Stockholm to get a forest of timber towers on top of a plywood podium park

Masthammen eye level
© Anders Berensson Architects

It is the "highest, densest and most environmentally friendly new neighborhood" in Stockholm.

Anders Berensson Architects have designed a big new Masthammen development in Stockholm that is on TreeHugger because it is built of wood; everyone is excited because it has 31 narrow wooden towers of 25 to 35 floors containing 3,000 apartments. That is interesting on its own.

overall plan of community© Anders Berensson Architects
But what is really more interesting than the towers is the planning of the whole development. Many European cities are built out of relatively low buildings set close to the street with retail and services at grade, connected to the neighbouring communities.

In the lower city we want to build blocks with homes, offices and shops surrounded by streets, squares and a living dockside. On top of this city we want to build a city of narrow wooden skyscrapers in a public parkland that connects the new area with the surrounding hills and city parts.

street level view© Anders Berensson Architects

This makes really attractive, human-scaled streets. People have learned from this and in cities like Vancouver, the tall residential towers sit on big podium bases. Anders Berensson has taken that podium base idea to the next logical level; they have connected all their roofs with bridges and turned them into a giant connected park.

Entering park© Anders Berensson Architects

Masthammen is situated in a valley between three local hills. When entering the new city area you will often be at the same height as the roofs of the new district. Therefore we have chosen to make a Public Park on all roofs of the lower block city and connect them with bridges. The roofs and bridges forms a large public landscape that binds together all beautiful high situated promenade trails that already exist on eastern Södermalm. This way we also make eastern Södermalm easier and more beautiful to have a stroll on.

view from unit© Anders Berensson Architects

Then they sit their towers in the middle of these podia. “The flats in these skyscrapers will all get a great view, and by placing the skyscrapers with a good distance between each other the view is kept great from the roof landscapes between the buildings.”

Why is it wood?

New construction techniques such as CLT makes it appropriate to build high buildings in wood. Wood is the construction technology that releases the least carbon dioxide in today’s construction industry and is therefore the obvious choice to build a new Swedish city area in.

Nobody has yet built towers that tall and that thin out of wood, and there are challenges that will have to be overcome, from fireproofing to wind loading (wood is very light), but they are not insurmountable.

graphic design© Anders Berensson Architects

It’s the planning that I find so intriguing and innovative. Even if only the lower block city was built out of wood (and they build that high out of wood in Sweden all the time), it would still be a really interesting project.

Stockholm to get a forest of timber towers on top of a plywood podium park
It is the "highest, densest and most environmentally friendly new neighborhood" in Stockholm.

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