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Brunnshög with the Cathedral’s land marked to the south of Odarslövsvägen.

Råängen is a platform for discussion about what happens on Lund Cathedral’s land in Brunnshög, an area on the north-east edge of Lund, in southern Sweden. Brunnshög is on the threshold of an ambitious development which will significantly change the character of the area over the next thirty years.

Our aim is to rethink the way that towns are developed by introducing an arts programme that will become a tool for conversation, critical debate and engagement before any building work begins. The programme will inform the long-term development of the Cathedral’s land, and result in a neighbourhood that delivers opportunities for new ways of living, working and studying in the 21st century.

Råängen (which translates as ‘raw meadow’) will develop a narrative that builds on the involvement of artists, architects, local people, developers, contractors and university staff, creating the groundwork for future stories in a new neighbourhood. It will provide a framework for discussion about the fundamental issues at stake in the overall development of Brunnshög: value systems, belief, ownership, fear, faith, time, beauty, commitment and endeavour.

Starting with temporary installations by British artist Nathan Coley in Lund and Brunnshög in 2017 and ’18, the programme continues with a public garden designed by Norwegian architects Brendeland & Krisoffersen, due to open in spring 2021. Our programme includes a wide-ranging series of public events, talks, walks, school workshops, and film screenings – all designed to create opportunities for debate, participation and critical analysis. Further down the line, there is potential for artists to be invited to carry out residencies and permanent commissions in the public realm.

The Råängen project is funded by the Cathedral board rather than the members church fee.

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Lund Cathedral

Lund Cathedral from the north-west. Per Bagge 1899. Historical Museum at Lund University.

This is the first time in recent history that the Cathedral has chosen to play a key role in the development of its own land. The project aims to invest as much commitment and care as our predecessors have done over the last 900 years, and ensure that the values and experiences of the Cathedral are integrated into the project in a way that respects the historic context while embracing the future. The development will address 21st century challenges by creating a sustainable and socially responsible working and living environment that is able to meet people’s needs for the next 1,000 years.

There are a number of specific challenges which the Cathedral and wider project group wish to investigate:
How can a neighbourhood balance the wellbeing of both nature and residents?
How can the public realm invite and encourage local engagement and impart a sense of pride, ownership and appreciation of beauty?
How can hospitality, one of the key concepts of the Cathedral, be integrated within Råängen and subsequent development projects?
Can a planning process express the radical idea from the Eucharist – one bread and one humanity?
How can a programme of events, talks and critical design projects provide an enriching context where culture, scientific research, local interests and academia overlap?


View looking south from the Cathedral’s land.

South Brunnshög is an area five kilometers north-east of Lund Cathedral, made up of 400 residents, 12 farmhouses, and 2 farms. Its arable land produces wheat, barley, sugar beets and rape seed crops on a four-year rotation.

The landscape is predominantly flat, a characteristic that extends to the rest of Skåne’s topography. The change in seasons, as well as movements of the wind and light, are easily identifiable. The area has an abstract, almost invisible history much of which can only be deciphered from topographical maps or as traces in the landscape. Examples of this are the water’s edge that once existed south of Odarslövsvägen, and documentation of land ownership that divided up the agricultural landscape in varying ways.

Archaeologists have recently discovered that from the 8th to 11th centuries Brunnshög was the site of a Viking settlement which became a centre for rituals and feasts, a place for the exchange of goods and knowledge, and meetings between visitors and residents. This was a space in which the unknown and the transcendent were celebrated. Råängen will continue this legacy, creating the conditions for conversation and critical debate amongst locals and specialists and for the exploration of the new horizons.

Development Context

The development at Brunnshög is one part of a larger city expansion project for Lund. Image: Lund Municipality.

The Church’s project is part of a larger development programme led by Lund Municipality in partnership with Lund University, Skåne Region and Lund Cathedral. The 450-hectare area is expected to accommodate 6,000 new homes, 600,000sqm of workspace, a new park and world class research centres by 2050. The project will significantly increase Lund’s housing and workplace infrastructure.

Lund Cathedral owns 150 hectares of agricultural land in the Brunnshög development plan (approximately 140 football pitches), 12 hectares of which is earmarked primarily for residential development), public space provision and infrastructure. It will also include educational facilities and workspace.

White Arkitekter is leading the Church’s development programme, establishing a strategic framework for development that began in 2020 and which will extend over the next thirty years. The practice is developing a responsive, long-term approach that focuses on the quality and characteristics of the land which, in turn, informs an approach to building, models of ownership and ways of living. Innovative architectural projects will be developed over time, each one taking its cue from previous programmes, responding to the context and needs of local people and the developing community.

Each phase of the development will relate to Lund Municipality’s masterplan, but we will develop our own distinctive character, focusing on issues relating to value, context, community, sustainability and public provision, working with artists throughout the process. We are interested in posing questions as well as formulating answers. As Lena Sjostrand, Chaplain, Lund Cathedral, has said, in carrying out this project, we are looking to “make stories and ask questions”.

The formal planning process has now begun, in close collaboration with the Municipality, partners and Brunnshög residents. A spatial plan was produced in 2018 which will establish the vision, values and strategic projects for the Cathedrals land. It is intended that the formal planning process will be informed and enriched by the Råängen art & architecture programme.

Who we are

Råängen has been initiated by Lund Cathedral’s board and is the first stage of a long term development project in Brunnshög. Mats Persson (Treasurer, Lund Cathedral) and Lena Sjöstrand (Chaplain, Lund Cathedral) are Co-Directors of Råängen.

Steering Group
We have formed a Steering Group made up of representatives from the Cathedral, White Arkiteker, and the curator working on the project. This group is responsible for the delivery of the commissioning programme.

Advisory Group
The Advisory Group is made up of art and architecture specialists based in Lund, Malmo, Stockholm and Berlin. The group advises, guides and challenges members of the Steering Group on programming and strategy.

Steering Group members

White Arkitekter

Independent curator

Landscape Architect,
White Arkitekter

Economic Committee,
Lund Cathedral

Lund Cathedral

Lund Cathedral

Advisory Group members

Skissernas Museum, Lund

Independent curator,

Artist and Vice-Chancellor,
Konstfack, Stockholm

Director, ArkDes,

Lunds Konsthall, Lund

Independent curator,

Director, Inter Arts Centre,
Lund University, Malmo

Graphic identity: Lisa Olausson and Martin Frostner
Art direction & graphic design: Lisa Olausson
Illustration: James Graham
Website build: Baptiste Guesnon
Photography: Brunnshög landscape series by Petra Bindel, all other photographs credited beneath images
Film: HolsterGreen and Few Family/LangFilm
Translation: Lena Olsson, Bella Daniels Carlsson, Anders Kreuger