The Arts Campus has now been officially inaugurated. Umeå School
of Architecture, Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå Academy of Fine
Arts, Bildmuseet and Humlab-X now have a common campus on the banks
of the Umeälven river - a unique creative environment that is also
home to Sliperiet, a dynamic environment for researchers, students,
companies and public organisations.
- The Arts Campus is the single biggest project in the history
of Umeå University since its opening in 1965. The aim is for Umeå
to become a creative centre on the world map, says Lena Gustafsson,
the university's vice-chancellor.
Courses on the Arts Campus are distinctive. The School of
Architecture on the Arts Campus is the first school of architecture
in Sweden to have an artistic profile. The Institute of Design
leads the field in several international rankings. At the Academy
of Fine Arts the focus is on individual artistic expression and on
art's critical potential.
- We have very high hopes for synergies from the campus. It will
be a powerhouse where the whole is greater than the parts, says
Kjell Jonsson, pro-vice-chancellor and chair of the Arts Campus'
steering committee, who goes on:
- At the same time it is important that the Arts Campus does not
live a life of its own - it is part of Umeå University and we also
want to see greater collaboration with the other parts of the
university. This initiative must benefit everyone.
New buildings complement the old
The Academy of Fine Arts was first out when it moved into the
old wood mill in 1987. It was followed in 1989 by the Institute of
Design, which has been converted and extended several times over
The new School of Architecture was opened in 2010 and
Bildmuseet, which moved down from Gammlia, where it had has its
home since it opened in 1982, moved into its new premises in spring
2012. The different buildings have also been inter-connected
by means of a below-ground-level building by the water, containing
among other things a café, a library and the Humlab-X digital
All the new buildings have been designed by the Danish firm
Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with White in Sweden
Inaugurations in May 2012
Bildmuseet "jumped the gun" by opening on May 19 and the entire
Arts Campus - which is not only a place but also an ambition - was
officially inaugurated on 25-26 May.
The idea is that the Arts Campus will act as an arena for
education, research and professional activities in architecture,
design, art and digital cultures - a creative environment that is
somewhat unique for Sweden, Europe and perhaps the entire
The university and Umeå Municipality will be investing a total
of about 350 million SEK in the Arts Campus over a 6-year period,
including a donation of 36.6 million SEK from the Baltic Group
Sliperiet - an incubator for companies in creative
In a later stage, the old pulp mill will be converted into an
incubator and help entrepreneurs by providing them with active,
focused business support, office services, technical and commercial
networks and financial support - all in the same creative
environment. Just like Umeå Biotech
Incubator (UBI), the Arts Campus' incubator will be a wholly
owned subsidiary of Uminova Innovation.
The Arts Campus is also part of Umeå's efforts as European Capital of Culture 2014
and is intended to be a stimulating and exciting meeting place for
both inhabitants and visitors.
What some people are saying about the Arts Campus
"I am convinced that creative thinking is better when
different backgrounds come together."
Anna Valtonen, Rector of Umeå Institute of Design
"The prerequisites for something extraordinary arising out
of Umeå University's Arts Campus are fantastically good. They have
both a pioneering spirit, ambitions and resources. Being part of it
from the beginning is incredibly exciting."
Lars Nittve, artistic advisor to Bildmuseet
"The opening of the university laid the foundation for the
attractive, creative city that Umeå is today. One example is Umeå
University's Institute of Design, which is one of the best in the
world. The Arts Campus will further strengthen that
Eva Nygren, CEO, Sweco Sverige
"At the Arts Campus we can think freely in new directions,
new environments and with new angles of approach."
Jana Revedin, architect and teacher at the School of
Photos and illustrations
Photo of the Arts Campus: Johan Gunséus
Illustration: White Arkitekter/Henning Larsen Arkitekter
Photo of the front of the School of Architecture: Andreas
Photo of Anna Valtonen and Peter Kjaer: Elin Berge