Råängen is a platform for discussion about what happens on Lund Cathedral’s land in Brunnshög, an area on the north-east edge of Lund, in southern Sweden. Brunnshög is on the threshold of an ambitious development which will significantly change the character of the area over the next thirty years.
Our aim is to rethink the way that towns are developed by introducing an arts programme that will become a tool for conversation, critical debate and engagement before any building work begins. The programme will inform the long-term development of the Cathedral’s land, and result in a neighbourhood that delivers opportunities for new ways of living, working and studying in the 21st century.
Over the next six years Råängen (which translates as ‘raw meadow’) will develop a narrative that builds on the involvement of artists, architects, local people, developers, contractors and university staff, creating the groundwork for future stories in a new neighbourhood. It will provide a framework for discussion about the fundamental issues at stake in the overall development of Brunnshög: value systems, belief, ownership, fear, faith, time, beauty, commitment and endeavour.
Starting with temporary installations by British artist Nathan Coley in Lund and Brunnshög in 2017 and ’18, the programme continues with a series of architectural interventions that will take visitors on a journey through the Brunnshög landscape (2018–2023). The public programme of talks, walks, screenings and seminars will create opportunities for participation and critical analysis. Later in the programme, there is potential for artists to be invited to carry out residencies and permanent commissions in the public realm.
The Råängen project is funded by the Cathedral board rather than the members church fee.
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This is the first time in recent history that the Cathedral has chosen to play a key role in the development of its own land. The project aims to invest as much commitment and care as our predecessors have done over the last 900 years, and that the values and experience of the Cathedral are integrated in such a way that respect the historic context whilst embracing the future. The development will address 21st century challenges by creating a sustainable and socially responsible working and living environment that is able to meet people’s needs for the next 1,000 years.
There are a number of specific challenges which the Cathedral and wider project group wish to investigate:
How can a neighbourhood balance the wellbeing of both nature and residents?
How can the public realm invite and encourage local engagement and impart a sense of pride, ownership and appreciation of beauty?
How can hospitality, one of the key concepts of the Cathedral, be integrated within Råängen and subsequent development projects?
Can a planning process express the radical idea from the Eucharist – one bread and one humanity?
How can a programme of events, talks and critical design projects provide an enriching context where culture, scientific research, local interests and academia overlap?
South Brunnshög is an area five kilometers north-east of Lund Cathedral, made up of 400 residents, 12 farmhouses, and 2 farms. Its arable land produces wheat, barley, sugar beets and rape seed crops on a four-year rotation.
The landscape is predominantly flat, a characteristic that extends to the rest of Skåne’s topography. The change in seasons, as well as movements of the wind and light, are easily identifiable. The area has an abstract, almost invisible history much of which can only be deciphered from topographical maps or as traces in the landscape. Examples of this are the water’s edge that once existed south of Odarslövsvägen, and documentation of land ownership that divided up the agricultural landscape in varying ways.
Archeologists have recently discovered that from the 8th to 11th centuries Brunnshög was the site of a Viking settlement which became a centre for rituals and feasts, a place for the exchange of goods and knowledge, and meetings between visitors and residents. This was a space in which the unknown and the transcendent were celebrated. Råängen will continue this legacy, creating the conditions for conversation and critical debate amongst locals and specialists and for the exploration of the new horizons.
The Church’s project is part of a larger development programme led by Lund Municipality in partnership with Lund University, Skåne Region and Lund Cathedral. The 450-hectare area is expected to accommodate 6,000 new homes, 600,000sqm of workspace, a new park and world class research centres by 2050. The project will significantly increase Lund’s housing and workplace infrastructure.
Lund Cathedral owns 150 hectares of agricultural land in the Brunnshög development plan (approximately 140 football pitches), 12 hectares of which is earmarked primarily for residential development), public space provision and infrastructure. It will also include educational facilities and workspace.
White Arkitekter is leading the Church’s development programme, establishing a strategic framework for development that is due to start in 2020 and which will extend over the next thirty years. The practice is developing a responsive, long-term approach that focuses on the quality and characteristics of the land which, in turn, informs an approach to building, models of ownership and ways of living. Innovative architectural projects will be developed over time, each one taking its cue from previous programmes, responding to the context and needs of local people and the developing community.
Each phase of the development will relate to Lund Municipality’s masterplan, but we will develop our own distinctive character, focusing on issues relating to value, context, community, sustainability and public provision, working with artists throughout the process. We are interested in posing questions as well as formulating answers. As Lena Sjostrand, Chaplain, Lund Cathedral, has said, in carrying out this project, we are looking to “make stories and ask questions”.
The formal planning process has now begun, in close collaboration with the Municipality, partners and Brunnshög residents. A spatial plan will be produced by the end of 2018 which will establish the vision, values and strategic projects for the Cathedrals land. It is intended that the formal planning process will be informed and enriched by the Råängen art & architecture programme.
Who we are
Råängen has been initiated by Lund Cathedral’s board and is the first stage of a long term development project in Brunnshög. Mats Persson (Treasurer, Lund Cathedral) and Lena Sjöstrand (Chaplain, Lund Cathedral) are Co-Directors of Råängen.
We have formed a Steering Group made up of representatives from the Cathedral, White Arkiteker, and the curator working on the project. This group is responsible for the delivery of the commissioning programme.
The Advisory Group is made up of art and architecture specialists based in Lund, Malmo, Stockholm and Berlin. The group advises, guides and challenges members of the Steering Group on programming and strategy.
Steering Group members
Advisory Group members
Skissernas Museum, Lund
JONATAN HABIB ENGQVIST
Artist and Vice-Chancellor,
Lunds Konsthall, Lund
CHRISTIAN SKOVBJERG JENSEN
Director, Inter Arts Centre,
Lund University, Malmo