Tag Archives: Hötorgsskraporna

The five trumpet-blasts of Stockholm

Calling them skyscrapers would be a bit pretentious. They are just 72 metres or 18 storeys high. They do not have a revolutionary design and they are not breathtaking. So why are they so intriguing? Because they are musketeers in their soul. “It’s all for one and one for all.” These buildings come in a package of five or they don’t come at all. And there have curtains too.

The official name of this real estate complex is Hötorgsskraporna, which translates into scrapers or Höterget Buildings, but the people of Stockholm affectionately call them the five trumpet blasts.

Hötorgsskraporna de soir (son nom populaire) par Holger Ellgaard sur Wikipedia
Hötorgsskraporna by night (its popular name) by Holger Ellgaard on French Wikipedia

Driven by renewal at the time, the authorities replaced an entire neighbourhood, destroying historical buildings and replacing them with modern ones. The idea to create “brother” buildings surged within the team. They just had to decide on the number.

Four was proposed. An indignant architect: “One offers a lady five roses, not four.” It was a powerful argument, since they finally settled on five.

When the Swedish architects presented the project to the municipal administration, the mayor’s assistant was carried away by emotion. “For me, this urban project evokes the creative power of Man and his belief in the future, five major chords, five trumpet blasts in a Handel score,” he said. Handel is a composer known for his use of brass instruments.

The five buildings were erected one after another between 1952 and 1966. Look closely at the façades of each building. They may seem like nothing to you, but this type of façade was not very widespread at the time. Each one is a curtain wall. Continue reading