Former Lakerol candy factory gets a sustainable makeover in Sweden


  • Design
  • Thursday, 19 Dec 2019

Artist’s impression of the residential tower balconies with winter gardens in the Candy Factory development in Gavle, Sweden. Photos: Pomeroy Studio

Imagine harvesting vegetables from the rooftop or basking in the warmth of summer from your verandah, amid architectural heritage from the 19th century.

The place in question, located in Gavle, Sweden, also comes with a rich history; that’s where the famous Swedish candy Lakerol was produced. The old structures there include a yellow stucco building constructed in 1915 and red brick buildings built in the late 1800s.

In an upcoming project known as the Candy Factory development, these brick buildings will be restored and given a new lease of life via a series of lifestyle, mixed-use developments that include farm-to-table food and beverage concepts, collaborative workplaces and a hotel.

In addition, the project will involve the construction of seven- and 15-storey residential towers which offer green, multi- generational living and sustainable housing features.Artist’s impression of the 15-storey residential tower sky garden.Artist’s impression of the 15-storey residential tower sky garden.

“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, ” said Prof Jason Pomeroy, founding principal of Pomeroy Studio, in an interview.

The Singapore-based, award-winning sustainable design firm was appointed by AB Gavlegardarna, one of the largest and oldest public housing companies in Sweden, to lead the project.

“This green, multi-generational 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, we 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, ” he added.

The project explores the use of renewable energy technologies that include solar power, district heating and cooling, and wind power to create a zero-energy development.Aerial view of Candy Factory's central solar atrium and bee garden.Aerial view of Candy Factory's central solar atrium and bee garden.

It also incorporates winter gardens, sky courts and sky gardens to create a green living environment for residents to enjoy all year round. Vertical vegetable farming through the atrium spaces and sky gardens allow farm-to-table community engagement projects within the building precincts.

“One of the major physical design elements that will mark a notable departure from conventional apartments in Sweden are the sky terraces that we have incorporated into each apartment. In the wake of increasing spatial pressures and the depletion of outdoor communal or private spaces for people’s interaction, we have created a series of sky terraces that in the winter time act as glass box ‘sun catchers’ but in summer can be completely opened up to create outdoor, verandah living.Artist's impression of the Candy Factory mixed-use development.Artist's impression of the Candy Factory mixed-use development.

“Spring and autumn provide other opportunities for different configurations of the ‘glass box conservatory’ and terrace relationship to provide a greater opportunity for the residents to enjoy natural light, ventilation and a connection to greenery. As climate change continues to challenge the conventional seasons, and play havoc with the winter months, this serves as an opportunity for the Swedish residents to reconnect with the great outdoors, ” said Pomeroy.

In Sweden, he added, social cohesion is one of the keys to a balanced society, and social interaction within the community through urban farming is becoming more important.

Construction for the project will kick off next year.


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