Jury report Törnrosen tower


MKB Fastighets AB is planning to construct a building which will be just over 20 storeys high in the residential area of Törnrosen, Rosengård, Malmö. The project is expected to be of great importance, both as a landmark in the cityscape and as a catalyst in the local community. To provide as broad an illustration of the project as possible, MKB Fastighets AB has arranged an international architectural competition in consultation with Malmö stad (the City of Malmö) and the Swedish Association of Architects.

In the invitation, formulated by Gehl Architects, the project has been described as follows:

The project has four catchwords: Sustainability – the project will be sustainable from a social, economic and environmental point of view. This means that the project must conserve resources and create a place for all people. Human scale – the project will help to create a residential area on a more human scale. Variation – the project will create an interesting series of urban spaces and contribute to a break up the monotony in terms of both expression and function. Edge zones – the area’s edge zones involve the creation of a smooth transition between public and private areas, to help create contact and shape the urban environment.

The project consists of three equally important parts: The square – an important part of the urban thoroughfare, the square will provide a place for everyone to meet. The area must feel safe at all times of the day and night, and meetings between different modes of transport should take place on one level; however, it is important that the pedestrian is prioritised. The base and urban densification – the tower is to be firmly established in the surrounding area via its base, which will help to create “city spaces” within the area, clarifying the different zones and supporting a more urban character to the area around Rosengård. Public functions on the ground floor will help to reinforce the area’s character as a local centre and meeting place. The urban densification will fulfil the same function and further strengthen the Rosengårdsstråket.

The tower – a landmark for Rosengård and Östra Staden (the entire eastern part of the city), which will symbolise the area’s diversity and openness. The upper part of the tower will be designated a public function area, making the building accessible to everyone.

The competition invite

The competition has been carried out within the scope of the Public Procurement Act, in which four contestants were asked to submit their entries for which they would receive payment. The choice of the four competitors took place via a pre‐qualification round.


An invitation to the pre‐qualification stage was advertised in Allego on 5 April 2011. Questions were answered as they came in during the submission period. See annex “Törnrosen Tower – an evaluation of interest” for submission requirements, selection criteria, as well as the jury’s decisions regarding the selection. The deadline for submission was 16 May 2011, and by that date 75 expressions of interest had been received. From these, the following contestants/teams were selected for the competition:

Team 1
Neutelings Riedijk Architecten BV, the Netherlands Kontur Arkitektkontor AB, Sweden MANDAWORKS AB, Sweden HOSPER Sweden AB, Sweden

Team 2
Behnisch Architekten GbR, Germany Schlaich Bergemann und Partner, Germany

Team 3
Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S, Denmark ÅF Infrastructure AB, Sweden Structor Malmö AB, Sweden Svend Kirkegaard A/S, Denmark

Team 4
Edouard Francois, France

The competition
On 8 September 2011, an initial meeting was held in Malmö, where the contestants and the jury visited the competition area together. The competition deadline was 12 December 2011. The four competition entries were submitted within this time frame under the following anonymous names: “446677”, “Culture Casbah”, “000920” and “Rosentown”. The models had to be submitted no later than 16 January 2012. All competition proposals complied with the submission requirements and were approved for evaluation by the jury.

The proposals were evaluated and anonymity was maintained, i.e. the jury conducted its work without knowing which team had sent in which proposal. The evaluation was carried out in accordance with the programme and the evaluation criteria. The jury met on five occasions, 20 December 2011, 19 January 2012, 2 February 2012, 16 February 2012 and 15 March 2012. The jury has enrolled the help of the following people in order to evaluate the proposals from an energy, structural and production perspective: Hans B. Persson, Construction Manager MKB Fastighets AB; Ulla Janson, Energy Strategist MKB Fastighets AB and Mats Borg, Design Engineer, Konstruera AB.

Results of the evaluation

The jury has unanimously decided to designate the proposal “Culture Casbah” as the winner, which was submitted by Team number 3 Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S, Denmark, ÅF Infrastructure AB, Sweden, Structor Malmö AB, Sweden and Svend Kirkegaard A/S, Denmark.

Malmö 30 March 2012
Christer Larsson – Director of Urban Planning, Malmö
Dorte Mandrup‐Poulsen – Architect, Copenhagen
Ingemar Gråhamn – City Architect, Malmö
Susanne Rikardsson – Business Development Manager MKB
Malmö Kenji Miyazu – Architect, Malmö
Peter Becht – Landscape Architect, Copenhagen
Katarina Grundsell – Architect, Stockholm

General The jury finds that the teams have provided extremely varied and, in many ways, ambitious and powerful competition schemes. The overall competition material displays no less than four completely different locations of the tower building, and they also present very different directions in terms of the tower’s scale and expression. The thoughts with regard to the base, edge zones, open spaces and densification also display major differences in terms of design approaches.

In a few respects, the teams are in agreement: that the tunnel under Västra Kattarpsvägen should be removed and that the creation of the tower will mean that at least one existing building will be affected – resulting either in its demolition or conversion.

The jury interprets the diversity of the competition materials as confirmation of the high level of difficulty of the competition assignment, and finds that none of the proposals fully meet the programme’s aspirations. For example, one entry suggests interesting design concepts without, at the same time, managing to be totally convincing at a technical/administrative level; another describes well thought‐out efficiencies, but the urban spatial issues seem to have been examined with less insight. The jury has therefore focused on finding the scheme that best responds to the evaluation criteria, and at the same time has a basic approach and supporting ideas which will provide the most interesting prerequisites for continued development work.

Culture Casbah Team 3 ‐ Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S, Denmark, ÅF Infrastructure AB, Sweden, Structor Malmö AB, Sweden, Svend Kirkegaard A/S, Denmark
The scheme shows a diverse range of ideas, both in terms of how buildings and the urban environment are designed. Streets, open spaces and courtyard areas arouse interest and could be developed and configured in a number of different ways. The design of the urban environments is carried out with sensitivity to the informal qualities of everyday life. The new buildings complement the Million Programme area and introduce a vision where the notion of individuality and diversity is strongly expressed – visually, functionally and spatially. All in all, the team shows great commitment to the brief, and answers ambitiously to its issues.

The jury, however, is somewhat doubtful concerning some of the scheme’s solutions. Raising the ground level would consume substantial resources which would not produce a corresponding improvement in quality. The new low, irregularly laid out development certainly creates many opportunities, but it also requires further study, especially with regard to the introduction of an intermediate scale, which more clearly could merge the proposed intervention with the existing urban fabric. The location of the tower is sympathetic, as it keeps the tower ́s shadow away from the Rosengårdsstråket. Hereby a sunlit public space is created which contributes positively to the attractiveness of the thoroughfare; on the other hand, the tower’s location does have an effect on the adjacent residential building – to such an extent that a thorough remodelling of the residential building or an adjustment of the tower’s location will be required. The tower also needs further study with regard to, for example, feasibility, microclimate and boundaries between private and public areas, due to its many cavities and voids. The proposal’s idea of a vertical street is interesting, but would most likely need to be adjusted in relation to the need to support public life at ground level.

Nevertheless, the jury finds that the scheme’s basic idea, that individuality and diversity need to be expressed in functional and spatial terms in this part of Malmö, is sufficiently viable and important to be developed further. In addition, the visionary spirit of the proposal and its development potential has captured the programme’s intentions in an excellent manner.

000920 Team 2 ‐ Behnisch Architekten GbR, Tyskland, Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, Germany
The scheme demonstrates a clear and logical structure, both with regard to the tower and the base. A new street pattern firmly leads Rosengårdsstråket through the area, and the tower’s base demonstrates an interesting mix of features. The scheme has clear merits in terms of the development of private courtyards and new urban structures. The tower’s design presents an elegant solution to the problem of creating a facade with free geometry on a rational inner structure. Within the framework of these particular ideas, the scheme seems to be viable and possible to develop.

On the other hand, some of the technical solutions, such as heat emitting ceilings, are questionable. The jury is not convinced as to how thermal problems between the internal and the external glass facade, can be resolved. It is also questionable as to whether the streamlined transparent design will be able to withstand the visual impact of the clutter generated by the many items residents will most likely want to keep in this space.

The scheme responds, in rather general terms, to the programme’s problems at hand. With the exception of the ideas concerning the major urban spatial issues, the scheme is perceived as somewhat simplified, both with regard to content and how it is described.

Rosentown Team 4 ‐ Edouard Francois, France
rosentownThe scheme provides an ambitious attempt to create identity and open spaces with the help of visual patterns and references to different cultural and historical themes, and the figurative impression is also attractive. Structural principles from historical periods are revived – an interesting approach in itself. The apartments have been given thorough attention, and generally the scheme demonstrates strong commitment to the issues that the team has chosen to emphasize.

At the same time, the proposed structures, which are intended to support the Rosengårdsstråket, are treated in a remarkably simplified way. The tiny shops and buildings fail to interact with, and contribute to the thoroughfare in a powerful way. The tower’s base, with two rather small commercial spaces and an oddly placed car park, does not present a convincing intervention in this highly strategic location.

The jury finds that the scheme fails to make full use of the thoroughfare’s urban potential, relying too heavily on the various visual patterns and their ability to create identity and spatial meaning. The idea of using the local residents’ various original cultures as inspiration for the different patterns also seems problematic on several levels.

446677 Team 1 ‐ Neutelings Riedijk Architecten B.V., The Netherlands, Kontur Arkitektkontor AB, Sweden, MANDAWORKS AB, Sweden, HOSPER Sweden AB.
46677The position of the tower creates a potentially sunlit square along the thoroughfare at the same time creating a connection with Amiralsgatan. The ideas regarding how the existing courtyard areas can be made more private with additional constructions are interesting, and the scheme conjures up a vision of a considerably denser and more populated city in the future. The tower building is truly a multifunctional building, and its extensive programme including the assembly rooms at the summits fires the imagination. The team has put forward a variety of interesting apartments for different types of accommodation in a carefully thought‐out manner.

However, the scheme suffers from a problematic scale, due both to the monumentality of the tower, and to the fact that development of the Rosengårdsstråket will require a fairly substantial amount of construction work in the existing neighbourhoods. It is difficult to envision the scheme as anything other than fully executed; and, even then, it is doubtful as to whether the sheer volume and the scale of the proposal are reasonable in relation to the area in general.

Despite its ambitious efforts, the jury feels that the scheme relates to a situation with a much larger population and a much denser neighbourhood than what will become reality in the foreseeable future. This means that certain factors, such as the size of the project and the knocking down of an entire apartment building in order to make room for the tower, are not consistent with the actual conditions.