Our challenge, to create the meeting place of the future, started with a feasibility study to analyse how the ABF Building on Sveavägen could best be put to use in the future. The feasibility study, which included occupancy studies, questionnaires filled out by 1,300 Stockholmers, interviews with policy makers and a study of the building, highlighted the need to develop the facilities’ meeting areas.
“We were initially surprised that the need for meeting areas was so crucial in a building in which meetings are constantly held. However we quickly realised that even though different groups are active in the building simultaneously, their paths seldom cross,” says Eli Forsgård, Project Manager at Codesign.
Based on this, the “Heart” project was initiated, which included a complete renovation of the lobby and ground floor of the ABF building. The project was completed in autumn 2015. “Project Heart was designed to bring the different groups of people together, which is why we developed the “different meetings” concept, said Jon Mjönes, Architect at Codesign. An example of such a meeting is the information desk that used to be located at the back of the lobby. Now it’s located by the entrance doors. The whole area is also more open with a glass wall located by the lockers. This creates an “unexpected” meeting between those who work in the “back office” and visitors who want to store valuables. Another alternative meeting area is the new cafe, located right next to the entrance. It’s run in-house and allows visitors to meet both before and after courses or lectures.
The entrance to Sveavägen 41 was, in many ways, restored to its origins from the time it was built in the 1960’s. Among other things, the lobby is once again the central square, as was intended, but there are also now updated meeting venues that promote unexpected encounters between people.