Radar Architecture: The Swedish architects behind the homes of tomorrow
By Alejandra Cerda Ojensa
Radar Architecture is a leading Swedish architecture firm for designing and planning the housing and public spaces of tomorrow. With a team of 45, it’s at the forefront of many of the major construction projects in Sweden, handling a variety of responsibilities therein. By paying detailed attention to how people interact with their homes and public spaces, Radar Architecture has become synonymous with beautiful, thoughtful humanist architecture, for which it has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards.
“We are very aware of how people react to different materials and how they react when they come home, which is what we build from when we are working on a project. I think this is part of what has made us so successful in competitions, which is very rewarding,” says founder Oskar Götestam.
Götestam established Radar Architecture in his hometown of Gothenburg 19 years ago. He is not only the CEO but also one of the leading architects and planners. His projects combine an in-depth understanding of sustainability with an emphasis on beautiful and thoughtful design.
“We aim to create spaces that make both people and the environment feel good. The starting point is always the individual. Based on that, we create something timeless and caring that is both economically and environmentally sustainable, and that will last a long time. In this field, what we create will be around for many years, which is thrilling but also a great responsibility,” he continues.
Fluent in large-scale
Across its two offices in Malmö and one in Gothenburg, Radar Architecture’s architects, who specialise in different areas, work alongside city planners, allowing them to learn from one another’s work. As such, the firm is fluent in large-scale projects from housing to schools and public spaces, able to draw on a diverse range of skill sets to understand complex client needs and open briefs.
“We focus on creating solutions based on how the people will react to and interact with the space, and try to not add so much of the architect to our projects. The children’s perspective is one of the seven key initiatives that we use as a starting point in every project. If we use the children’s perspective, the rest will follow, as the children are the future and we’re building something that will last into their lifetime,” Götestam explains.
The seven key initiatives are seven guiding points, all of them within sustainability, that the firm use to navigate and help them prioritise the different decisions. “The purpose of the seven key initiatives is to help us sharpen our skills. They range from us deciding to choose wood as a building material because of its beautiful properties, to applying the children’s perspective to help us think long-term, or using a circular approach to design, to be more eco-friendly,” he continues.
Pushing the envelope
Radar Architecture always strives to develop its knowledge. To test new ideas and gain new skills, it takes on passion projects, in which it acts as its own client. Currently, Radar Architecture is working on its third project of this kind – a set of houses in Lund in southern Sweden. The process begins with buying a piece of land. By owning the whole process, the firm can push the envelope when it comes to both sustainability and design. Through this, its designers gain new knowledge and experiences which can be used to improve the solutions offered to its clients.
Radar Architecture’s projects can be found in cities all over Sweden. Every city has its own needs and challenges, but also different possibilities and visions. Building anew always requires respect for the surroundings. Currently, Radar Architecture has many ongoing large-scale projects. In the neighbourhood Örgryte in Gothenburg, it is answering the need for high-quality, spacious apartments. Elsewhere in Gothenburg, in the Gamlestaden area, it is working on a new office building, and just outside of Gothenburg, in Mölndal, 48 apartments will soon be finished. On top of that, Radar Architecture is working on creating a whole new residential district in the city Ängelholm, called Vegeljung, comprising apartments, parks and new facilities.
No matter the city they work in, the landscapes they shape, or the homes they create, the talents at Radar Architecture always work with a sensitivity and care for human everyday life and the environment.
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