. BIG’s proposal, the Energy Valley, re-connects these in an un-hierarchical and democratic way through a continuous circular bike and pedestrian loop aligned with public buildings and functions, including a shopping- and sports centre, a hammam and a mosque which will attract visitors from Stockholm and its suburbs.
By introducing natural environments of differing characters within the loop, an Energy Valley in the center turns into a pie shaped park of pine-and oak forests, wetlands, grass lawns and hilly terrain which create a diverse experience when moving in or around the landscape. The surrounding neighborhoods have room to grow, thus expanding infrastructure and developments up to the ridge of the new valley.
The site has a great potential in serving as a new entryway into Stockholm. This point is turned into a reflective, self-sustaining hovering sphere mirroring Stockholm as it is, new and old, creating a 180 degree view of the area for the drivers on their way in or out of the city. 30% of the sphere’s surface is covered with Photovoltaic film that faces the sun and produces enough energy to keep it floating while supplying 235 houses in the neighborhood with electricity. The Stockholm Sphere is an ever changing icon that marks an entry point to the city and reflects the passing seasons and the evolving urban life beneath it.
“Traditionally highways split adjacent areas into disconnected neighborhoods – a good side and a bad side. Our biggest challenge was how to create the maximum benefit by connecting the four parts cut by the intersecting highways. The intersection is thus tamed by the connecting link that circumscribes it.” Jakob Lange, Partner-in-Charge, Stockholmsporten, BIG.
Program: Master plan, Landscape
Type: Prequalified Competition
Size: 580,000 m2
Client: City of Stockholm, Swedish Transport Administration
Collaborators: Grontmij, Spacescape
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Status: 1st prize / In progress
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
Project Leader: Hanna Johansson
Team: Camille Crepin, Barbora Srpkova, Alessio Valmori, Xiao Xuan Lu, Krista Meskanen, Long Zuo
Veronika Borg, Albin Ahlquist, Anders Falk , Mats Mauritzson, Nils-Göran Nilsson, Christer Johansson, Bengt Ridell
Alexander Ståhle, Tobias Nordström
See below for concept diagrams. All images courtesy of BIG.