’Niagara’, Malmö university

The new research and teaching building for Malmö University ‘Niagara’ is centrally positioned at ‘Universitetsholmen’ – a former seaport and industrial area marked by the constant presence of the ocean and characterized by buildings with varying modes of expression and size.

At the moment the area is experiencing a radical transformation, with several large new developments where ‘Niagara’ functions as the symbolic building for the university’s entire campus. 

The facility is composed of three building volumes in respectively seven, nine and thirteen storeys, joined together as an architectural whole and characterized by curved shapes and rounded corners. The building’s gradual height reduction contributes to balancing out the scale projection between the area’s diverse building structures, granting the house a distinctive sculptural effect. 

The main shape orients the house towards key points in its surroundings, creating varying urban spaces around the building with great light and wind conditions, and gives a changing perspectival experience of the structure when moving around the area. 

Rows of windows joint together connect the composition of the building and accentuate the overall concept of shape.

 The effect is strengthened by a facade cladding with a large vertical relief effect which at once softens the visual weight of the large building volume and emphasizes the building’s gradually ascending character. 

The fascias are done in various nuances of anodized aluminium. Their reflection of light gives the façade an ever changing expression, depending on the weather, time and viewing angle. 

Between the three building volumes a spectacular atrium - the heart of the building - opens up beneath the large skylights of the roof terrace. Each floor structure has a unique shape towards the opening of the atrium, making the bright room vibrant and dynamic. The building is publicly accessible at ground level and facilitates diagonal shortcuts between the urban spaces via the atrium. 

The building is designed with a detailed principle of flexibility, allowing an optional division and use of the rooms along the façade. Stairs, escalators and plant rooms are placed in the inner cores of the building. Together with pillars, these elements carry and stabilize the house. 

The building has obtained Silver certification in the system ‘Miljöbyggnad’ for its very low energy consumption. 

Project facts:

Beijersgatan, Malmö

In total 24.925 m2, here of 20.700 m2 above ground level

Malmö University / Akademiske Hus

WSP Group
ÅF Consult
Bengt Dahlgren AB

1st prize won in international competition 2010.
Construction period 2013-15.