Together with Marge Arkitekter, LAND has redesigned the property company Akademiska Hus’ new office in Kräftriket, a district in northern Stockholm bordering Brunnsviken. The site, a former Veterinary College, has been transformed into a garden and social space adjoining the new offices.
The project has focused on reuse and the intent has been to renovate and refurbish the existing property as efficiently as possible. Both inside and outside the building, materials have been reused either from the property in question or from other projects.
The property originally housed the Veterinary College’s facilities where clinical teaching, research and animal testing were carried out. During this period, animals were able to roam the courtyard. The house is a culturally and historically classified building designed by Gunnar Asplund and his colleague Joel Lundekvist in the 1940s.
LAND has designed the house’s courtyard and frontage. The courtyard is used for socializing and serves as the main entrance to the office via the portico that leads into the courtyard from the street. The courtyard contains an entrance path and two sunken, gravel surfaced social spaces.
The generous main thoroughfare is the spine of the project. The path runs like a long carpet from the street to each of the building’s entrances. It consists of recycled paving stones from other projects carried out by Akademiska Hus; one of Sweden’s largest real estate companies with many active projects around the country. A major challenge and important part of the project was to coordinate the logistics and inventory of elements for reuse. The recycled material has been laid in a pattern on the pathways to achieve rhythm and a degree of detail in the otherwise simply designed environment.
One of the gravel surfaces is an open area with flexible furnishing potential surrounded by vertical posts with climbing plants and lighting. This serves as an everyday space to eat your lunch or a party venue capable of housing various events that require a larger flexible area. The posts have electrical outlets enabling laptop use or the addition of temporary lighting.
On the other gravel surface sits a large, raised planting bed commanding attention across the site. The planter is bound by a wooden edge with integrated seating. The planting is an eye-catching, ephemeral composition and with a singular tree that over the years will provide cool, leafy shade. The wooden details of the courtyard take cues from the roof of the house and consist of stained and linseed oil-impregnated pine. The detailing is reminiscent of fences or stables and recalls the historical use of the site.
The transformation of the site is a successful example of how to achieve high quality holistic design with small means. The project is characterized by its efficient reuse of material as well as an expression and a materiality that interacts with the culturally and historically important building. We hope that the project can serve as an inspiration and an example for future projects.
Architecture offices involved in the design: Marge Arkitekter
Project location: Kräftriket 16, 114 19 Stockholm, Sweden.
Design year: 2020
Year Built: 2021