Architectural Heritage & Transformation

Chalmers School of Architecture
Master’s Programme 2020/2021
Architecture And Planning Beyond Sustainability / MPDSD
Spring 2021


Oscar Carlsson: (Course Teacher)
Elke Miedema: (Course Teacher)

This master studio questions conservation and transformation of the built environment in connection to sustainability and environmental care. Sustainability is already firmly embedded in architectural and urban conservation work, for example through adaptive re-use, retrofitting, and urban preservation. In this studio such questions are further developed through design exercises, design research, lectures and reading seminars, to engage with various aspects of environmental care, including rewilding, interspecies encounters, visionary environmental imaginations, and care for precarious environments and structures. Inspiration came from, for example, from sustainable transformation practices, architectural theory and history, the environmental humanities, and landscape studies/design.
This year’s studio focused on the re-design of the Chalmers ACE building (SB1) as a site that is rooted in an important historical moment (late 1960s) and that also has undergone important transformations, by White Arkitekter, as finalised in 2017. The studio work gives an overview of different perspectives and approaches explored through a design project and/or design research, for example through proposals and strategies for the transformation of a building, a condition, or site.
The final projects range from interior interventions that allow new forms of working, landscaping and art installations that question the relation between humans and nature, as well as projects that propose alternative interventions or provide space and processes for new collaborations. Most of all, the diversity of design ambitions and approaches show the complexity of re-designing and exsiting structure to support environmental care. Scroll down, and deep-dive into the specific projects where you like.

Overview of projects

A Growing Chalmers

Emma Sundström · Gry Hauge · Christina Saxoni

Our main goal is to increase the social involvement between students, teachers and citizens.


We want to open up the architecture school towards the public, make the campus more inviting, increase greenery and propose functions that will trigger interactions and awareness while benefiting the sustainability goals of our department


The project focuses on SBI and SBII as well as the surrounding outdoor areas.


We chose to work with social spaces. This means the changes will affect both areas inside the building as well as outside areas and we work with making the campus more open and inviting for other people than the existing main users of it, to increase interactions and in some cases get more use of the building. We have also tried to add a “lingering”- factor for people that usually only pass by.


We selected 6 nodes for intervention, and throughout these places, we’ve planned for more space for interaction and activities in an inviting and including environment.

#public involvement #green environments

Chalmers University of Technology and Art

Jenny Helmer · Yige Qin · Li Wallin


  • Open up the school of architecture by making it more accessible, both mentally and in the built environment.
  • Have a conscious mindset by using existing spaces and historical values in a sensible way.
  • Broaden the education by creating possibilities for cross disciplinary collaborations
#cross diciplinary collaborations #art #open up

Heritage and Transformation

Antoine Viney

The course Heritage and Transformation was about renovating a newly renovated building: the ACE.Renovating a newly renovated building means that we needed to develop a statement and a programme related to the renovation.In this project, I am trying to show that a renovation shouldn’t always be about acting inside.


A renovation can very much be about complementing a building with additions. A renovation can also be about transforming the environment of this building to create a different experience without acting on its shell.


In this project, I am looking at the ACE in a broader context. The ACE is part of a long building uniting under one roof civil engineers, researchers, architects, and people working at sciences lab. Although this one roof is uniting the programmes architecturally, there is a lack of shared spaces among those persons.
The project is proposing the creation of community built wooden Pavilions located on underused spaces of the campus directly linked to the SB1, SB2, (+sciences park building)


A group of architects, civil engineer and volunteer would design, calculate, and build the structure together and for their own need.


This would thus both create a closer link between field of studies that will work together in the future as well as create spaces embodying the spirit of the original building from the 60’s where everyone can work under a shared roof.


The four model that are surrounding you are all built following four rules:

-The space between every wooden post is 1.2 m.

-The Maximum spawn of a wooden element is lower than 4 m to allow students to carry beams together without the need of basic equipment.

-The structures are built to be off grid, so you need to think about ways to heat, cool etc that are very frugal.

-The structures should be dismantled in 10 years. Then the materials should be repurposed.


They are aiming on triggering the imagination to ask students a simple question:

What will you built to enhance the collaboration between all study domain?

What will you built to improve your way of occupying the ACE building?

#workshop #modelmaking #TheBiggerACE #economy of means

Rewilding Chalmers

Oleg Sokolovskyi

The aim of the project is to show how biodiversity can be increased on campus Johanneberg. The campus lies between two large green areas in central Gothenburg – Mossen and Johannebergsparken. By connecting these areas a better possibility for woodland species to disperse can be created. As green areas in cities get more fragmented as a result of densifying strategies, a better connection will allow species to move more freely in the city.


A lot of greenery already exists on campus but transforming the lawns and hard surfaces into meadows will result in a more coherent green structure. The project focuses on three focus areas which have the best potential to promote biodiversity. Each area includes a different proposal, such as an experimental garden, a rewilded street and an educational pocket park.

#biodiversity #green corridor #urban meadows

Learning from Gaia

Leeloo Ghigo · Ester Schreiber · Mario Sommer
In order to initiate a progression from the alarming current environmental and societal situation, architecture can and must provide a glimpse of bold and radical change. Expanding the concept of heritage, we have worked from the understanding that one must consider not only entities created by humans and its kind, but also the value of non-human forces and natural elements, which we call Gaia. Shapers of future architecture are currently in education. It is imperative to implement a radical mindset in the educational period. Our work is providing a hint of the alternative path to take to, one day, find the necessary balance to continue living with and within Gaia. Following this thought, a statement is gathered: “A healthy symbiosis between Gaia, humans and the built environment is ne­cessary and requires a constant and continuous interchange.” Chalmers’ current sustainability statement is heavily weighted towards a techno-utopian view of a sustainable future. The project seeks to architectu­rally implement and encourage the Symbiosis-centric statement in the Chalmers Samhällsbyggnad-building. In the final proposal, a progression of experience towards a more symbiotic future is offered through the three courtyards of the SB building: reflecting, experimenting, imagining.
#gaia #experience #mindset #symbiosis

The Macro Lab

Marie Brongniart · Joana Figueras Busquet · Jonatan Forsman · Lidia Gallego Escobar

Even though the main focus on this course has been the Chalmers ACE building, we set our aim into another place entirely: the street of Bangatan, in the Majorna district, where due to the lack of interest by the owner, the buildings ended up being disregarded and started to decay. The project overall revolves around four main statements: to question the ways of our education, to solve the lack of trust towards architects, to promote local engagement with the city and to save the threatened built heritage.


In order to include all of the previous statements into a single approach we planned a strategy where students would participate in courses that contributed to the restoration of the site. Different plans of study would be imparted to guide students through the project: lectures, formation seminars from professionals and design studios where students would design part of the transformation process. Following the criteria for the restoration, the students would secure and recover the buildings according to the structural security, hygrothermal, ventilation, acoustic and heritage requirements.


The program aims to open the site to the community and to Chalmer’s students, introducing public and educational spaces in order to create a hub in the city focused on cooperation. By having a part of Chalmers in the city, we have an opportunity to be more engaged to the community, raise awareness on threatened heritage and learn outside the box.”

#education critique #Gothenburg heritage #restoration #Bangatan


Márton András Rátkai

CoLAB is a reflection and continuation of the transformation from 2017 with a strong user oriented approach. Architecture is a collaborative profession, however, as of today the building separates the different user groups without allowing them to work together. Therefore I discovered the need for a “community transformation” where the focus is on bringing people together and facilitating collaboration by creating open spaces. Could the problem of separation have been better answered during the previous transformation? What could have been done to raise awareness to the different needs of the users, and how can these needs be met today? This project argues that ‘creating horizontal movements’ and ‘horizontal structuring’ as main principles from the 2017’ transformation deepened the separation between users. The CoLAB project offers a solution in which the building is being activated by giving every user access to every floor, and providing them reasons and opportunities to do so. By creating intensified vertical movements and by reorganizing the different types of spaces, the separation can be bridged and spontaneous interactions and collaborative work can be achieved. To further enhance the experience of the user the continuous symmetry of the building has to be broken. That is why the project introduces open spaces, where people can breathe and comfortably interact, instead of feeling enclosed or restrained. An important aspect throughout the project was to work with what’s already there, and achieve the desired major “community transformation” by using well- thought small interventions.

#activitybasedworkspace #userexperience

The Common Ground

Isaline Potard

The Common Ground is a project localized in the ACE building’s ground floor and its direct surroundings. It is based on the Chalmers Future Plans of 2050 and takes advantage of the demolition of the Physic buildings, perceived as barriers today. The two main goals of this project are to reconnect the people together, from different masters or departments, and reconnect them with nature.


As an answer to those two goals, a new main entrance will be implemented in the northern façade which will be connected to the new public areas of the campus. It will also reconnect the Architecture students and the Civil Engineer students. The surroundings will be renovated as two important parks, one calm park to enjoy the proximity with wild nature in the western side of the ACE building and one park in the slope which connects the eastern side of the ACE building to the Computer Sciences building and its new public areas.


Biodiversity and weather management have an important place in this project, to take advantage of the environmental situation and create enjoyable areas. Reuse materials to be as sustainable as possible is also a strategy in this project to reduce waste and limit economic costs.

#ACEgroundfloor #parks #reuse