Kiruna’s well-publicised and ongoing urban transformation has not gone unnoticed by many. We have been working since 2016 with the design of retail spaces in the newly emerging neighbourhoods, and now the new city centre is really starting to take shape.
In August 2018 Kiruna inaugurated its new city hall – the first building to be constructed in the new city centre. With this as a starting point, other blocks are being built around the square, and by 2022 the main shopping street is due to be completed. Wester + Elsner Architects, together with brand and concept developer Christina Blomberg, have developed a strategy for the design of the retail spaces. Our ambition is to create ideal conditions for the businesses that will be moving in, and in doing so contribute to a vibrant urban space.
We started out from the ambitions described in Kiruna’s development plan, where retail trade was to be concentrated along a main shopping street that starts at the square and ends in an area designed for high volume trading. This master plan, which forms the basis for all ongoing and future designs, has been conceived to provide space for businesses large and small and to enable flexibility for future development. By using a number of smaller internal squares, destination points are created in the neighbourhood that provide walks (both inside and out) through the city centre where trade is primarily concentrated.
Wester + Elsner Architects is also responsible for the design of the public environments in three of the neighbourhoods in the new city centre. This is a collaborative project between LKAB, Kirunabostäder and Nåiden Bygg. The project architects are Tirsén & Aili, Luleå.