Hammarby Sjöstad/Sustainable City

Sustainable district creates inspiration worldwide
Client: The City of Stockholm
Year of commission: 1997 – 2007, 2013 - 2016
Partners: Several
Developer: The City of Stockholm, Erik Wallin, Stockholmshem, Riksbyggen, Einar Mattsson
Skills/studios: Urban Development, Housing, Helsingborg, among others

Development of the internationally renowned Sustainable City district, one of Stockholm’s largest urban development projects with a strong environmental profile, got under way as early as 1990. We’ve participated on large parts of the project over the years, including work on the in-depth master plan, several zoning plans and many other construction projects.

Sustainable City spans the area around Stockholm’s Hammarby sjö (Lake Hammarby), covering Södra Hammarbyhamnen as well as parts of Södermalm. By 2017, the district will have been expanded to include around 11,000 residences for over 25,000 inhabitants.  The district forms a natural expansion of Stockholm’s inner city area, something that has influenced its architecture, infrastructure and urban development plan.

Photo: K-A Larsson
Photo: K-A Larsson

The Olympic village dream

In actual fact, from the outset, the new district was envisaged to be an Olympic village. As a new, sustainable district that could be developed across the somewhat run-down Hammarby harbour and industrial area, the potential existed to contribute towards the hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games in Sweden. Events took a different turn, but by then, the Sjöstad vision of an environmentally friendly inner city district providing modern housing for thousands of Stockholmers was already in place.

From master plan to GlashusEtt

Our involvement in the development of Sustainable City stretches all the way back to 1997. Among other things, we have worked on the in-depth master plan for the entire area and several zoning plans, including documentation, as well as the detailed planning and configuration programme for over 2,400 apartments as well as public spaces, workplaces, amenities and much more.

We’ve also designed GlashusEtt, the City of Stockholm’s first environmental information centre, which has generated a great deal of attention, both in Sweden and globally, since it was opened in 2002. The centre provides information about the Sjöstad environmental programme, among other ventures, with considerable dedication, and has inspired other cities around the world to follow a similar path.

Foto: Björn Lofterud
Photo: Björn Lofterud

Elements of the area’s environmental technology are controlled and highlighted at the transparent building, including an automated vacuum collection tank and rectifier station for the Tvärbanan link in the cellar. The building itself is run by a complex environmental technology system harnessing impulse-control of heat pumps, ventilators, convectors and blinds. A biogas boiler, weather station and solar cell technology can also be found here.

The ultimate objective was to reduce total environmental impact by 50%, in comparison to a typical area constructed at the start of the 1990s.

Photo: K-A Larsson
Photo: K-A Larsson

The Hammarby model

During the development of Sustainable City, the vision of a sustainable urban district was transformed into a detailed environmental programme. The ultimate objective was to reduce total environmental impact by 50%, in comparison to a typical area constructed at the start of the 1990s. However, more stringent environmental demands required a completely new set of solutions. This included a closed-loop system – the Hammarby model – with solutions for energy, waste, water and sewerage.


Kasper Salin Prize winner in 2005

In 2005, Hammarby Sjöstad (Sickla Quay, Sickla Canal and Sjöstadsparterren) received the Kasper Salin Prize, one of the finest distinctions in Swedish architecture. This prize also recognised our involvement in the urban development plan for Sickla Quay. Here is an excerpt from the award statement:

”In recognition of an expertly integrated district in a beautiful city space, where urban intensity contrasts with soothing greenery and water. Through a sound balance between content, scale and infrastructure, a human touch has been harnessed in a large, complex context.”

You can read more about Hammarby Sjöstad at the City of Stockholm website.

The team behind this project

  • Stellan Fryxell
  • Eva Ocklund
  • Cecilia Holmström
  • Camilla Järned
  • Niclas Hedin
  • Sonny Mattsson
  • Inger Thede
  • Bengt Rönnhed


Mark Humphreys Practise Director Stockholm, Regional Manager Stockholm +46 8 412 53 43