Kiruna is a special place with mining and space operations at its core. The town in northern Sweden was planned and created at the turn of the last century. In the winter, temperatures are spacious.
In fact, the town was built on higher terrain in order to be a few degrees “warmer” than in the lower terrain when the Sun is not shining. “Warm” air is lighter and rise. I have certainly benefitted from this when filling fuel at the petrol station on winter trips to Kiruna. I still have 10 fingers.
Ironically, this town of iron has to be relocated. In Kiruna, schools, streets and other things are named after Hjalmar Lundbohm. At his place, Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården, Mr. Peter Stenberg told us the story of the man, the building and the town.
The town of Kiruna and the mining company LKAB were established around 1900. The Iron ore deposits had been discovered and recorded as early as 1696. It wasn’t until two hundred years later that some investors decided to dig for metal in this area.
The man to lead this endeavor was Hjalmar Lundbohm (1855 – 1926). Not only did he oversee the creating of the mining operations, he also masterminded the building of the town.
Despite, the big task, the manager’s house was big on modesty. A famous Swedish architect sketched a large residence for Lundbohm. However, Lundbohm wanted a more humble place to dwell and work. He wanted closeness to his workers, and to be one of them. So, a sculpture friend planned a smaller flexible house: A house that would fit in with the rest of the newborn town.
115 years after its humble beginning the iron mine of Kiruna is undermining the town. Another century and the town may fall into the cavity. It has been decided to move the town. And the first house to be moved is Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården.
Is there a remarkable building in the Arctic that you find particularly interesting?
The Moving House – Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården