Modern offices at former shipyard

The more than 100-year-old property Magasin 211 in Malmö has been lovingly renovated and given a new lease of life as an office building by using, among other things, Troldtekt acoustic panels. The Swedish firm of architects Wingårdhs was behind the project, and now has its own offices in the historic property.

Photo: BaraBild

Colourful, raw and worn walls as well as exposed pipes combined with bright new additions. These are the main features of the historic building Magasin 211 in Malmö after renovation and conversion into offices. Varvsstaden AB is behind the project together with the architects Wingårdhs, who now themselves occupy parts of the recently renovated premises.

In 2021, Magasin 211 was awarded the City of Malmö’s highest architectural prize Stadsbyggnadspriset for the way in which the building had been preserved while also being given a new lease of life. The building is located in the flourishing district of Varvsstaden in Malmö. The maritime history of the area, which goes back more than 100 years, exists alongside a modern urban environment, and several new development projects are expected to be realised in the coming years.

Interplay between original and new

Designed by the architect Axel Stenberg, the original building dates from 1917, and has been used successively as a fire station, furniture workshop and textile factory. In transforming the building into offices, the focus has been on preserving the main lines of the original architectural style, and using recycled materials to minimise its carbon footprint. Joakim Lyth, office manager at Wingårdh’s Malmö office, says:

“We wanted to use as much of the existing building as possible to keep demolition to a minimum. In addition, we used a material bank to source demolition materials from other buildings.”

Striking the right balance

During the renovation work, natural materials were used to soften the building’s industrial style, which is dominated by concrete, steel and brick. This was achieved, for example, by lining walls with pine veneer and installing Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood on the ceilings.

“It was a question of striking a balance between how raw and unfinished a former industrial space can be while ensuring that it is not perceived as being rough, brutal and inhospitable; and how finished, detailed and cosy the room needs to be for it to function as an attractive workplace,” says Joakim Lyth.

One of the reasons for choosing Troldtekt acoustic panels was that they blend in well with the preserved details, such as the original industrial lamps and windows. In addition, Magasin 211 has a polished concrete floor, and the acoustic panels absorb any noise bouncing off all the hard surfaces.

“Troldtekt was chosen because it fits in with all of the above design considerations,” says Joakim Lyth.