The Floating Roof, Vällingby Centre The floating roof in Vällingby Centre is a completely new type of building in the urban setting, and shows how a well-designed structure can contribute to the overall character of the street environment while at the same time maintaining its own strong identity as an individual work. Vällingby Centre is a unique and open satellite town from 1954, world renown for its architecture and the planning ideology of its time with its mix of workplaces, housing and a commercial centre. Since 2003, the entire centre has been going through a renewal process that encompasses both preservation and development. Vällingby Centre shall be innovative in its content, function and form, while also reclaiming its role as the commercial, social and cultural hub for shopping, meetings and various activities in the western suburbs of Stockholm. Construction began in the autumn of 2003. By 2008 the new city core will be completed in its entirety. The project `Floating Roof` is a part of the renewal of Vällingby Centre – a roof that improves the shopping climate without departing from the original urban idea of open squares and streets. A clear expression of renewal while also respecting the national interest for the preservation of cultural environments. The new floating roof establishes a new layer high over the existing streets and blocks. It creates a large independent form in the same manner as the centre’s original structure of rectangular buildings placed over a deck supported by columns below – a continuation of the grammar of Vällingby Centre. The original characters of the buildings from the 1950s and 60s are highlighted at the level of the street, which contrasts with the new addition from our own time – floating high overhead! The roof is located over the slightly darker street Pajalagatan, and ties together the centre along the northwest-southeast axis. The cross-axes Solur Passage-Square and Vällingby Passage, with their sunnier orientations, are otherwise kept completely open, and the edges of the roof are kept free from the street’s facades and intersections. The bearing structure and the surface of the roof are intertwined visually and functionally. The structure’s form is based on the dynamic that arises in the plane of the roof, creating a visual play between dense and closed, shade and light, bearing and borne. The structural principle is a simple grid of Vierendeel steel trusses with a continuous layer of glass panels on top. The total area is approximately 4200 m2. The rust that is formed on the beams expresses the static system with a dense concentration of beams at the intersections, and columns and thinner vertical members located at the centre. The beams are built from KKR and VKR profiles, manufactured at the shop and mounted in place while commercial activity continues in the centre. The glass-bearing beams lie in alternate orientations within the various openings formed by the main beams, which creates an intricate play of light and shadow in contrast to the centre’s original paving pattern of strong graphic circles. The bearing columns rise from the buildings at a slight distance from the facades so that the floating roof plane is what is mainly seen from the street. Structurally the roof is detached from the existing buildings, with the columns anchored in bedrock so that they may move independently of the structure of the buildings.. A new type of milieu is created that is neither completely indoors nor outdoors. It is reminiscent of the great classic railway stations, which with their toplit halls create a protection from weather while at the same time are at outdoor temperature, the wind is sensed, and where our behaviour is still the same as in the urban street. How light is treated is crucial for ensuring that the street environment shall retain a sense of openness. During the day, light comes through the glass and is modulated by the pattern of the beams. With the lighting system, daylight is complemented as required with indirect light from floodlights on the roofs of the buildings, and aimed towards reflectors in the glass roof. In the evening the roof itself is lit with a slight glimmer that is balanced with the intimate, dense lighting at street level. A white neutral light against the dark sky during weekdays, and in various colours during the weekends.


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