Page D1.1 . 17 March 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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Home in Stockholm

by Daniel Golling

One hundred new apartments in downtown Stockholm may be a hint that urban living is slowly returning to the city's shopping and business district. The mixed-use redevelopment "Klara Zenit" is a transformation of a gloomy 1971 office monolith into a colorful block of apartments, offices, and shops.

The building was originally constructed in 1971 for the postal service. As a product of the cold-war era, it was engineered to withstand aerial bombardment. Its oversized structure has now been exploited by the architects of the new Klara Zenit, Equator Stockholm — a Swedish branch of Equator European Architects.

One change visible from street level is that the once closed, brown-tiled building is now more colorful and open-feeling, thanks to the addition of large storefront windows. Inside, the institutional building has come alive with apartments and offices on the upper floors and shops and parking on the lower floors.

The original building was, by Stockholm standards, very large with a considerable floor depth. Floors that rarely saw daylight may have been exactly what the postal service wanted in the early 1970s, but tenants of today have other demands. So the architects have brought daylight to the office floors by inserting a few light courts that run diagonally to Klara Zenit's rectangular massing.   >>>

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Klara Zenit, a mixed-use redevelopment by the architecture firm Equator Stockholm, brings new life to the Swedish city's business district.
Photo: Max Plunger

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An apartment with a view to Stockholm's cityscape.
Photo: Max Plunger


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