The bay Isbladsviken can be turned into a lagoon with the help of stone generated from the subway expansion.

At the eastern outlet of the Djurgårdsbrunn Canal at Royal Djurgården, is Isbladsviken. Now the possibility of developing the bay into a lagoon is being investigated. With the help of stone generated from the expansion of the subway and other infrastructure projects in Stockholm, reefs and hard bottoms for vegetation can be created. These can provide new spawning grounds for fish and nesting places for birds.

From residual product to local resource

The expansion of the subway produces millions of tons of residual mass. This is something that the interdisciplinary research project MASSA drew attention to. The project examines whether and how the physically tangible residual masses can be converted into local resources. Today, the stone masses are transported out of the city for disposal. To instead use the masses closer to the extraction point. And create designed and sustainable habitats connected to the water would therefore be very beneficial. Just reducing the amount of truck transport would significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It would also reduce road wear and noise, and thus provide environmental benefits as well as lower costs.

“By looking at the entire system and designing based on current needs, the subway’s residual mass can become a resource to create more life both below and above the surface,” says architect and process manager Marta Bohlmark at Gaia Arkitektur.

Isbladsviken becomes a new water landscape

Vision picture of Isbladsviken. Illustration by Gaia Architecture.

Isbaldsviken is one of the areas identified as a possible place to recreate and develop new ecosystems. An implementation here would mean that a new water landscape would emerge and extend the National City Park out into the Salt Lake.

By constructing an outer reef, a protected bay is formed. At normal water levels, the tops of the reef are visible, and the base creates branches in multiple directions. Inside the reef, a wave-protected sea bay is formed with some low skerries that provide diversity and an environment for seabirds.

“Isbladskärret has long been one of Stockholm’s leading birding areas. With Isbladslagunen, a stone’s throw away, we can now create one of Stockholm’s prime places for fish and aquatic organisms,” says forester Henrik Niklasson, nature conservation supervisor at the Royal Djurgården’s management.

Isbladslagunen – a future location for marine research

Sketch of the reef’s location and possible design. Sketch of Gaia Architecture.

The ambition with Isbladslagunen is to create a unique play and living environment for both marine life and visiting people. Over time, the site can also develop into a gathering place for marine research, education, and close-to-city nature experiences. The project gives an opportunity to show how ecology, culture and pedagogy can strengthen each other. This by constituting an example of how humans can become active stewards of viable nature environments.

The Isbladslagunen project is a collaboration between the Royal Djurgården’s administration, Gaia architecture, the City of Stockholm, and the World Wildlife Fund WWF with the support of expertise and consultants. The project is financed, among others, by the Stockholm County Administrative Board and the Swedish Agency for Marie and Water Management via LOVA, as well as by WWF.

By converting residual masses from the expansion of Stockholm’s subway into a local resource, the project uses a holistic view for urban planning. (11.6)

By using residual masses from infrastructure projects as a local resource close to the extraction site, heavy transports are reduced, and the outlet of carbon dioxide lowered. The project can contribute to the integration of climate measures into the city’s strategies and planning. (13.2)

By creating protecting reefs and hard bottoms for vegetation, new habitats are provided for marine life and the resilience of the marine habitat is strengthened. (14.2)

The project creates a new viable environment and a sanctuary for natural life to develop. (15.1)