The days of boring government buildings may be numbered. SelgasCano and U.D. Urban Design AB are setting a new standard for municipal development with “Drivhus,” a competition-winning design for Stockholm’s new City Districts Environmental and Planning Offices in Söderstaden. Wrapped in a transparent double-skin ETFE facade, the building will offer the ideal microclimate for plant growth and will mimic a lush and vibrant multistory greenhouse.
“Drivhus”—Danish for the word “greenhouse”—was selected as the winner of an international, invited competition in 2014. Located in an area currently zoned for major redevelopment, the project aims to revitalize the surrounding area through civic engagement and access to nature. The building will serve as a workspace for 1,800 people and as a public forum for the public to meet with civil servants and politicians.
The top-heavy and rounded structure will partially enclose a centrally located park and be wrapped in a double-skin facade made from ETFE, a type of transparent, thermoplastic film, and reinforced by light tubular steel construction. The facade helps seal in heat to create a temperate microclimate for growing plants, while the double skin promotes natural ventilation. The building will also be powered by solar energy and reuse collected rainwater.