In the northernmost city of Sweden, 145 km above the Arctic Circle, the city of Kiruna sits on a hill above the world’s largest, most modern underground iron ore mine. Kiruna has been a mining city for over a century. As the mine has expanded, ore has been removed from beneath the city’s foundations making the ground it sits on unstable. Now the entire city is being relocated.
The move will take place in phases and the City Hall will be the first building in the new Kiruna, a strong communal space for citizens to gather as well as the symbol of a new beginning. The city hall consists of two building volumes. The inner volume is a golden crystalline heart paying tribute to the mineral underground below while reflecting the precious arctic sunlight from above. All public functions are located here ─ municipal council chamber, exhibition spaces for local Sami art, workshops and a shared atrium space. The outer building floats sphere-like containing administrative functions and office spaces while optimizing the intake of daylight by 17 % compared to a square building volume.
In a tribute to Kiruna’s existing city hall from 1958, designed by modernist Arthur von Schmalensee, we have incorporated its detached bell tower into the new city hall as well as reusing selected materials and building parts.
The City Hall broke ground in September 2014 and will be completed in 2018.