David Chipperfield Architects reveal design tweaks to Stockholm's controversial Nobel Center

by Kim Megson | 25 May 2016

David Chipperfield Architects have presented the schematic design for the new Nobel Center in Stockholm to the public, weeks after the controversial project received the green light from the city council.

While the architects have maintained their initial concept for the building – which will house the Nobel Foundation headquarters and a museum for the organisation – the design has been developed in order to “strengthen its public character”

The auditorium, which will host lectures scientific talks and cultural events, has been developed into a forum-like space, introducing seating rows which face each other and connect the floors below and above.

The main restaurant and bar have been moved to the top floor to strengthen the experience for the public and accentuate the building’s tripartite division of base, middle and top.

Finally, the thin vertical bronze fins around the Nobel Center’s façade will be spread less densely at the top of the building, allowing more expansive city views for people using the upper floors.

Meanwhile, the first concepts for the museum’s exhibitions have been presented to a Nobel advisory committee by German exhibition design firm Atelier Brückner. These ideas will be temporarily tested at various venues in Stockholm and around the world before a final decision is what exhibitions the Nobel Center organises across its four gallery levels.

“We are continuing our development work on the Nobel Center in order to be well prepared for construction when the local plan becomes legally binding,” said Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation.

“Our plans for making the Nobel Center a lively building with large-scale museum activities, school programmes and high-level scientific activities are now even more concrete.”

David Chipperfield, whose studio has released a raft of new renderings of the building, added: “It’s always interesting to design buildings with a public dimension. The Nobel Prize has a unique position in the world and the Nobel Center is a fantastic opportunity for Stockholm, which the city has now decided to realise.”

While the scheme was passed at a council vote on 25 April – with 54 votes for and 43 against – local campaigners remain angry at the impact they believe the building will have on the inner-city Blasieholmen district, which is surrounded by many of the Swedish capital’s oldest landmarks and museums.

In the aftermath of the vote, the 12,000-strong Preserve Blasieholmen Facebook group pledged “Blasieholmen will be destroyed over our dead body.”

Despite their protests, however, construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.

David Chipperfield Architects  Nobel Center  Nobel Foundation  Stockholm  Sweden  architecture  design 
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David Chipperfield Architects have presented the schematic design for the new Nobel Center in Stockholm to the public, weeks after the controversial project received the green light from the city council. While the architects have maintained their initial concept for the building – which will house the Nobel Foundation headquarters and a museum for the organisation – the design has been developed in order to “strengthen its public character” The
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Construction on the Nobel Center is scheduled for 2017 / David Chipperfield Architects
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