Måns Tham Architects & Urban Strategists
Döbelnsgatan 79
113 52 Stockholm, Sweden
+46 (0)704 80 76 17
about Måns


Solar Serpents in Paradise

Driving in the Solar Serpent

Turn the freeways into urban powerplants! With solar-technology and a narrative design, the freeways re-emerge as contemporary structures.

February 2016: Praised in the recent french debate on solar "Techniques de l'ingenieur"
April 2015 issue of Pour La Science "5th generation of roads"
Semi-finalist MIT's Climate Co-Lab 2013
French TV: "Le Journal" on France 2, April 1st 2013
Svensk Forms Pecha Kucha night at Berns, August 24, 2011
Exhibition and lecture at Festival d'Europa in Florence, Italy, May 6-10 2011
WIRED's 10 Transportation Trends That Rocked 2010, Read articles in: WIRED, Le Figaro Magazine, Curbed LA, Plataforma Architectura, ArchDaily, Expressen
The project was first exhibited at the 2010 Toward a Just Metropolis conference at UC Berkeley and presented at the Swedish Embassy's Imagining Beyond 2020 conference in Washington, DC.

Part of the solar converted Santa Monica Freeway

Due to the low areal energy generation of solar cells, allocation of land use is a central issue for any solar proposal. The Los Angeles Solar Program focus on roofs on private and public buildings within the city and a gigantic solar plant in the Mohave desert. With Los Angeles County having 800 km of freeways – public land with existing points of access for maintenance – why not use some of them for the location of a large scale solar installation?

Diagram 1-3

1. Solar panels need unshaded sun away from neighbours and palmtrees.
2-3. The Solar Serpent will shade the roads and reduce the need of air-condition.
The energy production peaks mid-day when energy consumption for air-condition peaks.
Bonus effect: UV damage on roadsurfaces will decrease.


Santa Monica Freeway (downtown to the beach):
24 km avarage 40 m width = 960.000 m2= 600.000 domestic panels (1,6 m2)
Peak effect for Santa Monica Freeway 115 MW = 150 GWh per year
150 GWh is enough electricity for all households of Venice, CA

Exemple: National Blvd/I-10 overpass

Under main road overpasses electric cars can be filled at the “Power Place” charging stations! The locally produced electricity will be sucked up by households and businesses locally in the grid with minimal transmission costs.

Section of linear algae farms

The CO2 rich air on the road is brought through pipes into linear covered algae ponds along the freeway. This will bring green tech jobs, such as farming, harvesting and processing of biofuels, to the neighborhoods that today are the most disadvantaged by their proximity to the freeway.

Container house

Model photo

Private residence built with 20' and 40' shipping containers on a steep lot near Stockholm. Follow the construction process here.
Under construction 2016-.

Formwork for foundation walls

First containers are being cut on site


Proposed mixed-use development in a Swedish small town. A cross-laminated timber structure with 27 units, 2 mini squares, 3 restaurants and a roof-top garden.
In collaboration with Helgesson Gonzaga Arkitekter.

Typical floor plan

Entrance level


A compact cottage inspired by the flexible Swedish medieval building type "Parstugan".
Plandrawing shows example with a 3-bed layout. Parstugan sleeps up to 6 people and its 25 m2 footprint complies with the new "Attefall"-regulations.


Roof top addition on an existing private residence in Stockholm.
In progress, building permit granted.

The Fifth Ecology- Los Angeles Beyond Desire

Design Strategy for the area around the Los Angeles River in Downtown Los Angeles in a near future with little or no oil. Produced as part of RESOURCES 08, the post-graduate program at the Royal Institute of Art - Mejan ARC, Stockholm.

Gallery 727 on South Spring Street, Los Angeles

Read the catalogue or see images from the exhibition at Gallery 727 in Downtown Los Angeles and video from the reception hosted by Councilman Ed Reyes.

Excerpt from catalogue: "Paradise City"

The project was supported by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, The Consulate General of Sweden and The Swedish Institute. Read an interview with Måns Tham about the project in Byggindustrin 01/2010 (in Swedish). The project was also published in The Architects Newspaper CA edition 9/2009 and was presented at the Toward a Just metropolis conference at UC Berkeley, June 16-20 2010 by Måns Tham, Björn Berglund and Karl Landin.


Section Södermalm-Old Town
Larger image!

Slussen is the historical heart of Stockholm and the most important traffic hub with locks, subway and roads. The proposal for Slussen "Öppna Slussen/Field Operation" was first presented as a master thesis at Lund University 2006. It was later presented and advocated for by the Chair of the Swedish Royal Art Academy Olle Granath together with members Jöran Lindvall och Mats Edblom. The proposal is widely published in both news and architectural media as well as presented to the City Architect and the City Planning Office of Stockholm, The Mayors office (Stadsbyggnadsborgarrådet) and the Stockholm Beauty Council(Skönhetsrådet). Press!

The curved fold reveals the subway underneath. Whats going on under the skin of Slussen??
Larger image!

A skin is stretched between Södermalm and Old Town. The skin folds over the subway and connects and reveals the hardware of the site. Its sweeping surface is generated by topographpy and infrastructure. The surface explains the site, simplify movement and accentuates the beauty of Stockholm. You can roam freely, eat a herring burger on the way home or celebrate Swedens first gold medal in the World Cup. Vehicular traffic is on pedestrians premises according to the principles of ”shared spaces”. Steel ramps and bridges mark the entrance to the Slussen surface. Horizontal security fences follow the edges like eyebrows.

100.000 Stockholmers celebrate Swedens first World Cup gold medal in 2014.
Larger image!

Through geels in the surface and ramps from the Subway the pedestrian reaches the room below the surface. Under the deck the power of the infrastructure is fully exposed and celebrated. Subway and road behind concave glass and the historical rough textures of the site create the urban stage design for shopping in pavilions.

Below and above the surface

Details: Horizontal fence
Detail: Bus stops mark the outline of the road
Detail: Steel ramps take cars and traffic onto the Slussen surface


King Karl XIV Johan on horse but without the pedistal on level with his fellow citizens

Press comments:

"Pragmatic visionary!" (Sir Peter Cook, Arkitekten 3/2006)
"Återanvänder den nuvarande Slussens storslagenhet utan skymten av nostalgi" (Peder Alton, DN 4/6 2006)
"Ett Sensationellt tillskott i debatten om Slussens framtid" (Olle Granath & Mats Edblom, Konstakademien)
"Här finns en konstnärlig gestaltning som inte är tillräcklig i något av de andra förslagen" (Jöran Lindvall, Konstakademien i SvD 3/6 2006)
"Har allt vad Nyréns förslag saknar" (Leo Gullbring, Nordisk Interiör #3 2006)

F-series, monument for commuters

Front view, section and detail

"F-series" is a permanent installation at Malmö South/Svågertorp train station. Designed in collaboration with Martin Sundberg, sponsored by LTH, Finja Betong and Malmö Stad.

Svågertorp area

Architecture Pavillion, Helsingborg

Pavillion in the Helsingborg harbour

The Pavillion was the result of winning a competition together with Johan Berg and Johan Annerhed. The pavillion was the city of Helsingborgs official manifestation for the National Year of Architecture 2001. The pavillion was placed in the harbour, open 24/7, and included an exhibition about experiencing cities. It had around 10.000 visitors during 3 summer months.

Through the periscope mirror in the tower one could see the Hamlet castle in Denmark

Måns Tham

Måns is an architect and urban strategist based in Stockholm.
Before starting his own practice, Mans worked for 8 years at renowned architecture firms as an architect and project leader. He has worked in Sweden, France and the US with projects ranging from master-plans to interior design. Mans also teaches at KTH School of Architecture in Stockholm.

Jan Inghe Hagströms Stipendium 2010
Stiftelsen August Palmérs minne 2009
Anders Mortners Stipendium 2009
Bo Edblad och Maureen Wells Stipendium 2008
Top Ten Scandinavian Design Graduates 2006, Forum AID #3/06

Royal Institute of Art - Mejan ARC, Sweden, post-graduate programme 2008-2009
Lund School of Architecture, Sweden 1999-2006
University of California Berkeley, USA 2003-2004
NTNU, Norway 2001

Previous work experience:
Tham & Videgård, Stockholm, Sweden
Architecture Studio, Paris, France
Kjellander + Sjöberg, Stockholm, Sweden
White Arkitekter, Malmö, Sweden
BT Architects, San Francisco, USA

© 2016 Måns Tham Architects & Urban Strategists