Groundbreaking for carefully designed neighborhood in Årstaberg

The final pieces of the Årstaberg development puzzle are now being put in place. On Friday, the ground was broken for the buildings closest to the commuter train station. On behalf of Wallenstam, FOJAB has designed the block that forms a new front towards central Stockholm.

A new residential area is emerging in the old industrial area at Årstaberg station, with around 1,000 homes, a school and a neighborhood park. FOJAB has designed one of the last blocks to be built for Wallenstam. It consists of three buildings around an enclosed courtyard and a point building and contains just over 400 rental apartments.

Powerful scale
The conditions are not the easiest. The scale of the area is powerful, between 7 and 25 floors, which is significantly higher than the usual in Stockholm. Right next to it, the main line, Södra länken, tvärbanan and a regional bicycle route pass by, and a bit further away is Essingeleden. The pulse is high around the clock. For noise reasons, the detailed plan therefore stipulates that concrete elements should be used as a facade material.

- "We have paid great attention to the experience of the buildings from different distances," says Anna Thorell, architect at FOJAB. The neighborhood is located on a hill and can be seen all the way from Västerbron, and becomes an element in the city's silhouette. At the same time, those walking or cycling past should not be overwhelmed by the scale.

Rhythm and repetition
The neighborhood should also be experienced at different speeds.

- When you arrive by train from the south, this is about the time you look up and out and start looking around for your jacket and bag before you arrive at Centralen, says Anna Thorell.

The facades are detailed in several layers and at different levels, to work at a distance and up close, at a fast pace and at a slow pace. The prescribed concrete elements have been given a clear rhythm and repetition. The joints are thoughtfully placed and are part of the design that is visible from afar. Reliefs and different surface structures create shadow play at close range. The glazed balconies on two sides of the high-rise building are eye-catching, while the wooden facade behind the glass provides a comfortable feeling for the residents.

Beneficial public life
Ground floor premises with all kinds of services will add a beneficial public life to the site.

- One of the buildings will house a grocery store, and hopefully a restaurant, a pharmacy and perhaps a hair salon. In the other buildings, there will be additional premises, including a restaurant or a café facing the new park," says Anna Thorell.

A new urban front
In addition to interacting with each other, the buildings tie the surrounding blocks together. With its muted color scheme in relation to its neighbors, the block forms an elegant front for the area and a new urban front for Stockholm.