A former factory and site in Gävle, Sweden, known for producing the legendary Swedish candy Läkerol, is set to be transformed into an innovative eco-centric housing and mixed-use development by Singapore-based sustainable architectural design firm, Pomeroy Studio.
The firm, headed by renowned eco-architect, Prof Jason Pomeroy, has been appointed by one of Sweden’s largest and oldest public housing companies, AB Gavlegårdarna, to transform the landmark Läkerol candy factory into an affordable and multi-generational housing precinct in line with eco-friendly elements responsive to climatic challenges.
The landmark project explores the use of renewable energy technologies and demonstrates the important role that wintergardens, skycourts and skygardens play in creating green living environments for residents to enjoy all-year-round.
The inclusion of vertical vegetable farming through the atrium spaces and skygardens also allows for farm-to-table community engagement projects within the building precincts.
Moreover, the 7 and 15 storey buildings will serve as the gateway to the Läkerol Candy Factory development – a vibrant mixed-use hub of artisanal food and beverage facilities, commercial offices and hotel that will see the sensitive restoration and redevelopment of the existing brick buildings to preserve its profound heritage.
In commenting on why such an approach to the development was so important, Prof. Jason Pomeroy, founding principal of Pomeroy Studio said: “With a burgeoning local population, we are addressing the need for affordable homes that are flexible and adaptable to the changing attitudes of singles, young professional couples, families, and retirees.”
“This green multigenerational living development will not only be socially-inclusive and affordable but also environmentally resilient.”
In a digital age where the inclination is to retreat into a virtual world, Prof. Pomeroy said that they are incorporating recreational amenities through vertical social spaces that seek to enhance the health and well-being of the residents through the embrace of the great outdoors.
“The development will also play a significant role in telling the story of the Candy Factory’s past to educate present and future generations of Gävle’s rich heritage,” he added.
One of the key innovations is the incorporation of wintergardens, skycourts and skygardens – a subject matter for which Prof. Pomeroy is a world-renowned authority.
Each residential apartment is assigned a wintergarden that serves as a habitable sun-catching living space during the winter time but can be converted into a private summer verandah to appreciate the long, warm, summer days.
Autumn and spring see the wintergardens transformed into interior or exterior spaces depending on the preferences of the residents.
The flexibility of the wintergardens thus provides greater opportunities for connecting residents with the external environment.
Skycourts and skygardens that take place at different levels include a sauna, recreational and entertainment rooms that provide a heightened means of community engagement.
Gavlegårdarna are the primary provider of housing for the city of Gävle and are expected to play a significant role in the collective redevelopment of the Candy Factory.
Cathrine Holgersson, CEO, is confident that the new development will make a positive impact to the iconic industrial area.
She said that the aim is to turn Godisfabriken into a new city district that will preserve its historic origins and embrace sustainability from three perspectives – social, economic and ecological.
“In cooperation with five other construction companies, this area will not only comprise 750 housing units, but will also include commercial activities, innovative environmental solutions and flexible housing that will facilitate round-the-clock sustainable living.”
The Singapore-based international studio worked alongside a Swedish team of architects, engineers and designers on the ground-breaking project.
The collaboration between Pomeroy Studio, Arkitektgruppen i Gävle AB, Sweco System AB, Kjell Westberg Ingenjörsbyrå and Briab is said to have resulted in a unique opportunity to fuse green architecture and sustainable innovations with the needs of the local community and Municipality.
Frequent workshops and early engagement with the authorities also yielded positive results to create the pioneering end result which is the development at Candy Factory.
It is both refreshing and inspiring to see the product of this international collaboration, says Helena Tallius Myhrman, City Architect.
“Especially as Läkerol is a renowned Swedish brand that is being thoughtfully preserved, similar to the buildings within the development.”
“At the same time, we want to ensure the development meets the needs of the community in the contemporary era in an environmentally conscientious way,” Prof. Pomeroy added.
“We are proud to work on this visionary project with Gavlegårdarna and hope the development will serve as a precedent for conservation projects that conjoins green living and contemporary needs.”