‘Gasklockan’ is situated in the north of Stockholm in Hjorthagen, an industrial area seemingly remote from the city, embedded in an until recently unbroken area of royal parkland that has been designated the world’s first National Urban Park, called Ekopark.
The site is characterized by an industrial complex designed by Architect Ferdinand Boberg from the late 19th century with two historical brick gasholders and buildings that served the gas production. Raised on a hill, two further gasholders were built, a smaller one dating back to 1912, and a taller one from 1932. The smaller one is of cultural value, recounting almost 100 years of gas work history and will therefore be maintained.
The taller gasholder with approximately 90m height and 50m diameter is well known and visible from many locations in the city centre and around it. In 2009, Herzog & de Meuron has been commissioned to transform the taller gasholder into a residential tower of exact the same dimensions providing over 300 apartments. It will replace the gasholder as a new landmark among the flat city fabric of Stockholm and bring new identity to the planned ‘Norra Djurgårdsstaden’ development with 10’000 apartments, retail and commercial.
A curved path will surround the hill providing calm spaces where people can meet, enjoy the new park or move ahead to the residential tower with a café, bistro & bar, offices and a kindergarten on the ground floor. Towering above the central void are 312 apartments of different size with penthouse apartments on the upper levels and a common roof terrace at the top. The central void extends the full height of the tower and provides a spatial and visual link throughout the tower.
Wrapped in glass bricks of different shades of subtle colours, the façade takes reference to Boberg’s brick gasholders. It will change its appearance throughout the day, and seasons - disappearing from the Stockholm skyline when the sky is white, glowing in the evening sun or sparkling in the bright lights of the day - always reacting to the changing light conditions.
The cylindrical extruded form deriving from the original gas tower has cuts in the floorplan to bring light into the apartments. According to sun exposure, the plan is adjusted to minimize energy loss in the north and to maximize the light exposure in the south. This geometry results in V-shaped apartments of different sizes with living rooms in one finger and bedrooms in the other finger, offering spectacular panoramic views over Stockholm, the park, landscape and the archipelago.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2017