Scrutiny for Sir David

Thoughts and musings

Scrutiny for Sir David

Lewis | May 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Despite being in the specific industry of landscape design and build, here at Oakleigh Manor we also like to keep in touch with the architecture world as a whole. This may partly be due to our own Landscape Architect, Mr Rupert Davis and our own personal discussions about the industry. Regardless, as a company we like to keep in touch with said industry and as a result, after being prompted by Rupert himself about recent news surrounding celebrated architect Sir David Chipperfield, I felt a blog post was in order!

London-born Sir David Chipperfield is, I’m sure, used to great publicity from many – if not all – forms of media. He has won numerous awards during his distinguished career, including the prestigious 2007 RIBA Sterling Prize, been involved in some incredible projects and on top of that, he was Knighted in 2010 for his services to architecture. Therefore, it can come as quite a surprise that his most recent work has been criticised…

He was selected to design the new Nobel Center in Stockholm, Sweden, which is meant to be the home of the Nobel Foundation and the ceremony for the Nobel Prize awards from 2019 onwards. It could be said that on the surface this is match made in Heaven; a world-renowned architect for a world-renowned annual award. However, his design for the building has been met with “mounting opposition”, as put by The Independent, as well as controversy.

The aims of Sir David for the Nobel Center was to create a “certain classical simplicity and solidity” with the sole aim of finding “a balance between being solid on the one hand and transparent on the other”. Despite this, those that oppose his plans, who include politicians and museum bosses, argue that the building would be too modern and “shiny” and as a result, would not fit in with the surroundings of Stockholm. A point of concern for this group is also the potential of the building ruining the historic aspect of the Swedish capital; the skyline of part of the city can be seen in the image above. This is exacerbated by the required demolition of historic buildings to make room for the eight-storey Nobel Center, which has also been called too large and will adversely dominate the local environment.

This isn’t to say these groups do not oppose the Nobel Center itself; they are more concerned with Stockholm’s historic landscape, especially in the district the proposed building is potentially being constructed. However, despite these concerns from local residents, Sir David Chipperfield has responded, saying that the decision on the Nobel Center has yet to be passed and evolution of design will occur at the consultation process. This statement was backed up by a Nobel Foundation spokesperson, who confirmed that the City Planning Administration in Stockholm will consider all comments on the design of the building.

This should have an intriguing conclusion come the end of 2015; keep an eye out for it in the news and if you’re lucky, we’ll blog about that, too!



Photo credit: <a href=””>hector melo</a> / <a href=””>Source</a> / <a href=””>CC BY</a>