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HD - White Arkitetker unveils masterplan for Swedish city Kiruna relocation

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Published by Smooto in Travel & Places


See more architecture and design movies at dezeen.com/movies On show this week as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Kiruna 4-Ever plan is a phased strategy for moving the city of Kiruna a few kilometres eastwards to allow mining to continue for another 20 years. White Arkitetker's strategy involves establishing a new central strip running west to east through the existing city centre. This will be incrementally extended on one side, while buildings at the other end will be gradually dismantled. "Literally relocating an entire city, Kiruna will be a bit like a walking millipede with its house and feet – moving, crawling slowly a couple of kilometres towards the east," explains architect Mikael Stenqvist in the movie. This will connect Kiruna's centre with the neighbouring settlements of Lombolo, Tuolluvaara and Kiirunavaara, as well as the airport. It also creates the opportunity to introduce a new transport system, including cable cars and freight trains. Stenqvist describes the biggest challenge as maintaining "the unique identity of Kiruna and its citizens". He also explains that the move will help the city establish new businesses, making it less reliant on the mining industry. "We are striving for getting hold of all the opportunities in this great relocation, of how to create an even more attractive city, and a more dense city, and a more mixed city, and a close relationship to the surrounding Arctic landscape," he says. The move has been planned for a decade, after the state mining company warned city officials in 2004 that excavating more iron ore would cause dangerous underground cracks beneath the city. The first public building to be affected by the move is Kiruna's town hall, which will be relocated to a new circular building with a crystal-shaped inner structure, designed by Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects. In the distant future, once the ore has finally been extracted, White Arkitetker hopes the mine can become an industrial park aimed at tourists, and that the area can be reestablished as a migration route for reindeer. Kiruna 4-Ever will be presented as part of the Time Space Existence exhibition, opening at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora on 7 June.

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