Here is Sweden's ugliest new construction


Published 15 March 2023 at 11.20

Cultural news. The Kasper Kalkon prize for the year's ugliest new construction is awarded to the addition to Karlstad's old town hall, designed by Horisont Arkitekter.

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The not-so-glorious prize was awarded at a gala in Gothenburg by the association Arkitekturupproret.

The winner is an addition to Karlstad City Hall, which in 2020 was voted one of the ugliest buildings in the county.

“To make such a bland building even more boring and discordant is impressive in itself. Almost as impressive as making wooden facade material look like an old concrete facade a la Chernobyl (after the accident). Extra tragic is that the building is located in a historically attractive part of Karlstad which previously consisted of charming wooden houses”, writes Arkitekturuproret.

The winner of the Kasper Kalkon prize was decided by online voting and received over a thousand votes out of a total of just over 5,000.

The existing town hall building, which is considered “particularly valuable”, was designed by architect Per Lagergren and was completed in 1962.

“Everyone knows that culturally historically interesting environments were not given a single thought in the construction processes of the 60s, (unfortunately we still see the result of this today), but how can you, when you have the chance to actually beautify such a frightening building as Karlstad's City Hall, instead choose to make the affair even uglier and call it 'year ring'?” writes Arkitekturuproret and continues:

“Horizont Arkitekter had the opportunity to atone for the crimes of their ancestors against Karlstad's cultural environments, and to together with the builders KvalitetsBygg (should one laugh or cry at the irony in that name?) try to beautify of the facade so that it connects with the beautiful old houses around it. Instead, they chose to make a parasite on the parasite, and amazingly succeeded in making everything worse than it already was. Karlstad municipality should now invest some money in putting more trash cans on the street outside, so that the poor pedestrians have something to throw up in as they pass by the city's new 'year rings'.”