For over a century it has been argued about how a Nobel building will look. From the feud between the architect Ferdinand Boberg and Ragnar Ostberg in the 1910s, through to the contemporary hard intonations of the Nobel Foundation and the opponents of a large Nobel Center in central Stockholm.
It could have been fanfare and applause. To the question of a building befitting Sweden’s strongest brand in the world, Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize, finally seems to resolve itself.
After a tortuous history that lasted for over 100 years, ever since the architect Ferdinand Boberg sketches for an actual crazy grandiose Nobel palace in Östermalm rejected 1911. Boberg himself, who among other things designed the headquarters and Waldemarsudde, said that the building of the sketches look like a mixture of some kind of Indian palaces and an American skyscraper was the boldest he drew. And one can agree with.
The proposal was rejected then under the so-called Boberg-feud among others architect colleague Ragnar Östberg – who wanted that the building should be more important stepping stones for “ Swedish monumental architecture “.
But – it has not exactly been fanfare and applause for the plans for the new Nobel Center on Blasieholmen in Stockholm, either.
Rather it sounds completely different. “Too big, too expensive and in the wrong place,” reciting the several hundred people who braved a really nasty April weather to demonstrate against plans Nobel Center.
piquant enough, there is also the demonstration just outside the City Hall Ragnar Ostberg built and where the Nobel Prize came to be awarded. Instead of Mr Ferdinand Boberg never realized Nobel Palace. However, it is not because the demonstrators gathered right here right now.
– The biggest fault with the Nobel Center is the clash between the old culture and beautiful stone house this sheet metal housing. That’s what people are so incredibly uppskärrade for and skeptical.
It’s Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg talking. For many years the president of the Taxpayers Association – and now leader of the opposition to the Nobel Center.
We have taken shelter in his car before the rally begins. Where the speeches and chants should try to influence politicians inside the City Hall Ragnar Östberg faced with the decision of the City Council. What about if the zoning for the British star architect David Chipperfields 18,000-square-foot prestigious building with gold shimmering facade on Blasieholmen in central Stockholm, and with a price tag of 1.2 billion, will be admitted or not.
Tarras-Wahlberg himself taken aback by the heat of the resistance to the Nobel Center.
– those who come here today, they would not come in this weather unless they were damn it. There was a lady who called me the other day and just said three words: “I’m heartbroken, I am heartbroken, I am heartbroken – to how they will destroy our beautiful city,” she said. The Swedes have a great sense of community in general as well. It is not only the home, but it is in the public domain as well, he said.
But that has not built any such a signature building in Stockholm, maybe then the Globe was built in the late 80th century ? How do you see it?
– I think well that such can be. But what they do in other cities, as in Paris, and so, is that you put them outside in the new districts, as a new center in a new region, says Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg.
at the this morning we meet the Nobel Foundation CEO Lars Heikensten wrote an angry debate article in Dagens Nyheter, where he pushes himself to the resistance to the Nobel Center is unfocused and come from so many different directions at once. Tarras-Wahlberg is irritated and surprised the article.
– If you have different perceptions of a thing, one must be able to respect it. They’re democratic values. That there are so many no to the plans from so many places – it’s not so strange? There are industrial history, there are art history, there are architectural history, archeology there are … there are so many reasons to say no, he said.
If you have been opposed in the past, you and he? He has been head of the Riksbank and you have been chairman of the Taxpayers Association, among others – have you met each other before?
– Yes, we have met each other on and off. Because I have a background is also a museum, for 20 years has been chairman of the Royal Coin Cabinet friends. I am a numismatist, it is my cultural piece. Nowadays greknumismatiker. Coin Cabinet has the relatively good relations with the National Bank, as issuing currency, says Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg.
Do you see Lars Heikensten as your enemy, or how do you look at him right now?
– I am convinced that he sees me as his enemy.
I go to Lars Heikensten to ask about it – and how Nobel Center’s foremost advocate motivates his project.
Heikensten shows around the beautiful building at Sturegatan, who became Nobel Foundation’s relatively temporary residence in 1920, instead of Ferdinand Boberg gigantic palace. Just as the Nobel Museum now been at its temporary premises in the Old Town for 15 years.
While it has continued to discuss a more permanent solution for the entire Nobel machinery.
– We are now in Nobel Foundation boardroom – and on the wall here, it is a large painting of Alfred Nobel, who made sometime 1918-20.
What is on the board of the table there?
– Yes … where there is a large plate with Nobel medals in chocolate. It’s Nobel Museum Perhaps the main product that they sell a lot of the fact, says Lars Heikensten.
And so I set that question … Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg himself said that he believes that you see him as your enemy .
– Yes, I do not know. It is not he personally is concern in this context, to him, one can conduct a dialogue with – but it’s the whole discussion. It is he who has been behind that it has received this form, then you are a principal enemy. But he can only judge, in fact, says Lars Heikensten.
He also mentioned that you had encountered each other, including the Royal Coin Cabinet through the years, is that right?
– Yes, I remember him more as an activist for lower taxes in Sweden, but it is probably true that we ran into each other in any such context. I was the Governor and we had interests in the Coin Cabinet’s activity, he said.
Lars Heikensten also agree that the tone of the debate article in Dagens Nyheter was hard.
– It reflected that I think we have tried to push this discussion with a very nice practice, otherwise it would not be possible if one takes the Nobel system. But I think that the opposite side has repeatedly argued in a way that is actually not correct. This involves both the actual site, which claims that this house built in this location means that there will not be any boat traffic there in the future. It is said that you can not expand the National Museum. It’s not true. It comes to the house itself, which proved incorrect images again and again – even though we criticized it, says Lars Heikensten.
But it is also about the actual content of the Nobel Center.
– where do you then claim that this would become an empty shell. Truth is that when we Nobels side started with concerts, we were the world’s leading concert artists. When we started with art in recent years, we have been the world’s top artists to come here: we have had Jeff Koons and Olafur Eliasson. And so there has of course long been the scientific field. So it is clear that if we start a business here with the ambition to create a world attraction, so we will be able to do it. By Nobel Prize has such a fabulous attraction, he says.
But you really have placed the building “in the middle of the wasp nest.” As I understand it was you who started running the process with this plot back when you took office. What were you thinking then?
– What we need is a centrally located place. For it to be a house that will bring science and culture center of Stockholm. Some have argued that we should be out in Hagastaden – but this is not for academics in the first place, the converted. This is to put the “middle of the village”. Then we need to also financially. Because it’s the tourists that we will be able to – and I think we will get a lot of tourists, very much – that we need. Their revenues are needed to fund school activities, says Lars Heikensten.
As for financing for the 1.2 billion expensive construction project, it has mostly come from the HM-family Erling Persson and family Wallenberg foundations.
– They have promised to contribute 400 million each. Since we keep on trying to get the remaining money. And we have so far received pledges of about 250 million.
What do you think of the verdict in the City Council?
– Well, I have not seen or heard anything that makes me think that the zoning will be says Lars Heikensten.