STADSHUSET, STOCKHOLM, BLÅ HALLEN
City Hall, Stockholm, The “Blue Hall”
Publisher: Sago-Konst AB (in Swedish)
In 1907 the city council decided to build a new city hall at the former site of Eldkvarn. An architectural contest was held which in the first stage resulted in the selection of drafts by Ragnar Östberg, Carl Westman, Ivar Tengbom jointly with Ernst Torulf, and Carl Bergsten. After a further competition between Westman and Östberg the latter was assigned to the construction of the City Hall, while the former was asked to construct Stockholm Court House. Östberg modified his original draft using elements of Westman’s project, including the tower. During the construction period, Östberg constantly reworked his plans, resulting in the addition of the lantern on top of the tower, and the abandonment of the blue glazed tiles for the Blue Hall.
Oskar Asker was employed as construction leader and Paul Toll, of the construction company Kreuger & Toll, designed the foundations. Georg Greve also assisted in preparing the plans. The construction took twelve years, from 1911 to 1923.
The site, adjacent to Stadshusbron, being bordered by the streets of Hantverkargatan and Norr Mälarstrand to the north and west, and the shore of Riddarfjärden to the south and east, allowed for a spacious layout. The building follows a roughly rectangular ground plan. It is built around two open spaces, a piazza called Borgargården on the eastern side, and the Blue Hall (Blå hallen) to the west. The Blue Hall, with its straight walls and arcades, incorporates elements of a representative courtyard. Its walls are in fact without blue decorations, but it has kept its name after Östberg’s original design.