Livet på Bergs - Space Popular's urban vision for a huge cliff in Stockholm

 Location Nacka, Stockholm, Sweden
 Type Competition - Europan 13
 Year 2015
 Status Completed. Shortlisted
 SPOPeople Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg, Jariyaporn Prachasartta, Jenwit Narukatpichai, Jetana Ruangjun
 Client Nacka Kommun 

View from the water

To revive post industrial landscapes in urban areas like Berg’s is an enormous challenge for expanding cities, but it also provides incredible opportunities.  For generations the people of Stockholm have been looking up at the cluster of white cylinders at Bergs in fascination. The dramatic southern coastline of Finnboda, Kvarnholmen, Nacka strand and indeed Berg’s is like a stage, colonized by an eclectic collection of buildings of which locals and visitors admire. This display has defined the entrance to Stockholm via water for over a century. Berg's Oil silos have been a part of that landscape for more than half a century and will now make way for something new, something exciting.

Stockholm is growing, with Nacka Kommun leading the way with ambitious and well established projects with the final aim of creating, Nacka Stad. An integrated yet unique part of Stockholm. The new development at Berg’s is not the largest area for development in Nacka, but perhaps one of the most important. Inaccessible from land for decades but visually perhaps even more prominent than Nacka Strand as Berg's can be seen from both Djurgården, Lidingö and indeed from all travelers arriving to Stockholm on water. Berg's and Nacka Stad does not need a landmark at the site of the oil silos, it will however require an architectural gesture strong enough to create a balance with the brave structures of Finnboda, Kvarnholmen and Nacka Strand, represent Nacka Stad as a whole on its northern and most visible tip, and finally fill the shoes of the impressive white silos which has been dominating the mountain as far as anyone can remember. 

"Livet på Bergs" with its slender yet dominant access spines, it's visually stimulating and diverse housing as well as its color gradients will fulfil these delicate needs for a structure on Berg’s to both blend in, and stand out at the same time. 

The northern coastline of Nacka has through the centuries been dominated by industrial architecture, either in the form of factories, warehouses or silos. These structures, once purely utilitarian today celebrated as landmarks of Stockholm, a city with a rich history and brave majestic architecture. Berg’s will be the most significant change to this coastline in decades as most other industrial buildings remain after internal renovation.    

The most significant challenge in creating a stimulating neighborhood at Bergs is access. In the future Bergs will complete the seafront promenade project on Nacka’s northern coast towards Lilla Värtan spanning kilometers and making Berg’s the obvious point of access. With a near vertical drop of up to 20 meters the cliff face and water edge seems impossible to both inhabit and to access. 

The existing road avoids the drop by curving around the cliff and going through a man made gorge. This access is not suitable for pedestrians or cyclists as it climbs 60 meters at a distance of approximately 750 meters. This access will be highly unattractive to anyone who does not have specific reasons to visit Berg’s. Our proposal suggests that Berg’s becomes a natural point of access not only to the seafront promenade but also to a marina, canoe club, ferries to the archipelago, restaurants, bathhouse, sports facilities and other community activities. 

Access Through the spines. diagram describing access routes for both residents and the public through the spines

The issue of access is solved with a simple gesture. Stockholm  with its tall "kobbar" and "holmar" has faced this problem before and our proposal deploys a similar solution put in place at Slussen over a hundred and twenty years ago, the "Katarina Hissen". To graciously walk straight with an increasing stunning view and then descend quickly and effortlessly has been enjoyed by millions at Slussen over the last century.  The four access spines proposed for Berg’s combines the logic of the Katarina Hissen and the cable cars of Rio's favelas connecting Nacka Stad with its new waters edge paradise and stockholm with its latests residential areas. The access spines not only makes it possible for visitors to access the seafront in a stimulating and effective way, it also makes it possible to build diverse and dense housing without the need of covering the ground with roads as all access to apartments, either from public transport or from the hidden parking structures is done through the spines. 

Aerial View

A car free living. 
The spines allow for an effective and pleasant access to both the water and to the apartments attached to the spine, all without the need of cars. The growing public transport system of Nacka and Stockholm will in the future allow for a pleasant and easy car free life. 

Residents at Bergs will be able to walk from the new metro station through Jarlaberg and across the new public transport hub included in our proposal connecting Nacka Stad with Bergs and on to one of the access spines, enjoying the stunning views of Djurgården and Lidingö. One of the vertical circulation cores will take the residents down to their public lobby where bicycles can be stored and from where there is only a short walk to access the individual units. The access spines are wide enough for cars to access, either in emergency situations, for people with physical disabilities or for deliveries. Each spines also has road access from the ground in case of emergency. All parking is hidden either in the lower levels of the spines or in parking structures set back from the slopes. The longest a resident would have to walk from parking to unit would be 150 meters.  

The spines have regular circulation cores at 30 meter intervals and are divided in floors so that each section of housing can be accessed through one of the circulation core  each equipped with two elevators and one staircase. Alternative escape staircases are distributed across the housing areas.  

The View from Jarlaberg
The dominance of the Oil Storage Tanks has for decades served as an unplanned and undesired landmark for Nacka. Towering high above even the highest point of Berg’s it not only attracts visual attention, it also blocks most of the view from the residential areas of Jarlaberg. We propose that all tanks be removed in favor of a new more subtle landmark and most of all, in order to give Jarlaberg the view they never had. By removing the tanks we lower the highest point of Bergs from almost 80 meters above sea level to 60 meters.   

No Dead Ends
Since the access spines are publically accessible Bergs will offer four possible access points to the seafront and beyond creating a dynamic and lively neighborhood with people not only aiming for home but to a multitude of other destinations, some even beyond Bergs. A successful area dominated by private residences must also serve as circulation space for visitors from other areas. The access spines insure not only this circulation as people will be moving through the spines onto either seafront walks or onto boating excursions in the archipelago or even to commute to central Stockholm, but also be a destination in its own right as the new Berg’s will offer high quality public spaces, markets, restaurants and much more, now easily accessible by water and land through the access spines.  

Height analysis

Jarlaberg and Nacka Strand, Bergs closest neighboring areas have for decades been the frontier of Nacka towards the water facing Djurården and Lidingö as Berg’s has been strictly closed off to the public for decades. Bergs will now become an integrated part of Nacka Stad full of life and activity. It is therefore important that these three areas are integrated as seamlessly as possible despite the topographical challenges that separates them. We propose to connect Nacka Strand and Bergs with a widened Augustendalsvägen and a seafront boardwalk and to connect Jarlaberg and Berg with a new covered public transport hub from Landåvägen over Sköneviksvägen and seamlessly onto the now open hills of Bergs. This way residents of Jarlaberg and Nacka and indeed all of Stockholm have a natural way of accessing Berg’s with its seafront activities, public spaces and onwards to the archipelago and beyond

Village Plan. 
The two spines closest to Nacka Strand features a dense housing area nested with markets and commercial programs.
The Silhouette
The rounded silhouette of Berg’s bare granite will for the first time in decades be revealed when the oil storage tanks are removed. Stockholms sometimes brutal sea front in the form of sharp cliffs and smooth rock hills rounded by the glaciers of the ice age is a collective of thousands of islands iconic in its own right. Berg’s future as the site for 2000 apartments can impossibly restore the natural state of the mountain as existed before the oil storage tanks, nor should it. Nacka and Berg’s is not in need of a landmark, but will benefit from innovation, both culturally, architecturally and infrastructurally. Our proposal is unconventional, perhaps even radical but will offer Nacka and indeed Stockholm at large a culturally rich and stimulating array of public spaces and community activities, it will offer Nacka visionary housing solutions ready to inspire its residents and people worldwide and it will offer the world a new way to conquer topographically complex sites with revolutionary infrastructure. Our proposal inverts the conventional silhouette of a rounded cliff face, it also inverts the conventional building typology with accessibility from the ground. The result will mesmerize people passing by on boats below the impressive new structures. Just as the oil storage tanks have done for generations. Residents and members of the public can be seen on at the edge of the spines, enjoying the view, preparing a summer evening barbecue or engaging in Berg's rich public program of walks and talks.

View over the Pier Spine with "StorSkär" arriving. 

As impressive as the new Berg’s will be from the water, the experience from land is possible even more radical. Berg’s with its four spines multitude of public spaces and hundreds of apartments will be...  invisible. Our proposal limits the amount of housing to 100.000 m2 which makes it possible to keep the hill of Berg completely free of built structures and instead becomes a public park for Nacka and all of Stockholm. From the height of Jarlaberg the spines can be seen, stretching the park out towards the open waters of Lilla Värtan. This duality, of dense and diverse urbanism, and vast open natural public space is the core innovation behind our proposal.

Our proposal includes three main phases. The last phase would allow for over 150.000 m2 of housing. 
Bergs as it is today with its cluster of silos. 
Phase 1. Two access spines are constructed as well as the village with its market, sports facilities and restaurants. The public transport hub with its covering connecting Jarlaberg and Bergs is also constructed
Phase 2. The remaining two spines and their approximately 40.000m2 of housing is constructed.
Phase 3. The hill could in the future be the site for additional housing up to 50.000 m2

Strategic site. scale 1:5000 

Competition Panels