Mobilia - from shopping area to city district

Mobilia, one of Malmö's oldest shopping centers, has been transformed into an exciting new neighborhood. Heavy brick buildings from the turn of the century, once built for the textile industry, have been washed out from under layers of corrugated iron and now contrast with new buildings in steel, glass, brick and wood. What a few years ago was two single-story buildings surrounded by large parking lots is now a vibrant neighborhood with a variety of businesses. There are shops, restaurants, services, cultural and association premises, and in the middle of it all, two high-rise residential buildings with views of the entire Öresund. FOJAB + JAIS architects were responsible for the redevelopment and extension of Mobilia, and the transformation from a shopping center to a city quarter. The final stage of this redevelopment was inaugurated with a big party on September 26.

Women's workplace
The oldest parts of Mobilia have been in operation for over 100 years. Originally the area was used for the textile industry and the Manufakturaktiebolaget in Malmö. The new factories had large weaving halls under the broken sawtooth roofs, where more than 3000 people, mainly women, worked. In 1968, the buildings were converted into Malmö's first shopping center Mobilia, which today is the best-selling shopping center in the Nordic countries after NK.

When designing the new Mobilia, it has been important to preserve traces of the area's history. Collage has been a key word during the work. The facades have been designed as material compositions that link the present with history. Among other things, there is a variation of different red brick joints with almost textile qualities in the expression. The interplay between the newly built parts and the preserved buildings gives the project its unique identity:

- By mixing modern materials and expressions with traces of the area's history, we have managed to create a very special atmosphere, which really distinguishes Mobilia from other shopping centers and districts in Malmö, says Mats White, responsible architect at JAIS arkitekter.

Graphic betongue
Photographs have been used in various ways to convey the history of the building. On the facade of the parking garage, an old photo of cotton handling at the Manufakturaktiebolaget has been rasterized onto perforated sheet metal. Many of the interiors get their character from the photo enlargements that cover several of the walls. Perhaps the most special feature is the female figures in graphic concrete, which are placed under the new screen ceilings as if they were caryatids.

- Early on, we made contact with a company in Finland, Graphic Concrete, which, by translating photographs into molding patterns, could transfer the images to concrete. When I was thinking about suitable motifs, I was reminded of one of Malmö's female models, who is a good friend of my family. The cards were full of life and with beautiful clothes from the 50s. No motifs could fit better in an old textile factory than these," says Per-Aage Nilsson, lead architect at FOJAB arkitekter.

A proven concept
JAIS Arkitekter was contracted in 2007 by the developer Atrium Ljungberg as a result of a parallel architectural assignment. The purpose of the assignment was to show future expansion opportunities for Mobilia, and to provide design proposals. JAI's winning plan proposal is based on building on the existing stone city and integrating the shopping center into the urban fabric. This will make the area a vital and accessible part of the city.

- "Now that it has been inaugurated, it feels like the original ambition has been fulfilled in a good way," says Per Aage Nilsson and is supported by Mats White. And when you think about it, cities have always been built in this way; people have met at trading places that have gradually become permanent and generated the need for housing and services. This has taken shape in buildings, streets and squares - almost like Mobilia.

Mobilia CDE
Year of construction: 1899
Year of conversion and extension: 2010-2013
Renovation and extension: approximately 65,000 square meters of GFA.

Developer: Atrium Ljungberg through Anders Murmark, market area manager.
Architect responsible for the project: Per-Aage Nilsson, FOJAB arkitekter and Mats White, JAIS arkitekter
Other contributors: JAIS Architects: Mathias Persson, Ulrika Essner, Karl Johan Holmberg, Jonas Johansson. FOJAB Architects: Andreas Jentsch, Alfred Årfelt, Nina Lindén, Kristina Fors, Anna Neuhauser, Lars-Aage Nilsson.

For more information contact:
Viveca Rosencrantz
Architect SAR/MSA, Public Relations Officer FOJAB arkitekter
+46 (0)761-16 81 10

Karl Johan Holmberg
Architect SAR/MSA, press officer JAIS architects
+46 (0)42-14 92 33

FOJAB architects is one of the country's largest architectural firms. We are 100 qualified employees, organized to meet our clients' needs. Our activities include design, planning and project management of areas, buildings, premises and interiors. Our vision is to use our passion for architecture to create a sustainable city where people and businesses grow together.

JAIS Architects is one of Sweden's leading architectural offices. The office is located in the center of Helsingborg and currently employs 15 people, working on all types of projects.