Chipperfield in Stockholm

Facade for the Nobel


Since the year 1926, the awarding ceremony of the Nobel Prizes has been held at the Konserthus, the classicist concert hall located at the core of Stockholm. This tradition is soon to end. The foundation originally set up by Alfred Nobel recently announced the result of the competition for its new center on the edge of the Blasieholmen peninsula, still at the heart of the Swedish capital. The London architect David Chipperfield – in collaboration with Christoph Felger – has by a unanimous decision carried the day over the other teams that were shortlisted: OMA, Lacaton & Vassal, SANAA, Snøhetta, BIG, 3XN, Lundgaard & Tranberg, Meili & Peter, Johan Celsing, and Gert Wingårdh.

Against proposals of the more fragmented, formalist, or ludic kind, the competition jury – chaired by Nobel Foundation executive director Lars Heikensten – has opted for a discreet minimalism more in accord with the civic dignity that the institution seeks to convey. David Chipperfield proposes a compactly outlined building that naturally continues and closes the constructed silhouette of the urban border. The compactness, however, only affects the solid within which the program unfolds, the volume being delimited by a permeable brass skin. As in many Chipperfield projects, this envelope presents musically paced lattices forming a veil that allows a view, from outside, of the heart of the new building: the auditorium where the prestigious prizes will be given from 2018 onward.

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