Borås Textile Fashion Center, Simonsland, Skaraborgsvägen, Borås, Sweden by Thorbjorn Andersson with Sweco Architects.
This remodeled factory building from the 1870s — now the new headquarters for textiles history, research, and higher education — weaves notions from Sweden’s rich textiles tradition into details both large and small. Landscape architect Thorbjorn Andersson with Sweco Architects worked alongside a team of consultants to create the Boras Textile Fashion Center, which opened in September 2013. The Fashion Center merges many major institutions in Sweden’s textiles industry to form a destination, center of activity, and natural meeting place. This mecca of knowledge and business also houses the University of Textile and Fashion, offering a world-class location and facility in which students can learn, research and practice.
Borås Textile Fashion Center
The center is designed to pay homage to the long history of the textiles industry in Sweden. In the front entrance of the university, the floor is laid out as a carpet of stone. Designers used three different colors and types of granite to resemble a weaving pattern developed by Joseph-Marie Jacquard in 1805.The space is lined with box-like benches that form a flexible-use area, with an open space in the atrium for displaying student work or gathering for a meeting. By incorporating details of the textiles industry into every aspect of the design both inside and out, the Fashion Center is a living history laboratory. The structure speaks to the history of the industry while students, professors, and professionals carry on research for its future. Taking Advantage of Both the Exterior and the Interior Students and visitors have an opportunity to utilize both interior and exterior spaces for research and studies. The design takes into consideration the users, stakeholders, and adjacent natural resources. The landscape architect worked to program spaces to have multiple uses throughout the site. The dense campus needed connectivity and additional exterior spaces so that activities could flow from the inside out. There is a delicate integration of the site and building, and even an area where walkways outside are suspended in the building’s façade. “A 25-foot-tall sculpture by Jaume Plensa, valued at about 2 million Euros.” Andersson noted that quite far along in the design process, the client received a donation and gift that it could not refuse. A 25-foot-tall sculpture by Jaume Plensa, valued at about 2 million Euros, now needed to be incorporated into the site design. Andersson said this was a major challenge he encountered during the design process. He noted that it was difficult to site the sculpture and truly weave it into the design so late in the process. The sculpture now rests near one of the entrances, marking the gateway to textiles knowledge and innovation. A Unique Connection to Nature Another popular space at the Fashion Center is a new pedestrian bridge with a see-through floor that connects two banks of a river. This connection to nature and natural materials inspires sustainable and responsible textiles design and research within the university. A separate area of the site features a series of wooden decks, all oriented toward the sun. This space is often used for a variety of meetings, classes, and discussions. The flexible nature of the spaces allows for the maximum amount of usage. More Great Articles Featuring Work from Thorbjorn Andersson:
- How The Fish Market Plaza Revamped This Forgotten Site
- Sjövikstorget Square: Traditional Techniques in Modern Landscape Architecture
- Discover the Ancient Secrets of the Physic Garden
Borås Textile Fashion Center Presents a New Era for the Textile Industry
The Fashion Center is a hub in the center of Boras, Sweden. With accessible transportation connections including rail, air, ports, and highways, this is an ideal location for the development of new and innovative textiles practices. The museum and overall design of the Fashion Center mark the beginning of a new phase in the textiles industry while paying respect to its history. The center even incorporates cafes, restaurants, cultural attractions, shopping, and recreation to attract visitors and guests from near and far. Additional project credits: Team: PeGe Hillinge, Staffan Sundström, Ronny Brox, Per Johansson (lighting design). Consultants: DTH arkitekter (Dominic Wansbury) together with Sweco architects (Peter Jansson), Stiba (construction). Recommended Reading:
- Urban Design by Alex Krieger
- The Urban Design Handbook: Techniques and Working Methods (Second Edition) by Urban Design Associates
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