Case Lund excursion

Guild of Architecture visited University of Lund last May. Here are some of the high lights from the trip. Also, remember to check out the pictures in our Guild’s gallery.

Text: Matti Jänkälä

We headed on the excursion over the weekend with 11 students. On the trip we were guided by our very own exchange student Björn Sjulgård who has been studying in Lund.

We took off straight from Vappu activities on Friday 5.5.2017. The first challenge our group faced was waking up for a morning flight from Helsinki to Copenhagen and finding each other in Denmark. Once we had the last students with us we hopped on a train from Kasturp airport over Kattegat to Sweden.

Friday evening we spent exploring Malmö’s contemporary architecture. The city center is very pleasant and walkable filled with public art for architecture students to climb on. From the center, we quickly found the market hall extension familiar from Pinterest and perhaps the most beautiful parking building decorated with green walls. In Malmö, there is a similar rebuilding boom in proses as in Helsinki where the harbor areas are being turned into residential areas. One of the nicest new areas is the Bo01. The area is situated next to a grand seaside-park. The most interesting blocks surround a compact town house-area following the style of the historic architecture. In the middle of the human scale rises the city’s landmark Santiago Calatrava designed Turning Torso.

After touring the architecture sites in Malmö, we headed to Lund. If Malmö was about contemporary architecture Lund’s strength was undoubtedly its history. The historical center is extremely picturesque with its low building masses and uneven stone pavement on the streets. We stayed over in houses of architecture students and got to see probably the best student housing Lund has to offer. On the first evening we dived into Lund’s student life and went touring the Nations. Every Nation has their own house in the city and many of them are located in the historical center. Nations have a restaurant open during the day and a bar or a club at night. Some even offer student priced brunch.

Saturday we spent with our colleagues from Sweden. The highlight of the weekend was the sitsit (or sittning as the Swedes say) where the students from KTH of Stockholm and Chalmers of Gothenburg were also invited to. Our hosts from the A-Sektionen (the local student association) organized the sitsit at the Department of Architecture. The sitsit culture differs a bit from ours. These sitsit were a tad formal but in the Swedish way the guests were entertained with short speksit (performances). Our group also got a chance to perform when we handed our gift to the board of the local A-Sektionen: a signed and illustrated songbook of architecture students.

The rest of the weekend, we spent recovering from the sitsit and touring the campus. The local campus resembled our own with red brick houses scattered in a park. In Lund, however the city center is on a walking distance. It was interesting to compare the local Department of Architecture to our own. In the building, you could find the same elements as back home: messy drawing tables and hallways decorated with plans. The biggest differences were the surprisingly clean workshop with wooden floors and a kitchen featuring at least ten microwave ovens. The industrial designers are also part of the Department of Architecture. This combination works really well when you can have the big scale wood workshops in Department of Architecture and the metal workshops featuring the more complex machinery such as laser cutters and CNC-milling machines. The two buildings are connected with a glassed bridge so the students can use both spaces. Also the A-Sektionen represents both architects and the industrial designers.

On Monday before heading home we visited Copenhagen. It was surprising to notice how close Lund, Malmö and Copenhagen are to each other. Was also interesting to hear from Björn how the cities function together with students of Lund going for a night out in Malmö, people from Malmö working in Copenhagen and people from Copenhagen shopping in Malmö.

The trip was an amazing experience and we got a lot of new acquaintances from the architecture schools in Sweden. The trip went very smoothly thanks to our guide Björn and a big thank you goes to our hosts from Lund’s A-Sektionen. Now the challenge has been set and the students from Lund, Chalmers and KTH have been invited to Wähäjoulu. Who knows, maybe these visits can turn into a tradition in the future. Our schools are surprisingly close anyway.