The project became a family affair imbued by the vision to decontaminate and reconstruct Gåshaga in the most sustainable way possible, focusing on upstream solutions to solve existing problems without causing new, future ones. In 1937, shipowner and Wallenius Lines’ founder Olof Wallenius purchased the area on Lidingö, outside Stockholm, to use for oil storage. Through the years, the area was used as a shipyard, as well as for other industrial activities. In the early 1980s, 27 oil storage cisterns were still operational, although none by Wallenius Lines.
At that time, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg had the idea to transform Gåshaga into a residential neighbourhood. Jonas Kleberg insisted the clearing of the area had to be done the right way – the sustainable way – even though it meant many extra years of hard work before the vision would come true.
The goal was to recycle as much material as possible. The first step was to sanitize the area and the polluted soil using the most sustainable methods available. Some 1,000 cubic metres of soil were cleaned through land farming, a method similar to composting. The soil was placed in rows, water was added, and the soil was purified by turning and airing it, letting the water evaporate, a procedure that took about eight months.
The next big challenge was cleaning and dismantling the 27 cisterns. The contaminated cleaning water was sent to Lo- udden oil port and purified there. The cisterns were cut apart and 11,000 tonnes of sheet metal was sold. All the pipes were recycled, as well as the concrete and bricks. In total, as much as 98% of the old facility could be recycled.
At the same time, the municipality in Lidingö planned to blow out a new underground chamber, in order to extend the heating plant Käppala, next to Gåshaga pier. Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg and Jonas Kleberg approached the municipality with the idea to use the Käppala excess stone to build quays, piers and a bathing island for the residential area. Since then, the cooperation has continued and Käppala offers the heating plant’s waste heat to the Gåshaga tenants at an affordable price.
Today, what used to be a contaminated oil storage has turned into an attractive residential area, combining modern apartments of the highest quality and design with the enchanting setting of the Stockholm archipelago.