Small British practice beats Rogers and Erskine to design £100m mixed-use development for Stockholm square.
Pawson Williams Architects has beaten a prestigious field, including Richard Rogers Partnership and Ralph Erskine, to win a competition to design a £100m mixed-use scheme in Stockholm.

The scheme consists of a single 150 m long building that will run along one side of Sergels Torg square, Stockholm’s equivalent of Trafalgar Square.

Terry Pawson, joint partner in Pawson Williams, said the centrepiece of the project is an underground cultural centre with 50 flats on its upper storeys and cafés and restaurants on its lower floors. Pawson said his practice had also put forward a plan to refurbish a metro station below the building. Pawson said his designs for the underground cultural facility would link up directly to an existing cultural centre on the other side of the square.

“It’s more about changing the nature of the square. The building is a product of that, not the goal,” said Pawson. He said his practice had been successful because it addressed the problem of a busy road nearby. “Most proposals did not understand what the problem was,” he said. Pawson’s plan reroutes this road, keeping it away from the square.

The practice’s other partner, Keith Williams, added that the scheme was designed to give the square more of a sense of urban space.

It’s more about changing the nature of the square. Most proposals did not understand what the problem was

Terry pawson, Partner, Pawson Williams

Pawson declined to confirm the £100m figure for the value of the scheme, as it is part of a bigger plan for the square. “It is a relatively low-key building,” Pawson said.

“The culture centre [Stockholm Kulturhuset, across the square] is the more important one. Our building will help give the culture centre and the square back their lives.”

Pawson praised the city council, Stockholm Stad, for the way it ran the competition. “Stockholm Stad ran it in a very open manner,” he said. All six proposals, most from Scandinavian architects, were put forward in an open session lasting a day.