Dignified Entrance

Accessibility to heritage buildings

Värdig Entré ("Dignified Entrance") is a collaborative project run jointly by the Swedish National Property Board, the City of Stockholm and the non-profit organisation EIDD Design for All Sweden.

The idea behind the Värdig Entré project is that everyone should be able to use the same entrance and do so with dignity. Visitors arriving by wheelchair and those using a walking frame or pushing a pram should not be directed to an entrance at the back of the building or have to use the goods lift. The entrance should be dignified for visitors and for the building itself.

Concrete results of the Värdig Entré project are that the art gallery Liljevalchs konsthall/Stockholm and Boställshusen on Skeppsholmen, with Hotel Skeppsholmen as tenant, have now been made fully accessible for all visitors.

Cultural heritage for all

Many of our heritage buildings and environments were created in the Middle Ages and the centuries that followed, when they often symbolised power and were as inaccessible as fortresses. In the twentieth century our view of man has undergone a radical change.

Our cultural heritage should be open and accessible for all - as decided by the Swedish parliament. There is therefore a strong need to find technical solutions which enable everyone to visit public buildings _ solutions which also show respect for the buildings' heritage values.

A cross-border partnership

Värdig Entré is a collaborative project run jointly by the Swedish National Property Board, the City of Stockholm and the non-profit organisation EIDD Design for All Sweden. The goal is to combine the need for accessibility with innovative and aesthetic solutions which respect historically sensitive environments. The project seeks to meet the need for accessibility in four specific environments in Stockholm which are owned by the National Property Board and the City of Stockholm.

These are Boställshusen on Skeppsholmen, now converted into Hotel Skeppsholmen which opened in late 2009; Södra Bankohuset, the world_s oldest central bank building in the Old Town and now the head office of the National Property Board; Liljevalchs konsthall/Stockholm, an art gallery on Royal Djurgården; and the Stockholm City Hall.

Different groups working together

Industrial designers, curators and architects work together to find high-quality solutions for these projects that are equal to the architectural values of the buildings. The partnership also includes people with disabilities and provides valuable experiences for achieving the goal of accessibility for all.

Ambitions and goals

Another ambition of the initiators, who also serve as steering group for the Värdig Entré project, is to stimulate industry to develop functional and aesthetic products that are adapted for heritage environments. The steering group represents two of Sweden_s largest buyers of accessibility solutions (the National Property Board and the City of Stockholm) and is convinced that the need for such products will increase in future, in Sweden and abroad.