Slab, point-access
Wallander, Sven (for the HSB) | Stockholm, Sweden | 1934-36
Image of Kungsklipp...
General view along the Barnhusviken canal.

ArchitectWallander, Sven (for the HSB)
AddressKungsholmsgatan 2-13/Kungsbro Strand
Building TypeSlab, point-access
Number of DwellingsNA
Date Built1934-36
Dwelling Typesflats
No. Floors7
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
stucco, wood windows
Construction TypeR-C frame
Ancillary Servicesroof terraces, balconies

Barnhusviken, the waterway separating Norrmalm and Kungsholmen island, was once much wider and the site of general industrial activity. Over the years landfill made to provide space for industrial sites had narrowed the channel. In 1934 the last remaining industry on the Kunsgsholmen side and the slum housing around the factories were removed to make room for a new HSB residential quarter on what was to become a beautiful site overlooking the canal, Klara Sjö This housing consists of two discrete groups of buildings: a nine story slab at the top of the hill along Kungsklippan and a group of 5 slabs along the water at the bottom of the hill. The lower blocks are the more interesting group. They are 7 floors high, and arranged with the long axis, perpendicular to the water and step down from street access at an upper opening out to the street and a park along the water. These buildings are aligned on a NE/SW axis and have balconies on all sides. The narrow end facing the water has large balconies on the upper floors looking out upon the canal and a portico defining covered entrances and a pedestrian walkway at the lower level. The sides of each block are notched slightly in plan where the balconies occur. Thus the side balconies also have a view of the water. The parallel alignment of these 5 slabs certainly recalls typical zeilenbau planning. The transformation of the type to suite the site condition, however, is very untypical. Now the end of the typically blank zeilenbau slab has become the front; instead of a flat site it has been placed perpendicular to a slope with entrance being made at each level and a resulting stepping of the building volume. The sunny balconies, the landscaped space between buildings, and the park, boat slips and waterway render Wallander's slabs a paradigm of Stockholm housing. In recent years, extensive building on the opposite side of the canal has mimed Wallander's concepts but in a different time, style, and building technology. Together, the two groups, old and new, have transformed this old industrial basin into lovely, high-density waterfront neighborhood in the center of the city on a site overlooking the constant maritime activity of Stockholm's waterways.

Henrik o. Andersson, Fredrik Bedoire, Stockholm Architecture and Landscape, Prisma, Stockholm, 1988, pp. 185-6.

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