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The Cloud Market

A proposal For Van Alen Institute Flash Competition
By Street Monkey Architects, Stockholm, 2016

The Competition 


“Responding to Europe’s migration crisis, Opportunity Space was an international design-build competition to create a temporary mobile structure that will foster economic opportunity and social inclusion in Malmö, Sweden. The competition will bring new and established residents together to produce a public space hub for education, job assistance, and social inclusion programs that benefit everyone in Malmö.”


“Opportunity Space was the first in a new Van Alen Institute series of Flash Competitions: challenges that bring together multidisciplinary teams of designers and other experts for short, intense projects in cities around the world to take on urgent societal issues through design.”


The Site


“Malmö is a gateway to Scandinavia, and a city that is rapidly growing and diversifying. It was also the point of arrival for the vast majority of refugees and asylum seekers settling in Sweden. The Enskifteshagen Park is located between Malmö’s Möllevången and Rosengård neighborhoods, well-known immigrant hubs with some of the city’s most diverse populations. A block north of the park is Amiralsgatan, one of Malmö’s main thoroughfares that connects to downtown and the waterfront. A block to the east, an existing freight line will be converted to carry commuter rail passengers, with a new train station to be built on Amiralsgatan.


The competition included two sites that are roughly 125 meters apart: an open lawn along the southwest edge of Enskifteshagen Park, and the interior of an MKB building at Kopparbergsgatan 4 in the Sofielunds Industrial Park.” ( Opportunity Space_Competition Brief, www.vanalen.org)

The Project

The Cloud Market is a portable, modular canopy of clouds that creates a flexible series of subdivided spaces under a one inviting identity.

It is an architectural expression that combines the digital definition of a ”Cloud”, where people go to connect and find information, with the symbolic idea of a cloud as a symbol of dreams and potential. The Clouds are modular and can be arranged in a variety configurations to form what looks like a market.

The word ”Market” has multiple meanings and refers to a farmers market or as in this case, the job market. But in all cases, a Market is a place where you go to find the things you need and a place where everyone is welcome.

The Clouds are built with ”ribs” cut from transparent polycarbonate and are lined with clear, corrugated-fiberglass that forms the ceiling and a water-tight roof. The materials are lightweight, inexpensive and fastened together with metal clips and screws. The Clouds rest on a system of galvanized steel beams and columns bolted together, with cables strategically placed for cross-bracing. Additionally, detachable, transparent-plastic curtains can be used to create ”rooms” within the Clouds for a higher degree of weather protection and sound isolation.

To maximize the impact of the Cloud market, the larger module is tailored to the dimension of the entrance to the interior location and can be placed there for weather protection and as an orientation symbol seen from the park, making it comfortable and easy for people to find their way.