Freezone- creating a place free from expectations


Umeå, 2016
Project owner: Umeå municipality
Design and execution: Tyréns all started when...

Young girls are an underrepresented group on spontaneous sports and activity areas. They are also underrepresented in dialogue on urban development projects in public environments. With the support of the the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning the municipality of Umeå worked together with groups of girls between 15- 20 years old on their experiences of feelings of safety and security in public space, expectations and taking place. During the project different groups of girls participated in workshops focusing on dance, photography and other artistic expressions. The workshops resulted in an exhibition on expectations on being a young woman in Umeå that was shown at the museum of Västerbotten. The outcome of the workshops and the exhibition has been the base for the design with the aim to create a place free from expectations, fears and insecurities where everybody will feel welcome.

The place is designed with an oval roof with windows in various colours. In the free zone, there are basket seats that were inspired by the gondolas on the 'Whirlwind' roundabout. Apart from creating a place that is secure, light and inviting, there were wishes for it to be possible to connect the phone and play music from it, which has now become reality. A permanent imprint can be seen in the roof through small icons that were originally printed on paper with an eraser focusing on the things the girls wanted and did not want in the park.

“We have planned and retested our arguments against the needs and wishes of the target group
several times over, which has been very important. We cannot create environments that are only
secure and open to half the population. One simple thing, for example, is to adapt theenvironment and seating places so they suit girls physically. At Tyréns, we are honored to work with this type of project, where we can help to make gender issues a part of the physical planning, which is not necessarily the case today” says Carl Arnö, Contract Manager, Landscape Architect at Tyréns in Umeå.
Project group
Umeå municipality
Anna Flatholm, City gardener
Annika Cettner, Landscape Architect
Frida Hammar, project assistant
Linda Gustafsson, Gender Equality officer
Tyréns AB
Carl Arnö Landscape Architect MSA
Annika Forsberg Landscape Architect MSA
Stina Svensson Landscape Architect MSA
Lina Färje, light designer
Eva Persson light designer
In collaboration with Kerstin Bergendahl, artist
Photographer: Andreas Nilsson