‘In a visionary partnership with the City of Helsingborg, the architectural firm Krook & Tjäder has transformed the landscape of Kungstorget, breathing life into the concept of the “Cykelsnäckan” – a pioneering, weather-shielded bicycle parking haven. This revitalized square is poised to emerge as a verdant epicenter, meticulously designed to cater to the communal and cycling populace, thus heralding a new era in urban mobility and green public spaces.

Kungstorget, originally reclaimed land from the 1832 harbor expansion, has evolved significantly over time. Following the establishment of Drottninggatan and Järnvägsgatan in the 1860s, the 1885 inauguration of the railway between Helsingborg and Halmstad transformed the area into a busy railway yard, disrupting the connection between the harbor and city center. This continued until 1991, when the Knutpunkten terminal project introduced a new Helsingborg C, a ferry station, and an underpass for rail traffic, repurposing the area.

Previously centered around vehicular use, the square once showcased a U-shaped taxi lane alongside parking spaces, accentuated by the “Bon Voyage” fountain and encircled by trees where bicycle parking was situated. The northern part, designed by Sven-Ingvar Andersson, boasts granite walls and waterfront benches, today integrated in the new square and enhanced with additional bicycle parking facilities.

The architectural narrative of Kungstorget is a testament to thoughtful urban design, seamlessly integrating the bustling entrance of Helsingborg C with the serene expanse of the sea, all while maintaining a human-centric scale. The strategic orchestration of pathways around verdant micro-environments fosters a tapestry of spatial experiences, enriching the urban fabric. A hallmark of this design is the majestic canopy that shelters and celebrates the bicycle and its rider, morphing into a sculptural emblem that echoes the green islets woven into the square’s design and stands as a distinctive architectural symbol for cyclist infrastructure.

Situated at the heart of Helsingborg, Kungstorget channel a steady stream of commuters, tourists, and goods to and from Helsingborg C and the adjacent Marina Plaza hotel. The design philosophy behind the square is deeply empathetic to this kinetic energy, prioritizing pedestrian and cyclist comfort to ensure a harmonious coexistence of diverse urban flows. An expansive timber deck, gracefully extending towards the quay, offers a tranquil retreat by the water, inviting visitors to pause and soak in the maritime ambiance.

The square’s landscape is artfully segmented by elevated granite planters, serving a dual purpose of directing pedestrian movement and creating serene, green spaces. These planters double as informal seating areas, fostering a sense of community and interaction. The elevation of these green spaces is not merely aesthetic but also pragmatic, facilitating the growth of towering trees by providing ample space for their roots above the subterranean railway infrastructure. The design thoughtfully integrates seating arrangements around these green pockets, ensuring accessibility and comfort for all visitors, particularly at the bustling entrance of Helsingborg C.

The transition of Kungstorget from a mundane railway yard to a vibrant public square is a narrative of urban redemption. Its proximity to Helsingborg C underscores a deep-rooted railway heritage, further accentuated by the distinctive yellow brickwork that pays homage to the city’s illustrious brick-making history. This historical reverence is woven into the fabric of the square through the intricate herringbone pattern of the bricks, intersected by granite bands that mimic the timeless tracks leading travelers to their destinations, enhanced by contemporary elements like linear drainage and lighting inspired by railway aesthetics.

The Cykelsnäckan emerges as a beacon of sustainable urban mobility, its design embodying the quintessential role of cycling in the fabric of modern and future cities. Initially envisioned as a standout architectural feature, its design evolved to maintain the integrity of the breathtaking sea views, resulting in the innovative lowering of the structure. The canopy of the Cykelsnäckan, with its slender architecture and undulating underbelly, appears to float above the square, offering protection while mirroring the dynamic interplay of the sea, greenery, and urban life. Its adaptable design anticipates future infrastructural developments, ensuring the square’s resilience and relevance.’

Location: Helsingborg C, Kungstorget, Sweden.

Design Year: 2019-2022
Completion: 2022-2023, inauguration June 3, 2023.
Client: City of Helsingborg through the Urban Planning Department. The client’s representative, Arion Statovci. Responsible for design, Martin Hadmyr. Responsible for traffic, Oscar Grönvall.
Architect: Kungstorget – City of Helsingborg (Martin Hadmyr and Elisabeth Möllerström) in collaboration with Architects Krook & Tjäder through Karolina Halldin. Cykelsnäckan – Architects Krook & Tjäder through Karolina Halldin.
Building design phase: Kungstorget, Norconsult. Cykelsnäckan, Architects Krook & Tjäder through Norconsult
Contractor: Akea AB
Engineer: Norconsult and Anbulten
Subconsultants: Steel – Anbulten Fast AB and AB Kvidinge Plåt, Electricity – Prenad, Wood and carpentry – Teamab, Plants – Växtkraft
Photographer: Werner Nystrand


LILA 2024 Sponsor