Kopparhusen - a new city block in Norrköping

On behalf of property company Klövern, Utopia have designed the Kopparhusen – a new development with student and researcher housing, offices, restaurants and cafes in the heart of Norrköping's old industrial landscape. The Kopparhusen buildings have a strong character and clear connection to the area's industrial heritage, contributing to the creation of a more coherent city centre.

In total, the project comprises approximately 15,000 sqm of building rights and 110 home units for students and researchers. Completion is planned for 2019.

Municipality Norrköping
Location Norrköping
Client Klövern och Hyresbostäder
Type Kontor & bostäder
Year 2020
Kopparhusens lekfulla tak blir ett samtida komplement till industrilandskapets karakteristiska stadssiluett med dess höga torn och skorstenar.


The Kopparhusen are situated in the central part of Norrköping called the industrial landscape. The cityscape here is dominated by industrial buildings erected between 1850-1920, whose facades bear warm shades from yellow to red. The area is classified a national heritage site.

The overall objective of the project has been to create a dense and sustainable urban development with a diverse and conspicuous identity. The Kopparhusen will also contribute to a more coherent city centre and invigorate the entire area. In addition to providing high quality housing, the student and researcher units will also enhance the attractiveness of Norrköping as a university town.

Kopparhusens yttre fasader i lackad plåt utförs i ett mönster med koppling till den textil som en gång producerades i områdets fabriker.

Our concept

We have aimed to create a beautiful, modern and urban design that distinguishes itself from its surroundings while still integrating harmoniously with the cityscape. The Kopparhusen are blocks of varying shapes and heights and high quality materials, playing a very clear part in the old industrial landscape. The mix of offices, student and researcher housing, restaurants and cafes contribute to a strong city feel with space for work, meetings and socialising – an attractive hub for innovation, creativity and growth.

The Kopparhusen also add to a more coherent city centre, and forms a link between the surrounding neighbourhood, the University, the Visualization Center and the Norrköping Science Park. Bicycle- and walking paths have priority between and through the court yards, which connects the blocks and creates life and motion.


Illustrations of the design for the different hights of the roofscape - from eaves of the zoning plan to varied heights of the Kopparhusen

The Roofscape
A playful roofscape contributes to Norrköping's characteristic skyline with its high towers and chimneys that much of the industrial landscape boasts. We have created a varied roofscape for the Kopparhusen, that adds to and strengthen the characteristics of the city. The design of the roofscape contributes to unifying the neighbourhood.

Respect and imagination
The architecture of the industrial landscape is very diverse in its exterior details. Variations in window sizes and placements give the buildings great expressive variation. Many of the facades have different window depths that through their shadowplay create frames, verticality and vivacity. By using select structures of surrounding buildings and working with these in an imaginative way for the facades, we show respect towards the setting while creating our own interpretation of a modern neighbourhood in a historic environment.

Exterior and interior
By working with a single exterior material, we bind together the buildings' expression in the greater scale. The exterior facades is designed with a pattern that bears clear allusion to the textile that was once produced in the area's factories. The interior is of brick, exposed in the passages between outside and inside, which creates a natural transition between the fast pace of the street to the peaceful courtyard garden. On this side we have created a more playful placement of windows and use several different types of windows.

Vy in mot gården från Sankt Persgatan.