"Project Ålidhem" Ingo Vetter and Peter Lundström

"I like Umeå and Umeå likes me" Lasse Sahlin

"An Important Part of our Education" Students’ Foreword

Ylva Trapp

Frida Krohn
Therese Johansson
Lars Hedelin
Frida Krohn, Ylva Trapp
och Lina Palmqvist

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy

Per-Arne Sträng
Martina Wolgast
Mariel Rosendahl
Nils-Johan Sjöquist


"The History of Ålidhem" Hans Åkerlind
"My own private Ålidhem" Maria Bjurestam
"Functional Sculpturer" Ingo Vetter

Presentation of Participants


Per-Arne Sträng

My view of Ålidhem has been influenced by where I grew up outside of Östersund, which in many ways resembles Ålidhem. Both areas were built as part of the Million Dwelling Programme in the beginning of the 1970s.

Ålidhem has been an exciting place to work with and in the beginning I had lots of ideas. I have oscillated from focusing on the residents and their impact on public space - for example, spontaneous pathways, graffiti, etc - to looking at the impact of the architecture on the residents from a more sociological perspective. I finally decided to focus on the latter. It also felt especially interesting to consider the district’s “identity” as I could so easily associate Ålidhem with my own childhood milieu.

Placement was important for me. Because I was interested in a rather typical architecture I searched for as typical an area as possible. I wanted the straight, rational, unadorned functional expression the Million Dwelling Programme represents. I was raised in an almost identical building to the ones on Historiegränd in Ålidhem, which is probably the reason for my interest in what it means to grow up in a certain type of city district and how one is affected by its architecture. In short, my ideas revolve around heritage and environment.

It was an interesting and challenging point of departure to know from the very start, at the idea stage, that means were available to do a large project. In the beginning everything having to do with economy was very abstract and remote, which was good since otherwise there’s a risk of inhibiting the creative process.

Early on I decided I wanted to work with an enlarged baroque detail in concrete or stone. As an alternative (plan B) I also sketched a column which at that point I thought was a fairly unattainable idea, but which I anyway wanted to work on in order to clarify my thoughts about the baroque detail. Somewhat unexpectedly I received very positive responses to the idea of a column, which meant that what I previously thought was impossible now seemed feasible. Therefore I upgraded the column to plan A. Fairly quickly it also became obvious that this was a significantly more comprehensive project than my initial idea and its costs were also in a different league altogether. The result was that parallel with preparing sketches I had to spend a great deal of time finding inexpensive solutions to all the practical problems.

The development from idea to finished piece has been difficult but instructive. A useful aspect of the work was the contact with the company that was to cast the column. To communicate an idea and daring to trust others is not always easy when one is used to doing everything oneself. It has also been fruitful to work very practically and targeted towards a concrete result. The great challenge has been to retain the artistic core of the project during the process.

What I have strived for is a contrast between different architectonic styles and I think the result nicely brings out - and also questions - an aesthetic that lies close to my heart. In future I hope that the column will grow into the surroundings, that over the years it will have blended in to the degree that it feels as if it has always stood there