White
  • The New Kiruna.

    The challenge to relocate the city centre of Kiruna attracted architects from around the world. A total of 57 teams showed interest, of which 10 were selected to participate in the competition. White’s winning proposal titled “Kiruna 4-ever” creates a sustainable vision for the long-term expansion of the city eastwards.

  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna
  • New city centre Kiruna

Strategic Vision - Process vs. completeness 
Kiruna is an urban settlement under unprecedented pressure for transformation, a process that, with the continuing global demand for iron, will most likely not stop at the year 2033. More than any other city in the world, Kiruna will never achieve completeness or an ideal state. It is in the creative orchestration of the transformation processes where we will find Kiruna’s vision, Kiruna’s master-plan. Already within the next 2 years, the city needs to implement new projects and uncover immediate territorial potential through their execution. Each phase on the time-line will present an optimized, invigorated urban-landscape relationship, an improved city. All these different actions will be layered through time by considering pre-existing conditions as point of departure for a given phase.

Relocation - west-east redirection 
An urban strip is overlaid eastward over Kiruna’s pre-existing city fabric, connecting Kiruna’s center to the neighboring settlements of Lombolo, Tuolluvaara, Kiirunavaara, and the airport. The proposal enables Kiruna to maintain a coherent urban structure throughout the transformation processes, engaging old and new tissue with the open landscape. A main street, currently Malmvägen, forms the cities backbone. The proposed infrastructure builds on existing conditions, a central location for the train station generates development opportunities for commercial and public services. Our strategy is to introduce a flexible, fast, frequent and climate-friendly public transport system including a cable-car and a rail freight line. Future investments in Kiruna are located according to the time scale of the mines deformation. The areas which will be affected by future deformations are mid-term and removable investments. The areas further from the mine that will not be affected by any future deformations are suitable for heavier and long-term investments, such as the railway station, hospital and town hall.

Site-specific urban form - Interlocking with the arctic landscape 
The goal is to create a city where the vast, open arctic landscape meets a denser human community in “full contact”; the city fabric grows linearly eastwards but will also develop organically north-south, in the form of fingers/neighborhoods. Such a zoning strategy allows natural areas to remain intact and in direct contact with public functions, services and living quarters, stimulating outdoor recreation and preservation of nature.

Transformation process - 3 designs 
The future of Kiruna depends on the knowledge, effort and commitment of its residents, we propose three specific projects so as to encourage, manage and systematize people involvement:

The Kiruna Dialogue: A continual intensive dialogue with the residents to provide valuable input and a well-founded direction to long-term planning.

The Kiruna Portal: An open structure, an extra-large communal shop for housing manufacturing, a “build it yourself” facility and construction recycling depot, equipped with state of the art technology and building management services. 

The Kiruna Biennale: An opportunity for Kiruna to exhibit and host events to share the story and give life to the vision that shapes the city.

Future Identity - Rebranding Kiruna 
The city of Kiruna deserves an identity update, which is only possible by incepting variegated new programs, including fresh businesses, in order to de-stabilize the city’s mono-functionality. Kiruna’s true nature will always be related to iron extraction, but it is precisely the collateral effects of this enterprise which opens for opportunism in terms of alternative uses and activities, like a treasury park, a scooter velodrome or a leisure centre. In a very distant future, when all the ore of the region is finally extracted, the mine and its facilities could become a historical industrial park and regional tourist attraction. The new park where the city once stood will be reestablished as the historic route for the reindeer’s migration.

Energy – City and mine symbiosis  
In order to establish a new sustainability standard it is paramount to understand the relationship between the city and the mine as symbiotic in terms of natural resources and energy consumption/production. This is a unique opportunity for a new standard for sustainable city planning and long-term, flexible holistic energy management strategies in all stages. In addition to wind power and the interconnection of LKAB and TNABs district heating system energy production in Kiruna focuses on maximizing the utilization of the enormous amounts of waste heat in the mining industry to create a carbon neutral city. The mine and the mining area are also an important resource even after the mine has shut down. Minerals for example which are not mineable with current techniques are likely to become so in the future, and by the opportunity to take advantage of the stable environment of the mine in various ways, ranging from plantations to energy processes.