2020-03-03 12:40Press release

New exhibition: Kiruna Forever

Lennart Durehed
Kiirunavaara, 2019
Lennart Durehed Kiirunavaara, 2019

Kiruna Forever

24 April -  February 2021

Kiruna – a city in the northernmost part of Sweden – is experiencing one of the biggest urban transformation projects in recent history. The city centre is being relocated three kilometres northeast due to the extension of the iron ore mine around which Kiruna was built. A third of the city population must relocate, housing blocks and landmark buildings are being demolished or moved, and a new city is taking shape. But how do you move a city?

Preview 21 April 9-10. RSVP maria.ostman@arkdes.se Due to the novel coronavirus, ArkDes is now temporarily closed until 14 April.

Kiruna Forever examines the current relocation of the city exhibiting over 100 works by architects, urban planners and artists who have transformed the community and addressed the challenges that have shaped the region – from the first industrial development and onward into the future.

Architects and artists include: Iwan Baan, Anne Dessing and Michiel van Iersel; Design Earth, Henning Larsen, Ingela Johansson, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Joar Nango, New Mineral Collective, Outi Pieski, Sandellsandberg Architects, Studio Folder, Territorial Agency, Anja Örn, Tomas Örn, and Fanny Carinasdotter; Liselotte Wajstedt, White Arkitekter with Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, and more.

Including original works by Hakon Ahlberg, Ralph Erskine, Per Olof Hallman, Örjan Lüning. Helmer Osslund, Artur von Schmalensee, Nils Nilsson Skum, Axel Törneman, Gustaf Wickman, Carl Wilhelmson, and more.  

Putting the relocation of Kiruna into a historical and geographical context, the exhibition reflects on the big questions that such a complex project provokes. What is the limit of our natural resources? What happens to residents’ identity and security when their homes are demolished?  How do we decide whether cultural heritage should be preserved or sacrificed? How does the relocation affect the lives of the Indigenous population, the Sámi? How permanent are the cities we live in?

The exhibition includes interviews with Kiruna residents, a 1:1 scale replica of the recently demolished Kiruna City Hall, and original drawings and models from the ArkDes collections.


Cred: Jessica Nildén, The pic was taken on 2017-08-31 when the house was moved.
Building: Ingenjörsvillan. 
Info: Ingenjörsvillan is LKAB’s 39th building in order and was completed in year 1900.

Cred: Jessica Nildén, The pic was taken on 2017-08-31 when the house was moved. Building: Ingenjörsvillan. I

The exhibition is produced by ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. There is a parallel exhibition at Konstmuseet i Norr, Norrbotten’s new County Art Museum, located in Kiruna. Some of the works have jointly been specially commissioned and are on show simultaneously at both venues.

Curator: Carlos Mínguez Carrasco
Assistant Curator: Sujy Lee
Exhibition Producer: Johanna Fogel
Exhibition Design: Pernilla Ohrstedt
Graphic Design: Magdalena Czarnecki


Topics: Kiruna

About ArkDes (The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design)

ArkDes is Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship.


Maria Östman
Maria Östman