I’m off to Sweden for my holidays this year (can you tell who has been watching Wallander?). One of the highlights of my tour will be a visit to the Glass Bubble community centre built by the talented landscape architect and artist Monika Gora in Malmo harbour.
The tower blocks which stood in the howling wind were already there when Gora was asked to fill the void and build a structure that could be used as a community centre for the retired people who lived there. In a country where the lack of light can be an oppressive to citizens of all ages, she came up with the idea of a glasshouse that provides year round warmth and greenery. The curved structure is full of tree ferns and exotic plants and is a cosy, inviting place for people to socialise in. Would that all local governments were as forward thinking as to commission glasshouses as community centres.
And while on the subject of Sweden and glasshouses — I note from news and current affairs website The Swedish Wire that a company called Plantagon has approached the Swedish authorities about building large greenhouses in the middle of cities where vegetables can be grown. The plan would be for them to grown in geodesic glasshouses where the plants can slowly rotate round the structures so that they can be exposed to the maximum light. Each sphere is planned to cost around 18 million pounds ($30 million dollars). That’s an awfully expensive cucumber to eat with your herring!