14 November 2008

Foster + Partners and Berg Arkitektkontors proposal for Slussen ties a knot between Södermalm and Gamla stan. For so long separated by a maze of roads, there is a wonderful opportunity to reinforce the links between the two with a new dramatic pedestrian bridge.  Stripping away the layers of history, our scheme will celebrate the water and reclaim a valuable new city quarter.  There will be significant new public spaces and the city fabric will be repaired.  At the heart of Slussen a new water promenade, suspended over the restored lock, links the two islands, provides a range of amenities and becomes a symbol for the regeneration of the area: Slussen regains its lock!

The challenge at Slussen is to transform it from an urban problem to a popular destination that stitches together two important parts of the city. The masterplan heals this urban wound by establishing a clearly defined built frontage to give Södermalm a new face. The buildings that will form the new city blocks continue the grain and scale of the adjacent urban quarter and define new public squares and boulevards.  Their flexible nature allows for a rich mixture of uses, from culture and entertainment to retail and hotels and the new quayside includes an open space suitable for major public events and extensive terraces.

The central focus of the new Slussen will be the water promenade. The missing link in the north-south pedestrian access across central Stockholm, it will also provide viewing platforms with panoramic views over the newly liberated water and a bold new symbol for the city. The area is designed to encourage activity all day long, all year round. The historic Katarinahissen will be renovated and also extended to serve the quayside level. A new observation deck built at its top will offer spectacular views over Stockholm.

Reversing the dominance of the car, the new scheme will give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. A new transport interchange will be incorporated and will allow easy pedestrian circulation between an upgraded metro station, a bus station and the port quayside. The public will be able to enjoy naturally lit malls with cafes and a new building containing the station entrance will be created in front of the City Museum.

Spencer de Grey, Head of Design at Foster + Partners said: Our proposal seeks to redress the problem that Slussen has become. It will create a strong relationship between Södermalm and Gamla stan, providing a new destination that knits into the urban DNA of Stockholm.

Notes to Editors:

Foster + Partners is an international studio for architecture, planning and design, founded by its Chairman, Norman Foster. The practice has worked in 73 countries and is currently working on a wide range of projects across 51 countries. Since its inception, it has received more than 500 awards and citations for excellence.
Collaborating architects Berg Arkitektkontor is based at Slussen. The practice has worked on a wide range industry, offices, commercial premises, public buildings and airports, as well as infrastructure projects in Sweden and abroad since 1958.

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