Filip Axelsson - Authorfilip.firstname.lastname@example.org
Benjamin Javitz - Photographerbenjamin.email@example.com
On Thursday, September 20, the new Albano campus was inaugurated, and of course, Osqledaren was there. In addition to the 70,000 square meters of education and research premises, which will be mostly used by SU, the area also has almost 1,000 new student residences. But can students’ finances handle the rent?
On an overcast and foggy Wednesday morning, my photographer Benjamin and I walked towards the new campus area Albano, just north of Albanova. No one who has ridden Roslagsbanan can have missed the major construction project that has been going on there since 2015. Five million Swedish kronor have been transformed into 70,000 square meters of university premises and 1,000 student housing units on this former industrial site between KTH’s and SU’s campuses. “And there is also proximity to a rich campus area stretching from Frescati down to Valhallavägen. It binds us together […],” said KTH Rector Anders Söderholm during the opening.
Although most of the premises will be used by SU, one of the buildings is KTH’s— a greenhouse with a skywalk into the current Albanova building. But this is not about any new educational premises or study places for engineering students; the new building will only contain offices and labs for professors. On the other hand, lectures will be held on the other premises, and according to Mauritz Torstenson, SU project manager, approximately 11,000 students will reside here.
KTH recently had increased premises costs, which Maria Granath, Assistant Property Manager (biträdande fastighetschef) at KTH, commented on. According to her, the building will have activities that have moved from Kista and KTH has been able to reduce its premises there. In addition, only 40% of the house is covered by KTH, SU will finance the rest.
Benjamin and I got to visit one of the area’s student apartments that Svenska Bostäder has. The apartment was well laid out but on the smaller side for being a one-room apartment with a kitchenette, only 21 square meters. Most of the apartments, about 800 out of 1,000, are student apartments. As with all new production, the rents are eye-watering. 21 square meters costs around SEK 7,000 a month, and a corridor room of 15 square meters costs SEK 5,500 a month. Considering that student funds and loans from CSN will be around 14,000 a month (but nothing in the summer) next year, we have to ask ourselves if this student housing is the benefit that everyone at the opening seems to think.
The opening ended with a ceremony where all the speakers got to water an oak tree that stood on the site before the construction and is now being replanted. In the frenzy, I shouted “PHOTOGRAPH THE TREE” to Benjamin, and he ran away. I think the pictures turned out well in the end, anyway. What do you think?