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Western Harbour
The so called Western harbour in Malmö was turned into a residential area when the industries here ceased their operations. In 2001 a residential expo was held in the area and that resulted in the varied types of architecture that can be found in the area. There is also a marina for the residents and visiting boats.
Photo credit: Justin Brown/imagebank.sweden.se

Discover the best of Swedish architecture

Swedish architecture is a multifaceted affair, giving you a glimpse into the local life of specific locations up and down the country – from Malmö and Gothenburg in the south to Östersund and Sundsvall further north.

Many of Sweden’s most notable buildings – spanning modern architecture and historic landmarks – can be explored externally, giving you the freedom to visit at your leisure. Here are some highlights of Swedish architecture, from south to north.

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Western Harbour and Turning Torso, Malmö

Western Harbour and the 190 metres tall neo-futurist building Turning Torso during sunset in Malmö.

Photo: Werner Nystrand

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Western Harbour and Turning Torso, Malmö

Photo: Werner Nystrand

Malmö City Library

Photo: The Libraries of Malmö

World Maritime University

Photo: Mark Syke

Gamla Väster

Photo: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se

Triangeln railway station

Photo: Linda Söndergaard

Malmö

Turning Torso

Towering 190 metres, Malmö’s eye-catching Turning Torso is one of the tallest buildings in Scandinavia. Designed in neo-futurist style by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, this 54-floor skyscraper features over 2,300 windows. It’s powered exclusively by locally produced renewable energy and houses both apartments and offices. Thanks to its central Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) location, this striking piece of architecture is now a well-recognised landmark for the city of Malmö.

Malmö City Library

The historic Malmö City Library ('Malmö Stadsbibliotek'), located next to Malmö Palace and its elegant gardens, was given a modernist makeover in 1997 courtesy of Danish architect Henning Larsen. The glass-walled structure – suitably called “Calendar of Light” – offers fine views over the surrounding parkland.

World Maritime University

The World Maritime University moved into a new home in 2015, and a distinctive one at that. Conceived by architecture practices Terroir and Kim Utzon Arkitekter, the building is defined by its shard-like facade, made from aluminium and glass. This must-see example of Swedish architecture is located a few minutes’ walk from Malmö Central Station.

Gamla Väster

The historic city district of ‘Gamla Väster’ is awash with fascinating buildings – from the 16th century palace, Kockska Huset and the equally elegant Faxerska Huset, built in the 1760s, to the distinctive Jugendhuset of 1895 – Malmö’s first Art Noveau-inspired building. A good starting point is the centrally located Stortorget square.

Triangeln

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a spacecraft – or luminous whale – the underground railway station Triangeln is a piece of modern architecture that combines form and function. Designed by Sweco Architects and KHR Arkitekter, this busy commuter hub has two cave-shaped entrances at street level constructed entirely with a glazing system that enables light to flood the platforms 25 metres below ground.

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Kuggen

Kuggen is the Chalmers University of Technology's centre for innovation and entrepreneurship. One of the aims of Kuggen is to be a creative environment and meeting place for students, teachers, and businesses. Another aim is to demonstrate how to develop building techniques and materials to help conserve energy.

Photo: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

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Kuggen

Photo: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

The Sauna in Frihamnen, Gothenburg

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

Gothenburg Town Hall

Photo: Krister Engström

Gothenburg Town Hall

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

The Palm House in Gothenburg

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

Gothenburg

Kuggen

Designed by renowned Swedish architect firm Gert Wingårdh, Kuggen is best described as a piece of modern architecture with a renaissance twist. This distinctive, cylindrical building features a raft of high-tech features, including a mosaic of glazed terracotta panels that change colour depending on the light. Kuggen (Swedish for 'the cog') is part of Chalmers University of Technology and can be found at Gothenburg’s Lindholmsplatsens square.

The Sauna in Frihamnen

Gothenburg’s Frihamnen area on the island of Hisingen – nestling across the river from the city centre – is home to a most eye-catching sauna. Dreamed up by German architect collective Raumlabor Berlin, the angular edifice is primarily made from recycled material – some 12,000 recycled bottles went into the making of the changing room alone. Both the sauna and the surrounding Jubileumsparken was created in celebration of Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021.

Please note: The sauna is temporarily closed due to renovations and will reopen in the autumn.

Gothenburg Town Hall

A functionalist extension was added to Gothenburg’s historic town hall ('rådhuset') in 1937, courtesy of architect Gunnar Asplund. Some considered the modernising of a grand building – dating back to 1672 – sacrilege at the time, while others deemed it a stroke of genius. You’ll find this world-renowned building in Gustaf Adolf’s square.

The Palm House

Appearing almost otherworldly amidst the greenery of The Garden Society of Gothenburg’s 19th century park, the gleaming Palm House ('Palmhuset'), built in 1878, is constructed entirely from glass and cast iron. Inspired by London’s famous Crystal Palace, Gothenburg’s much-loved version houses plants – including several varieties of palm trees – from across the globe.

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The Jewel in Uppsala

Painting of The Jewel ('Juvelen'), a shimmering landmark of Uppsala.

Photo: Johan Alp

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The Jewel in Uppsala

Photo: Johan Alp

The Jewel in Uppsala

Photo: Tina Axelsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Uppsala Concert & Congress

Photo: Tor Johnsson

Humanistiska Teatern

Photo: Stewen Quigley

Uppsala

The Jewel

Arriving by train at Uppsala, The Jewel ('Juvelen') is hard to miss. Designed by Swedish architects Utopia and completed in 2019, this six-floor landmark is one of Scandinavia’s most sustainable office buildings, featuring green energy solutions and a raft of other innovations within its shimmering gem-like walls.

Uppsala Concert & Congress

Designed by Henning Larsen studio and inaugurated in 2007, Uppsala Concert & Congress ('Uppsala Konsert & Kongress') is a cultural hub playing host to all manner of events. Housed in a distinctive building, featuring a crystal-like facade made up of reflective metal plates, it's easy to get to by public transport thanks to its central location at Vaksala square.

Humanistiska Teatern

A public forum with a difference, Humanistiska Teatern is a subtly gleaming, horseshoe-shaped building. Designed by White Arkitekter studio, it’s been created using some 300 perforated aluminium sheets. The amphitheatre-style space allows everyone in the auditorium to see and hear one another exceptionally well, and a 32 square metre interactive screen enables participants in other parts of the world to join in digitally. The building, which opened its doors in 2018, is part of Uppsala University and is located by Engelska parken (the English Park) in the centre of town.

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Jamtli Historyland, Östersund

At the open-air museum Jamtli Historyland, you move between the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The people you meet are from times other than our own and they are happy to tell you about their existence and let you take part in chores and activities.

Photo: Joaklind/Jämtland Härjedalen Turism

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Jamtli Historyland, Östersund

Photo: Joaklind/Jämtland Härjedalen Turism

Östersund city centre

Photo: Visit Östersund / Göran Strand

Jämtland Härjedalen

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger’s Sommarhagen

The home of late Swedish composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger was built in 1914 as per his design in national romantic style. During summer, the house serves as a museum home, but it’s worth a visit year-round as you get to admire the distinctive architecture and the spectacular mountain views the composer so cherished. Take the opportunity to visit Frösö Church, a 10-minute walk up the hill from Sommarhagen, where Peterson-Berger has been laid to rest. Sommarhagen is 15 minutes by bus from the city of Östersund.

Jamtli Historyland

Jamtli Historyland ('Jamtli Historieland'), the open-air museum of Östersund’s Jamtli Museum, is a couple of blocks from the city centre. During summertime, you can wander the vast area to discover authentically rendered representations of historic environments, complete with farmyard animals, authentically-dressed actors and genuine buildings. You’ll find Swedish architecture as diverse as 18th century homesteads to 1970s villas.

Östersund Town Hall

Standing proud in Östersund’s city centre, Östersund Town Hall ('rådhuset') is an imposing landmark built in 1912 by architect Frans Bertil Wallberg. National romantic in style, the building towers at 51 metres and features a decorative onion dome. You’ll find this monumental building just a short walk up from Östersund train station.

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Rooftop tour in Sundsvall

A tour with a unique view of Sundsvall's Stone City (Stenstan).

Photo: Aktivera

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Rooftop tour in Sundsvall

Photo: Aktivera

The Stone City in Sundsvall

Photo: Olle Melkerhed

Sundsvall

The Stone City's rooftops

The spectacular Stone City ('Stenstaden') of Sundsvall can be experienced by joining a historic rooftop tour. This guided tour offers sweeping cityscape views along with interesting facts about the city’s grandest neighbourhood, built entirely in stone at the end of the 19th century during Sundsvall’s industrial expansion. From a 25-metre-high vantage point, you’ll also get the chance to take a closer look at some of the elegant spires and towers.