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The Blocks of Svindersberg

Reinterpreting the city block


Svindersberg is a 4.3 hectare development site located in central Nacka. The area is undergoing dramatic transformation with extension of Stockholm’s subway line, which will attract thousands of new housing units. Nacka Municipality is utilising the new development to create a comprehensible urban structure from a fabric that is divided up by hilly terrain and clusters of isolated housing developments. The Svindersberg site exemplifies this challenge. The site is in perfect position to contribute to the urban realm, but it’s steep and uncompromising terrain forms a significant barrier to creating a clear and coherent urban extension. 


The Blocks of Svindersberg combat the difficult topography of the site through an innovative interpretation of the traditional city block typology. A traditional urban grid is draped over the sloping hillside. The tough landscape breaks, twists and cracks the structure, changing it, while never destroying its clarity or overall form. The cracks and openings formed by the shifts invites the surrounding landscape to spill into the urban fabric. The result is ‘best of both worlds’ block typology that has strong, defined urban boundaries, and at the same time responds and adapts to its context.


Building heights range from two to seven floors and a number of different facade materials, colours, window types, and balconies enrich the texture of the neighbourhood. In terms of volume and massing, the blocks take inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhoods. By combining tower blocks, apartment blocks and row houses, the existing housing options are repurposed through novel and invigorating combinations.


Nacka, Stockholm, Sweden


4.3 ha


Land Allocation Competition 



Completed - 2016


Tobin Properties

Patrick Verhoeven, Martin Arfalk,

Alessandro Macaluso, Andrei Deacu, Mariada Stamouli

Adept Architects

The grid meets landscape

The traditional city grid is adapted to Svindersberg’s challenging topography

Taking the best of both worlds

The blocks retain clarity and form urban rooms, while also accommodating the steep terrain

Responding to four sides

The plan takes responsibility for defining the street, connecting adjacent neighbourhoods and protecting from the highway.

Simple plots

Although on a tough site, the plots are rationally laid out to maximise usable area and convenient living

View from the balcony

A number of different facade materials, colours, window types, and balconies enrich the visual texture of the neighbourhood.

Urban landscape

The spaces between buildings carefully balance the logistical needs of moving with programmed spaces and natural landscape

View from the courtyard

The generous courtyards allow for plenty of daylight for the apartments and provides room for local outdoor life.

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