It’s looking like Stockholm, Sweden is having some trouble meeting its strong housing demand. The centre of the city has a reputation for being very expensive, and the prices decrease only as you get closer to the perimeter…sound familiar?
Architectural firm Visiondivision has come up with a solution. This is what one of their representatives has to say about Stockholm: “Who wants to move to a city where it’s impossible to get an apartment? Which companies want to invest in a city where their employees may have a hard time finding a place to stay? Which exchange students want to study in a city where all their free time will go to finding a small flat with decent rent?” Again, sound familiar?
In Stockholm, many of the buildings have large courtyards, and these are the spaces that Visiondivision is targeting. Their plan calls for a change in Stockholm’s planning regulations—striking the height restrictions on courtyards from the rule book. The existing buildings would remain untouched, while high-rises would go up in front them.
These towers would create a more diverse population in the city’s core, because the apartments would be affordable. With more people in the popular parts of the city, it will create a need for even more public facilities, such as libraries, schools, supermarkets and shopping centres.
Height restrictions, expensive housing, falling behind on demand…SOUND FAMILIAR?! We’re not saying that Visiondivision has the answer, but we feel like they’re looking in the right place. A growing city needs to get taller, and when it comes to that kind of development, planning regulations will be violated.
Planning regulations are necessary in cities; they force architects to be creative and help cities develop their own identity—but that doesn’t mean the rules can’t be altered. As the years roll by and a city ages, technology will change, design styles will change, everything is always transforming, and a city’s planning regulations need to keep up.
So far, Toronto has found a similar solution, but instead of rising from courtyards, we’re adding directly on top of existing buildings. We’re seeing it at 88 Scott by Context, at the Sutton Place Hotel redevelopment by Lanterra, and at the new Icon proposal by Amaxon.
Things are changing in Toronto, and we’re excited to see how our developer and architect friends will lead us into the new frontier of city design!Google+