Halmstad’s newest prestige residence, Borgen, can be found on the banks of the Swedish river, Nissan. Borgen consists of 179 apartments distributed over eight buildings of up to six storeys in height and was designed by Danish Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and Liljewall from Sweden. The project was based on a competition announced in 2012 by the Swedish housing association, HFAB, to develop the old port area with riverside views.
In 2012, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and Liljewall won the competition to develop Halmstad’s new port area with their architectonic vision of single buildings inspired by classic townhouses and warehouses, where an open structure would ensure a view of the river for all residents.
The culmination of their vision has now won the region’s architecture prize, which is awarded biannually by Halmstad Municipality and voted on by citizens.
‘We are incredibly happy with this prize. It carries a great responsibility to design for such an old area by the water. We have created an area that is simultaneously both aesthetic and open, with access to the water while being a safe neighbourhood for residents. So we are very proud that the city thinks we have succeeded’, says Michael Schytt Poulsen, associate partner in Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.
Amongst the jury’s findings for the award is how the new cluster of houses binds the older, central Halmstad together with a newly built area, and how the steep roofs with their light and dark facades add character to the old port.
‘Borgen is a very well implemented project in its entirety and in its details. High-quality materials were chosen and the buildings are beautifully adapted to the river and the character of the Söder area’, says Katja Sparrings, city architect in Halmstad Municipality.
The prize is a good example of a growing Swedish market for Danish architectural firms, who right now are heavily involved in a range of projects. The most recent Nordic Sector Review from 2017 showed an overall increase in industry turnover for Danish companies in the Nordic market.