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Selected Examples of successful practices

National Architect of Sweden

Architectural leadership at the national level


The National Architect’s mission is to lead and coordinate the implementation of Swedish architectural policy at the national level, both within the National Board of Housing, but also for other public authorities across the country. Among other tasks, the National Architect provides design support to local and regional authorities to foster spatial quality and contribute to the long-term development of sustainable cities in Sweden. The first Swedish National Architect was appointed in 2018.


The National Architect works at the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.


The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) is responsible for the implementation of the national ‘Policy on Architecture and Designed Living Environment’. Within this framework, Boverket decided to appoint a National State Architect to provide design leadership and highlight the role of architecture in society in order to promote design quality throughout the country. The National Architect is subordinated to Boverket’s Director General. Although it is a recently created position, among other things, the National Architect should coordinate and provide support to public actors at the national, regional and local levels in matters of architecture, design and sustainability in their planning work. Since the role was first created in September 2018, the National Architect has gathered comments and requests from the state authorities, which are specifically designated in the architecture policy, to be able to provide support with guidance, tools, good project examples, inspiration and arguments for high quality architecture. The National Architect also chairs the Sustainable Cities Council established in 2017, which works to implement the government’s policy for sustainable urban development and to contribute to the long-term development of sustainable cities in Sweden.


The appointment of a National Architect is a practical way for national governments to provide design leadership and strategic advice across all the different sectors and administrative levels, as well as to contribute to policy and design advocacy. The holder is charged with implementing public policy on architecture and design and with maintaining any form of national momentum focused on improving the quality of the built environment.



Swedish State Architect Helena Bjarnegard (c) Hanna Franzen
Main photo caption : (c) Matti Östling