David Chipperfield's home for the Nobel Prize

The architect’s Berlin office wins the chance to design a Stockholm HQ for the prize-giving body
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The Nobel Center's exterior. © David Chipperfield Architects
The Nobel Center's exterior. © David Chipperfield Architects

How do you design a big public building for both general, everyday use, as well as one very specific, invite-only function that comes but once a year? It was a problem presented to architectural firms vying for a chance to design and build the Nobel Center, Stockholm. When drawing up plans for its first permanent home, the awards body wanted both an auditorium and a dining hall for its ceremonies, and a building that would serve as “a new platform for exhibitions, scientific seminars, lectures and discussions.”

 

The Nobel Center's exterior © David Chipperfield Architects
The Nobel Center's exterior © David Chipperfield Architects

David Chipperfield, founder of the practice which won the competition yesterday (Wednesday), says his proposed building, drawn up by the architect’s Berlin office, “can be spectacular on its greatest night, but also it can be useful, and functional and working for all of the rest of the year.”

The winning proposal is a glass and brass skinned building, which, as the Nobel jury points out, is open and light. It houses a museum, conference facilities, offices, a library, a restaurant, a café, bar and shop; there’s also a garden at the back, and a ‘public route’ as the practice puts it, allowing anyone in from the street to wander up through the new building’s floors, to the auditorium on the roof.

 

The Nobel Center's Auditorium. © David Chipperfield Architects
The Nobel Center's Auditorium. © David Chipperfield Architects

Nobel’s architectural jury says Chipperfield’s design “has an elegant, timeless and attractive external appearance,” which “symbolise Nobel-related activities in a persuasive way.”

Let’s hope the citizens of Stockholm agree. If the public consultation goes well, the new Nobel Center should then open its doors in December 2018.

 

 

Find out more about this here. Meanwhile, for more on contemporary building, please take a look at The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture and the Phaidon Architecture Travel Guide App. Finally, find out more about our new Online Atlas website here.


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