A historic fire station has been transformed into a modern school
Stockholm suburb Midsommarkransen now has a new school building, which opened for classes in 2023. The building's architecture incorporates the city’s old fire station.
Nowadays, the ringing comes from a school bell instead of a fire alarm. Around one thousand pupils now attend a new primary school in Midsommarkransen in Stockholm's Brandstegen suburban district.
The school’s architecture stands out due to the fact that part of the school building is a disused former fire station. Here, the old vehicle hall from the 1940s has been preserved in its original form, but also converted into an entrance hall, canteen and administration area, with pre-school classes on the first floor.
The old fire station has now been combined with a new five-storey school building, which was built behind the vehicle hall. To preserve the surrounding parkland, the decision was made to build upwards instead of across. The school playground is located behind the newly built school building.
Construction began in 2019, and the school welcomed its first pupils in January 2023. Tengbom are the architects behind this unusual project.
The Midsommarkransens Elementary School project was also one of the ten finalists at Stockholm Municipality’s 2023 Building of the Year Awards.
New and old come together
Because the old fire station is a listed building, the mandate was to establish coherence between the historic and modern parts of the building project, in terms of both function and aesthetics. The building has been given a contemporary appearance that takes inspiration from the fire station’s original architecture.
"From the very beginning of the project, we chose a colour and materials palette that matched the surrounding buildings tone by tone. This unfolded across the building's interior in the form of natural, honest materials in a timeless palette of both colour and materials. We chose to use warm colours and materials for the existing fire station building, which was preserved and given new life," explain the Tengbom architects assigned to the project; Lottie Hedlund, Banafsheh Nejad and Pontus Eriksson.
Sturdy and durable materials such as concrete, aluminium and wood were particularly notable choices. The school’s function and need for hard-wearing materials were also in focus.
Troldtekt acoustic tiles were also chosen at Midsommarkransens Elementary School to ensure comfortable sound levels for the school's pupils and staff.
"We chose Troldtekt on the basis of the product's acoustic and design aspects, which lived up to the high standards we work with,” explain the architects behind the project.