Sweden's proposed Nobel Centre comes up against opposition from local group

by Tom Anstey | 15 Apr 2014

A heritage row has erupted over plans to build a permanent home and museum for the Nobel prize – the first in the award’s 114-year history.

The new headquarters threaten two historic buildings with demolition and a group of more than 5,000 has formed in protest of the plans.

Under the proposals, a 25,000sq m (269,000sq ft) facility will open in 2018. The new centre will house nearly all Nobel’s activities, including the Nobel prize ceremony and the Nobel museum.

Berlin-based David Chipperfield Architects has been selected for the Skr1.2bn (US$182m, £109, €132m) construction in Stockholm, Sweden, with the centre to be built in a historic district surrounded by some of the city’s main museums and landmarks.

"It has a certain classical simplicity and solidity," British architect David Chipperfield said. "It tries to find a balance between being solid on the one hand and transparent on the other."

The Facebook campaign group has already ammassed support from 5,500 people with numbers growing by the day to protect the Customs House built in 1876 and Stockholm's only remaining harbour warehouse which opened in 1900.

“We have nothing against a new Nobel centre, however must the Nobel Foundation really build a gigantic monumental building on one of the most fragile places in our beautiful city?”, said the group in a statement.

“What we oppose is the demolition of K-listed buildings and the destruction of important facilities for the maritime town of Stockholm. The quay at Blasieholmen and its unique environment helps to clarify the city's living history.

“We are opposed to the star architects who will construct their angular spectacle of glass and steel in the middle of the protected historic environment as monuments to themselves, at our expense and the city.”

Two-thirds of the project's budget is already secured by private donations and the creation of a home for the Nobel prize has been discussed ever since the awards were created in Stockholm in 1901.

A heritage row has erupted over plans to build a permanent home and museum for the Nobel prize – the first in the award’s 114-year history. The new headquarters threaten two historic buildings with demolition and a group of more than 5,000 has formed in protest of the plans. Under the proposals, a 25,000sq m (269,000sq ft) facility will open in 2018. The new centre will house nearly all Nobel’s
VAT,HAM,AAC,PRO,ARC,DES,CLD
The Nobel Centre would become permanent home to the Nobel Peace Prize / David Chipperfield Architects
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Sweden's proposed Nobel Centre comes up against opposition from local group
A heritage row has erupted over plans to build a permanent home and museum for the Nobel prize – the first in the award’s 114-year history.