Hyllie Plaza | Malmo Sweden | Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects

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Beech is a character tree for the Swedish southernmost province Scania. The beech also has a few specifics which makes it differ from other trees. The canopy owns a horizontal structure, and together with the equally horizontal position of the single leave this renders an architectural quality to the tree. The smooth, light grey bark makes the trunk resemble a leg of an elephant. The competition entry for the new plaza at Hyllie district in Malmoe was sent in by motto Fagus, which is the scientific name for beech. The idea was to establish a beech forest on the plaza, contributing with a regional identity to a site that lacked most landscape features.


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First a giant plant bed was laid out, stretching under the whole plaza. The plant bed is capped with a floor of Swedish high density granite covering an area of 12 000 sqm. In this floor of granite, 12 parallel slits have been opened, and each of the slits is planted with 2, 3, or 4 beech trees. The beech trees are 28 in number, and aged 30. They were found in a plant nursery north of Berlin, sealed on site and later transported with frozen root balls to Malmö. Each tree has a sensor mounted immediately inside of the barch in order to register the transport of liquids in the sil-wood at every given second. These trees are incubator babies.

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The trees are placed to form a series of glades. In the glades, seating of various kinds is placed on ground surfaces made of blocks of wood. Eleven masts, 16 meters high, are placed in pairs along the sides and frame the plaza. Between the masts 1800 meters of steel wire is suspended in a certain disorder, resembling a spider’s web. To the wires 2800 LED diods are attached, programmed to four seasonal scenarios and creating a digital sky after dark.

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Hyllie Plaza | Malmo Sweden | Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects

Landscape architect |  Thorbjörn Andersson

Design Team | PeGe Hillinge, Johan Krikström, Marianne Randers, Andreas Johansson, Niklas Ödmann (illumination).

Area | 14 000 sq m

Opening | 2011

Cost | 10 million Euro

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