Office blocks attract Berlin-style courtyards

In the middle of central Stockholm, FOJAB and property owner Castellum are developing an attractive neighborhood where modern offices, historic workshop environments and retailers meet around interconnected public courtyards. The inspiration comes from Paris and Berlin.

The Öskaret 1 property on Torsgatan is currently home to Ferdinand Boberg's 1906 building, designed for the Gasworks and the Stockholm Waterworks. FOJAB was commissioned to renovate the culturally valuable building and develop it into a modern office building. But also to develop proposals on how the remaining part of the property can contribute to urban development in the city of Stockholm.

Three new buildings
The proposal, which has now been submitted for consultation, adds three new buildings with an additional area of approximately 10,000 m2 of light-filled GFA. The buildings will have six floors plus a retracted penthouse - a scale that fits well with the surroundings. The upper floors are intended for offices, while the ground floors will have higher ceilings and public content. The hub of the neighborhood will be the courtyards, connected by porticos and passages. Inspiration is drawn from Berlin and Paris.

- There is nothing like this in Stockholm today," says Per Wilhelmsson, project developer at Castellum. "The design is ambitious and we will work actively to get the right content in terms of restaurants and shops, so that the block becomes a destination in itself.

The new block structure strengthens the connections to both Hälsobrunnsgatan and Torsgatan with more openings in and between the buildings. This will provide new movement patterns, a completely different public life, and bring the neighborhoods of Norrmalm and Vasastan closer together. Hälsobrunnsgatan will be widened with a new sidewalk and will have a more urban character.

Building on history
In terms of design, the new buildings are inspired by the history of the site in terms of materials, façade rhythm, floor height and window shapes. At the same time, they reflect their time with different proportions and techniques. The reliefs on the Ferdinand Boberg building are repeated but with a modern expression.

- It is unusual to have so much space to work with in central Stockholm, and Castellum's ambitions are high. The buildings, the courtyards and the street environment will give new life to a place that is currently rather neglected," says Sergio Barba, architect at FOJAB.