Studenternas is Sports Arena of the Year

Studenternas is Sports Arena of the Year

Studenternas is Sports Arena of the Year

The new Studenternas, which opened in 2021, has quickly become a popular meeting place for Uppsala residents. Now the FOJAB-designed football stadium has been awarded the Sports Arena of the Year 2023 prize.

The arena is part of the development of Södra Åstråket along Fyrisån in central Uppsala. FOJAB has assisted the municipal company Sportfastigheter in the work of creating a more popular and safer arena area while giving the arena access to more services - an active and attractive meeting place that never closes.

In addition to the football stadium, FOJAB has designed new parts of the bandy stadium and two new squares. There is also a café and restaurant, gym, shops, health care, conference activities and office space. The greenery and parkway have been reinforced and the spaces between the buildings have been designed for various activities.

Studenternas has room for up to 10,500 spectators at all-Swedish matches. The arena space with its glulam stands is dense and enveloping, so that the audience feels close to the pitch and gets a strong football experience.

FOJAB has extensive experience in designing sports halls for school and leisure sports as well as large-scale sports arenas with high complexity of audience flows, food logistics, security and technology. An example of the latter is Malmö FF's home arena Eleda stadium.

- Halls, arenas and outdoor environments for physical activity are important hubs in the city with great potential to contribute to city life both in everyday life and at events. "We are so pleased with the award and that the people of Uppsala appreciate their home arena. Then we have succeeded," says Daniel Nord, CEO of FOJAB.

The Sports Arena of the Year prize is awarded by Sport & Affärer. The jury's motivation for the 2023 award winner reads:

"The interest in Sirius football is greater than ever, which is largely attributed to the new arena, Nya Studenternas. The arena, which was completed during the 2020 pandemic and inaugurated the following year, has quickly become an important meeting place for Uppsala residents. The average attendance was once again beaten last season, reaching over 6,000 spectators per match with increasing ticket revenues for the club. The fact that the stands are built in glulam instead of concrete is sustainable both economically and environmentally, while creating a welcoming atmosphere for the audience."


Waste material facade pushes the boundaries of recycling

Waste material facade pushes the boundaries of recycling

Waste material facade pushes the boundaries of recycling

The Hyllieäng mobility building in Malmö is now complete, with its facade of discarded and sorted materials - despite many unforeseen events along the way. Designing for a high degree of uncertainty is the biggest lesson, says Petra Jenning, architect and innovation manager at FOJAB.

In the Hyllie district of Malmö, there is a building with a facade consisting of used glass panes, leftover sheets from heat exchangers and skeletons from the manufacturing industry, i.e. what is left after punching out shapes from sheet metal. FOJAB has designed the mobility house on behalf of Parkering Malmö.

- "It was our common ambition early on to go beyond the construction sector when looking for materials," says Petra Jenning. "We wanted to explore and push the boundaries of what is possible in reuse.

And at the end of the life of the mobility house, the 2,400 square meter facade will be dismantled and the materials used again. Therefore, all materials are kept as clean and raw as possible. Even the fastening system can be easily dismantled again.

Is it more difficult to create beautiful buildings and environments with reuse and the requirement that everything be reusable?

- I don't think so, there is no contradiction between reuse and beautiful, lovable environments. The façade of Hyllieäng tells a story that adds an extra dimension to the building. But as with all architecture that will last a long time, the design needs to be carefully thought out," says Petra Jenning.

- But yes, she continues, we need to broaden our view of what is beautiful, functional and desirable. Do all kitchen doors have to be new, or is it okay to repaint? In our Malmö office, we have left the century-old factory floor in place with all its imperfections visible. We love it, but it would probably not be tolerated everywhere. We need to be more open to what can work - and it's up to all of us to help.

Different time perspectives
Designing a facade with something that is not normally considered a building material has been special in many ways. Not least, it has been a journey of knowledge for the actors involved to understand each other's conditions.

- The company supplying the skeleton for the project works in weekly or monthly cycles, while architects design houses where the material is not needed for two to three years. This made it difficult for us to know what would be available on the day we needed it. Nobody wants to stockpile materials for several years.

Working with existing materials therefore requires the architect to have a more flexible approach. Hyllieäng became an exercise in dealing with uncertain deliveries and materials that suddenly changed format. And although the end result was still quite similar to the original sketches, an important lesson is to be more prepared for unforeseen events.

- When we work with reuse, it is even more important that we work smart with design systems and digital models to cope with quick and unforeseen changes," says Petra.

Other regulatory framework required
Increased circularity also places other demands on the regulatory framework. The current building permit process is not designed for situations where materials are to some extent unknown well into the process. In the case of Hyllieäng, the city planning office in Malmö was able to evaluate a prototype that gave an idea of the character of the building, even though some details such as the pattern of the cutting plate were not entirely clear.

But when the heat exchanger plates changed format, so that they no longer looked like what had been granted planning permission - we had to rethink, make a new prototype and maintain a close dialog with the city planning office.

- The Malmö city planning office was very accommodating and they too are interested in moving towards more circular construction, but they are of course bound by the law. And it is not certain that they could have allowed the same degree of uncertainty if it was a centrally located building. If we are to succeed with reuse on a larger scale, we need a change in the regulatory framework at the societal level, says Petra.

FOJAB helps school pupils influence their local environment

FOJAB helps school pupils influence their local environment

FOJAB helps school pupils influence their local environment

So a dark and dry sports hall could become more lively. And two dead street corners could be transformed into a hassle corner and a chill corner. In FOJAB's office, a group of high school students are presenting their proposals to Malmö's city architect Finn Williams and municipal councillor Stefana Hoti on how to improve their local environment.

When FOJAB moved its headquarters in Malmö to the Möllevången district two years ago, it was important for the architectural firm to also become an active part of the area.

- "There's a lot to like about Möllan, but there's another side too, with social challenges and segregation that we didn't want to ignore," says Haydar Alward, an architect at FOJAB, who together with his colleague Kristina Kember considered how FOJAB could be a positive force in Möllevången.

Open the door to architecture
They ended up with the collaboration project FOJAB + Möllevångsskolan = true. It's about getting young people to discover what can be achieved in a city with the help of architecture and making it easier for children to have an impact. And about opening the door to the architectural profession.

- Not all children in Malmö have the same opportunities to realize their dreams. If you are not privileged enough to have contacts, your dreams can feel very distant. Not everyone needs to become an architect, but everyone should feel that it is possible," says Haydar Alward, who has worked on these issues in several schools and neighborhoods in Malmö, both privately and on behalf of Malmö's city planning office.

Right to be listened to
Kristina Kember is an architect and architectural educator with a particular interest in how to give children a better voice in urban planning processes.

- 'Children have a legal right to be listened to in matters that concern them, including the physical environments in which they live,' she says. But for this to happen in practice, children need to be invited and given tools to help create their living environments.

The children's perspective needs to be included all the way from planning to implementation of projects, Kristina points out:

- Those involved in designing a place want to use and care for it, creating a sense of pride and identity. Children have a lot of clever, creative ideas that adults can't think of, so places are also more unique and work for more people.

Seeing the environment in a new way
Elisabet Niskakari, a librarian at Möllevångskolan, jumped at the chance to collaborate. The idea coincides with the school's compensatory mission and her educational mission as a librarian to increase student motivation. On six occasions, ten pupils from year 9 have met the two FOJAB architects to, as Elisabet Nisikari puts it, activate their eyes.

- We talked about which places we like in Malmö and why, formed high, low, different sized rooms in the courtyard, talked about materials and their different properties," says Haydar.

It didn't take long for young people to start looking at their surroundings in a new way.

- "I had never thought that you can change society through architecture," says Bianca Keza Memari, one of the students. "That you can use color to draw people's attention to a certain place, so that more people see it, and thus make it safer.

In pairs, pupils were asked to choose their own places to look at. They thought about what is good and bad about the place, what works and what doesn't, who uses it, how it feels to be there - and how to make the place better. They have received guidance in sketching their ideas and finding reference images. With the help of FOJAB's model builder Magnus Nilsson, they built models that they then developed in different ways.

Feedback from decision-makers
Throughout the project dialogue has been very important, and that students would have the opportunity to get feedback from and discuss further with those who make the decisions.

The project therefore ends with the pupils presenting their proposals to Malmö's city architect Finn Williams and city planning councillor Stefana Hoti: How the entrances along the street closest to the school can feel safer and become less of a haven for criminal activity. How two boring corners that today are not directly used by anyone can become nice places for the middle school students to hang out, something that is currently missing in the schoolyard. How to use architectural means to make pupils more motivated for sports lessons. In the last proposal, the students wanted to give the music room more of a music studio feel.

QR codes invite the audience to look around the models. The city architect and the municipal councillor for urban development are impressed:

- You convey an important insight: that a place works differently for children of different ages. We architects need to get better at thinking about this and not just say "the child perspective is handled, check it out".

- Here, some would say that surveillance cameras are the solution to insecurity. But you present completely different measures based on what you see people using the place. That's why it's so important that we get your perspective!

- I like the way you talk about "the little extra". As an architect, you often end up having to justify why something should be extra. You convey very well what the details do for the feeling of a place.

Tools to influence
Finn Williams and Stefana Hoti agree that the city needs to get better at capturing children's perspectives. Many children - or adults for that matter - do not know that they have the opportunity to influence. This is where the work done by FOJAB is important, according to Stefana Hoti, by giving students at Möllevångskolan the tools to raise and conduct a dialog on these types of issues.

She promises to try to connect the students at Möllevångskolan with those who have the mandate and opportunity to implement the ideas she has just been presented with. Because it is rarely a single actor, the children are told. It can be private property owners, city properties, the property and street office, the cultural administration ...

- Even if not all of your ideas can be implemented here and now, they may become reality when we build other schools," says Stefana Hoti.

The students are struggling, but not impossible:

- "I think I speak for all of us when I say that the important thing is not that this is done in our school," says Angelina Vargas. "But the best thing you can do for us is to visa that our opinions are important, not just say it.

Everything to gain
Involving children in urban planning has many benefits, says Kristina Kember. 'It gives you confidence to feel that your opinion is important and children become more aware of their rights as citizens.'

- But the built result will also be better. The city will have more site-specific places to meet and move around, it will be more playful, green, safe and cared for. We have everything to gain!

FOJAB restores an entire block in central Helsingborg

FOJAB restores an entire block in central Helsingborg

FOJAB restores an entire block in central Helsingborg

Interest in building new buildings in the 'old style' is growing among politicians and decision-makers. Perhaps it is time to broaden the perspective and see what can be done to actually preserve the older buildings that already exist? In Helsingborg, the Mariatorget housing association is working with FOJAB to restore an entire block dating back to the late 18th century.

The block, which faces one of Helsingborg's central pedestrian streets, shows traces of five of the city's history: The city structure dates back to the Middle Ages. A half-timbered barn from the late 18th century represents the old craftsman's town. There are plastered two-storey houses from the early 19th century. Industrialization is manifested by several grand turn-of-the-century brick houses, and the 1980s by postmodern residential buildings.

- Older buildings are an important part of our collective memory. It gives us a link back in time and a strong sense of place. In a city like Helsingborg, where many older houses were demolished from the 1960s onwards, it is particularly important to preserve what actually remains," says Karl Johan Kember, an architect at FOJAB, responsible for the area of building conservation and an expert on cultural-historical buildings.

An economic benefit
A project of this kind requires careful preparation and extensive expertise in the building techniques of the different eras. On the other hand, the benefits of renovation are significant, both in terms of cultural history and sustainability, challenging the common notion that building new is the most profitable option. The older building materials are chosen to last a long time. There are windows that have been in place for 120 years - compared to today's plastic windows, which have an estimated lifespan of around 40 years.

From an investment point of view, it is also good business to restore period buildings - older properties that have retained their character command high prices. Maintaining the period character of the buildings and the vibrant, colorful urban space they provide in the form of shops, cafes and restaurants on the street level also makes the city more attractive to residents and visitors alike.

Close cooperation
The restoration of Brf Mariatorget will begin in the spring. The project has been preceded by a close collaboration between the property owner, HSB, the city architect and the city antiquarian in the city of Helsingborg and FOJAB.

- This collaboration has ensured that the project has been well established in the city from the outset, and there is great interest among those who live and work in the buildings. The opportunity to work with an entire neighborhood - and in this case one of the city's most beloved pedestrian streets - is a real privilege. It becomes clear what we architects can actually offer in terms of preserving and developing existing buildings, and how we can highlight their values and qualities," says Karl Johan Kember.

Keep as much as possible
The project began with FOJAB producing a cultural environment document with advice and recommendations for the renovation. It describes everything from the history and development of the properties to their current technical status. The aim is to build on the specificity of the buildings in question and retain as much of the old material as possible. Windows and window sections will be renovated, tiled roofs will be rebuilt, balcony tiles and natural stone plinths will be repaired and supplemented, and all wrought ironwork will be reviewed. Characteristic features that have deteriorated over the years, such as front doors, roof drainage and sheet metal work, will be replaced with high quality, contemporary solutions.

Contemporary color palette
When restoring older buildings, the aim is usually to restore the original colors, but in Brf Mariatorget all the original plaster had been demolished and the paint scraping only provided knowledge of the color scheme of the last decades.

- The houses will be replastered with lime mortar and since we have the privilege of working with the entire street section, we have been able to choose colors that both suit the individual houses and work well together. The color variation will be preserved, but instead of today's strong facade colors, we will work with lighter tones in pink, yellow and gray-green, among others. The joinery, on the other hand, will be painted in strong colors: iron oxide red, chrome oxide green and ochre yellow," says Karl Johan Kember.

Read our sustainability report for 2022-2023!

Read our sustainability report for 2022-2023!

Read our sustainability report for 2022-2023!

At FOJAB, we work for long-term sustainable development and are convinced that architecture can help solve societal challenges and create added value for everyone.

We are proud of the progress we are making, but we are also aware that much more remains to be done. We want to share our ambitions while being open about the areas where we and the rest of the industry are still falling short. In our sustainability report, we tell you how we are tackling the great challenge of our time in projects and collaborations. Read and be inspired!

You can read and download the report here:

Printable pdf


Record turnover as FOJAB Stockholm turns 10 years old

Record turnover as FOJAB Stockholm turns 10 years old

Record turnover as FOJAB Stockholm turns 10 years old

From a niche architectural office to a full-service agency with projects in almost all of Stockholm's development areas, FOJAB's Stockholm office celebrates ten years and sets a turnover record.

FOJAB has been present in Skåne for more than 50 years, while the representation in the capital is more recent. The Stockholm office's first decade has been characterized by strong development and is now crowned with a turnover record despite the recession and grim times in the construction industry. Turnover for the Stockholm office is just over SEK 44 million, an increase of 45 percent from the previous year, thanks to new and ongoing projects, particularly in the business areas of housing, urban development and community properties such as knowledge environments.

- "We have been spared the gloomy developments in the industry, but of course we are still affected when our customers and colleagues are struggling. We try to help and support by being proactive and creative," says Ylva Åborg, office manager at FOJAB in Stockholm.

FOJAB's Stockholm office has changed a great deal since its inception ten years ago. The number of employees has grown from around ten in the early years to 35. Initially, the focus was mainly on urban planning, housing and landscape. The offer has grown to include offices, commercial premises, community properties, knowledge environments, real estate development and interior design.

- It was a conscious effort that made us a full-service office," says Jens Larsson, who was office manager 2015-2021 and is now market area manager.

But breadth would be nothing if it were not paired with excellence. FOJAB is associated with high quality architecture, research-oriented collaborations and innovation that drives sustainability efforts in the industry forward.

- We have recruited very talented employees and there is an enormous amount of combined expertise within FOJAB. Our customers should be able to trust that they can come to us with just about anything and always have access to the foremost expertise. We are scattered but still cohesive - and always deliver architecture at a high level," says Jens Larsson.

FOJAB is now represented in projects in most of the Stockholm region's development areas, such as Lövholmen, Marievik, Årstafältet, Hornsberg, Ulvsunda, Riksby, Barkarby and Slakthusområdet.

- We have fantastic customers who have given us the opportunity to work on very nice projects that contribute to building the city," says Ylva Åborg.

In addition to Stockholm and Malmö, FOJAB is also present in Helsingborg and Gothenburg.

Construction start for new oncology clinic

Construction start for new oncology clinic

Construction start for new oncology clinic

A safe, pleasant and functional environment for patients and staff. A first sod has been taken for the new oncology clinic at the County Hospital in Kalmar. FOJAB has designed the new building and outdoor environment together with the developer Region Kalmar.

The new clinic for oncology and radiotherapy will contribute to better cancer care and more accessible radiotherapy in Region Kalmar County. FOJAB has been responsible for the design of buildings and the outdoor environment, and the construction documents are now ready.

Demolition work and preparations for the project have already been done and foundation laying has begun with Byggdialog as contractor.

The project covers approximately 6,900 square meters. A brand new six-storey building contains, among other things, two new radiation bunkers, rooms for PET-CT, administrative premises and a treatment unit for chemotherapy treatment. A new, more visible and attractive entrance to the oncology clinic improves accessibility, safety and the visitor experience.

– It is an unusually complex assignment, says responsible architect Henrik Laurino. We have a technology-heavy business that places special demands on the premises, and technically advanced equipment that affects both the frame and installations. In addition, it is cramped on the site where the new building is to fit in and connect to other buildings at different heights. Far-reaching coordination is needed between many parties, including internationally. But we have a strong care team at FOJAB, both on the building, landscape and interior design side, with great experience of complex programs and large projects.

In addition to being safe and functional, the indoor environment must be experienced as pleasant and welcoming. A main thoroughfare runs through the hospital, overlooking a series of green rooms. The area is now enhanced with new beautiful outdoor environments, as three more farms are provided with greenery.

Malin Ingemarsdotter is a landscape architect with extensive experience in care projects and is responsible for the design of the courtyards:

– Everyone knows and agrees that greenery plays a role in patients’ well-being and recovery. Here, we have been able to make something beautiful out of the small farms that provide a visual connection to the business. We have worked closely with the building architects and with a client who recognizes the value of greenery.

The clinic is expected to be completed in 2026.

Groundbreaking ceremony for new court building

Groundbreaking ceremony for new court building

Groundbreaking ceremony for new court building

On December 5, a groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new district court in Vänersborg. The court building will be a sharply cut volume that signals authority and dignity, but also humility and openness.

The 6 850 square meter building will house both the District Court and the Land and Environment Court. It will house approximately 130 workstations, 11 courtrooms, including two security rooms, a reception area with security control, public areas, staff offices, and transportation and detention rooms.

There is a strong focus on safety and integrity, with separate entrances to all rooms and separate flows throughout the building, including separate escape routes. The building is also prepared for possible future expansion in such a way that safety zones and flows are ensured.

FOJAB are the architects of the new court building, Hemsö is the property owner and developer, the Swedish National Courts Administration is the tenant and Serneke is the contractor.

- "It is very positive for both the process and the end result that Hemsö and Serneke see the value of retaining all the expertise throughout the project. We as architects formulate the basic idea and are responsible for the design, but it is through the commitment and cooperation of all parties involved that we together ensure the quality of the end result," says Kjell Adamsson, commissioned architect at FOJAB.

The district court is located at the southern entrance to Vänersborg, just where the block structure of the city center meets the lush park environment. The new building will be part of a context with older institutional buildings and contribute to the transition between the stone town and the park.

The design language is basically simple with a few character-building touches. The copper-green ceramic panels of the facade are slightly curved, creating effective shadows - a bit like the ripple of water on Lake Vänern. Large expanses of glass expose the building's interior and are alternated with dense sections, well balanced to manage views, privacy, daylight and the high environmental ambitions. The plan is to certify the building according to Miljöbyggnad Silver.

The new court building will be completed in 2026.

Climate expertise needed to future-proof industrial buildings

Climate expertise needed to future-proof industrial buildings

Climate expertise needed to future-proof industrial buildings

Increased online shopping, cheaper robotics, post-pandemic, war, climate crisis - right now many companies have to adapt their operations and facilities to changing conditions. So says Anders Lundin, architect and head of the Industry competence area at FOJAB.

Architects are problem solvers, dealing with complex relationships is part of everyday life. For those who design and develop industrial buildings, this is clear. There is a strong focus on space efficiency, logistics and safety - but increasingly also on creating attractive and climate-friendly working and outdoor environments.

The aim is to have rational and robust buildings that can last for a long time and change as the business requires.

Sorting out old sins
Along the way, you may need to untangle old knots.

- Industrial buildings have often been rebuilt and added to as new needs have arisen and without any strategy other than what is best in the moment. In the end, they have become so entrenched that it is difficult to move on. The business cannot develop further without taking a holistic approach to the property," says Anders Lundin.

This is where the architect comes in with his expertise and skill, sorting out old sins and seeing new development opportunities.

- We analyze the business and the potential and limitations of the property. We ensure current needs, but also future ones. We draw up a plan for gradual expansion, which the company can hold in its hand when new needs arise. And, of course, we also look at the operation and maintenance of existing buildings, such as re-roofing, and suggest how this can be done without disrupting production.

- Security has emerged as an important issue in the last year following revelations of industrial espionage and we are working proactively with shell protection, locks and protection zones.

The office as an attraction
FOJAB can assist in all stages such as the basis for new detailed plans, project planning for rebuilding, extension or new construction, landscape and interior design. The latter - office interiors - is something that is increasingly being talked about in the industry as well, says Anders.

- Every company wants to attract and retain the right skills, and it has been recognized that the office can be a magnet for the workforce. This is where we turn to FOJAB's interior designers, who work extensively on creating high-functioning and attractive offices.

The outdoor environment has also long been overlooked in an industrial context. Anders is trying to change that.

- Everywhere has been paved by mistake. We want to minimize the amount of hard surfaces so that the business can function, but keep as much as possible green for the sake of stormwater and biodiversity.

Perfect for greenery
Rooftops are an obvious place for solar cells, says Anders. And now the regulations are finally starting to catch up, making it profitable to produce more electricity than your own consumption. Previously, it has been difficult to sell the surplus electricity.

The large, often windowless facades are perfect for climbing greenery that absorbs solar heat in summer and insulates in winter. Plus, the greenery creates better air and looks nice.

The contribution of architects' climate expertise is often welcome.

- Many companies today have climate requirements not only for production but also for buildings. Here we can help to reduce the climate footprint with climate-friendly materials and smarter energy consumption, for example how to reuse waste heat from production.

Major changes affecting
It is not only the climate crisis that is causing major changes that may need to be met with renovations, extensions and new buildings. Several other factors in the outside world have caused many companies to review their operations right now. Increased online shopping creates a greater need for warehouses and transshipment centers. Deteriorating supply chains during the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine are causing industries to move their production home. In particular, US companies have left China. This is made possible by cheaper and more accessible automation and robotics.

Anders can see three categories of businesses that use FOJAB. Firstly, public companies that work with large infrastructure investments for water, electricity and sewage. Production companies that must relate to new consumption patterns and geopolitical conditions in the world. And real estate development: adapting existing buildings to new tenants. Here it is mainly small industry that needs new premises for various reasons.

- We are a holistic partner that ensures operation, maintenance and future development opportunities.

New court building for Göta hovrätt inaugurated

New court building for Göta hovrätt inaugurated

New court building for Göta hovrätt inaugurated

It is now complete, the new court building for the Göta Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court of Appeal in Jönköping. Strong character and high functionality guarantee a long lifespan. 400 years, at least, is the plan. FOJAB is behind the design.

After 373 years in the court building at Hovrättstorget in Jönköping, it was time for Göta hovrätt to move to more appropriate premises that meet today's security and technical requirements.

FOJAB, which has extensive experience of working with legal buildings, has designed the new building for the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court of Appeal on the shores of Lake Munksjön. It should function at least as long as the old one, an ambition that is reflected in the choice of materials and the careful design.

The aim has been to create a modern and beautiful building that balances respect and dignity with humility and openness.

- A court building must be able to handle two conflicting objectives. On the one hand, its activities must be public - openness is one of the foundations of our democratic society. At the same time, individuals' desire for privacy must be respected. We wanted to create a safe and peaceful environment for people who may find themselves in a difficult and stressful situation," says architect Kjell Adamsson of FOJAB.

The court building connects the buildings along the western shore of Munksjön and the entrances open up towards Bastionsparken and Hamngatan. Around the building there is room to stay and move, which creates life and movement in the place, while the design of the facade limits the insight so that the need for privacy is met. The facade consists of light sand-colored, ceramic elements that provide an interesting shadow effect and also contribute to the building's sun protection.

The seven floors accommodate ten meeting rooms and around 180 workplaces, as well as areas for visitors. The interior materials - stone and wood - are reminiscent of the Småland forest. Two continuous atriums with glass walls provide daylight far into the building and create a harmonious environment.

Sustainability ambitions are also reflected in the building's energy storage system, where cold water cools the building in summer and the heated return water warms it in winter. In this way, energy consumption can be reduced by 15 to 20%.

The court building is certified according to Miljöbyggnad level Gold.


Early energy calculations crucial for sustainable construction

Early energy calculations crucial for sustainable construction

Early energy calculations crucial for sustainable construction

With the increasing focus on energy and climate issues, there is a growing interest in how best to build more energy-efficient buildings and also to adapt existing buildings to climate change.
- "The energy issue affects all parts of the building and the earlier in the process the issue is raised, the more likely we are to achieve really good results," says Helena Bülow-Hübe, environmental and energy manager at FOJAB.

FOJAB has been offering specialist expertise in energy calculations since 2011 and today the demand is greater than ever.

- When the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning changed its regulations in 2006/2007, the industry became seriously aware of energy issues. Since then, new requirements for energy and environmentally certified buildings have driven both knowledge and willingness to act. Today, many clients want to build more energy-efficiently than the building standards require - a very positive development. The recent energy prices have of course also increased the focus on the subject," says Helena.

Light penetration versus indoor climate
Headed by Helena Bülow-Hübe, FOJAB offers a range of services - from energy coordination, energy calculations and advice to specialized calculations such as daylight, indoor climate and thermal bridges.

- The architect's 3D model of the building is an important basis for our work. It allows us to evaluate a variety of things, such as how much daylight is let in and how the solar heat will raise the temperature in different rooms, but also the building's total energy use and climate impact based on different material choices," says Helena.

Today, many people want generous amounts of light, which can conflict with a building's energy performance and a comfortable indoor climate. In simple terms, a window emits ten times more heat per square meter than a wall surface. However, they also let in solar heat, which means that large windows can create heat problems and unhealthy indoor temperatures in summer.

Climate change adaptation against heat waves
- This is a problem that will be accentuated with a warmer climate. This became clear not least during the hot summer of 2018 when an excess mortality rate was observed," says Helena.

She has noticed a marked increase in interest in climate adaptation of housing in the existing stock. Together with the City of Helsingborg's property management, Helena Bülow-Hübe has investigated the possibilities of improving the indoor climate in nursing homes and LSS homes so that they are better equipped for new heat waves. Both existing solar shading and the possibility of introducing cooling in existing buildings have been reviewed.

- "We don't normally cool our homes today, but it's starting to be discussed more and more, and in the long term it may come. It is sensitive, of course, because we have clear energy requirements. Comfort cooling will increase energy demand, which may have to be compensated for in some way. Some players have already introduced cooled supply air in nursing homes, while it is not so common in ordinary apartment buildings. Part of our mission, both in terms of new construction and climate adaptation, is to provide advice on windows, glass and solar shading in order to solve this problem, as well as various conflicting requirements.

Cost-effective early decisions
Energy coordination is about controlling and managing the energy work so that the building actually achieves the energy targets set by the client. A wide range of decisions must be made during the design phase, many of which are directly related to the future energy performance of the building. These can range from insulating the cold outdoor and exhaust air ducts that run in shafts through the building, to how windows should be fitted or how much insulation should be placed beyond the edge of the floor. Details that create larger or smaller thermal bridges depending on their design.

- Seemingly small details have a huge impact on the end result, something that designers and project managers don't always think about. That's why it's so important that we get involved early in the process. With our expertise, construction companies can avoid expensive rework later on, and when decisions are made at the right time, they don't always have to increase production costs," says Helena.

Interest in niche knowledge is growing
Helena Bülow-Hübe is a civil engineer and has a PhD from Lund University on the subject of windows and energy balance. In addition to assignments for FOJAB's customers, she is also a frequent lecturer at Swedish Energy Education.

- Here you can really see how interest in these issues is growing. In 2021, we decided to hold a course on "Cold bridges in energy calculation and design", but because the topic is so niche, we thought it would attract quite few participants. This year we are holding the course for the eighth time and all sessions have been fully booked.

- "I think this is due to an increased awareness in the industry and a great willingness to plan ahead. People know that new requirements are coming - not least in connection with the EU's green taxonomy - and they want to be prepared and increase their knowledge of sustainability and energy planning in various ways," says Helena Bülow-Hübe.

Clearance for Södertälje's new landmark and living room

Clearance for Södertälje's new landmark and living room

Clearance for Södertälje's new landmark and living room

The building permit has now been granted for Södertälje's new landmark, designed by FOJAB. The hotel by Lake Maren is an important piece of the puzzle in the development of the center and should feel like Södertälje's new living room.

Marenplan is a favorite place for many Södertälje residents but has not been used to its full potential for many years. The city has therefore identified the area around Maren as a priority development area. FOJAB has assisted in the work with a new detailed plan for Marenplan and the design of a new hotel with outgoing content on behalf of Stadsrum Fastigheter.

At Marenplan, the changes are already underway. The piling has been completed and work on casting the base plate for the hotel has begun. And now the last building permit has been granted for the design of the building that will make Marenplan an attractive meeting place for Södertälje residents and visitors. The hotel is strategically located at the end of the Storgatan shopping street and will be a natural link between the city, Marenplan and the waterfront.

Great emphasis has been placed on creating openness, movement and safety. The three lower floors of the hotel are public and a terrace open to the public runs around the building. The ground floor houses three restaurants with outdoor seating facing south towards the water. On the floor above is a larger restaurant with space for the hotel's conference guests, and the third floor is intended to be used as a restaurant and event venue with terraces overlooking Maren. There are also fantastic views from the sky bar.

- The hotel will be a new landmark in one of Södertälje's most popular locations. "We have worked extensively on the building's design and layout in relation to neighboring properties and the interaction with the public environment. The hotel should both represent its time and take into account the existing urban environment," says Per Aage Nilsson, responsible architect at FOJAB.

The Marenplan hotel is expected to be completed in 2025.

FOJAB designs cultural school in Karlskrona, Sweden

FOJAB designs cultural school in Karlskrona, Sweden

FOJAB designs cultural school in Karlskrona, Sweden

Thirteen architectural firms submitted tenders to design the new cultural school in Karlskrona. FOJAB - the architects behind the award-winning Argus cultural center in Falkenberg - won the tender together with acoustic consultants Brekke & Strand.

The new cultural school in Karlskrona will include halls for choir, orchestra, dance and theater, a recording studio, classrooms, ensemble rooms, staff areas and recreation rooms. The new building in the vicinity of Handelshamnen will replace the current premises which are not fit for purpose.

FOJAB has good experience of designing cultural centers and other community buildings with complex content. Its track record includes the award-winning Argus knowledge and culture center in Falkenberg and the recently completed civic center in Kävlinge.

- "We look forward to starting the cooperation with the municipality," says Stefan Johansson, responsible architect at FOJAB. "We have carried out several projects in Karlskrona and Blekinge, including the World Trade Center on Trossö and the high-profile new school in Mörrum. Right now, work is underway on a new neighborhood on Pottholmen in Karlskrona, with housing, care homes and a mobility house. A lot of exciting things are happening in Karlskrona, it's a fun city to work in.

It is hoped that the new cultural school will be completed in 2026.

Municipal building close to the station ready for occupation

Municipal building close to the station ready for occupation

Municipal building close to the station ready for occupation

Kävlinge Town Hall is now complete and ready to receive citizens, officials and politicians. Everyone should feel welcome, which has been a motto in the work on the building. FOJAB is responsible for both architecture and interior design.

Kävlinge's new town hall is an important piece of the puzzle in the development of the new district Stationsstaden, and is strategically located right next to the railway station. The building will be an inviting meeting place for the whole town and houses the town library, most of the administrative offices, the town council hall, a wedding room and meeting rooms of various sizes.

The inspiration for the exterior design is drawn from Kävlinge's history and long tradition of industrial and symbolic buildings.

- The new municipal building is a robust, solid four-storey brick volume with well-crafted details. On the long sides, the facade is folded, which provides an interesting shadow play for passers-by, while daylight reaches further into the building and creates a pleasant working environment," says Charlotte Kristensson, architect in charge at FOJAB.

Openness to citizens and opportunities for collaboration between different municipal functions have been key words in the work on the municipal building. The location and accessibility have been maximized through the placement of the various activities and through flexible use of space. The library is located on the ground floor, with large glass sections that provide good contact with the shopping street outside, with window niches large enough to sit in. The council chamber on the third floor also has large windows that advertise the building to the other side, to the trains and the surrounding landscape.

The large council chamber can be divided for smaller committee meetings and opened up for a large number of participants and visitors. On the third floor there is also a generously sized lunch room in connection with adaptable work and meeting areas, and on the roof a terrace with a magnificent view.

Levels one and two consist of workplaces for municipal employees. The starting point has been that the design should meet a future way of working with efficient and attractive office spaces.

Inside, a sober material palette of stone, wood and textiles is used throughout. The interior color scheme is drawn from the colors of nature around Kävlinge - the sea, the river Kävlingeån, the open landscape - and creates a calm atmosphere.

- "A municipal building has to function over a very long time and we have been keen to use durable materials and furniture that can be used, reupholstered and supplemented," says Lisa Mannheimer, interior designer at FOJAB.

Kävlinge's new municipal building will be certified with Miljöbyggnad Gold, the highest environmental certification.

FOJAB wins international open competition: Designing a neighborhood in Iceland

FOJAB wins international open competition: Designing a neighborhood in Iceland

FOJAB wins international open competition: Designing a neighborhood in Iceland

The City of Reykjavik aims to set a completely new standard in urban development with the Keldur district. The Swedish architectural firm FOJAB with the consultant Ramböll won the open international strategic development competition with their proposal Crafting Keldur - Where Art, Science & Recreation Unite.

The task in the international competition was to create a development strategy for the Keldur district in eastern Reykjavik. Currently, the area is primarily rural, but it has been identified as a development zone and will be serviced in a few years by a high-quality bus rapid transit system connecting it to the city centerand other hot spots in the Reykjavik capital Area. According to the City of Reykjavik, the new neighborhood should be characterized by walkability, energy transition, healthy mobility, circular thinking, green buildings and infrastructure, and carbon sequestration.

Out of around forty submissions in stage 1, five teams were selected to further develop their ideas in stage 2. FOJAB and Ramböll secured victory with a proposal based on social diversity within a dense and flexible urban structure with proximity to nature, the university, and the city center.

- Starting with climate neutrality and climate considerations places special demands on urban planning. The kind of dense mixed-use development we arrived at is quite uncommon in Iceland. The architecture in our proposal adheres to a human scale - three to five stories - but is dense and connected enough to create a vibrant and dynamic city, said Magdalena Hedman, partner and teamleader at FOJAB.

The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that FOJAB's proposal is firmly rooted in the local context and takes advantage of the landscape's greenery and water features. The efficient use of land, innovative mobility ideas, and a flexible neighborhood structure were also appealing. The strategies for achieving a social mix were considered compelling as well.

- The winning entry in the competition is a very good answer to our needs and requirements in a new urban quarter in Reykjavik. An urban district, close to nature, with three Bus Rapid Transit (Borgarlína) stations as the backbone of sustainable urban transport. We look forward to the further development and deeper design of an excellent proposal in the planning process ahead, said Thorsteinn R. Hermannsson, Director of Development at TfCA, Transport for the Capital Area.

The next step will be to further develop the winning proposal into a development plan and physical plans.

Winner of international open competition: FOJAB to design neighborhood in Iceland

Winner of international open competition: FOJAB to design neighborhood in Iceland

Winner of international open competition: FOJAB to design neighborhood in Iceland

The City of Reykjavik wants to set a new standard in urban development with the Keldur district. FOJAB and Ramböll won the open international competition with their proposal. Crafting Keldur - Where Art, Science & Recreation Unite.

The competition brief was to produce a development strategy for the Keldur district in eastern Reykjavik. Within a few years, Keldur will be served by a high-quality bus transport system connecting the district with Reykjavik city centre and other important locations in the capital area. According to the city, the new district will be characterized by sustainable mobility, circularity, energy transition and climate-neutral construction.

Five teams were selected from around forty proposals received in stage 1 to develop their ideas further in stage 2. FOJAB and Ramböll won with a proposal based on a social mix in a dense and flexible urban structure close to nature, the university and the city.

- Starting with climate neutrality and climate considerations places special demands on urban planning, and the kind of dense mixed-use city we ended up with is unusual in Iceland. The buildings in our proposal stick to a human scale - three to five floors - but are sufficiently dense and cohesive to create a vibrant and dynamic city," says Magdalena Hedman, commissioned architect at FOJAB.

The jury is particularly attracted by the fact that FOJAB's proposal is clearly anchored in the site and that the landscape's conditions with greenery and water have been taken advantage of, that the land is used efficiently, by good ideas about mobility and a flexible block structure. The strategies for achieving a social mix are also considered convincing.

- The winning proposal responds very well to our needs and requirements for the new urban neighborhood in Reykjavik. An urban district close to nature, where the three stops of the Borgarlína express bus will be the backbone of sustainable urban transportation. We look forward to the further development and deeper shaping of an excellent proposal in the upcoming planning process," says Thorsteinn R. Hermannsson, Development Manager at TfCA, Transport for the Capital Region.

The next step is to further develop the winning proposal into a development plan and physical plans.

Groundbreaking for residential tower in Nyhamnen

Groundbreaking for residential tower in Nyhamnen

Groundbreaking for residential tower in Nyhamnen

The first sod is now being turned for Godsfinkan 3 in Malmö's urban transformation project Södra Nyhamnen. FOJAB has designed the residential block that will be the first encounter with the city for those arriving by train from the north: two towers of nineteen and sixteen floors respectively.

- We have wanted to take advantage of the unique qualities of the site; the proximity to both the city and the harbor, Bangårdsterrassen and Carlsgatan boulevard and the unobstructed view of both Malmö and Öresund," says Stefan Johansson, architect at FOJAB.

The block, which FOJAB has designed for Malmö's municipal housing company MKB, is made up of three buildings - nineteen, sixteen and seven floors respectively. It houses 192 rental apartments, 7 premises, garages and outdoor environments. The building is made of sustainable materials with great care for details and material encounters to create a long-term beautiful environment.

The aim has been to create homes characterized by a balance between function, beauty and a sense of home, with space-efficient apartments and low operating and management costs.

The light gray bricks, masonry with a relief effect around wall openings, in combination with mullioned railings, give the building a classic, well-proportioned expression. The three buildings are designed as a whole but with individual detailing. Great care has been taken with details and materials to create a long-term beautiful environment. The apartments are well planned and designed to make the most of the view.

FOJAB structural architect for the new Lövholmen.

FOJAB structural architect for the new Lövholmen.

FOJAB structural architect for the new Lövholmen.

Lövholmen in Stockholm is to be transformed from a largely closed industrial area into a vibrant district and natural continuation of the inner city. In its role as structural architect, FOJAB has contributed to developing the ideas and principles that form the basis of the detailed plan, which is now out for consultation.

Lövholmen is part of Liljeholmen in central Stockholm and is identified in the master plan as one of the city's development areas. A new district will emerge here with around 1,800 homes, preschools, cultural activities, offices, services, squares, a park and a quayside.

On behalf of and in close cooperation with the city planning office, FOJAB has worked with the city and property owners to develop a structural plan and the architectural principles that will form the basis of the design.

With its older industrial environments, Lövholmen is a place with high cultural values. The buildings that are preserved become the area's value carriers that tell the story of the place, of how the industrial city of Stockholm has grown.

- "The overall idea behind the structure plan is to highlight the groups of buildings of cultural and historical interest that are being preserved and to create a framework around them in the form of new city districts," explains Magnus Lundström, responsible architect at FOJAB. He continues:

- The added city blocks together with the preserved buildings and the new public spaces form a whole that gives Lövholmen a strong identity of its own. But the area will also interact with surrounding neighborhoods in scale and character and become a well-composed element in the city's new silhouette.

Stockholm is characterized by its neighborhoods with different identities and characters, and Lövholmen will continue to be its own enclave in the mosaic that makes up Stockholm and carries the city's identity.

Lövholmen is currently largely closed to the public and an overall goal is to make this central place in Stockholm accessible. The design of places and paths therefore has as high a priority in the plan proposal as the buildings. A path runs through the district with a string of attractive small and large urban spaces. A large waterfront area is created with afternoon and evening sunshine, with a bathing jetty and space for various events. A quayside promenade runs along Liljeholmsviken, making it possible to walk along the Mälar shore all the way from Danvik to Vårby.

Malmö in the making - Welcome to FOJAB!

Malmö in the making - Welcome to FOJAB!

Malmö in the making - Welcome to FOJAB!

User dialogue and consultation are all well and good, but how do we ensure that local perspectives are included in the traditional urban development process and can influence the development of the city? What do we, architects and urban planners, know in depth about how those who live, work and spend time in a district experience their surroundings? What emotional values are linked to a particular place and what shapes its identity?

"Möllan Voices - Empowering the Local Perspectives" is our contribution to Malmö in the Making, the City of Malmö's initiative to explore what the city's spaces, architecture and culture mean to the people of Malmö and how we can shape the city's development together.

Methodology development - Möllan test bed
We have used the district of Möllevången as a test bed and explored alternative methods to give residents and workers in Möllan the opportunity to have a voice and influence urban development in their area.

With the help of the companies Perspetivo and Maptionnaire, we have developed a methodology for collecting information, thoughts and ideas that differs from the traditional survey. The aim is to create a better basis for architects to take in and understand an entire neighborhood and the different perspectives that exist there.

Experience the interpretations
"Möllan Voices" is about bringing new forces into the urban development process, so we have also let different creators interpret the answers from the survey. The works are exhibited for all to see during four Fridays in September at FOJAB's office at Friisgatan 28 in Malmö at 14-17:

1/9: AI Interpretation using ChatGPT and Midjourney

8/9: Photographers Emil Bjerenius and Linus Åkesson

15/9: Artist Sara Almosaibi Jasas

22/9: Designer Li Odén

Welcome to the Architecture Salon
We also invite you to an Architecture Salon on 27/9 at our Malmö office (Friisgatan 28) on the theme of culture, knowledge and urban development, where we will discuss the method, the result and the creators' work. The panel includes Anna Jonsson, associate professor and organization researcher at the Department of Business Administration at Lund University and SIR, Stockholm School of Economics Institute for Research, at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Mingle and exhibition from 17.00, the panel discussion starts at 18.00. Everyone is welcome, please register here.

Saving money with Strategic Occupancy Planning

Saving money with Strategic Occupancy Planning

Saving money with Strategic Occupancy Planning

Falling electricity prices and rising interest rates are a scourge not only for individuals, but also for municipalities, regions, government agencies and other property owners with large property portfolios. In this situation, it is particularly important that space is used efficiently and effectively. There is a lot of money to be saved here," says FOJAB's Charlotte Kristensson, the architect behind the Strategic Occupancy Planning service.

Many municipalities are currently facing the same kind of problem. They have buildings from the 1960s and 70s with major maintenance needs. Premises are used incorrectly or too little. Rented premises are not adapted to the activities. Schools are located in the wrong places in relation to the number of pupils.

As the economy gets tougher, there is little room for new construction. It is also important for climate reasons to make optimal use of the existing stock. Municipalities have to prioritize hard and many are now reviewing their needs. Which premises should be used, which additions are needed and where, which are left over and what do they cost? It can be a tricky puzzle to solve.

Basis for decision
FOJAB's strategic occupancy planning provides politicians with a complete and transparent basis for long-term decisions. The customer is guided to a comprehensive solution and efficient utilization of their property portfolio. Charlotte and her colleagues at FOJAB have helped numerous municipalities over the years, often involving schools, preschools, cultural and leisure facilities.

So how does it work?

An important starting point is to create a common picture of the conditions, something that is not entirely obvious where many administrations and people are involved. A real estate manager has his own perspective, a head of education or a principal has others. The architectural team comes in as a neutral party and guides the organization through an efficient process. Existing premises are analyzed based on parameters such as suitability, operation, renovation needs, etc. Conditions such as student numbers and political decisions are taken into account. The wishes of the activities are reconciled with the objectives of the curriculum.

- "FOJAB has developed a unique method where we can see how much space is needed in different subjects to achieve the curriculum objectives," explains Charlotte Kristensson.

Maximizing use
Precise figures make it easier to maximize the use of each school room. With smart scheduling, the after-school program may be able to use the home economics room or the craft room at certain times. Or rented out to an external party. The figures are also a good help when weighing up different interests.

- It can be difficult for an official to resist principals and others who are pushing for more resources for their particular school. If you can point to accurate figures, it becomes easier to achieve an equal school for all pupils in the municipality. It is a question of justice.

Knowledge of long-term effects
The analysis leads to a number of policy options. Following cost assessments, the evidence is ready to be presented to decision-makers. This may involve rebuilding, demolishing and building new buildings, or relocating activities. The data also gives politicians more knowledge about the long-term effects of different decisions. Charlotte gives an example:

- One municipality wanted home classrooms for secondary school pupils, as well as for primary school pupils, in order to provide peace and quiet and improve academic performance. With the projected increase in pupils, such a decision would mean expanding the school in a number of years.

- "We don't interfere with what you choose to do," says Charlotte. It's a political question of how to prioritize. But we highlight and clarify the needs and conditions so that politicians can make informed decisions and avoid costly changes.

Many uses
It's unusual for architectural offices to offer this kind of study, but it's an added value for the client, says Charlotte. As an expert in knowledge environments, after analyzing Karlshamn municipality's need for premises, she was able to take the work further and design the new school in Mörrum, which was found to be needed. For other types of premises, FOJAB has experts in offices, housing for the elderly, sports halls, etc. who can assist with their knowledge.

Because even though most of the clients so far have been municipalities, there are many others who could benefit from strategic occupancy planning. Charlotte takes universities and colleges as an example. The influx of students is at a record high, while the cost of premises is rising. FOJAB is currently developing a method for calculating the degree of utilization of university premises in the same way as for schools.

Reducing costs
- By optimizing their use, universities can reduce the cost of their existing stock. This, in turn, can provide the financial space to develop new types of high-quality teaching environments that are better suited to the needs of today's students," says Charlotte:

- Any organization with a large number of premises and facing major changes, whether growing or shrinking, will benefit from strategic space planning. Take, for example, government agencies or our regions where there are businesses that are expanding rapidly and flagging that the supply of premises is a major problem. We can help there!

One step closer to a new sports hall in Bromma

One step closer to a new sports hall in Bromma

One step closer to a new sports hall in Bromma

FOJAB is helping Hemsö develop a new sports facility in Bromma with a focus on girl-dominated sports. The ambition is an ice rink for figure skating and a gymnastics arena for team gymnastics.

There is a great need for ice rinks in Stockholm and Hemsö's ambition is to build an ice rink for figure skating with a foyer and stands for around 400 people, with a gymnastics arena for team gymnastics on top.

The sports facility is planned to be approximately 16,000 square meters BTA and will be located right next to Bromma Airport. FOJAB has assisted Hemsö with the work in the early stages, detailed planning and design of the building. The plan proposal has now been submitted for review.

- We have worked closely with the Swedish Figure Skating Association and the Swedish Gymnastics Association to understand their conditions. Just as important as the building meeting their sporting requirements and wishes is that it should be socially well-functioning," says architect Anna Belfrage.

Many of the children and young people come straight from school, train in long sessions and spend a lot of time in the sports hall. Making life easier for them and their parents has therefore been an important focus. There should be a place to do homework and eat snacks or heat up their evening meal - a bit like a leisure center. Directly adjacent to the sports hall there will also be parking spaces where parents can easily and safely pick up their children after training.

The sports facility will be located right next to one of the runways at Bromma Airport, which has clearly influenced its design. The height of the building varies from 11.5 meters on one side to 25.5 meters on the other - a result of the fact that it must not obstruct air traffic.

- We have used the height differences for the different needs of the activities. For example, gyms and changing rooms do not need as much ceiling height as exercise rooms with trampolines," says Anna Belfrage.

Great care has also been taken to make the large building fit into the urban context of the city. The rear has a folded facade to avoid interfering with air traffic control radio waves, and the fold follows around the entire building at ground level to create life at street level. On the two longest street facades, one of the folds becomes slightly deeper and cuts through the building, breaking up the large volume. The notch also marks the entrances.

Upstairs, the facade is clad with a wooden grid for variety and rhythm. Large windows provide a view and insight where passers-by can suddenly see a gymnast doing a flip inside the hall. A gymnastics hall on top of an ice rink means special conditions in the form of large spans. FOJAB has worked with Tyréns to optimize the design and minimize the amount of steel. The gymnastics floor is suspended in floor-high trusses with halls inserted in between. It is a solution that provides significantly thinner floors and leaves a lot of room volume for the activities.

FOJAB behind Norrgavel's new look

FOJAB behind Norrgavel's new look

FOJAB behind Norrgavel's new look

After a major renovation, the doors of Norrgavel's store are now open in a listed building on Birger Jarlsgatan in Stockholm. FOJAB's architects have worked closely with Norrgavels founder and designer Nirvan Richter to develop solutions that are both contemporary and a return to the original expression.

The 1911 building was designed by architect Carl Bergsten, who is also responsible for the Liljevalch Art Gallery. The design language is heavily national romantic but at the same time with a certain playfulness and with several unconventional approaches. The building is considered particularly valuable and worth preserving.

The building was built as a theater but with the idea that it could be converted into a department store. In 1938 the building became a cinema and in 1985 the rock club Gino moved in. For a few years in the 1990s, an office was housed here before Norrgavel took over the premises twenty-five years ago. Numerous changes have been made both internally and externally over the years, but it is only now that the building is really being adapted for retail operations.

FOJAB has played a central role in the transformation, with assignments from two directions. As an architect for the property owner Humlegården, it has monitored the property's values in a long-term perspective. As an architect for Norrgavel, we have, based on Nirvan Richter's visions, developed proposals on how the store can be used more efficiently and with its interior expression reflect Norrgavel's brand.

- The collaboration with FOJAB started with our store in Malmö. It has been extremely liberating to have a partner to discuss ideas with," says Nirvan Richter, who is also an architect. "FOJAB's architects were much bolder than me and proposed solutions that I would never have dared to do myself, both in Malmö and Stockholm. It has been very successful!

Inside, space has been freed up, accessibility has been improved and lines have been cleaned up. A new floor opening in the atrium and a former outdoor staircase have now become part of the shop floor. The space feels contemporary and modern but in harmony with Carl Bergsten's intentions.

- Transforming older buildings is very much about understanding and being inspired by the original architect and the intention of the original work. With the cultural environment as a sounding board, we have optimized flows, tightened the material palette and created a new store experience," says Ylva Åborg, commissioned architect at FOJAB.

On the exterior, the building has been restored to its original design in terms of materials and colors in consultation with the architectural antiquarian. The facade's large windows have been restored, the entrance has been moved and decorations have been restored.

- This is a building that, since its inception, has contributed to Stockholm's street life with liveliness and human encounters. We have now reinforced that character with the large glass sections and better transparency between inside and outside. I hope that many people will want to come by and take a look, because this is more than a retail experience, it is also an architectural experience," says Robin Larsson, supervising architect at FOJAB.

Möllan Voices - Empowering the Local Perspectives

Möllan Voices - Empowering the Local Perspectives

Möllan Voices - Empowering the Local Perspectives

FOJAB has been selected to be part of "Malmö in the Making", the City of Malmö's initiative to explore what the city's spaces, architecture and culture mean to the people of Malmö and how we can shape the city's development together.

During Malmö in the making, we want to contribute with a program point, where we together with professionals, entrepreneurs and residents of Möllan explore different perspectives on what it is that makes Möllan a good place to live and work.

FOJAB's program item MÖLLAN VOICES - EMPOWERING THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVES wants to explore how several different local perspectives can be expressed in the urban development process and what different future images can look like.

Why do we do it?
The purpose of our program item MÖLLAN VOICES - EMPOWERING THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVES is to:

  • Explore why Möllan residents and workers choose to be there, how they use the public space in their neighborhood, and what their dreams and visions are for the future of Möllan.
  • Explore alternative ways to empower local residents and workers to influence urban development in their area.
  • Create a better basis for architects to fulfill their task of taking in and understanding an entire neighborhood and the different perspectives that exist there, in order to sustainably plan for the future of Möllan and Malmö.
  • Involve and work across disciplines, showing and strengthening the diversity and differences of Malmö.
  • Create a Möllan guide, for Möllan today and for Möllan's future, by and for Möllan residents, workers and entrepreneurs at Möllan.

What do we want to do?
The first part of our program is a survey of the local! Using a questionnaire, we will collect information, thoughts and ideas from residents, active visitors and business owners in Möllan. Then creators (image makers, photographers, musicians, etc.) will interpret and interpret the answers. Our idea is for creative people to create their own works and future images of Möllan. Each creator will exhibit their work in FOJAB's premises for one week each in September. The public will also be invited to view the images of the future.

The final part of our program will be an Architecture Salon on 27 September on the theme of culture, knowledge and urban development. Then we will discuss the results and show all future images. The panel includes Anna Jonsson, associate professor and organization researcher at the Department of Business Administration at Lund University and SIR, Stockholm School of Economics Institute for Research, at the Stockholm School of Economics. Anna has also written a opinion piece on Malmö in the Making where she points out how important it is to consider how the knowledge and lessons of a broader dialogue are utilized in the project.

More about Malmö in the Making at

Contact persons:
Magdalena Hedman
Nellie Stenvall

FOJAB's architecture educator raises children's voices

FOJAB's architecture educator raises children's voices

FOJAB's architecture educator raises children's voices

Three years ago, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child became Swedish law. In her role as an architect and architecture educator at FOJAB, Kristina Kember puts words into action and empowers children to influence their local environment:
- This involves both increase interest in architecture among children and young people and give them tools to use their influence.

What is an architecture educator?

- An architectural educator is an architect with knowledge of working with children and young people, who can act as a link between schools and preschools and those who plan and design. There are many different ways to work with children's dialogue, such as analysis and reflection, creativity, exploration with all their senses and democratic processes. The aim is to give children the tools to express their opinions and to participate in influencing their living environment.

Why are architectural educators needed?

- Since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child became Swedish law in 2020, children's legal influence over the local environment has been strengthened, but for the child's perspective to really have an impact, we adults need to prioritize and work actively with these issues. In dialogue work, we need to find a common language so that adults and children together can talk about and investigate how they experience a room or a place in the city, for example.

- At FOJAB, we have developed methods for involving users early in the process and have good experience of dialoguing with schools. Working directly with children and young people is important but also very fun and we learn a lot in the process.

Why are children's perspectives important when planning and building?

- Of course, it is particularly important to take care of a group that cannot make its voice heard. When cities are densified, green spaces and public places are scarce in the development process. Children who may not have much space at home are particularly affected by the lack of social spaces. We must also be vigilant in ensuring that school and preschool playgrounds are not reduced in size and think about how to create environments that are safe, that inspire joy of movement and provide space to play freely.

What exactly do you do as an architectural educator?

- One example of my role as an architectural educator was the new school in Mörrum, which FOJAB designed. A few months after the opening, we met with the students to hear their thoughts on their new environment. We wanted to get their views on what works and what doesn't, whether they had suggestions for improvements, and how they experience and use different parts of their school. For two days we met with students from grades 1, 3 and 6. We did various exercises and talked about everything from form and function, light and acoustics to choice of materials, experience and feeling.

What did you learn?

- We encountered great enthusiasm from the children to share their different experiences and were really impressed by how insightfully they analyzed their surroundings. The direct feedback from the children will help us to ensure what we have done right, but also to understand what we can do differently - things we would not have thought of without the help of the pupils. Another goal was to increase children's curiosity about architecture and create positive feelings about how to use their influence.

What else is in the pipeline?

- In addition to my involvement in the Swedish Architects' Council for Architecture and Children, we at FOJAB have just started a collaboration with Möllevångsskolan, one of our closest neighbors here at the Malmö office. In the fall, we will meet high school students, where architects and students will guide each other and where we will work with different places in our common environment. The hope is that the students' ideas will lead to suggestions for improvement and actual changes.

Meet FOJAB in Almedalen

Meet FOJAB in Almedalen

Meet FOJAB in Almedalen

See you in Almedalen? This year we are particularly keen to talk about this:

👉AI and the potential for the built environment. Can we use the power of digital development to strengthen soft values and human needs?

👉What stands in the way of sustainability? What new partnerships can break new ground?

👉How can yesterday's buildings meet today's and tomorrow's needs? Where do we draw inspiration for a successful transformation - in the US, Asia or Europe?

This year FOJAB is represented in Almedalen by ten architects from our offices in Malmö, Stockholm and Gothenburg. Feel free to book us for talks and panels, invite us to events and mingle or just grab us on the street for a chat. Our contact details and specialties:


Kjell Adamsson, Deputy CEO and Head of Business Development. Architect with a focus on early stages, strong ideas and development of new projects in close dialog with our clients. Runs complex projects with a particular focus on legal buildings. Happy to talk about how we as architects can help develop and transform existing properties in a sustainable way in a time of both climate and economic challenges.

Mobile: +46 708 - 83 80 82


Karin Fagerberg, Head of Operations. Architect specializing in urban planning processes and design of major urban development areas. Always looking for learning collaborations and developing future urban environments with unique qualities paired with feasibility.

Mobile: +46 705 - 27 46 15


Magdalena Hedman, marketing manager, responsible for the urban development competence area. Curious about the world, innovation, urban development, research and collaborations that lead to sustainable urban development. Likes to talk about trends in the world around us and the social, ecological and climatic benefits of urban planning.

Mobile: +46 708 - 47 05 50


Petra Jenning, innovation manager for FOJAB's research and development initiatives. Theme leader for the strategic innovation program Smart Built Environment, sits on the sustainability council of Svensk Byggplåt and guest blogs for Sweden's Architects. Likes to talk about the future, innovation power, climate calculation, reuse and digitization.

Mobile phone: +46 722 – 36 12 44

Fredrik Kjellgren, office manager for FOJAB in Gothenburg. Always looking for interesting collaborations and to develop projects, preferably with a focus on urban development, transformation and sustainability.

Mobile: +46 707 - 90 50 88


Carl Kylberg, office manager Malmö. Has worked a lot with offices and relocations and likes to discuss the workplace of the future.

Mobile: +46 709 - 90 30 10


Jens Larsson, market area manager Stockholm and responsible for the competence area real estate development. An architect with a focus on early stages and value creation who is passionate about the possibilities of architecture and the needs and challenges of the outside world and how we can find the projects of the future together.

Mobile phone: +46 761 – 65 61 63


Magnus Lundström, responsible for the competence area urban development. Focuses on urban design and early stages and is passionate about creating sustainable urban environments with high residential values. Likes to talk about how we can achieve housing policy goals even in a declining economy through an increased focus on feasibility in urban development - without compromising on urban quality.

Mobile: +46 727 - 17 31 12


Johanna Raflund Tobisson, responsible for the competence area healthcare. Driven by complexity, connections, flows, security thinking and robust purposeful beautiful architecture. Want to get to know those who have thoughts, ideas, projects or input on how to meet the major challenge of elderly care with high needs and staff shortages and on developments in care and health.

Mobile: +46 724 - 02 26 35


Ylva Åborg, head of the Stockholm office and responsible for the transformation competence area. Architect with a focus on sustainability and process management. Member of the Swedish Architects' Board and leads Klimatarena Stockholm's working group for climate-smart materials and is. Likes to talk about climate-smart choices, circular construction, reuse, security and equality issues and transformation.

Mobile: +46 707 - 95 08 80

FOJAB's design tool ensures green views in new neighborhoods

FOJAB's design tool ensures green views in new neighborhoods

FOJAB's design tool ensures green views in new neighborhoods

Seeing trees from your window is good for your health - but how can we make sure that newly built homes have enough green views and new neighborhoods have enough greenery? FOJAB is developing a tool that is currently being tested in the new Jägersro district in Malmö.

Greenery is good for human well-being and has a range of proven health benefits. Greenery is also important for biodiversity, trees reduce the temperature in cities, reduce stormwater runoff during heavy rainfall, reduce noise and improve air quality.

Many cities have both parks, urban nature and residential greenery, but the green areas tend to decrease when buildings are densified. The 3-30-300 rule is a measure of greenery that has been disseminated both nationally and internationally in the planning of healthy cities. It states that everyone should be able to see at least 3 trees from their home, each city block should have at least 30% canopy coverage and all residents should have a maximum of 300 meters to a green area. But how do you go about achieving these goals in practice?

FOJAB has developed a tool based on the 3-30-300 rule for the design of new blocks or neighborhoods. With the help of FOJAB's tool, you can see the distance to green areas, the predicted crown coverage in an area and get an idea of the amount of greenery from the windows of the proposed residential buildings - and adapt the design accordingly. The view is graded from 0 to 5, with 5 meaning that the entire field of view is covered by trees and 0 meaning no view of trees at all.

- In the early stages, these are not exact truths, but if you get 0 on one side of a building and 5 on the other, it is an indication that the building should perhaps have apartments throughout. Or that the side without a tree view should contain non-residential activities," explains Simon Kallioinen, an architect at FOJAB who developed the tool.

FOJAB's 3-30-300 tool is now being tested for the first time at Jägersro, a district in Malmö that will be developed with more than 4000 new homes, workplaces, shops, schools and preschools. Property owner SMT Malmö Exploatering's ambition is for Jägersro to become the most sustainable district in the Öresund region, with a strong focus on green environments. Åsa Samuelsson, architect at FOJAB, talks about some of the insights gained:

- The crown coverage rate is the most difficult to achieve and 30 percent is very high. It is also a challenge to define the size of tree crowns in a developing neighborhood where the trees have not yet been planted. Should you measure the crown of a tree that is newly planted, ten years old or thirty years old? This of course affects the result.

- But regardless of the definition, the tool gives an early and good indication of which parts are working well and which parts need extra attention. Do we need to build bigger blocks to get more trees in the yards? Or build mobility houses instead of parking garages to enable large volumes of trees in the courtyards? Maybe we should lower the buildings in some parts of the block for the sake of the view.

- We should also not forget that people may not only want shade. Some people also want to get some sun," says Anders Hall, CEO of SMT Malmö Exploatering AB. The next step is to link carbon dioxide calculations to the tool. "If you can quickly calculate an estimate of how much carbon the trees bind and clearly see the positive climate effects we are building into the district, it would really help us to achieve the vision of the most sustainable district in the Öresund region.

Let the water take its place!

Let the water take its place!

Let the water take its place!

The City of Gothenburg is a pioneer in water issues to reduce the risk of flooding, and one of FOJAB's partners in the Vinnova project WiCiD. Lisa Ekström from the City Planning Department explains how to work with water as a resource instead of seeing it as a problem.

Why is the city of Gothenburg so far ahead in terms of water issues?

- The background is that Gothenburg is in a risk-prone location with rainwater running down into the city center from surrounding hills, periodic high flows in the Göta River and the ongoing sea level rise. With the expected climate change, we have realized that we need to manage the water issue more like we manage traffic infrastructure, for example. The road network consists of major routes, medium-sized roads and smaller streets, and changes in one place affect traffic in several other places. It's the same with water, it's a complex system that's interrelated and doesn't care about municipal boundaries and is also of great importance for plant and animal life.

How have you proceeded?

- We began by analyzing how the city would be affected by a so-called 100-year rainfall event and developed structural plans for cloudbursts. The Circulation and Water Administration was given responsibility for coordinating cloudburst issues in the city. Water has been given a place both in our internal processes and in concrete terms in the city. The new master plan deals with water issues in a more structured way. When new buildings are planned and built, requirements are now set for water management, much like we set requirements for green spaces.

What is the main challenge in implementing such an approach? 

- The municipality does not have control over all land, so it is important to create acceptance among the affected property owners where the water is located. It is important to emphasize added value - which can be difficult when the water or measures do not necessarily create added value for all property owners. The issue is quite new to many, we need to better understand what water can do in the dense city in particular. This applies not only to external property owners but also to officials and politicians. We need to be able to show what different decisions and measures lead to.

- The tool that DHI is developing within the WiCiD research project will be of great help here. It is a visual scenario tool that allows you to test different alternatives in a seated meeting and immediately see the consequences. Where does the rainwater go if you build in different places in the city? What is the difference in runoff if you harden the surface or build a lawn or open stormwater system?

- We see a great need to better communicate and more clearly visualize the consequences of different choices. Here we believe that visual digital tools can be an important piece of the puzzle, which is also why we are involved in WiCiD.

What can municipalities gain from working in a more structured way on water issues?

- The primary concern is that society should be affected as little as possible. Buildings and infrastructure should not be damaged by torrential rain. Ambulance and rescue services should be able to do their job, and people's health and safety should be protected. It is also an economic issue. Here it should be borne in mind that the accumulated damage effect and thus the costs will be greater when torrential rainfall occurs more frequently. Nor should we forget the indirect costs such as loss of production and the impact on people's well-being.

- But it is also about what WiCiD is pushing for, to see water not only as a problem but as a resource in the urban environment. In the dense city, there is great pressure on space. Here, water can serve as an argument for preserving the green gaps in the city and creating beautiful yet functional places for both people and animals. A submerged grass area in a park can become a water mirror. Trees soak up rainwater and reduce the risk of flooding - as well as providing shade during heatwaves, home to pollinating insects, and creating a sense of well-being.

- Things that cannot be clearly measured can be difficult to manage and value in a planning process. What is the full value of planting a tree, for example? Within WiCiD, a methodology is now being developed that makes the soft values of water visible, which makes it easier to get an overall picture and thus to prioritize when we develop the city.

Read more about WiCiD - Water in City Design, solutions for wicked planning problem

FOJAB designs nature-oriented neighborhood with historical heritage

FOJAB designs nature-oriented neighborhood with historical heritage

FOJAB designs nature-oriented neighborhood with historical heritage

Åstaden will be a new neighborhood in Kävlinge, Skåne, which includes both a cultural-historical industrial environment and a nature trail next to the Kävlinge River. Together with Lantmännen, Hemsö and Kävlinge municipality, FOJAB has developed the planning program. Work is now beginning on the first detailed plan.

Åstaden is strategically located between Kävlinge and Furulund in western Skåne, a four-minute bike ride from each train station. Here, a small town environment will emerge with 1900 new homes of various types and tenures, commerce and community services in the form of schools, preschools, housing for the elderly and a medical center.

Åstaden is divided into four different sub-areas, all with different characters based on their respective conditions: Trädgårdsstaden, Åkvarteren, Bethyllan and Sockerbruket. The latter includes the old sugar mill with factory buildings from the late 19th century and associated staff housing and offices in a lush park environment. Significant parts of the industrial historical environments will be preserved and given new content.

In Åstaden, as much attention is paid to the quality of housing as to outdoor activities, the spaces between buildings, meetings and experiences. The Kävlingeån river will be a major asset in the district, providing opportunities for ecological corridors and nature close to homes. The currently inaccessible and unused land around the river will be developed with a nature trail. In the plan, the river walk is proposed to become a 2.5 kilometer long continuous wetland and recreational area and the district's green meeting place.

- "We have worked a lot on managing high water flows in and around Kävlingeån," says Pia Månsson, responsible architect at FOJAB. "With the help of wide green paths and areas that delay the water, we create an attractive and at the same time resilient environment that will prevent flooding.

The development will take place in stages. The first to undergo detailed planning is the northern parts of the area around the old sugar mill. This is Åstaden's major hub that will house the area's new square, school, services and housing in both apartment buildings and terraced houses.

- We see a unique opportunity to create a neighborhood close to nature in harmony with the landscape and the cultural environment on the site. An area with a mix of house types and housing forms that gives people of all ages the opportunity to live here, where there is great proximity to services and with unbeatable regional accessibility in western Skåne," says Masoud Taheri, Head of Development at Lantmännen Fastigheter AB.