3XN opens Forskaren, a hub for innovation in Stockholm’s Hagastaden district


Life science and the study of living organisms and life processes play a key role in addressing health and societal challenges. With the new Hagastaden neighbourhood in the northern part of Stockholm, the ambition is to create one of the world’s leading ecosystems within the sciences.

Forskaren is the heart of the area, bringing together industry, research, academia and the public under one roof. Here, the building opens up and invites people to circulate and socialise. Forskaren is 3XN’s latest project in Stockholm, developed by real estate developer Vectura Fastigheter AB. The 24,000 m2 building contains flexible work environments with large offices, co-working spaces and laboratories.

In addition, there are recreational areas both inside and out. The round shape is interrupted by recessed balconies, which together with a large roof terrace are accessible to tenants. The ground floor is open to the public and includes two restaurants and an exhibition area. Forskaren will be fully completed in August 2024 when the last tenants move in.

An open building that promotes connection
In the rapidly growing Hagastaden, Forskaren stands out. The round shape is unique and forms a landmark in an otherwise densely built area. The circular shape of the building steps out from floor to floor, creating balconies around a large inner atrium space. In this sense, Forskaren is organised around concentric rings to promote life and collaboration.

Offices occupy the periphery of the building, while the balconies are furnished with spaces and niches that promote social interaction between all users of the building. Stairs are a recurring design feature in 3XN’s projects. In Forskaren, the staircase is brought out into the atrium, where its sculptural spiral shape creates connection and circulation between all floors.

The ground floor is the social heart of Forskaren, inviting the public inside an active environment through a glass façade. Here, visitors can explore science in Tekniska Museet’s interactive exhibition and observe the 12-metre-high light artwork, ‘The Veins of Life’, by Yoke hanging in the atrium.

Focus on wellbeing and durability
In its form and materiality, Forskaren is designed with people in mind. As a round building, it is inclusive and clear, with the scale of the atrium creating intimate and comfortable spaces. The inside and outside are dominated by natural materials to create a warm expression. The façade’s vertical wooden slats give the building’s exterior tactility and rhythm.

Inside, surfaces and panelling on the floors are also clad in wood, while the floor on the ground floor is made of natural stone from the Swedish island of Gotland. The rustic and durable materiality of the house patinates beautifully over time with wood panelling that can go untreated for 50 years. With these design choices, Forskaren follows the Swedish Byggvarubedömningen’s material recommendations for sustainable construction.

In addition, Forskaren aims for LEED Platinum, WELL v.1 Gold and Miljöbyggnad Gold certification. Half of the building’s roof surface is covered by solar panels that supply power to the building, while the stepped façade shades and minimises the need for cooling. Forskaren is 3XN’s latest completed project in Stockholm.

In 2025, construction will begin on the Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH) in the Slakthus area, uniting film, media and performing arts programmes under one roof for the first time. Forskaren is also being followed by several life science and healthcare projects, with Mary Elizabeths Hospital in Copenhagen due for completion in 2026, as well as the masterplan and main building for the future EPFL Ecotope in Lausanne. Source and image Courtesy of 3XN.