Östermalmshallen: a wooden temporary market hall enchants visitors

During renovation of Stockholm’s market hall, a temporary building using PEFC-certified timber became a new attraction. To meet all the given requirements, timber was the obvious choice. What was not foreseen was the hall’s tremendous popularity.

Östermalmshallen: a wooden temporary market hall enchants visitors

26 July 2022 Sustainable construction

Stockholm’s market hall has been serving discerning customers since 1886. But after decades of use, this traditional meeting spot was facing an urgent need for complete renovation.

It was important that market traders could continue to trade while the renovation was underway so that they could keep their customers, and that the well-established restaurants and shops were able to return after the renovation.

The solution for this challenge was to erect a temporary building, using Metsä Wood’s PEFC-certified Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber).

This would enable the business of the old market to stay under one roof. However, what could not have been foreseen was how popular the temporary market hall would prove.

A temporary building with wood

Tengbom architects’ designed the temporary wooden building so that it could be erected right next to the old hall, and but could eventually be taken down and reassembled on another site.

“The Östermalmshallen brand is valued for three things: it’s location, the distinct character of the building, and extremely good food. We needed to rethink the whole concept – to keep the brand alive,” said principal architect Mark Humphreys.

“A standard solution for a temporary building would have been a tent with an aluminum or steel structure. But this solution would not have suited the prestigious brand. And that is what we needed to enhance.”

To meet all the given requirements and promote sustainable construction, PEFC-certified timber was the natural choice.

PEFC-certified Kerto LVL products are important carbon storages for their entire service life. Jussi Björman, Metsä

“Wood products play an important role in binding carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thus, PEFC-certified Kerto LVL products are important carbon storages for their entire service life,” said Jussi Björman, Metsä’s Director of Business Development, Construction.

“Every tree used in the construction industry stores carbon and makes room for new seedlings – new carbon sinks.”

There was a limited budget for the temporary construction, and the underground station beneath the market square ruled out heavy foundations. Kerto LVL is lightweight and offers a high degree of prefabrication, making it well suited for the project.

Prefabricated modules for fast installation

The concept for the temporary building is based on a modular system, which is easy and fast to erect and demount. It took only five weeks from the start of the project for the external envelope to be erected.

The building’s roof structure consists of PEFC-certified Kerto LVL beams and glulam columns. The set-up of the roof grid puts the pressure on the connections, which need to be strong enough for the loads. The roof above the grid is made of bearing and sound absorptive wood fibre elements.

Temporary construction became an attraction

Being about 60% of the size of the original building, the temporary market hall became bright, luminous, modern and a truly inviting place with stores and restaurants. It has attracted new customers without losing its regulars. More than 55 000 people visit the new market each week –an almost 100% increase compared to the old hall.

The temporary hall has also become something of a tourist attraction and this has led to global media interest in the project.

Photo credits: Felix Gerlach


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