AF Bostäder is playing an increasingly important role as a developer of the city and its built environment, and is in a record-breaking period in terms of ongoing construction projects.
AF Bostäder considers it has a mission to strengthen the Lund brand as a university city and contribute to ensuring that as many people as possible can – and want to – study at Lund University.
“As one of Sweden’s largest student housing companies, we have a great responsibility to make studying in higher education possible, and to attract new students to Lund,” says Magnus Cederberg, Property Development Manager at AF Bostäder. “Housing is an important parameter when students choose where they want to study. But, it’s not enough to think short term and cheaply, and build housing rapidly. In a good city – and an attractive student city – everything is connected. Investments in student housing are to be seen from a wider societal perspective, in which we assume responsibility for the development of Lund as a whole.”
As developers of the built environment, AF Bostäder wants to shape long-term, sustainable city districts, in which students and Lund residents can have a good future. Kämnärsrätten is an excellent example. In the 1960s, the area was planned solely for students and – typically for the times – a large number of cars. The result was a static area with lots of roads and parking spaces.
“We are now rebuilding Kämnärsrätten for a sustainable future,” says Magnus Cederberg. “In one of the quarters we are sharing the space with a primary school, which creates a good dynamic, favourable for both schoolchildren and students. The existing greenery will be retained and the various parts united using a completely new footpath and cycle path that will also be a place for socialising. Here, we are making preparations for an open-air gym, table tennis, basketball, barbecue areas and even a wood with permanent hammocks.”
In parallel with the new quarters at Kämnärsrätten, AF Bostäder is building Marathon, a completely new student housing area at the heart of the Science Road, close to both the campus and Lund city centre. Here too, the company will focus on wellbeing, sustainability and symbiosis with the city.
“Marathon will entail a very positive change in the cityscape,” says Magnus Cederberg. “Here, we will transform a place that was previously a non-area with an anonymous industrial building and large car parks, into a living city and student quarter.”
Marathon is on the corner of Tornavägen and Tunavägen. The new quarter links together the neighbouring areas, from the concentration of houses in the “Professorstaden” district in the west to the Faculty of Engineering’s (LTH) elevated campus area and park environment in the east, and the municipality’s new residential area in the south.
“The detailed plan would have enabled a simple and dull solution with a pair of identical linear buildings, but we wanted to create a dynamic and liveliness, in which height and volume mean that the city is connected,” says Magnus Cederberg. “Furthest out on Tornavägen and Tunavägen, we are building lower three-storey houses and this gradually increases to eight storeys for the innermost building at LTH. The quarter is dense, but the experience of the buildings is airy. Due to an ingenious system of angles, corners and external galleries, all tenants will have access to as much daylight as possible.”
The area will be lived in by students, but is for the entire city. It will feel natural for everyone to pass through Marathon, on foot or on a bicycle, on the way from one part of the city to another.
“The interaction between students and the city is important, and here we are also investing in good areas for socialising, both indoors and outdoors. Marathon also has a high eco-profile with solar panels and low energy values. In addition, it will be completely car-free. Instead, all tenants will have a place for their bicycles in covered racks, and access to workshop space,” concludes Magnus Cederberg.