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Chipperfield’s Nobel Centre gets green-light

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David Chipperfield Architects competition-winning scheme for a new Nobel Centre in Stockholm has been given the go-ahead

Yesterday (25 April) Stockholm City Council approved the local plan for the Blasieholmen peninsula which includes the controversial Chipperfield-designed cultural centre.

The new building will include exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, a library, restaurant, shop and a large auditorium where the annual Nobel Prize award ceremony will take place.

The firm had reduced the size of the new Nobel Centre after fierce opposition to the scheme last year.

The revised plans were reduced in height by 3m and shortened by 4.5m, while public spaces were also improved.

The approval paves the way for a number of historic buildings including an 1876 customs house by Axel Fredrik Nystrom – the architect of Sweden’s Old National Archives, and two wooden warehouses from 1910 to be demolished to make way for the new museum.

The demolition of these historic buildings had previously come under fire from Stockholm’s City Museum and a Facebook campaign was also launched to protect them.

But despite opposition to the scheme the proposal, which will also see parks and public realm created, was voted through by the 54-43.

One politician who voted in favour of the project, Karin Ernlund, leader of Stockholm’s Centre Party, said: ‘There are many views on the design of the building, especially in Blasieholmen, but it is not our role as politicians to act as taste police’.

Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, commented: ‘We are pleased with this resounding Yes from the political leaders in Stockholm. I am convinced that the building in itself and the activities that will take place there will be highly appreciated. Likewise, the area around the Nobel Center – with well-equipped quays and walkways – will make the site more accessible than it is today for Stockholm residents.’

Construction is set to begin in 2017 and the project is expected to complete in 2019.

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