by Gretchen Milliken 3XN-1

Winning entry by 3XN (image © 3XN)

The intention of the Mälardalen University competition is to evoke a holistic architectural approach to the design one of Sweden’s largest universities with 12,000 students and over 900 faculty and employees. The University is well known for its strong partnerships with regional businesses and municipalities with a focused curriculum on education, health, technology and economics. Six established research departments further strengthen the University’s program, the flagship being Innovation and Product Development. The campus, located along the riverbank in central Eskilstuna is in need of additional space to facilitate a growing academic program with demands for more efficiency, flexibility and connectivity between the different disciplines. The task of the competition was to design the new campus and adjoining public spaces in accordance with the competition’s program which includes creating a signature building that intentionally integrates an existing 1930’s bathhouse designed by Paul Hedqvist into the design. Six Scandinavian firms were asked to submit proposals based on their credentials for the high-profile campus. The shortlisted firms that submitted proposals—three from Sweden and three from Denmark— were well established offices that had a number of high profile projects to their credit:

  • 3XN, Danish
  • Arkitema Dot, Swedish
  • Christensen & Co, Danish
  • Juul/Frost, Danish
  • White, Sweden
  • Wingårdh, Sweden

  The jury consisted of:

  • Elin S Olander, Facilities management
  • Katarina Rosenlind, architect, MSA, Municipal planner
  • Dag Johansson, architect, MSA, Chief of Planning, Jury Chair
  • Andreas Forsberg, architect, Representative of Swedish Architecture Assoc.
  • Kristin Jarmund siv. ark. MNAL/int. ark. MNIL/Hon. FAIA, Representative of the Swedish Architecture Association

Jury secretary: Monika Joelsson Vestlund, architect, SAR/MSA, Swedish Architect Although the above panel was made up exclusively of Swedish professionals, in the end the Danish firm, 3XN from Copenhagen (with an office in Stockholm), gained favor with the jury and was declared the winner.*

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