Jakriborg: the original copy
JAKRIBORG (SE) - In the 1960s Andy Warhol showed us that a replica can seem more original than the archetype. Jakriborg, just outside of Malmö, in southern Sweden, is a copy of a typical Hanseatic city, but also one of the most original and provocative urban projects in recent Scandinavian architecture.
Even though the last of the buildings are still to be finished, the illusion is already complete. The central square of Jakriborg is lined by majestic five- and six-storey buildings that appear to be the houses of merchant families. From here the narrow, cobbled streets lead to intimate neighbourhoods where one feels the craftsmen of the town should live. This Hanseatic wrapping nevertheless conceals 290 modern apartments, and this is only the beginning.
The developers behind Jakriborg hope to continue building for the next fifteen years, until Jakriborg becomes a town of roughly 7000 inhabitants. Jakriborg is already a huge success; people are queuing up to rent an apartment. But for architects and critics Jakriborg has become the place that everybody loves to hate. Probably most architects visiting Jakriborg secretly whisper to themselves: 'I know this is wrong, but it feels so right.'
What is really confusing about Jakriborg is that it is so unapologetic. It is 'houses shoulder to shoulder' and 'a variation of facades', the same strange mixture of communality and individualism that is now ruling the layout of the new urban areas in nearby Malmö and the Copenhagen harbour. Only Jakriborg expresses its nostalgia without being ashamed of it. In that sense it is very much in touch with the culture of today.
January | 2005 | Sweden | Rasmus Rune Nielsen, Svante Lindeburg + Mike Lippert (2+1)