REINIER DE GRAAF’S NORRA TORNENStockholm design by OMA

A modular system of precast exposed concrete
elements – a tribute to Brutalist architecture.

The Innovationen Tower is the first completed building of the two Norra Tornen residential towers designed by OMA / Reinier de Graaf and located in Hagastaden, a new district in the north of Stockholm developed around the Karolisnka Institute, which awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Norra Tornen’s design is the expression of a modular system of precast exposed concrete elements. They articulate in a composition of alternating bay windows and recessed terraces – a tribute to Brutalist architecture, which, according to architecture critic Reyner Banham, was invented in Sweden. With a wall-to-floor ratio coming close to 1 the design would have probably discouraged most developers (for a tower, it rarely goes above 0.5). However, in a country with scarce daylight for half of the year, extra square meters of windows and multiple orientations for each apartment become a precious asset. All apartments have been sold before construction broke ground.

“The Norra Tornen project represents a milestone achievement for us: the culmination of an ongoing effort by our office to create the next generation of modern housing typologies, creating the largest possible variety from a limited number of (prefabricated) elements, allowing the usual formalism of the apartment tower to give way to individuality, domesticity… and perhaps even humanism.” Reinier de Graaf

The Innovationen Tower comprises 182 units ranging from 44 sqm one-bedroom apartments to a 271 sqm penthouse on the top floor. The residential units are complemented by a cinema room, a dinner room for parties and celebrations, a guest apartment, a gym with a sauna and a relaxation area. At a height of 125 meters, the tower is the highest residential building in Stockholm’s city center. The Helix Tower is due to be completed at the end of 2019 and will include 138 units, plus amenities.