Stockholm Royal Seaport

Sustainability Report

How the cultural heritage is preserved as a former gasworks area is transformed

Transforming former industrial areas into new urban districts requires both vision and sensitivity. How does the City of Stockholm work to preserve the historic cultural environments in Gasverket?

Maintaining a variety of cultural environments, buildings, and facilities to be preserved, used, and developed are national objectives. The former gasworks area in Stockholm Royal Seaport is of significant industrial historical importance and has been continuously expanded since the early 1890s, initially with Ferdinand Boberg as the architect. Gas production at the site ceased in 2011, and following extensive remediation, and a new era could begin. The Stockholm Transport Museum, Sandvik, and Klätterverket (a rock-climbing facility) are just a few of the new occupants of these culturally historic buildings.

Interior Spårvägsmuseet
The new Stockholm Transport Museum in Gasverket opened in spring 2022Photo: Daniel Griffel
Children playing inside the tramway museum at the Gasworks in Norra Djurgårdsstaden.
Photo: Daniel Griffel
The Stockholm Transport museum's main entrance in Gasverket. People stroll by.
Guided tour from Open House 2022
Bobergstorget in Gasverket
Bobergstorget in Gasverket was completed during the summer of 2022
Bobergstorget med bord, sittplatser och vattenspegel. Spårvägsmuseet i bakgrunden.
At Bobergstorget there are tables, seating areas, and a water feature
Boberg School
Boberg School
Aerial view of Gasverket
Aerial view of Gasverket

Cultural environments that create identity

Gasverket is classified as a blue zone, which means it has exceptionally high cultural and historical values – the highest level of preservation value. Repurposing a former industrial site is a challenging and significant transformation. In a few years, around 200 new homes will be built in the phase called Gasverket Östra. Here too, several of the existing culturally valuable buildings will be preserved and filled with new life.

"Stockholm is one of the world's most well-planned capitals and has historically applied a tight grip on planning. Over the years, the city has grown at different rates, forming growth rings or rather a historical mosaic of various architectural characters. These are well-integrated with one another and give Stockholm its character. When we build new, we draw support from the old and identify value carriers," said Stockholm City Architect Torleif Falk at Gasverket Talks - a lecture series in September 2022.

Not just the finest

"An industrial facility is not just the sum of its parts, but how they interact with each other, and you should be able to read the cultural history of the site. This contributes to a more interesting city life than if you were to start from scratch," said Urban Nilsson, a building antiquarian at Nyréns.

In Gasverket, this means that parts of the former production lines still remain. Efforts have been made to preserve as much of the original structures and materials as possible inside the buildings as well. Berghs School of Communication is located in one of the buildings, which was one of the most contaminated. Here, it was necessary for everything - the roof, walls, and floors - to be removed for remediation and then reinstalled. Within the walls, everything is new, although efforts have been made to preserve the building's historical values to retain its original character.

Klätterverket is in the old Mätarhuset (gas metering building). Here, 500 tonnes of steel and concrete have been removed, and 30,000 bolts have been unscrewed, but as much production equipment as possible has been saved.

"Everything that was left over has been reused, both to maintain the gasworks atmosphere and for the reuse that the City of Stockholm is working towards," explained Thomas Breding at Klätterverket, during a tour at Open House Stockholm in October 2022.

The rock-climbing facility building in Gasverket with several brick buildings in the background.
The old gas metering building has been turned into a rock-climbing facility in Gasverket
The entrance to the old gas metering building with a café, retail space, and reception area.
The old gas metering building has been granted a new lease of life
The interior of the rock climbing facility. Perspective of a tall climbing wall.
Stockholm's tallest climbing wall
The interior of the rock climbing facility. A part of a climbing wall and a large pipe at the forefront.

Stockholm's new cultural scene

Gasklocka 2 is currently undergoing a transformation to become a new cultural scene. In order to maintain the design of the gasholder and to manage the functions that are important in a public operation, the new building consists of a box inside the holder. Eleven floors are being built with a cultural and event stage with a capacity of 2,300 people and a restaurant for up to a 1,000 guests.

Join us for a tour through Gasklocka 2.

"We're not removing old rust stains and stuff that have run down the walls – we want to keep all that, so people get a sense of the building’s past. At the same time, we're creating a fully-equipped state-of-the-art stage facility," said Palle Gustafsson, expert in stage technology for the City of Stockholm, when he and Sven Leijonhufvud, Project Manager for the Gasklocka 2, spoke about the plans at Gasverket Talks.

At Gasverket Talks, Malin Claesson Stenström, Regional Manager at CA Fastigheter, presented her vision for the Gaswork. A large presentation screen in the background.
At Gasverket Talks, Malin Claesson Stenström, Regional Manager at CA Fastigheter, presented her vision for the Gasworks
Gasverket talks. A Project Manager standing infront of a large screen presenting the plans for Gasklocka 2
Gasverket Talks hosted several well-attended seminars. Sven Leijonhufvud, Project Manager for the City of Stockholm, presents Gasklocka 2
Interior of the Berghs School of Communication. Students sitting by a table.
Gasverket Talks was held at Berghs School of Communication
Brick facade close up of the gasometre 2.
Transforming Gasometer 2 into a cultural venue in Stockholm is underway

What we build now also becomes history

"When does history begin and end? What we build doesn't have to look like it did before, but people should be able to see and understand that what we build now has a connection to the past – but it should also reflect where we are today. We're also building history for future generations," concluded city architect Torleif Falk during Gasverket Talks.

Historical photo of the Gasverket around the 1960s
Aerial view of Gasverket around the 1960s
Aerial photo of Gasverket around the 1990s.
Aerial view of Gasverket around the 1990s
Historical photo of the gasverket from the 1890s.
Gasverket in the 1890s with more chimneys than todayPhoto: Karl Severin Eklund Copyright: Peter Nyblom
Historical image of the 1890- Gasometer 1, portvaktshuset (gatekeeper's house) and kontorsvillan (office villa)
Gasometer 1, portvaktshuset (gatekeeper's house) and kontorsvillan (office villa) in the mid-1890s
Interior of the gasometer 1 under construction of the gasholder
The gasholder of the gasometer 1 under construction Photo: Karl Severin Edlund 1893. Copyright: Peter Nyblom

Gasverket, a destination

"I love these buildings. Our vision is to create a destination that is attractive to all Stockholmers and tourists. Restaurants and culture are a combination that we believe will attract many: the combination of attractive activities within the premises and the environment of the buildings. Establishing businesses is a crucial aspect, and we continuously evolve and expand alongside the development of the area, said Malin Claesson Stenström, Regional Manager at CA Fastigheter the developer of Gasverket.

Film about the gasworks area

Christina Salmhofer, Sustainability Strategist, and Staffan Lorentz, Head of Development at Stockholm City Development Administration explain the history of the gasworks area in Stockholm Royal Seaport and how it is being transformed into a vibrant and attractive part of Stockholm.

Malin Claesson, Regional Manager at CA Fastigheter, explains building energy performance and the importance of selecting the right materials in order to ensure that the buildings meet a variety of requirements.

Trevor Cooper-Williams, Co-Owner of Klätterverket, delves into the history behind the old gas metering building, which has been transformed into a rock-climbing facility in Gasverket.

Source: Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

Reading recommendations

The City of Stockholm's two policy documents: Building Regulations and Architecture Policy – regarding how the City works as Stockholm develops.

You can download the strategies in PDF format here:

Document: Stockholms building regulations (Swedish only)

Document: Stockholms architecture policy (Swedish only)

Both books can be ordered free of charge or at the City Planning Administration Office (Swedish only)

(City of Stockholm)

More about Gasverket:

External website: CA Fastigheter on development in Gasverket (Swedish only)

Website: Stockholm Royal Seaport project (Swedish only)

(Stockholm växer)

Fun fact

The old purification building 8 in Gasverket, with Berghs School of Communication as a tenant, won the ROT-priset "Stockholm Master Builders' Association's Restoration Award) in 2021.

Article Published: 11/11/2022 Updated: 13/02/2024