TERROIR, in association with Kim Utzon Arkitekter, have won a 2-stage competition for a new headquarters for the United Nations affiliated World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden.
The project is a +/-2500 sq.m. extension to an existing building called the Tornhuset (Tower House). This building is a freestyle piece which is quite unusual compared to the Danish public buildings across Oeresund, and so presented some interesting challenges in terms of designing an extension. Of great interest to us is the ambiguity between the wall and tower elements (one growing into the other) and the roof which, at first glance looks conventional, but is actually an unexpected formal play which starts in a simple gable logic but then embellishes as it responds to the geometry of the building below.
Our approach to the extension was centred in an urban response, and our awareness that the building is something of an “urban hinge” located at a key corner on a road which extends from the old city centre and across the canals to the Malmo docklands. This “hinge” quality was explored in the design, and used as a provocation to explore a folded plate language for the new building which started with this hinge form and then was further embellished on the basis of required views and light access to the program within. The cladding of the building is painted metal sheet, a traditional material in Swedish architecture. The colour of the roof sheet is related to the roof on the adjacent building.
The interior of the building is in two parts – a stack of floors with various classroom and research spaces and a void between this stack and the adjacent building. The stack of floors is set back on every level as it rises from the street, to open this void to the maximum extent possible to the sky. The resulting space will be bathed in a beautiful light for which southern Sweden is known.
The project is to be documented between now and mid 2012 and completed by the end of 2013.