The Nobel Snowflake
Gert Wingårdh, Wingårdh Arkitektkontor
Our new proposal promotes the building’s public character and enhances its relation to the site. The curved footprint is a direct response to the Blasieholmen context. It is built upon the original analyses of the site, where the building is kept within the extension of the Käpplingeholmen block, and approximately north of Nationalmuseum. With the reduced program, and the regularity created by an extended plaza in “A p(a)lace to enjoy” not a realistic option, a new situation emerged:
- First, the reduced terrain toward the east called for a reduction of the eastern corner of the building.
- Second, a reduction of the western corner shaped a sheltered spot with evening sun connected to the dining area.
- Third, the previous disadvantages when entering and leaving the building with coaches called for a more spacious plaza in front of the main entrance.
Cutting corners did not only create valuable outdoor spaces right where they are needed, but also a plan that corresponds to the circular auditorium. Spatial quality is the common denominator that has evolved the round plan as well as the concavities of the snowflake. A retracted position toward the neighboring buildings emancipated the Nobel Center and opened for an even more unique architecture.
The facets reduce the impact of the building in favor of a solemn monumentality. Even if the shape and transparency bears no resemblance to the environment, the size of the facets corresponds to the surrounding buildings. Their milieu will tint the façades, just as lights and shadows will make the building twist as daylight shifts.
The experience of the interior evolves from the void in the middle. A high and expanding space, culminating in the vault carrying the auditorium, offers the visitors a tempting route through the temporary exhibitions up to the venue at the top. This is a borderless world; laureates and children will roam on the same conditions in a sensuous, vibrant and active realm that celebrates curiosity, creativity and lateral, as well as vertical, thinking. Students will find calm places for studies here, but also the atmosphere of the laboratory – two inspiring conditions that will welcome visitors and citizens of any kind, at any time.
Below this forward-looking and transparent section of the center, one will find the main exhibition floor below the entrance level, and the entrance hall with its bistro as well as fine dining. These venues will be able to access not only from the main entrance toward Nybroviken, but also from the pedestrian entrance facing Nationalmuseum. A third entrance toward the jetty will primarily be used by guests embarking or disembarking boats. A deli or bar toward Hovslagargatan is an option that could be altered to a built-in loading dock that would reduce the impact of the ramp in front.
The full proposal available as pdf below.