Learning Urban Spaces from Malmö

The second field trip for our urban design studio is going to Malmö in Sweden. We began our trip to Malmö by departing from Copenhagen Central Station. I learnt that we have to be aware of the train announcement because the designated train platform could change from time to time.

Copenhagen Central Station

First, we arrived at Folkets Park. It is the oldest public and recreation park in Sweden.

Folkets Park Entrance

The park offers a variety of programs, such as, a large playground, miniature golf, children’s theater, restaurants, cafes, terrarium, and multipurpose field. It is an ideal place for parents to spend time with their children especially in the summer.

Children were playing in a large playground at Folkets Park

Then, we went to Malmö Old Town. Our instructor, Josh, asked us to sketch sequential analysis of the urban fabric.

Malmö Old Town

When I was sketching, I observed that the buildings along the road are not linear, as a results, one could experience a wavy pathway. Walking along the wavy pathway motivates one’s curiosity because the buildings along the wavy pathway create a blind spot by blocking one’s frontal view.

Sketching Sequential Analysis of Malmö Old Town

After sketching, we explored the city of Malmö. We saw Josh’s public installation called Wind Wall. The goal of the installation is to soften the edge between the main road and the public space. Furthermore, in the installation, thousands of small poly-carbonate flaps allow the public to interact with them as well as the wind to move them.

Wind Wall

Before we called it a day for our field trip, we went to visit Bo01, which is a residential area created for European Housing Expo in 2001. As every house in Bo01 is designed by different architects, each house is unique in form and material. We learnt that the houses here use steps and landscape to create a subtle transition between public space and private space.

Main Canal in the Bo01 Area

Bo01 uses bricks to cover the road path, providing a different driving experience. In other words, the brick material signals the driver to slow down in the residential area. At the same time, the road does not show the indication of sidewalk and main road boundary. As a result, the driver feels awkward to drive along the road, making less to no cars around the neighbourhood.

Covering the Whole Ground with Bricks

Bo01 discourages the use of cars in the neighbourhood by narrowing some of the corridor, estimating less than 2 meters wide. However, the wideness of the corridor allows people to go through, emphasizing the importance of human scale.

Narrow Corridor

Bo01 emphasizes the importance of view by designing how the road circulation in Bo01 is connected to the view of sky and sea, utilizing the shore as a public space.

Connecting the Road to the Magnificent View of Sea & Sky

After lots of walking around the neighbourhood of Bo01, we dive into the sea at Öresund. It was a sunny day, and the public space offers a magnificent view towards the sea and Øresund Bridge. Although the sea was a little bit chilly, but hey, life is too short to complain!

Swimming at the Sea of Öresund

Leave a Reply