Kristallen shines bright with efficiency

Christensen & Co Architects' new City Hall for Lund is one of Sweden's most sustainable administrative buildings.

Situated to the west of Lund’s historical city centre, Danish architecture firmChristensen & Co (CCO) has erected a 13,500 square meter complex that has been dubbed “The Greenest City Hall in Sweden”. Using a fraction of the energy normally consumed by a building of this type, the ‘Crystal’ (Kristallen), has an impressive and dynamic facade that not only has an aesthetic appeal, but also acts as as a key design feature in reducing the building’s energy consumption.


From the architect: “All facades are oriented to efficiently utilise the sun’s heat during the cold season, and the climate screen is optimised to balance out heat loss and heat gain. North-facing facades are covered with smooth glass panels from floor to ceiling, allowing a maximum amount of light to fill the office spaces. The south-facing facades have dynamic solar-control panels, operating according to the amount of daylight, giving optimal light and shade conditions inside the building and creating a dynamic façade to the surroundings. The facades towards the historic part of Lund are of a more classic character, open and closed parts of concrete plates, giving a calm rhythm and dialog with the cityscape of Lund.”

The surrounding plaza provides a flat surface, which elevates the form creating a hierarchy common to municipal buildings.

The sustainable profile is furthered with an advanced energy strategy that uses solar power, rain water cooling, and a grass roof as well as economically sensible solutions and integrated resource management. The city hall adheres to the ‘Swedish Green-factor’ point system which states that the vegetation and green areas of the site must be able to help storm water management or run-off.


New-York based, British artist Liam Gillick, has provided sculptures at the site of the building. The installations are integrated in the landscape and continue into the building to serve more than just art; for example shelves and benches at the ground floor and entrance.

As Scandinavian countries continue to draw attention to eco-practices on urban scales, it is good to see sustainable solutions demonstrated in the buildings that reflect their societies. The Crystal is nominated for The Kasper Salin Prize, which is awarded annually by the Swedish Association of Architects. M


By Samer Khudairi

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