ARCHITECTURE

Architect duo on creating spherical-shaped ”visualisation dome” in central Stockholm

Jonas Elding and Johan Oscarson: ”The structure really challenges what is technically possible to do in timber.”
January 02, 2024

To house its new visualisation dome, showcasing immersive 3D experiences in 360°, The National Museum of Science and Technology (Tekniska museet) teamed up with various industry players, including architectural firm Elding Oscarson.

— We proposed a big hall with a wooden dome as the centrepiece of the space, founders Jonas Elding and Johan Oscarson share. The roof is a free form timber structure shaped by the high dome and the low surrounding buildings in the courtyard. The structure really challenges what is technically possible to do in timber. The span is 48m in the long direction without intermediate support. This type of grid shell structure in LVL (laminated veneer lumber) and method of construction has never been done before.  

Not only the main sponsor of the project, the duo explains that Stora Enso has also been a valuable resource and collaborator throughout the process. 

— It was a requirement already in the competition to use their building system of solid timber, LVL and CLT (cross laminated timber). These are standard systems but we were encouraged to be creative with the materials. We wanted to challenge and inspire with our design. 

Wisdome Stockholm.

”The trend should be not to think in terms of trends”

What challenges occurred during the process?

— The design, planning and execution of the very complex roof structure has been a true challenge, but also keeping the sharpness of the design and not to get lost in compromises. 

The number of wooden building projects for the firm is increasing. 

— The most important and obvious reason is the sustainability benefits but also the spread of know-how and the wider supply of timber systems and products are drivers for this development.  The industry is struggling with the climate challenges. Hopefully we will see more focus on quality and less on quantity. The trend should be not to think in terms of trends, Elding and Oscarsson conclude.

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