The Nobel Prize may be considered the most significant prize for outstanding human achievements in the sciences, literature and peace in the world. Since 1901 when the first prizes were awarded, the Nobel Prize has been associated with integrity, autonomy and freedom, fostering the ideals of a just and peaceful world. The new Nobel Center – ‘Nobelhuset’ is not only a starting point to consolidate the admirable past in one place, but to build a foundation from which to move on into a new era of openness and outreach. An era in which the achievements of the Nobel Prize and its ideals are not only preserved and made available to historians, but become an active and lively source of inspiration for generations to come, encouraging them to not give up the hope and the belief that human accomplishments can contribute to a better world.
The Nobel Center is situated as a ‘solitaire’ in a prominent water-edge position on Blasieholmen in the centre of Stockholm next to the Swedish National Museum, designed by Friedrich August Stüler. The new building gives the Nobel Prize a home for the first time in its history, strengthening Blasieholmen as an even more prominent cultural destination and celebrating human endeavour in the centre of the city.
‘Nobelhuset’ unites under one roof an auditorium, a museum, conference facilities, offices, a library, a restaurant, a café with bar and a shop. The auditorium, ‘Nobelsalen’, crowns the new building as its architectural highlight and will be the future venue for the prestigious Nobel Prize Ceremony. Large panorama windows allow daylight in the auditorium and spectacular views over the city. They produce a lively interaction between the new public institution with its diverse activities and Stockholm, Sweden and the rest of the world. A public route provides circulation and access to the building. With its starting point on the open ground floor and accompanied by various museum activities, it leads past the library, the conference area, the restaurant and the offices up to the auditorium, bringing together the diverse activities of the building. A new garden, ‘Nobel Trädgård’, is established on the south side of the building. Together with the already existing National Museum park and the promenade on the water-edge, this garden creates a new public and generous natural space in the centre of the city. The façade made of transparent and opaque glass and stone elements envelopes the building like a dress and changes its appearance depending on the daylight situation and the activities within. It seems to oscillate between solidity and lightness, austerity and playfulness, enclosure and openness, thus reflecting the values of the Nobel Prize between tradition and modernity, history and future.
Architect - David Chipperfield Architects Berlin
Design - David Chipperfield, Christoph Felger
Project architects - Kristen Finke, Peter von Matuschka
Landscape architect - Topotek 1
Structural engineer - Arup
Stage design - Kunkel Consulting
Acoustics - Müller BBM
Model making - González Modellbau
Renderings - David Chipperfield Architects
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