The suburbs of Stockholm are home to a diverse group of people with many different backgrounds and stories. Located south of the Swedish capital, Rågsved is one such suburb where a diverse population begets a need for different facilities and opportunities. The local municipalities wanted to create a space for people to gather across different age and social groups in an existing park area that consisted primarily of a big field of gravel.In spite of its central location between Rågsved school to the north-west and the junction on the main street Kumlagaten to the south-east, the park felt unsafe and had little to offer in terms of activities and recreation. The challenge facing the area was thus in many ways a social and anthropological one: the park had to be redesigned in a way that created a safe and welcoming space while simultaneously activating visitors by emphasizing opportunities for play and exercise.
Kragh&Berglund chose to see these challenges as one: by creating an active space that encourages encounters and activities, the locals would naturally gravitate towards the area making it a natural and safe place to spend time at all times of day.
The park is activated through a wide range of activities for different user groups.
The layout of the park organizes programs and functions around an internal runway. Different activities targeting different groups take place side-by-side on the field, providing different generations and user groups with an opportunity to meet and interact. These activities all encourage play and exercise. In the western part of the field, the park’s active functions can be found, as well as the artificial lawn and the parkour obstacle course. This is also where the functions attached to the school’s physical education classes, such as the long jump lane and the running field, can be found. North of the artificial lawn, a long sitting area is located across from the area for athletics and parkour.
The main track is made of rubber flooring and the traditional running lanes merge with the rest of the park in a way that encourages play and movement on the surface. It is also possible to sit under the trees planted along the edge. In the eastern part of the park, there is an area for playing pétanque, a playground designed for children with disabilities as well as a barbecue area. The activity square is open and accessible to everyone – children, young adults, senior citizens, and families.
The park’s second phase is a new dance court, which was requested by the local girls and young women in our conversations with them about how to improve the park with their needs in mind. The result is a covered space with adjustable lights, and comfortable benches surrounding the court, and a built-in sound system that can be controlled from a mobile phone, which make it the perfect space for shows, dance practice, or just a spontaneous spin-around.
Rågsved motorikbana has successfully transformed an area of Rågsved that once felt unsafe to a lively meeting place for people across different ages and social groups. The transformation is a result of carefully thought-out architectural solutions, which are rooted in Kragh&Berglund’s dialogue-based approach to the park’s new design. The functions of the activity square are adjustable and may be adapted to the demands and desires arising in Rågsved. The dance court is an example of how the functions and facilities of the park can be adapted to ensure that the locals can make the most of the park and will want to continue to use it. Rågsved motorikbana is therefore more than just landscape architecture: it is a flexible design that can continue to grow and change in order to best accommodate the needs of its users.
Project location: Kumlagatan, Bandhagen, Sweden
Design year: 2015-2017
Year Built: 2019