Scan Magazine, Issue 105, October 2017

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Scan Magazine  |  Contents

Contents COVER FEATURE 24 ‘Modern Scandinavian Design’ – A Modern Design Bible Penned by the bestselling authors Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Modern Scandinavian Design offers an inspiring and thorough journey through the history of Scandinavian design, covering everything from architecture and fashion to jewellery and graphic design. Scan Magazine got a sneak peek and spoke to the authors of this new Nordic design bible.

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66 Norwegian Architecture & Design It may be unsurprising that many of the Norwegian architects we spoke to this month heralded wood as an ideal building material, and that almost as many design cottages as part of their offering. But with world-renowned, eye-catching creations coming out of Norway, snapping up prestigious international nominations and awards, there is more to Norwegian architecture than holiday homes.

106 Swedish Architecture & Design


Rain and Bling We went on a mission to find the most effective yet stylish rain-protective gear as well as the most sparkling, hygge-inducing lighting accessories to autumn-proof your home. For an additional pickme-up, we also spoke to the man behind a real Danish gem.

Sweden is known for its insistence on democratic values such as inclusion and equality, and the Swedish architecture scene is no exception. We spoke to architects who waxed lyrical about inclusive design, who are all about enabling meetings, who always put users first and who are firm believers that architecture has the power to improve lives. From nursing homes with a human touch to carbon neutral apartment complexes, this is the very best of Swedish architecture and design.

SPECIAL FEATURES 16 Quality, Equality and Downsizing From two rare education hubs and a meaty Danish dining experience, to a family keen on cutting down and chilling out, our special features this month take us all the way from Denmark’s science scene to the world’s biggest architecture festival – setting us off on a journey of exploration of the values most cherished by Scandinavians at home and away.

SPECIAL THEMES 28 Danish Architecture & Design

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While Finland’s Alvar Aalto may be the king of Scandinavian architecture heritage and functionalism, the Nordic region’s modern-day architecture legend undoubtedly comes from Denmark. But alongside Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Denmark boasts countless renowned, award-winning firms that champion the very same human values and free-spirited approach. We spoke to the pioneers who are leading the way.

BUSINESS 135 Old Nordic Models, New Challenges We welcome a new keynote writer this month, along with his fascinating take on crowdsourcing and the idea that trusting in the community to make ideas into reality is an old Scandinavian solution that should not be underestimated. Columnist Steve Flinders, meanwhile, calls for environmental policy to become part of every business’s corporate social responsibility strategy, and the businesses profiled offer solutions at a time of digitalisation and huge transformation.

CULTURE 148 Nordic Matters and More We take another close look at the Nordic Matters series at the Southbank Centre, as a number of literary, musical and cultural talks and shows take place. In addition, we discovered that this autumn is full of huge Scandi gigs not to miss.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10 Fashion Diary  |  12 We Love This  |  139 Hotel of the Month  |  140 Restaurants of the Month 142 Christmas Dinner of 2017  |  143 Experience of the Month  |  144 Artist of the Month 146 Humour

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  5

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, I bought a house recently. I like to call it small and perfectly formed, but the latter is perhaps not strictly true – unless room for improvement is a requirement of perfection. Importantly, though, it feels like home. It is old – very old – and along with the suspected issues that come with a tiny concrete terrace built in the early 1900s, come heaps of charm and walls steeped in the stories of those who grew up here, ten siblings to a room. The house is right next to a beautiful, old park, a stone’s throw from a number of buses, shops and cafés, and it is in an area I can really get behind – a community with like-minded people, neighbours with kids, a culturally rich environment. About six months ago, we were making the decision between this charming house and a new build twice the size. The latter boasted all the latest technology, Scandinavian-style ventilation, a south-facing garden, a brand-new school a mere minute’s walk away and so much space we barely even knew what to do with it. It was just that the area lacked a certain something – charm, certainly, and roots. This is the biggest-ever issue of Scan Magazine, and our biggestever architecture special. Yet again, we have had the pleasure of speaking to a wide range of experts in the various fields of architecture – those passionate about social responsibility,

those keen on experimental design, and everyone in between. This year, it struck me that the huge majority of them had one thing in common: a focus on social and geographical context. Some spoke of the importance of incorporating local, natural materials in the design, while others described their designs as mere extensions of the communities they house. And I thought to myself that this, I get. Every year, as the architecture special is wrapped up, I feel richer and more tuned in to the world around me than before – but this in particular feels poignant. Architecture has the power to truly change lives, to enable meetings, to include and care for people. But when we forget about our history, our community and our shared values and goals, it becomes almost empty. My little house may lack many of the structurally impressive features and clever design details of the creations by this month’s featured professionals, but it knows what it is – solid, rooted and honest. Never before has the decision to take a month and dedicate it to all the multi-dimensional aspects encompassed within what we, sometimes lazily, refer to as architecture felt like such a good idea. I hope you will agree.

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Michael Kvium, Illusion, 2016. Foto: Anders Sune Berg

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Street Style

Nordic Humans of London Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has once again hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek, and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski  |

Lisbeth Løvbak Berg Norwegian creative writer at L-L-B Fashion Ltd. (@llb_fashion)

Sini Moilanen Finnish founder and designer at Tramp in Disguise

“My style is quite relaxed, and this same relaxed style comes through in my own designs. I am interested in transformational clothes, durability, and environmental-friendliness. My trousers are my own design, and they can be shortened with a zipper. My T-shirt and jacket are also my own designs, and my bag is by HEMYCA.”

“My style is colourful, and I also like to wear my own designs. I like to shop for second-hand and vintage clothes. My top and bag are both by Tramp in Disguise, the skirt is vintage Topshop, and the shoes are from Mallorca.”

Lisbeth Løvbak Berg

Sini Moilanen

Lars Skaalnes Pittman Norwegian engineer

Lars Skaalnes Pittman

8  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

“I don’t think I really have any specific style. Right now, I like dark colours. I get my shirts custom-made in Madrid, where I used to live. I shop at COS and Zara for basic items. My jeans are by COS, the jacket is from Berlin, and the bag is by American Apparel.”

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… With autumn comes rain, something we have learnt to embrace in Scandinavia. But no matter where you live, quality rain gear is a good investment and a necessity in the coming months. When planning your autumn wardrobe, include a few rainyday-style essentials so that you can dress smart and trendy even on days when it pours down. The trick is to go for a neutral colour palette and bold silhouettes while emphasising simplicity. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

A rain coat is a must-have in any wardrobe, and this classic single-breasted coat keeps you looking smart all year long. For the colder season ahead, add the detachable winter lining for added comfort. This coat is versatile in all its simplicity, proving that less is always more! Norwegian Rain single breasted coat, £602.55

To emphasise the simplistic beauty of Scandinavian style, keep the accessories to a minimum and opt for just one statement item. Keep your head dry with this waterproof and crushable felt trilby hat, a perfect example of a bold statement piece that can take your outfit from plain to elegant. Tiger of Sweden ‘Berwick’ hat, £119

If you are looking for a nice pair of rain trousers for your commute to work or everyday wear, then Fjällräven is the place to look. These Karl pro trousers have a slight outdoorsy look, but still work great in a more casual setting. The great thing about these trousers is that you can easily adapt the impregnation to the current weather conditions with wax; depending on how much you apply, the fabric becomes more water-repellent and wind-resistant. Fjällräven ‘Karl Pro’ trousers, £155

Keep it casual yet cool with a pair of non-traditional rain shoes. These fully waterproof leather shoes are sleek with a touch of cheekiness, comfort and functionality. Swims ‘Barry Chukka’ shoes, £190

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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

On days when it is cloudy with a chance of drizzle, but you do not want to have to bring a raincoat, this hood can be a good choice. It can easily be stored in your bag and will protect your hair if a shower suddenly occurs. Wear this versatile piece over or under your coat to mix up the style. COS hood, £39

This fashionable lightweight cape made of recycled water-repellent polyester is the perfect top layer for any outfit on a rainy day. Dress it up with a pair of skinny jeans and chic boots for a functional yet stylish look. Filippa K ‘Lexi’ night sky cape, £150

Always be prepared! This minimalistic, modern rucksack is a great accessory. Made from a waterresistant fabric with a matte finish, it protects all your belongings while keeping you looking smart. It has an inside laptop pocket and a handy hidden phone pocket at the back. RAINS classic backpack, approx. £70

It is important to take care of your feet, whatever the weather throws at them. Stay Scandi cool with these iconic Ilse Jacobsen pale pink laced rubber boots, a feminine and trendy statement piece. Stylish, warm and comfortable, these are great for rainy walks on stony beaches, or for exploring the countryside or the city with style. Ilse Jacobsen tall laced rubber boots, £120

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  11

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… As the days get darker and colder, it is important to create a cosy setting to enjoy and relax in. This is the time of year when we appreciate staying indoors, and with the lack of natural light comes the need to light up your home. Our living rooms are lit by candles and dimmed lighting, creating a hygge feeling while easing into the cosiest season. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

With its coloured outer surfaces contrasted by the pure white porcelain on the inner surfaces, these lovely pendant lights come in a range of colours inspired by Scandinavian rocks and plants. The pendant creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere, and emits a beautiful sound if tapped! Northern Lighting ‘Bell’ pendant light, £230

Mogens Lassen designed the iconic Kubus candleholder in 1962. Today, it has become a bit of a modern international design icon, and a cosy staple in many Scandinavian homes. With different sizes, it can be mixed and matched to suit your needs, and is just as lovely on a dinner table as on a shelf or in the window. By Lassen ‘Kubus’ 4 candleholder, £123

Set the mood in any room with candles. The Ildhane candleholder has an intriguing, expressive form that resembles a bird with a handsome tail: ‘ild’ is Norwegian for ‘fire’ and ‘hane’ stands for ‘rooster’. This truly is a decorative piece of art that will create a cosy atmosphere in your home. Nedre Foss Ildhane candleholder, £61.10

This smart and playful design can be used as a single piece or in a group, beautiful on its own and stunning as a graphical pattern on the wall or a table. As you move around it, shadows and shapes change, making it a fun accessory to add to your home. Menu ‘POV’ candleholder, £39.95

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With the name ‘cosy’, this table lamp crafted from mouth-blown glass is perfect for some autumn hygge. Place it on a table, desk, shelf or even the floor, and it will provide ambience to your space with an inviting glow and reflecting light. Muuto, £199

17 th EDITI ON OCT. 24 th - 29 th 2017



Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Bøge SmykkeDesign

Bøge SmykkeDesign – jewellery with a story Goldsmith Henrik Bøge Sørensen has been dedicated to his craft since the age of eight. Through immense hard work, he has mastered difficult techniques and produces something inimitable in each of his creations – a trait that has brought joy to jewellery lovers through generations. By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: Bøge SmykkeDesign

“One of my first long words was ‘didamant’, trying to talk about the big diamond ring my grandfather used to wear. He was a freemason and not shy about wearing fancy rings and diamonds. I was always attracted to those sparkly things,” remembers Henrik Bøge Sørensen, owner of Bøge SmykkeDesign. “Since I was eight, my wish was to become a goldsmith. Back then, my craft consisted of breastplates for my action figures. Growing up way out in the countryside, I developed a love for fixing things in the workshop, and doll accessories turned into jewellery creation.” What started as a fascination with diamonds turned into a jewellery business, which Sørensen created and has been running for more than seven years – though he sees it as more of a lifestyle than a business. His home and workshop 14  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

are an extension of each other, so he is close to the valuable creations and can jump in to work whenever the inspiration and impulse hit him – which is often in the middle of night. In his workshop, he forges everything from rings to bracelets, from earrings to necklaces – both completely new creations and antique heirlooms given new life. Imagination is the limit – and his imagination has played a great role his success. “My favourite part is the personal contact I have with my customers. Whether they’re looking for a piece for themselves or for a special someone, we always talk about the person who is to wear the jewellery. I want the final product to have special meaning to them. Sometimes that is visible in the design; sometimes it’s in their consciousness. Finding out

how to bring that personal element into the design and making it completely unique is always interesting. There’s no recipe for it; each time the inspiration comes from something different. And that is both the most fun and the most difficult part,” says Sørensen. Unlike other goldsmiths, Sørensen is not afraid to share his work process, because no one can replicate the distinctively detailed pieces he makes by hand. In fact, every customer receives photos of how their jewels were made, from start to finish.





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Skýli is currently awarded and nominated for: 2017 – Shortlisted World Architecture Festival 2017 (“Leisure-led Development - Future Projects”) Architect: Utopia Arkitekter, Stockholm

Scan Magazine  |  Education Profile  |  The House of Natural Sciences

30 girls from Egaa Gymnasium visited the technology company Terma for this year’s Girls’ Day in Science. They got to try out exciting technologies such as radar systems, space aviation and self-defence systems for airplanes.

Inspiring girls to a future in science and tech The Danish non-profit organisation The House of Natural Sciences works to increase young people’s interest in natural science and technology. CEO Nanna Seidelin tells Scan Magazine why even in Denmark, a country famous for its gender equality, some industries still lack women, why this is a problem, and what can be done to resolve it. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Terma

The House of Natural Sciences, a private non-profit organisation, was founded in 2009 as the result of a growing concern over young people’s lack of interest in natural science. Among the initiatives created by the house is, a network of 80 companies collaborating with schools and educational institutions to provide youngsters with more practical insight into what a career in natural science and technology might entail.

a high level of equality in regards to men and women’s opportunities on the labour market. But when it comes to IT and technology, we still have a noticeable lack of women. This year, just 27 per cent of the people who pursued a career in IT were women,” says Seidelin. “This is a problem, because we already have a lack of qualified people in IT, and if we miss out on half of the population that shortage only increases.”

Every year, hosts the Girls’ Day in Science, which this August saw 1,400 girls meet and talk with companies and women within the science and technology sector. “In Denmark, we have

Demonstrating how technology can be used to make a real difference in people’s lives is one of the most persuasive factors when encouraging girls to enter the otherwise male-dominated field. An-

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other is meeting, talking to and being inspired by female role models, explains Seidelin. “While men tend to be more interested in the technology and science in itself, women tend to be more interested in how science and technology can improve society.” Increasing the number of women in science would not just be beneficial for the many companies that look to recruit both men and women because of the workplace advantages of having a diverse workforce. It can also lead to more and different problems being solved, according to Seidelin. “Take technology, for instance; it is something that is part of our everyday life, but if solutions are only developed by men, we don’t necessarily get the best solution to the problem.”


Scan Magazine  |  Education Profile  |  ISL Surrey Primary School

Photo: ISL Surrey

‘An international school that feels like home’ In green and leafy Surrey, a mere 25 minutes away from Waterloo station, lies ISL Surrey Primary School, dedicated to nurturing individual talents and truly personalised learning. At the heart of all school activity is the wellbeing of the children, who spend a great deal of time learning outdoors and in the wider community. Photos: Mark Earthy of Earthy Photography

“As for many other Scandinavians, the outdoors plays a big role in our family life, and this was one of the reasons we chose ISL,” says Camilla Munksgaard, mother of two current students. Munksgaard decided to send her children to ISL Surrey three years ago. The family had moved over from Denmark for work and soon settled in Surrey due to its excellent connections to central London, its beautiful environment and the excellent schools. Choosing a school can be a daunting task for an expat family, especially where the national curriculum or outlook on education is different from your home country. However, ISL Surrey’s strong focus on the individual child, its commitment to outdoor learning and mother tongue provision, coupled with a high academic standard, made it the right choice for the Munksgaard family. Visiting the school before joining, the family was especially drawn to the in-

formal and warm atmosphere and how everyone seemed to know everyone. “We immediately felt that our boys would thrive in this learning environment and become happy learners – and we were right,” says Munksgaard. The school’s chosen curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), is naturally aligned with global issues including fair trade, individual rights and responsibilities, and environmental challenges. Given the international nature of the school, languages are very important and mother tongue lessons are offered from age four. The children also have ample opportunity to learn outside or in the wider community, with regular visits to a care home, hands-on gardening projects, an on-site forest school, back-to-nature camping trips and exciting cultural visits. “My children love the forest school. They are getting the opportunity to learn ‘in real life’ and not just in the classroom.

These are experiences I never imagined they would get in a UK school,” says Munksgaard, explaining that these are attributes that make ISL Surrey especially attractive to Scandinavian parents in the area, keen to give their children an educational experience similar to what they would have at home. Munksgaard adds that she is pleased to be able to give her children a truly international experience. “I think my children are very privileged to go to an international school. They meet the whole global community, and it has greatly deepened their understanding and openness towards the world and themselves in ways I never imagined possible.”


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  17

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Restaurant Oksen

Alex Pedersen.

A meaty tale There is a certain animalistic force in Restaurant Oksen, ‘the Oxe’, located in the city of Horsens, Denmark. The restaurant has grown to be an integral part of the Horsens community since its beginning in 1986, serving up brunch, lunch and steak dinners for everyone.

tween the tables. I hate when you sit in a restaurant and struggle to hear each other or you have to listen in on other people’s private conversations.”

By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Restaurant Oksen

The second expansion may have been necessitated by the decision to serve brunch and lunch seven days a week, which opened up Oksen even for those who do not share Pedersen’s love of high-quality meat. Today, a huge brunch buffet station is located on each of the restaurant’s two floors and tenderly curated by Oksen’s excellent staff, removing any angst guests may have about their croissant, yoghurt or sausage favourite running out.

The current owner, Alex Pedersen, took over in 1999. “I really just love a good steak,” he laughs. “Restaurant Oksen was already known in Horsens for its great meat and, when it went up for sale, I jumped at the opportunity to help develop it even further.” Back then, Oksen had a kitchen the size of a van, though with a professional grill, hob and two tiny prep stations. In 2008, however, Pedersen was ready to expand the restaurant and bought the property next door. “It was a massive project that took more than two years to complete,” Pedersen recalls. “Looking back, it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew it’d all 18  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

work out when guests kept coming in during the renovation despite the mess, the noise from the hammers, the missing walls and such. We didn’t close down for even a day.” Restaurant Oksen’s shiny new interior was ready in February 2008, but by 2011 the restaurant was running out of space again. “So, we bought the house on the other side of ours and combined them. We should be set for a good while now,” says Pedersen. The result became a spacious but cosy restaurant set in warm light highlighting exposed details from the original buildings. “We decided to have a really good amount of space be-

A place for everyone “One of the things I really like about Oksen is the range of patrons we have,” Pedersen notes. “We often see business people come in for a brunch-style meeting and then reappear later for a steak,

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Restaurant Oksen

and then we have families popping in, of course, and lots of returning customers of all kinds, which is always a good sign.” As part of the renovations, Restaurant Oksen added several private rooms for meetings and conferences of up to 65 people as well as private gatherings for all the big life events, which fit up to 150 people. “We’ll work with the client to sort out exactly the kind of experience and menu they’re looking for, depending on the type of day, their individual likes and dislikes and, naturally, the occasion,” Pedersen explains. “Some of the things I value most about the restaurant are the friendliness and competence of the staff. Guests are in safe hands, and that’s one of the things we get great feedback on.” Restaurant Oksen has a great mix of international and local staff. “One of our

coolest colleagues is a lady who came to Denmark from Syria as a refugee, who works in our kitchen now and has picked up everything really quickly,” says Pedersen. “And then we have people from all over Europe as well as people from the local area, many of whom have been here for ages.” Members of staff are encouraged to develop and improve their skills through continual education. “At the moment, one of our managers is completing her diploma programme in management, for example.”

Much at steak When asked whether the stereotype that steaks are just for men holds true, Pedersen protests emphatically. “We have lots of groups of women come in and order steak. Most people love a good piece of meat, and they’re for everyone who wants them.” Restaurant Oksen serves a large variety of steaks weighing

in at everything from 200 to 750 grams, so you should not leave the place hungry. All the meat is of the highest quality and left to mature in the restaurant’s own fancy meat drying cabinet. “Apart from our staff, I think the quality of the meat served is what keeps people coming back.” Pedersen struggles to pick out one dish on the menu above the rest. “It’s all pretty good, to be honest,” he laughs. “People do have favourites, though. We have guests who have picked the same item with the same trimmings since the restaurant opened. I remember quite a few faces from my first days here who still come in today. That’s really nice feedback to get.” Web: Facebook: RestaurantOksen Instagram: @RestaurantOksen

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  19

Scan Magazine  |  Architecture Feature  |  World Architecture Festival

Södra Skanstull by White Arkitekter, which is up for a WAF award.

The world’s biggest architecture festival – on performance and Scandinavian know-how Ten years have passed since the first ever World Architecture Festival (WAF) took place in Barcelona. Now the biggest international annual festival of its kind, WAF celebrates its anniversary in Berlin by delving into the theme of ‘Performance’ – and firms, speakers and jurors from all over the world will be there to contribute. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: World Architecture Festival

As the world’s architect lovers gather in Berlin for a second year, celebrating the tenth annual World Architecture Festival (WAF), world-class speakers and award-winning firms join them to discuss issues around the theme of ‘Performance’. Like every year, the programme will include speeches, discussions, debates, exhibitions and social events, alongside the prestigious competition and awards ceremony, where some of the world’s best architecture from the year that passed will be celebrated. The 20  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

festival, which this year takes place at Arena Berlin, a converted 1920s bus station in Treptow, former East Berlin, is the largest international annual architecture festival in the world. Kicking off the conference on 16 November is a keynote talk about Hamburg’s new, anticipated concert hall, The Elbphilharmonie, with speakers Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron and Charles Jencks, co-founder of Maggie’s Care Centres. The following day, Burning

Man Festival’s art and civic engagement director, Kim Cook, will ponder how tens of thousands of people create their own city with temporary structures for the spectacular event in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. Other renowned speakers include Alison Books, creative director at Alison Brooks Architects; Jacob Kurek, partner at Henning Larsen Architects; and Rafael Viñoly, principal of Rafael Viñoly Architects.

Scandinavian know-how Among this year’s shortlisted creations are 37 Scandinavian projects, including Utopia, Tengbom, Wingårdhs and Marge Arkitekter from Sweden; Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter, C.F. Møller Architects and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) from Denmark; A-lab and DARK Arkitekter from

Scan Magazine  |  Architecture Feature  |  World Architecture Festival

Norway; and PES-Architects from Finland. Moreover, WAF has joined forces with Scandinavia’s largest architecture practice, White Arkitekter, to identify the key aspects of the Scandinavian knowhow in architectural design. “There are a few principles that the Nordic countries all have in common in regards to architectural approach,” says Monica von Schmalensee, CEO of White Arkitekter. “Firstly, there’s the use of Nordic light – how we utilise every last minute of daylight in our buildings to create uplifting and energetic spaces. Secondly, we go closer to nature, in that nature plays a vital part in how we see spaces between buildings as opportunities for public realm and activity; we see buildings in their context and not as unified packages. And finally, our democratic values pervade all aspects of society, including design.” Today the third-largest architecture firm in Europe, White Arkitekter has over 900 team members across 16 offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK and works with a shared-ownership

model. This year, three of their projects have been shortlisted at WAF: Skellefteå Cultural Centre, Queen Silvia’s Hospital for Children and Young People, and Södra Skanstull. “Being shortlisted for awards is very exciting and rewarding for the practice as a whole, but even more so for the project teams, who work so closely on the projects,” says Von Schmalensee. “For me, the greatest feeling of achievement as an architect is when people are proud and pleased to live in and use buildings designed by White Arkitekter.” Awards or no awards, the CEO reckons that WAF is an unmissable event for anyone on the architecture circuit. “World Architecture Festival is a key event in my architectural calendar along with the Venice Architecture Biennale and more local festivals such as the Nordic Architecture Festival. It’s one of those events where you are able to meet and see the latest projects from across the world, which is incredibly exciting. For me, the most important element of WAF is the exchange of ideas between people, cities and countries, and the interesting discussions these ideas spark.”

World Architecture Festival in brief The first ever World Architecture Festival was held in Barcelona in 2008. The programme director was Paul Finch. Among the Scandinavian firms that have won awards are Wingårdhs, A-lab, Snøhetta, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), DinellJohansson, ADEPT and Entasis. This year’s festival, the tenth instalment, revolves around the theme ‘Performance’. In addition to the prestigious competition, WAF offers a worldclass programme of talks, debates, exhibitions and networking events. Over 100 international jurors provide live feedback on all the finalists’ projects. More than 2,000 attendees view the participating projects at the gallery exhibition every year. Web:

White Arkitekter in brief White Arkitekter was founded in Gothenburg in 1951 by Sid White and PA Ekholm. By the early 1970s, the firm also had offices in Örebro, Stockholm, Malmö and Halmstad, and eventually offices in Uppsala, Linköping and Umeå followed.

At World Architecture Festival.

In 1990, White Arkitekter merged with Coordinator, and the Stockholm office became Sweden’s largest workplace for architects. Today, the firm has 16 offices across Scandinavia and the UK and boasts a portfolio with projects in more than 50 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. White Arkitekter works with a shared-ownership model and has a competition success rate of 66 per cent and an annual turnover of close to 900 million SEK (around 93.7 millions euros). White Arkitekter is the largest architecture firm in Scandinavia.

At World Architecture Festival.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Interior Design Feature  |  Downsizing

Maria and Morten Storgaard with their son.

Downsizing – for a simpler and less stressful life We live in a materialistic, sometimes stressful world. Enter downsizing, a concept all about getting rid of most of your material possessions to own nothing but what you really need. Many fans of the trend also choose to live in a smaller home to save money. Downsizing can provide more financial freedom and is a more sustainable way of living, and it can help you prioritise what really matters.

dinavia. It is about owning fewer material things and learning to prioritise in order to spend your money more wisely. Many people also choose smaller homes so that they can save up money or stay in the city with children.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: private

Before the Danish couple Maria and Morten Storgaard started adopting the downsizing lifestyle in late 2011, things were messy. They had a great deal of debt from student loans and credit card overdrafts, and they were partners in a company that was costing them a great deal of money. On top of that, Maria was stressed and exhausted, and she knew there had to be another way to live. That is when she discovered the ethos of downsizing. 22  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Different values and priorities

“I see two reasons why people choose this lifestyle: one is because they are forced to, and the other is because they want to. Some simply cannot afford to live any other way, but for many it is a choice,” says Claus Bech-Danielsen, professor of architecture at Aalborg University. “Many want to live in a more sustainable way, and they no longer see big houses, big cars and designer clothes as status symbols.”

Downsizing is a phenomenon that is particularly popular in the US, but in recent years it has spread to Europe and Scan-

Bech-Danielsen explains how our homes have gotten bigger and bigger over the

“I craved a simpler life,” she says. “We both wanted to have more freedom financially and geographically, more flexibility and more time. I stumbled upon downsizing online and was fascinated by the tiny houses, the simple way of life and the freedom.”

Scan Magazine  |  Interior Design Feature  |  Downsizing

years, suggesting that people choosing the downsizing lifestyle are going against the tide. “The values and priorities have changed for many people. They want more freedom to travel, more financial freedom, and they want more time with their family,” says Bech-Danielsen. An Australian piece of research from 2012 showed that people who adopted the downsizing lifestyle experienced increased energy levels, and they were better able to focus on the important things in life. 87 per cent felt happier and experienced that their life had been simplified.

A lifestyle with freedom

hus University, recognises. “Decluttering can be very hard and overwhelming, and many of us are reluctant to do it, but it feels amazing once it’s done. Many people think that they are going to need all their things – despite not having used them in months or perhaps even years – but most of the time, we will never even miss them,” says Pahuus. “Downsizing reflects that you are unmaterialistic and you seek something deeper. You seek a deeper meaning with your life, and you cannot find that if you are surrounded by clutter.” If you are struggling to get rid of your things or clothes, Pahuus has a few tips: “Ask yourself if you really need the par-

ticular item and if you are really going to use it. Be honest with yourself! This also goes for buying new things. If you have a few things that you just cannot give away, store them in a box somewhere, then give them to charity or sell them when, after some time, you realise that you can live without the things.” For the Storgaard couple and their child, there is no doubt that downsizing has been the right choice for them. “We absolutely love living this way. We could never go back to living like we used to – even after having a child. This lifestyle makes us happy, and we live the life we always dreamed of,” Maria Storgaard says with a smile.

For Morten and Maria Storgaard, changing their lifestyle meant that they are now debt free, they go travelling several times a year, they work less, and they have much more family time – all of which is still possible even though they now have a child. “There are just so many benefits to this lifestyle. We have much more freedom both geographically and financially, there is less cleaning, we work less because we need less money, we are debt free and we don’t have clutter and a tonne of stuff lying around in our home,” Maria Storgaard smiles. “It took a while to clear everything out and go through our things, but it felt so good afterwards, and we never miss any of the things we got rid of.” This is something Anne Marie Pahuus, philosopher and associate dean at Aar-

Maria Storgaard on one of the couple’s many travels.

Maria Storgaard’s top three tips for downsizing: 1. Define what your top three priorities in life are, and work towards them. 2. Just get started. Wherever it is doable for you, start there. It could be your wardrobe, your kitchen counter or your bathroom – just get started! 3. Look at your finances. Scary as it is, it is necessary. Make a budget and start saving money. Maria Storgaard in their home.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  23

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Modern Scandinavian Design

Decanter bottles by Nanny Still for Riihimäen, Phillips.

24  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Modern Scandinavian Design

Everything there is to know about modern Scandinavian design The new tome Modern Scandinavian Design by bestselling design authors Charlotte and Peter Fiell, and with introductory essays by Magnus Englund, is an indispensable resource for any design enthusiast, collector or casual reader seeking inspiration for their home. The book includes multiple chapters about Scandinavian design, covering everything from architecture to ceramics and jewellery, and it is the first ever tome about Scandinavian design that has a chapter on graphic design. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: from Modern Scandinavian Design, Laurence King Publishing

The newly released book Modern Scandinavian Design is the ultimate guide to the distinctive design tradition arising out of the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland – since 1925. Designers from these countries have long pursued the shared goal of social equality through design, believing that well-designed everyday goods not only enhance daily life, but should also be the birthright of all.

Modern Scandinavian Design is written by the bestselling design authors Charlotte and Peter Fiell, with introductory essays by Magnus Englund. Englund is the co-founder of the high-end furniture retailer and contract dealer in modern Scandinavian furniture, Skandium. He has previously written two bestselling books on Scandinavian design and is a trustee of the Isokon Gallery, a London museum celebrating the 1930s Modernist movement. Charlotte and Peter Fiell are among the bestselling design writers in the world. They were the editors-in-chief of design books at Taschen GmbH, one of the most dynamic and successful illustrated book imprints in the world, from 1993 to 2007. In this period, they authored/edited 32 books on architecture and design, many of which have been translated into more than 20 languages. Their books have sold more than three million copies worldwide. Today, the Fiells work as freelance

authors as well as publishing and editorial consultants.

Nordic graphic design Modern Scandinavian Design is a huge book with sections on architecture, furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, metalwork, wood ware, plastics, textiles, jewellery and graphic design. In fact, Modern Scandinavian Design is the first tome ever on Scandinavian design that includes a chapter on graphic design. “Outside of the Nordic region, Scandinavian graphic design is pretty much an unknown quantity, at least the historic stuff, and yet there were some key Nordic designers who were creating artwork

that was every bit as interesting as what was going on in the acknowledged centres of graphic design – Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the US,” say the authors. “So in this book, we wanted to address that, but over and above this we also wanted to build up as complete a picture of Scandinavian design endeavour as possible, and therefore it felt right to include a chapter dedicated to Scandinavian graphic design. Moreover, the graphic design output of any country is a good reflection of the nation’s desired outward projection of itself and often offers good insight into the socio-political culture of a country at different times in its history.” The chapter gives you a thorough overview of Scandinavian graphic design history during the past 100 years, and all the great Scandinavian graphic designers are mentioned. The authors explain in the book that graphic design was rather big in Scandinavia in the 20th century, but never really gained acknowledgement in the art world.

Charlotte and Peter Fiell.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  25

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Modern Scandinavian Design

Left: The cover of Modern Scandinavian Design. Middle: Wonderful Copenhagen poster by Viggo Vagnby. Right: Design from Scandinavia magazine no. 6, published by World Pictures (Denmark), 1973 – art direction by Ib Clausen.

“The most prolific area of Scandinavian graphic endeavour during the twentieth century was poster design. Posters were most often created to promote products, brands, films and travel, but they were also used as an important conduit for political propaganda and the dissemination of public information by Scandinavia’s nascent welfare states. Despite this, poster design was not held in particularly high esteem for much of the twentieth century, being predominantly seen as the field of fine artists and regarded as far too commercial for serious cultural consideration. Over time, however, Scandinavia produces a number of visual communicators who would come to rival the very best working in Britain, France and the USA.” Today, it is common to see Scandinavian graphic design in both Scandinavian offices and private homes. In fact, you are probably more likely to see a poster in a nice frame in a Scandinavian home than a painting.

World-renowned designers Throughout the 33-page-long chapter, you will learn about the most important and influential Scandinavian graphic designers in the 20th century, such as Thor Bøgelund, Anders Beckman, Trygve Davidsen and many others. You 26  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

will also read about Viggo Vagnby, who created what is probably the most famous of all 20th-century Danish posters, the Wonderful Copenhagen tourist poster of 1953. The poster shows a policeman stopping pedestrians and traffic in Copenhagen in order to let a mother duck and her chicks cross the road. A good chunk of the chapter is dedicated to Ib Antoni. He was one of the most sought-after Danish graphic designers of his generation, and he worked for over 150 companies and organisations worldwide.

“Many of his more than 300 posters are extremely memorable – Charlie Rivel the clown with a bird on his nose; the Danish guardsman marching with a gun loaded with flowers; the Little Mermaid with a tourist on her tail; a Tivoli lamp in the dark-blue twilight hour; and many more motifs that are forever associated with Copenhagen and Denmark.” Swedish graphic designer Anders Beckman, who founded his own school – a school named after him that is now considered one of Sweden’s most important design schools – is also included in the graphic design chapter. It is full to the brim of beautiful images of all the famous Scandinavian posters, and it is immediately obvious that they are

Scandinavian, even before you read the text; they are created in the minimalist style the Scandinavian countries are so well known for. “In fact,” the authors say, “the Nordic graphic design style is closely related to the Scandinavian design heritage in general, for many of the Nordic designers were multi-disciplinarians. For instance, Tapio Wirkkala and Stig Lindberg – the two most ridiculously talented formgivers of Nordic design – were also active as graphic designers. But also Nordic design in general – whether it is furniture, lighting or building – tends to have a very graphic profile, which is why there are so many Scandinavian Design icons. Just think of the silhouettes of a Poul Henningsen lamp or a Hans Wegner chair, or even Jorn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House. They are all instantly recognisable thanks to this shared graphic aspect.”

All images in this feature are courtesy of Modern Scandinavian Design by Charlotte & Peter Fiell and Magnus Englund, Laurence King Publishing,

Modern Scandinavian Design is available at

Top left: Auri advertising poster by Erik Bruun for Auri. Top right: Avanti luxury chocolate box by Olle Eksell. Bottom left: Bjarke Ingels Group, LEGO House, Billund bird’seye view. Bottom right: Finland Destination North poster by Erik Bruun.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  27

& E RK R em TU MA Th C N l TE DE cia I e Sp CH L – R IA A C EC I RD SP O N IGN S DE

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark :


Photo: OMA and BLOX

Copenhagen to be first UN World Capital of Architecture 2018 will be another great year of architecture in Scandinavia. Copenhagen was just named the first World Capital of Architecture by the United Nations (UN), timed perfectly for the new opening of a relaunched Danish Architecture Centre in a spectacular new building, BLOX, designed by renowned Dutch architects OMA. With BLOX, Copenhagen will add a world-class destination for architecture right on its waterfront. By Danish Architecture Centre

Copenhagen and its architecture have received great international attention in recent years. The latest jewel in Copenhagen’s crown is the honour of being named the first World Capital of Architecture by the UN. It is a city where the human scale is cherished and the bicycles rule the streets. From the grand gestures of Denmark’s star architects to the design of small urban spaces, Copenhagen aims to create liveability and quality of life for the many through architecture and urban design. 2018 is destined to become another great year of architecture in the Danish capital, and the opening of BLOX in particular is 28  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

expected to make a mark on the future of Copenhagen. Designed by worldrenowned Dutch architects OMA, BLOX will be a city in itself, the new home of a relaunched Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) and a meeting place for locals as well as tourists. The new DAC will become an epicentre for contemporary architecture and urban design for anybody interested in architecture, cities and sustainability. As the only architecture centre in the country, DAC will present a wealth of architectural experiences that focus on buildings and the life in-between. Architecture is people swimming in the harbour, kids cycling

safely to school and neighbourhoods meeting on a newly extended sidewalk on the sunny side of a bridge; it provides the space to bring together the differences that make up the cities we love. A visit to the new DAC in BLOX will prepare everybody interested in architecture and urban design to experience the famous architecture city of Copenhagen with fresh eyes and new perspectives on their own or along with fellow urban explorers on DAC’s guided tours of the city.

Photo: Michael Levin and BLOX


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Left: Marthagaarden by Lendager Group. A kindergarten that produces energy, grows organic food, recycles water and sorts waste. Photo: Stamers Kontor. Right: Green Solution House by 3XN. Hotel and research centre for green and sustainable ideas. Photo: Adam Mørk. Bottom: The City Dune / SEB BANK by SLA / Lundgaard & Tranberg. Living proof that you can create value with urban space. Photo: Jens Lindhe.

Architecture creates value Architecture should generate more value for more people by making the best use of the resources available. The Danish Association of Architectural Firms has collected some of the best examples of Danish architecture that creates this kind of value – be it social, economic or environmental.

interrelationships and thereby help to create better surroundings for all of us in the future.

By Lene Espersen, CEO of Danish Association of Architectural Firms

In view of the fact that construction accounts for 30 to 35 per cent of society’s resource consumption, architects all over the world face a challenge, and a unique opportunity, when it comes to developing society in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Architects work at all levels in our surroundings, from urban development to product design, from urban spaces to buildings. All these levels must be coordinated in order to achieve the best possible conditions for sustainable development. Danish architects are already working on the lifecycle of buildings and are setting up design strategies for the economic and environmental consequences caused by the flow of materials and resources. By using circular economy con-

cepts, solutions can be redefined and become resources for future generations. The Danish Association of Architectural Firms has collected a number of examples of Danish architecture that has generated added value – be it social, economic or environmental. We have collected the examples on our website and in the booklet Architecture creates value. The collection presents buildings, urban spaces and facilities designed by Danish architecture firms. The value generated by these projects has been documented by analyses, assessments, statistics and data. The results are impressive, whether in connection with improved health, well-being and learning or improvements to the environment or economy. We hope that these examples will contribute to a better understanding of these

About the Danish Association of Architectural Firms The Danish Association of Architectural Firms is an organisation of private firms of consulting architects. Our objective is to represent the commercial interests of practising architects and to strengthen their position and improve the quality level and professionalism of Danish architecture firms.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  29

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The Mærsk Tower is based on an overall triangular shape with soft corners that enable researchers to connect via a single loop along the tower’s façades, while providing modern, innovative workspaces and great views.

High-rising the level of medical and health research in Denmark With the new Mærsk Tower, the University of Copenhagen has taken an architectural leap towards becoming a spearhead within health and medical sciences. C.F. Møller Architects, the architecture firm behind the design, has combined ground-breaking architecture, modern research facilities and an innovative layout to make the tower not just an inspiring place to work, but also an integrated part of Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Adam Moerk

With 42,700 square metres and 15 storeys placed in direct connection with the existing Panum Complex on Nørrebro, the new Mærsk Tower constitutes the architectural solution to a string of ex30  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

tremely complex challenges. Providing researchers with world-class laboratories and students and lecturers with top-modern auditoriums, the tower has everything required of a leading science

centre. However, rather than assuming the secluded shut-off air of many hightech research facilities, the Mærsk Tower is designed to facilitate meetings and knowledge sharing not just within the building, but also between the building and its surrounding environment. Partner at C.F. Møller Architects and lead architect on the project, Mads Mandrup Hansen, explains: “The primary aim has been to create a borderless, flexible and stimulating research fellowship across institutes, departments and external partners. At the same time, the exter-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

nal aim of the architecture has been to create a sustainable landmark, promote ‘visible science’ across the campus, and establish the foundation for a direct dialogue between the public and the university.” Inaugurated last January by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, six years after C.F. Møller first sent in the winning proposal for the extension, the Mærsk Tower provides the university and Denmark with a new platform for attracting leading international researchers and ensuring scientific innovation for today and into the future. Financially, it was made possible thanks to the combination of a generous donation from the The A.P. Møller Foundation and a special appropriation from the Danish Parliament.

Breaking with traditions With an open interconnection of the different floors, the Mærsk Tower breaks with traditional laboratory layouts typically limited to horizontal plan designs. To ensure that no department is isolated, an eye-catching winding staircase runs up through the tower’s open atrium. The aim with the innovative layout is to ena-

ble and encourage knowledge sharing across the different, normally separated areas of health and medical sciences. “With the strategically placed meeting places and the beautifully winding oak-cladded staircase, we’ve aimed to create settings that promote new connections and meetings. It was important to us to create a tower with organic and soft shapes; it’s a workplace, but at the same time it supports and invites dialogue and chance meetings between researchers. That’s one of the great things about architecture: the way it can shape behaviour in an engaging manner and, as it is the case with the Mærsk Tower, encourage and support knowledge creation in a new and informal way,” says Hansen.

most striking part of the root network is the extensive science plaza, which forms the new social hub of the complex and accommodates the main entrance.

75 metres tall, the Mærsk Tower provides the Panum Complex and the local area with a unifying and dynamic focal point in the midst of the historical skyline of Copenhagen. But just as a tree has its roots, the tower rests upon on a series of smaller buildings that contain the building’s common functions: the auditoriums, classrooms, canteen, show lab, conference rooms and book café. The

“Building in the heart of Copenhagen, it was important to us to create a focal point for the university but also for the local community. We wanted to move away from the traditional closed-off campus with tall walls and hidden entrances to a solution where architecture and landscape fuse together. It’s a holistic solution that’s capable of facilitating the meeting between nature and urbanity in

Inviting the city inside By intensifying the transparency around the base of the complex, the Mærsk Tower creates an open and direct dialogue towards its immediate surroundings. With varied mini-biotopes and a diverse range of plant species, a brand-new campus landscape blurs the boundaries between the building and the city. Pedestrian and cycle paths run through the site, and the public is welcome to enjoy the outdoor areas as well as the tower’s top-floor café, lounge and viewing points.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  31

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Top: Photo: BYGST and Dragoer Luftfoto. Bottom left: Located in the heart of Copenhagen’s busy Nørrebro neighbourhood, the Mærsk Tower was designed to minimise the negative impact that high-rise buildings often have on their surroundings.

an inviting, green urban space, a recreative landscape for the students of the Panum Institute and the researchers in The Mærsk Tower as well as the locals - right in the heart of in the pulsating Nørrebro,” says Hansen. “We believe that architecture can encourage a whole neighbourhood to find new paths, to discover new aspects of their city – and themselves, something we did by opening the building and the area up to allow the city to move across, around and through the site.” This thought is most noticeably expressed through the site’s mini highline, a 350-metre-long elevated pedestrian bridge called ‘the good short cut’. The path spirals among the treetops of the new green campus in close proximity to laboratories in the lower parts of the tower and thus allows the public to peek in and get a glimpse of the research taking place inside. 32  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Protecting the local and global environment Minimising the micro climatic impact on the immediate surroundings is usually a challenge when constructing high-rise buildings in the city. But the Mærsk Tower is specifically designed to minimise the usual negative impact of high-rise buildings in a dense urban setting. Challenges such as wind gusts and large areas of shade were overcome by pushing the tower back on the site, placing a number of lower buildings at its feet and giving the tower a soft and organic shape, which drastically reduces downdraft and accelerating gusts of wind around corners. Furthermore, the tower is cladded in a moving copper shield, creating a visual connection with the other high-rises in the area such as the copper-clad church towers. Moving with the sun, the copper

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

cover shields the building’s glass façade and thus reduces the need for cooling inside the building. It is just one of the many energy-reducing initiatives that have helped cut the building’s energy consumption with around 50 per cent compared to regular research facilities. “Because of all of the technology, research facilities are usually some of the most energy-consuming buildings around. But we’ve created an extensive monitoring system that turns off any unused research equipment and other unused energy outlets,” explains Hansen. “On top of that, we can store and reuse rainwater, thereby protecting the site from flooding during heavy rainfall and cutting down water usage for watering and toilets.” The building is also equipped with 1,500 square metres of solar panels.

A world-class facility While the Mærsk Tower has many eye-catching features, one of the most striking facts about it is not directly visible. It is the union of the different forces that turned the otherwise impossibly

multifaceted and ambitious project into reality. “In many ways, the tower builds a bridge between the successful Danish private medical research sector and the publicly supported sector within health and medical sciences. It’s the first time that public and private funds have been united in a project of this scale, and it is only because of this that we have been able to create something that is so like the original ambition as it is in the case of the Mærsk Tower. That hardly ever happens otherwise,” says Hansen. Indeed, the tower is not just an architectural marvel; it is also set to define the future of Danish research and health, according to dean Ulla Wever from the faculty of health and medical sciences at the University of Copenhagen. “The inauguration of Mærsk Tower is a milestone for health and medical sciences research at the University of Copenhagen. It will create the best conditions for research and education at a top international level, and will also be of decisive importance to people’s health in the future.”

Facts about C.F. Møller C.F. Møller Architects is one of Scandinavia’s leading architecture firms, with 90 years of awardwinning work in the Nordics and worldwide. Their award-winning work covers all architectural services: landscape architecture, product design, healthcare planning, management advice on user consultation, change management, space planning, logistics, client consultancy and organisational development. Environmental concerns, resource consciousness, healthy project finances, social responsibility and good craftsmanship are essential elements in the firm’s work, and a holistic approach is fundamental to all projects spanning the entire architecture field, from master plan to design.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  33

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

With its 26,000 square metres and multiple diverse functions, Himmelbyen in Ørestad will, when finished in 2018, constitute a complete living urban organism.

Maintaining the human scale when building big As Copenhagen’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for large-scale residential developments. Årstiderne Arkitekter, one of Denmark’s largest architect firms, is putting its extensive resources into meeting this demand without losing the human scale. The key, according to creative leader Andreas Olrik, is not to get carried away by academic ambitions, but to keep the needs of the future residents at the heart of the plans. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Årstiderne Arkitekter

Founded in Silkeborg in 1985, Årstiderne Arkitekter today employs 226 people in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and undertakes more than 500 projects a year. But despite the fact that Årstiderne Arkitekter’s portfolio boasts an array of spectacular buildings, the firm’s leading ambition is not the creation of landmarks, 34  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

but the perfection of everyday buildings such as offices, homes and shops. “The highest aspirations – yes, we have that. But our starting point is not to create a marvellous architectural icon. For us, the highest aspiration is to solve the exact needs of a specific project. With

our client, we analyse what the needs are, what the population is like, what kind of people are attracted to this specific area, what their daily rhythm is like, whether they use public transport, and so on,” explains Olrik. “In that process, the aspiration will always be to solve the exact requirements, not to make a landmark without any connection to the site. A landmark might be of intellectual and architectural interest, but if it has no use in the daily life of the people in that area, it will end up a fiasco.” Årstiderne Arkitekter is currently working on a broad range of projects, ranging widely in location and structure from the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

construction of entire new, large-scale residential complexes in the outer areas of Copenhagen to the transformation of historic buildings in the heart of the capital.

Building new communities Recent years have seen the creation of several new neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Copenhagen. The large lots available in these new areas and the continuous demand for new flats have led many developers to increase the scale of residential projects. “We build up to 500 dwelling units in one project and, when working with projects that big, we have to think of the whole small community we’re creating,” stresses Olrik. “We work intensively with the layout of volume and the space between the buildings; turning the outside space into an asset to the

building ensures that the surroundings become an integrated part of the structure. Also, within those big projects, it’s important to create a variety of individual homes to secure a diverse and exciting environment within the habitat.” One such large-scale project is Himmelbyen in Ørestad Syd. The 26,000-square-metre complex is characterised by its highly diverse functions. When finished in 2018, the building will include four storeys of commercial units, including two grocery stores, an inside entertainment centre for kids and two levels of self-storage. On the storeys above, 18 to 34 metres above the terrain, 128 flats of various sizes will offer future residents optimal daylight conditions and views across Ørestad. “When building a project like that, you

have already created a living organism you can shop, play and live in. It’s a very big volume, but it becomes an active part of the town,” says Olrik. “We set out to create a living environment, and that requires a lot from us as architects. We have to take the demands of all the different tenants, inhabitants and people involved into consideration.” To meet all these parameters, Årstiderne Arkitekter has special teams of urbanplanning, space-planning and landscape architects, who ensure that their buildings fulfil their function in as well as between and around their urban setting.

Restructuring the past The development of new city parts such as Ørestaden is not the only way in which Årstiderne Arkitekter has helped mould

After an extensive restructuring by Årstiderne Arkitekter, the previously outdated and almost vacant Irma block is today buzzing with life. Noticeably, the building is also the home of Årstiderne Arkitekter’s Copenhagen office and its 82 employees.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  35

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark Inside the Irma block.

used to house hundreds of employees before falling more or less out of use. Today, it does again, and it has completely changed the surrounding milieu. Coffee bars have shot up and the building’s ground floor, which houses a number of cafés and restaurants, opens up into the pavement, blurring the borders between the building and the city. Noticeably, the restructured Irma block is also the home of Årstiderne Arkitekter’s Copenhagen office and its 82 employees. “Other examples of the firm’s sustainable thinking include the Himmelbyen project, where we are working closely with a consultant to achieve a more sustainable construction and reusing wood from other old building sites for façade cladding. Our landscape department is also working on numerous large projects, using and cultivating water in different ways to contribute to the landscape projects,” explains Olrik.

Copenhagen into the city its inhabitants want. The firm is also transforming the historic centre of the city to adapt to the new demands of residents, companies and retailers. Many projects involve restructuring unused or faded historic buildings to avoid their destruction and, once again, turn them into an active part of the surrounding environment. The firm seeks to incorporate the idea of reusing and reviving old buildings and materials to create a more sustainable architecture.

“For me personally, sustainability is a core part of the architectural thinking, to design and work in a sustainable way. On a larger scale, talking about sustainability, we have a lot of people working with old existing buildings in the old part of Copenhagen. They’re rethinking their use, making them more efficient and, by doing that, making it possible to give them new lives,” Olrik explains. Årstiderne Arkitekter did this with Irma’s old headquarters, a block that

Årstiderne Arkitekter also works closely with many clients to ensure that their project qualifies for the highest possible standards within certification systems such as DGNB (the German Sustainable Building), for which Årstiderne Arkitekter offers all services in relation to certification procedures. Facts Årstiderne Arkitekter was founded by Per Laustsen in 1985. Årstiderne Arkitekter employs approximately 226 people, 82 of who work in the Copenhagen office. The company undertakes more than 500 projects every year. Årstiderne Arkitekter works closely with developers and project managers and always has a designated contact person on each project. Årstiderne Arkitekter has special teams of landscape, urban-planning and space-planning architects, who ensure that buildings fulfil their function in as well as between and around their urban setting.

Irma exterior.

36  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Bornholm’s beautiful buildings Bornholm provides the beautiful, dramatic and homely setting for STEENBERGs Tegnestue, an architecture company which, since 1976, has provided the local area with everything from brand-new houses to design inspiration. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: STEENBERGs Tegnestue

Bornholm is a beautiful Danish island situated to the south of Sweden and east of Denmark. The island is famous for its outstanding nature, as well as being a great place to settle down, whether that is permanently or just for the summer. “There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit on Bornholm,” explains Anna Gotha, designer at STEENBERGs Tegnestue. “Some of Denmark’s recent global successes were started in Bornholm, and many people commute from here to Copenhagen. Bornholm is really paving the way in certain areas.”

Focus on sustainability One of these areas is sustainability. Bornholm has set out to become the first CO2 neutral area in Denmark, something STEENBERGs Tegnestue is playing an

active role in. “We’re really focused on providing sustainable and local solutions as much as we can. We get local granite and wood, and make the houses fit the local climate and environment. “When you’re on an island you’re quite exposed to the elements, and the houses have to reflect that and be able to withstand it.” STEENBERGs Tegnestue is well known among the locals for its high quality, and the firm has good working relationships with local contractors, so for those moving to the island, they are an essential partner. “We work on a lot of holiday homes, especially focusing on creating sustainable second homes that are easy to maintain and even easier to enjoy. If the client wants it, we can become their project

managers so that they don’t have to worry about a thing. We’ll sort out everything from planning permission and builders to the final touches.”

More than just architects “We can help you build a complete house, extend an existing one, or simply help you choose the right sofa,” Gotha explains. The company has experts in all departments ready to help every step of the way. STEENBERGs Tegnestue is paving the way with new innovate projects that are creating sustainable, exciting and high-quality buildings across Bornholm. Their intricate knowledge and local understanding make them the perfect partner for anyone looking to expand, build or redesign on Bornholm.

Web: and  business-center-bornholm

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  37

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Building on trust Designing an innovative modern church, restructuring a listed ministerial building, and integrating a maritime museum into the Norwegian coastline – despite the broad scope of projects, the building blocks most valued by Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter are always the same: trust and collaboration.

many private developers who we have worked with for many years – and in the public sector, too. To enable us to make the most of the available resources with regards to both architecture and functionality, trust is a crucial factor in these partnerships.”

Among the many diverse projects currently in the hands of Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter is the new Trekroner Church. As a part of a new neighbourhood outside Roskilde, the preparation for the church had been under way for almost a decade and many expectations and aspirations were put forward. The client, Himmelev Parish Council, did not just want a sacred space exclusively for religious services and ceremonies, but an organic structure adaptable for a wide range of community activities.

An example of one of the firm’s extensive partnerships is its participation in the strategic partnership with the Municipality of Copenhagen, including collaboration on all new constructions, expansions and renewals within the municipality, with the exception of schools, nurseries and roads.

“In many ways, this project was very different to other projects, because the client was a parish council that had a very ambitious vision of creating a church for the future,” says Overgaard. “Hence, the main task at hand was to create an organic, multifunctional church, which on top of serving as a sacred place for church

By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Rørbæk Møller Arkitekter

Founded in 1950, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter boasts a portfolio of numerous long-term partnerships. Today, the architect practice works for and with a broad selection of private and public developers on everything from churches and museums, to offices and high-tech research facilities. Partner Anders Wesley Hansen explains: “It’s about building trust. In a collaboration built on trust, you get very far very quickly.” Hansen heads up the firm alongside partners Nicolai Overgaard and Bente Rørbæk Jørgensen. “The focus on trust is part of our DNA,” Overgaard adds. “We have 38  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

The church of the future

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Above and below: The Maritime Museum in Randaberg, Norway, was designed to educate about nature, environment and technology with a focus on the sea’s unique resources, and how the maritime industry has shaped modern Norway. The project is currently undergoing the necessary adjustments with the client Randaberg Municipality, after winning a first prize in an open international competition among 137 proposals. The project is shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2017.

services will also serve as a community house for concerts, talks and community dinners, helping to create a stronger community in this new area.”

for concerts, talks, and many other purposes. All of this is presented in a tranquil and light structure placed on a small green meadow in the new neighbourhood.

The distinct design and shape of the church means that the completion of it involves one of the most ambitious insitu cast concrete constructions made in recent years. To achieve this, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter relies on the strong collaboration with civil engineers EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører. “To make these concrete designs a possibility in the first place we had an extensive collaboration with our civil engineers, and the focus on the strong collaboration continues on the construction site as finding the right entrepreneur to cast the concrete on site has been essential,” Overgaard explains.

Anchored in the landscape Creating a connection to the surrounding area was also one of the leading ambitions

in Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter’s design of the Maritime Museum in Randaberg, Norway. The winner out of 137 proposals, the firm’s design integrates the beautiful Norwegian coastline into the structure of the maritime museum. “Each project has its own setting and environment, and every time we build in different places in

When finished in 2018, the church will present a multifunctional room adaptable Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  39

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Above and right: Trekroner Church has a modern expression of organic forms and a balanced interaction between interior and exterior. Inside, the architecture is characterised by a diffused skylight, creating a sacred space with an extraordinary experience of light and tranquillity. The project is developed in close collaboration between Himmelev Parish Council, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter, EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører and Schul Landskabsarkitekter.

the world we interpret the landscape and the nature and integrate it into the project,” explains Hansen. “In Norway, when we analysed the area, we found that it was run through by an extensive network of walking tracks, and so we situated the museum in extension of the landscape and the trails. You can walk over the roof of the museum and use it as a viewpoint, or you can walk through the museum and out into nature again.”

consideration, some entail more complex challenges than others. When designing the new 38,000-square-metre Life Science and Bioengineering department at Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter and collaborating architecture office Christensen & co Arkitekter had to facilitate not just state-of-the-art, field-specific laboratories, but also knowledge sharing between fields, and changing technologies.

From inside the museum, visitors also have extensive views of the surrounding landscape, while sailors at night will see the museum as a glowing shard wedged into the cliffs.

“It was a very complex building – just the laboratories in themselves are hugely complex – and, for us, this meant an incredibly close collaboration with not just the technical consultants but also the future users. In this kind of structure, it is paramount to take into consideration the user’s everyday work processes so that we can work to optimise these and prepare for the demands of future users.

Preparing for the demands of tomorrow While all projects have settings, surroundings and future users to take into 40  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Within research, things change incredibly fast, and it’s important to be able to restructure,” says Hansen. To facilitate knowledge sharing, the architects created a large, bright atrium at the heart of the building. With a warm and open architecture cladded in oak, the atrium provides access to all the building’s shared functions and the different departments, ensuring that everybody, no matter their field, will cross paths and start networking to generate new ideas.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Above: Renovation and transformation of Holmens Kanal 20 – office spaces for two ministries in a listed building from 1937. The project has been developed to meet the needs of a modern organisation, in close collaboration between The Danish Building and Property Agency, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter, NCC and Rambøll.

Faster together Opening up departments, enabling people to meet and creating new synergies is also one of the driving ambitions behind the current renovation and transformation of Holmens Kanal 20. The listed building from 1937 houses two ministries, and the aim of Rørbæk og Møller

Arkitekter is thus to open up the listed building while maintaining the original functionalist Danish architecture. “We have to finish this project in half the time that it would normally take. To do this, we work closely with an entrepreneur who began the work on site while we’re still projecting, and that enables us to speed

things up significantly. But doing this is only possible if you have the entrepreneur 100 per cent on board,” stresses Overgaard and rounds off: “Fundamentally, in all our projects, it’s about using the experience we have within our company to plan and lead competently. With the increasing complexity of our field, it’s absolutely necessary that we can help the developer build the right collaborations.”

Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter in brief: Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter, founded in 1950, is an architecture practice working with newbuilds as well as restoration and transformation of existing and listed buildings. A dedicated team of around 50 employees sit at their office, located in a former steam laundry from 1918 in northern Copenhagen. Web: Partners Anders Wesley Hansen, Nicolai Overgaard and Bente Rørbæk Jørgensen. Photo: Jakob Helbig.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  41

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The former ship chandler’s warehouse in Vejle.

Good quality takes time Good-quality architecture has the potential to greatly improve our well-being, which is why the 30 architects at RAVN Arkitektur take their time when designing buildings. RAVN Arkitektur aims to design buildings that will stand the test of time and remain relevant and inspiring for decades to come. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Adam Mørk for RAVN Arkitektur

RAVN Arkitektur was founded by Søren Ravn in 2009 and today has offices in Vejle and Copenhagen in Denmark. Quality has been at the forefront since the beginning, and the company plans and designs buildings and renovations for both private clients and businesses. “We’re very fortunate in that we often work with the people who will actually be using the building. This means that we’re able to create something that is useful and functional for the users. At the same time, they can provide us with 42  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

the time needed to create these functional spaces,” explains Uffe Lumbye Nielsen, partner and architect at RAVN Arkitektur.

Getting to the core of the project “When trying to work out what a building should look like or what we need to be doing, it’s incredibly important that we know a lot about the area it is in and have a good dialogue with the client,” says Nielsen. “There is no point in putting a really dramatic building into an area that doesn’t suit that kind of style.”

The first step in the design process is establishing the future use of the building – and researching and, if possible, visiting the project site. By having that background knowledge, the architects are able to create a building that from the outside suits the local area and fits in, and on the inside creates an astonishing and functional design to suit the people who are going to be using it. “Architecture is a process that takes time. It takes time to create the drawings and to actually construct the buildings, but this process is a minor element of the building’s total lifespan. It’s important to us that we’re creating buildings that will stand the test of time – buildings we’re still proud of and our clients are still happy with and excited about many years down the line,” says Nielsen.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Humble and service-minded At the core of everything RAVN Arkitektur does is its architects’ own humility. They never set out to create something fancy for the sake of it being fancy, nor do they want to create a showpiece in the here and now. The philosophy of RAVN Arkitektur is simple: to create buildings and projects that actually work and will continue to do so. As a client, you immediately feel relaxed and welcome in the office. There is no pressure to know all the right terms or even exactly what you want; the architects will guide you through the process and, throughout the research and development, will ensure that the final product is everything you were hoping for. “There’s definitely an element of trust with these kinds of projects, so it’s really important that we make sure we’re all on the same page. We have regular meetings with our clients throughout the process and continually produce

sketches and models for them, so they can visualise what the final building will look like,” says Nielsen.

Sustainability in design “Using the right materials is what architecture is all about,” Nielsen continues. “We source materials that we know will last and are of good quality, as well as upcycling others for that special touch.” Using good-quality materials limits the need for future restoration or repairwork, hence limiting the use of material resources over time. “Thinking, designing and building sustainably has become a natural process for us. Of course it depends on what the client wants but, with quite strict regulations in Denmark, it’s quite difficult to create a house that doesn’t in some way focus on environmental sustainability.” RAVN Arkitektur’s style is subtle and honest, but most importantly functional. As Nielsen puts it: “There’s no point in creating something people can’t use.”

Recently, RAVN Arkitektur transformed a former ship chandler’s warehouse in Vejle into a beautiful office space, perfectly combining the old and the new by staying true to the building’s history and integrity, while also making an inspiring and appeasing office space. The project was nominated for the 2017 RENOVER Award – a prestigious Danish architecture award for renovation projects. RAVN Arkitektur’s work speaks for itself, as does the fact that their work primarily comes from word-of-mouth recommendations. Their buildings and designs are attractive, personable and exciting, and will remain so for future generations. Importantly, the architects working there are professional, modest and welcoming, ensuring that any project with them will be an enjoyable experience.


The former ship chandler’s warehouse in Vejle, transformed by RAVN Arkitektur into a beautiful office space.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  43

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Entasis’ master plan for the old Carlsberg Brewery was awarded the prize for the Best Masterplan World Wide at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona.

A small special unit Providing master plans, construction designs, landscape architecture, and financial and political analysis, the 20 employees of Entasis Architects wear many hats. Christian Cold, director and co-founder of the firm, tells Scan Magazine why his firm, despite its success, has chosen to remain and work as a small multidisciplinary unit rather than expand in size. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Entasis

When Entasis sent in their master plan for a new Copenhagen district on the old grounds of the Carlsberg Brewery, they were not alone; 218 other architect firms from 35 countries also had their hopes set on the project. Nonetheless, it was the small Danish company that won the job. The project took the firm to another level but, despite specialising in construction and landscape architecture as well as master plans, the firm has managed to retain its tightly knit company structure. “The prestige and scale of the Carlsberg master plan elevated us to an international level and, after two very busy years, we managed to expand 44  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

our areas of expertise without expanding our firm. Today, we are 20 architects and landscape architects who manage everything, big and small projects, and that has enabled us to retain our integrity as a small special unit,” Cold explains. The prestigious win was followed by several first-prize city plans, and the firm is currently in the middle of a huge project to restructure, heal, and reconnect the heart of Odense.

Breaking conventions to create cities One of the defining characteristics of the Carlsberg master plan was that it discarded several preconceived architectur-

al standards and struck up a new tone in the design of urban spaces. Instead of the large open spaces that then characterised most new residential neighbourhoods, Entasis created a modern, dense, green city structure, giving a revival to the city as we know it with small plazas, towers, narrow streets, backyards and numerous townhouses. “In reality, the Carlsberg project was the first time in around 100 years that, politically and architecturally, it was accepted that if you want to create a real city, building a bunch of separate blocks in a field is not the way. It might give people more space and air, but it will not give them the feeling of living in a city,” stresses Cold. Entasis’ ability to create connected urban spaces is currently being fully utilised in a major city restructuring project in Odense, Denmark’s third-largest city. The Thomas B Thriges Gade project is going to reconnect the city previously cut through

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

the middle by a major thoroughfare, by turning the road into pockets of dense and urban neighbourhoods mixing residential and commercial developments.

From weapon factory to modern urban hub Though Entasis’ city planning has been hugely successful, it is by no means the only part of the firm’s work that has attracted attention. Every day, those passing by stop to take photos of the remarkable building that today houses the office of Entasis. Taking on the role and financial liability of the developer in the restructuring of the Canon House, an old weapon’s factory, Entasis created not just the perfect space for the practice but also five distinct flats. “In this unusual process, we have been the designer, the developer, the consultant and the end user, and now we have an amazing house

– completely unique,” says Cold. “Every day when I sit here working, I feel enriched and privileged to be in this space.”

Longevity and sustainability While not necessarily adhering to contemporary architectural principles, Entasis’ balanced and constant quality has been among the many things praised in their work. “What critics and professional committees often notice is that we don’t follow the current trends but have a constant quality in our work which, referring back to the pioneers of modernism, unites dynamics with resistance, lightness with gravity and empathy with unconditional statements. We seek, and find, the balance – and that is the trademark of our buildings,” explains Cold. In addition to the ambition to create buildings uniquely independent of cur-

rent trends, it is the desire to leave something that will stand the test of time that drives Cold and his company. “A building should stand 200, maybe 400 years. But the way things are today, what is trendy today won’t last more than 15 years; maybe it won’t even last until the building is finished, whereas our buildings will stand the test of time not just physically, but also with regards to their identity. Our point is simply to create architecture that will last,” says Cold.

Facts: Entasis was founded in 1996 by Christian and Signe Cold. Today the firm has four partners: Christian Cold, Signe Cold, Trude Mardal and Dorte Hærvig Dalgaard. Web:

Top left: The Canon House, for which Entasis was developer and architect as well as end user, is located on the site of an old weapon factory. Top middle: ‘Probably the best town in the world,’ said one of the many enthusiastic reviews written after Entasis won the big international competition to design a new town on the grounds of the old Carlsberg Brewery in 2007. Top right: The ground floor of the Canon House houses Entasis’ office, the first-floor offices for rent and the three upper levels five distinct flats. Bottom left: Renbæk state prison is the only prison in Denmark that has no permanent rooms for religious activity. In spite of that, the prison has an impressive cultural life and therefore commissioned Entasis to create a house for these purposes. Bottom right: The Thomas B Thriges Gade project will restructure, heal and reconnect the city centre of Odense, previously divided by a major thoroughfare.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  45

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Left and top right: The sustainable temporary student dwellings by SANGBERG Architects are based on modular wooden construction and made in collaboration with Campus360. Photos: SANGBERG Architects and Campus360. Below right: When finished, Kronen will comprise 160 flats on top of an existing shopping centre in Vanløse. Bottom: Thanks to the modular wooden construction used in the design of Kronen, it was possible to build 160 homes in only around three months.

The sustainable wonders of wood By using sustainability as a design tool rather than an additional feature, SANGBERG Architects not only creates flexible and durable solutions, but also modernises the building site. Scan Magazine talks to founder and partner Jonas Sangberg about sustainability, modular wood construction, and robot technology. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: SANGBERG Architects

When founding SANGBERG Architects, one of Jonas Sangberg’s main aims was to create a firm where sustainable design was an essential part of the practice. “We’ve come very far in Denmark when it comes to improving sustainability in regards to the operation and maintenance of buildings, but with regards to the carbon footprint of the construction, there’s still a way to go. What we want to prove is that if you incorporate sustainability at the very start of the design process, you can get very far without increasing resources or time,” says Sangberg. One of the ways to do this is to build in wood, a carbon positive building material, instead of concrete. In addition to cutting the building’s carbon footprint significantly, building with wood can also facilitate a faster, simpler and more precise construction process. “A lot of building sites look just like they did 60 years ago, and there are many ways to make that 46  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

more efficient – to create something of better quality faster – and wood is one of them. When working with modular wood construction, you have an indoor production based on robot technology, and that means a different level of precision and quality,” explains Sangberg.

of working with modular wood construction is that it’s incredibly fast. In just half a year, we could have something ready for use,” explains Sangberg. “Another benefit is the fact that it’s so flexible. It’s possible to take them apart and move them somewhere else, but at the same time they have the same quality and spaciousness as a typical student residence.”

This is distinctively evident in Kronen, a remarkable financially and socially sustainable residential development in Vanløse created by SANGBERG Architects, Polyform, Werk Arkitekter, H+, Grontmij, Ingholt Ingeniører and Tetris A/S. By using 95 per cent complete modular wood construction, SANGBERG Architects managed to place 160 pre-fab homes on top of a shopping centre in only around three months. Sangberg hopes to be able to use the same technology to help meet Copenhagen’s acute demand for affordable student accommodation. “One of the advantages

Web: Instagram: @sangbergarchitects

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Tailored architecture you can afford Bjarne Frost has created a concept for people who love architecture and want to design their own home without it costing them their life savings. That concept is OneRoom.

the basic idea of entering a room and being able to get a sense of the entire space at once has remained.”

By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: OneRoom

While the architects behind OneRoom have an opinion on the placement and design of your house, decorating it is entirely up to you. The big, open spaces leave plenty of room for creativity for the owner to personalise their home.

But OneRoom has found the middle ground between your average manufactured house and an extravagant, customised home. The concept offers three types of houses – One, Compact or Individual – that give you a starting point from where you and the architect can decide how your home is going to come to life.

“We try to place the house and the rooms in the best spot, prioritising the views that surround the house and considering where the light comes from. We work with great, spacious rooms, lots of light and air and good views. This creates an amazing indoor climate. Something we’re particularly conscious of is where the windows are positioned in the house. Great light is a pillar in the everyday experience of your home, so you want to have rays coming in from every corner of the world,” Frost explains.

“We design each house in collaboration with the client, so their individual needs and wishes are accommodated – taking the land and location into consideration,” says architect Bjarne Frost. As the architect behind the project, Frost comes out to see the land where your house is to be, in order for the surroundings and building to complement each other.

His love of these open spaces began in an industrial hall. “I stepped into this massive hall and thought, ‘Wow, so much space between floor and ceiling; if you removed all the wood work and could park a car at the other end, I could live here’. That’s when the idea surfaced. Since then, it’s been modified, like you need a wash room and a bedroom, but

Did you ever dream of designing your own house? Many people do, but it can sound like a monstrous expense, a dream only for the very few.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  47

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The bicycle skyway in Xiamen.

Designing a bicycle adventure Copenhagen wants to be the world’s best city for bikes, and local architects DISSING+WEITLING are helping the city meet that expectation. Their innovative bicycle bridges have become a symbol of the Copenhagen way of living, garnering international attention. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: DISSING+WEITLING architecture

“Safety is important, but we also want it to be an adventure.” For Steen Savery Trojaborg, partner and CEO at DISSING+ WEITLING, riding a bike in the city should be a joyful experience, something that encourages you to use your bike more often. With an ongoing ambition to create optimal spaces for human activity, the Danish architecture firm has broadened their focus over the last ten years to also create better infrastructure for cyclists. “We have plenty of experience in designing bridges, and after Copenhagen really started focusing on becoming the best bicycle city in the world, we have 48  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

used that experience in designing bicycle bridges as well. It’s been a tremendous experience for us creating safe connections where there used to be obstacles in the urban fabric,” says Trojaborg. DISSING+WEITLING has already designed several bicycle bridges in Copenhagen alone, which has made it easier to get around in the city and helped increase the number of people using the bike for their daily commutes.

A shortcut above land and water Among the bridges for bikes and pedestrians is Aabuen, which connects two

neighbourhoods across a busy main road, as well as the Quay Bridge, the first new bridge over the harbour of Copenhagen in 50 years. However, the most famous bicycle bridge designed by DISSING+WEITLING is no doubt the Bicycle Snake, a multi-award-winning 230-metre-long sky bridge that offers a clever shortcut to the Quay Bridge. With its distinctive structure and characteristic orange surface, it is both warm and welcoming. The bridge winds its way and, by doing so, automatically gets bikers to slow down and enjoy the ride. “It has exceeded all our expectations. Approximately 22,000 cyclists use it every day,” says Trojaborg. “What makes it so popular is the fact that it’s more than just a route of transportation. It’s a small biking adventure that has helped create an entirely new urban space for pedestrians underneath it. It’s a bike route above land

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

When working on the Bicycle Snake, it was never the intention to make it a landmark – but with its distinctive structure it soon became just that. The cycle bridge went viral, and DISSING+WEITLING began to draw interest from abroad, especially Asia, where many city officials are looking for creative designs to handle the growing traffic issues.

its infrastructure. For several years, the main focus had been on cars and buses, leaving almost no space for cyclists in the city. “To encourage bicycling, Xiamen decided to develop a better bicycle environment. Together with the city, we came up with the idea of establishing an eight-kilometre-long bicycle skyway on raised platforms running along and underneath the city’s already existing overhead Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) skyway. It’s accessible for all and both easy and joyful to use. We hope that this new skyway will inspire people to prioritise the green alternative, the bicycle, instead of the car,” says Trojaborg.

The city of Xiamen was struggling, like so many other Chinese cities do, with

The bicycle skyway in China was completed earlier this year, and it is connected

and water and it epitomises the image of Copenhagen as a bicycle city. It’s simply the pure joy of cycling, and it has shown how you can make cycling an integrated part of the city.”

World’s longest bicycle skyway

to and integrated with the existing public transport system via bicycle parking hubs and plenty of ramps for getting on and off. “Cities typically desire to have both a pragmatic solution to a particular urban challenge and an iconic object that they can use to brand their city. The object should preferably add something interesting to its urban context and make the visual environment more vibrant and exciting. When it comes to it, each of our projects is a unique solution to a unique set of challenges in each project’s particular urban and cultural context. It all depends on the urban context,” Trojaborg finishes. Web: Instagram: @dissingweitling

The bicycle skyway in Xiamen.

The Quaid Bridge from above.

The Bicycle Snake. Photo: Ole Malling

The Bicycle Snake.  Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  49

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Scandic Spectrum.

Creating vibrant urban life through sustainable hotels Designing hotels comes with a great responsibility – at least for architecture firm DISSING+WEITLING, who strive to make their hotels sustainable and interactive with the surrounding areas in a way that creates an attractive, vibrant urban life. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: DISSING+WEITLING architecture

When it comes to designing hotels, the vision is clear for DISSING+WEITLING. They aim to create a high level of comfort for guests and visitors with an inviting building that contributes to creating vibrant urban surroundings wrapped in a highly sustainable structure. The Copenhagen-based architecture firm has designed several hotels over the years, always with the same ideals. Regardless of scale, they aim to make their hotels as green as possible with qualities that will benefit the hotel and its guests as well as the city and the area they are located in. 50  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Take, for instance, Scandic Spectrum, which DISSING+WEITLING is working on at the moment. Scandic Hotels has numerous hotels in the Nordic countries, but the Scandic Spectrum in Copenhagen, expected to open in 2021, will become their biggest so far. It will have 632 rooms, several restaurants for both guests and visitors, a café, a bakery, a sky bar, a fitness centre, large meeting and conference facilities and underground parking. “When we design a hotel, we look at the bigger picture and try to deliver the full

package. A hotel needs to be sustainable, but it also needs to have an architectural identity and interact with the surrounding areas. We believe that Scandic Spectrum does all those things,” says Daniel Hayden, partner and architect at DISSING+WEITLING.

Creating an open and inviting hotel A series of decisions, such as the utilisation of a solar panel roof, using an active double façade and the careful utilisation of daylight, have been taken to give the hotel a green profile. The glass façade also helps to create a connection to the other exciting new architecture in the former industrial harbour area. The ambition for DISSING+WEITLING was to create a very open and inviting hotel, where the ground floor opens up

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

towards the surroundings and becomes a natural extension of the urban space. “The area has changed significantly over the years, so when we started designing Scandic Spectrum, we also had to consider how the area would develop in the future. This is a chance to give something back to the city. The hotel will accommodate cafés, restaurants and bars, and at full capacity you’ll have 1,700 people who will come and go every day, making the hotel a vivid and inviting place to visit, and contributing to an attractive urban life in the area,” says Hayden.

Breathing new life into the area One of DISSING+WEITLING’s biggest hotel projects so far is the Copenhagen Towers. It is a 72,500-square-metre hotel and conference centre, completed in 2009, and was one of the very first CO2 neutral buildings in Copenhagen. In fact, it won the EcoTourism award as the world’s greenest hotel in 2010.

Due to the favourable geological conditions in the area, Copenhagen Towers became Denmark’s first hotel with a groundwater-based cooling/heating plant, which led to significant energy saving. Next to the hotel is a ten-storey building, also designed by DISSING+ WEITLING, connecting 9,500 square metres of office space to the hotel and conference centre. “The green profile of Copenhagen Towers has attracted socially responsible conference hosts and guests from all over the world, but the building itself has also brought a new dynamic life to the area. Now part of a vibrant urban development, the complex helps establish a connection to Orestad South. In many

ways, Copenhagen Towers shows exactly what hotel buildings are capable of in an urban context,” says Hayden. DISSING+WEITLING is currently working on the design of yet another hotel project not far from Copenhagen Towers. “With its pleasant urban qualities, Copenhagen is an attractive destination,” says Hayden. “The city needs more hotel rooms to accommodate its many visitors, and we appreciate the challenge of designing nice hotels where innovation is key, so it’s all good.”

Web: Instagram: @dissingweitling

“With Copenhagen Towers, we integrated a solar cell installation of 2,000 square metres discreetly into the façade of the building, and the hotel was designed to receive as much daylight as possible, which also made the rooms feel warm and welcoming for its guests,” says Hayden.

All above photos: Copenhagen Towers.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  51

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Amager Power Station.

Architecture and infrastructure Gottlieb Paludan Architects are focusing on what they believe are the basic functions of society: infrastructure, construction and landscape architecture. With more than 100 years of experience, they have made it their mission to shape better cities and societies with architecture of the highest technical and aesthetic quality.

power plants are now playing a vital part in the green transition and the buildings need to reflect that transformation as well,” says Hagemann.

By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Gottlieb Paludan Architects

The good neighbour

“We like to describe ourselves as specialists. We work within an area that not many architects do, but an essential area nonetheless. We define it as infrastructure, because it’s what makes societies work,” says Kristian Hagemann, architect, partner and CEO at Gottlieb Paludan Architects. The company was established in Copenhagen in 1901 and, since the 1940s, the energy sector has been a cornerstone in their client base. One of the projects they worked on recently is Värtaverket in 52  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Stockholm, a power plant that needed a modernisation and extension of capacity, which has now been expanded with one of the world’s largest biomass-fuelled power plants. “As often happens with bigger cities, they keep growing – so power plants that used to be on the outskirts of the city are now actually in the city. When these plants were first built, they were made as cathedrals with big chimneys and smoke as a symbol of progress during the industrialisation, but times have changed. The

Gottlieb Paludan Architects needed to come up with a solution for the power plant, which is located in Stockholm in a residential and commercial area, to be well integrated in the city. The extension also had to respect the presence of a number of protected oak trees and the function of the area as a fauna path between the northern and southern parts of Djurgården. “We wanted to make the plant ‘fit in’ by creating a friendly structure that conveys a sense of quality. It’s a 60-metre-tall plant that used to look like a classic

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

power plant with big chimneys, so we decided to wrap the building in a tightly fitted, curved façade, covered in terracotta slats. This subtle nod to the fine, old red-brick industrial buildings on the site endow the technical facility with a warm, tactile finish. The terracotta slats cover the exterior of the technical facility and allow for adjustable and flexible positioning of the necessary openings in the underlying building envelope,” explains Hagemann.

Specialists at work Many of Gottlieb Paludan Architects’ projects are in Scandinavia. However, they also take on projects in Northern Europe and Asia, where they aim to contribute to Denmark’s leading position in sustainable infrastructure and construction. Whether they design a power plant or renovate a railway station does not matter; they always listen carefully to the client’s wishes and requirements, and they are well known for building long-lasting, trustbased relationships with their clients.

“Because of our specialised knowledge and the fact that our architects are able to unite technical requirements and aesthetic ambitions in their approach to a project, we can offer our clients the full package. It’s a major part of our business that we are able to assist all the way through a project, and that’s probably one of the reasons why we have clients that we have been working with for more than 50 years,” says Hagemann.

Architectural storytelling At the moment, they are using their specialised knowledge to design a new biomass-fuelled CHP unit and draft a master plan for the Amager Power Station in Copenhagen, which is expected to be finished in 2020. Just like Värtaverket, the power plant at Amager has gone from black to green energy production and needed both modernisation and extension. One of the challenges for Gottlieb Paludan Architects has been to create a visual as well as physical interface for the communication of the resource cycle. Amager Power Station.

“The plant is going to be very visible in the city, so instead of hiding it away as much as possible, we persuaded the client to open it up to the public. The building is enclosed by a deep façade made up of suspended tree trunks, which make up an artificial forest for visitors to move through. The tree trunk façade is of course a three-dimensional way of paraphrasing the change from fossil fuels to renewable energy. On top of the plant, there is a vantage point with a view of Copenhagen, and on the way up you get views into the plant itself and can see the energy production. This way, the building becomes a part of its own story, and we can integrate it into the city instead of hiding it,” says Hagemann. The plant is an important element in the effort of the City of Copenhagen to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Web:

Värtaverket. Photo: Robin Hayes

Amager Power Station.

Värtaverket. Photo: Robin Hayes

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  53

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Making the architect’s business everybody’s business NOVA5 have expanded their partner group and their area of expertise. From specialising in social housing and public schools, the Danish architecture firm is now taking on more commercial projects as well as projects involving sports – still keeping their social perspective on things. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: NOVA5

Since the foundation of NOVA5 in 1994, the Danish architecture firm has mainly been known for specialising in social housing and schools, but lately the firm has taken on international and commercial projects as well as more projects involving sports. “I believe it was the obvious choice to move into the area of sports. We wanted to have a wider spectrum of clients, and in many ways it was a prolongation of what we’ve been doing so far. With the school reform a few years 54  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

back, more PE and physical activity had to be integrated in the way we were building and renovating schools, so we’ve taken this experience we have gained over the last couple of years and used it to design sports facilities as well,” says Thomas Dahl, architect and partner at NOVA5.

Democratic architecture One of the projects the architecture firm is working on at the moment is the new stadium for the Danish football team,

FC Elsinore, who recently stepped up by entering the Danish Superliga. One of the reasons why NOVA5 won the design competition was their democratic way of approaching the project, which was a bit different to how you would typically design a stadium. In fact, one of the first things they did was to change the working title from New Elsinore Stadium to Elsinore Sports Ground. “The new stadium will be located in a green area that the local residents use a lot. So instead of making a traditional tall, excluding stadium, to be used just once a week, we wanted to integrate it into the society and the local area,” explains Jennifer Dahm Petersen, architect and newly minted partner at NOVA5.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The sports ground, which will open in the autumn of 2018, is going to blend in to the park. The fence surrounding the ground is almost transparent and can be lit up. The stadium itself has been dug down, so it does not appear so big and does not ruin the view for its neighbours. A public activity zone with running paths as well as the option to do parkour, outdoor fitness and other leisure sports will surround the stadium. “We want to make this a sports ground for everyone – also those who thought they didn’t need a stadium. One of the ideas behind the new sports ground is to have more spectators at FC Elsinore’s home games. Often, football matches attract a specific group of people, but by creating activity zones inside the stadium as well, where the kids can run around and play while the adults watch football, we offer an experience for everyone,” says Dahm Petersen.

The Danish way Even though NOVA5 have over 20 years of experience, they are in many ways still a young firm, doing things their own way. A merger with a younger studio in 2016 has helped boost their profile. There is an equal amount of female and male architects and partners in the firm, and they have a flat organisation structure where employees are given a great deal of responsibility and can influence how things are done. “We do things the Danish way, and we know for a fact that many of our clients admire us for being so open minded in our approach – especially the clients outside Denmark, where you of-

ten see a more hierarchical approach,” says Dahm Petersen. The firm is participating in competitions to build campuses in both Kyoto and Hamburg as a deliberate decision to find more projects abroad. At the same time, they are also taking on more commercial projects and work within space design, including Aston Martin’s recently opened Copenhagen showroom and the building where they have been located since 2015. “It used to be an old car auction house, but it’s now housing different businesses,” says Dahl. “There is a wide range of people working here, and we designed the floor where we’re located, just like we helped out with Denmark’s biggest rooftop farm at the top of the building. It’s a very active house in the centre of the so-called climate neighbourhood, where people like to experiment and are very open minded – just like NOVA5.”

Facts about NOVA5 Architects: - NOVA5 Architects is an acknowledged architecture firm in Denmark, specialised in creating buildings and spaces for living, learning and working. - NOVA5 design and manage projects for both private and public clients, ranging from everyday architecture to luxury design. - In 2015, NOVA5 opened an office in London. - NOVA5 use the latest digital software and gladly provide 3D models, scale 1:1 mock-ups and maquettes to better communicate their vision and understand their clients’ needs. Danish address: Æbeløgade4, 2nd floor, DK – 2100 Copenhagen Ø UK address: 1a Cobham Mews, London NW1 9SB Web:

New Elsinore Stadium. Photo: Archivizuals

Photo: Aston Martin

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  55

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Flowfactory exterior. Photo: Adam Mørk

Building character ZENI Architects, based in southern Denmark’s Aabenraa, are responsible for a string of inventive new builds and transformations across southern Jutland, including offices, homes and care homes. “The most important thing for us is that the building reflects the place it’s in and the purpose it’s supposed to serve,” says co-owner and architect Torben Sørensen. “Buildings should be made for the people who’ll actually use them.”

Team work works

In much the same way, ZENI Architects also primarily work within southern Jutland. “We don’t want to over-stretch and miss out on quality, but of course we take the same pride and put the same effort into projects located further away from home. We are, for example, currently working on a large project in Odense, just like we’ve had projects in Aarhus and on Zealand as well.”

The modest size of the team at ZENI Architects is entirely on purpose. “We aren’t really looking to expand all that much,” Sørensen explains. “This way, we get to have a sense of community and cohesion here that we can reflect in our builds; we trust and know each other and

Another advantage of being a smaller company is that they are forced to form a strong network within the industry. “We attain a huge amount of knowledge through working with others on some projects and get to expand our horizons

By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: ZENI Architects

“One of the things I like the most about current Danish architecture is the range and freedom of expression in buildings that people have come to expect,” Sørensen notes. “That works really well with our principle that the buildings we work on shouldn’t primarily express a particular ‘look’ of our office. Instead, its architectural identity should be centred on the environment, people and function it’ll serve. Each building should therefore be unique.” This view seems to work: buildings by ZENI Architects have won 56  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

can play off one another’s strengths and, importantly, the same people are given the space to work on projects from the beginning right through to the end.”

and been nominated for several architecture prizes both locally and internationally – yet the company only consists of ten employees.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

and skills that way. When we were working on our first library, for example, we learnt a lot from our colleagues who’d just built another award-winning one. They were very much up on the current trends and could give us tips on specific requirements.” The company also goes on study trips abroad with other southern Jutland architects in order to expand their horizons and bring in new techniques, ideas and materials to work with. “It’s always great to see new examples of what can work – and sometimes what really doesn’t work – and to get different perspectives on our trade,” Sørensen enthuses.

Form and functionality When they become involved in a project, ZENI Architects work closely with the client and get to know the site and its surroundings to ensure that the building will contribute to and not subtract from the feel of the local neighbourhood. When possible, the architects also bring in those who will be using the finished building. “In the last few years, we’ve worked on a range of Danish Adult Education Centres (VUC) including in

Aabenraa, Tønder and Sønderborg. For projects such as these, it is both possible and advantageous to listen to the particular needs of teachers, current students and other users. The building should reflect the school’s teaching principles and its curriculum and help to guide and inspire the students.” One of the company’s most recent examples of the coming together of unusual materials, functions and the environment is the FlowFactory building in Haderslev. The building’s hard, rustcoloured exterior evokes the harbour front’s industrial past while its fluid forms and huge glass front make the most of the building’s seaside location. Inside, the space is light, airy and multifaceted to accommodate the project-based work, entrepreneurship and creativity that the FlowFactory’s future and digital studies courses will require. The building allows for large changes to be made in the future to fit in any unforeseen changes in requirements that the changing world may throw upon it. As a recognition of the architectural integration of FlowFactory’s cutting-edge approach to teaching, the project has recently been awarded the

Flowfactory interior.

Mind factory by ECCO.

VUC Haderslev, Lighthouse interior. Photo: Adam Mørk

Lighthouse exterior. Photo: Adam Mørk

prestigious School Building of the Year Award 2017 in Denmark. FlowFactory is next door to another building by ZENI Architects, Lighthouse, the straight white lines and varying angles of which show off an equally striking but entirely different take on a modern and elegant centre for education. “We’ve been really lucky to be part of a development in attitude amongst the general population, which has come to appreciate the importance of space in influencing behaviour and challenging conventions,” Sørensen ponders. “That can easily be seen in educational facilities, where we’re changing from enclosed small classrooms to open, varied spaces that allow for individuality and creativity. It’s also reflected more broadly in architecture, however: buildings are becoming much more expressive and individualised. That’s a broad trend across Denmark and abroad but, paradoxically, that trend is all about nonconformity. It’s very exciting,” he concludes.


Mind factory by ECCO.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  57

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The future of universities and campus sites Universities used to be considered academic, introverted villages. JUUL | FROST Architects have made it their mission to change that. To design what they believe should be the future, they have studied universities and campus sites around the world for more than 15 years. Their masterpiece is the award-winning project in Örebro, Sweden. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Felix Gerlach

Örebro University is a relatively young university. Up until 2010, it was considered a typical academic village with no real exchange with the city, its citizens or businesses. The students would take part in the lectures, but it was not a place they wanted to use for much more than that. So when JUUL | FROST Architects 58  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

won the right to design the university’s new arrival area on campus, they saw the chance to, together with Örebro University, reach out to the outside world and invite the city in through a new arrival situation: a new campus square, a new business school, research and student accommodation and urban functions.

“Before, there was no indication that Örebro was a university city, so we wanted to integrate the city with the university. The aim was to create a joint identity for the two units and make them see that they could benefit from each other. We were given the opportunity to lay out a master plan, where we could think both parties into the project and secure the future of the university,” explains Helle Juul, founding partner and CEO at JUUL | FROST Architects. For a firm specialised in city spaces, landscapes, building structure, research and development, the task at Örebro was

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

almost a dream scenario, where they could put all these abilities to good use. “This task embraced all of our skills and expertise. Still, it was very important to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders, as we wanted everyone’s input on what they were looking for in a new university and campus site,” says Juul.

we are looking for. We have glass boxes, for instance, where we can see that some of the students come early in the morning to get a spot. The rooms stimulate you and, ultimately, make you want to spend time at the university and campus site,” says Flemming Frost, the other founding partner and CEO at the firm.

An unpretentious atmosphere

50 of the accommodation units are reserved for researchers who come to stay at the university for a limited time. The rooms are located right in the middle of everything, with the intention of making the researchers feel welcome and included from day one. “Unpretentiousness is a keyword. No matter if you want to join an activity or sit by yourself, the entire area has been designed with the hope of creating a feeling of belonging.

JUUL | FROST Architects decided to make the open area in front of Örebro University the heart of the place, so it became the new arrival area. Student and research accommodation was created and space was made for restaurants and cafés as well as a bookstore. “We can’t design people or build a specific feeling, but we can create the rooms, which will hopefully help to create the atmosphere

Örebro University and campus area: Name: Örebro University and campus area. Assignment: Campus arrival area: business school, campus square and researcher and student accommodation. Location: Örebro, central Sweden. Status: The new arrival area was finished in 2017 – more student accommodation is still in the making. Surface area: Business School of   9,300 square metres, researcher and student accommodation of 4,200 square metres, campus square 2,500 square metres. Style of enterprise: Total enterprise. Amount of enterprise: 500 million SEK Builder: Örebroporten / ØBO / BEHRN

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

The rooms are not strict and formal, but open, warm and welcoming. This way, we hope to increase the stimulation of the students,” says Juul.

A dynamic life The new campus site has changed life at the university. It has gone from an academic and introvert village to a dynamic campus that everyone can be a part of. It is a university where the students also want to spend time outside opening hours, so to speak. JUUL | FROST Architects won the Örebro Municipality’s City Prize for their design as well as a Special Mention Award 2014 from BuildingSMART International for their achievement in demonstrating the tangible benefits of open BIM (Building Information Modelling). However, what matters more is the way the university and campus site has been received by those who use it on a daily basis. 60  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Profile: - JUUL | FROST Architects is a limited company with its main office in Copenhagen and a daughter company in Sweden, JUUL | FROST Arkitekter AB. The office comprises around 30 employees with different disciplinary backgrounds and works throughout Scandinavia. - They work with an international, challenging and vitalising approach. Their ambition is to challenge, develop, and be a credible sounding board in all their collaborations. - Through a holistic approach to projects, the office has, for more than 30 years, developed projects within all scales, from large-scale planning, new city and housing developments,

and urban spaces to educational facilities, office spaces and housing. - The holistic approach is specifically expressed in specialised development areas:  City + Space + Landscape Building + Built structure Research + Development - Their mission is to create visions: proposals for how people can live together in the future. Whether it is urban, building or landscape architecture, their vision is always based on a pragmatic, thorough and methodical analysis of the present – on a thorough understanding of the clients’ and the projects’ preconditions.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

“It has become a place where you can share knowledge. The researchers get involved with the students, who get involved with those who come from the city. Education today is not just learning everything there is to know about your niche; it’s when you meet other people and exchange knowledge that you learn that there are many aspects of your particular field of study. We have created a space where you want to learn – a space where you feel you’re missing out on something if you’re not there,” explains Frost, before Juul adds: “It’s all about having a place you want to go and spend time, so instead of sitting in a café in the city centre you come to the university and take a cup of coffee there, or you go to a lecture or a concert in the auditorium. You can use it as a city, but on the conditions of the university; you know you are a visitor, but no one looks down on you. It’s about creating a dualism between the city and the university, and that’s what we’ve done.” Web: Facebook: Juul Frost Arkitekter

Current projects: - At the moment, JUUL | FROST Architects are working on complex planning tasks as well as comprehensive residential and commercial buildings in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. - In Denmark, housing projects are being conducted at Værløse Air Base, Ørestaden, Amager Strandvej as well as the residential and commercial development area Munkebjerg Park in Odense. - In Sweden, the architectural firm is developing the ambitious World Trade Centre in Helsingborg with both hotels and offices. They are also working on the housing projects Aktern, Nanna and Roth in Malmö as well as the development projects KungSängen and Årsta Torg in Uppsala. - In Norway, JUUL | FROST Architects are working on development strategies for Forus Næringspark in Stavanger among other projects.

Photo: JUUL | FROST Architects

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  61

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

Creating reinvigorating architecture Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, is going through a citywide transformation in which new buildings are springing up and old neighbourhoods are being renovated and reenergised. Eriksen Arkitekter is at the forefront of these new developments, creating new student houses and private homes where the focus is on the use of the building. Translation: Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Eriksen Arkitekter

Near Aarhus University, Eriksen’s Arkitekter are involved in numerous projects to redevelop and beautify the local area, which at the moment is characterised by a mismatch of buildings and large roads. Situated close to the university, the centre of Aarhus and the E45 motorway, it is an area of great potential. Eriksen Arkitekter have already finished 18 two-room apartments, perfect for sharing, with balconies, shared roof terraces and gardens. The buildings have been drawn and constructed to 62  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

fit in to the local environment and are innovative in their design with a bright staircase behind a glass wall, while the outside is clad in STENI façade panels in five nuances, giving the building a look that changes throughout the day. Importantly, the architecture Eriksen Arkitekter create is there to last, to be functional and to fit in. When a building is surrounded by roads, it needs to be able to stand up to that environment as well as be comfortable for the people living in it – a balance that Eriksen have become experts at.

New projects An 18,000-square-metre project is underway close to the university on Randersvej, in which terraced houses and apartment buildings will form a frame around a large green communal space. The aim of the firm was to create architecture that really increases the quality of life in the local area. The buildings were designed to last and to still look good for many years to come – innovative design mixed with functionality. This new project will comprise 13 apartment buildings with three to six floors in each, as well as 15 terraced houses with two floors. They will be finished with grey slate and a slanting roof that will vary from house to house, to create the dramatic illusion of a mountain chain. The slate will also be used in hallways and windows to create a pattern. Certain pieces of slate will be omitted from the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

pattern to let the light in and create a special ambience inside the building.

Illustration of the Randersvej development.

The houses will stand out and reinvigorate Randersvej, a road where good and exciting architecture has not been at the forefront of local plans. Eriksen Arkitekter’s use of high-quality materials in new and exciting ways will make this area stand out, ultimately creating an exciting new urban environment.

Thinking practically These new houses and apartments are not just beautiful to look at, but also practical. Beneath the green communal square is a large parking lot, and the homes range in size to accommodate singles as well as families. “It’s important to us that we’re creating something that has something for everyone, as it will create a better living environment in the long run.” The communal space is framed off from the hustle and bustle of the local roads, making it an attractive place to spend the afternoon or barbecue in the evening. The area will boast wonderful greenery and a playground as well as other outdoor activities, making it a space that will ultimately bring more life to the area. Most importantly, the firm must create something of high quality, and something that makes a local area better and more attractive. The buildings need to be able to last and age beautifully while

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  63

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

fitting into the context of the local area. Whatever project the firm is working on, they do their utmost to create a building that challenges them as architects, and where the focus is on the details. FACTS: Eriksen Arkitekter M.A.A is part of Eriksen Group A/S. Eriksen Group are specialists within project development and aesthetic and durable architecture, as well as entrepreneurship and financing. Eriksen Group A/S also includes Eriksen Enterprise A/S, Eriksen Development A/S and Eriksen Projektudvikling (project development) A/S and has been part of the industry since 1985. Web:

64  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

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Points of view – rare projects by architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk Despite being a small architecture firm based in Oslo, Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s work is both highly ranked and awarded internationally, and his rare and time-consuming projects range from designing solutions for dangerous tourist attractions to extravagant concrete homes. By Line Elise Svanevik

Established in 1992, Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s office works across a range of projects, including everything from simple design and interior projects to building and planning works for bigger developments, including complex ventures in interdisciplinary teams. 66  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Norway’s third most visited tourist attraction The Oslo-based architect firm has designed one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions, Vøringsfossen, which is a highly complex waterfall project and a work still in progress. The proposal for

the area surrounding the waterfall was drawn by Hølmebakk and his team back in 2008. “It’s been a proper marathon project,” says Hølmebakk. “We won the competition almost ten years ago, where we were up against five other offices – and it’s taken several years to plan it.” The actual construction work for the waterfall area started in 2015 and is projected for completion in 2023, which means that the planning stage stretched over seven years and the construction stage over eight years. “There are sever-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

al reasons for this – firstly, because the building season is relatively short and, secondly, because it’s a very complicated project, involving working along the cliff edges, wearing harnesses the whole time,” Hølmebakk explains.

Top left: The wheels were put in motion for the waterfall project back in 2008. Photo: Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. Below left: The waterfall project that is due for completion in 2023 has several viewpoints from the area that has already opened to visitors. Photo: Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. Top right: Vøringfossen is Norway’s third most visited tourist attraction. Photo: Per Bertnsen. Bottom right: The most difficult part of the Vøringfossen waterfall area was to make it safe and secure for visitors. Photo: Per Bertnsen

Securing the waterfall The areas covered by the project include a visitor’s centre, a stairway bridge over the waterfall, several look-out points and service facilities. A large part of the job is also to secure the area, as there have been several reported accidental deaths from the old look-out points, even in the time that the project has been running. “It’s pretty astonishing that this area, which is one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions, allows you to just Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  67

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

and has been a work in progress for almost five years. “We built it for a young couple who got in touch with us back in 2006. They’re not architects, but they are very interested in modern architecture. Their dream house was the very famous Villa Riise, located on the other side of the water in Hamar, drawn by Arne Korsmo and Sverre Aasland,” says Hølmebakk. Drawing inspiration from Korsmo and Aasland’s house nearby, Hølmebakk decided to make the windows facing the Mjøsa lake resemble frames, with the view to nature like ever-changing pictures – sometimes seeing the sky, sometimes the lake, and other times the nature. “The style of the windows was architectonically the most important decision,” Hølmebakk insists. “We could have created a whole glass façade, which also would have been nice, but creating these frame-like windows made it very special.”

walk out of the car and let the kids run free. There’s almost no security, which means that people can simply walk out into thin air,” says Hølmebakk. The challenging aspect of designing the waterfall area is that it needs to be secure for the visitors, while at the same time preserving the dramatic and majestic landscape. “You need to still get a head rush when you look down at the waterfall – you don’t want to feel so protected that all the excitement goes away,” Hølmebakk adds. The first part of the area officially opens next spring, although the area has been open for tourists the entire time, even under the construction period. From next spring, however, it will officially be opened as a finished product. The next 68  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

step is the stairway bridge over the waterfall and, lastly, the area south-west of the waterfall will be extended. “A lot of the work has been out in the fields, walking around and registering topography and landscape vegetation very carefully,” explains Hølmebakk. “We go together with land surveyors, lay out a rope and measure it before taking it back in. The work is meticulous – it’s not like when you build a house in the city and you can blow up an area to start with a clean canvas – we need to be respectful of the existing nature and intervene as little as possible.”

The Concrete House Hølmebakk and his team have also designed a residential home in Stange, which is situated near Hamar, Norway,

From the outside, the windows may look like they are randomly placed, but from the inside they peer out from all the main rooms – the kitchen, living room and bedrooms – letting the natural light flood into the house. Due to the generous budget, the architects were able to put up scaffolding and build the main floor, which created a big square of the same height as the main floor would be. “It was a lot easier for us to then say – this is where the living room is, this is where the kitchen, library and TV room will go,” Hølmebakk explains. “It was an incredibly special way to work, and to experience the view and different directions when we stood there high up in the air.”

Contradictory expressions outside and inside The house in Hamar was recently visited by the BBC programme The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, which will air next year, interviewing both the owners of the project and the architect. Hølmebakk is a big fan of concrete houses, explaining that it provides a great deal of opportunities that other materials would not. “Many people think that it looks brutal, but when it’s out in nature, it can be very beautiful,” he explains. “One

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Left: The windows are all placed to look out from the main rooms in the house. Photo: Rickard Riesenfeld. Top right: The Concrete House built in Stange (near Hamar) lies on the shore of Lake Mjøsa, which is the largest freshwater lake in Norway. Photo: Nils Petter Dahle. Below: Although brutal on the outside, the inside is warm and inviting due to the natural light. Photos: Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

of the people from the BBC commented that, although it looks brutal and masculine on the outside, the inside is very warm and light due to the windows. It creates a whole different expression, inside and outside.”

Internationally recognised Although a small company with just six employees in their offices in Bislet, Oslo,

the architect firm has received and been nominated for many of the most prestigious architecture awards in Norway, including the Grosch medal, Houens Fonds Diplom, Treprisen, Betongtavlen (twice) and Statens Byggeskikkpris. They have also been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe award three times, recognised as Europe’s most prestigious architecture award.

In 2016, the Japanese architecture magazine A+U even created an entire monography on the Norwegian firm, containing 28 of the office’s projects, demonstrating that the small but mighty firm has a global reach.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  69

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Norconsult has used its interdisciplinary know-how to create the plan for the Vamma 12 hydropower plant in Norway. Client: E-CO Energi. Architect responsible for the project: Siv.ark.MNAL Nanna Meidell. Architects: Håvard Holm Endresen, Helia Albuquerque, Simon Korsmoe. Visuals: Ing. Waqas Chaudhry.

Solving challenging tasks of the future through interdisciplinary skills As Norway’s leading interdisciplinary advisor, Norconsult aims to solve some of the key problems of the future in fields including energy and hydropower, using natural resources and innovative architectural methods. By Line Elise Svanevik

In a short space of time, Norconsult has become a significant player in architecture. But this is not a new attribution to the company, which currently employs more than 200 staff within its architectural wing; in 2016, they established architecture as a specific market area covering all disciplines. 70  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Award-winning hydropower plant One of their latest projects is the largest Norwegian hydropower plant in a river – Vamma 12, located in Glomma, Østfold. With its paperless approach, Norconsult delivered only digital models with all the required information for building the hydropower plant. “In this particular project,

all detail planning has been achieved in 3D,” explains Nanna Meidell, architect at Norconsult. “We aim to design our most complicated projects in integrated models, working in visual rooms. However, the initial design phase is more often traditional sketching alongside 3D visualisation. By changing our tools, and the way we think, we stretched our boundaries to solve the task we were presented with.” Through a tight-knit collaboration with its programme developers, the company created the perfect programme

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

required for working on the highly challenging hydropower plant, which creates an enormous amount of power using large turbines. “We decided to mix young and experienced architects on the task, to take advantage of the new and forward-thinking minds who arrive readymade for the digital world,” explains Meidell. “We believe that using young architects helps fulfil our corporate social responsibility, which we take very seriously, and we also get the best competence and resources. The younger generation brings a new perspective to the projects and, adding more experienced architects, the process becomes much more efficient.” In November last year, Norconsult and its Vamma 12 project won an international Building Information Modelling (BIM) award in the category Energy and Natural Resources by AEC Excellence Awards in Las Vegas. Competing against 162 submissions from 29 different countries, the Norwegian advisor received the award for its innovative technology in the project.

Taking the client on a virtual journey Through these virtual rooms, Norconsult is able to take the client on a journey us-

ing virtual reality equipment. “We can put on a pair of glasses, sit down on a sofa and look around the room to see if we have any problems – it’s almost science fiction and provides the client with a truly unique way to see the project,” explains market director of architecture, Jens Kvarekvål. “They used to just come to the building site to have a look around, and they might have been surprised by the size or shape of something as they hadn’t seen it previously. Now we can take them straight into the project from day one.” At Norconsult, the architects and engineers collaborate to get a wider understanding of the project, which Kvarekvål strongly believes creates a new mutual understanding between all parties. “It’s not necessarily going to change the architectonic expression, but it changes the process immensely, something the whole industry is very aware of,” says Kvarekvål. “The architect’s role is completely different nowadays, it’s a more integral part of the whole project. Originally, the architect sat down and drew while someone else took care of the building, but now everyone is sitting together – and with lots more information about the project, not just their own field.”

Corporate social responsibility As a sustainable business, Norconsult has a strong urge to build a sustainable society through the use of natural resources. “We’re very conscious of these developments and aware that it is happening around us, so it’s something we’re keen to use our expertise and competence to keep up with,” explains Kvarekvål. With landscape architects focusing on how to handle our changing climate and how to capture and reuse waterfalls, its interior architects focus on sustainable design through healthy indoor air climates by using carpets, curtains and materials that do not release masses of toxins. “We’ve created our own way to contribute to the environment – and if this wasn’t important to us, we wouldn’t be able to do the sort of work we do on such a large scale. Norconsult solves 10,000 projects a year, and the fact that we’re such a big company means that we have an enormous corporate social responsibility,” says Kvarekvål. Web:  &

The hydropower plant in the Glomma river in Norway is the biggest in the country. Client: E-CO Energi. Architect responsible for the project: Siv.ark.MNAL Nanna Meidell. Architects: Håvard Holm Endresen, Helia Albuquerque, Simon Korsmoe. Visuals: Ing. Waqas Chaudhry.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  71

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Tinden Brygge is one of the latest apartment complexes designed by Vindveggen Arkitekter. Photo: Sverre R. Glomnes

No project too big or small for Norwegian architect firm Overlooking the sea and the docklands, the very latest apartment complex built on the Svolvær dock in Lofoten, Norway, by Vindveggen Arkitekter provides breathtaking views and the very latest design by the incredibly versatile architects who can draw up a detached house as well as a swimming pool complex.

supporting local industry, currently housing the entrepreneurial company Secora, which specialises in the diving industry.

By Line Elise Svanevik

As an architecture firm based in Lillestrøm – consisting of 14 employees, 12 of which are architects – Vindveggen caters for a broad spectrum, including swimming pools, nurseries, schools, detached houses, apartment complexes and care homes. “The only thing we haven’t done yet is an airport or a hospital,” explains Glomnes.

With 20 apartments featuring all different sizes over six floors – despite a consistently generous floor-to-ceiling height of 2.7 metres – the new building features an underfloor water heating system, which heats up the flats in a more environmentally friendly way and makes a welcome, comfortable change from traditional radiators. CEO Martin Glomnes explains that the quality of the flats, which were completed 72  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

at the end of 2016, is outstanding. “There are glass-enclosed balconies that shield the residents from the weather, which can be quite rough near the seafront. Facing east towards the quay, the balconies extend the season for use as the glazing means that they can be enjoyed all year round.” There are two floors of parking spaces located within the Tinden Brygge building, in addition to an office on the ground floor

A wide spectrum

He adds that it is incredibly humbling to be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and to try to understand the challenges they face. “It’s a privilege to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

do it, and to cater for so many different types of buildings is very exciting. The big projects often go on for a very long time and are quite heavy, but then you get the private, smaller houses where we have a lot of contact with the owners, and it’s easier to put forward our own thoughts and ideas,” he says.

Low carbon footprint One of the latest projects Vindveggen completed was a house in Trøndelag, focusing very consciously on leaving the smallest possible carbon footprint – a true passion of the firm. “We wanted it to be a smaller house that solves the task well but isn’t extravagant in size,” explains Glomnes. “The most important thing we can do for the environment is to create smaller houses, but the reality

is that many people want bigger houses, which makes it tricky,” he laughs. Together with his team, Glomnes focused on natural light through a band of windows that stretches around the entire house and its annex. “We’ve got a total of nine corner windows, which I believe is a record for us – and this was an important part of the project, as they wanted to be able to enjoy the views in all directions,” he explains. At the other end of the scale, Vindveggen is currently in the process of creating its second swimming pool complex, in collaboration with Nuno Arkitektur in Oslo who specialise in this type of build. The 300-million NOK project in Jessheim came about as a result of successful-

ly collaborating with Nuno on a slightly smaller swimming complex in Årnes, with a budget of 150 million NOK.

Historic name With a historical perspective, the name Vindveggen originates from a wooden fence built between 1909 and 1913 in Svelle, near Lillestrøm, in the river Glomma, Norway’s longest and largest river. The 650-metre-long fence was built from around 4,000 logs that had been knocked three to four metres into the sand and was built to protect logs and wood from the extreme wind, which was the primary industry of the nearby areas. “When we work with the local council, which we do regularly, they see a parallel to our company name, which is really nice,” says Glomnes. Web: Facebook: Vindveggen

Top left: Vindveggen Arkitekter enjoys the diversity of working on a variety of projects. Photo: Terje Solvang. Top right: Working with many different types of builds, Vindveggen Arkitekter believes that no project is too big or too small. Photo: Sverre R. Glomnes. Bottom: Vindveggen Arkitekter designed the detached house Ryggahaugen with the aim of achieving a small carbon footprint. Photo: Maren Loeng Rosten

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  73

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

The wooden townhouses are part of a larger residential complex at Masserud, Lørenskog, consisting of three different housing typologies.

A DARK approach for architecture and sustainability Through planning, design, vision and detail, DARK Architects are at the forefront of the Norwegian architecture industry and can look back at some of the most interesting recent projects in Norway. “In all our design, we always look for added value, to give something back to the city. Architecture is about buildings, but even more so about the people. For us, it is important that the building has a relationship to the city, and to its surroundings,” says Arne Reisegg Myklestad, partner and leader of the urban design team. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Finn Ståle Felberg

Oslo-based DARK Architects is one of Norway’s largest architectural studios, with a big passion for living cities. The team of around 40 architects boasts a large variety of skills, including master planning, urban design, construction design, landscape architecture and interior architecture, as well as furniture design, graphic design and visualisation. As the largest part of the DARK Group, including sister companies ZINC interior ar74  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

chitects and LARK landscape architects, they are today one of the most extensive groups in Norway. “A good process leads to good results. It is therefore important for us to listen to our clients and involve them throughout the project development,” says Myklestad. With one of the most sophisticated and advanced model workshops in the industry, DARK Architects always

work with models to ensure that the client gets to participate from start to finish. “We work in parallel with physical and digital models, keeping the client a part of the project every step of the way. Through the use of drones, we get an accurate feel of the space, making sure that it is as close to the finished structure and environment as possible before starting the build,” he says.

Sustainable green strategy DARK Architects are proud to take a sustainable direction with an approach that minimises harmful effects in accordance with environmentally friendly principles. “We work with the Norwegian Green Building Council, aiming to increase environmental standards in Norwegian buildings. In our design strategy, we have developed a way to implement sus-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

tainable solutions in all our projects,” explains Myklestad. “When we look internationally, we have an advantage in using wood and natural materials, something we learnt from the rich Norwegian landscape,” he continues. “Another important element is democratic design. When we work in Germany, a similar country to Norway in many ways, our ideas about creating transparency, inclusivity and democratic city concepts have been positively received.”

Skatepark with a modern expression This year, DARK Architects has been nominated for an award at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Berlin with the impressive design for Oslo Skatehall, an important new feature in the Norwegian capital. This 2,300-square-metre indoor skate park located on a sloping site near central Oslo is a salute to youthful values with its simple and modern expression. The architectural concept was based on the idea that the usage as a skateboarding arena should be reflected in the volume and expression. The main volumes and façade composition of the

building is therefore inspired by skateboard elements and their dynamic formal language.

portant, yet underused urban space that offers little to its surroundings; and an institution with enormous spatial needs.

The structure is cladded with aluminium panels punctured by a pattern of Morse code symbols, revealing a literal transcription of the 1978 Norwegian law forbidding the use, sale and advertising of skateboards – a ban that was lifted in 1989, resulting in a big boost to the skateboard community. The same pattern can also be found in the interior, with Morse code translations of slang terms and expressions.

Established in 1988, and with a name that has become a bit of a trademark in the industry, the old firm is now in the middle of a generational shift. “Since the majority of the founders no longer work here, we focus on young talents. This is a heavy industry often ruled by older men, and we are determined to bring in new impulses and redefine what DARK Architects is,” says Myklestad. “In the same way that we create democratic architecture, we also work with a democratic structure internally. Each project deserves the best solution, and whether this idea comes from someone senior or someone new makes no difference. It is important that everyone is involved and that the best idea is cultivated in the best possible way.”

New visions “It is important for us to be a part of the public debate, something we are doing by writing, publishing and engaging in discussions around urban development,” says Myklestad. DARK Architects have taken an active role in creating a new vision for the future of the National Theatre in Oslo, with a visionary sketch where the theatre is seen in a bigger public context. They believe the National Theatre’s challenges are threefold: a historic building with pressing maintenance needs; an im-

Web: Facebook: DARK Arkitekter Twitter: @darkarkitekter Instagram: @darkarkitekter

Top left: In their visionary study for the Norwegian National Theatre, DARK argues that this important institution can contribute to increased urban life by bringing its spectacle to the city. Bottom left: In Oslo harbour, the Fish Market demonstrates the beauty of simplicity as it connects the city and the sea. Right: The sculptural structure of the raised skate bowl at Oslo Skatehall is a piece of wooden beauty.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  75

Poetic situationism in bright and airy spaces Norwegian architect Askill Voll focuses on poetic situationism through large light surfaces that open up rooms – not only to the immediate surrounding landscape, but to the ever-changing nature of the sky. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Askill Voll

Inspired by the western Norwegian landscape, the Stavanger-based architecture firm led by Voll develops several types of buildings, including private homes, cabins, schools and commercial buildings. The home (displayed on this page) – designed many years ago in the ‘90s in Sandnes, Rogaland – is a project he believes defines his work as an architect. 76  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

“If you look at the façade and the outer form of this building, you see a reference to the western Norwegian landscape. You have the steep hills out towards the sea, with rocks and reefs, and then there are loose surfaces that go back in towards the countryside,” explains Voll. “That’s the inspiration for the shape of the house – there’s a steep rock facing out towards the sea, and then you’ve got

the natural materials with grass on the roof and the natural stone roof tiles on the front. What happens when you have a steep surface like this is that you get a lot of sky and light to fall into the room and past it – and this is central to all of my projects: to take in lots of light, which makes the rooms bright and airy, creating a contact with the sky.” Voll believes that the most animated part of the landscape is the constant changes in the sky, which is why he focuses on large light surfaces that do not simply take in the solid landscape but as much of the above as possible.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

the outside space to be tied to the inside space – this is central to my architecture. I want there to be a lively collaboration with the landscape through weather, wind, sun, seasons and changes in daylight,” explains Voll.



Architecture reflecting weather and seasons Voll has also designed a cabin outside of Stavanger (pictured above), displaying an active form that relates to different directions and spaces in the landscape, as seen in the floor plan. “I also created

“The building must have an active relationship to these elements in the landscape, and the power of them. What happens when the architecture features these traits is that the people who use the spaces will experience themselves as more active parts of the elements and the nature of the landscape. It has a sort of opening effect – to be in the landscape and to experience oneself in it.” Voll adds that the design process for these types of private homes and cab-

ins relies heavily on the influence of the people who are going to live in them. “The owners are always incredibly involved – we sit down and discuss how they prioritise their own activities, and there are a lot of things that go into what makes the final product,” he says. His focus on poetic situationism can be described as an extended amplifier and the essence of experiencing reality. “It’s an unachievable goal, but it simply means striving to make things that help people experience reality in a more intense way. You can do it through music, text, sculptures and architecture. It’s not a style category – it’s a method that creates something.” Web:

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

The Tosvoll holiday home was built in the exact spot where a previous holiday home had been knocked down. Photo: Haakon Nordvik.

Contextual buildings – designing houses for areas With a versatile approach to architecture within the county of Rogaland, Norway, and the southern part of Hordaland, Vikanes Bungum Arkitekter designs homes, cabins, schools, churches, hospitals and everything in between. By Line Elise Svanevik

With an age range from old to young, and an equal ratio of men and women – something the owner, Nils I. Vikanes, has tried to uphold throughout his 25 years of being in the game – the firm Vikanes Bungum Arkitekter believes in designing contextual buildings. “We try to stick to modern architecture, but it has to fit within the context – whether that’s an urban one or a rural one, the surroundings will always lay the foundation for our architecture,” explains Vikanes. 78  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

When working on rural projects, the team focuses primarily on using natural materials such as untreated wood and natural stone. In more urban city architecture, they use brushed bricks and treated wood panels.

Designing houses with strict guidelines One of their holiday home projects in Tosvoll, which was completed three years ago, was designed after the pre-

vious holiday home on the premises was torn down. “The local government had given us clear instructions on the size and placement of the house, so it was sort of a rebuild of the shell that was left from the old building, but with a completely new shape and expression,” explains Vikanes. “The style is very modern but, at the same time, it has a clear resemblance to the more traditional architecture – however, the details and use of materials make it very modern.”

Salvation Army project Not their most typical project, the Salvation Army commissioned Vikanes Bungum to design a building that was going to be used as housing for drug ad-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

dicts and homeless people. “We had to make it very robust, which left us with the challenge of making it durable but not institution-like,” says Vikanes. “I feel like we managed to make it a home.”

public. We’re mainly concerned with the architecture fitting within the context of the area,” says Vikanes. Additionally, an

area of expertise for the team of 12 is the rehabilitation of older maritime buildings typical of the west coast.

With a connecting stair lift between the new building and the existing one next door, which was also redesigned by Vikanes’ team, the style is very modern, yet also very different from the existing architecture in the area. “It still fits into the urban area due to it being of roughly the same size as the existing buildings,” Vikanes adds.

Conscious of the environment The architects are also concerned with creating environmentally friendly buildings, and are currently in the process of designing new passive houses using very low levels of energy – much lower than the strict new requirements. “We create them in collaboration with a larger technical team that calculates the energy consumption, and we include more insulation and efficient solutions for windows,” says the owner. The southern Norwegian architecture firm designs detached houses, cabins and apartment complexes equally well as they take on a school, church or hospital, and they enjoy working in the public sector as much as in the private. “We take all kinds of jobs – big, small, private, About Vikanes Bungum Arkitekter Established: In 2006, carrying on from the previous company Vikanes that was established in 1993. Area: Offices in Haugesund, Norway, working across Rogaland and southern Hordaland. Employees: 12 employees – six men and six women. Style: Modern, yet adaptable to the surroundings and needs of the customer. Types of buildings: Houses, cabins, holiday homes, hospitals, churches, apartment complexes, care homes, car dealerships, shopping centres and much more. Web:

Top and middle: Vikanes Bungum created housing for addicts and homeless people on behalf of the Salvation Army. Photos: Ingarth Skjærstad. Bottom: Adhering to a strict set of regulations with regards to size and placement, Vikanes Bungum solved the holiday home project in Tosvoll well. Photo: Haakon Nordvik.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  79

Oslo Airport is the first airport building in the world to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Nordic — Office of Architecture’s signature flow aids travellers and patients worldwide One of the largest architectural practices in Scandinavia, Nordic — Office of Architecture always places people at the heart of everything they do. Whether the task at hand is an airport in Oslo or a psychiatric institution in Trondheim, part of their company DNA is to implement a bullet-proof methodology to meet every client’s needs. By Pernille Johnsen  |  Photos: Nordic — Office of Architecture

In large-scale projects, such as hospitals and airports, it is easy to view the building as a logistical machine that simply moves people through a multitude of check-points. This is the opposite of what Nordic aims to do; they construct buildings where the patient, air traveller or pupil is consistently in focus and the structure is built to accommodate their needs. One example is St. Olavs Hospital, 80  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

where the effortless flow necessary for the patient’s recovery is a built-in feature at the Mobility Centre. Also present at St. Olavs Hospital is the Knowledge Centre, a joint venture between the hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which hosts treatment rooms, a library and study rooms to name a few. This is a new approach in Norwegian healthcare and

acts as an example of how constructing and developing something differently is a welcomed change.

Identify, understand and solve – a method of merit In order to deliver such large projects, Nordic has adopted a method that aids the practice in solving assignments of all sizes. First, the team identifies the essence of the task, where aspects such as topography, history and sustainability are analysed and accounted for. What is the client actually asking for? When the essence of the project is established, a range of viewpoints and scenarios for various

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

concepts are developed using sketches, illustrations and 3D-printed models. At this point, everyone involved should be able to visually imagine the project. John Arne Bjerknes, partner and design director at Nordic, emphasises how important it is to map out several ways of solving a task and not jump to the first and most obvious conclusion. This is a key feature in the quality-conscious culture Nordic has fostered.

Expertise across generations Nordic has been specialising in the planning and designing of complex structures for years and has acquired substantial expertise in-house. Still, the practice is proactive and brings in external personnel when necessary to get the project just right. Nordic — Office of Architecture is a firm with around 150 employees, mostly based in Oslo but also in offices in Copenhagen and London. There is noticeable diversity among the employees as the firm consciously hires recent graduates and architects with just a few years of experience and deems it essential to nurture new talent. Bjerknes explains that it is just as important to spot talent and potential as heavy expertise, as this

leads to a multi-generational office with an array of different knowledge pools.

Straightforward airports come to fruition The impressive portfolio of current projects by Nordic includes the expansion of Oslo Airport, finalised in April 2017 and hailed as the blueprint for future airports at least partly due to it being the first airport building in the world to recieve a BREEAM Excellent ranking. The expansion has increased capacity from 20 to 32 million passengers per year, and the core principle of placing the passenger at the centre and providing an innate, simple way to get an overview of where to go, is very much present and creates that signature flow evident in Nordic’s architecture. Previously, Nordic was a key player in the expansion of Istanbul New Airport. Additionally, a new terminal at Bergen Airport, Flesland, and an accompanying airport hotel opened in the summer of 2017. Add to that three schools, a psychiatric institution in Trondheim and a nursing home in Asker all recently opened, and a veritable flurry of projects in various phases of production and you get an idea of how sought after Nordic’s expertise is.

Bergen Airport - the recently opened Gateway to the Fjords.

St. Olavs Hospital, where the intriguing Mobility Centre is located.

One of Nordic’s recently completed schools, in Voss, Norway.

Web: Facebook: nordicooa

Bergen Airport - entrance.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  81

Breivikveien 41 consists of three semi-detached houses, built after tearing down an existing warehouse in a residential area.

Architecture focusing on the human dimension Through its meticulous work outlining the different stages of family life – from having young children, to teenagers and adults who move out and perhaps years later come back to take over the house – architecture firm Boxs focuses on the human aspect of architecture through a lifetime.

more independent. Eventually, when they get older, they can live in the flat while the kids take over the main house – as a sort of generational home.”

By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Boxs

A chain of houses

The Asker-based company feels passionate about the needs of the people they design houses for – and not just the needs they have today or in ten years. Their diligent research and thought process spans a whole generation, which is how they create exceptionally welltailored solutions for their clients. “We often start with families who build houses when the kids are young,” explains Pieter Paul Furnée, CEO of Nor82  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

wegian architecture firm Boxs. “What do these people need? Well, they might need all the bedrooms close together – and they might not need too much space, so it’s ideal to have a part of the house to rent out if you’re going through a phase where the finances aren’t properly established yet. From then, they can grow within the house – the kids will grow up and eventually the flat downstairs can be used as a separate living room, or as a bedsit for a teenager who wants to be

Examples of their residential properties include Project Breivikveien 31, which consists of three semi-detached houses in a villa-style terrace. “It was an impossible plot of land to work with: there was a warehouse on the flat part of the plot, and the owner wanted us to see what we could build instead of that, as it was right in the middle of a residential area,” explains Furnée. Tearing down the warehouse, the architects decided not to build on the flat

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

space as it would make a better garden area; so they focused their attention on the hillside. “It was somewhere we could find a new solution that others couldn’t see – so we focused on the surrounding nature and views to create functional solutions for how to get out in the nature through roof terraces and direct access to the garden on different levels,” he adds.

Efficient planning solutions On another long plot of land is Project Veslelia 13, built in Kunstnerdalen in Asker and finished in 2012, which required careful consideration due to the area’s cultural history and need for preservation. “We built a long house with a secondary building attached to it, meaning that the house is divided into

different volumes,” says Furnée. “It’s a clever and efficient layout, because it appears as a complete house and not separate entities – and that’s what we’re very focused on achieving.”

Preserving family history At the other end of the scale was Project Vollenveien 36, which required creative thinking due to the existing house, originally drawn by the current owner’s father. “He didn’t want to touch the house that his dad had drawn as an architect, so we decided to make a separate building over two floors, which was very successful,” Furnée adds. “We built the secondary building at a considerable distance from the original house, leaving them with an inner courtyard that provided a nice interaction between the old and the new. It also

created lovely outside spaces, both on the ground level and for the roof terrace.” Furnée continues to add that the materials used for Vollenveien 36 create a warm atmosphere within the house. At the same time, the natural light and views reflect all the projects that Boxs specialises in. Despite being a modern architecture firm, Boxs is keen on adjusting to the needs of the customer. “We don’t get approached by customers who want an old-fashioned crow’s castle – we mostly do modern buildings with tight details, efficient layouts and good adjustments to the terrain they’re built in, so you have a good connection between the interior and exterior. Roof terraces are often used in our projects. By using the roof as an outdoor space, we bring an additional quality to the house, such as good sun and light conditions with easy access from the indoors, and it also provides great views of the surroundings and the landscape,” says Furnée. Web:

Top left: A glass corridor connects the old house with the new attachment, and also gives access to the outdoor spaces in between. Top right: The starting point of Vollenveien 36 was to preserve the existing house, while at the same time creating a new building to go with it. Bottom left: Interior with a great glass wall giving good light, openness and view to the existing house. Bottom right: Designed with a secondary building attached to it, Velselia 13’s layout is both clever and efficient.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Løe Storhaugen is currently featured in an exhibition at the National Museum in Oslo. Photo: Espen Folgeroe.

Respectful architecture – noticing what is already there The young and dynamic architect firm OPA FORM based in Bergen, Norway, focuses on drawing houses that complement the surrounding landscape. Rather than starting with a blank canvas, they let the historical and natural context guide and inspire their projects.

have some self-initiated projects that the local governments have supported,” explains Bauer.

By Line Elise Svanevik

One of these projects, the barn Løe Storhaugen, is situated in the popular skiing resort Myrkdalen near Voss, and the project is currently featured in the exhibition A Place to Be. Contemporary Norwegian Architecture 2011-2016 at the National Museum in Oslo. The barn forms part of a larger project, initiated by the architects themselves, exploring how the many decaying, old barns in the area may possibly regain a purpose and new life in the future.

OPA FORM wants to emphasise the quality of what is already there – they do not necessarily blow up an existing knoll. Although strongly inspired by traditional construction history, the firm is equally focused on being innovative and adaptable – realising that the design process can take many different turns as it progresses. “The world is constantly evolving, which is why we have to be adaptable,” says CEO Marina Bauer. “We design houses for both the city centre and the countryside, al84  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

ways being respectful of our environment – whether that’s nearby architecture and historical buildings in the city, or a stone formation in the rural countryside. We always start our work by thoroughly researching the surrounding area.” With between four and six members of staff, the six-year-old company works broadly towards the private market and property developers, in addition to the public. “We work throughout the scale, from small to large projects. We also

Restoring an abandoned barn

The shape and expression of Løe Storhaugen is largely preserved, add-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

ing a new internal accommodation module built in wood, and a new threedimensional window to the original façade. The window provides the interior of the module with ample natural light and an impressive view of the valley. By adding these new elements, the barn is given a new identity and function. The barn is open for tourists to stay overnight. People from all over the world come to visit the place, which is situated near the ski lifts in Myrkdalen. They stay for a night or two, enjoying an escape from everyday life. The project is hailed as innovative and spectacular and has garnered much attention due to its design and use of local wood and wool. “We bring a lot of attention to designing and building sustainably. That is also why we’re passionate about traditional construction history. There is great value in prior knowledge

and practices used when designing for this particular climate and weather,” says Bauer. “We want our materials and shapes to grow into their surroundings, providing timeless architecture.” OPA FORM’s work primarily spans Norway’s western coast, but they also have projects across Finland and Sweden – which is where Bauer is originally from. “We’re definitely a Nordic office,” she adds. “It takes time, from the drawing and designing stages to the actual construction of a house, so considering that we’re such a young company, we’ve already become quite visible.”

A rural home adapted to a knoll The detached house Vassteigen was selected as one of the Norwegian projects exhibited at the Nordic pavilion of the Venice Biennale – a prestigious art exhibition in Venice. The house was drawn with nature as a main focal point. Throughout

the design process, OPA FORM revealed the qualities of the landscape. “Being respectful of nature is something we emphasise in every single project. It doesn’t mean we never interfere with it, but we always aim to carefully consider the existing elements,” Bauer explains. The family who had bought the plot where Vassteigen is built had contacted a range of architects prior to speaking to OPA FORM, and every single one of them had suggested blowing up the site’s existing knoll to provide a flat building plot. “It was a complicated starting point, but luckily the family also saw the potential in keeping the knoll and adapt to the natural qualities of the site,” says the CEO. “They got a house adapted to their specific needs as a family, and to the natural qualities of what was already there.” Web:

Top left: Having had the interior completely revamped, Løe Storhaugen is now hailed as a spectacular place to stay. Photo: Espen Folgeroe. Middle left: Despite the lack of water and electricity, tourism at Løe Storhaugen is booming. Photo: Rune Sævig. Bottom left: The Løe Storhaugen project preserved the façade of the barn while adding a three-dimensional window. Photo: Finn Borrows. Top right: Working closely with the owners, OPA FORM pays great attention to the needs of the people who will live there. Photo: Pål Hoff. Bottom right: OPA FORM designed this rural detached home by being respectful of its surrounding landscape. Photo: Espen Folgeroe

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Residential home Villa H in Førde focused on achieving a low carbon footprint.

Expressing the modern age through architecture Due to recent societal trends and a public lack of knowledge when it comes to the quality of buildings that focus mainly on function and economy, Xform Arkitekter in Førde has decided to invest in and develop their very own projects, which showcase what architecture and aesthetic quality can do – for the end-user, for the owners and for wider society. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: David Zadig

The compact but multifaceted company recently finished a multi-functional building in Førde’s town centre, which was intended to be part of the town’s new development and image. Situated in a quarter known for its new concept of glaciers and mountains, where urban life meets natural surroundings, Ullsentralen is a 86  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

4,500-square-metre building catering for business and residential needs. “We own 25 per cent of the stocks and developed the project, which is pretty unusual considering we also drew it,” explains CEO Svein Torsnes. “With architecture playing the main part, we’ve been

able to provide a quality we normally wouldn’t achieve if we were working for someone else.” The building is made up of offices over two floors and private homes over the remaining three. Torsnes describes it as “a modern architectural building”, which relates to the existing architectural shapes of the location, featuring playful shapes aimed to make the town’s image more dynamic, lively and warm. Xform started the works on Ullsentralen in 2013 and spent the previous year planning it. “Our feedback has been mostly great – I’d say most people are very positive to it,” Torsnes adds.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Low carbon footprint On the other end of the scale is a private residential house known as Villa H, which was built on a steep hillside with the brief of a very small carbon footprint. With just over 200 square metres spread out over three floors, Villa H is specifically tailored to its surroundings and features an exceptionally high quality both internally and externally. Finished in 2016, after the initial works started two years prior, the house is located in an old apple garden in Øvre Fossheim, Førde. The view overlooks the fjord and the project received an award from the Førde Council in 2016.

Working broadly Running an architecture firm in a small municipality, Xform must be at the top of their game. With one interior architect in

addition to five full-time architects, the company works broadly to maximise their time. “We normally work within the county of Sogn og Fjordane, but we also go a bit further, to Hordaland – and we’ve recently worked on a project in Porsgrunn, where we bought plots of land and sold them with a clause saying that we would draw the houses,” Torsnes explains. By both developing and drawing houses, 40 per cent of Xform’s work comes from their own initiated projects, with 60 per cent being from projects they design for other clients. For this reason, the multipurpose architect firm is thriving, despite being located in a town inhabiting only 10,000 people. Additionally, the firm is currently developing three new projects and always looking for exciting new ventures where the architecture can play a bigger part.

Villa H What: A compact residential home created with a minimal carbon footprint and with views overlooking the fjord. Where: Førde, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. Completion: 2016. Size: 204 square metres.

Ullsentralen What: Office and housing in Førde – part of the quarter’s glacier and mountain concept, created with the aim of being part of the new face of Førde. Where: Førde, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. Completion: Summer 2017. Size: 4,500 square metres.


Top left: As part of the quarter’s concept glaciers and mountains, Ullsentralen features playful shapes that aim to add a dynamic element to the town. Top middle: A modern building, the new Ullsentralen in Førde’s town centre aims to be part of the town’s new image. Top right: With businesses spread out over two floors, Ullsentralen is a mixed-use development. Bottom left: Xform aims to create architecture that reflects the modern age. Bottom right: The 200-square-metre compact house was built on a steep hillside in Førde.

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Transformation of shopping centre development including hotel, offices, training and health services. Image: SPOL Architects/Tegmark

From São Paulo to Oslo:

Architecture and urbanism across two continents With a view to create more public spaces and buildings that focus strongly on the future – by building cities and countries rather than constructions – the innovative architecture firm SPOL creates urban centres and hotels in Norway, as well as prototype schools in the Amazon rainforest. By Line Elise Svanevik

The two Scandinavian architects Adam Kurdahl and Jens Noach decided to work together despite being located on opposite sides of the world – Norwegian Noach in Oslo, and Danish Kurdahl in São Paulo. “We’ve both been travelling and working in different cities – Vienna, London, Brunei, Rotterdam,” explains Kurdahl. “São Paulo and Oslo are two fascinating cities, where we are living and working at the moment.”

Shaping young countries With a belief that Norway and Brazil are two young countries with many similarities, the architect duo finds both coun88  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

tries intriguing as they are going through change. “The interesting thing for us as architects is that we try to imagine the future and how to shape it,” explains Kurdahl. “Brazil and Norway are in many ways similar countries, both young and taking advantage of their natural resources, and we anticipate building the future in both.” The firm strives to work across different architectural scales and types, as they believe in bespoke solutions and that going too niche can be quite excluding. “That’s what we’ve done in the past and want to focus on in the future – more and

more tasks require you to have knowledge of lots of different types of buildings and complex projects,” explains Noach. “We want to bring many different aspects together, making a greater positive out of different situations.”

A prototype school near the rainforest With 20 employees across the two cities, SPOL is currently revamping the shopping centre Trekanten in Asker, Norway, and also designed the Norwegian First Hotel in Jessheim, close to the Oslo Airport. At the other end of the scale, in a unique project, the architects have drawn a school prototype for the Amazon rainforest, in a place that has had almost no connection to the outside world. “There’s a small community living along the road 270 kilometres from the city of Manaus – it’s a very small community, but growing at an incredible speed,”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

explains Kurdahl. “The school that is currently there is too small, and it is falling apart – it’s not big enough for them. We’re working with NGO Casa do Rio to design a new school, which is a pro bono project. We’re currently crowdfunding it to start the construction.”

tion programme where he invited all the kids in the area to his house and taught them. “15 of the kids are now at university, which is astonishing considering that several of the kids in the area rarely make it through school – let alone to university,” explains Kurdahl.

The school is situated in a nature reserve, and the architects are aiming to design it to be built out of locally harvested materials in order to create a sense of place and community where the children can learn, play and stay between and after school. “We want it to be for the children, but also for the local community,” explains Kurdahl. “Like a centre for empowering the women in the local area with education and a place to produce goods that can be sold in São Paulo and Rio. We want to expand the scope of the school to a cultural centre with a cinema and library as well.”

With its circular shape, the building was designed in collaboration with the local community. The architects interviewed

The project came about after the founder of the NGO Casa Do Rio moved to the area and realised that the local school had closed down. He created an educa-

the kids and adults about their dreams, aspirations and needs in order to create a space they believe will become an anchor in the local community. It will empower and educate the community, which is largely living off the products they can extract from the forest – through either fishing or farming. Web:

First Hotel, Jessheim

The New Trekanten, Asker

First Hotel Jessheim defines itself by being a frame around shared experiences in a shared space. Noach says: “It’s the shape of the building that makes the experience. The interior space created becomes a common space for both locals and hotel guests. Similar to the much smaller school, it’s a clear and simple project, and an iconic building you can even see from the air – and it can easily be spotted on Google Earth.”

SPOL is transforming the old shopping centre in Asker, with a view of positioning it as a new destination for shopping, city life and business. Kurdahl says: “Even though this project is completely different to the others, it deals with the same issues. We provide a public space inside each project. In Trekanten, it’s the gallerias; instead of making it a shopping centre, it becomes an integrated part of the city, making a public space inside a typically private realm.”

Top left: In First Hotel Jessheim the rooms create an envelope for the interior space. Top right: SPOL is currently creating a school in the Amazon built out of naturally harvested materials. Bottom: SPOL created a masterplan and design for the hotel development featuring 800 rooms. Image: SPOL Architects/Brick Visuals

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Pilot Arkitekter won the competition for the reconstruction of one of Norway’s biggest banks.

Taking architecture to new heights With the ambition to take their clients to new heights and land them safely afterwards, Pilot Arkitekter find gold where one thought there was nothing but rubble and have been offering unique and innovative architecture of all scales since 2000. By Synne Johnsson  |  Photos: Pilot Arkitekter

The name Pilot plays on the idea of pilot projects – being the first to uncover new grounds while leading the way for their clients. “We all started out straight after graduating so we were courageous and ambitious, thinking that the world really needed our help and that, as long as we created great architecture, people would like to work with us. We quickly realised that it was a bit more complex than that,” says Andreas Haukeland, architect and general manager. “Our starting point was that we felt we had something to offer in the world of architecture.”

and, regardless of the size, there will always be a team of several architects on the case to ensure creative interaction and the power of more than one brain.


Pilot only hires architects, but the firm values strong collaboration with interior designers, landscape architects and engineers to ensure the highest quality

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“We work analytically in the beginning to reveal the potential as early on as possible. Then we start developing concepts, making sure that all the cards are on the table to avoid any surprises down the line,” says Haukeland. “We want to work with the clients to create value through innovative solutions and architectural quality.”

at all levels. “It is very important for us to see every building as unique and to emphasise the distinct characteristics of every project we work on. We want all our work to have that one thing that makes it stand out,” says Haukeland. “While remaining professional and realistic, we make sure that we are as creative and experimental as possible.”

New buildings in existing structures Pilot not only works on new builds but also takes on a number of regeneration projects, which they interpret as new spaces created in existing structures. “We think that it’s interesting to deal with many parameters at once. We want to meet a little resistance when working on projects, to be forced to use our brain and to make use of our knowledge,” Haukeland explains. An important aspect for the firm is for their work to always give something back to the city, either in a function-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

al sense or by providing an interesting, new façade.

‘Unified house’ In 2012, Pilot Arkitekter and Zinc Interiørarkitekter won the competition of redesigning the headquarters of one of Norway’s biggest banks. The complete reconstruction was approached under the banner ‘Ett hus’ (‘Unified house’), as two separate buildings were stripped to their concrete structure before they were merged into one. A previous courtyard was transformed into a welcoming indoor atrium, and what used to be small individual offices became new, open office spaces. As well as a unified house, Pilot also focused on creating effective communication infrastructure in what used to be a complicated and confusing structure. The bank

now has brand-new headquarters with an entirely new expression to it, on both the inside and the outside. Another interesting project from Pilot is a new office building at Tjuvholmen, a central Oslo harbour. This new building was built on a narrow, pointy site between two of the most important streets in the area. Because of the shape of the site, the floors are alternately shifted in relation to each other. Together with the horizontal lines of the façades, this gives the building a unique, dynamic and customised form. Pilot Arkitekter created a light and simple expression for the façades with precise details.

Award-winning architecture Pilot Arkitekter got off to a bright start shortly after they were established, re-

ceiving a Finnish architecture prize with the theme ‘wooden village’. They were the only foreign award winners and, as a newly started business, travelled the cheapest route to Finland, just about making it to the awards show. “When we got there, they told us that they had thought we were Finnish architects pretending to be foreign, so I guess we hit the nail on the head with that one,” says Haukeland. “We didn’t win the first prize, but they have a tradition in Finland that the first-prize winners pay for the after party, so that was quite a good rule, we thought,” he laughs.

Web: Facebook: pilotarkitekter

Because two houses were built into one, the project got the name ‘Unified house’.

Office building at Tjuvholmen.

Submission for a Finnish competition on the theme ‘wooden village’.

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Deichman, Oslo’s new City Library will open to the public in 2019.

Carrying traditional architecture forward After winning an international competition with a unique wood structure, the four architects decided to establish an architecture office of their own. The result was Atelier Oslo, creating rich and detailed architecture. By Synne Johnsson  |  Photos: Atelier Oslo

With a team of 16 architects, Atelier Oslo works with projects of all scales and for all types of people. They are passionate about creative, distinctive and exciting architecture, something out of the ordinary. “We want to offer architecture for a variety of places and experiences. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as simple as possible,” says architect Jonas Norsted. Atelier Oslo always wants the work to be specific to the site. A great deal of their investigations are done using physical 92  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

In many of our projects, we challenge the conventional way of building in wood; it is something about understanding that you are a part of a tradition and trying to carry it forward.”

models, customising each project to its surroundings, because it is easier to adapt the building to the terrain and to achieve contact between indoor and outdoor spaces when working with such models. To ensure the best possible design, they try and fail, testing out several different ideas and solutions before starting the construction phase.

In addition to focusing on materials and tradition, Atelier Oslo find a great deal of inspiration from nature – not trying to recreate it, but instead attempting to capture some of the qualities and experiences by being in nature, for example sitting under an old tree to see the sun shine through the leaves, which inspires them to create enjoyable spaces.

“Norway has a fantastic historical tradition when it comes to wooden architecture. 1,000-year-old wooden stave churches are a great inspiration for us.

All projects are done as teamwork. They all discuss the projects, sharing ideas and suggestions on how to improve. No one owns a single project; they belong to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

everyone, which makes it easier to discuss and take on other people’s ideas. The most important rule is that no idea is a bad idea, creating an open and inspiring working environment.

ed next to the so-called ‘starchitects’,” Norsted laughs. “But once we worked up the courage and went there, we realised that we had actually created something really good.”

Deichmanske bibliotek


Eight years ago, Atelier Oslo won a competition together with Lund Hagem Architects for a contract for the new Deichmanske bibliotek in Oslo, Norway’s biggest public library. The library will open to the public in two years and is currently the firm’s main project.

Sentralen is a cultural centre in Oslo that was originally built as a bank in 1899. It opened last year and has already become one of the main hubs of cultural experiences in the city. When building the project, the old walls were stripped down to the main structure and only the bare minimum of new elements were added. A new staircase connects the building in a whole new way, and a new roof over the old courtyard transforms it into an interior space, which is the new heart of the building.

The new library will contain a variety of architectural experiences and will offer a range of different spaces for reading, hanging out and for informal meetings. One of many highlights will be a cantilevered space, connecting the upper floors with spectacular views towards the Oslo fjord. “We were so nervous about the competition and just happy to have qualified alongside many well-known architects. We didn’t even go to the opening of the competition because we were so anxious about seeing our proposal present-

Beautiful wooden details in the Villa at Holtet.

The Villa at Holtet from the outside.

The Sentralen project was done in collaboration with KIMA Arkitektur. “What was so good about this project was that the clients didn’t want an ordinary office building, but were willing to dig into the old layers of the building, finding old materials and using them the way we found them. We brought back the solidity,” says Norsted.

Villa at Holtet For another of their projects, Villa at Holtet in Oslo, Atelier Oslo received the prestigious Norwegian architecture award Sundts premie. The building is characterised by a unique wooden structure, and all rooms in the house are organised around a grand sitting room with a height of five and a half metres. On the first floor, where all the bedrooms are located, there is a gallery that faces the sitting room. This way, the family will have the feeling of being in the same room even when someone is in the sitting room, someone in the gallery and another in the bedroom. “This was a really fun project for us,” says Norsted. “What is so great about these projects is that you get to know the clients in a very intimate and personal way. We find it inspiring to work with clients who want something unusual and are willing to try something a bit different. We always appreciate a challenge.” Web: Facebook: Atelier Oslo

The Vault, one of Sentralen’s many performance rooms.

A large stairway is connecting the different activities at Sentralen.

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A finalist at World Architecture Festival (WAF) this autumn, one of the most current projects is the residential building aimed to be the answer to Oslo’s need for density outside the inner city. Photo: Ivan Brodey.

Architects for social responsibility Through research and innovation, deeply rooted in a thirst for knowledge and desire to expand the qualities of their field, A-lab is an international-oriented architect firm focusing on the social responsibility of architecture. By Line Elise Svanevik

The portfolio of the Oslo-based firm spans widely, from drawing urban master plans and buildings in the famous Barcode district of Oslo, to solar-powered trees that can charge a smartphone, laptop, electric bike or a food truck – while also being a place for casual conversations.

Collaborative office spaces A-lab has a strong focus on the future of office spaces, which they have proved through award-winning projects. The latest is The Wedge – the last small building in Oslo’s barcode area, which A-lab has had a key part in developing. The idea behind it was to have a diverse mix of companies in the same building and 94  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

offer plenty of spaces for casual conversations, where employees from different organisations could sit down, chat and learn from each other. Partner and head of strategy and development at A-lab, Julie Sjøwall Oftedal, says: “In innovative work spaces as well as in housing areas, we believe that making good places both for planned meetings and for random encounters is one of the most important contributions we can make as architects today.” Tøyen Startup Village in Tøyen, Oslo, is another example of a strategy for a whole area that was planned alongside new

work spaces for start-up businesses. “It is important to create that place, the location that has its own identity and supports economic and cultural growth for a borough,” Sjøwall Oftedal explains. “The concept being a work bar and office landscape for start-up companies, developed with the whole borough in mind, we wanted to create a collaboration between offices throughout Tøyen to get them to help each other out by dragging new businesses up and creating room for growth.” A-lab’s passion for vibrant urban life and provident office spaces recently contributed to making their team, G8+, one of two finalists in the competition for Oslo’s new government headquarters. “We’re really proud to have gotten to the final together with a fantastic interdisciplinary team,” says Sjøwall Oftedal. “We wanted to put the people at the centre and create a dynamic city life with close contact be-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

tween the ministerial departments’ offices and public spaces.”

World Architecture Festival award The Oslo-based company has also won several international awards for its buildings, within offices as well as mixed-use spaces and residential buildings. Now, the firm is a WAF finalist yet again thanks to its most current residential building, Sæter Terrasse, in the Nordstrand area of the south-eastern part of the capital. The project, consisting of 34 apartments, aimed to be an answer to Oslo’s need for urban density outside the inner-city area. The materials used play together with the light they are exposed to; in the evening, for example, the Norwegian light almost makes the façade look blue. The residential housing is spread across 6,500 square metres, with 4,500 square metres located overground, aimed to

Top: G8+’s competition entry for Oslo’s new government headquarters, Lysning. Photo: G8+. Bottom: The Oslo-based architect firm is keen on providing collaborative spaces for businesses, which they have done through The Wedge, among other projects. Photo: Oslo S Utvikling / Ivan Brodey.

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Left: The idea of the solar-powered tree and cubes with electric bike rental was born through a collaboration with the Møller Group. Sun Mobility is one of the first solutions in the world that combines solar power, electric bikes and the sharing economy. Photo: Ivan Brodey. Right: The employees of Statoil believe the building facilitates casual encounters across different departments. The bridges lead from the tower down to the internal plaza. The Statoil regional and international offices helped A-lab win a World Architecture Festival (WAF) award twice. Photo: Luis Fonseca. Bottom: Tøyen Startup Village was drawn by A-lab and aims to provide a collaborative space for new businesses, linked with a development strategy for the whole area. Photo: Ivan Brodey.

provide a bridge between the higher density and lower density areas. The firm has also previously received a WAF award for best residential housing with Barcode’s The Carve.

Exporting architecture Having recently been accepted onto Architecture – Go Global, a programme designed to enable architectural export supported by Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA), the firm is now one of seven companies that have been provided with funds and advice for architecture export. “The one-year programme is designed to help us become better rigged for the international market,” explains Sjøwall Oftedal. “There are many things you can’t anticipate when dealing with international architecture, such as cultural differences and differences in contractual law, 96  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

which could easily lead to serious misunderstandings. That’s why the participants will be provided with expert advice, to avoid these mistakes.”

cial, economic as well as environmental sustainability – and what drives us is a strong wish to take the architect’s social responsibility seriously,” she says.

A-lab is currently looking at Sweden and Denmark as potential markets. “Not just to dip our feet in other markets, but to learn from them. Sweden and Denmark are often ahead when it comes to social and economic sustainability in urban planning and architecture. We’re excited to see what our encounters with their ideas and knowledge will do, and we can also introduce our thoughts about, for example, city floor and identity in the meeting between old and new architecture,” explains Sjøwall Oftedal. She believes that one of the areas A-lab specialises in, which they can contribute with internationally, is the ability to create close-knit cities where people can comfortably live and work. “We aim to create cities and areas that have so-


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Hille Melbye Arkitekter has designed the church in Spikkestad to float above the cultural centre.

Passion for bringing people together

– contemplative spaces versus energetic arenas With more than 60 years of experience as a multidisciplinary architectural firm spanning many different trades, Hille Melbye Arkitekter in Oslo, Norway, draws a contemplative church space as well as an energetic arena. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Hille Melbye Arkitekter

Through a varied workload, Hille Melbye historically specialised in churches before entering the world of more comprehensive projects ranging from shopping centres, hotels and offices to urban planning. Returning to their roots, the architecture firm recently won a competition to build the new church and cultural centre in the Norwegian town of Spikkestad. Together with Professor Einar Dahle, they have mastered the difficult task of creating an open space that invites people in, along with a more closed-off sacred space. “The church and cultural centre is placed at the very end of a railway track, which marks it as an end station for the journey,” explains architect at the firm, Kaja Melbye. “We’ve placed the open functions – the cultural centre – on the ground

floor at the entrance of the building, enclosed by transparent façades opening up to the public. A massive brick volume, holding the church room, is lifted from the ground, floating above the glass façades – embracing a more closed off and sacred space.”

The building draws on the lines of the surrounding landscape and has been designed to effortlessly glide into the environment. “We want to build on the intensity of the room – and make it a place you can easily walk into,” Melbye ends. The firm is keen to build on the intensity of the ice rink in Oslo.

World’s most energy efficient ice rink On the other, more energetic hand, Hille Melbye is in the process of creating what might be the most environmentally friendly ice rink in the world – Jordal Amfi in Oslo. “This is something completely different from our church project – it is a place that needs to accommodate large masses of people and a great amount of energy,” explains Melbye. “It’s a redesign of the old ice rink, with huge ambitions in terms of energy efficiency through innovative technology that tackles the complicated issues of cooling the rink on both warm and cold days.”

The architect firm won a competition to design the church in Spikkestad, which in some ways was a return to their roots.


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U2 Arkitekter designed the residential home in Fjellveien, Bodø. Photo: Ida Oppen.

Laminated beech and stainless steel in Hunstad Church. Photo: Marie Haugen.

Environmentally friendly house design As a small architecture firm based in the north of Norway, U2 Arkitekter’s work spans broadly throughout the private and public sectors. Though the one thing all projects have in common is a desire to create buildings that are gentle on the environment. By Line Elise Svanevik

“We have a big focus on environmental construction, low energy consumption and local adaptation,” explains partner and senior architect Johnny Kristensen, who founded the company in Bodø back in 2004 together with fellow senior architect Richard Barriteau. With a strong belief that each project should reflect its location, Kristensen starts by going to the place he’s drawing the building for, taking in the climate, local buildings – and, importantly, the needs of the customer. “Some clients have ambitions of creating great architecture, while others want something simple, affordable and quick,” he explains. “We quickly start a dialogue to find out exactly what our customer wants, and afterwards we provide our expert opinion on what we think is a good solution for them. We always try to 98  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

create good architecture that solves the task for everyone – if the client is happy and we’re happy, we’ve done a good job.”

Challenging perceptions The main challenge for creating architecture with a low carbon footprint is, according to Kristensen, often the construction industry, as many managers believe environmentally friendly solutions to be too expensive or impractical. “Creating something with a low carbon footprint can be both affordable and practical – which is a message we want to put across,” he insists. With the right use of local materials including wood, which Norway has a great tradition for, greater energy efficiency can easily be achieved. “Another challenge is that energy is cheap in Norway, so the solutions that are aimed to make things better for the environment can

be harder to get the price down on,” he says. As a generalist, Kristensen finds all projects interesting. “With the right spirit and guts, everything can be made exciting, which is why we try to work across several types of projects,” he explains. “We work in a modern, functionalist Nordic tradition, and I genuinely believe that today’s architecture is as good as that from the olden days. Some people say that they only like old houses, and that new ones are ugly – but we believe strongly in the modern architecture that exists today.”

Competition entry for Copenhagen’s Sydhavnen church. Photo: U2 Arkitekter.


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Photo: Nina Brodtkorb Spilling

Photo: Maj Jøsok

Sørenga’s outer settlement is shaped with power and dynamics, as a relevant response to the strong meeting with the Oslo Fjord.

Motion and emotion Arkitektkontoret Kari Nissen Brodtkorb AS was established in 1985 and is run by its namesake, one of the most acclaimed architects in Norway. The history of a site and location-specific features provide the premise for how the firm addresses each client’s design requests. By Pernille Johnsen

Designing a town, or even parts of a town, revolves as much around the interaction of spaces as it does around any single building. It is in the very same interaction between space and surroundings, the interior and the exterior, that Kari Nissen Brodtkorb and her team create their signature architecture. “Each piece of land is different, and every project we take on fortifies our ambition to seize the spirit of a location, reinforce the qualities of the surroundings and unite function with form, which, when we succeed, results in architecture of quality,” Brodtkorb explains. Having a human emotion as a guidepost for architecture may be unusual, but it

serves as the foundation for Brodtkorb’s firm. “There should be a human element in every architectural decision we make, which includes choice of materials, details, colours – in short, everything,” Brodtkorb continues. We are living in an era that requires a benevolent type of architectural style – and it is precisely architecture like Brodtkorb’s that positions empathy and human emotion within a societal context. Spaces that are carefully thought out carry visible signs of thoughtfulness and creative care. The firm’s strong presence positions it in a wide range of architectural endeavours, but sea and coastline-

specific commissions have been particularly prominent. Brodtkorb’s firm designed several dock transformations along the Norwegian coastline, including at Aker Brygge, Lysaker Brygge, Fornebu and Rolfsbukta and an interesting structure in Stavern that was erected in the water. The firm was awarded Norway’s highest distinction for the project Stranden at Aker Brygge, which is placed on the Cultural Heritage Management Office’s yellow list of structures worthy of preservation. Among other awards, Brodtkorb’s firm has received Statens Byggeskikkpris, Bergen Bys Arkitekturpris and Stadsbyggnadspriset of the city of Malmö. Kari Nissen Brodtkorb was also awarded Anders Jahre’s Cultural Award in 2014.


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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Accommodating up to 9,000 students, the BI Norwegian Business School was designed to be very inviting for all of its students. Photo: Jiri Havran

A fresh approach to every project In a bid to remain open and alert, and not to become blinded by one field through specialisation, Oslo-based architect firm Niels Torp Arkitekter is concerned with keeping completely free and as neutral as possible to remain at the top of their game. By Line Elise Svanevik

they need to be adaptable. “We try to be very empathetic. When we work in China, we think about the Chinese as a people; they’re very sociable and used to monumental lines. When we go over from Norway, we’re social democrats and humanists, and every individual is worth as much in China as they are here – that’s what we always bear in mind,” explains Torp.

“We’re a bit like a hardware store, where you can buy anything from kitchen utensils to power tools,” explains owner and architect Niels Torp, whose father and uncle originally established the firm Torp & Torp back in 1930. “We don’t want to know too much about specific areas, because we don’t want to end up repeating ourselves. We always start from scratch and ask a lot of questions – our aim is to function freely when it comes to both style and fashion.”

A woodland in a hostile environment

Throughout the last 30 to 40 years, the firm has worked on such a multitude of projects that the architects have acquired the experience and knowledge

One of the firm’s most recent projects is the monumental China Eastern Airlines headquarters in Shanghai, a project acquired through a competition where Niels Torp Arkitekter was up against

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American, German, British and Chinese architects. The Shanghai project spans 240,000 square metres and is an office, a hotel and a hub all in one. Through the competition, Torp and his team toyed with the idea of creating a building in a woodland, which was unusual considering its rather hostile environment located next to an airport. “It’s surrounded by massive buildings and is completely flat, so in the competition we planted a forest on a square plot of land, took a chainsaw and cut a light through the forest, which gave it an organic form,” he explains. “We were left with a rounded shape on the square plot, and left the trees that helped describe the form. Inside, we created a fanshaped house and managed to create a distance between the surroundings and the framework for the building.”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Cold and windy dockland On the other side of the world, and on a somewhat smaller scale, is Clarion’s hotel The Edge, situated on the cold and windy docklands that overlook the sea, drawn by Torp and his team. “The hotel is located next to the pub Skarven, which is where everyone in Tromsø seems to have their daily meetings – it’s a fantastic place with a bustling atmosphere, full of people chatting, eating fish and meat, and generally having a great time,” says Torp. “We didn’t want to directly compete with this, but we wanted the otherwise windy and wet docklands to be a lively place for people to meet.” Torp adds that the nature of the hotel foyer, which spans two floors, sucks people in. “Above the hotel foyer is a

spectacular shape, which pays tribute to the Arctic Cathedral on the other side of the water,” he explains. “It’s a building people are very proud of, which is why we felt it appropriate to create a bond between the two.” He describes the architecture as a clear form, which is also complicated and fits perfectly within the city of Tromsø.

A campus to live on Turning the nose slightly further south to the Norwegian capital, another of Torp’s proud projects is BI Norwegian Business School. The idea behind the design was to tempt students to stay on campus night and day. “All the chairs and seating areas in the building can be used for all activities – whether that’s eating, talking, flirting, studying, chatting nonsense or

having a quiet moment to yourself,” explains Torp. The campus, which welcomes up to 9,000 students, spans four city quarters and is aimed to be very inviting for all. “They walk through the streets between the floors on each individual level and on the roofs,” Torp adds. “There are lots of crossing streets, which create meeting points; the desks and auditoriums are on the first and second levels, with the library situated on top. The structure is pretty tight, but there is a lot of daylight – we wanted it to be a stimulating place to be, and we’ve been told that we have achieved exactly that.”


Top left: Niels Torp Arkitekter acquired the China Eastern Airlines headquarters project in Shanghai through a large international competition. Visualisation: Niels Torp Arkitekter. Middle left: The BI Norwegian Business School, located in Oslo, was designed to tempt students to stay on campus day and night. Photo: Jiri Havran. Bottom left: Situated on Tromsø’s docklands, Clarion Hotel The Edge attracts people in from the cold and windy weather. Photo: Niels Torp Arkitekter. Right: The Edge is placed right next to the very popular pub Skarven in Tromsø, making it part of the lively atmosphere that is on the docklands. Photo: Bjørn Joachimsen

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LPO arkitekter were responsible for creating the master plan for the ‘city within the city’ Vulkan in Oslo. Photo: Finn Ståle Felberg.

Urban architects with a democratic structure Through a democratic ownership model, Oslo-based LPO architects – who specialise in architecture and urban planning – believe that a flat structure lays the very foundation for their innovative work culture and production. By Line Elise Svanevik

LPO has more than 70 employees, and the company is owned by the majority of them. All partners have equal shares. “It’s a generous business model that makes every single partner equal – whether you’ve been working here from the very beginning or you are a new partner,” explains CEO and architect Hilde Sponheim. “It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a management structure in place – it simply means that the ownership model is completely equal and democratic, 102  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

which is the cornerstone of the culture within our company.”

The city within the city Although LPO architects’ work is diverse, one of their key areas of expertise is urban development. A recent example of this is the Vulkan area in Oslo, which they refer to as ‘the city within the city’. “The redefinition of the Vulkan area is a transformation of a closed-down industrial area inaccessible to the public.

When we won the competition and were given the task to revitalise this area, we were very focused on opening it up and making it a connector to the city,” explains Sponheim. The idea behind the project was to create a place that both preserved and transformed the historical buildings and structures, adding new buildings and functions – all tied together by attractive public spaces and paths. “It is an interesting mix between revitalising, reusing, transforming and creating new buildings,” Sponheim adds. In order to deliver the variation and diversity intended for the area, several differ-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

ent architects were invited into the design process of some of the buildings. LPO is responsible for the masterplan, in addition to the transformation of the old Bridge factory into what is now Mathallen (a food hall) and Dansens Hus (a dance hall), Vulkan Scenekunst (stage art), Bellonahuset (an office building) and housing in Vulkan’s northern quarter. Other key players in the project include Aspelin Ramm, the property developers and commissioners for the whole area, and architects Kristin Jarmund and NielsTorp.

Seawater pool in the city Another major urban development project planned by LPO architects is the Sørenga harbour area in Oslo. Visually, it is very different from Vulkan, but in many ways the ideas behind the two projects were similar. As an old container dock, the area was inaccessible from the city until the Bjørvika development plan –

aimed at creating useful urban spaces – created an architecture competition to revamp the space. With a public dock, a central park and a seawater pool at the tip of the dock, LPO designed and was responsible for the masterplan together with the Danish landscaping firm Kristine Jensens Tegnestue (KJT). “As with the Vulkan project, the vision for Sørenga was to create urban qualities: diversity, active urban life and architectural variety. It was divided into eight city blocks, which in theory could be designed by eight different architects,” says Sponheim. “We’ve designed two of the housing blocks and a nursery, as well as the creation of the seawater pool, the park and the promenade in collaboration with KJT.” Other architects involved were MAD, Kari Nissen Brodtkorb and Jarmund/Vigsnæs, and the developer was Sørenga Utvikling.

According to Sponheim, the seawater pool with its vibrant atmosphere has become a popular meeting point for Oslo’s residents. “The use of wood combined with the sensation of being so close to the fjord has made it a great place to be – for families with children as well as those using kayaks and teenagers diving off the boards,” she explains. “It’s a place that welcomes everyone.”

The world’s northernmost architecture office Six years ago, LPO opened a branch in Svalbard, making it the northernmost architecture office in the world. Additionally, the company has branches in Lillehammer and Bohuslän in Sweden, making it a truly Nordic establishment.


Drawn by several different architects to represent diversity, Vulkan was previously an industrial estate. Photo: Finn Ståle Felberg.

LPO also revamped the old food hall in the Vulkan area. Photo: Finn Ståle Felberg.

Sørenga seawater pool was designed by LPO arkitekter, who specialise in urban development. Photo: Tova Lauluten.

Photo: MK Foto.

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Prestige and expertise under one roof Vårdal Arkitekter is a large architecture firm based in Sem, Vestfold. Established by Torleif Vårdal in 1997, the firm has been growing slowly but surely ever since. Its primary objective is to create family and leisure homes with excellent functionality and architectural design. By Pernille Johnsen  |  Photos: Vårdal Arkitekter

“We are conscious of creating structures built to last past the fleeting trends that dominate our industry,” says Håvard B Olsen, architect at Vårdal Arkitekter. The firm puts significant prestige into every project they undertake, which has proved to be an incredibly efficient marketing strategy. “Some of our customers return ten or 15 years after our first completed project, and are looking to hire us again,” says Olsen. Vårdal Arkitekter has been featured in the respected design magazine Wallpaper and received praise and accolades

Family home under construction in Tønsberg.

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for their “skilful integration of indoors and outdoors” when constructing a family home in Tønsberg, Norway.

for consulting or not. The firm keeps all rights to the drawings, however, which is why they are available to the wider public. Vårdal Arkitekter is a full-service architecture firm, which is rare in the industry. They boast engineers, consultants and architects all under one roof, which gives them the ability to offer clients exact proposals with fully accurate pricing.

One-stop shop Vårdal Arkitekter has established the pioneering online service FLEXIBO – a portal aimed towards contractors and builders. The site offers drawings and models developed by Vårdals at heavily reduced prices. Subscribers to the service can use the sketches free of charge, saving them plenty of money, and then choose for themselves what building materials to use and whether to hire Vårdal Arkitekter

Family home in Oslo, due for completion this year.

Web: &

Illustration of a leisure home under construction at Gaustablikk.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Norway

Above and below: Gol school.

Building the future Teamwork, meeting clients face to face, and continuous participation in architecture competitions are some of the key strategies behind the successful development of Arkitektene VIS-À-VIS. By Marte Kvam Eide  |  Photos: VIS-À-VIS

“We started in 1996 with three funders – and today our company has 15 employees,” says co-founder Jan-Vidar Monsen. Based in an environmentally certified building in Trondheim, the company name was not a coincidence. “VIS-À-VIS means face to face. We believe the best way to communicate with clients in order to understand their needs and hopes for the project is face to face,” he explains. Over the years, Arkitektene VIS-À-VIS has become one of the most prominent companies in Norway when it comes to planning school buildings, and their current portfolio and projects consist of 70 per cent schools. “Through competitions, we have won around 30 school building projects across Norway,” says Monsen. “These are projects that we love working on. We are working with the future to facilitate for our children and grandchildren so that they may learn in the best possible way. Our focus is on making a positive framework for the education and on creating possibilities, not obstacles.”

Winning competitions Although Arkitektene VIS-À-VIS has won and participated in many competitions, there is no repeat recipe for success. “We build on our knowledge and expertise, but every building and project is different. Where the school is located plays a big part, and we collaborate with landscape architects to facilitate the outdoor area. Obviously, a six-year-old has different needs than a 12-year-old – this is also something we take into account,” says Monsen. “One of the best things is to return to a school some years after the opening and seeing how it functions today. Our ambition is to continue to be one of the best architect firms in the country when it comes to school buildings.”

projecting constructions in solid wood, which releases less CO2. We want to participate in any way we can to contribute to positive change,” says Monsen, who is a huge supporter of teamwork and collaboration. The company’s honest approach to feedback, he insists, is one of its secrets to success. “We always work in teams, and we have to be able to be honest with each other in order to develop the project in the best possible way.”

Eco-friendly Arkitektene VIS-À-VIS’s dedication to creating environmentally friendly buildings is a key factor in their projects, including schools, kindergartens, health facilities and residential buildings. “Several of our projects are beneficial in terms of energy consumption. We have experience of

Web: Facebook: arkitektenevav

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& E N R U DE em T h E lT EC SW ia T c I e – Sp CH AL R I A C PEC I RD N S O N SIG DE e:

Photo: Utopia Arkitekter

Design solutions driven by equality During London Design Festival this year, you will find a strong presence of Swedish design. Svensk Form, having worked tirelessly to promote Swedish design internationally for more than 170 years, is pleased to be part of the new government initiative Swedish Design Moves, which aims to increase awareness of Swedish design around the world. By Ewa Kumlin, Svensk Form

This is not a regular nation branding campaign. Today, we are focused on the deeper design process as well as a people-to-people and region-to-region approach. During informal workshops, or ‘prototypa’, a concept created by the design group Form Us With Love, you can follow a project from the first sketch to the final product. You can also take part of the progressive initiatives happening 106  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

right now in the south of Sweden, a region where design is really flourishing. There is such a strong drive, a sense of community among the designers, and new support systems helping small design companies to grow internationally. Another remarkable initiative from Skåne is a match-making project between local producers and designers, resulting in innovative designs, new materials, eco-

nomic growth and a more sustainable production. As we say at Swedish Design Moves, there is more to Swedish design than the cool contemporary minimalism it is known for. Swedish design is driven by equality. That is why we design for the many and not just the privileged few. It is made to be used again and again – not put on a pedestal or locked behind glass. This philosophy influences everything, from the way we shape our society through architecture and city planning and all the way down to the way we dress – and the objects we surround ourselves with. For us, design is a tool to create a better everyday life for all.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Svensk Form, founded in 1845, is a Swedish design society working to stimulate the design development and promote Swedish design internationally, including encouraging Swedish designers and architects in every field. The organisation has its own magazine, Form, founded in 1905, which is published in both English and Swedish six times a year and runs the national design award, Design S, as well as Ung Svensk Form (Young Swedish Design).


Ewa Kumlin.  Photo: Svensk Form

Pholc. Photo: Kimmie Persson

Illustration: Tengbom

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SEB + Wingårdhs = true “It’s all about the canteen,” a researcher noted in regards to the success of the University of Cambridge. The award-winning Swedish architecture firm Wingårdhs uses architecture as a tool for creating spontaneous meetings in SEB’s new office complex in Stockholm – which is to bring about new innovation. Photos: André Phil, Wingårdhs

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

The bank SEB’s new office complex in Arenastaden in Stockholm holds as many people as a small town – 4,500 employees, to be exact. With a whopping 72,200 square metres, it is Sweden’s largest modern office complex. Swedish architecture firm Wingårdhs designed the interiors of the three buildings, with interior architects Helena Toresson and Sara Helder at the helm. “The best discussions can arise by the coffee machine or when you bump into someone on the stairs. That’s why we’ve allowed the architecture’s interior organisation to play a key role in the promotion of natural and informal meetings,” says Toresson. The four atria of the complex play a central role in Wingårdh’s creation; it is from these that all communication is sent out. Each atrium has its own unique function: the first should encourage spontaneous meetings, the second flexible gatherings; the third has more of a living room character and the fourth works as an open alternative to the individual working space. At the same time, the architecture firm highlights the importance of creating more, smaller meeting spaces throughout the atria’s galleries to contribute to an experience of liveliness and movement. The stairs work as sculptural pieces that encourage movement between the floors. The auditorium holds around 200 people and can be found in the middle of the

largest building. In order to let light into the hall, four glazed openings have been created with dense, rotatable wooden slats that allow the light from the atria to flow in. When the slats are open, you can tell from the two surrounding atria that activity is taking place inside. “Much like for many other companies, transparency is important to SEB and, by breaking up the auditorium’s otherwise so dense walls, we allow people to peek into the hall and get a glimpse of the exciting things that are going on in there,” says Helder. Variation has been key to the design; it was required for localisation as well as identity for the big spaces. As such, the three buildings have been given three different themes. The large building is urban with muted colours, limestone floors and durable materials. It also houses a barista bar, which fills the building with activity and the scent of freshly brewed coffee. The other two buildings provide a juxtaposition to the main one with its homeliness and workplace focus. These instead have wooden floors, variegated patterns, and strong colours that take the SEB brand colours as their starting point. But it is not just in between the buildings that dynamism can be found; it is inside each of them, too.

middle, and the work places the exterior. In contrast to the atria’s more expressive styles, the work spaces have a calmer graphic colour palette,” Helder continues. The 600 meeting rooms also look different: the colours shift from dark to light, and the furniture offers a variation of seated and standing meetings. On the seventh floor, all three buildings are conjoined with a roof terrace with a glazed conservatory at its heart. Wingårds was founded in 1977 and is an architecture firm with 214 employees: 129 in Gothenburg, 63 in Stockholm and 22 in Malmö. Architects for the new SEB headquarters are Wingårdhs (interiors), Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter, Arkitekterna Krook & Tjäder and HMXW (exterior). Web:

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Architecture with a higher meaning If thinking outside the box would be a literal term, Codesign would be a very good example of its meaning. With a tireless focus on inclusive architecture, a not-forprofit research studio digging deeper into the human values, and a recently launched brand studio, Codesign could be the architecture firm of the future. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Per Ranung

“We talk about ourselves as an architecture firm – not an architect firm. It’s architecture we’re concerned with, not the profession as such.” Elin Lervik is candid and incredibly focused as she talks about Codesign, her place of work for the past five years, where she is now head of marketing, communication and PR. “I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I ended up here, and I’ve found that there’s a very specific reason why I started working at Codesign. It’s all about a higher meaning.” 110  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Growing up, Lervik started working early on for pocket money. With hindsight, she says, it is clear that the entrepreneurial spirit was always there. “There were Shetland ponies on the neighbour’s farm, so I walked over and asked if I could set up a pony riding school. From the age of 12, I ended up running weekend classes for a number of years, splitting the profits 50/50 with the owner,” she recalls. Upon graduating from Kalmar University with a degree in media management, she applied for two jobs and was offered both.

“I managed to convince the first start-up in Sweden to offer experience gift cards in shops to take me on as head of marketing,” she explains. “It was all about realising this new vision, building the brand from scratch. I was sitting in this tiny basement office, we had no money and I barely knew what I was doing – but I learnt loads.” After three years of fighting off competitors with massive marketing budgets, Lervik was ready to move on. “I started at Struktur as a marketing assistant, and in just seven years, we grew from 29 staff to 140.” That was when Peter Ullstad called. He had a dream of a new kind of architecture firm, and he was adamant that a good head of marketing would be essential for his new venture to attract the right kind

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

of staff and clients. “He’d seen me and my colleagues move a brand from mediocre to established and well-respected, and he asked me to join his dream venture,” says Lervik. “I asked myself, why would I leave a big budget and a huge, great team? And in the end, it was a cliché that won me over. ‘At the end of the day, we want as many people as possible to feel as good as possible,’ he said. And it’s cheesy, but I know now that it’s entirely true. That’s why we do what we do.”

Promoting independent research In Lervik’s five years at Codesign, the firm has grown from nine employees to near 60. In 2014, they decided to make a bold move and set up Codesign Research Studio (CoRs), a not-for-profit subsidiary that aims to promote independent research together with practical execution, exploring architecture as a means of controlling the spatial design inclusion and exclusion of people. “It’s putting our money where our mouth is in regards to social sustainability,” says Lervik. Every year, three architecture graduates or similar skilled creatives get the luxurious opportunity to dig deep into issues of their choice, related to architecture and urban development, under the CoRs banner. Previous participants have for example looked at exclusion and alienation, exploring the journey of asylum seekers from their war-torn homes to Sweden: the spaces they spend time in, how many people are in a truck trailer, what the air quality is like. This year’s team of CoRs will look at the impact of the Convention of the Rights of the Child becoming Swedish law. How will this impact on architecture? “We don’t make money off this,” says Lervik. “It’s proof that what we say we do is true.”

Inclusive architecture While the CoRs work is entirely independent of the firm’s commercial operations, there is a very clear crossover as far as values are concerned. Lervik talks a lot about inclusive architecture, yet again bringing it all back to people, user experience and human values. “A lot of the time, when something is being designed, the client is not the same person as those who are going to use the space.

Elin Lervik.

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ing needs to be re-drawn, torn down or rebuilt to cater for future needs; we’ve created an environment where the client can develop the architecture to suit their requirements without the need for architects, designers or builders.”

Codesign’s flexible solution for the innovation hub Epicenter has been nominated as Sweden’s best-looking office (Sveriges snyggaste kontor), the winner of which will be announced in November this year.

We’re really interested in the users, what their needs are now and will be in the future,” she explains. “When we took on the ABF Building, for example, our task was to create the meeting place of the future. But when we asked the people using the spaces, through 2,000 surveys and interviews with them, we realised that there were all these people moving around these corridors who never actually met. Our job became to create a space where they could really meet.” Similarly, Codesign recently took on the task of building a new primary school in Bjuv, and the firm went straight for the pupils. “Our client is the municipality and the principal, but it’s incredibly obvious that the really important people are the children. You have to understand why some kids would rather sit under the principal’s desk doing their homework, why certain spaces don’t work for the kids,” says Lervik. Now, the firm is producing a documentary series about the project in order to describe the thinking behind their approach to inclusive architecture.

Flexibility to suit the client’s needs The Epicenter project – an innovation hub in downtown Stockholm providing 112  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

3,500 members with flexible workspaces – takes the idea of inclusive architecture to the next level. Here, the spaces have not just been designed with the users in mind, but can be continuously modified by its tenants. “It’s full of flexible design features such as movable walls with consideration for future ventilation and lighting needs,” says Lervik. “It’s a sustainable environment where noth-

Lervik is convinced that more and more people are drawn to the higher meaning that makes the foundation of Codesign; yet, the firm is currently working to outline the benefits of a usercentred approach in numbers and graphs. “We know that this is an investment that works – we see it every day. But sometimes people need to see figures, which is why we are developing an index to measure soft values before and after a project’s completion,” she says. Moreover, the firm is broadening its offering to be able to help clients with all customer touch points – not just the spatial and strictly architectural. “Where does architecture begin, and where does it end? Our new brand studio will help clients with the holistic experience of a place, including signage, art direction, strategy, experience design, the whole lot.”

Web: Facebook: codesignswe Twitter: @CodesignSwe Instagram: @codesignswe

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden Inside Aula Capella at Fjällnäs Hotel.

Fjällnäs Hotel in Tänndalen.

Aula Capella at Fjällnäs Hotel.

Spaces that are cared for 3dO arkitekter is paving the way for designs of public spaces. With a pedagogical and sustainable outlook, its architecture ensures a welcoming atmosphere where it is needed the most.

times, public spaces are made neutral to fit everyone, but in the end fit no one. We want architecture to be innovative and feel cared for.”

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Roland Persson

During its 25 years in business, two distinct areas of expertise have developed at 3dO arkitekter. The first is municipal and healthcare spaces with specialist knowledge in logistics and materials suitable for the unique requirements, and the second area is private accommodation and hotels –contrasting, yet with similar demands on understanding the visions and needs of the users, and interpreting what is left unsaid. A project that has attracted attention is nursery school Ugglan in Botkyrka, which has won the Metal Prize and is used as a great example of a well-executed process for architecture students. Here, the architects managed to meet the municipality’s ambitions for sustainability and energy efficiency, in a location that had often been vandalised, and provided an exciting place for both children and staff. According to Ami Katz, one of four co-founders, the achievement comes

down to a combination of the transparent organic shape dressed in aluminium and pinewood, which is based on the children’s way of moving and interacting socially, and the carefully planned process. “The idea was for the project to be involving, and for the design to give a sense of openness in a multi-cultural area.”

Caring development The expansion of Fjällnäs Hotel in Tänndalen has also been greatly appreciated for its beautiful execution. The main building from 1882 needed additional wings in the same style and with similar building techniques, an exciting and rewarding challenge for 3dO. Regardless of the assignment, the practice remains the same. “We take responsibility and engage in all our projects,” explains Fanny Sachs, also co-founder and architect. “Particularly in our healthcare projects, we are interpreters between opinions and functions. Often

An example is Remeo, a private intensive care unit with patients in critical condition. The unit needed a homelier atmosphere to fulfil the strict requirements of the county council. Similarly, maternity wards BB Stockholm and BB Sophia were recreated with the use of angles, materials and colours. Katz elaborates on the design challenge: “It’s about creating inviting environments based around the specific setting and needs of those who will use it.” Nursery school Ugglan in Botkyrka. Photo: Kasper Dudzic

Web: Instagram: @3doarkitekter

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Kajplats 6, Liljeholmskajen in Stockholm.

Careful consideration for our cities Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter creates buildings with strong identities, but always carefully takes into account the relationship to the surrounding city and its people. By Malin Norman  |  Photo: Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter

Established firm Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter in Stockholm works with city planning, buildings and interiors, from detailed proposals through to completed structures. The team has vast experience in developing architecture that is part of everyday city life. Originating from Rosenbergs Arkitekter, the company is now named after its Italian CEO and founder Alessandro Ripellino. He completed the architecture degree at Università di Roma La Sapienza, came to Stockholm as a researcher in sustainable city planning at 114  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, in 1983 and became an associate at the architecture firm in 1992. The innovative buildings and public spaces are born from a mix of rationalism and Scandinavian modernism. They have plenty of character and connection to the location, in line with the development trend of contemporary cities and with a sustainability focus – made to last. Ripellino means that the architectural expressions of buildings and the character of a place unite through their complex relationships. “It’s interesting to see

how the urban relationships change over time,” he says. “We like to tell the story about a construction and its surroundings and people.”

Some strong identities An exciting example on assignment by JM is Kajplats 6 in Liljeholmskajen, Stockholm, which is due for completion in two years. The urban waterfront block with a 25-storey tower also features a restaurant on the top floor, in glass and with magnificent views of the city and Lake Mälaren, as well as a ground floor open to the public for easy access to the quay. Ripellino explains its attraction: “Kajplats 6 is a highly visible project by the water, which changes the outline of the city. It’s certainly a player with a strong identity.”

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Left: SEB headquarters in Arenastaden, Stockholm. Photo: Joachim Lundgren. Top right: SEB headquarters in Arenastaden, Stockholm. Below right: SEB headquarters in Arenastaden, Stockholm. Bottom left: Drabanten, a housing project with common areas and retail facilities in Upplands Väsby. Bottom right: Sketch and prototype of the facade of Drabanten.

The new headquarters for SEB in Arenastaden is another interesting venture, an impressive city planning project in cooperation with Fabege and architects Krook & Tjäder and Wingårdhs. Arenastaden spans four blocks and, with room for around 4,500 employees in a modern and flexible office building, is tailor-made for the requirements of SEB. This city within the city includes streets and piazzas inside the main building, with public spaces connecting the blocks and recurring patterns in the design to provide unity. The first phase has been completed already with around 2,500 staff moving into SEB so far and, next year, another 2,000 will join. Also noteworthy is Odde Staden, a plan for housing solutions between Kista and

Husby with around 400 student flats in IBM’s former headquarters alongside retail spaces, streets and parks linking to a new residential area with 2,000 apartments. While Kista has a long tradition of hosting electronics companies, Husby is one of the areas in Stockholm with segregation issues. Ripellino highlights that social sustainability is key in this assignment. “The Stockholm region will grow by around half a million people by 2030,” he says. “The big challenge is to produce housing for all these people and to link the segregated areas. Our method of building is similar to the ‘50s with building blocks, but makes for a close-knit city with robust structures and carefully prepared details, yet with consideration to nature and topography – urban building for the people.”

Dressing the buildings These talented architects often work with raised patterns in their projects, rugged exteriors that catch the shifting light of the sun. For instance, the already mentioned Kajplats 6 has been dressed in a material that is reminiscent of a tweed jacket. Also benefitting from this building technique is a housing project with common areas and retail facilities that will become a new hub in Upplands Väsby town centre, due for completion in three years. Here, the exterior consists of metal cassettes in brass and gold, in a pattern inspired by the old palace in the Italian city of Ferrara dating back to the 1500s. Additionally, the architects have just begun planning a new high-rise in Marievik close to Liljeholmen, where wood will be an important part of the building’s identity and expression. Widely celebrated for their innovative look, functionality and use of materials, the designs are regularly covered in Swedish and international media and many ideas have been awarded prominent prizes such as the International Galvanizing Awards and Stockholm Building of the Year. Projects from 1993 to 2013 are also documented in the book Rosenbergs Arkitekter: Alessandro Ripellino & Inga Varg published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing in 2014. Web: Facebook: Instagram: @ripellinoark

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Skýli, Utopia’s trekking cabin, is nominated in the leisure-led development category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards.

Mixing urban with wilderness Utopia Arkitekter has no humble ambition. The mission statement has been clear since the beginning: to create a better society. Most recently, this has included a trekking cabin designed for the rugged Nordic landscape.

where hikers and guides can rest, get new energy or, if needed, wait for the weather to improve.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Utopia Arkitekter

Skýli combines traditional and modernday elements of architecture with four pyramid-shaped volumes into a strong, stable and sustainable structure. Its inside is made of cross laminated timber and the shell of colour coated steel, painted with Swedish rapeseed oil-based paint. The big windows provide transparency and open up to the surrounding scenic landscape.

Set up in 2008 by Emma Jonsteg and Mattias Litström, Utopia’s goal is to increase positive values and social sustainability through a long-term approach and high-quality architectural designs – not only for homes and offices, but also in landscapes and urban developments. This is made possible through a close dialogue with stakeholders, careful analysis of requirements and the use of experts from a wide range of fields and, ultimately, by adding architectural value to the sites. “Our projects raise some important questions,” says co-founder and CEO 116  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Jonsteg. “In our proposed designs, we provide architectural solutions such as integrated sustainability and use of public green spaces, as well as an added local and contemporary touch. By doing so, we can also help to strengthen the identity of the area.”

Iconic trekking cabin Skýli A recent project that no doubt stands out from the rest is Skýli, Utopia’s proposal for a cabin that can be placed along trekking routes even in the most remote location. The assignment was to create a trekking cabin that offers a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment

This cabin has plenty of character and is easy to spot in the rugged landscape. The original design has been nominated for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) and Jonsteg is no doubt proud. “This is an exciting project, a smart modular construction that can be easily transported

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to be assembled and placed anywhere in the world. It has lots of functionality inside, so you can manage in the cabin for a longer period of time.”

Successful urban projects Similar to Skýli, Utopia’s innovative ideas for urban development have been praised. Shimmering like a diamond, project Juvelen was Utopia’s winning proposal for a new landmark office building in Uppsala. The project aims to provide the most sustainable office building in the Nordic countries, with self-sufficient energy thanks to solar cells and wind power. In addition to its long-term environmental objectives, Juvelen will also function as an exciting meeting place and an eye-catching, sparkling entrance to the city. Another gem is Jaktvarvet, a housing project in Nacka south of Stockholm, consisting of 12 solid wood houses. Both the plan and the design of the individual houses are reminiscent of the old fishing villages found throughout the Stockholm archipelago, with winding car-free streets, small plazas and gardens that create a homely atmosphere. The Market Hall, an exquisitely designed brick work structure, is part of a larger development project in central Stockholm with more than 500 apartments and will undoubtedly add a new dimension to the everyday shopping experience.

Juvelen, Utopia’s landmark office building in Uppsala, is currently under construction and will be ready by the beginning of 2019.

Jaktarvet is a housing project consisting of 12 solid wood houses in Nacka, south of Stockholm.

“Recently, architecture and urban development have received a lot more attention in Sweden,” Jonsteg explains. “With current challenges such as climate change, globalisation, housing shortage and immigration, the role of architecture is becoming increasingly important. We confront those issues head on and provide innovative solutions based on the specific needs and opportunities of each location. Our goal is ultimately to create sustainable and affordable projects that people can relate to and fall in love with.” Web: Facebook: utopiaarkitekter Instagram: @utopiaarkitekter

This exquisitely designed Market Hall is part of a bigger development project in central Stockholm.

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Left: Arklab’s plan for Katarina Hamam in Södermalm. Top and middle right: Award-winning housing project Modet in Bagarmossen. Photos: Åke E:son Lindman. Bottom right: Katarina Hamam will include a Nordic hamam, a restaurant and exclusive apartments.

Exclusive hamam in the city From one of the world’s best housing solutions in the suburbs to an exclusive hamam with design apartments in the city centre – Arklab is certainly demonstrating competence and variety. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Arklab

Stockholm and Malmö-based architecture firm Arklab was founded in 2004. The studio is focused on creating innovative, precise and playful architecture. “The key is to identify the effective elements in each project to bring form and material together in a way that interacts and challenges,” says co-owner and architect Tomas Lauri. Katarina Hamam on Östgötagatan in Stockholm is one of Arklab’s noteworthy ongoing projects. In 2003, the gym at Sweden’s oldest existing school, Katarina Södra Skola, was razed by fire and only the exterior walls remained. It was one of the municipality’s requirements that the gables, with their large windows and characteristic decorations, remain intact. When completed next year, the building will include a Nordic hamam 118  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

and a restaurant on the ground floor, and 16 high-class design apartments on the floors above. To communicate the new content, the design strikes a contrast between the classic and symmetrical design of the original building. “From the outset, this was a complex project in many ways,” explains Lauri. “We are combining an old structure, which we are not allowed to change due to its historic heritage, with a completely new atmosphere on the inside. There is an exclusivity to this combination, which makes it quite unusual in the Stockholm area.”

World’s best housing Another of Arklab’s projects, Modet in Bagarmossen, a terrace of 12 houses, has been shortlisted in this year’s World

Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards in the Housing – Completed Buildings category. The houses act as a link between a natural reserve and a paved street, connecting urbanity and wilderness, and also function as a filter between private and public. Lauri elaborates on Arklab’s successful design philosophy: “Every project has its own context – politically, socially, environmentally – and the design is a way of highlighting what is unique in that specific location. We believe that design actually makes a difference.” These two examples, a housing project in the suburbs that is considered one of the best in the world and an exclusive hamam and accommodation solution in the city centre, unquestionably show the range of competence and creativity at Arklab. Web: Instagram: @Arklab

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Copyright © Malin Grönborg, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © Toms Kokins, All Rights Reserved

A glocal school of architecture

– acting locally and globally “Our aim is to educate future architects who can work for social change towards a sustainable society, departing from an ethical approach to the profession,” says Ana Betancour, rector at Umeå School of Architecture (UMA). By Sara Wenkel

The fact that UMA is situated in a rural and relatively sparsely populated region of Sweden, at a time of extensive globalisation, creates an interesting outlook to its students, according to Betancour. “They come from many different places, something that opens possibilities for a broad and diverse perspective,” she explains. UMA also distinguishes itself through the integration of scientific, artistic and professional methods and means of study in an international profile.

A new master’s programme for a sustainable society This autumn, a new master’s programme has started at UMA. “The new master’s programme in architecture and urban design is designed to promote diversity, flexibility, a larger and broader range of fields of knowledge, international collaboration, and other models of studio teaching,” the rector explains.

The programme operates in between the artistic and the scientific fields of knowledge and is characterised by a consistent focus on sustainability. It has an exploratory and experimental profile with the aim to develop new solutions based on broad interdisciplinary perspectives. “With the new master’s programme, we want to develop the student’s own critical thinking and her or his ability to apply new perspectives, designing alternative architectural proposals, strategies and practices that can contribute to change in today’s societal and urban development,” says Betancour.

Local and global The School of Architecture is part of the Global Practice Programme (GPP), a partnership with universities in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Sweden as main partners. The GPP is committed to collaborating within a

series of live project ‘classrooms’ where students and staff from across the programme work together. Project classrooms for the academic year 2017/18 include sites related to the refugee crises, migration, rural and urban development. A key part of the GPP is the potential for research collaboration. The partners of the GPP share a common project infrastructure, which supports and enables the delivery of live projects embedded within the curriculum within a supportive professional environment. Betancour concludes: “We act and do work locally and globally, and lead the way for transformative practices aiming to have an impact in societal development.” Rector Ana Betancour. Copyright © Mattias Pettersson,  All Rights Reserved


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Illustration: Tengbom

Temporary design with lasting impact A temporary wood structure in Stockholm gives long-lasting impressions. Built with minimal means, the modern market hall at Östermalm square is a glowing heart in the middle of the community – a success story signed Tengbom. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Felix Gerlach

Ranked by Fast Company as one of the world’s most innovative architecture firms, Stockholm-based Tengbom has a long history yet is constantly looking ahead. An example of its recent successes is the temporary market hall at Östermalm square in central Stockholm, which is in fact a side project to a much larger initiative. In 2012, Tengbom was commissioned by the local municipality to carry out a renovation of the old food hall Östermalms Saluhall, including recreating the original star-shaped floor plan from 1888. The venue is to become one of the world’s premier destinations for food and dining experiences – it has already been ranked as the seventh best food 120  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

hall in the world by Bon Appétit and, in addition to the refurbishment, there will be a new hotel as well as more room for restaurants and meeting places, all to be completed in 2019.

A curious timber box As it was not possible for the merchants in the food hall to keep their shops and stalls open during the refurbishment, they had to evacuate the building for two years. This caused a problem as the merchants had resided in the same building and under the collective brand of the food hall, so to divide them up in different premises would mean the risk of losing a loyal customer base. Instead, the local municipality had to find an alternative solution.

Directly adjacent to the old market hall is the open square, which could just about fit the majority of the merchants in a temporary building – a desirable solution as the customers would still be able to browse their favourite shops and stalls, however there were concerns about the quality of such a short-term building. The customers expect a certain quality and atmosphere, which is what makes shopping at Östermalms Saluhall such a special experience. Architect Mark Humphreys explains the idea of the temporary building, which opened in 2016 and has been a big hit with locals and tourists. Inspired by traditional market halls, Tengbom used lightweight materials to cover the square. “We quickly decided to work with timber, which is pre-fabricated and renewable,” Humphreys explains. “The design of the temporary building reflects the principles and grandeur of the old food hall in a modern form.”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

When creating the design, the team looked at pedestrian flow and placed entrances on each side of the building for easy access. Daylight penetration was also important, while strategically placed openings at ground level offer a glimpse of the fantastic volume inside, and give restaurant visitors a view of what is happening outside. The bright space and great acoustics have made it an attraction in its own right, also as a glowing lantern at night, and within the first few weeks it had twice as many visitors as the old food hall. “The greatest achievement is that the merchants have kept their customers and we have also attracted a new group of visitors to the area,” says Humphreys.

Visions for the future One major benefit of this type of prefabricated modular system is the easy dismantling. It can be modified for different functions and sites, and be erected elsewhere to live on in another form. Tengbom has come forward with three visionary ideas for how this particular

structure could be reused. These proposals focus on functions and places where it could positively contribute to the urban landscape and on a social and political level.

by the Chamber of Commerce for driving commercial attraction and giving back to the local community.

For instance, the temporary market hall could be transformed into a new public bath in Skanstull, or a cultural centre in Rissne, or perhaps a youth centre in Skärholmen. The visions provide inspiration for more experimental and modern urban developments. Humphreys elaborates on the future of these types of designs: “We want to lift the level of debate about the value of architecture in society, to encourage property developers and politicians to think about the potential of these types of solutions.” As testimony to its success, Tengbom’s temporary market hall has been awarded 2016 Design S in the category Architecture, the 2017 Architizer A+ Award for best international retail project and, in October this year together with the municipality, the Urban Environment Award

Mark Humphreys.

Web: Facebook: tengbom Twitter: @tengbom Instagram: @tengbom

Facts about Tengbom: Tengbom, founded in 1906, is one of the oldest architecture practices in the world. Svante Tengbom, grandson of the founder Ivar Tengbom, still works in the company, keeping the family line intact. In 2016, Johanna Frelin was appointed CEO. As a spokesperson and role model for digitalisation, she puts Tengbom at the front of the new era. With over 600 employees in some 12 static and mobile offices in Sweden and Finland, Tengbom applies an agile operation mode by emerging where needed.

Illustration: Tengbom

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Meet Marge

– a team player with a knack for social architecture With a range of prestigious awards and nominations under their belt in addition to a strong justice pathos and expertise in everything from big, complex builds to accessory design, Marge is the contemporary architecture firm that prides itself on an egoless approach to socially conscious design. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Marge/Johan Fowelin

“It’s quite common in architecture that the firm is named after one of the founders, and it was important for us not to go down that route,” says Susanne Ramel. “Instead, we created a fictitious person – Marge – who we could all get behind. We believe that you can push both idea and execution to another level if you’re working with other people in a strong collaboration. You get to shed light on a 122  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

project from many more different angles and end up with a better product – it’s a quality assurance of sorts.” Together with Katarina Grundsell, Pye Aurell Ehrström and Louise Masreliez, Ramel founded Marge in 2002. 15 years on, it is a well-established firm with a range of awards and accolades in addition to a portfolio evidencing both breadth

of expertise and a sincere social pathos. “It’s a complex thing, creating new buildings,” says Pye Aurell Ehrström about the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach. “There’s a lot to consider, a lot of people to bear in mind. That we have a range of different people and skills and can keep questioning each other really is one of our key strengths.” Marge’s portfolio reveals a predilection for social spaces of different kinds – “public spaces you’re allowed to come to and spend time in without necessarily having to buy anything,” Louise Masreliez ponders – and includes a number of libraries, museums and nursing

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homes. “We believe that architecture can improve our social experience and how we meet,” she continues. “But in order to do that, we need to understand how people behave in a given space and know what the ambition is. We always try to get to know the natural movement of people to be able to create for instance a meeting space in a square – for it to work as a social space.” One good example is the revamp of the entrance to Stockholm’s Moderna Museet back in 2004 – one of the firm’s first projects. The task was to turn an unwelcoming museum entrance into an enticing social space, to ‘drop the guard’, as the museum director said at the time. Rejoining the bookshop with the main lobby space and adding an espresso bar and new seating areas, Marge created a low-threshold space that is still today central to the celebrated museum’s positioning as an art space for all.

Green gardens for WAF This year, Marge is shortlisted in the Health – Completed Buildings category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF). A public commission contract won by competition, The Gardens is a nursing home incorporating greenery The Gardens.

and the surrounding nature into the architecture, all in line with the latest research about how to promote wellness through design. The project has garnered a great deal of attention and is also nominated for this year’s Kasper Salin Prize, Sweden’s finest architecture award. “This is a situation where, unfortunately, some residents will be bedbound for most of the day, so to provide them with a social context we avoided double-sided corridors and instead ensured that every apartment faces a kitchen, common space or courtyard, just so that the residents can leave the door open and hear people talking or smell the cooking if they want to,” says Katarina Grundsell. Designed as a signature building of a new, emerging area in the town of Örebro, the nursing home is “an almost monastery-like rectangle perforated by a number of gardens”. The restaurant is open to the public to encourage people from offices nearby to pop in for lunch; the entrance has been given a social facelift by placing a coffee station, a kids’ space, a hair salon and a spa next to it, and by directing all deliveries and collections there, making sure that there is always movement.

Small but clever solutions mean that the residents are never far from nature. “The most impactful aspects of this type of space are always in the common areas,” says Ramel. “But simple things like low window sills can significantly improve residents’ homes by sort of bringing nature inside.” The outdoor gardens, created in collaboration with Land Arkitektur, are enclosed so that even residents who suffer from dementia can head outside and remain free to roam. “All too often, you’ll find that architects work away on their plot, completely missing what’s going on outside – because that’s the brief they got, and no one asked those questions,” says Grundsell and starts talking about the terminal buildings Marge created at Strömkajen in Stockholm with viewing steps providing stunning views across the water to the Palace. “We had to fight for those steps, to make the most of this beautiful location and not just end up with a ticket kiosk. But that’s what we do – we try to always add value not just for the client, but for visitors and the place itself.” Web: Instagram: @margearkitekter

The Gardens, which is nominated for a WAF award.

Moderna Museet.

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Left and below right: Residential building in Vallastaden, Linköping. The structural core of the building is made up of cross-laminated wood. Each storey has a ceiling height of almost four metres, creating spacious flats with lofts for extra living space. Top right: Some of the architects at Arkitektstudio Witte.

A change of scenery Commitment to sustainability, youthful creativity and a progressive view of what it means to be an architect form the basis of Arkitektstudio Witte’s success formula. The studio seeks to strengthen the architect’s role by acquiring know-how in all fields associated with the building process. Emphasising the importance of knowledge, this vibrant architecture firm is delivering an impressive assemblage of exciting projects. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Arkitektstudio Witte

When Ludvig Witte is asked why he wanted to set up his own architecture firm, he weighs his words carefully. “I studied architecture in Denmark. When I came back to my native Sweden after graduation, I realised that the architect’s role differs somewhat between the two countries,” he begins. “In Denmark, architects have more influence and more responsibility all the way through a project, from the drawing board to completion of 124  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

the construction process. In Sweden, the architect is often left out of the project after the initial design phase, resulting in finished buildings that aren’t quite what they were intended to be.” The name Arkitektstudio (Architect studio) hints at the team’s innovative working method, aiming to bring some of the Danish processes to Sweden. “We’re an international group of architects who

work in a sort of studio or workshop, if you will. It’s in this setting that we exchange knowledge from different disciplines and countries and develop our ideas. We strive to always add a research element to the working process, in order to hand over a project having acquired more expertise than what we had coming in,” Witte explains. This freer but more involved way of working is, among other things, intended to ensure that a high level of quality characterises each project.

Green pioneers Issues relating to sustainability are high on the agenda at Arkitektstudio Witte, and the green thinking permeates the entire working process. Therefore, it is quite suitable that the studio is currently

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engaged in two pioneering sustainability projects on housing, both assigned by the City of Stockholm Municipality.

the inner stairwell and façade are made entirely out of wood, and the building requires very low levels of energy support.

The first concerns the development of rental housing with integrated city farming opportunities to be enjoyed by the local community. The other has at its core the development of a block of flats, which require a very low level of energy support. The building will be constructed in wood – a favourite material of the studio – and the architects are meticulously researching the environmental footprint of the project and ways to minimise it even more by making smart decisions at an early stage of the planning process.

“The materials and the design we’ve used for this project will warrant a high degree of sustainability, in regards to both the actual build and the more social aspects of the project,” Witte explains. With Delfinernas hus, the studio has experimented with the concept of compact living, and a majority of the flats feature high ceilings with lofts containing a cosy sleeping compartment. “The building takes full advantage of how wood construction works in the way that the façade facing the street corbels out. A lot of effort has gone into constructing a modern ornamented wooden façade with historical references,” says Witte.

Touch wood To push the limits even further when it comes to operating a project from start to finish, Arkitektstudio Witte decided to take on the role of both architect and developer in a project to be displayed at the 2017 housing fair in Vallastaden, Sweden. The result, which is just about finished, is a charming building comprising 14 flats – Delfinernas hus (house of the dolphins). The construction as well as

A winning concept One apparent way in which Arkitektstudio Witte has gone from strength to strength is the number of competitions it has won. Several buildings penned by this firm will be going up all over Sweden in the near future. A prestigious exten-

sion to a church in Bromma, northwest of Stockholm, is also in the making. According to Witte himself, the success is mainly down to the people working in the studio and the way in which they cooperate. “For us, it’s really important to be a team. We come from different parts of the world and carry a lot of different experiences and perspectives with us, but we work together on a project towards a common goal. This is, I think, one of the key reasons why we’re doing quite well,” Witte concludes. Ängby kyrka (Ängby church) The parish of Bromma wished to revitalise their church, built in the late 1950s. A new breathing space away from everyday life, the green courtyard will be surrounded by rooms for socialising, choir practice, art exhibitions, concerts and meetings as well as new facilities for the administration. A small chapel is added for intimate ceremonies.


Top left: Rental flats commissioned by the City of Stockholm Municipality. The buildings aim for gold in the Swedish environmental buildings certification system, pushing the limits of low environmental footprint. Middle left: Competition first prize. A residential block of flats in the new area Sigtuna Stadsängar, close to the historic city of Sigtuna, northwest of Stockholm. Bottom left: Residential red brick building in Mälarhöjden, a southern suburb of Stockholm. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman. Right: Competition first prize. Extension and revitalisation of the church and administration building for Bromma parish.

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The Garden.

A total design experience As the name suggests, Total Arkitektur offers all-encompassing solutions for the ultimate design experience. Its architects come up with ideas for lost cities, give kids a better place to grow, and provide attractive housing more in tune with nature. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Anders Fredriksén

Established some 70 years ago, Stockholm-based Total Arkitektur & Urbanism has a long history but is very much a young and dynamic office of around 25 talented people – from planning specialists setting the rules for what can be built, to architects creating everything from single housing to entire urban environments, and landscape architects involved in developing more sustainable and energy-efficient solutions.

proach along the lines of togetherness and sustainability. “We want to be leaders in the field, offering our broad range of clients a carefully prepared solution from their initial vision to the final execution,” explains one of Total’s architects, Johan Granqvist. “This is why our process is interdisciplinary and we use all of our competences through each and every stage. It’s important for what we leave behind.”

Working closely together on all kinds of public and private projects, this creative team adapts to the different requirements but uses the same overall ap-

Plans for a lost city

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One such interdisciplinary project is Hemmesta Centrum, which is one of five town centres in Värmdö Municipality

where Total has been the overall coordinator for a number of architectural firms and is also developing a structural plan for the town centre, including layout and design of streets, parks and squares as well as blocks of around 700 apartments, designed by a contemporary reinterpretation of the typical ‘archipelago character’ found in Scandinavia. “Hemmesta Centrum has no real structure – it’s a bit like a lost city,” admits Granqvist and highlights the increased interest in the area. “As Värmdö Municipality is now in an expansive phase, lots of people are moving there and the demand for new housing alternatives is growing. We were commissioned to come up with a plan and, so far, have been able to unite a wide range of visions and opinions – quite a feat!”

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Nursery for the kids Another exciting public project is nursery school Sörgården in Tullinge, south of Stockholm. The idea was to consider the small size of children and make the building easy for them to take in while offering transparency for the staff, hence the small-scale and one-floor solution. The rhomb shape consists of eight pavilions around a themed patio, with the metal and wood exterior following the rhomb theme. Traditional corridors were avoided, and the pavilions contain between two and four units with flexible space to be cornered off or opened up. The design also needed to be durable to encompass all types of educational activities for the children, and fit in with the buildings in the surrounding area. Granqvist elaborates on the large scope of Sörgården. “This is one of the most

complex types of projects but also such a fantastic challenge,” he says. “We had to adapt to a range of different users. The project needed to fit the activities of the children, the teachers responsible for their education, the kitchen staff cooking their food and so on. All aspects needed to be taken into consideration and we as architects were the interpreters. Also, this was an opportunity to put the kids in focus and create something for them.”

Garden for the people In addition to its large-scale public assignments, Total is working on a number of exciting housing projects. In Danderyd Municipality, north of Stockholm, for instance, Total has developed The Garden, an environmentally focused neighbourhood containing 33 apartments that have recently been inaugurated. The team of

Hemmesta. Visualisation: Mats Jarland


architects won a land allocation competition and, together with the municipality, developed a detailed plan for an attractive and generous housing solution with all apartments closely connected to the outer space. The idea has now finally come to life. Among some of the smaller housing projects is Attefallshuset, with a modern design for a semi-detached house. Granqvist explains that here, the challenge was to consider all the functions required in a small space. “We created a one-bedroom plan and have since then come up with several other solutions for different types of terrain.”

Web: Facebook: totalarkitektur

The Garden.

Attefallshuset. Visualisation: Mats Jarland

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Leading lights between art and design Brightening up homes, public spaces and restaurants alike, Pholc is yet another Scandinavian design sensation making a name for itself worldwide. With an intention to design lamps that balance on the fine line between art and design, Pholc does not shy away from noticeable and bold expressions.

anymore right now, so you’ll have to wait and see who these designers are and what they have created,” Norburg smiles. Watch this space!

By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Kimmie Persson (Stylists Amanda Rodriguez and Fanny Fager)

Interpreting Scandinavian design in a wider perspective with an international touch is an essential part of Pholc’s philosophy. “Our heritage is strongly characterised by clean and simplified products, along with genuine quality. We see this as synonymous with a Swedish design legacy,” Maja Norburg explains. She is one half of the husband-and-wife team that started Pholc in 2015. “Together, my husband Samuel and I are driven by the will to establish a design company that contributes to and develops Swedish design. Our products are created by designers who are strongly encouraged to let their talent and ingenuity flourish,” says Norburg. Like many other design companies, Pholc calls the southern province of Småland home. People hailing from this part of Sweden have a reputation for being hardworking, which is something Pholc are keen to honour. “Our Småland 128  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

roots are vital; they form the basis of our corporate culture. We work hard, we have high standards and a deep knowledge of what we do. We’ve created a friendly and non-prestigious company culture of which we’re proud,” Norburg explains. Proof, if proof is needed, that the business is moving in the right direction is that one of the designers working with Pholc, Monika Mulder, recently won the coveted Elle Decoration Swedish design award for her lamp Mobil. It comes as no surprise, as such, that Mobil has become one of Pholc’s absolute bestsellers. Maja and Samuel Norburg and the team at Pholc expect to be very busy for the foreseeable future. “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline, including some interesting collaborations with highly skilled designers. The results of these partnerships will be launched in the next couple of years. I can’t tell you

Web: Facebook: Instagram:

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Photo: Cemal Emden

An obligation to quality and sustainability The beating heart of Swedish furniture design is located in the mystical, forestclad southern province of Småland. Naturally, this is also where the vibrant business Lammhults is found. Unmistakably modernist, this furniture company simultaneously emphasises the importance of respecting its environment as well as its history. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Lammhults

Founded as a mechanical workshop in 1945 to supply the many furniture businesses in the area, Lammhults soon became a furniture company in its own right. “Our trademark product throughout the years has been and still is steel tube stands. However, these days, we also work with cast aluminium frames as well as wooden frames,” Carolina Ericsson, marketing communications manager, explains. A number of successful collaborations with talented designers have been an essential part of Lammhults’ success formula. “Working with leading contemporary furniture designers ensures that, together, we achieve elegant, efficient and environmentally friendly furniture,” says Ericsson. That commitment to sus-

tainability is vital to how Lammhults designs and produces modern high-quality furniture. “The environmental aspect is important to us. We strive to leave as small environmental footprints as we possibly can.” Mainly supplying the contract market – in other words offices, universities, hotels, airports, restaurants and hospitals – all over the world with inventive and clever design solutions, Lammhults’ furniture has a long lifespan and can withstand a great deal of detailed scrutiny. “We consider our products works of craft. We’re very proud of the fact that large parts of the production process still happen by hand. Many visitors to our factory are surprised to see just how much is actually done by hand,” says Ericsson.

These days, this once small company in the deep forests of Småland sells stylish furniture across the globe, always remembering and celebrating their past. “To showcase our great history, we have a strategy for managing the design heritage. In addition, we regularly re-launch and highlight older models,” Ericsson explains. Evidently, Lammhults has made a clear commitment to always finding just the right balance between timelessness and the future. “We quite often say that we will always be modern, our design always essential,” Ericsson concludes.


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  129

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

OPPO by Stefan Borselius.

In search of the unexpected Next to the Baltic Sea, Blå Station produces outstanding solutions for our homes and public spaces. Fuelled by curiosity, its creative designers continue to deliver the unexpected.

laborations, but rather an approach. On the contrary, several designers have had their first product placed here.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Blå Station

Lindau delves deeper into Blå Station’s design philosophy, with its designers elaborating on the potential of future design here and now. “Innovation, function and sustainability are paramount – you have to be able to use the products. Our furniture has functionality; they are not pieces of art, and they need to be sustainable, to live on for 20, 30, 40 years or longer, both from a user and a visual perspective.”

In a former sewing factory in Åhus, on the southeast coast of Sweden, Blå Station is creating its magic. The company was first set up in 1986 by designer Börge Lindau and launched alongside the praised Oblado furniture collection. Ever since, siblings Mimi Lindau and Johan Lindau have been immersed in the task of making a difference in the market by creating and producing designs that are something out of the ordinary. “We never ask the market what it wants or needs,” says Mimi Lindau. “We manufacture the kind of furniture that we like ourselves and that deserves a place on 130  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

the market. Instead of looking at trends, we notice environments and how people move in them, what functionality is missing and needed. People live differently nowadays; furniture needs to be flexible.”

3D innovation in chairs The range of designs includes so-called environmental furniture such as stools, chairs, benches, armchairs, sofas and tables. Some can be piled up, connected and twisted, and others can be cleverly adapted and used both indoors and outdoors. Blå Station uses both Swedish and foreign designers, not necessarily looking for famous names for its col-

Clearly, Blå Station takes on seemingly impossible challenges both technically and commercially. An interesting example is the acclaimed Dent chair by o4i, a collaboration that has succeeded in 3D-forming ordinary veneer into a

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

double-curved seat shell, something no one has achieved before. But innovations can also be about new functionalities, like in the case of the new armchair Pocket by Stone Designs, which has an elegant solution with storage space in the form of a pocket under the seat for bags, scarves, gloves, laptops and whatever else people might want to put away when sitting down. Celebrated armchair OPPO by Stefan Borselius is another special design with a warm and friendly expression, intended to populate places. “Offering welcoming furniture is needed in environments where people tend to feel lonely, such as big open office landscapes,” says Lindau.

Meet BOB, the sofa system The new sofa BOB by Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius has received plenty of attention and awards. Starting with the

BOB by Thomas Bernstrand.

BOB by Thomas Bernstrand.

brief, Blå Station wanted to offer a flexible sofa system with as few components as possible and at an affordable price. The designers managed to create a compact solution – every part is only 26 centimetres wide – that is simple to handle at the factory, when transporting it and, finally, when combining the pieces in a space. “It’s important for us to work with sustainability from idea to finished product,” says Lindau. “This includes materials used and avoiding packing too much air.” BOB was named Best Product at Editors’ Choice of Stockholm Furniture Fair 2017 with the motivation “a clever idea that produces a flexible seating system with a strikingly simple aesthetic”. It also won the MIAW – MUUUZ International Awards 2017, as organised by the ArchiDesignClub in partnership with Muuuz magazine with the intention

Dent by o4i.

to identify the most outstanding new products for architecture. Moreover, BOB won the Editors’ Award for Best Seating at ICFF NYC 2017. Undoubtedly proud of the success, Lindau says: “It’s great to receive these prizes of course, and we’re particularly happy about the editors’ awards, as journalists and editors have great authority and trustworthiness. It means a lot.” Visitors are welcome to take a look at the famous BOB, the friendly OPPO and all the other products at Blå Station’s showrooms in Åhus, Stockholm and Milano.

Web: Facebook: blastation Twitter: @blastation Instagram: @blastation

Pocket by Stone Designs.

BOB by Thomas Bernstrand.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  131

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Pullman Hotel Tour Eiffel, Paris. Ezy easy chair and table by Christophe Pillet. Photo: Boris Zuliani

A sustainable life cycle – and passion for design Creating stimulating atmospheres where inspiration has space to blossom forms the core of Offecct’s mission statement. With a deep commitment to following their instinct, the founders of this furniture company have not been afraid to go against the tide in order to achieve what they truly believe in. By Pia Petersson

In the early 1990s, Sweden went through the worst financial crisis it has experienced in recent history. This was the moment when Anders Englund and Kurt Tingdal decided it was time to, with the help of a typewriter and a toolbox, start their own company. Many prophets of doom thought they were out of their minds, especially as they intend132  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

ed to keep production local rather than moving it overseas to save money. Fastforward almost 30 years, and it seems as if Englund and Tingdal were right to trust their hearts and follow their instincts.

With a passion for creativity Already at the time of the foundation of Offecct, Englund and Tingdal had a very

clear entrepreneurial vision for what they wanted to do. “They thought that the material and design used in many public spaces at the time often were a bit rigid,” says communications manager Katarina Fellbrant. Instead, they were passionate about creating a company that could present more creative and innovative interior design solutions in the public environment. “Englund and Tingdal asked themselves what sort of clever design solutions will encourage and support creative spirit in a company,” Fellbrant continues. The result was a company that has been es-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

sential when it comes to vitalising offices and public spaces, initially in Scandinavia but to an increasing degree also all across the rest of the world.

Offecct’s commitment From the very beginning, Englund and Tingdal have been certain that they will not compromise when it comes to unique design, top quality and long-term durability. They are enthusiastic about creating furniture that combines these three essential building blocks. Additionally, they stay focussed on making sure that Offecct will always make the most user and environmentally friendly choices possible. “The mission of the entire company is to generate a sustainable life cycle. This is something we incorporate into every single step of the company’s business model, from the first brief with the designers we work with to the packaging and delivery of our furniture,” Fellbrant explains. This way of thinking has become one of the cornerstones of the company’s philosophy, so much so that it has been given its own name – Offecct Lifecircle. Put simply, it is based on the company’s Oyster High by Michael Sodeau.

Founders of Offecct: Anders Englund, design manager, and Kurt Tingdal, CEO Offecct Group.

desire to create a holistically sustainable life cycle with regards to all its furniture. “Most of our products have a story that helps us live up to our mission. Some examples of this are the chair Phoenix by Luca Nichetto, the portable meeting room Cloud by Monica Förster and the Jin chair by Jin Kuramoto.”

Keeping it local, going global Deciding to keep production in the small town of Tibro in the Swedish province of Västergötland also seems like an almost revolutionary choice at a time when many European companies move production and manufacturing abroad. Nevertheless, this was a conscious decision on the part of Englund and Tingdal. Roughly 90 per cent of all production still takes place in Tibro in southwestern Sweden. But the local focus does not prevent a global outlook, of course. “Our future plan very much includes further international expansion. In light of an increasing number of companies taking environmentally friendly products seriously, we’re in a good position, having had a sustainable strategy since day one,” Fellbrant explains. Phoenix by Luca Nichetto.

Feel your oats Among the many innovative products created at Offecct, one recent, noticeable piece of furniture is Solitaire, an ingenious chair designed by Alfredo Häberli. When it was launched in 2001, it was a real forerunner in terms of function adapted to an increasingly intensive IT society. That said, Solitaire has never been more current than it is in 2017. Offecct is continuously working on innovative development in order to push the boundaries and find new solutions, within a framework called Offecct Lab, which is exactly that – a type of research lab. Another project, which has just launched, is all about making stylish designer furniture from oat husks – yes, oat husks. “This is an example of how we like to explore, investigate and pave the way for innovative design that can make us think differently. Sure, it’s a bit of a challenge at times but, when it comes down it, in our view being sustainable is all about passion and having fun,” Fellbrant finishes. Web: Handcrafted in Tibro, Sweden.

Showroom Stockholm. Photo: Mathias Johansson

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  133

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Comfortable, stylish and honest With modern furniture made of high-quality materials from trusted suppliers, Ire Möbel offers a sustainable solution – aesthetically, financially and environmentally. These comfortable yet stylish designs certainly age with pride. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Ire Möbel

Located in Tibro with its long tradition of making high-quality furniture, Ire Möbel’s philosophy has been the same since its beginnings back in 1939 – based around the long-term commitment to providing timeless, sustainable quality in both design and production. This uncompromised outlook puts high demands on craftsmanship and care, and also relates to consumers’ impact on the environment.

Olbers on developing new products, always with sustainability at the core. One of her stylish designs is the popular sofa Hanna, with an exposed wood frame that gives it a sense of naked honesty. In line with Ire Möbel’s philosophy to protect the environment, leather waste from Olbers’ sofa Rejoin is used for details in another product, the sofa puff Luggage by another talented designer, Ellinor Eriksson.

“We can see a growing trend and awareness in ecological interior design,” says CEO Dick Thunell. “However, there is still a lack of great-looking, designed furniture that is also sustainable. This is our space at Ire Möbel, to create furniture of the best materials to last for a long time. With our designs, we want to work against the fast-moving trends of wear and tear.”

This year’s collection of furniture and fabrics was inspired by nature. For example, the lush green in pine trees can be found in the wool fabric Lana, and dried grass has inspired the texture and colour in linen fabric Field. The company has even introduced a fully recyclable fabric. Ire Möbel’s furniture has a ten-year so-called makeover warranty with removable, washable and changeable upholstery. As Thunell explains: “Customers don’t have to throw away their sofa if it gets stained; they can buy new upholstery instead and their sofa will last for another ten years!”

Extending life span Ire Möbel works closely with creative designers such as award-winning Emma 134  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Next year, Ire Möbel will launch a range of innovative armchairs in cooperation with a number of new designers. These armchairs and other new products will be showcased at Stockholm Furniture Fair, 6-10 February 2018 in Stockholm.

Web: Facebook: iremobel Instagram: @iremobel

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Keynote

Scan Business Keynote 135  |  Business Profiles 136  |  Business Column 138  |  Business Calendar 138





– a philosophy behind Scandinavian success By Nils Elmark, consulting futurist, Incepcion

“Crowdfunding may be trendy at the moment, but if you look at the figures it’s only a drop in the ocean of the global economy – it gets too much attention!” This was the harsh comment I got from a banker friend when we discussed the financial importance of the crowd. And as a coup de grace, he added: “Crowdfunding doesn’t stand a chance against global capitalism!” I think my friend is wrong. At the moment, crowdfunding may represent only a few per cent of the funding of new business initiatives in the world, but that figure will continue to grow as it has grown for ten years since the first crowdfunding site Indiegogo kicked off in San Francisco and Crowdcube kicked off equity crowdfunding in the UK three years later. I meet a lot of young people every day with new business ideas, and when they look for funding they do not look to traditional banks; they immediately think about online communities and crowdfunding. As a Scandinavian, I know that our social and economic success has grown out of crowdfunding. It was not called crowdfunding at the start of the 20th century – it was called ‘andelstanken’ – but it was the same: a cooperative philosophy

about getting rich together, sparked by modern industrialisation. Small farming communities all over Scandinavia wanted their share of the progress promised by new technology. They did not just want to sell their produce to some rich factory owner – they wanted their own dairy plants, their own slaughter houses, and their own community shops. These cooperatives were established in their thousands, and as the incumbent banks would not fund the new initiatives, small communities started to establish their own local banks and building societies. Over the years, many of these cooperatives have merged and some have almost forgotten where they come from, but ‘andelstanken’ is nevertheless still the foundation for a large part of Scandinavian welfare and business success. For instance, behind a brand such as Lurpak you find the Danish-Swedish dairy company Arla Foods. The company was crowdfunded as a cooperative more than a century ago and is still owned by more the 12,500 farmers. Four of Denmark’s biggest farming and food companies have doubled their revenue since 2005 to 25 billion pounds, and the biggest supermarket chain is Coop with a market

share of around 40 per cent. They are all owned by the crowd. We should not underestimate the potential of crowdfunding. It is not an idea the world is seeing for the first time; crowdfunding in the form of ‘andelstanken’ was one of the key formulas for Scandinavian success in the 20th century. Now we see it again, re-packaged and based on new technologies – but the philosophy is the same.

Nils Elmark is a consulting futurist and the founder of Incepcion, a London-based consultancy that helps organisations develop new and braver dreams.

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  135

Scan Magazine  |  Business Profile  |  PROCE™ Institute

The new approach to digital business transformation Globalisation and digitalisation force companies to go through business transformation more often and faster. The success rate for such transformations is estimated to be just 30 per cent, and that is why PROCE™ Institute has specialised in bridging the gap between business change and project execution.

and coaching to organisations. From October onwards, they are going global, and they are currently looking for investors for their transformation management software platform.

By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: PROCE™

Thousands of books have been written about business and project management. Companies have invested significantly in education, and today there are nearly three million certified project managers. Yet, there is still a gap between business and IT. “About 70 per cent of all projects fail, and that tells me that companies are still not handling a business transformation well enough. That’s why we’ve spent the last five years developing the 4Dimensions Transformation Framework. It’s a unique catalyst that connects business strategy with change initiatives, and it’s actually the only one out there on the market,” says Palle Stenver, founder of PROCE™ Institute. PROCE™ Institute is capable of helping everyone undergoing a digital business transformation, and there is a high demand especially within the financial sec136  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

tor. Due to globalisation and digitalisation, clients are experiencing significant disruptions, and they need to implement changes faster and faster to keep up with the competition.

Going global “The companies need our solution in order to achieve faster and better results. It’s as simple as that. Our solution is not a substitution to all the methods for business and project management that already exist; it’s a supplement. We can help companies clarify and specify what they really want. This will increase their chances for a successful result, because we offer a fast, agile and repeatable business transformation,” explains Stenver. PROCE™ Institute provides training to management, project managers and project participants and offers consultancy

“We collaborate with the Danish Technological Institute, and we feel that we are ready as a company to roll out our vision and training to the rest of the world. Having issues with a business transformation is an international phenomenon. Our mission is to create the platform that allows organisations to collaborate with technology companies and consultants to ensure successful completion of change projects,” says Stenver.


Scan Magazine  |  Business Profile  |  CodeSealer

Tonny Rabjerg.

Can you really afford the consequences? More and more cyberattacks are being carried out, but 80 per cent of companies are still not protected in their online channels. CodeSealer provides invisible end-to-end web security that helps you protect your brand. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: CodeSealer

“It’s difficult to say exactly how much money you’ll save, but I can only imagine what it will cost if your customers simply lose faith in your brand, because your web page isn’t secure,” says Tonny Rabjerg, CEO of the Danish company CodeSealer. Since 2011, CodeSealer has specialised in creating an invisible barrier against cyberattacks. The solution protects the weakest link, which is often the end user who accesses web shops or home banking portals without using the right protective measures. “Some suggest that you can teach users not to click on specific things on a web page, but that is an illusion. A web page

is built with the purpose of users clicking on various things and if they are suddenly afraid of doing so, they might as well not enter the web page in the first place,” says Rabjerg.

Protecting your brand From 25 May 2018, the EU is implementing a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for increased protection of customer data. As part of this, companies also need to secure the customers’ data in web pages, something only 20 per cent of companies comply with today. “Our solution can protect you from attacks originating in the browser, and

it’s a completely invisible solution – so your customers don’t have to install anything for it to work,” says Rabjerg and adds: “We still see web shops and other companies that believe it’s the customer’s own responsibility to protect themselves, but I can guarantee you that nothing is more damaging than a customer who starts to think that it’s not safe to use the web shop or home banking anymore because their credit card has been abused for instance. Just one or two bad customer experiences can damage your brand and, like I said in the beginning, it’s difficult to say how much money you will save using our solution, but you have to ask yourself if your brand can really afford the consequences if you don’t.”


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  137

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Column / Calendar

Facing down the hurricanes As I write, Hurricane Irma is crossing the Caribbean. Its 295-kilometre-per-hour winds have reduced some islands “to rubble”. The TV images match scenes of devastation from other extreme weather events shown in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore’s follow-up to his documentary film of 2006, An Inconvenient Truth, about the climate crisis. Everyone should see this film. Every business leader should see it twice. Gore’s oratory is powerful and his advocacy is convincing. He says we must all act now to mitigate the effects of global warming. Businesses should be taking a lead in this process. Here are a dozen small and big ways for companies to save the planet: 1. Publish annual measures of carbon footprint, with a commitment to reducing it to zero as soon as possible. 2. Incorporate environmental objectives into vision and mission statements. 3. Appoint a chief environmental officer (CEO) to convert the organisation to environmental sustainability.

4. Recruit and train environmental ambassadors to support this. 5. Create travel-to-work schemes for employees to car share, cycle or use public transport. 6. Reward employees with the best suggestions for reducing waste. 7. Hasten the transition towards the paperless office. 8. Make photocopying difficult. 9. Get everyone to turn off lights and machines when not needed. 10. Introduce meat-free Fridays in the canteen. 11. Make the environment a big part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes within the wider community. 12. Organise voluntary events where employees clear local areas of litter and clean up run-down areas. This might be costly, of course, but what will be the costs of not doing it? As the mayor of (100-per-cent renewable energy) Georgetown, Texas, says in the film: ‘We

By Steve Flinders

should all leave the planet in a better state than we found it.’ Gore believes the human ability to come together in periods of crisis will prevail in the face of this challenge. We need commitment from every workplace too. Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

Business Calendar

Photo: DUCC

Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month Sustainability Forum Exploring the phenomenon of sustainability and its integration into an urbanised world, this forum will, among other things, welcome Tetra Pak, the Swedish worldleading packaging company that represents an alternative to plastic. Representatives from H&M and Siemens will also contribute, and the theme of innovation of packaging and recycling will be discussed from the perspective of both the present day and expectations for the future. Date: 12 October, 6pm-9pm Venue: The Crystal, Royal Victoria Docks, Siemens Brothers Way, London, E16 1GB

Centenary Conference This conference, organised by the AngloFinnish Society and Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce, commemorates the Centenary of Finnish independence and Finland’s

138  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

relationship with the UK. There will be talks on subjects ranging from politics to trade and finance, including distinguished speakers such as Mr. Erkki Liikanen, governor of the Bank of Finland, and Dr. Risto E. J. Penttilä, CEO of the Finland Chamber of Commerce. Date: 27 Oct, 9am-5.30pm Venue: EBRD Headquarters, Broadgate City of London, 1 Exchange Square, London, EC2A 2JN

Breakfast MEET with Leif Östling Leif Östling, chairman of SKF, chairman of the board of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and board member of EQT AB, joins the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for a breakfast meeting. Members only. Date: 2 Nov, 8am-10am Venue: Swedish Ambassador’s Residence, 27 Portland Place, London, W1B 1QA

Mortens Aften at Snaps + Rye The Danish Club invites members of the Danish Chamber of Commerce to join them at Snaps + Rye for a Mortens Aften event with a twist. A very Danish menu will be served, along with the perfect opportunity for some networking in a fun and relaxed environment. Date: 10 Nov, 6.30pm Venue: Snaps + Rye, 93 Golborne Road, Notting Hill, London, W10 5NL

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Sweden

Hotel of the Month, Sweden

The seaside hotel where things get sorted In 1898, a judge took the Gothenburg steamer to the island of Tjörn, searching for his summer residence. At Tjörnehuvud he found a plot of land big enough to create his own kingdom, Bergabo. Today, guests from across the world travel to Bergabo Hotel to get married or inspired, or just to indulge in a sense of seaside timelessness. By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: Bergabo Hotell & Konferens

Bergabo was turned into a holiday home for council workers in the ‘40s, before it finally became a hotel. It has recently developed into a modern facility with extensive accommodation, hosting conferences and events. Its vision is to become one of the foremost Swedish conference centres. The hotel rooms, where some rooms have amazing views of the sea and the little islets of Klädesholmen and Tjörnekalv, all together have capacity for 110 people. On a sunny day, people walk past the church next door to Bergabo and down to the water’s edge. An inviting beach awaits the bathers with jetties and diving towers. In the cosy harbour close by, attractive boat trips to the archipelago are arranged.

Bergabo’s manager, Jessica Ruckman, is the epitome of southern Sweden’s trademark down-to-earth sparkling positivity. “We’ll sort it out!” is her smiling solution to every problem. This way of positive, out-of-the-box thinking, alongside quick-fix problem solutions, really benefits the guests. “When we arrange a wedding or a conference, we concentrate on delivering what our guests want,” says Ruckman. “No wedding or conference is the same – everyone has certain things that are important to them. That is what we focus on and what we’ll make happen.” This home away from home is certainly a place where things can happen. When

a conference, party or wedding is being organised on the premises, Ruckman and her staff will take care of everything. “We have had a lot of weddings here that have become so much more than a wedding. Since we can sleep 110 guests, which is quite unique, everything is possible. We have had weddings where the guests show up on the Friday for a meet and greet, then spend the Saturday preparing for and attending the wedding, and then relaxing with great food from the sea at the reception before dancing the night away. After a long lie-in, it is lovely to wrap up the event with a brunch send-off!” What happens when things do not go according to plan? Jessica laughs. “Well, then we’ll just sort it out!” Web: Facebook: Bergabohotell Instagram: @bergabohotell

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  139

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

Photo: K25

Ricard Constantinou.

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Spoilt for choice Your friend would like to go for a burger, whereas you fancy a Vietnamese pho. Sound familiar? At K25, this problem is easily solved as 11 different restaurants share one roof. Located right in the centre of Stockholm, this bustling restaurant hall has rejuvenated the food scene in the Swedish capital. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Stefan Andersson

“I don’t really like the term ‘food court’ – I prefer restaurant hall,” says Ricard Constantinou, founder of K25. For him, paying attention to detail and developing strong conceptual ideas has been successful. Starting his first business at the age of 16, this entrepreneur and food enthusiast has been a godsend to all foodies living in or visiting Stockholm for over three decades now. Among his many brain children are a food theatre and the healthy food chain Panini Internazionale. It comes as no surprise that Constantinou has been awarded the prize of Restaurant Visionary of the Year as well as Restaurant Innovator of the Year – and K25 might be his most ambitious project to date. It all came about in 2013, when a huge space on one of the most central streets of Stockholm was suddenly free and 140  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Constantinou was asked if he wanted to do something here. “It was just this massive, rough open space. I envisaged a busy, dynamic city square with lots of different cuisines to choose from,” he explains. His vision proved rewarding – four years later, K25 welcomes upwards of 5,000 guests every day.

in the area flock to K25. In the evening, a slightly younger clientele takes over before heading out to clubs, theatres and bars. “I’d say it’s an urban restaurant hall attracting a diverse crowd,” Constantinou suggests. With restaurants serving everything from Tex-Mex to kebabs with a French touch, there certainly is something to please everyone here. In addition, given that all restaurants offer takeaway, K25 is an obvious metropolitan crowd pleaser for natives and tourists alike.

K25 is named after its location, Kungsgatan 25. This street has been the hub of the culture scene in Stockholm for decades. However, when K25 opened its doors, the street had been slightly neglected for a while and needed some TLC. “This is a vital, historical centre of the city. I do think we’ve revitalised the area – Kungsgatan needed something like K25,” says Constantinou. During lunch, those working in the many advertising, bank and legal offices


Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

Delight your senses in a cosy atmosphere Wine from around the world paired with tasty tapas and a group of friends are components of a night to remember. Plan B wine & tapas serves you the delicacies in their comfy bar. You just need to bring your crew. By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: Karsten Thorlund

Four friends with a passion for high-quality wine, food and company have teamed up with their respective experience of working in the restaurant, wine, advertising and retail businesses to live out their plan B in the centre of smiling Aarhus. “The four of us all walked around with this dream of making our interest in wine part of our everyday lives. That’s how we got started. We were all working with something else, and still have other jobs, but wanted to do something about this plan B dream of ours. We were in contact with an Argentinian wine estate whose wine is named Plan B, so that’s how we came up with the name,” explains Jens Peter Lund, co-owner of Plan B wine & tapas. A relaxed take on the sometimes highbrow attitude towards wine is the key to this establishment. Here, you do not need to be an expert on the content of your glass; the important thing is that

you like what you are drinking. If you are curious to learn, Plan B is the environment to study in.

telling a story of the wines we have had here. It’s our signature,” ends Lund. If you are looking for a laidback atmosphere with a world of opportunities for your wine glass and gourmet bites, the plan B of these wine lovers will surely become your plan A for a cosy night out.

Wine by the glass gives you plenty of opportunity to taste the wide range this bar has to offer. You can order a tasting board of three glasses to really open up your taste buds and compare the different details in flavour, and if you are in an extra adventurous mood you can embark on the Wednesday mystery wine challenge and guess which wines the staff have picked out for you. “This is a project where we started from scratch and poured all of our ideas and passion into it. Most of the décor we made ourselves, deconstructing wine barrels and turning them into chairs and tables. My favourite part is the bar. It has wooden pieces from wine cases with estate logos and the date burnt on them,


Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  141

Scan Magazine  |  Christmas Dinner of 2017  |  Norway

Storefjell Resort Hotel sports the longest buffet in Norway. Top right: Food is front and centre at the resort.

Christmas Dinner of 2017, Norway

Culturally anchored quality Storefjell Resort Hotel places quality at the core of their hospitality. The hotel houses 550 beds to the backdrop of the picturesque mountain region of Gol, famous for its winding ski slopes. By Pernille Johnsen  |  Photo: Storefjell Resort Hotel

Storefjell Resort Hotel is located in the heart of Norway, between Oslo and Bergen. The hotel caters increasingly to businesses wanting to do team building in the mountains. Storefjell Resort Hotel offers outdoorsy activities in combination with entertainment for visitors looking for a multifaceted experience and is also the largest conference venue in the mountainous region of Norway, while boasting the longest buffet in Norway. “We are also seeing a growing trend that a lot of people refrain from organising a Christmas party, but throw a large kickoff in January instead. People are busy in 142  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

the run-up to Christmas, and January is even better snow-wise, which makes the outdoor activities more fun,” explains hotel host Andreas Nibstad.

Top-notch entertainers The singers and entertainers booked for the winter season reach the tippy top of the Norwegian entertainment scene. DDE, Hellbillies, Staut and Vassend-gutane are all booked. “We choose performers of a certain standard so that people feel compelled to make the trek here; we are also putting on a humour show with Øyvind Blunck,” says

Nibstad. The hotel also previously hosted Postgiro-bygget and can house parties not only for large groups – they also go to great lengths to make solo travellers and small groups feel welcome and looked after. The food at Storefjell is made from scratch using locally sourced produce. “We pride ourselves on a culturally anchored culinary tradition. The recipes were made by my great grandmother,” says Nibstad. “She built the hotel along with my great grandfather in 1930. As a family-run hotel for so many generations, our mission is, as it always has been, to deliver quality to our guests.”


Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Experience of the Month, Denmark

Old new Nordic cuisine Erwin Lauterbach was a household name in Denmark long before celebrity chefs were a thing. His commitment to showing off local ingredients and giving vegetables starring roles has deeply influenced Danish cooking culture and, in 2004, he was one of 12 chefs to sign the Nordic Kitchen Manifesto, which has transformed Nordic cuisine at home and its reputation abroad. His current restaurant, Lumskebugten, stays true to its historical Copenhagen dockyard character but endows the best of Danish traditional cooking with all that Lauterbach has learnt – so far. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Lars Gundersen

“When I finished my training, I of course needed some real-world experience, so I went to Paris as so many other chefs did and do, and then on to Malmö,” Lauterbach recalls. “When I returned to Denmark in the 1970s, I became part of this network of Danish chefs working with my former Swedish colleagues and some Norwegians and Finns too. We began to hone in on the advantages of our distinct gastronomies, and began to train chefs much more seriously. These things take time, especially when your starting point isn’t that great.” He chuckles. “Back then, you could become a chef if all else failed; now it competes as a profession with lawyers and such.” Lauterbach opened his famous Restaurant Saison in 1981, building on the tools he had developed in Sweden. “Malmö

was a great challenge in that the availability of fresh ingredients is quite limited and very seasonal, so we had to get creative,” he recalls. His talents made waves further afield too, and he became a judge at international competitions including the Bocuse d’Or. He began to write books and appear on television, advocating underappreciated cuts of meat, local fish and vegetables first and foremost. “Well, they’re more multifaceted than meat or fish,” he insists. “If you put on a blindfold, it’d be much easier to distinguish between, say, leeks and peas than between different types of meat.” Restaurant Lumskebugten reflects this passion, and several vegetarian and vegan options are available. The menu offers Danish classics, including an impressive selection of traditional smør-

rebrød for lunch as well as forgotten meat cuts and fish dishes reflecting the building’s past as a sailor’s inn, made with all the love and skill of a chef who helped put his country’s food on the map. Lauterbach still brims with excitement for his craft. “I can only think of theatre people as being in a similar situation: you get to create something from scratch – develop a relationship with your guests and give them a tangible experience of nature. Being a chef is fantastic.” Erwin Lauterbach.

Web: Phone: +45 3315 6029 Facebook: Restaurant Lumskebugten

Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  143

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

Birds on wire.

Painting with birds.

Painting of trees.

Artist of the Month, Norway

From planes to paintings After working for Scandinavian Airlines’ marketing and communications department for ten years, Solveig Skogseide decided it was time for her creative skills to blossom. Therefore, she leaped into a new life. By Idha Toft Valeur  |  Photos: Solveig Skogseide

Seven years have passed since Skogseide walked out of her marketing office and into the shoes of a full-time painter and artist. Looking back on how her life was suddenly spent more in front of an easel than a computer, her career change makes perfect sense. “I grew up in a family full of creative minds. My uncle was an artist, my dad was a musician and my mum paints, just like me. So it makes sense, even though I never considered studying for a degree in arts. I looked for a degree where I could use my creative mind, and that is how I ended up doing marketing,” Skogseide explains. “My art has always been a part of my life, and it gradually developed into becoming my livelihood. So, when I had my third child, I decided ‘this is it’, and I went for it.” The easiest path for Skogseide would be to stick to what she knows – Sartre paintings with a dusty finish. But she will not take the easy route in her career as an artist. “It’s important for me not to feel stuck in a specific form, but to take that step out of my comfort zone and do new 144  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

stuff. I’ve, for example, experimented with silkscreen images and etchings,” she says. During her artistic career, Skogseide has had a great deal of interest from abroad, and she has exhibited her paintings in multiple countries. “My paintings have travelled to New York, Paris, Rome, Madrid and London, and of course that was a high point in my career – not only being able to exhibit my work abroad, but also selling paintings as a result of the exhibitions definitely spiced up my career as an artist,” she smiles.

“My focus at the moment is my gallery. It really is a dream situation to be in. I have my atelier on the floor above the gallery, which has opened up a whole new opportunity for interaction with my audience. They get to see paintings in process and then it often ends with them buying the painting when it’s done. It feels very local and green to create my paintings in such close proximity to where they are being exhibited,” says Skogseide. “For me, it’s all worth it when my art can cause a reaction, a feeling, a response or move someone. With art, it’s never a oneperson conversation.”

Opening her own gallery While receiving attention from abroad and being featured in several galleries in eastern Norway is an exciting prospect for any artist, Skogseide’s ultimate career high was when, in June 2016, she opened SOOT gallery in Bærums Verk, a creative hub in Bærum outside Oslo. Skogseide runs it together with the metal sculptor Tobbe Malm and the textile artist Tore Wilhelmsen.

Web: Facebook: Solveig M. Skogseide Kunst Art Instagram: @solveig.skogseide

Photo: Victoria Nevland / Design: Bjorvand & co

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Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

Who marvels at the paradox of the internet? On one hand, it definitely makes us smarter, providing us with a world of knowledge and information at our fingertips. I am amazed at how I can simply type any question into the search engine and, seconds later, be bombarded with answers and annoying pop-up ads. On the other hand: the alarmingly low number of people actually taking advantage of that (the information, not the pop-up ads; well, probably also the pop-up ads). It turns out, some people would rather ask us questions than actually look something up themselves. I browse through internet forums and Facebook groups amazed, amused and bewildered by posts like this: “I’m thinking about moving to L.A. – does anyone know if I need a visa?” Now, if you googled your question instead of just randomly posting it, you would know within seconds that, yes, you do indeed need a visa. Is it a generational thing to rely on complete strangers to help you out? I mean, it is one thing to ask people you meet on the

street if they know where the subway station is. To me, it is quite another thing to just randomly type your question into the ‘Internet Universe’ and then lean back and think ‘well, now I put it out there – something’s about to happen!’. Take this complete stranger, for example, who out of the blue wrote me a Facebook message: “Hey. I have a band. Do you know where we can perform in London?” Baffled, but acting on polite impulse, I was about to respond, but then I remembered that a) I’m not a music manager; b) I’m specifically not this person’s music manager; and c) I don’t even know this person, and it’s quite possible that I don’t want to. My favourite though, was someone who posted in a Facebook group for people living in LA: “Hey! I’m going to visit L.A.! Will anyone be able to pick me up at the airport?” Yes. Of course! All 30,000 people in this group will happily come to pick you up at the airport. That is what we are here for. Oh no, wait… that would be taxis. You might

Who am I? I am getting married this month, to a British man in an English registry office, in the English city where we live. It sounds silly, but it was not until we gave legal notice that I suddenly realised that my nationality matters. “Have you told your embassy?” the registrar asked, which stopped me in my tracks. Because until this point it had not even crossed my mind. I am getting married in the country where I have spent my entire adult life, but I am – of course – still a foreigner. This led to a second question: how do I pronounce my name during the ceremony? The guests will be a mix of Brits and Swedes. If I pronounce my name in English, will I be betraying my roots? Will my British friends find it weird if I suddenly go all hurdy gurdy? Basically – who am I? I sometimes wonder what would have happened had my family not moved here. At a guess, I would have continued along the path I was on; I would have followed my 146  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

want to get one when you arrive. By the way, where do you catch a taxi when you arrive at LAX? Does anyone know? Just PM me if you have the answer.

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

is a parallel universe that I both strangely miss and find completely alien. Because I am no longer a normal Swede, neither am I a normal Brit. However, luckily for me, it probably will not really matter which way I pronounce my name at our wedding, because my (very Swedish) middle name is likely to cause such a stir with the Brits that anything I say after that will be lost in the amused uproar.

friends to a suitable university and got myself a Swedish boyfriend and a normal job. Likely, I would be sitting in a wooden house right now, surrounded by IKEA furniture and eating reindeer on rice cakes, rather than drinking tea in front of a coal fire and writing a column about being a foreigner. It

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Columns

Scandinavian music ALMA has been producing and providing top-notch tunes for over a year now and, following on from Karma, Dye My Hair and Chasing Highs that gave ALMA her first proper UK hit single, the most popular new Finnish artist of the past 12 months has now released her fourth single. It is called Phases and, as well as featuring US rapper French Montana, it has also had both Noonie Bao and Charli XCX lend a hand to its creation. Needless to say, it bangs hard. I am very pleased to have these boys back: Kent, Cato, Peter, and Thomas, AKA Donkeyboy. They have just released their first new music in quite some time, the new single Kaleidoscope – a song that sees the Norwegian foursome delve into ‘80s synthpop influences and come up with a dreamy slice of retro electronica that more than lives up to the spaced-out images that the song title conjures up. Norwegian artist Caroline Høier marks herself out as an exciting one to watch, thanks to the arrival of her debut single,

Ocean. It is a well-crafted tune in that just as you are enjoying the rather marvellous chorus, it goes and gets out-peaked by an even better post-chorus. There is nothing like an unexpected double-punch in pop music – particularly when it is being delivered in a nonchalant fashion by an effortlessly cool vocal that knows precisely what it is doing, without ever letting on. 17-year-old Swedish artist Isatou also makes her debut this autumn – with a cover of a song that, despite being 44 years old, is perhaps more apt than ever in 2017. She has breathed some refreshing new life into the John Gary Williams soul classic The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy. Avoiding too much doom and gloom, however, she has given it a rather merry disco makeover and used it to showcase the stunning vocal with which she now introduces herself. Definitely check her out. Finally, many Swedes reading this may well be familiar with Miriam Bryant already. Well, now she has been signed to a big UK

By Karl Batterbee

record deal, and they are launching her with Rocket (there is a pun to be made in there). Produced by NEIKED (of Sexual fame), it is a super catchy track that the whole country will hopefully be getting on board with soon. Just like Sweden has been.

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Tore Renberg. Photo: Tommy Ellingsen

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! By Linnea Dunne

Máret Ánne Sara: Oaivemozit/ Madness (13-29 Oct)

Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall Photo: Belinda Lawley

This series of 11 prints provides insight into Norway’s changing Sami lands and the impact on the lives of these indigenous people of industrialisation and modern society’s growing infrastructure demands.

The artist, who hails from a reindeer herding family, asks who is mad – the Sami communities foreseeing a world on the brink of destruction, or the people denying the drastic consequences? Part of the London Literature Festival, Blue side foyers, level 3, Royal Festival Hall. Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  149

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

New Nordic Fiction – Unflinching Reality (18 Oct) Award-winning authors Christina Hesselholdt and Tore Renberg are joined by other Nordic writers to discuss the Nordic approach to capturing the complexities of modern life. Part of World on the Brink. Level 5 Function Room, Green side, Royal Festival Hall. 7.30pm.

Friday Tonic: Suunta (20 Oct) The Nordic Matters series presents flavours of Finnish contemporary folk music with this rare UK performance. The trio Suunta consists of Timo Väänänen (kantele), Anna-Kaisa Liedes (vocals) and Kristiina Ilmonen (flutes, percussion and vocals) and promises experimental, improvised music using ancient as well as modern instruments. Central Bar Foyer, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall. 5.30pm.

New Myths of the North (21 Oct) Are Nordic countries really modern-day utopias? Join the conversation about the realities of daily Nordic life and the achievements we could learn from. Part of World on the Brink. St Paul’s Roof Pavilion, Level 6, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall. 2pm.

Karl Ove Knausgård. Photo: Maria Teresa Slanziwn

Karl Ove Knausgård (23 Oct) Knausgård’s latest book, Autumn, is addressed to his unborn daughter and chronicles the details of daily life and the world she will inherit. The author known for his radical openness joins the Nordic Matters series to reflect on the pleasures and perils of writing, and the world we are leaving behind. Part of World of the Brink. Royal Festival Hall. 7.30pm.


All at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Suunta. Photo: Suunta

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This is my house! Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus (Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre) is a creative cultural centre for children and their adults. This is a place where curious children can play, get up to mischief, climb and discover a world full os exciting things.

Slussgatan 1, Gothenburg, Sweden

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Zara Larsson. Press photo

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Nico & Vinz. Photo: Smallz and Raskind

Torbjørn Rødland: The Touch That Made You (29 Sep-19 Nov) The work of Norwegian-born photographer Torbjørn Rødland plays with our expectations of seemingly everyday scenes and objects. Straightforward snaps are disrupted through the addition of sometimes playful but often strange details. Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Central London.

Astrid S (10 Oct) The Norwegian singer, officially Astrid Smeplass, performs the commercial indie-pop originals that brought her success well beyond her home country. Heaven, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NG. 6.30pm.

Martin Jensen (13 Oct) The popular Danish DJ and producer, whose mega hit Solo Dance was certi-

fied platinum, brings his tropical house anthems to London. Heaven, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NG. 6.30pm.

Blind Boy Paxton (US) at Copenhagen Blues Festival. Photo: Ursula Wall

Zara Larsson (24 Oct) The Swedish mega pop star returns to London for a solo show following the release of her highly anticipated album, So Good. Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9QH. 7pm.

new interpretations of Blues music, performed by seasoned blues veterans and young promising talents alike.

The Rasmus (19 Nov) Copenhagen Blues Festival (24-29 Oct) For one week every autumn, Copenhagen becomes the true blues capital of Scandinavia. Now in its 17th year, the Copenhagen Blues Festival features a dynamic programme of 40 concerts with worldclass international as well as Danish top acts across 15 stages, ranging from small, intimate clubs to large concert halls. Expect a mixture of traditional and

The Finnish rock legends of the 1994 Helsinki band come to London this autumn. Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9NL. 7pm.

Nico & Vinz (23 Nov) The Norwegian pop duo Nico & Vinz comes to Kentish Town with supporting Issue 105  |  October 2017  |  153

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Martin Jensen. Press photo

act New Zealand group Six60. O2 Forum Kentish Town, 9-17 Highgate Road, London NW5 1JY. 7pm.

Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland (15 Nov-4 Feb) This exhibition is an odyssey of Nordic landscape uniting four very different paintings of Lake Keitele just north of Helsinki, by the leading turn-of-thecentury painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela, who was obsessed with the epic poem of Kalevala. National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Kaleo (1 Nov) Expect indie, folk and blues with an edge when this Icelandic four-piece takes to the stage at the Roundhouse in north London. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH. 7pm. 154  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Astrid S. Photo: Ole Marius Fossen

MyMonii – a family allowance app for parents and children Welcome to the new mobile banking solution for children. MyMonii helps families keep track of pocket money and daily chores for the children. You as a parent can transfer money and delegate tasks to your kids, and the youngsters can keep track of their own saving goals. It can be difficult for kids to understand the value of digital money, and as we move towards a cashless society, MyMonii integrates the good old piggy bank with the calendar on the fridge in a new digital way that enables kids to get a better financial understanding. MyMonii was founded by Louise Ferslev. Her vision, and the vision of the rest of us in the MyMonii team, is to help kids and young people to manage their own money, without getting lost in the financial wilderness of quick loans, interest rates and credit cards. More than 22,000 Danish families use MyMonii and, in close collaboration with both parents and kids, we continue to develop the app. Download the app for free now from AppStore or Google Play.

“Later this year MyMonii will launch a mobile payment solution, which allows the children to pay with their own saved money.”

Contact information: Website:

DTU LIFE SCIENCE & BIOENGINEERING State of the art research and education building at the Technical University of Denmark. The project has been developed in close collaboration between Rørbæk og Møller Arkiteker, Christensen & Co, Schul Landskabsarkitekter, Norconsult and COWI. The building has just been awarded The Carpentry Award 2017.