Urban Couture Arkitekter is a Stockholm-based office, founded by Louise Jalilian and Koen Kragting. The office operates across the fields of architecture, urban planning, strategic development and communication. We believe that cross pollination between projects and disciplines is essential in fostering a critical debate, which prevents a rush to the routine and the obvious. Each design derives from an integrated approach, based on experience and analytical research seeking for optimised, exciting, innovative and sustainable design solutions.
Context, constraints of the site and socio-cultural, economic and environmental issues are processed, evaluated and optimised against the conditions and demands of the brief and the desires of the client.
Our projects transcend scale and type. We actively work with both the public and the private sector designing residential, cultural, educational and commercial buildings, urban development plans and interiors. It’s our task to balance the complex functions and logistics of these projects with their often delicate urban contexts to give them the significance in the public realm that our clients desire.
With every project Urban Couture undertakes an intensive design process to anticipate upcoming changes and respond to the continuous transformation of the city and society. The process is deeply collaborative, operating as a network of specialists in close cooperation with the client.
In fashion ‘haute couture’ refers to the creation of exclusive custom fitted clothing
that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, often unusual, valuable fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail.
Urban Couture refers to the architecture implemented into the city, the context, the people and social and cultural conditions. Architecture cannot be seen in isolation from the city and city life. The place and role of a building in its immediate context should also reveal something of the nature of the building in question.
Urban Couture provides a strong commitment to design excellence and develops concepts for high-quality projects. We believe that every project is unique and deserves a customized design solution, answering to the specific conditions of the site, the brief, the budget and the client’s demands.
People’s well-being are the focus in every project, because we are convinced that the built environment affects human life both directly and indirectly. Good social sustainable architecture promotes a balance between the individual and the collective, between present and future, and between user, building and surrounding community. It is our responsibility to shape public life and attempt to create identity – for a place, an institute or even a community of users.
Clarity is important in our work, both in design and communication. If our designs are cohesive, clear and understandable, both in its conception and its realization, the public and the local community can engage with the project. In this way the design becomes a democratic and social product.
Every design task calls for abstraction, simply because a life-size building doesn’t fit on a sheet of paper. While using modern techniques, the physical model plays an important role in the development of the design and as a communication tool. The model comes closest to the physical reality of a project and may conjure a fraction of the spatial experience of the future building in all its richness and variety.
In economic terms we like to focus on value rather than costs. The added value we can bring to a good design of a product, building or urban environment is a long-term investment for a sustainable future. The foundation for those values is laid on the drawing board. We believe that spending time and effort in the early design stages saves costs in the long run.
PARTNER / ARCHITECT
FOUNDING PARTNER / ARCHITECT
2015 - Urban Couture Arkitekter
2012-14 Kjellander Sjöberg, Stockholm
2010-12 OMA, Rotterdam
2008-10 Kraaijvanger, Rotterdam
2007-08 Hosper, Stockholm and Haarlem
2006-07 LLN Arkitekter, Stockholm
2003-04 Swedish Ambassador at IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture
of Catalonia, Barcelona
2018 - Urban Couture Arkitekter
2012-18 White, Stockholm
2012 - Guest teacher at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm
2008-12 Neutelings Riedijk, Rotterdam
2009-10 KCAP, Rotterdam
2005-08 White, Stockholm
2003 Mei architecten, Rotterdam
CLIENTS & COLLABORATORS