Fittja people's pAlace


Place: Botkyrka, Stockholm
Type: First prize in competition (Swedish part of Nordic Built Challenge)
Year: 2013-
Client: Nordic Innovation and Botkyrkabyggen
Collaboration: NCC

Fittja People´s Palace was the winning entry of the Swedish part of the competition Nordic Built Challenge in 2013. The scheme puts forward a scalable model and process for a sustainable renovation of a social housing area from early 1970´s, and is now under implementation. 
We have searched for the inherent flexibility in the existing, mostly very rational, system. With subtle additions, the urban environment is strengthened and room for new activites is created.

Renovation measures are selected within a cost frame of maximum 25% rental increase to ensure continued affordable apartments. Apartment renovations focus on a technical upgrade to improve climate comfort and energy performance. Facade and exteriors are cleaned and repaired to highlight their existing qualities. Balcony fronts are replaced with perforated metal fronts for improved daylight conditions in the apartments.

A transformation of an un-used space in the ground floor includes opening of storefront windows in the façade, addition of kitchen facilities and ground transformation in front of the basement.
The suggested transformation of the basement floor would, together with new public facilities on the west side of Fittja Centrum support a vivid urban environment. 

Jury pronouncement

Fittja Peoples Palace is the most courageous proposal in the competition. Although not innovative in any classical sense, it does represent a radical departure. The proposers dared to suggest small, but strategic changes. The proposal adhered to the financial parameters established in the programme and thereby satisfied competition objectives. The proposers managed to make the difficult decisions considered compromises.

The proposal does not involve a total remodernization with full accessibility, maximum additional insulation and total renovation of the apartments. Instead, less strategic, surgical action is proposed that satisfies requirements in a sufficiently good way, or in the best possible way, as it will allow current tenants to remain in their homes and enjoy a much-improved living environment.

The approach that runs throughout the proposal is scalable, i.e. it can be applied to many other million programme districts, even if it can be criticized for producing buildings that, once renovated, will not meet that standards of new-build properties in respect of full accessibility, acoustics, air quality or energy efficiency. The absence from the proposal of an FTX system is something that the jury criticized, but the final analysis this criticism was not regarded as being fatal to the proposal.