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SUPERKILEN | Notes of Interest

The design of Superkilen was driven by two overarching ideas: first, that the park would become a vehicle for celebrating the neighborhood’s multicultural heritage, and, second, that it would serve as a giant exhibition of urban best practice. Superkilen features trails for pedestrians and cyclists, connections to local transport, and outdoor recreation spaces, as well as a market space and areas for games.

The different surfaces and colors of Superkilen’s three zones are integrated to form new, dynamic surroundings for the everyday objects— benches, lampposts, trash cans, and plants—exhibited throughout the park. These objects were all selected by area residents, who represent more than 50 nationalities. A variety of trees and other vegetation, arranged as small islands of diverse species, match the origin of the surrounding everyday objects.

Because the existing site was relatively new and already included a well-functioning bike path, the design incorporated as much of the existing landscape and pavement as possible. To save money and energy, soil from the site was simply moved (instead of removed), and strong, sustainable materials were used on resurfaced areas.

Additional Credits

  • Art Consultant: Superflex
  • Engineer: Lemming & Eriksson
  • Landscape Architect: Topotek1
  • Public Relations: Help PR & Communication

Photo Credit

    • © Superflex
  • © BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group
  • © Jens Lindhe
  • © Hasse Ferrold


Jury Comments

This project is a joy! This is not only original, but stunning to behold. It is noteworthy for its aesthetic approach, which is straightforwardly artificial rather than pretending to be natural. One of the project’s most exciting dimensions is its inclusion of the diverse community of users. Its bold use of color and public art (both high and popular) in spaces that promote social interaction and engagement all exude a high level of excitement and energy through what once looked like residual space. SUPERKILEN shows what can be done with an open, inventive approach within severe cost limitations. It is not afraid to have fun and to not take itself too seriously. It demonstrates the value of powerful visual and spatial moves while keeping connected to the realities of a contemporary multicultural context: the condition of many European cities.

The form of the project grew from a community participation process that led to a clear identity and enjoyable series of spaces. As a formal expression it breaks down into pieces and fits very nicely into the scale of the surrounding area as an interesting patchwork.

More about SUPERKILEN.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Mark Shapiro, AIA, Chair
  • Mithun, Inc.
  • Seattle
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta
  • William A. Gilchrist, FAIA
  • Place Based Planning
  • New Orleans
  • Toni L. Griffin, AIA
  • The City College of New York
  • New York City
  • Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Washington, DC

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