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Nobel Prize finds a new home in Stockholm

"An architecture challenge doesn't come much better than this." Those were the words of German architect David Chipperfield, who has the task of designing a new home for the Nobel Prize in Stockholm after winning a prestigious competition.

The new Nobel Center is to be built on Blasieholmen, on a scenic site along Stockholm’s central waterfront. The aim is to invite people into the Nobel Prize’s unique world of natural sciences, humanities and peace efforts and become a meeting place that inspires curiosity and creativity.

“I think all projects are important but this project has enormous meaning, not just for the city of Stockholm but internationally,” said Chipperfield.

Lars Heikensten, chairman of the competition jury and executive director of the Nobel Foundation, said it is his ambition for the Nobel Center to become one of the Swedish capital's most attractive destinations.

"We want the Nobel Center to become a self-evident choice for visiting tourists and a place that Stockholm residents wish to revisit,” he said.

He envisions a building buzzing with activity both during the day and the evenings, creating a new cultural centre for exhibitions, science-themed seminars, lectures and discussions about current topics and events of various kinds.

"People might come to the Nobel Center to listen to a lecture on the climate issue by Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate in Physics and former US Secretary of Energy, to eat a Nobel Banquet meal in the restaurant or to have a cup of coffee in the outdoor café in a beautiful park setting next to the National Museum," Heikensten said.

Per Wästberg, a writer, member of the Swedish Academy and Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, said the Nobel Prize is Sweden’s most important global symbol and that the building will be one of Stockholm's great landmarks.

“Stockholm will gain a building – magnificent but without pomp, powerful yet graceful – with qualities like those the City Hall gave the capital a century ago,” he said. The proposed building has an elegant, timeless and attractive external appearance with a clear identity of its own, according to a statement from the jury.

The revised façade design, with its shimmering vertical brass elements and glass, has a lofty elegance and quality that can be associated with the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Center shall offer a broad range of exhibition and programme activities, Heikensten explained. It will have space for a major exhibition on Alfred Nobel, one of the most famous Swedes, and his dramatic life story. It will also house a permanent exhibition about the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Laureates.

"Here we will encounter such Nobel “fixed stars” as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ernest Hemingway, Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama, but also many others who have been rewarded for their wonderful contributions to the greatest benefit of mankind," Heikensten explained.    

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This article was sponsored by Stockholm Business Region.

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Last Updated (Friday, 16 May 2014 02:54)

 

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