“The ear should feel the difference between the echo of the 100-year-old corridors and the invisible acoustically dampened of the modern study-corridors.”
Since the first renovation of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (a.k.a Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, KTH for short) in 1996, there has been enormous changes in both technology and sustainability. New demands are also in place to ensure a safe institutional environment that aligns with the educational research. This has led to a new renovation and restoration plan with focus on maintaining the original architecture of the main building which celebrated 100 years in 2017. It also received the highest classification as a listed historic building according to the National Heritage Board’s classification. Therefore, the renovations committee has carefully selected products and the redesign of classrooms, auditoriums, and hospitality halls with assigned study areas. This because there are regulations on what kind of interior and exterior changes are allowed. This is to maintain the buildings original architecture and as well as cultural and historic value.
In addition to the architectural and interior layout, the students and faculty have had their say in how to improve the study and teaching environment, as there have been demands and requests regarding acoustics and lightning, not to forget colors and impressions of each room. This has led to thorough planning and a focus on educational cohesiveness between technology and the interior architecture. As an example, from an interview with Marika Strömberg, project-leading architect at KTH, they have taken into consideration that all the classrooms are designed with regards to visual calm and increased sound absorption, whereas corridors and non-teaching and study areas are more vibrant with sounds and original art. Antiquarians have stated that “The ear should feel the difference between the echo of the 100-year-old corridors and the invisible acoustically dampened of the modern study-corridors.”
Innovative ways to preserve the original artwork
As the building is a listed historic building, the committee had to create more innovative ways to improve the acoustics as some classrooms have original ceilings that can’t be altered. The way around this was to use the walls to install sound absorbing materials, such as wood panels and seamless acoustic plaster. To make the most out of acoustics, educational design, and preservation of the institute’s original architecture. Some of the artwork in various classrooms from the 1996’s renovation was later covered with acoustical material in reversible design in collaboration with the National Art Council. The corridors used as study areas has been provided with wood panels and a seamless acoustic plaster ceiling to improve the sound environment which still preserve the original artwork and the color scheme.
We are truly honored to have our Fellert Even Better seamless acoustic plaster ceiling as part of restoring one of Sweden’s most historical buildings.
A big thank you to Marika Strömberg, project-leading architect of KTH for sharing the history and background of the current restoration project.
Design and concept by White Arkitekter, Akademiska Hus, Reichmann antikvarier AB, LP Bygg, Kanozi Arkitekter and KTH Fastighetsavdelning.
Fellert Even Better Installation by Blomquist STHLM.
Photography by White Arkitekter AB.