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Swedish wooden architecture, design and sustainable urban planning

The exhibition Woodlife Sweden presents 40 Swedish wooden projects that show how architecture and design can contribute to reduced climate impact. Woodlife Sweden has been produced by the Swedish Institute and Sveriges Arkitekter, in collaboration with the industry organizations Svenskt Trä and Skogsindustrierna, and is aimed at both Swedish and international target groups. The exhibition aims to increase interest in sustainable development and open up for new collaborations between actors throughout the wood industry.

Woodlife Sweden consists of material in English and is available to download at Sharing Sweden for international exhibitors. First out in Sweden is the Form Design Center in Malmö, which shows the exhibition in Swedish between 17 April and 15 August.

Woodlife Sweden describes how Swedish architects and designers work with wood in a number of contemporary projects. It takes us on a journey through Sweden – from north to south, from city to country, from large lavish buildings to small-scale projects. Most are completed, some are still under construction, while others so far only constitute a vision of a more sustainable future. The 40 projects, which consist of residential buildings, commercial buildings and public spaces, show how architecture, design and urban planning can contribute to reducing climate impact and driving development towards a circular bio-based economy.

– Swedish architects, designers, real estate companies and other industry players are challenging old notions of what is possible to build in wood. The exhibition shows countless examples where Swedish wooden architecture and design are at the forefront. Together with our partners, we want to inspire international colleagues and create a dialogue on key future issues, says Jenny Bergström, project manager at the Swedish Institute, which starts in April offering the exhibition to Swedish embassies and consulates.

The forest makes up close to 70 percent of Sweden’s area. The unique access to wood has long been reflected in Swedish house construction. 90 percent of all single-family houses are built of wood and 20 percent of single-family houses over two floors with a wooden frame. Increasingly replaces fossil-based alternatives such as cement, steel and plastic. Thanks to technical innovations and changes in the law, it has been possible since 1994 to build tall wooden houses. These often become important symbolic buildings, but it is the number of wooden house constructions that makes the big difference to the environment and the climate.

Wood is today the only renewable building material. The positive effects of building in wood are many. This leads to reduced carbon dioxide emissions and the climate impact can be reduced by at least 50 percent. The construction processes are significantly shorter than with site-built concrete. With the basic material around the house node, transport needs also decrease and the entire construction process creates a smaller climate footprint. Wood is a lightweight material. It is therefore easier to transport and the earthworks become less demanding. The health-promoting effect, including acoustics, is another factor that suggests that more people will choose wood in the future.

The wood sector is at the heart of sustainable development but cannot meet the challenges alone. It is only through close interdisciplinary collaborations between architects, designers, academia and industry that innovation can be driven and then implemented in the construction process.

Woodlife Sweden targets Swedish and international players in the entire wood industry and wants to be a platform for increased cooperation. Another purpose is to contribute to the basis of discussions and seminars on future urban planning.

These architects and designers participate in Woodlife Sweden
Designer Jennie Adén, AIX Arkitekter, Arkitektbolaget, Arkitektlaget, Asante Arkitektur & Design, Axeloth Arkitekter, BAUX, Bornstein Lyckefors, Duved 5 (M. Hägg, C. Izquierdo, F. Moussavi, E. Sundin, S. Shaygan), Duved Framtid AB, Eau & Gaz AB, designer David Ericsson, Form us with Love Design Collective, General Architecture, Glänta Design, designer Marie-Louise Hellgren, designer Lisa Hilland, In Praise of Shadows, Joliark, K2A, KAKA arkitekter, Kjellander Sjöberg, Liljewall , LINK arkitektur, MAF Arkitektkontor, Marge Arkitekter, architect Hanna Michelson, Modvion, Murman Arkitekter, Norconsult, Nordmark & Nordmark arkitekter, Outer Space Architects, designer Fredrik Paulsen, Pietsch Arkitekter, Sweco, Södersvik Arkitekturproduktion, Tengbom, Täljogram, Urskij, Wahlström & Wahlström , White Architects, Wingårdhs.