Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Green light for controversial Slussen revamp

STOCKHOLM. The local council in Stockholm has adopted a controversial plan for revamping the Slussen transit hub near the city’s Old Town. A plan for the project that was presented early this year led to an uproar.
Now changes in the design have been made, but the debate is far from over. The future of Slussen is bound to be an issue in local elections to be held in September.
The struggle over Slussen’s future has been going on for at least 20 years. This important transit hub from 1935 is literally falling apart and a major restoration is long overdue.
The first competition for a new design was held as early as 1990, but nothing happened.
In 2004 a new winner was picked after a competition said to be final. Plans were presented, and a new debate began.
Then, in 2008, it was all of a sudden announced that yet another competition would take place. Prestigious foreign architect firms were invited to take part together with leading Swedish firms. In early 2010 a revamped proposition by Foster + Partners and Swedish Berg architects was presented as the future Slussen.
But now hell broke loose with widespread protest and a heated debate. The new proposals included new buildings and a design that would block part of the view the Södermalm district towards the Old Town.
Politicians hesitated again and planners went back to the drawing boards to make changes. Now plans for some buildings have been scrapped.

Copyright: Foster + Partners/Berg Arkitektkontor
Part of the plans for the new Slussen, that now have been changed again.