Just north of Tyresö, which lies south of Stockholm, several new residential areas are being developed that build upon the grid structure typical of 19th century ‘neighbourhood city’ planning. In one of the blocks, which is divided between two properties, LAND has designed an inner courtyard and roof terrace. The buildings are mixed-use with business premises on the ground floor and modern townhouses above. The façade materials vary dramatically between brick, steel and different composite cladding systems. On one side of the block, an exposed gable end and a set of stairs leading to the courtyard define the connection the broader context and Tyresö center. 

The two properties within the block sit at different levels which is a defining aspect of the landscape design. The courtyard is therefore divided into an upper surface consisting of an expansive brick entrance area and a relatively large lower level comprised of grass and planted areas. Low brick steps in the sunniest part of the courtyard connect the levels. In the green part, paths to residential entrances are defined by system of walkways made of steel grating which are raised relative to the planting areas. Over time, grasses will grow to blur the boundary of the walkways, thereby giving the impression of one broad, common area. 

Planting across the site is a diverse range of both plants and plant zones. From drier planting areas with ornamental grasses on the upper sunlit part of the courtyard, to plants more suited to damper conditions in the lower shadier areas. Planters and communal spaces also feature on one of the properties roof terraces. 

Notably, although this courtyard is built atop of a parking garage, it functions as a large water retention basin. All the water collected on site, including that from the rooves, which drains directly onto the courtyard, is led to one large planting bed. This is the first time the developer JM, one of Sweden’s largest residential developers, has built courtyard above a parking garage where all water is initially retained on site. 

The planting beds consists of a porous mixture of gravel, pumice and soil in order to retain water. The floor of the underlying parking garage slopes gently towards a low point connected to the courtyard entrance where excess water is led out directly onto the pavement. During construction, LAND were able to study how the water behaved. In light rains, all the water in the courtyard was retained on site. Only after heavy downpours did the water overflow and even then, only in small trickles. Soils on the courtyard are almost always moist due to the water management system, which has a noticeable impact on the health of the vegetation. After one growing season the perennials had formed a continuous carpet, the climbing plants shot away almost all the way up to the roof, and trees and shrubs were very well established.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Joliark Architects & Sundell Architecs

Project location: Regnbågsgatan 22, 135 40 Tyresö

Design year: 2016

Year Built: 2019


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