Heritage at Risk: Gasklocka 4, Hjorthagen Gaswerks in Stockholm

Heritage at Risk: Gasklocka 4, Hjorthagen Gaswerks in Stockholm

Photo above: Five gasholders of Värtan Gasworks in Stockholm. From the left: Gasholder number 4 (1932, M.AN.), number 3 (1912, C&W Walker Ltd Donnington Newport), number 5 (1972), number 2 (1900, Ferdinand Boberg) and number 1 (1893, Ferdinand Boberg). Photo: Christian Laine 28.04.2014

It has recently been brought to the attention of the TICCIH Board by Swedish members of our organization that plans are underway to demolish an interesting and perhaps unique industrial heritage resource, the Gasklocka 4 in the Hjorthagen Gaswerks of Stockholm. We sincerely hope that the gashouse can be preserved as an element of Swedish cultural heritage.

The gasworks at Hjorthagen is one of the most impressive preserved examples of the urban gas supply technology in all of Europe. Not only is the whole complex linked to the nationally important architect Ferdinand Boberg, but it is also one of the best-preserved examples of this architectural and technological type, with construction spanning the entire twentieth century.

This assessment is based on comparative evaluations undertaken over several decades by some of our most respected expert members. We firmly hold that the removal of one key element, such as the Gasholder Number 4, would result in serious disturbance to the ensemble of remains, and that this complex could be effectively reused, as is the case in other cities.

We urge the National Heritage Board to delay the permit to demolish this heritage resource until a careful investigation of alternative preservation options is conducted by appropriate experts. The loss of such a distinctive heritage complex would be a significant blow to the cultural landscape of Sweden and, indeed, the world.

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Image above: Gasklocka 3 and 4 photo by Raphael Saulus 2013 wikimedia commons