Located on the shore of the Bällstaviken inlet in Sundbyberg near Stockholm, the two 8-storey apartment buildings became Sweden’s tallest timber buildings and one of the world’s largest residential wooden developments on completion in 2013. The 25m tall timber structure is rooted on a concrete ground floor, and so lightweight that it needed to be anchored from the very top with steel rods. Despite this, wood dominates in Strandparken with prefabricated wooden modules giving a natural feel with softer internal acoustics. Keeping the facade visually appealing as the wood ages presented a new challenge, which was overcome through the use of cedar shingles whose natural variation offsets variation in any discolouration over time.
At the core of Folkhem’s strategy is a long-term view that sees wooden construction as key to reducing risk and delivering long-term benefits. Strandparken was their first major wood project, comprising 28,000m2 of CLT, 180m3 of glulam and 14,000m2 of cedar shingles, with each wood type providing a distinct and vibrant identity for the building. Materials are designed for minimal maintenance, and interior walls are covered in thin gypsum board to comply with fire regulations.
With the elements prefabricated off-site, it took just seven months to complete one block – about half the time it takes to build with concrete. The construction site was innovative too, with the roof rising above each floor as the building grew to keep elements protected from the weather.
Photo credits: Strandparken.