Vårby Udde today consists of an industrial area in a valleyed landscape with forested hills and green glens. The proposal principally involve closed blocks that complement the adjacent districts’ low-rise buildings and tower blocks, and is close to nature, water and bridges. On the one hand, it is Huddinge Municipality’s only link to Lake Mälaren with a very popular bathing spot. On the other hand, it is located at the entrance to one of Huddinge’s many nature reserves, Gömmaren. The public will now be able to make use of the strip of beach that was previously inaccessible.
The area is the same size as Gamla stan in Stockholm and will have just as many homes as it too. Pre-existing infrastructure, such as water and sewerage pipes, can be utilized and underground spaces that already exist can be used for garages. The square will become the district hub where the brick building Cigarren will be transformed and given new life as the heart of the square. Materials such as bricks and concrete from the demolished buildings can be reused and recycled, or used as crushed stone for landscaping. Another way of reducing the area’s carbon footprint is to use renewable resources like wood as much as possible, and to minimize the use of non-renewable resources.
The homes will consist of a mixture of small and large apartments, divided into both rented apartments and tenant-owned apartments that form a neighbourhood city with a building height of 5-6 storeys. These will complement the existing buildings according to a concept that was previously successfully implemented in similar areas, where new constructions are adapted to older structures and create a basis for development.
Climate-smart behaviour will be encouraged among the residents of the Vårby Udde; since the area will have good density and will be close to public transport, residents will be encouraged to walk and cycle instead of taking the car. Furthermore, each residential block will have space to grow things either in the garden or on the roof. There is public transport nearby in the form of the Masmo and Vårby gård metro stations.
In collaboration with researchers from the SLU, a curtain of trees will be planted along the E4/E20 which will act as a visual shield, corridor for plants and animals and as a particle filter. Green roofs and facades, and even more trees in the area will also help to keep the air clean. It is important, however, not to choose just any tree; they should have lots of leaves or needles; be evergreen and deciduous, but not be so dense or planted in a way that they change the direction of the wind through the area.
The project also incorporates so-called ecosystem services. It is a way of taking advantage of nature’s in-built functions. An example could be resting places for pollinating insects. In open areas and the promenade along the beach, so-called rain gardens will be built which will emulate the way nature absorbs and filters rainwater instead of diverting water away in pipes or culverts.
It is a mostly elevated area and the promenade along the beach is designed to withstand high water levels from Lake Mälaren and to mitigate flooding.