Building a new attractive city!

The mining city of Kiruna is "moving". Mining company LKAB will be building some 3000 apartments, roughly half of all Kiruna, the upcoming years.  A key element is to create an attractive city. The mine business is growing and there is a need to recruit people, with an increasing level of education. As part of our work with mining company we were asked to try do find a way to design an area attractive even by international standards. 


There is no way Kiruna is going to be San Francisco or Paris. Kiruna needs to build on the uniqueness of its place, its nature and to support attractive life styles that are possible here and perhaps only here.

We engaged citizens, adults, school children and students at relevant universities, in finding out what would make future Kiruna attractive. Based on the findings a program was developed, that called for immediate access to nature, large variation in buildings, different types of dwellings in size, shape and layouts, strong colors and "no box-houses in straight lines".

To develop the concept we created a unique process for planning and architecture. The plan was developed to extend the ski slope and different trails directly into the area, allowing each house and entrance direct access to nature.

In parallell four architects were given the task of designing four types of houses each, without a given lot or place, without knowing about each other. The purpose was to create true variation and provide us with a palette of designs to use.

Last we put houses into the plan, more or less randomly, later making minimal adjustments, to maintain the feeling of long time, organic development, rather than a single project development. All design decisions were taken using 3D rendering from a eye height. We find it hard to judge the quality of an area from aerial view.

The best way to design an area is to step into it!

Client: LKAB Fastigheter, LKAB Urban Transformations
Project management: LKAB Projects

Master plan, Process & Creative Direction: 
Maestro Design & Management

The archtects for the different type buildings are:
Arkitektur + Development (Who also works on the plan)
Brunnberg & Forshed
Fahlander Arkitekter
Landström Arkitekter