- Hage, a green and social space for a neighbourhood in the making in Lund
We conclude our in-depth look at the five finalist projects for the prestigious European Prize for Urban Public Space 2022 with Hage, a project by Norwegian architects Brendeland & Kristoffersen in collaboration with engineers Price and Myers. It is a development project in an area on the northeastern outskirts of Lund, in southern Sweden, more precisely on a piece of agricultural land owned by Lund Cathedral in Brunnshög. Ten hectares are now destined to accommodate part of the urban expansion.
The idea of Råängen - "wild meadow" in Swedish - was born to ensure this transformation would become more gradual and acceptable. That is, "a narrative based on the involvement of artists, architects, locals, developers, contractors and university staff, creating the basis for the future stories of a new neighbourhood. The narrative will provide a framework for discussing the fundamental issues at stake in the overall development of Brunnshög: value systems, beliefs, ownership, fear, faith, time, beauty, commitment and effort".
In such a context of meanwhile uses, art plays an important role, starting with the temporary installations by British artist Nathan Coley in 2017 and 2018 at the centre of Lund and Brunnshög. A programme of commissions continued with Hage: the enclosed public garden by Norwegian architects Brendeland & Kristoffersen opened last year. An open space for people to gather, talk, play and exchange ideas.
Compositionally, it is enclosed on three sides by a simple 2.2-metre high brick wall. On the other hand, the fourth side of the enclosure is open and protected by a 44 x 8 metres corten steel roof, under which is a long wooden table with two equally long benches. These are supported by two stones from a nearby quarry, while the 48,000 bricks were salvaged from the recently demolished former jam factory in Björnekulla. The canopy, in particular, was made with rivets and not through a standard welding process, emphasising the value of craftsmanship. Moreover, it ideally recalls the riveted iron roof structure of Lund Cathedral, which is only 5 km away.
Hage by Brendeland & Kristoffersen is an early intervention, an anticipation of the gradual evolution of the site, in other words, a hortus inconclusus. Indeed, now it still appears as an isolated object in the landscape, especially when it is illuminated in the evening to become the lantern of the Råängen intervention. Yet, as the neighbourhood around it grows (due to be completed in 2025), this garden will become increasingly integrated into the new urban fabric, standing out as an unbuilt surface.
What we like about Hage is the fact that here it is the landscape that leads the way in the urban transformation project. There are already other examples, like the MIND project where once there was the EXPO2015 area or the former Falck area in Sesto San Giovanni, all underway in Milan. It is no coincidence that the European Prize for Urban Public Space jury shortlisted Hage for the award because "it provides an answer to the question of how to build a new community: starting with social space".
Project: Brendeland & Kristoffersen Architects, Price & Myers
Location: Lund, Sweden
Client: Lunds Domkyrka
Images: © 2021 Geir Brendeland