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Béton Brut, It’s Not

October 20th, 2020

Concrete is naturally grey, but does that entail or guarantee any trace of Béton Brut? One of the two building constellations pictured above is most definitely not.

What about proportion and scale? The public’s expert opinion seems to be that the thing that matters is that they (everything and anything built) should resemble/mimic the surrounding buildings.

People were chocked and appalled when realising that they would actually not be painted. Why? They obviously don’t “fit” the surroundings…

Nybygge i Årsta rör upp känslor

KRITIK. “Det här är skitdeprimerande”

“Sovjetgrått”, “miljonprogram” och “gränslöst deppigt”. Två nybyggen vid Årstavägen får svidande kritik av Årstaborna, för sin grå betongfasad. Mitt i Söderort ringde upp firman Vera arkitekter som bekräftar att husen ska förbli omålade. – Skojar du? Det ser hiskeligt ut, säger invånaren Jakob Grunditz.

Det som flera undrar är om husen verkligen ska förbli omålade. Det bekräftar firman Vera arkitekter.

Beskedet förvånar Årstaborna Jakob Grunditz och Apolonia Örmä.
– Det kunde jag inte förställa mig. Det är märkligt att slänga in en betongbyggnad här där det finns många hus i pastellfärger. Det sticker upp som en finne, säger Jacob Grunditz.

Björn Wiklander**** är arkitekt på Vera arkitekter. Han säger att fasaden aldrig var tänkt att målas.

Tycker du att husen passar in vid Årstavägen?*
– Ja, det tycker jag, Men de avviker ju från andra hus i omgivnigen som är väldigt färgglada, säger Björn Wiklander.

Mitti Söder

First: The responsible architecture firm VERA Arkitekter AB’s design: Gisslaren*.
Second: My more than sketchy rework**. Some final thoughts; (possibly a work in progress).

* Do you think… You are asking the responsible architect? Tycker du att husen passar in vid Årstavägen? Do you think that the buildings fit/belong at Årstavägen?

I’m convinced/intrigued. I’m quite confident that the original drawings did not look like this at all. The height would have/must have been double at least.

I’m thinking that it was thought to have been a bridge between the old and new. With a clear reference to the existing surrounding buildings.

The in my mind beautiful 60’s monoliths, with uniform cladding (the tallest ones that are closest do not have a concrete surface they’re are plastered.

Arkitekten Paul Hedqvist har ritat alla hus förutom de två punkthusen som ligger längs i öst. De husen är ritade av Riksbyggens arkitektkontor. Hedqvists bidrag av lamellhus var de enda som hade franska balkonger i Valla.

So, the two houses that are being referenced to above were not drawn by Paul Hedqvist. Below, I’ve included an image of the pair of houses closest to Årstafältet and you can see the concrete fascade?

There are multiple high-rises in the area, they are pairs that actually do not look the same if you’re observant. Some re-clad in aluminium (another story). From afar they look identical, but I happen to know for a fact that they’re not. And I’m still confident that Vera’s architects are/were fully aware of that fact. You would know your history?

** One wonders… the translation of the project name Gisslaren (it not commonly used word in modern day Swedish, but then again nor is “hiskeligt”) is either the scourger, whipper, flagellator, torturer or the ironic. There’s always something to a name. So, which is? I honestly don’t know!

How difficult was this project to the firm? How many changes were they forced to make before the building’s design was accepted and signed off on? Behold Gisslaren = The torturer (?)… all other projects on their site have a short description. Gisslaren, however is lacking one for now.

*** It doesn’t have to be exactly 29 stories. I’m more than willing and prepared to compromise on actual building hight.

**** Concrete does not get painted… you don’t “paint” concrete buildings. My building was erected 1951 using blocks of blåbetong and it has cladding and a rather high concentration of Radon (it was not know at the time of construction).

Radon is a chemical element with the symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas.

How about showing some respect for craftsmanship? Please? As it was once formulated… “Alla kan tralla” inte. If I have experience and education? Architects know buildings, DJ:s know records, Electricians know electricity, Nursers know medicine, Bus drivers knows buses, Bakers know bakery, Tailors know sewing, Philosophers know philosophy, Historians know history, Computer scientists know computers etc.

The lack of respect of… the hatred against any form of education in this country (of mine) never ceases to amaze me. The utterly and deeply rooted contempt for anything that is close to resemble some kind education/experience.

I can sympathize… Gisslaren. Big A for effort, but in all honesty it was a doomed project to begin with. In Årsta…

Please see: Béton Brut and Stockholm One?.

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