Islands are autonomous geographies, usually defined by their isolated location in bodies of water. In the field of Island biogeography, this terms is expanded and can apply to any isolated or separate area of land or water, or "any area of suitable habitat surrounded by an expanse of unsuitable habitat"**. The isolated nature of these islands have commonly encouraged the development of highly specific ecologies. We set out to define and design our proposal around the social and urban ecologies discovered in and around our sites.
Starting point: The walkable city
What we discovered was a very strong green belt surrounding the inner city, with Hagaparken, Frescati, Gardet, Djurgarden, Nackareservatet, Arstaskogen and so on. We discussed how the expansion of the inner city is made impossible due to the impenetrable ring of ‘untouchable’ green space, and our reaction was to break these green areas up into smaller areas framed by urban development. These new ‘injections’ of urbanity were named Hyper Islands. The name came from the idea of a hyper urbanity, with more intensity, more density and more city-ness. More Stockholm than Stockholm in a way, a Stockholm on steroids.
The Schizofrenic Identity of Stockholm
Proposal: Hyper Islands
These "Hyper Islands" are islands made to connect other islands. They are developed to link, to bridge and to form joint communities through shared activities, services and cultural institutions. We see them as a tool to decentralise the Stockholm structure, and to form Inner City-like areas outside of the perceived border of the urban centre of Stockholm.
Through our project, we have always been driven by the positive idea of urban expansion. We believe that Stockholm can intensify. We believe it can be more of everything, more intensely green, more urban, more linked to the water, more culturally diverse and locally engaged, more global and even more livable.
Text by Johan Berglund & Josep Mias.
* William Gibson in American Scientist
About the workshop leaders
Johan Berglund, 42 architects – graduated as the highest achieving Diploma student of his year at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in 2005. His diploma project won great acclaim both within and outside the Bartlett, winning the UCL Sir Bannister Fletcher Medal for the highest grade in diploma, as well as winning a commendation for the RIBA Silver Medal awards along with the iGuzzini and SOM travel awards. Johan's work has been published and exhibited internationally. Beside his work with 42, Johan has established a successful academic career, teaching the highly successful BSc Unit 8 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and recently becoming an associate lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design.Josep Mias – Graduated in 1992 in ETSAB_UPC, Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona_Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. From 1990 till 2000 he worked as Associated Architect with Enric Miralles, developing the following projects: Círculo de Lectores in Madrid, Sports Hall in Huesca, Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Alicante, Library in Palafolls , Parc dels Colors in Mollet del Vallès, Cemetery in Igualada, Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Diagonal Mar Park in Barcelona, Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona and Gas Natural Building in Barcelona. In 2000, Josep Miàs founded his own studio, working in landscape and urbanism projects, architecture and interiorism and industrial design, such as: Banyoles’ old city refurbishment, Banyoles, Barceloneta Market in Barcelona, Golf Fontanals de Cerdanya Clubhouse, Fontanals de Cerdanya, Funicular Station and refurbishment of the Old Historical Building in Tibidabo Amusement Park in Barcelona, Annexa-Joan Puigbert School in Girona and iGuzzini Illuminazione Ibérica Headquarters in Sant Cugat del Vallès.