"Leave at dance class, ice hockey practice and shop without going around in the car" - A new type of city center

The city of Malmberget must, like Kiruna, be "moved" due to LKAB iron ore mining. The municipality has decided to relocate most of the pople and functions to the nearby Gällivare. In June 2013 Maestro Management was commissioned by the City of Gällivare and LKAB to develop a program and master plan for a new city center. The municipaltiy have now adopted the program.

The vision is a lively and active small town, by bringing education, culture and sports activities into the town center. A key element is to connect people and activities rather than spreading all out in single function buildings. The multi-activity building for sport, culture, pool, ice-rink and other activities, all connected with public, social spaces will set a new standard for what a small town has to offer.

A City Center for the 21st Century

The result is small town, for the 21st century building on the classical characteristics of nice city, adopted for the mobile and connected generations and life styles.

Close and Connected

Most citizens wish activities to be close and to bring more people to the city center. A leading statement came from a young woman who dreams of a future where she could: "leave at dance class, ice hockey practice and shop without going around in the car."

More active and learning leisure times

A comprehensive study on leisure time activities was made. This tells us that coming generations want to do more themselves. The want to participate in sports and culture life, not just watch others. Another key finding is that they want learn more new things and meet new people. The young do not make a clear distinction between sports and culture.

”More things needs to happen, but for me and when I have time” Male, 18

”A culture center for learning, that young and old tech each other. Organize a class of your own. With pool and gym.”  Female, 24

Strengthened local shops are good for the environment

Increasing the number of people in the center strengthens the local shops; especially the smaller and more specialized. This will help reduce car travel significantly, which is good for the environment. Today Gällivare residents travel some 7 000 000 km yearly to coastal cities to shop. Every increase of local business with 6 MUSD  could reduce CO2 emissions by 480 tons!

Multifunctional buildings increase activities and meetings, and save money.

Bringing many functions into share buildings in the center save a lot of money through co-use. For example the gym, pool and sport facilities share changing rooms and lockers, instead of tripling these functions. (Thereby you can also go swim after exercise with getting dressed!) The total building area have been reduced from 46 000 sq.m to 38 000, but the useful space has increased by some 50%!

The Result: 38 000 sq. m more to do, without any demolition!

The new city center brings together most activities on and at the square, even things normally spread out: high school, culture, library, sports and indoor pools, dance, cinema, skate and museum. This will increase life in the city, of all ages, during day, night and weekends. At the same time will decrease traffic and the need for car travel in the center.

This is a dense multi-activity center where you'll meet people with different interests, age and sex. You can go to the gym, play floor ball and jump in the pool without getting dressed between. Young (and old) people can skate, climb, work out, practice basket ball, rehearse with the band, have a coffee and study, all at the same place.

The new Gällivare city center. High school, education, sports, culture, pool, shops and apartments around the square. (Click for a hi-res image.)

The new Gällivare city center. High school, education, sports, culture, pool, shops and apartments around the square. (Click for a hi-res image.)

This is how the 38 000 sq. m of education and activities are placed to form the new city center. Like many cities the 60ies modernism left the center empty and almost dead.  (Click for a hi-re image.)

This is how the 38 000 sq. m of education and activities are placed to form the new city center. Like many cities the 60ies modernism left the center empty and almost dead.  (Click for a hi-re image.)

The complete program (in Swedish) can be downloaded here!

Comments:                                          

Attractive cities of the future will be built around what people would like to do there. This must be the starting point. Then the task is to plan and design buildings that make this life possible. This is big different than the 20th century modernism, where planners decided everything what a city would be, often starting with assigning key space to traffic.

Lars Albinsson, Chief designer of the program and master plan, Maestro Management

Most 60ies areas are too spacious. Many so-called housing projects take as much space as if they would have been single homes. In Gällivare it was possible to add 38 000 sq. m and the result is a much more attractive & livable city.

Prof. Kai Wartiainen, Arkitektur + Development, expert on planning and architecture

We see a strong rise of a participation movement. People want to do things themselves in sports and culture, not just being spectators. There is also an increase in individual activities, for instance working out at a gym replaces traditional team sports.

Peter Majanen, CEO, Quattroporte, who lead the first major study on leisure activities in Sweden for years.

This could actually become a great place to live in. 

Gällivare girl, age 15.

Illustrations

(Click for a hi-res image.)

Adding buildings in different styles improves the square, while maintaining views and the church prominence.

Adding buildings in different styles improves the square, while maintaining views and the church prominence.

An ice arena can be put diagonally, with houses, shops and offices on the corners. Then the arena can be placed in the city center without creating dead facades or streets.

An ice arena can be put diagonally, with houses, shops and offices on the corners. Then the arena can be placed in the city center without creating dead facades or streets.

The multi-activity building will increase life in the city and fill earlier unused and dead space.

The multi-activity building will increase life in the city and fill earlier unused and dead space.

Contact:

Lars Albinsson, chief designer, Maestro Design & Management
+46 70-592 70 45
lars.albinsson@maestro.se

The project engaged some 1000 people: citizens, politicians, civil servants and staff, experts, and leaders of local sportsand culture associations. 

Our primary partner in architecture and planning was Arkitektur + Development.