A Giant by the Øresund
A Giant by the Øresundby Robert Uhde | 09.09.2011
Hotel complexIn Malmo in Sweden, Schmidt Hammer Lassen realize a multi-functional complex with congress center, hotel and concert house, scheduled to be completed by 2014.
Due to the dockyard crisis since the 1970s, Malmo still had the highest unemployment rate in the whole of Sweden until a few years ago. But after completing the Øresundbridge to Copenhagen in the year 2000, what the harbor city experiences today is a significant economic boom. This can best be seen with the city’s harbor area, which is turning more and more into a modern office and service quarter.
Transition into a City
Centrally located on an area which has been used as a parking lot between the harbor and the city, a mega-complex by Danish architect Schmidt Hammer Lassen is planned to ignite urban development in that area. The project , scheduled to be completed by 2014, having 21 floors at its highest point, will also have a congress center, a hotel and a concert hall spread across an area of 54,000 square meters.
The available visualizations show a dynamically staggered ensemble of several cubic structures faced with laminated wood, intended to relate to the already existing buildings in the area through various sizes and arrangements. Striking eye-catcher is the hotel tower, an architectural exclamation mark of numerous steps up to a height of 70 meters, with the first floor accessible by the public. The concert hall and the congress center have been composed as significantly flatter structures. The space in between is supposed to create squares and narrow streets, similar to a medieval town, allowing to look at the adjacent park. Apart from that, 35,000 square meters of residential and commercial area are planned towards the North and the West.
So far, so good. But if you take a closer look at the urban-planning related context, you might have doubts that such a large complex can really be integrated into the already existing environment consisting of numerous smaller structures. Towards the North, there is the harbor area with its commercial halls, logistics areas and office buildings, here, the project has plenty of room. Towards the East, there is a flat, listed brick complex and the picturesque main building of Malmo college in the direct vicinity. To the South, the complex touches a little canal and numerous smaller structures on the shore from various style eras. A modern shore promenade is planned as a passage between both areas.
These harsh contrasts hardly give room for Scandinavian modesty. Rather, the planned new building will not only tower above its direct neighbors, but also nearly all other buildings in Malmo downtown. However, it won’t be something utterly new. Since a few hundred meters away to the Northwest, there is still the “Turning Torso“ by Santiago Calatrava – due to its 190 meters of height the highest residential tower in Northern Europe. As said before, Malmo is aiming high!
Schmid Hammer Lassen Architects, Århus, Denmark
Completion: scheduled for 2014
GFA: 90,000 m²
Skanska Sverige AB