There was an architecture competition to design the new courthouse in Örnsköldsvik in 1961. The winners were a group of then unknown architects named Augustsson, Jansson, Sjöberg, and Uusma. The result was an uncompromising concrete building, dedicated in 1967, that served its purpose well. Times have changed, and the court system with them. Eventually the building was only being used a few days a year, and then only a portion of its many rooms.
Niklas Nyberg is the son of a painter, a local builder, and a colorful character in every way. He collects art by Bengt Lindström (1925-2008), an internationally recognized painter with roots in the area. Niklas’s home and office are full of Bengt’s paintings.
Niklas bought the old courthouse with the intention of constructing a tall apartment building on top of the exposed bedrock visible in the atrium. It struck me immediately that the contrast between the raw concrete of the courthouse and a colorful, maybe even glossy, addition might sing.
We drew up a basically square floor plan, which we then divided into squares like a hashtag. The center square carried the other eight. The layout had five apartments wrapped around this central core, with balconies in all four directions. There are ten similar but varied stories crowned by a rooftop villa for Niklas.
The color scheme is based on the art of Bengt Lindström and executed in glazed ceramic tiles. The building department liked the project at once, and quickly added the Tower on the Ting to its master plan.