Mike and Jenny Collie recently visited Malmo in Sweden and took time to walk around Vastra Hamnen, a substantial ‘docklands’ redevelopment project situated to the north west of the Malmo central area. Key observations include:

  • the use of a significant building (the Turning Torso residential tower) which is visible from the centre of Malmo to draw attention to the newly developing area and provide a visual link between old and new Malmo;
  • with the one exception noted above, the human scale of the majority of the development to date;
  • the variety in building form and height;
  • the use of taller buildings on the edges and (surprisingly) lower buildings internally;
  • a medium density architectural style overall;
  • the great use of internal lanes and people places;
  • the interconnection of built form with narrow bodies of water;
  • the detailing of hard and soft landscape elements;
  • a design that encourages shared use of movement spaces (by people, bikes and cars).

The redevelopment is continuing with large areas still showing signs of previous use but so far, the results are impressive and offer lessons for urban design in Melbourne.

If you are travelling to Malmo, allow a good day to walk around this newly developing area – it will not be wasted.

Enquiries Mike Collie mjsc@colliepl.com.au