Mirror, mirror on the wall… which is the loveliest city of all? Spegelhuset (“Mirror House”) is an infill idea for some of our more eye-catching, unique and central Stockholm locations. The concept is an architectural commentary on the beauty of Stockholm and the Stockholmers’ love for their city. Instead of essaying a pastiche of yesterday, which, given present-day rules and production exigencies would be doomed to failure, Spegelhuset is meant to do a completely different kind of justice to the fantastic historic and architectural treasures and legacy of our city. The project was devised in association with Malmegårds Fastighets AB.

Municipality Stockholm
Location Stockholm
Client Malmegårds Fastighets AB
Type Bostäder, hyresrätter
Year 2014

The Spegelhuset concept is based on literally reflecting one of Stockholm’s best-preserved and loveliest urban settings in the eye of the beholder. The building is positioned in such a way that its mirror-glass façade clearly reflects its beautiful surroundings in a unique Stockholm milieu. The idea makes it possible, even in a demanding location, to create a building which, for all its innovative form, is at the same time compliant enough not to clash with its surroundings, as is otherwise a common objection to innovative architecture in central urban locations. Spegelhuset has the makings of a unique architectural touch, not only in the Stockholm cityscape but also internationally. Just as with brick buildings, for example, there are plenty of mirror houses in the world, but none of them with the same fundamental concept or realisation as Spegelhuset. Even though the façade is mirror glass through and through, the design of the building picks out typical stylistic features of surrounding buildings, from roofs and bay windows to minor details such as entrances and chimneys. Even the untrained eye will quickly deduce where these elements come from and understand the approach taken. Spegelhuset is intended to house rental housing units, plus commercial premises on the bottom storey. Its design and positioning can make this building an interesting counterpoise to the received wisdom among clients and architects, and also the general public, as to what a rental apartment building “must” look like and where it can be sited. Spectacular, eye-catching design must not be achieved to the detriment of modern environmental thinking. Nor has it in the case of Spegelhuset. On the contrary. Both the design of the building and the choice of materials create outstandingly good prospects of environmentally efficient solutions. In particular, developments in recent years regarding the efficiency and pricing of solar collectors and solar cells are making glass façades an increasingly attractive option for creating buildings which not only have a low level of energy consumption but can to a great extent generate their own heating, cooling and electrical energy.