‘Butterfly Square’ forms the central piece to the Allarp master plan in Halland, situated on the West coast of Sweden, 4 km from Båstad. The brief asked for a ‘town centre’ to the master plan. The buildings are to have a mix of residential and retail functions and 30 % of the plot is to be devoted to external space.
A series of spaces linking to the nature park through a building that presents itself as the open wings of a butterfly. The design evolved through thinking about the range of spaces we felt the masterplan would benefit from. We wanted the spaces to be a pedestrian, child friendly environment, that was made up of a small series of spaces that could work together.
We also wanted the square to feel different, and in many ways feel part of the nature park flowing in. A diagonal route through the site has been created. This route connects the wider matserplan to the nature park. It also provides a route towards the relocated Båstad station, which open late 2015.
The route divides the space into two parts or ‘wings’. This gave two plots of land on which to build. Leaving the central space alone , we developed 2 ‘L’- shaped building plots. Knowing that parking is always an issue, we decided to eliminate this by placing parking at ground floor within the building footprint. The building are raised above this.
At the centre of the square a lowered space has been created with perimeter steps. A simple glass building is created by lifting up a piece of landscape to form the roof of the performance zone. This allows the space to be the backdrop for performances, shows exhibitions and the like, with the steps becoming amphitheatre style seating.
The buildings have been designed to be a part of nature and add to the beautiful surroundings. To achieve this we took the whole building footprint and filled this with landscape. The footprint then is lifted to form the roof of the buildings. As the planted roof rises out of the nature park, which runs through the master plan, it offers views of nature to everyone in the area.
The goal of this roof is to become a haven for all sorts of insects and birds. The design aims to grow the local flower of the region. The hårginsten flower is sadly becoming increasingly rare in the area. The beautiful yellow flowers attract the ginst butterflies (ginst fjärilar), which are also endangered.
The roof raises from the level of the nature park up to a maximum height of 18m at the building corners. Views are opened up towards the sky and the naturpark, making the space inside feel less enclosed. The roof form also allows views into the central space from more of the wider master plan.
The form enables the buildings themselves to be the local landmark – a distinctive element for masterplan and beyond. Housed below the roof is residential accommodation, which steps back in plan on each floor as the roof raises.
At the ends of each building, feature terrace flats are created. Large voids are carved out of the roof to provide light into the private external terraced spaces below. Incorporated within the stone tiles is strip lighting. Source by Weatherhead Architecture
Location: Allarp Halland, Sweden
Architect: Weatherhead Architecture
Site area: 5,780 m2
Gross Floor Area: 6,000 m2 + 2,300 m2 covered parking
Project start date: 2016
Status: Phase 1 of the 4 phase master plan under construction
Article by Marco Rinaldi