The opening of the Øresund Bridge in the 1990s initiated the revitalization of the Malmö harbor district. In accordance with these developments, the Malmö harbor would remain a partial industrial site. The age when Sweden was ranked as the world’s second-largest shipbuilding nation has long past and many of the associated dockyards had relocated their business. The harbor district across from the main railway station and the historical downtown became the site for Malmö University, the newly established national university.
Diener & Diener won the international urban design competition held in 1997 for the new university campus. In their design, they conceptualized the university as a complex that could expand in subsequent and successive steps across the many different harbor islands. The two buildings erected during the initial planning phase secured the necessary space for the running of the regular university business. The buildings erected in two subsequent planning phases provided the required facility and commercial services.
The campus master plan emulated the industrial structures pervading the harbor district in the dockyard buildings and conglomerate structures. The project adhered to the principle of open cluster buildings. This allows the university to expand at will in future and keep step with the changing needs of the users.
All the campus buildings exist within a continuous public space, even where old and new structures join together. No separate area within this continuous public space exists exclusively for the use of any one mode of transportation. The only existing rule gives pedestrians the right of way over bicycles and cars.
Diener & Diener employed this concept of the urban fabric as a capillary structure five years earlier in their design for the Warteck in Basel. This principle repeats here in Malmö, but on a significantly larger scale.
Competition: 1st prize, 1997
Client: City of Malmö and University of Malmö
Location: University Harbour, Malmö, Sweden
Gross Floor Area (GFA): Stage 1: 36.000 m², Stage 2: 57.000 m²
Use / Function: University buildings, Library