Benny Andersson opposes Slussen redevelopment plans (Updated)

If you’ve ever been to Stockholm, you may know the area Slussen. Slussen (the Lock) is an area of central Stockholm, connecting Södermalm and Gamla stan. It has been the subject of redevelopment talks for quite some time, in part due to the physical deterioration of some of the infrastructure.

Benny opposes the current redevelopment plan which was the brainchild of the architects firm headed up by Sir Norman Foster. The design of Foster and Partners features two linked pedestrian bridges and one for traffic. It removes many of the existing roads and creates several new blocks of buildings in proximity to the waterfront.

In an open letter published in Monday’s Dagens nyheter Swedish newspaper, directed at Sten Nordin, who to all intents and purposes serves as the Mayor of Stockholm, Benny specifically questions many of the main elements of the plans, asking whether they are strictly necessary. For example: widening the roads (drawing attention to the disruption it would cause not only to Stockholmers but also to tourists), having a new bus terminal located 500m from the Metro station and building a new shopping mall 35,000 square meters in area. Benny also wonders openly about whether accessibility (disabled access, strollers, access for the elderly etc) issues have been taken into enough consideration.

Slussen Article
In 'Dagens nyheter', Benny questions the wisdom behind Slussen redevelopment plans

It is clear that Benny feels very passionately about his city, defying anyone to claim that it is not “beautiful” and plainly feels that these redevelopment plans will cause great disruption and may not deliver the benefits proposed; concluding that the risk may not be worth taking. He asks if smaller scale renovations would not be sufficient but also throws his support behind a rival Slussen redevelopment plan proposed by KulturSlussen (he signed their petition).

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Update (22 Nov 2011)

Sten Nordin has written a reply to Benny that was published in today’s DN:

And the Project Manager for the Slussen project says in this interview, which was published on the site today, that Benny has misunderstood certain things:


  • The Norman Foster partnership are good at designing public space, but as any one that has walked through More London knows his buildings are very banal ,in the case of More London I’m not even sure I would call it architecture, his developments do tend to represent an improvement on what was built in the sixties and seventies though .which Slussen looks like an example of.

  • Surely what Benny has to say should be listened to and examined properly as he knows the area to be developed very well… It would make sense to take on board what someone who lives/ works in the area has to say…

    Any development that does not take into account what a local resident has to say is not a development for the people of that area… Simply a contract for the architect…

    Benny has done much for Stockholm and Sweden so why not hear what heh as to say on development of the country?

  • An architect myself with a strong interest in town planning and sincere respect to scandinavian architects I would LOVE to be involved in a new design for Slussen.
    It is often more about a design beeing appripriate then just beeing grand.

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