Hagsatra Hub by Swedish architect Rahel Belatchew focuses on revitalising the area
Hagsatra Hub by Swedish architect Rahel Belatchew focuses on revitalising the area

Belatchew Architects, in the city for Swedish Style Mumbai, designed Hagsatra Hub in Stockholm, Sweden

This project is a taste of Sweden for those interested in Swedish Style Mumbai, coming up next week. Designed to revive Hagsatra, a quarter in southern Stockholm, Hagsatra Hub is meant to offer accommodation, social interaction and opportunities for entrepreneurs to network

Located in the heart of Scandinavia, Hagsätra is a quarter in southern Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Minimally populated, Hagsätra is generally perceived as a suburb that a harried commuter appreciates for its tranquility and green expanses; an area that merits only a fleeting glance. With the intent to efficiently utilise spaces within the city, the local governing body put forth a proposal to expand the overall Stockholm experience by inviting outsiders to view the history and contemporaneity of the city, wherein the suburbs would be developed as centres that offered accommodation, networking opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as social interaction.

The idea gained traction and was ultimately given to Rahel Belatchew Lerdell’s architecture firm – Belatchew Architects, under the project title ‘BIG’. BIG summarised the government’s vision of a landmark that would grant Hagsätra a modern and unique silhouette and increase its relevance. Hagsätra Hub was conceptualised as a multi-purpose building with different types of accommodation facilities, such as youth housing for students, shared apartments for the working class, and family housing. They were integrated into the same venue in the spirit of reducing housing segregation to contribute to a livelier cultural scene.  The building would also cater to other programmes, namely education, entrepreneurship, work and art.

The structure adapts naturally to the contours of the site. To the southwest, it merges with the crest of a hillock, providing a natural green lawn, while the opposite side has sub-levels that open on to the road. The high-rise has been divided into several parts. The lower levels accommodate a cinema, indoor gym, laundry room, cafes and co-working spaces, all of which invite users of varying age groups at different times of the day – thereby increasing pedestrian traffic. In an attempt to promote environment-friendly travel, the premises have no parking spaces. Instead, the ground floor has bicycle stands, cycle workshops and information boards for public transport.

The topmost block of the building, comprised entirely of student housing, has been elevated on columns to give the impression of a floating mass, detached from the activity below. The intermediate space is used as green terrace, ideal for communal interactions or business meetings. The design focuses on low energy consumption, as seen in the installation of solar cells on the roof.

An exemplary project in the field of reviving spaces, Hagsätra Hub encourages a sense of community and successfully revitalises an entire neighbourhood. The construction of the Hub, too, promoted the same. Together with the city, residents, local architects, contractors and artists contributed to achieve an ongoing dialogue in local co-creation.

Note: Swedish design, art, architecture, fashion and more will be displayed in Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai on June 4th and 5th as part of Swedish Style Mumbai. 



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