Scan Magazine, Issue 129, October 2019

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From Aalto to BIG: Must-see Nordic Architecture Among stunning pieces of architectural craft by Alvar Aalto and fascinating, ground-breaking designs by the current global star, Bjarke Ingels, the Nordic nations boast understated projects and less wellknown names. We include all of the above in this list of Scandinavia’s 15 must-see architectural sights.

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Sleep Well, Look Good, and Get Cosy From a co-sleeping solution so good it’s gone global and soft, low-maintenance linen, to beautifully intricate, hand-crafted jewellery and outfits for a cosy autumn, this month’s design section helps you sleep well, look good, and feel cosy. What more could you want?


From Foraging to Fine Brews As food columnist Louise Hurst went foraging, we dug out a few tasty, Scandinavia favourites: a non-alcoholic herb drink, a meat e-tailer open to talking about cutting your meat consumption, a smokehouse with organic, locally sourced produce at heart, and much more. Autumn has never tasted so good!



SPECIAL THEMES Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark Copenhagen is full of fascinating architecture, from old and well-preserved to new and ground-breaking. And perhaps that’s no wonder, considering the reputation and prestige of many of its architecture firms. We spoke to some of the country’s very best architects to find out where the Danish architecture scene is at.

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114 Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway Between the world-famous opera house in the capital and the traditional stave churches of Norway, there is a range of clever and stunning architectural creations that deserve more attention. Some of Norway’s finest architects tell us all about the whys and the hows of the work they do.

124 Nordic Architecture and Design — Finland Following in the footsteps of the late Alvar Aalto and working in the context of one of the world’s most tech-savvy nations, these Finnish architecture firms are showing the way when it comes to everything from sustainable to inclusive designs.

130 Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences Treat yourself to a night watching the northern lights dance across the sky, followed by a nightcap in front of the fire, or why not try dog sledding, whale watching or cross-country skiing in the snowy wilderness? We share some tips of destinations and organisations to keep an eye out for on your next winter adventure in Norway.

Get the Bug for Travel This month, we decided to revisit two old favourites of ours to ignite that lust for travel and exploration. Don’t miss this Norwegian Christmas escape and Finland’s second-largest city.


sustainable and democratic design. We spoke to the people behind the best architecture firms and design brands about the challenges ahead and what motivates them to create more and better designs.

Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden With a proud functionalist heritage and renowned as a hub of innovation, Sweden is at the forefront of both

BUSINESS 138 A Future of Alexa and Morning Yoga The future, if you are to believe keynote writer Nils Elmark and business columnist Steve Flinders, will see the smart speaker take over and HR departments pay more attention to holistic wellness. Realistic or wishful thinking? Read on and see what you think.

CULTURE 148 Norwegian Literature, Danish Art, and Finnish Circus Whichever art form takes your fancy, we have suggestions on where to go and what to see. How about an inspiring literature festival or a night of social circus? Add new releases from Veronica Maggio and Robyn, and this autumn is shaping up to be rather good.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 8 Fashion Diary  |  10 Street Style  |  12 We Love This  |  139 Hotel of the Month 141 Restaurants of the Month  |  146 Bed & Breakfast of the Month  |  147 Humour

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, There’s a roundabout in the Swedish city my parents live in, which is as ingenious as it is unusual in its design. With no traffic lights or signs, motorists as well as pedestrians are left to work things out simply by, well, paying attention. It is a small roundabout with cobblestones, surrounded by shops and statues and a fountain, but one of the city centre’s main roads runs through it – and figures have shown that the lack of an external ruling hand has improved conditions for everyone, with accidents minimised in comparison to traditional roundabouts. Our annual architecture and design special is back, and many of the architects we’ve spoken to this month have reflected on exactly this: how architecture and design can have a positive effect on society not just in what it brings in sheer material form, but in what it does to the way we move, the way we live and relate to one another. As the world stands face to face with one of its most urgent crises ever, architects are asking themselves not only how wood and other sustainable materials can help prevent a natural disaster of unpredictable proportions, but how buildings, urban spaces and interior solutions can help us to change old habits in favour of sustainable ways of living. As you read through the October issue of Scan Magazine, I think and hope that you’ll agree that the visionaries behind the featured firms are both impressive and inspiring.

Our regular business columnist, Steve Flinders, is pondering old habits and their impact on our lives, too, suggesting that HR departments and employers generally need to pay more attention to the overall wellbeing of their staff. At a time when it would be easy to feel deflated about the state of the world, I find suggestions, advice and visions such as these uplifting and motivational. Should you need an entirely different form of pick-me-up, take food columnist Louise Hurst’s advice and do what the Scandinavians do in the autumn: go foraging. Or read our Norwegian travel guide and plan your next winter adventure, because who can feel anything but motivated to mind and care for this beautiful planet of ours when surrounded by snow-clad mountains, riding behind a pack of Alaskan huskies, and enjoying a spectacular northern lights show?

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… This month, we are in the mood to get comfy. There is a chill in the air, which calls for chunky knits, soft materials and flickering lights. It’s finally time to snuggle up and enjoy cosy evenings at home, and we have found the perfect clothes and accessories for you to do exactly that. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

This outfit from And Less oozes ‘hygge’ – and we are all for it! The oversized, chunky, knitted jumper and soft, baggy pants in neutral tones are perfect for nights in, but can just as well be worn outdoors with a pair of cool trainers. And Less, ‘Prachi’ pullover, £99 And Less, ‘Haina’ pants, £79

We love how comfortable this slim-fitting T-shirt with long sleeves and push buttons, from Mads Nørgaard, looks. Did you know that blue can help calm your mind and slow down your heart rate? Wearing this soothing colour will help you feel peaceful and relaxed. Mads Nørgaard, ‘Tarolla S’ T-shirt, £52

This classic robe is made from a super-comfortable material, which makes you reluctant to ever take it off! Lulu’s Drawer is a Danish brand deeply devoted to the art of pampering, creating lingerie, sleep wear and fashion essentials to assist you in doing exactly that. Combining beauty and comfort, they create basic signature silhouettes of luxurious qualities, intended to remain in your wardrobe for years to come. Lulu’s Drawer, ‘Harlow’ robe, approx £59

Moccis is the first and only luxury hand-sewn Swedish moccasin to bring fashion, function, and fun to home footwear. With a traditional Nordic print – which, very fittingly, is named ‘hygge’ – a luxurious, non-slip leather sole, a comfortable fit and invisible support strap with stay-on technology, the Moccis is a great choice of slipper for cosy days. It’s available in a range of different patterns and also in kids’ sizes. Moccis, ‘Hygge’ moccasin, £40

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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

A cosy, knitted jumper is a wardrobe staple for the colder months, and this classic cardigan in merino wool is a great, timeless choice. It is perfect to throw on top of any outfit when needed, for a casual and cool look. Tiger of Sweden, ‘Nyman’ cardigan, £289

With the goal of creating timeless, durable designs you will cherish forever, Aiayu presents this classic two-piece pyjama set, ideal for lounging at home. Made from crisp organic cotton with a relaxed fit, it can be combined to work as a comfy set at home, or worn individually, paired with other wardrobe essentials. Aiayu, pyjamas, approx £180

In case you need a reminder to stay cool and calm, this pair of unisex socks from Holzweiler will do the trick. They have an elastic band around the calf for a comfortable fit, and will give your outfit a little nod to the athleisure trend. Holzweiler, ‘Nicolas’ socks, £14

Want to be comfy but look like you are making more of an effort? If you wish you could walk around in tracksuit bottoms all day long, you’ll love the Paul Club pants from Norwegian brand Moods. The elastic finish makes the trousers soft and comfortable, and you’ll feel like you are wearing tracksuit bottoms but look like you’re in a pair of stylish trousers. Moods, ‘Paul Club’ pant, £88 Moods ‘Nilus’ knit, £80

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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  |

Riku Taneli Toivonen Finnish product and furniture designer @rikutanelitoivonen

Ann Marie Sjunnesson Swedish lifestyle blogger @swedishgirlinlondon

“My style is straightforward and hasn’t changed for several years now. I wear T-shirts, jeans and trainers, and in the winter time, I just add a jacket on top. I don’t own a lot of clothes, and I invariably wear the same shirts, the same shoes, and the same jeans. I shop online. Today, as always, my shoes are by Vans, the jeans are by H&M, my spectacles are by Lyle & Scott, and the backpack is by Herschel.”

“My style is my own with a nod towards what is in fashion at the moment, and I like mixing old with new. Sustainability is important to me, so I try to wear sustainable brands. I also look after my clothes, so I wear them for a long time. We consume too many clothes, and we really need to think about that. My bracelet is by IRIS, the dress is by New Look, the bag is by Moretti, the watch is by MVMT, the sunglasses are by Ferragamo, and the shoes are by Hush Puppies.”

Eline Meling Henriksen.

Riku Taneli Toivonen.

Ann Marie Sjunnesson.

Eline Meling Henriksen Norwegian Nordics regional manager for Ai-Media “My style is minimal and practical. I often wear simple and clean colours, which I can either dress up or down with suitable accessories. I try to shop and consume less in order to support a sustainable environment. My necklace is Save The Whales jewellery, the profits of which go towards fighting plastics in the sea. My skirt is by Stradivarius, the sweater is by Mango, and the shoes are by ASOS.” 10  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… Scandinavian design is characterised by clean, simple lines, a soft, natural colour palette, and functionality at its core. Do you need some inspiration to make your home look that little bit more Scandi? Look no further – we have a few items to get you started. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

Taking its name from the phonetic form of the word ‘you’, the elegant and simple Louis Poulsen Yuh table lamp expresses designers GamFratesi’s desire to create a task lamp with a personal feel. The form of the lamp is contemporary and stylish, making it perfectly suited for a minimalist, Nordic-inspired home. Louis Poulsen, ‘Yuh’ table lamp, £590

With its simple regality, the Palais Royal dining table from Asplund is constructed of a round table top made of oak veneer, balanced on a columnlike base with oak panelling. As part of a collection designed by Anya Sebton and Eva Lilja Löwenhielm for Asplund, it has an air of the luxury and elegance found in the ancient palaces and castles of bygone days, with their columns, pedestals and wooden panelling. Asplund, ‘Palais Royal’ dining table, £3,246

This beautiful wall hook is formed as one single, continuous element. To keep the look as simple as possible, Danish brand Moebe turned the hook to point inwards, to achieve a closed and harmonious feel. It comes in brass, chrome and black, and fits just as nicely in the kitchen, living room or hallway. Moebe, wall hook, small (pack of two), £20 Moebe, wall hook, large, £18

The Alcoa ceramics line, designed by Herman Studio for Form & Refine, stands out with its clear and simple form. Its unique handle creates a functional, distinct and recognisable expression. The name of the line refers to the region Alcobaça in Portugal, where the ceramics hail from – a region with a natural richness of fine, white clay. Form & Refine, ‘Alcoa’ pitcher, 1L, £59 Form & Refine, ‘Alcoa’ vase, large, £47 Form & Refine, ‘Alcoa’ tray, £52 Form & Refine, ‘Alcoa’ vase, small, £34

Possibly the most stylish, versatile and minimal shelving system available, String Pocket was designed in 1949 by Swedish architect Nils Strinning, and is today considered a design classic thanks to its understated aesthetic. One package comes with two side panels and three shelves, and the shelf is available in a range of colours and materials to suit your style. String, ‘Pocket’ shelf, £126

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Aristot. Photo: Eleftherios Michalinos

Sweet (and stylish) dreams Among the myriad challenges of looking after a little human, bedtime is undoubtedly one of the greatest. So imagine a product that effortlessly enables babies and small children to sleep safely and soundly, that can be used anywhere, and which looks ultra-stylish, as well. It may sound too good to be true, but don’t worry – you’re not dreaming. By Liz Longden

Sleepyhead® sleep pods have been garnering rave reviews since they first appeared on the market. From Vogue to Mumsnet, from The Independent to Hello! magazine, the plaudits have been unanimous, with reviewers and parents alike wowed by their quality, style and, above all, their effectiveness in helping to settle, soothe and lull little ones to sleep. The pods are the brainchild of Swedish mother and entrepreneur Lisa Furuland 14  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Kotsianis, who now lives with her family in Athens, and who is also the visionary behind the DockATot® baby dock and Aristot® — a range of handmade, customisable heirloom-style bassinets, which has received the Red Dot Design Award and launched exclusively with Harrods in the UK. When her first child was born, in 2006, Furuland Kotsianis felt that there was nothing on the market to meet the needs

of today’s busy, multitasking parents. She therefore set out to design a product that would help babies and small children to settle and sleep safely, and which could also be easily transported, both between rooms and when travelling. As a passionate advocate of co-sleeping and attachment parenting, she was adamant that the product must make it easier and safer for parents to share a bed with their little ones. The result was the Sleepyhead, which provides a snug, comforting and sleep-friendly environment for babies by mimicking the experience of being held securely in the womb. This in itself would be enough to make the pods a godsend for many a sleep-deprived parent, but Sleepyhead also stands out from the crowd with its

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Sleepyhead of Sweden

Lisa. Photo: Jamie Beck

aesthetic appeal. Drawing on her background in art, architecture and photography, led by her Scandinavian sensibility for design, and inspired by the stunning natural beauty of her adopted home, Furuland Kotsianis has developed a wide range of beautiful cover designs to complement every aesthetic sensibility and décor. “All parents these days know that, regardless of how much effort goes into creating a beautiful nursery, the reality is that everyday life takes place in the communal portions of the house,” Furuland Kotsianis says. “This is why our products are not eyesores, but instead complement your front room décor and can be embraced even by style aficionados.” She adds: “I truly believe in function paired with fashion; not function at the expense of style.”

Peace of mind for parents There is more to Sleepyhead pods than just good looks, however. In an increasingly crowded market, rigorous testing and quality assurance ensure that the product remains a cut above the rest. In particular, the brand prides itself on its focus on safety. “We put exhaustive research into the practices, materials and labour that go into the making of our products,” Furuland Kotsianis explains. “There are very few product standards within this segment, but we have gone above and beyond any legal obligations globally to dig out tests, for example for air-permeability, and voluntarily making sure that we adhere.”

Lisa and her family. Photo: Eleftherios Michalinos

The docks and pods are made from breathable and OEKO-TEX certified cotton, are non-heat harbouring and have child-safe zips. They are all produced in Europe. A testament to the brand’s reputation for safety and quality is evident in its recently initiated partnership with hospitals, which has seen the Deluxe + model introduced to a number of neonatal units to help make babies feel more secure and less anxious during treatment, scans and examinations. At the end of the day, however, arguably the best way to judge the product’s performance is to see what parents themselves have to say, and here there is a clear consensus. Sleepyhead, combined with DockATot and Aristot, represent the world’s largest social media following within juvenile products – a globally unprecedented achievement. And, in addition to rave reviews in the media and a

Photo: Lily Glass

number of high-profile celebrity fans, the brand has acquired a legion of loyal fans made up of ordinary mums and dads. It is word-of-mouth endorsements from these parents above all, Furuland Kotsianis says, that have helped fuel Sleepyhead’s stratospheric rise to must-have accessory. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate that much of our marketing success comes from the mums who use and love Sleepyhead and DockATot,” she says. “They are so passionate about the product and how their family has benefited from it, that they literally can’t keep it to themselves. The number of people sharing their sleep success stories with us is nothing short of amazing.” Web:

Aristot. Photo: Jamie Beck

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Make peace with the crease — rustic, crumpled linen is bang on trend About 30 years ago, a Swedish businessman crossed the Baltic Sea to set up a sawmill in Lithuania and came back home the proud owner of a linen factory. The man was Erik Bergström’s dad. Today, the linen business has grown, and Lovely Linen is now the go-to place for modern, rustic and tactile tablecloths, curtains and bed linen. By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: Our Food Stories

“It is a rather peculiar story, I agree,” laughs Lovely Linen CEO, Erik Bergström. “I haven’t got all the details, but somewhere along the line, my dad must have taken on board his mother’s advice to change his line of work. She was really interested in interior design and very pleased that her son left his sawmill career for a life of linen and interior design.” 16  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Renowned for its durability The tradition of turning flax fibres into linen is more than 1,000 years old. That makes it one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Linen is renowned for its durability and the fact that it becomes softer and more beautiful the more use it gets. It also exudes a timeless quality.

Erik Bergström.

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Lovely Linen

Lovely Linen is steering away from the look and feel of classic starched linen. It presents a completely different product – an irresistibly supple linen fabric with an attractive, crumpled softness. “Everyone leads a busy life these days. Many of us are trying to avoid things that take up time unnecessarily, like ironing. The problem with linen has always been that you’re supposed to iron it like crazy. So, we thought – why not do exactly the opposite?” says Bergström with a laugh.

Best thrown in the tumble drier That’s right: no more ironing. In order to maintain the lovely, chunky and ruffled look, Lovely Linen encourages customers to let the linen dry naturally. Or even better – throw it in the tumble drier! The fibres in the linen fabric have been pre-crushed in order to create a soft

and rustic surface. This chunky kind of linen is perfect for creating a luxurious, layered look, which is bang on trend. “That’s where our product is great; the more you wash and tumble dry it, the softer and lovelier it will be. And it will last forever!” enthuses Bergström. Using linen as bedclothes is becoming increasingly popular. The flax fibres have a superior absorbing quality compared to cotton, and it also dries quickly, making it the ideal material for bedlinen. In today’s variable weather conditions, linen keeps us cool when it’s hot, and toasty warm when the weather turns.

Good for the environment Another real advantage is that linen boasts some great eco-credentials. “The cotton industry has become exploited, and the crops are genetically

modified. Most of the cottonfields require the heavy use of pesticides. It is also dependent on large quantities of water to grow,” says Bergström. “Flax is a much more sustainable choice. It requires about 100 times less water than cotton to grow, and since it grows in a cold climate, where pests are few and far between, it doesn’t need pesticides.”

Keeping track of sustainability Sustainability is also controlled by Lovely Linen’s own factories, which means that the company can check the whole manufacturing process. “We’re trying to do our part for the environment and protecting our nature. When I go for a stroll on a beach, even here in the southeastern part of Sweden, I often see plastic items lying around in the sand and floating in the water. It’s terrible. Knowing that we’re only using natural fibres and that we’re as sustainable as we can be gives me peace of mind,” says Bergström. The ultimate joy of Lovely Linen’s products is that they only get better, and softer, with age. You may well struggle to roll out of your cosy bed in the morning, such is the bed linen’s tactility. Dangerously lovely linen, then. Web: Facebook: lovelylinenmaker Instagram: @lovely.linen

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Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Klarborg Design

Etly Klarborg’s ‘nisser’ have spread to every nook and corner of Denmark, and now they are ready to explore more of the world.

Danish Christmas gnomes ready to explore the world Ever since she was a girl, Etly Klarborg has been in love with making ‘nisser’, the special Danish Christmas gnomes. Today, her collection includes more than 250 small, blue-eyed, potbellied people, and they are no longer just loved by her, but by people all over Denmark. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Klarborg

Created about 30 years ago, Klarborg’s first signature potbellied ‘nisse’ was inspired by her oldest son, Martin. “One evening, when I was putting him into his nightwear, his round baby belly popped out of his shirt and all of a sudden I just had this vivid image of this little ‘nisse’ with his belly popping out,” she explains. Later, gnomes inspired by and named after Klarborg’s two younger sons, Mads and Mathias, also emerged, and the making of Klarborg’s characteristic ‘nisse’ people had begun. The first of Klarborg’s gnomes were sold exclusively through her own, still-existing farm boutique in Moseby, Jutland. But soon, the red-hatted clay people started to travel to every nook and corner of Denmark. Klarborg, who made her very first 18  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

a bit crazy, the way their popularity has spread in Denmark,” says Klarborg. “So far, we haven’t really done much to send them any further than that, but that’s what the boys will now be in charge of. Maybe they will go to countries like Norway and Sweden, or even Japan and the U.S.”

‘nisse’ when she was just four years old, became, and still is, completely engulfed in their world. “I think in ‘nisser’ all year round, even on a summer’s day when I’m out gardening; suddenly I’ll get the idea for a ‘nisse’ – they just pop into my mind – and I’ll walk around smiling to myself, because knowing that I’ll get to bring that little face to life is an amazing feeling,” she says. By now, Klarborg has designed more than 250 ‘nisser’ in her garden workshop, most of them inspired by friends and family members. And while her three initial gnomes – Martin, Mads, and Mathias – are now, in real life, fully grown, they are still involved in the ever-expanding ‘nisse’ empire. In fact, they are behind the beginnings of a global ‘nisse’ exploration. “It’s

Etly Klarborg has been making ‘nisser’ ever since she was a little girl.


Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Dammenberg

Owner Marko Iso-Kungas.

Full of flavour — free from worries The Finnish chocolate factory Dammenberg produces unique, handmade chocolates from the finest natural materials. This year, they celebrate their 25th anniversary.

chocolate wrapped in customised packaging according to the customer’s wishes.

By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Dammenberg

Now they are preparing for the busiest season of the year. “Christmas is our peak season, and we have a large assortment of allergen-free confectionary every year,” enthuses Iso-Kungas. So fans of chocolate, with food allergies and sensitivities, need not worry – your Christmas is guaranteed to be a chocolatey one, too!

For the past 16 years, Dammenberg has been owned and run by the Iso-Kungas family. “Our story began with a love for chocolate,” says Marko Iso-Kungas, head of the company. “We specialise in the ‘free from’ products and are pioneers in this field, and we aim to be the number one globally.” Iso-Kungas co-operates actively with European cocoa bean suppliers, and he has been appointed as the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium for the Tampere region. Dammenberg chocolate is produced from the high-quality Criollo cocoa beans, which are carefully roasted at their premises in Sääksjärvi, near Tampere. All products are free from gluten, egg, all kinds of nuts and GMO. “To me, as a diabetic myself, a healthy diet is essential. Therefore, I understand the importance of using only pure, natural ingredients without any artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Today, many people suffer from food aller-

gies and sensitivities, so non-allergen ingredients are our top priority.” Their wide selection includes vegan, soy-free, dairyfree and sugar-free options, and also Kosher and Halal certified delicacies.

Available worldwide Dammenberg’s delicacies are available worldwide through their own online shop and are sold in shops throughout Europe and Asia. They can be also found on the cruise ferries to Tallinn and Stockholm as well as in the duty-free shops at the Finnish airports. It is also possible to shop at the Dammenberg factory outlet, which is open for visitors from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, and they can arrange private chocolate tastings for groups. Dammenberg also offers other specialities, like Moomin-branded chocolates, and organic and fair-trade products. And they do business gifts that definitely leave an impression, including different types of

Web: (Finnish) or (English) Facebook: dammenbergsuklaa Instagram: @dammenberg

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Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Goldsmith Laiho

Anni Paakkinen at work.

Creating the pieces requires a steady hand and steely nerves.

Petri Laiho masters the art of jewellery.

Gold and lace What happens when you combine the web-like fineness of lace with the toughness of noble metal? You get eye-catching jewellery – and goldsmith Petri Laiho is the master of it. By Hanna Heiskanen  |  Photos: Jari Laine

The small town of Rauma, located on the west coast of Finland, is famous for its lace-making tradition, which goes back centuries. Traditions are made to evolve, thought Erkki Paasikivi, the founder of NOR-koru nearly four decades ago, and he started to produce jewellery inspired by the delicate fabric. Today, in a workshop in a quaint wooden building, goldsmith Petri Laiho continues to make lace jewellery in ad-

Goldsmith Laiho specialises in jewellery inspired by a tradition of lacemaking.

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dition to a wide variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. “I wanted to ensure the continuity of this new tradition in Rauma,” Laiho explains. Many customers return year after year to add new pieces to their collection of lace jewellery. The highlight of the year is the Rauma Lace Week, organised every July. The fact that Laiho became a goldsmith at all was a matter of pure coincidence.

“My father was asked to be a supervisor at NOR-koru, the company that first launched lace jewellery,” he recalls. “They were looking for an employee, and my father suggested I apply. I then became genuinely interested in the art of jewellery making.” Working for the company meant he could learn to master his craft on the job. “The hallmarks of a good goldsmith are perseverance and accuracy,” he says. An online shop is in the works for those keen to get Laiho’s masterpieces delivered to their doorstep. “What I like most about my work is that every day is unique. A customer might walk in to commission the wedding ring of their dreams, or to fix an heirloom. Variety keeps me on my toes,” says Laiho. He now has the opportunity to pass his skills on to a new generation in the form of an apprentice, Anni Paakkinen. “Whatever the year, diamonds never go out of fashion,” Laiho concludes. Web: Facebook: kultaseppalaiho

The delicate jewellery is available in many forms.

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Læsøfruerne

For the love of nature and natural skincare Sea salt, herbs and seaweed are just a few of the natural ingredients sourced from the windswept nature and the sea surrounding the Danish island of Læsø that are used in the Læsøfruerne skincare range – products developed and produced locally, using only the finest ingredients from Mother Nature to nourish and care for dry skin.

Lynge owns the local farm shop Storhaven, where the products can be found. They are also sold in Læsøfruerne’s web shop, and in health shops all over Denmark. Visit the website for a full stockist list.

By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Johny Kristensen

“It started out as a weekend activity with my two eldest daughters back in 2008. We had fun testing and developing recipes using what we could find in nature to make moisturisers and soap bars that we could gift to friends and family,” recalls Solveig Lynge, founder of Læsøfruerne. Fast-forward a decade, and the family of products includes body lotions, scrubs, oils, moisturisers, clay treatments and much more – all made with natural ingredients as much as possible. “I’m a nurse by profession and always thought that there had to be better alternatives to treating dry skin and other issues, than the existing products on the market. So, when I moved to Læsø and found myself surrounded by the most beautiful nature, I

decided to give it a go,” says Lynge. Inspired by Læsø Kur, the local spa resort, which uses local salt in its treatments, she included salt residues from world-famous Læsø Salt in many of the products, and this proved to be a winning formula. “Salt is particularly suitable for psoriasis and dry skin, and many people swear by the products,” she says. Læsøfruerne offers a wide range of skincare products made from some of the finest ingredients sourced in Læsø’s nature.

The founder, Solveig Lynge.

Web: Facebook: Laesoefruerne Instagram: @laesoefruerne

Scan Magazine  |  Food and drink  |  Column

Photo: Helena Wahlma,

Photo: Ted Logart,

Louise’s Nordic kitchen: foraging By Louise Hurst

I love this time of year: the autumn leaves are turning shades of gold, it’s cosy and ultimately leads to Christmas. Late summer and autumn in Scandinavia is the time to forage. This is no new fad, as Swedes down the ages have been experts at preserving food for the long, cold winters and making the most of nature’s bounty. With foraging playing such a major part in Swedish culture, families and friends will gather with baskets to fill. Foraging facilitates a deep connection with one’s surroundings in both space and time. More than half the total land area of Sweden is covered in forest. This provides a smörgåsbord of edible culinary delights: blackberries, lingonberries, blueberries, rosehips, fungus, truffles, nuts and seeds, to name a few. Even better: in Sweden, there is an ancient Swedish customary law, referred to as Allemansrätten (‘Everyman’s Right’). This allows anyone the freedom to roam in a meadow, wood or field to forage for wild food. Less often made now are soups of blueberries or rosehips. There’s good

reason to make these, however, as they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, great for staving off the winter bugs. Enjoy lightly sweetened and eaten for breakfast or dessert, warm or cold. Lingonberries, too, grow all over Scandinavia. They’ll be picked and frozen or made into a low-sugar jam to eat with a cultured milk, ‘filmjölk’, similar to kefir. But without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite food to forage for is fungus. Chanterelles are hugely popular, often prepared in the simplest way, sautéed in butter and piled high on sourdough toast with a squeeze of lemon. With this pastime playing such a major part in Swedish culture, there is an abundance of recipes that make use of free food. So why not take a walk in the countryside this weekend and see if you can identify anything edible* for you to cook?

*Never eat anything unless you are 100 per cent sure of its origin. Plants can look alike but be hugely different. Always double check! There are organised foraging trips to participate in.

Cordon bleu trained food creator Louise Hurst marries her passion and professionalism to create stunning, stylish Scandinavian dishes. With a touch of love and a pinch of nostalgia, she brings a deliciously fresh approach to ‘husmanskost’ – traditionally homecooked Swedish fare – along with her own creations. Read more at

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  23

Traditional craftsmanship makes the high-quality salmon tasty and long-lasting.

Smoking salmon — a flavourful tale With years of experience of working out at sea, Petter Aune came back to Norway with a dream of providing customers with tasty, high-quality Norwegian salmon products. Ten years after buying a facility in Møre og Romsdal, Drågen Smokehouse is a well-oiled family business selling traditionally smoked salmon and trout to visitors from all over the world. By Julie Linden  |  Photos: Drågen Smokehouse

A young man of 18, Petter Aune left his family to work as a fisherman in Alaska. Only three years later, he had climbed the ladder and become the fleet’s youngest factory manager. Since then, Petter has been working in some of the world’s most famous – and remote – corners, including the United States, Russia and Antarctica. With the experience gained, he saw room for improvement in the production lines of mass producers in the fishing industry. ​

Letting things take their time

“I didn’t like the fact that products described as high-quality smoked salmon were often the exact opposite of decent 24  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

quality. Most of these products are mass fabricated, machine smoked and come straight off steel shelves. Some are made in a hurry, without respecting the time it takes to give the fish the right taste and texture,” he says, emphasising his love for genuine craftsmanship and the art of letting things take their time. “We take pride in our craftsmanship and use only local, pure and natural ingredients. Our reward is superior quality.” Situated less than 30 minutes from the famous Atlanterhavsveien – the curved, scenic Atlantic Road in the northwest archipelago – Drågen Smokehouse is listed

as a must-visit location in travel guides such as Lonely Planet and is well known among food writers and foodie tourists. Here, you can combine the beauty of the Norwegian west coast, with all the fjords and mountains, with top-level cuisine. And why not fit in some snack shopping while you’re at it? For those unable to visit the smokehouse, the business sells its products in over 80 Norwegian shops and restaurants – including Salmon House in

Drågen’s salmon is always fresh rom the North Sea, processed by hand and without additives.

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Drågen Smokehouse AS

Oslo Airport. “Our customers come from all over the world and appreciate the genuine flavours we have to offer,” says Aune. “With so many gorgeous places to visit nearby, with wild and beautiful scenery, it’s a great way to combine nature with a flavourful experience.”

Situated close to the famous Atlanterhavsveien, Drågen Smokehouse is listed as a must-visit location.

Local flavours – from fish to salt Staying true to the local flavours is important to Drågen Smokehouse, which uses locally grown juniper wood and herbs to smoke the fish. The salmon is farmed and harvested from the neighbouring island of Aukra, and even the salt is local – refined by North Sea Salt Works on the same island. Smoking the fish for long periods of time, just like in the olden days, Drågen Smokehouse achieves an authentic texture, flavour and quality of the fish. As all products are fresh from the North Sea, processed by hand and without additives within 24 hours after the harvesting of the fish, a naturally fresh result is achieved every time. Although the process might not be speedy, the results are nothing short of fantastic. Some varieties of the fish are seasoned, and some are mar-

inated in spirits – such as whiskey, brandy or Scandinavian aquavit – for an extra dash of goodness. “I don’t know how traditional that last bit is, but it tastes good – and that’s all that matters!” laughs Aune.

A sunshine story built on hard work Figures support his enthusiasm – last year, Drågen Smokehouse produced 32 tonnes of smoked fish, with the capacity to smoke even more this year. With the business up and running in its current guise for about six years, Aune says the venture has been a big success story – but not without hard work. “We’ve built Drågen Smokehouse from scratch, step by step, learning our lessons along the way. I’ve been lucky to have a father-in-law with lots of knowledge on traditional salmon smoking, and he’s been a great help to me since the very start.” In 2016, the family business was crowned Business of the Year in its municipality, and with customers pouring in, the sky seems to be the limit. The smokehouse sells customised gift sets to businesses for the upcoming holiday season – a popular Christmas present for employees. A simple, natural product, made with love, care and true craftsmanship, says Aune, is the key to success. “It’s all going the right way, for sure, and we’re excited that people seem to love what we do.”

Visit the shop and try some of the smokehouse favourites.

Web: Facebook: Drågen Smokehouse

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  25

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Gourmet Olie

Peter Lerche-Simonsen.

Simply the best: Gourmet rapeseed oil In late spring and early summer, Denmark’s countryside erupts into a glorious, yellow celebration. Rapeseed seedlings shoot towards the sun, growing a metre tall in a matter of weeks. Though rapeseed is Denmark’s and Europe’s most important oil crop, it has long been forced to play second fiddle to its oily Mediterranean cousin, the olive. Spearheaded by farmers such as Peter Lerche-Simonsen, rapeseed oil is now finally taking centre stage in the Nordic gourmet kitchen, thanks to its local sustainability, flavour and health benefits, including high levels of Omega 3 and 6. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Peter Lerche-Simonsen/Gourmet Olie

Peter Lerche-Simonsen founded Gourmet Olie in 2016 in order to produce the best oil possible. “The timing was right,” he says. “People are becoming much more aware of where their food comes from, realising the value of locally grown, high-quality ingredients.” As the fourth generation of his family at the massive Eskelund Farm on Funen, he knows what he’s talking about. “For a long time, farmers have been forced to squeeze out every last drop of every single crop and acre in order to make a profit. Now, thanks to consumer support, we farmers finally get to go back to producing the best instead of the most.”

Top crop Lerche-Simonsen set up Gourmet Olie as an experiment. “Finally, I had the chance to nurture a crop right from seed 26  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

to the finished, bottled-up product, and to talk directly to the consumers about this passion of mine. There’s a growing movement of canteens, restaurants, consumers and community networks such as Madværket looking for better, healthier, local ingredients. And these products really are better – for the consumer, for the farmers and for the environment. They cost a little more, but you get much more for your money.” Eskelund’s rapeseed begins its luxury life with an unusually long ripening process, before undergoing cold pressing at lower temperatures than normal. For each litre of Gourmet Olie, four rather than the traditional three kilogrammes of rapeseed are pressed. All three stages result in a slightly lower final output; however, the bitter, distasteful parts of the plant are

not transferred, leaving behind a much purer, milder-tasting oil, which professional chefs have likened to the very best olive oils. To top it off, Lerche-Simonsen has started growing white rapeseed, which is more resistant to pests and doesn’t possess the bitterness of yellow rapeseed. “It’s a cruciferous vegetable, which means you can eat it – it’s lovely. I hope to sell a pesto from it one day, and for patchworked fields of white and yellow.” For now, we can enjoy all the benefits of yellow and white cold-pressed Gourmet Oil, as well as chili, garlic and lemon-flavoured spinoffs, available online.

Web: Facebook: GourmetOlie

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Danish Crown Foods

Meat: quality over quantity Denmark has long been famed for its pigs and production of pork. In September this year, Europe’s largest pork producer, Danish Crown, launched Dyrbar, a platform where people can buy the highest-quality Danish pork, veal and beef with the best taste. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Dyrbar

“For the past 20 years, we have worked with some of Denmark’s top restaurants and provided them with the best meat. We wanted to do the same for consumers, especially as people are becoming more interested in eating less meat, but of higher quality. Dyrbar is a platform where you can buy meat, but also learn the best way to prepare it,” explains Dorte Ruby, CEO of Dyrbar. All the meat sold through Dyrbar is raised and butchered in Denmark. Tra-

ditional cuts, such as pork chops, receive a twist from being matured for two to three weeks, while more experimental and new cuts, like ‘Slipset’, are wonderful rare. “We’ve found that people are appreciative of gaining more knowledge about how to make the most of something like a pork chop, a meat that is often overcooked,” says Ruby.

Easy and flavourful “There’s a discussion of either/or at the moment, where you have to choose between eating meat or not. What we’re trying to say is that, actually, you can continue to eat meat and gain as much from it by having less of something that tastes of more,” explains Ruby. The meat is delivered directly to your door and is vacuum packed, making it easy and convenient to freeze. Taste is of the utmost importance to Dyrbar, and they are currently hiring a team of tast-

ers who will help them to continue to find the most flavourful meat. “Much of what we also have to learn is how best to cook, prepare and take care of the meat, something we’ve also invested a lot of time in understanding and sharing through our website. It will hopefully inspire people to eat in a new way and treat themselves to a flavour explosion the next time they eat meat,” concludes Ruby. Top tips: — Take the meat out of the fridge   at least 30 minutes before cooking.   Sprinkle salt on it ten minutes   before cooking. — Start by cooking the meat at a very   high temperature to give it a crust   and produce the Maillard effect,   without overcooking the meat. — Experiment with cooking the meat   for a shorter period – it will create   new flavours. — Give the meat a hug with the perfect sauce. It’s the sauce that   ties the whole dish together.

Web: Facebook: dyrbardk

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  27

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Nordisk Brænderi

Bottling adventure While sitting in an open boat on the Arctic Ocean with slightly cold toes, Anders Bilgram came up with the idea of Nordisk Brænderi: a distillery based in northern Denmark. A decade later, the distillery has won numerous awards, created a wide range of spirits, and continues its adventure.

est and exclusive spirits. You choose when you want to opt in and out, so you’re only paying for what you truly want to try and the adventures you want to go on.”

By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Nordisk Brænderi

Nordisk Brænderi’s portfolio includes apple brandy, with apples picked locally by Bilgram’s retired banker; vodka with a variety of tastes, including beetroot; and a rum called Wanderum, which has been distilled in Columbia and stored in oak barrels in Denmark, giving it a distinctive taste. Nordisk Brænderi was one of the first to produce a Danish whisky – Special Edition No. 1 – which was launched in 2013. The distillery is also open for tours, and Bilgram does private events that combine tastings with talks about his fascinating adventures.

“Travelling in the Arctic means you’re frequently invited home to people to have a homemade spirit to warm the body and soul. I thought I could do something similar at home, where my wife also had her glass-blowing business. We just needed something to put in the glasses,” explains Bilgram. Today, Nordisk Brænderi produces gin, brandy, rum, whisky, snaps and akvavit. Its range of Nordisk Gin is inspired by Bilgram’s travels to the Arctic. “The North Star gin uses herbs and spices

from Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Sweden. It’s all the smells and tastes of an Arctic adventure. The Polar Bear gin is named after a polar bear that nearly jumped into our boat,” chuckles Bilgram.

Join the clan Bilgram wants people to share in the adventure of Nordisk Brænderi and has created Nordisk Klan, a membership scheme allowing people to be spoilt with tastings and one-of-a-kind spirits. “There will also be member events, where we meet up, enjoy great food and try some of the new-

The family-run distillery has managed to put adventures into bottles, ultimately creating delicious spirits that are sold throughout Denmark and online. They are bound to surprise and delight, whether at the next family gathering or party, or simply during an evening at home, where your toes are kept nice and warm. Web: Facebook: nordiskbraenderi Instagram: @nordiskbraenderi

28  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Fary Lochan Destilleri A/S

Jens Erik’s wife Anne, who spends most days at the distillery, is happy and proud that Jens Erik’s dream lives on through the family.

A proud new legacy In 2009, Jens Erik Jørgensen accomplished a life-long dream. With the help of his children and his wife Anne, the former tax director bought a plot of forest full of nettles, in order to construct Denmark’s first purpose-built whisky distillery. He named it Fary Lochan, after the lake on the plot and an ancient spelling of the town, Farre, it was located in. Inspired by an old family recipe for smoked cheese, he smoked his whisky malt using nettles rather than the traditional peat, creating a distinctly warm and smoky drink, which soon won over whisky connoisseurs far beyond Denmark. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Fary Lochan

Sadly, Jens Erik passed away in 2016, but his family took over the reins of what has become a proud family business. Luckily, Jens Erik had already accounted for the next generation taking over one day, and each found themselves equipped with a role that perfectly suited them. “The future of the family was always thought into the distillery,” says his stepson, Thomas Smidt-Kjærby. “It’s our hope that Fary Lochan is still a proud family distillery in 100 years’ time.” Today, Jens Erik’s son, Morten, has taken charge of the distillation process and become the master brewer. Thomas’ sister, Tine, manages sales, while Thomas and his wife, Pernille, take care of marketing. Even Jens Erik’s grandchildren love helping out at the

distillery and in the forest every summer, when a new batch of nettles has to be picked. Most importantly of all, everyone has become huge whisky nerds, ever on a quest for the perfect whisky. They have come close: this year, Fary Lochan became the very first European distillery outside of the British Isles to become part of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) – one of the highest accolades within the industry. The SMWS even gave Fary Lochan’s 2013 batch its ‘Premium’ stamp of approval. “It is an incredible honour for us,” Thomas admits. “We’re this little Danish distillery, making only a very limited amount of whisky a year, and we never plan on being anything other than a small-batch distillery. It’d fundamentally change who

we are: we’d never want to rate quantity higher than quality, and we enjoy the hands-on processes.” Everything at Fary Lochan is made slowly and with love. “Once the whisky has been poured into the barrels to mature, a long wait ensues, however, which gives us time for nerding out on gin, snaps and liqueur on the side. These are all spirits to enjoy slowly, discussed and tasted together in good company. We like to think that Fary Lochan brings people together,” Thomas concludes.

Web: Facebook: Fary Lochan Instagram: @farylochan

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  29

The first seed for Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn was sowed when, in 2007, Bo Rino Christiansen quit his job, sold his house, moved into a farm commune, and bought a small beer brewing system. Photo: Christina Damgaard-Sylvest

Turning brewing into an art form Ending a safe and predictable career path in 2007, Bo Rino Christiansen began a lifechanging journey – a journey that would eventually lead to him and his son creating the cult brewery Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn (the art brewery father and son). Later, the alcohol-free drink Fizz by BoRino added another chapter to the adventure, and as father and son continue to experiment and create, the story continues. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn

12 years ago, the then 33-year-old Bo Rino Christiansen had had enough of his career, his fancy furniture and, in his own words, “everything else”. “I looked at my life and everything looked so predictable, I couldn’t stand it,” he says. Deciding to take a gamble, the engineer took the decision to quit his job, selling everything he owned and uprooting his life completely. Then he bought into an organic farm commune, to live and farm in the middle of nowhere on Funen. At the same time, he decided to use his last resources to purchase a small beer brewing system for the farm, because he wanted to “make 30  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

the ultimate beer” so that he never had to go to the supermarket again. However, he says, things were not quite that easy. “The first beer I made was horrific – I had no experience. So, I decided that what I needed was practice,” he explains. Luckily, living with 19 other people in the commune, Christiansen had a willing audience to test his experiments on, and so he did. Soon, his then nine-year-old son, Fabian Xander Nørregaard, joined him in the brewing activities. “We were living so far out in the countryside that having a paper round meant hours of cycling to

get out five newspapers, so he quickly realised that helping me out was much more fun,” laughs Christiansen.

An arty brew A couple of years into his and his son’s brewing adventure, Christiansen decided to tests the effects of different ingredients by creating six different Christmas beers. “Once I was done, it seemed to me that these beers had a story in them, so I gave them to one of my friends, an author with writer’s block, asking him to see if he could find it. Initially, he said no, he couldn’t see it. But after a night with the beers, which were all strong and pintsized, he wrote a short story; we thought that was hilarious, and thus the art brewery was created,” Christiansen explains. The story became the first of many works by artists, writers and poets to be interpreted in beer, and the art collabora-

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn

tions resulted in a string of highly unique brewing ingredients such as eel skeletons, pork cutlets, and breast milk. The beers – along with the corresponding artworks – were sold and presented at special events, but up until 2010, the brewery had no wholesale. Then something happened: one of the casks of a smoked oak beer disappeared and, some time later, a string of rave reviews of the beer appeared in Danish papers. Thus, Christiansen decided it was time to start producing beer for wholesale.

Fizz by BoRino Producing small batches of continuously changing and experimental beer from a rustic backyard in Svendborg, Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn gained cult status in no time. “We became the elitist choice within beer, and that was fine with us. We’re happy to let the others fight over the space on the supermarket shelves,” stresses Christiansen. To introduce the continuously changing brews, Christiansen and Nørregaard, who had then trained as a chef, decided to start a small restaurant serving a seven-course menu paired with seven beers. It was this restaurant that led to the brewery’s latest venture, Fizz by BoRino, an organic, low-sugar, alcoholfree drink based on herbs. “Our restaurant became hugely popular with a lot of people, but not those who had to drive, were pregnant, or just didn’t want to drink,” explains Christiansen. “We thought about other solutions like a juice menu, but most were too high in sugar and carbs to work, so we started to experiment with alternatives. The result was a drink made of herbs, bottlefermented like Champagne, with a very low amount of sugar and alcohol-free – and it was a huge success.” The fermented drink was created in three taste variations and, before long, importers from Germany and Japan contacted Christiansen to introduce Fizz by BoRino to their markets. Realising how great the potential of alcohol-free drinks was, the father and son closed down the restaurant to focus on their new innovation. But

Fizz by BoRino, an organic, low-sugar, alcohol-free drink based on herbs, has become a big hit with the many people who increasingly prefer alcohol-free options. Photo: Christina Damgaard-Sylvest

though Fizz by BoRino is now produced and delivered to five different countries, Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn still keeps up with its other activities, like beer experiments and art events, as well as external product development and consulting on everything from energy drinks to organic production. “We’re still a small player when it comes to beer, but we keep experimenting and creating new ones – I’ve fathered about 600 by now,” jokes Christiansen, and rounds off: “But I love the herbs too; I’m a bit of a nerd, and I love to play around, test and try out things to create something new, whether it’s for another brewery, a restaurant or something entirely different.”

The cult brewery Kunstbryggeriet Far & Søn was founded, and is run, by father and son Bo Rino Christiansen and Fabian Xander Nørregaard.


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  31

Scan Magazine  |  Norwegian Christmas Feasts  |  Skotholmen

The building used to be a run-down warehouse, and even though it is now a modern restaurant, the history can still be seen and felt.

Kami Skotholmen serves Scandinavian cuisine with an Asian twist.

Norwegian seafood surrounded by Norwegian nature Located on an islet, in an old warehouse from 1847, beneath the most southern bird cliff in Norway, Kami Skotholmen serves fresh and local seafood dubbed as Scandinavian cuisine with an Asian twist, accompanied by an extraordinary view over the ocean.

Everything is depending on what fresh seafood we get in that morning, what the weather is like that day and, of course, the seasons.”

By Synne Johnsson  |  Photos: Yann Aker

With a capacity of up to 150 guests for dining, Skotholmen is also the perfect place for a unique meeting or conference experience, and they can provide the latest within audio and visual equipment, lounge, photo gallery and an open multikitchen. The restaurant is close to both the airport and nearby hotels, making the logistics of a business trip easy and straight-forward.

What used to be an old, run-down warehouse is now a beautiful and rustic restaurant, decorated with modern interiors. With an open kitchen and huge glass windows as a frame, it allows guests to experience the pureness of cooking with the bare nature as a living painting in the background. “It has taken a lot of work and commitment to open this restaurant, due to its location and the building. It was important to all of us that the outcome was something we could be proud of, which would make the hard work worth it – which it absolutely has,” says restaurateur and chef Magnus Bergseth. The restaurant is located on Skotholmen in Sunnmøre, Norway. In 1770, the island 32  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

was named as a trading post, mostly for fish, and it was an important post up until the 1960s. The warehouse where the restaurant is located dates back to 1847. Guests at Kami Skotholmen can choose a three- or four-course menu on regular days. For groups, there are no limits, and the programme is tailor-made for the occasion. The restaurant is open from March through December, and booking is required because of the transport to the islet, which they organise by boat from Ålesund and Fosnavåg. There is also a spot for helicopters. “I don’t know if I want to call the food we serve gourmet, only because I don’t want to label it. That’s up to the guests,” says Bergseth. “We don’t have a set menu.

“I can’t really describe how special it is here – you just have to experience it,” says the chef. “Although we do serve high-quality food, we don’t only sell a good meal; we sell an experience. Leave your stress at the dock, and come aboard the boat. That’s when the journey starts.” Web: Facebook: Skotholmen Instagram: @kamiskotholmen

Scan Magazine  |  Norwegian Christmas Feasts  |  Klækken Hotell

A hotel venue steeped in history Klækken Hotell, originally a manor house dating back to the 14th century, is one of Norway’s leading privately-run hotels. Sophisticatedly decorated with art, and surrounded by a stunning, landscaped park, the hotel makes the perfect setting for any celebration, event or gathering. By Bianca Wessel  |  Photos: Klækken Hotell

As the lush garden is turning into a colourful display of auburn and gold, the countryside hotel is busy getting ready for arguably the cosiest time of the year, the arrival of the first snow and the festive season. There is something truly magical about arriving pre-Christmas at the fully decorated historical hotel, complete with a crackling fireplace. It’s the perfect venue with its central location, its vast grounds, superb food and personable service.

Comfort and leisure Klækken has been rebuilt, renovated and extended several times, with the comfort of the guests as the hotel’s highest priority. For instance, the 157 comfortable rooms all have splendid garden views. There’s an abundance of leisure and fitness activities too, from the year-round heated indoor pool that extends out into the garden, to the sauna, the fully

equipped fitness centre, an outdoor tennis court and a putting green, as well as giant chess for a more unusual and fun group activity. There is something for everyone.

Hotell is now offering to host your party at the adjoining historical farm, in a stylish converted barn.

A warm welcome The hotel is situated close to Oslo, yet in rural, idyllic surroundings. In the winter, the landscape is frosty and covered in snow. But whatever the season, you can always appreciate the warm and friendly welcome.

Parties and events For private meetings, there are exclusive boardrooms, whereas the hotel’s spacious, modern and bright conference rooms can accommodate up to 600 people. And to ensure that everything runs smoothly, the hotel offers tailored events and a dedicated event host. But what truly is the heart of the hotel is its kitchen, serving everything from a wholesome breakfast with organic produce to delicious lunches and dinners that please both the eyes and taste buds. The resident sommelier is at hand to recommend the perfect pairing from the hotel’s own wine cellar. Private dining rooms are also available. Or for a truly different experience, Klækken

Klækken Hotell is located only an hour from Oslo and 50 minutes from Oslo Airport.

Web: Instagram: @klaekken_hotell

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  33

Hawkhill’s lakeside cottages use CO2-free electricity and heating. Photo: Hawkhill

Sustainable solutions for tourism Espoo was recently chosen as one of the pilot projects for Sustainable Travel Finland, an initiative by Visit Finland that will provide companies and destinations with a sustainable development process through ecological, social, economic and cultural dimensions. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Visit Espoo

“Responsible tourism is any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible way, and it starts with making the city a better place to live in,” says Miikka Valo, director of conventions and tourism at Espoo Marketing Oy / Visit Espoo. Espoo is the fastest-growing city in Finland, and it has made long-term investments in sustainable infrastructure and smart-city projects. The city is aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Espoo also has many other good examples of how to build a sustainable city. 34  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

The largest shopping centres, Sello and Iso Omena, both use smart solar power solutions to produce and store renewable energy. There is a wide public transport network covering the whole city. “The new underground line was opened two years ago, and the second phase is under construction,” Valo says. The Espoo public transport system consists of buses, trains and an underground system, and also offers excellent biking routes throughout the city, as well as city bikes and even city rowing boats.

Espoo is a very international and multicultural city. At the moment, the number of foreign-language residents is close to 42,000, and this is expected to double by 2030. In order to make services accessible to English-speaking citizens, too, Espoo is developing its services in English.

Sustainable services for visitors The city of Espoo is committed to building strategy for responsible tourism and is a forerunner in this field. “Together with other Nordic cities, we have been building a sustainability index for the sustainable meetings area, for ten years now,” says Valo. Today, this is known as the Global Destination Sustainability Index, the GDS-Index, leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programmes for meetings and events

Scan Magazine  |  Travel Feature  |  Visit Espoo

destinations around the world. Espoo was in tenth place in this rating last year. There are many events, hotels and other destinations that have invested in sustainable and responsible solutions. The majority of the hotels in Espoo have environmental certificates, but also the smaller local businesses have invested in sustainable solutions. Hotel Hanaholmen is one of these. It is a conference hotel located on the sea front. Hanaholmen has been granted the EcoCompass certificate, which demonstrates a commitment to environmental work and the goal of constantly reducing environmental impact. The requirements of the EcoCompass certificate cover aspects such as energy and water consumption, waste management, sustainable procurement and the use of chemicals. Hanaholmen pays attention to the environmental impact of any decision, surrounding everything from the big picture to the most minute details.

Nuuksio National Park attracts sustainable businesses Nuuksio National Park covers an area of forests and lakes in southern Finland. The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, situated by Nuuksio National Park, has been a pioneer in ecological technology right from the start. Haltia was designed and built according to the principles of sustainable construction, with the objective of minimising the carbon footprint. The building was designed to require as little energy as possible for heating, cooling and lighting. The environmental perspectives are also catered for in Haltia’s activities. It has been designed to serve a multitude of uses; nearly all of the rooms are easily convertible to

Photo: Marjaana Tasala

suit varying purposes with, for example, movable partitions and adjustable furnishings. This convertibility, combined with long opening hours, enables a high utilisation rate for the building. The family-owned company Hawkhill offers lakeside cottages and villas with direct access to Nuuksio National Park. Being ecological is one of the key values at Hawkhill, where they do not use dispensable products in catering, favour vegetable and game ingredients, recycle, use carbon-free energy, and compensate for any emissions made. With these actions, they want to make sure that the Finnish nature, and indeed the whole planet, stays clean in the future. Hawkhill has been awarded the Green Key award for responsible and sustainable operations within the tourism industry. Nuuksio also boasts the world’s first Tentsile Experience Eco Camp, offering an exotic and ecological way to connect with nature via a new experiential tree-tent experience, called A Night in the Tree.

The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia. Photo: Mika Huisman

Events and other achievements It is not just the venues that aim for sustainable solutions. The yearly Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon has a strict policy to help to keep the nature clean and minimise unnecessary damage to the natural terrain. The participants must also carry all litter back with them, and to ensure this, all luggage is marked with a runner’s start number. Moreover, a part of the entry fee is donated to support the trail maintenance in Nuuksio National Park. The water sports activity centre Laguuni offers a safe and secure environment for the incredibly popular wakeboarding, canoeing and SUP boarding activities. The wakeboard cables are eco-friendly, thanks to solar panels that provide carbon-free electricity. Laguuni was also the venue for the solar-powered world record that was set on 4 May 2018, when Finnish Erkka Lehtonen made history by wakeboarding for ten hours and 15 minutes straight. The city of Espoo is making the environment a better place for people to live in, and certainly a better place for people to visit.

Left: Tentsile Experience Eco Camp offers an exotic and ecological way to connect with nature. Photo: Marjaana Tasala. Right: The water sports activity centre Laguuni uses solar panels to produce carbon-free electricity. Photo: dspmedia

Web: Facebook: VisitEspoo Instagram: @visitespoo Twitter: @visitespoo

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  35

Christmas in Røros offers markets, artisan products and local foods. Photo: Thomas Rasmus Juell Skaug

Experience Norway’s centre for living cultural heritage Having gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1980 for its historical importance as a 17th-century mining town, Røros offers a historically rich and culturally abundant destination with a thriving local community. Showcasing an authentic town centre with its characteristic wooden houses, as well as a plethora of local shops and delicacies, Røros invites you to experience the cultural heritage at this unique destination. By Julie Linden

“World heritage is not seasonally contingent – so Røros offers something for everyone all year round,” says Tove Martens, director of tourism at Destination Røros. “The legacy of the mining town can be enjoyed throughout the seasons, with the added benefit of several museums that tell the town’s story – from the smelter museum to the Olav’s Mine. To this day, the community is very much informed by an industrious spirit. It’s kept alive and thriving by a keen business culture and a wealth of inviting restaurants, shops and cafés.” 36  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Conveying the past with a look to the future Tracing its mining history back to 1644, Røros is a location formed by its importance as a historical copper-mining hub – one of only two such historically designated mining towns in Norway. Before mining activity commenced, there were only a few farmsteads and settlements of the indigenous South Sámi people, who still reside in Røros and maintain the region’s cultural heritage. UNESCO assigned the site World Heritage status, citing outstanding universal value in

the area, with special attention placed on the relict mining landscape as well as the mining town – built entirely out of wood. “The feedback we get is that Røros feels authentic and real. I think that’s highly related to its history, but also the way the past merges with the present – with a look to the future,” says Martens. “Nothing feels unnatural, like a set or a prop – everything you see is real: the famous, preserved wooden buildings, culture, culinary traditions and craftsmanship. At the same time, Røros has very much grown as a modern society. Its unique-

Iconic wooden houses. Photo: Finn Nilsen

Scan Magazine  |  Travel Feature  |  Visit Røros

ness lies in the conservation of historically important sites that are maintained without causing stagnation to contemporary Røros, where people live and make a living today. This town merges old and new into something distinct, and we’re very proud of that.”

Fairs and festivals – markets, dog sleds and cured meats A centre for several nationally important festivals and events, such as the Røros Winter Fair, The Femund Race and Norsk Spekematfestival (a Norwegian festival of cured meats), Røros boasts a varied and multifaceted annual programme. The Winter Fair dates back to 1854 and transforms the entire town into an abundant market for five days each February. Drawing scores of visitors from home and abroad, the festival offers traditional dishes prepared over open fires, craftsmanship stalls, horse-drawn sleds, lively dance halls and artisan cafés. The Femund Race, the world’s largest dog sled race, garners the same interest. And, known for its top-quality cured meat products, specially made by local reindeer meat, the Røros area naturally hosts a summer festival dedicated to cured meats.

Food safaris and local delights Røros is a sustainable destination, and one of the first four locations to become a certified sustainable destination in March 2013. “Part of the immense cultural heritage is the food tradition, which we must preserve for generations to come,” says Martens. “The sparse and often barren nature in the Røros area often posed challenges to cultivation and food production, and it made people into both creative and knowledgeable producers,” she says, explaining that new initiatives are harnessing local resources for production in new,

Horse and sleigh. Photo: Morten Brun

innovative ways. For instance, Terroir Røros receives and processes berries, mushrooms and herbs from the Røros area, making locally certified products intended for consumption with other local delicacies. Destination Røros offers local food safaris of the area, where guests are taken on a guided tour to several producers, before feasting on a plate of local delights. “The Røros cultural heritage is strong and ever growing. We invite each and every visitor to experience this living village for themselves,” concludes Martens.

Travelling to and staying in Røros: Røros is reachable from Trondheim or Oslo Airport, and Widerøe flies to the local Røros Airport. The destination is also reachable by train and bus. Several types of accommodation are available, including hotels, conference hotels, historical guesthouses and log cabins.

Web: Facebook: destinationroros Instagram: @destinationroros

Annual events in Røros: February: — The Femund Race – the world’s largest dog sled race — Røros winter fair – national event March: — Røros Winter Chamber Music Festival

Dog sledding. Photo: Femundløpet

June: — Norsk Spekematfestival –  Culinary festival — Røros Folk Festival – Folk music event July: — Opera di Setra – Outdoor opera — Elden – outdoor music theatre December: — Røros Christmas Market For more details, please see:

Local Food Safari. Photo: Frontal Media

Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug

Culinary delights. Photo: Frontal Media

Church street. Photo: Borderfree Travels

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  37

Oslo Opera House. Photo: Didrick Stenersen, VisitOslo

Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights By Linnea Dunne

1. Oslo Opera house Situated in the Bjørvika neighbourhood in the heart of the Norwegian capital, the Oslo Opera House is, with its 238,500 square metres, the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed around 1300. The construction came about after, in 1999, it was decided that a new opera house was to be built in the city, for which a design competition with 350 entries was held. Celebrated architecture firm Snøhetta won, and the construction was finished in 2007, ahead of schedule and around 300 million NOK (around 27 million GBP) under budget. The award-winning Opera House features 1,100 rooms, an auditorium with 1,364 seats, and a distinct façade of marble and granite surfaces that appears to be rising out of the water. 40  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Oslo Opera House. Photo: Didrick Stenersen, VisitOslo

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights

ARoS. Photo: Kim Wyon

ARoS. Photo: Kim Wyon

ARoS. Photo: Thomas Rousing

2. ARoS (Aarhus Kunstmuseum) Covering 20,700 square metres across ten floors, ARoS is one of the largest art museums in northern Europe and works with the ambition to be among the ten best in the world. Designed by architecture firm schmidt hammer lassen, the brand-new premises opened in 2004 and was completed in 2011, when artist Ólafur Elíasson’s circular skywalk installation Your Rainbow Panorama was finished. The circular, 150-metre-long, three-metre-wide glass walkway, mounted on columns above the roof, provides spectacular views across the city of Aarhus through a prism in all the colours of the rainbow. With close to one million visitors annually, ARoS is among Scandinavia’s most visited museums.

3. Copenhagen Harbour Baths Fancy a swim in the heart of the Danish capital? As part of Copenhagen’s harbour development, four harbour baths currently offer the opportunity for recreation and fun, thanks to dry-docks, piers, boat ramps, cliffs, playgrounds and pontoons. The best known of them is the bath at Islands Brygge, developed by JDS Architects and the renowned Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and completed in 2003. There are two children’s pools, two 50-metre swimming pools, and a diving pool complete with one three- and one five-metre springboard.

Turning Torso. Photo: Justin Bown,

4. Turning Torso This neo-futurist residential skyscraper in Malmö is the tallest building in Scandinavia, rising 190 metres, covering 54 floors with a total of 147 apartments. It is also regarded as the first twisted skyscraper in the world. Featured on Discovery Channel’s Extreme Engineering show, Turning Torso is a solid, immobile building constructed in nine segments of five-storey pentagons, the top segment twisting 90 degrees. It was commissioned as part of an initiative aiming to reestablish Malmö’s skyline, replacing that of Kockums Crane, a symbol of the city’s blue-collar roots, removed in 2002. Turning Torso was designed by Spanish architect, structural engineer and sculptor Santiago Calatrava, and has won numerous awards. That’s despite the construction costs ending up at almost double the original estimate.

Turning Torso. Photo: Silvia Man,

Copenhagen Harbour Baths. Photo: Nicolai Perjesi

Copenhagen Harbour Baths. Photo: Kim Wyon

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  41

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights

5. The Cathedral of the Northern Lights

Northern Lights Cathedral. Photo: CH, VisitNorway.

Nordlyskatedralen, or Alta Church, is something as simple as a parish church in Alta, Finnmark, way up in northern Norway. Designed by Kolbjørn Jenssen from Link Arkitektur in Stavanger, in collaboration with schmidt hammer lassen architects, and built in 2013 in a circular style, it features an eye-catching concrete structure clad in titanium sheets, with a large spiral and belfry reaching for the sky. The interior features work by Danish artist Peter Brandes, as well as gifts and donations from local companies, including the organ and a bronze figure of Christ.

Northern Lights Cathedral. Photo: CH, VisitNorway.

Northern Lights Cathedral. Photo: CH, VisitNorway.

6. Copenhagen Opera House Controversially donated to the Danish state by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, the Copenhagen Opera House – or Operaen, meaning ‘The opera’ – is among the most expensive opera houses ever built, with construction costs exceeding 500 million US dollars. Designed by architect Henning Larsen and engineers Ramboll and Buro Happold and Theatre Consultant Theatreplan, it was completed in 2004 and opened the following January in the presence of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Queen Margrethe II. Alvar Aalto House. Photo: Juho Kuva

Royal Danish Opera. Photo: Nicolai Perjesi

7. Villa Aalto

Alvar Aalto House. Photo: Juho Kuva

42  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Villa Aalto was designed by renowned architect and designer Alvar Aalto to function as both a family home and his creative studio. The timber-batten-clad residential home with the white-painted brickwork office wing is now an iconic building, with clear functionalist streaks and hints of a new romantic functionalism. Located in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki, the villa is part of the Alvar Aalto Museum, the other half of which is Studio Aalto, situated a mere 450 metres away.

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights

Svettekörka. Photo: Anna Hållams,

Svettekörka. Photo: Tina Stafrén,

8. Svettekörka In the harbour of Hisingen in Gothenburg, among old containers and cranes, a new neighbourhood is taking shape. Here, in the Jubileumsparken park, is a small sandy beach and, since 2015, a peculiar, unique sauna. Designed by the German architecture collective Raumlabor Berlin, the sauna has a façade constructed exclusively using recycled materials, and the walls of the changing rooms are made up of 12,000 recycled glass bottles. A short pier takes you out to the sauna – Svettekörka, loosely translating as ‘sweat church’ – which sits four metres above water and holds 20 people in total. In 2015, the project was nominated for the prestigious Kasper Salin Prize in the category for Sweden’s Best Building.

9. Utzon Center Dramatic, curved rooftops and tent-like spaces characterise the now renowned Utzon Center, designed by Jørn Utzon, the architect of the Sydney Opera House, with the aim of creating a space where young architects could meet and exchange ideas. Most rooms boast impressive views over the Limfjord, while the courtyards are sheltered from the wind. The building was completed in 2008, the year Utzon died, and today works as a cultural space for exhibitions, lectures and workshops on subjects surrounding design, architecture and art. In line with the architect’s own vision, it is also a knowledge centre where emerging talents can meet and mingle with established professionals.

Utzon Center. Photo: Bang Clemme Film & Openhouse, VisitDenmark

Utzon Center. Photo: Bang Clemme Film & Openhouse, VisitDenmark

Utzon Center. Photo: Bang Clemme Film & Openhouse, VisitDenmark

10. Helsinki City Museum

Helsinki City Museum. Photo: Juho Kuva

Opened in May 2016, the new 11-million-euro guise of Helsinki City Museum was designed by architecture firm Arkkitehdit Davidsson Tarkela, boasting generous spaces across five former government office buildings, dating back to the 1750s, in the Finnish capital’s Tori Quarters. Having stripped away old partition walls and false ceilings from the 1960s, as well as a set of stairs, the architects managed to connect the old buildings and provide access to all floors with a new lift. The mission of the museum – to record and uphold Helsinki’s heritage, including the everyday lives lived in the city – is mirrored in impressively user-friendly exhibition spaces and free access, as well as the new entrance, which combines modern and vintage in an architectural expression of pure accessibility. A new visual identity complete with bespoke typefaces further unifies the different buildings and structures. Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  43

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights

Stockholm Public Library. Photo: Jann Lipka,

Kilden Performing Arts Centre. Photo: Knut Arne Gjertsen, Foap, VisitNorway

11. Kilden Performing Arts Centre

12. Stockholm Public Library

With the first stone during the construction works laid by Crown Princess MetteMarit of Norway in 2007, Kilden Performing Arts Centre is an unusual project housing Agder Teater, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Opera Sør, all under one roof. Designed by the Finnish firm ALA Architects and the Norwegian SMS Arkitekter, the 16,000-square-metre building in Odderøya, Kristiansand, is an architectural beauty, its huge, cantilevered roof clad in local oak and reaching out across the water.

Designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, Stockholm Public Library is the architectural pride of the Swedish capital. Having abandoned earlier ideas of a dome, Asplund opted for a rotunda, which has contributed to the library’s recognisable features, including the well-known, curved walls of books, and is also thought to have inspired Charles Holden’s design of London’s Arnos Grove tube station. The library officially opened in 1928, with all furnishings designed specifically for their positions and purposes. The parkland to the south of the library was also designed by Asplund.

Stockholm Public Library. Photo: Simon Paulin,

Stockholm Public Library. Photo: Jann Lipka,

Black Diamond. Photo: Nicolaj Meding

Black Diamond. Photo: Nicolai Perjesi

13. The Black Diamond (The Royal Library)

Black Diamond. Photo: Jørgen True

44  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

The Royal Library, with its Black Diamond extension, is among the most significant landmarks on the Copenhagen waterfront. Its black granite and clean-cut lines stand in stark contrast to the historical surroundings, appearing almost as a huge, tilted, distorted box. The open interiors include – on top of the main functions of a library – a café, a bookshop, an exhibition room, a restaurant, scientific and literary institutions, as well as The National Museum of Photography, in addition to a roof terrace and a concert hall seating up to 600. Designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects, the extension has doubled the size of the library, accommodating more than 200,000 books now. A bright atrium divides the building in two while connecting the city with the sea and the old with the new. The glass façade is held up by iron girders weighing a tonne per metre, while each stone in the 2,500-square-metre black cladding weighs 75 kilogrammes.

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Top-15 Must-see Nordic Architectural Sights

The Mirrorcube. Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström,

14. The Mirrorcube A perfect cube measuring four metres in width, depth and height, The Mirrorcube is a tree room, part of Treehotel in the far north of Sweden, surrounded by mirror walls reflecting and blending in with the natural surroundings. Through the room grows a tree trunk, which has been enclosed by an aluminium frame, and while it looks from the outside as though the room is made of glass from floor to ceiling, the inside walls are covered in light plywood, with windows in three of them as well as the ceiling. The tree room features a double bed, a toilet and seating, as well as a hidden balcony. Getting there, however, means braving a suspension bridge. The Mirrorcube was designed by Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård. The Öresund Bridge. Photo: Jan Kofoed Winther

The Öresund Bridge. Photo: Jan Kofoed Winther

15. The Öresund Bridge The Öresund Bridge – or Øresund, if you speak the language of Saga Norén’s colleagues as opposed to Saga herself – is the now well-known 15.9-kilometre connection between Malmö and Copenhagen, completed in 1999 and opened in 2000. Featuring a motorway and double railway, the bridge carries an estimated 20,000 vehicles and 33,000 train passengers daily. It is 31.5 metres wide, made of steel and concrete, and consists of a 7.8kilometre-long bridge structure with access roads and tunnels either side, parts of which the entire world has become very familiar with since the Nordic Noir TV series The Bridge became a global hit. Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  45

Photo: WAF

A festival in flow: Designing a more sustainable future As some of the world’s leading architecture firms join forces to declare a state of climate emergency, the entire industry prepares to gather for the 12th edition of World Architecture Festival (WAF) to crown the best architectural creations out there and discuss how the industry can play a major role in building a more sustainable future. By Linnea Dunne

With a shortlist of 534 impressive projects, narrowed down from more than 1,000 entries, the World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest annual, international, live architecture event. It boasts not just the industry’s biggest international awards programme in the world, but also a buzzing exhibition area, an inspiring conference programme, plenty of networking opportu46  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

nities, and much more. This is where the global architecture community gathers to learn, exchange and be inspired – and more than 500 live presentations will take place. For the second time in its 12-year history, WAF descends on Amsterdam from 4 to 6 December this year. While sustainability will be at the very heart of many of

the presentations and discussions, the theme of the conference programme is ‘flow’ – meaning that speakers and contributors will be reflecting on everything from the flow of people and traffic through cities and buildings, to flows of energy and political power in trade and national policy.

Nordic contributions As part of an outstanding line-up of speakers, Kai-Uwe Bergmann of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Kasper Guldager Jensen of 3XN / GXN will represent Denmark and Scandinavia on the WAF stage. But Scandinavia is present in more ways than one at the festival, including with a range of shortlisted projects. BIG

Scan Magazine  |  Nordic Architecture and Design  |  World Architecture Festival

is shortlisted with Dortheavej Residence, a modular housing complex taking on the housing crisis in Copenhagen, as is ALA Architects’ Helsinki Central Library Oodi, a near zero-energy building where traditional library functions meet modern technology. All in all, 21 designs by Scandinavian firms have been shortlisted across the different categories, including the renowned Swedish agency White Arkitekter, as well as Henning Larsen, Wingårdhs, Belatchew Arkitekter, Arkitema Architects and EFFEKT Architects. “We have been inspired by the levels of innovation in this year’s entries, that show the incredible range of ways in which architects are responding to the global climate and biodiversity emergencies we face,” says Paul Finch, WAF programme director. “WAF has attracted more than 1,000 entries, for the second year in a row, from 70 countries, and we look forward to more than 500 live presentations at the festival in Amsterdam, showcasing these exemplar projects from around the world.” World Architecture Festival in numbers: — Three days — 534 shortlisted projects — 100+ international juries — 2,000+ attendees — 1,000+ entries — 70 countries represented — 48+ speakers

Helsinki Central Library Oodi. Photo: ALA Architects

Kiruna City Hall. Photo: Henning Larsen

Dortheavej Residence. Photo: BIG

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors: Alongside the main festival, the organiser EMAP, publisher of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal, is also running INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, an interior design festival with its own awards and conference programme.

Web: and Instagram: @worldarchfest and @insidefestival Hashtags: #WAF19 and #INSIDE19

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  47

E UR K T R lT EC MA a T i I N ec CH DE Sp R A — IC GN D R SI NO DE D AN e:

m he

8-Tallet. Housing by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group. Photo: Jens Markus Lindhe

Architecting happiness — the Scandinavian Way Danish architectural firms deliver daylight, liveable spaces and beautiful, sustainable solutions. Architecture is an integral reason why the people of Scandinavia rank among the happiest in the world. In everything they do, Danish architecture firms believe in liveable, high-quality surroundings as a birth right of all people. Therefore, in every project, Danish architecture firms strive to make the world better designed, more sustainable and more appealing to live in.

Involving the right parties at the right time, understanding users’ needs and challenging the task in a thoughtful way, respecting the different participants and making the most of resources – these are all key characteristics of the way Danish architecture firms work.

By Lene Espersen, CEO, Danish Association of Architectural Firms

Rooted in a society where design and architecture are integrated into everything from transport systems to cutlery and kindergartens, Danish architecture firms always deliver stunning design solutions: bespoke design that is based on a deep understanding of local aesthetics, users’ needs and the surroundings. No building is an island, and Danish architecture firms put this realisation front and centre. The way a building project relates to its surroundings, how it creates value – for everyone from the company or authority commissioning it to the neighbours, users and area – is a core question for Danish architecture firms. 48  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Human-scale architecture ‘Build for people’ is Danish architects’ version of ‘do no harm’. To design liveable spaces, to make sure daylight, quality materials and green solutions benefit as many people as possible – those are shared core values of Danish architecture firms.

Kokkedal Climate Adaptation by Schønherr Landscape Architects. Photo: Carsten Ingemann

The Bicycle Snake by Dissing+Weitling Architecture. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj – Coast Studio

The Danish Association of Architectural Firms is an organisation of private firms of consulting architects. Our objective is to strengthen commercial interest and our members’ position. Want to know more? Go see

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

FORMGIVING, exhibition on view at Danish Architecture Center (DAC). Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Photo: Karl Nordlund

Amager Bakke in Copenhagen, ski slope atop a waste-to-energy plant, opened on 4 Oct 2019. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

BIG shapes the future — see how, in Copenhagen Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is among the most trendsetting and influential architecture firms of our time. They not only create buildings, they also shape our future as they design everything from floating cities and housing on Mars to the fastest train line in history. And in the flat terrain of Copenhagen, they make skiing atop a powerplant possible. This autumn, Danish Architecture Center (DAC) in Copenhagen puts the biggest-ever exhibition of BIG’s architecture and philosophy on display.

in shaping the planet today. With more than 70 spectacular BIG projects from around the globe displayed in the exhibition, you’ll experience BIG’s borderless creativity and new scientific revelations, shaping our future as we speak.

By Danish Architecture Center (DAC)

Explore it all at DAC and throughout the city, where several of BIG’s most iconic visions are brought to life. See you in Copenhagen and on!

These days, Copenhagen is praised for its architecture the way few other cities are. And no other architect is as closely associated with the Copenhagen architecture craze as Bjarke Ingels. 15 years ago, his pioneering harbour bath boosted Copenhagen’s image as a liveable city. This year, his firm, BIG, is behind a new Copenhagen landmark: the world’s first powerplant with a ski slope on top. BIG and Bjarke Ingels demonstrate the

influence architects have in shaping the world – and with the current exhibition FORMGIVING, DAC is your key to unlocking all the incredible BIG stories. ‘Formgiving’ is the Danish word for design. It means to give form to that which has not yet been given form. In other words: to give form to, or shape, the future – a task more important than ever, as humans are the greatest force

Danish Architecture Center Bryghuspladsen 10, 1473 København K Opening hours: daily 10am to 6pm, Thursdays until 9pm


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  49

Fællesbyg Køge Kyst will see 42 individual homes as well as extensive shared in- and outdoor spaces and facilities created through a joint building venture. Photo: Vandkunsten Architects

Joint building ventures — a new way to build and live together Seen as a bottom-up strategy to change the housing market, joint building ventures and co-housing are increasingly making their way onto the Danish housing market. For Vandkunsten Architects, a firm founded in the 1970s, this has opened up for a welcome return to the firm’s ideological roots. By Signe Benn Hansen  |  Photos: Vandkunsten Architects

Founded in 1970, a time when communal living was a political and ideological statement practised by many, Vandkunsten has been behind the design of numerous different shared living communities. But due to changes in political ideology as well as financial structures, the demand for shared accommodation had since stagnated for decades. Today, however, new family structures and a growing ocus on the social and environmental benefits of co-housing have rekindled the interest in modern forms of communal living arrangements. Indeed, a recently conducted survey by Realdania showed that a significant share of senior citizens (around 80,000 according to the published survey) would like to live in some sort of co-housing 50  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

community. Unfortunately, that offer is not currently on the market in Denmark, explains Jan Albrechtsen, partner at Vandkunsten. “Basically, it’s very simple – people just feel that being closer to other people would give them more joy; they don’t want to sit in their own little flat, staring at the wall. They want to be able to go out, have a cup of coffee and a chat – it’s a human need, and, together with PensionDanmark, we’re currently working on some very exciting projects to fill that need.” The projects Vandkunsten is designing for PensionDanmark will provide seniors with rental accommodation in a cohousing community, but more seniors are also becoming interested in taking things into their own hands. Like

their German neighbours, they want to create their own collective housing without depending on private or state-backed developers. “In Germany, you have entire neighbourhoods built like that, and the result is a vibrant urban environment with a broad variety of homes that express the different dreams of people,” Pernille Schyum Poulsen, partner at Vandkunsten, explains. “When people build together, it also creates very strong local communities and communities that are ready to lift and take on more social responsibility. It’s a huge resource when talking social sustainability.” To explore the concept, Vandkunsten has initiated Fællesbyg Køge Kyst, which will see 42 individual homes as well as extensive shared in- and outdoor spaces and facilities created through a joint building venture.

Rebelling against the commune Currently engaged in several co-housing projects, Vandkunsten has worked with communal spaces and shared living

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

arrangements since the firm’s foundation in 1970. In fact, Tinggården, the very first project designed by Vandkunsten, was a social housing complex with extensive communal spaces. “Recently, on a study trip to Tinggården, we spoke to a resident who had lived there since the beginning. She described how the communal space was still used by residents for joint dinners every fortnight and for coffee get-togethers in the evening,” explains Poulsen. Vandkunsten also designed numerous alternative accommodation complexes, including co-housing, but that all stopped in the ‘90s, when ideological changes and a cancellation of the state’s guarantee for cooperative mortgages meant an end to the interest in communal living. “It was a combination of a lot of things: the generation that grew up in communes revolted against their parents, and something happened in the

general attitude towards shared habitation – it all meant that the demand just wasn’t there,” Albrechtsen explains.

Living and building together Like many other nations, Denmark has in recent years seen a significant change in terms of demographics, with the number of singles, senior citizens and alternative family set-ups outnumbering the traditional nuclear families. However, most housing developers seem to have missed the significance of this shift, and this discordance has, to a large extent, been behind the drive for people to join together and create their own accommodation. “A lot of what is built at the moment is off-the-rack two- or three-bedroom flats, with the only alternative being the single-family house, so for many people, collaborative building groups are the solution, which gives them the chance to live together in a shared building but at the same time define their own home

and the frames and life they dream of,” explains Poulsen. Giving people the chance to do that was one of the ambitions behind Fællesbyg Køge Kyst, a joint building venture initiated by Vandkunsten, an urban district developer and an affordable housing foundation. When completed, the complex will comprise 42 individual flats and terraced houses, as well as a number of shared facilities such as a communal kitchen, work spaces, guest rooms, and roof gardens. “Fællesbyg Køge Kyst started out as a joint building venture. It was an attempt to create something like what we’ve seen in Germany – to give people the chance to take part in the design and construction of their own homes independently, without a developer,” explains Albrechtsen. “The funny thing about it is, as we hadn’t drawn anything yet, that the group very quickly turned the project into a co-housing complex with approximately

Site plan Tinggården I.

Tinggården II. Photo: Melissa Ørnstrup

Tinggården in brief: Client: Boligselskabet tæt/lav Herfølge. Size: 78 units, one ‘forsamlingshus’ (a large events hall), six community houses. Average unit size: 87 square metres. Activity: Social housing experiment. Completed in 1978. From its site on a field in the village of Herfølge, Tinggården has served as a primary example of low-rise, high-density architecture in Denmark since it was built in 1978. It is the story of a non-profit housing experiment that successfully used architecture to reinstate residential community democracy. The project was years in the making and developed from the far more radical Project 35, which won the low-rise, high-density vision competition. Tinggården was popular from the outset and was soon expanded with Tinggården II.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Communal living in the old sawmill. Photo: Seier Communal living in the old sawmill: The co-housing development Jystrup feels like one single organism with 21 private residential units and 40 per cent communal space, where private and communal areas can be expanded and reduced as required. A big glass roof covers an interior street with trees and flower beds and room for sharing meals and playing. Jystrup Sawmill in brief: 21 units in a co-housing project with a community house. Five basic living unit typologies from 63 to 98 square metres with numerous variations and ‘added rooms’. Built: 1983-84. Client: Andelsboligforeningen Jystrup Savværk.

ten per cent of all space dedicated to communal areas. It wasn’t something we encouraged them to do, but through the collaboration that the building venture created, arose the wish to create more than just a building – they wanted to create a community.” At the same time, each of the members of the venture has had the chance to individually discuss their requirements with Vandkunsten and will thus have a home uniquely designed to meet their needs. “It’s been a challenge, but it also means that everybody will truly feel that this is their home,” stresses Albrechtsen.

Shared living the modern way Unsurprisingly, one of the greatest challenges of joint building ventures is raising and securing the capital necessary to realise the project. This means that a lot of groups who contact Vandkunsten are halted during the initial phase, due to a lack of resources. “People need to be able 52  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

to raise the funds necessary to secure the site and get the project approved by authorities. This means that a lot of people will need to risk everything they own; it’s a fairly big amount of money, and there is always a risk involved in a construction project, as a lot of expenses are unpredictable,” explains Albrechtsen. The requirement for significant investments of both time and money, as well as the fairly long prospective, means that in Denmark, so far, joint building ventures have tended to attract mainly senior citizens, while families with children seem more inclined to buy or rent as part of established concepts for shared living. This is an issue for many joint building ventures, who wish to create a diverse and mixed community. “In a lot of the concepts we have created for shared habitation, the residents simply buy into an already existing framework with shared dinner four times a week, ten per cent of the space dedicated to

communal areas, and so on. They can’t actually decide or define the community, but they get the benefits of shared living,” says Albrechtsen. For many busy families, these benefits include having to cook just once or twice a week and having a close community with whom they can share daily tasks such as picking up children from school. “It’s been a bit of a crazy development to see the increasing demand for this kind of accommodation from especially families with children. In our new EcoVillage in Lejre, which is centred on the idea of green living and being close to nature, mainly families have bought in. This time around, it might be more based on pragmatic needs than ideology, but the social, environmental and practical benefits are undeniable,” says Poulsen, who also laments the difficulties faced by groups wanting to create their own shared accommodation through joint building ventures. “We see a large

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Jan Albrechtsen and Pernille Schyum Poulsen. Photo: Claus Bjørn Larsen

Eco Village. Eco Village in brief: Lejre I and II: 50 units (stage I). Client: Rikke Søndler and CASA. Location: Lejre, Denmark. Stage 1 completed in 2019. Eco Village is a series of modern co-housing villages with shared facilities and a strong community feeling. For the Eco Village, Vandkunsten has developed a comprehensive building system and a series of site-specific master plans, with small compact living units and plenty of shared spaces.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Senior Co-housing Ry.

Senior Co-housing Ry. Senior Co-housing Ry: Balancen is a series of co-living communities created with a fundamental respect for natural, cultural and economic resources. Balancen I provides 38 homes for seniors aged 50+. Balancen II provides 68 units for families, seniors, and cross-generational living. Under development for PensionDanmark.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Communal living in the old sawmill. Photo: Seier

Fællesbyg Køge Kyst:

Facts about Vandkunsten:

Fællesbyg Køge Kyst is a co-housing project located in Søndre Havn in Køge.

Vandkunsten Architects was founded in 1970.

The collaborative building project was initiated by Vandkunsten, Køge Kyst and Selskabet for Billige Boliger (The Affordable Housing Foundation).

Employing approximately 80 people, Vandkunsten specialises in city planning, residential buildings, office buildings, cultural institutions, renovation and landscaping all over Scandinavia and northern Europe.

The complex will comprise 42 individual flats and terraced houses, as well as a number of shared spaces. The project is expected to be completed in 2021. The venture is still open for new members.

In 2009, Vandkunsten was awarded the Alvar Aalto Medal. Since its establishment in 1967, the medal has been awarded approximately every five years to persons or companies with significant achievements in creative architecture.

number of people who are ready to invest in these projects, and to us this is very interesting, because it gives us the chance to create something different, something where all the effort goes into the building and not, like when designing for developers, into creating a profit. This is why we think it’s important that someone in the right place starts to look at creating an arrangement, like the past cooperative mortgage guarantee, which will enable people to realise their dream.”


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Photo: Colin Seymour

Beneath the dunes of time Popular with bathers, the grassy sand dunes of western Jutland provide access to long, lazy hours of summer fun and the sparkling sea. The tourists and locals scrambling across them may fail to notice that they hide many centuries of history and secrets, too. If you look closely, four sharp lines cut through one of the largest dunes, revealing a world beneath the sand. Aided by the Bjarke Ingels Group’s breathtaking building, the extraordinary museum Tirpitz tells the story of the last 40 million years of West Coast history, from the shaping of the amber you might pick up outside to the minefield left over from the Second World War.

can access via the museum. The bunker, which was built to protect access to the industrial stronghold of Esbjerg, is heavy, dark and menacing. The museum, on the other hand, is light, bright and inviting, despite its total immersion in the sand, thanks to the ingenuity of the team behind it.

By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Mike Bink

“We’ve got a floating concrete roof that, despite weighing 1,000 tonnes, seems weightless atop the huge windows – which happen to be the largest pieces of glass installed anywhere in Denmark,” Jensen explains. “It means that we actually get a great amount of natural light, despite being underground. A lot of newer museums choose to go the opposite way, making the exhibition space into a dark and simple ‘black box’, which makes it easy to make use of technolo-

“We set BIG, the Bjarke Ingels Group, an impossible challenge: design a worldclass piece of architecture that doesn’t interfere with the landscape around it – create a stand-out building, and make it invisible,” says Claus Kjeld Jensen, museum director at Vardemuseerne. “They managed to do exactly that. The building we’ve got today is beyond anything I’d imagined.” 56  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

When the Tirpitz Museum opened in June 2017, the eyes of the world were already sneaking a peek in anticipation, from the USA’s CNN to the British Guardian. Built as a museum to the ominous fortress-like Tirpitz Bunker nextdoor, the museum playfully takes up the bunker’s concrete expression, but the resultant building is the complete opposite of its neighbour, which guests

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

gy. But the natural light around here is very special, and we wanted the museum to be as open and as connected to its beautiful surroundings as possible. And I think most people go a bit bonkers if they spend hours without light.”

Building the stories of the west coast There’s no hiding away the building at Tirpitz: its striking forms meant that

it had to be part of the exhibitions too. Everything is visible and meant to be visible. The formwork used to mould the concrete was crafted to make a specific pattern; every line, where different materials were joined together, is part of a bigger puzzle. And the architecture feeds into the displays themselves. In one of the three permanent exhibitions, The Hidden West Coast, the con-

crete walls surrounding you on all sides come alive with landscapes, objects and people, bringing you back through film magic to times passed long ago. “We worked with a very exciting Dutch exhibition specialist, Tinker Imagineers, to create exhibitions that told our stories as well as possible, using whatever devices and means we needed, from the

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark Landmine exhibition. Photo: Niels Linneberg

newest digital devices to physical objects and actors,” Jensen says. “They’re a fantastically creative group of people. The exhibitions that they’ve come up with are at the forefront of storytelling, and it makes us very different to the dusty old collections some people might think of museums as.”

Creating a space for everyone

old for kids’ museums. We’ve had a lot of ten- to 14-year-olds take a particular interest in our temporary exhibition, Danger – Mines! (Livsfare – Miner!), which explores the real story behind the Oscar-nominated film Land of Mine (Under sandet), which took place here.” After the war, German soldiers were forced to clear away the mines themselves, leading to death or life-changing

With four very different permanent exhibitions as well as temporary exhibitions, talks and school services, Tirpitz is designed with all types of visitors in mind – including those who never visit museums. “We took care to make something for everyone here, from the biggest culture nerds to the people who were turned off history by a boring teacher at school, and including all ages. Some of the best feedback we receive comes from families where everyone took something different away after visiting,” says Jensen. “One group that is often forgotten, for example, is tweens, who often feel too 58  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Amber exhibition.

injury for every fifth soldier. The exhibition explores the ethical dilemmas surrounding the clearance and draws comparisons to the landmines that continue to kill children and adults today. It also lets visitors feel in their own body some of the terror of walking through a minefield, using the incredible, local landscape, exhibition technology and

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

architecture that has won Tirpitz great acclaim throughout the world. “It’s an incredible gift for museum folk like me, and for our cultural heritage, to be able to share with people a building where the architecture so eloquently furthers the stories we’re telling and their connection to the local area,” the museum’s director concludes. The permanent exhibitions:

The Hidden West Coast A story of the last 20,000 years in West Jutland, told through 12 surprising, dramatic, interesting and moving stories. Every half hour, the room is plunged into darkness and a 360-degree film is projected onto the walls and floors, while light, smoke and smells bring to life the journey through time. Amber – The Gold of The Sea A mysterious forest, with nine-  metre-tall trees, shows how 40-  million-year-old resins are turned into amber. Visitors can see 400 of Denmark’s most extraordinary amber finds and experience what it is like to search for amber at the beach on a cold and windy January day. An Army of Concrete In a landscape of bunkers, visitors are told the story of how seven characters, both Danes and Germans, experienced World War II. The characters are all based on real people, portrayed by actors – from a ten-year-old Danish girl who kept a diary during the war, to the young and charming German lieutenant who was kind to the children in the neighbourhood, but whose job was to shoot down British planes. The Tirpitz Bunker It was Hitler’s massive bunker project but remained unfinished at the end of the war. Now the southern part of the bunker has become part of the museum. What would it have looked like, had it been finished? Who would have controlled it? How would it have worked? Visitors enter through an underground tunnel to discover the answers.

Web: Facebook: Tirpitzmuseum Instagram: @tirpitzmuseum

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Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter’s 3,000-square-metre extension to DTU’s existing Skylab is designed to meet the requirements of DGNB’s new Diamond certification, which on top of environmental, social, and financial sustainability, evaluates the building’s longevity in terms of architectural and aesthetic qualities.

Building green diamonds When it comes to sustainability, gold standards are not enough for Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). With the design for DTU Skylab, a new 3,000-square-metre extension to the university’s successful innovation hub, DTU is going for a German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) Diamond certification. This requires the building to be not only environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable, but of the highest architectural quality as well. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter

While a lot of attention is paid to the carbon footprint of the transport and food industry, the building industry often goes unmentioned – this despite the fact that it accounts for around 40 per cent of Denmark’s total energy consumption. This fact is one of the reasons sustainability is at the core of Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter’s work. Partner Nicolai Overgaard explains: “Sustainability is a question of social responsibility, and that’s always been a core value at our firm, which is why we focus on sustainability at every stage of our projects – from 60  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

the first rudimentary sketches, to the proposals and all the little details that are added as the project is realised.” While Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter has worked with sustainability for decades, DGNB’s award system (adapted by the Danish Green Building Council in 2011) now makes it possible to fulfil an increasing demand from clients for documented sustainability. But more incrementally, it provides the firm with a tool to measure its performance at each stage of the design process, explains partner Anders Wesley

Hansen. “To our firm, it’s been important to get a tool with which we can direct and guide the design and planning phase, because that’s where the real difference is created. You can design a building and then try to amend it to make it more sustainable, but that’s too late; sustainability needs to be part of the core concept, otherwise it becomes very expensive.”

More than gold Set to be finished in 2020, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter’s 3,000-squaremetre extension to DTU’s existing Skylab is designed to meet the requirements of DGNB’s new Diamond certification, which on top of environmental, social, and financial sustainability, evaluates the building’s longevity in terms of architectural and aesthetic qualities. “The core aim behind the DTU Skylab design was to preserve and promote the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

special innovative vibe, which saturates the old DTU Skylab. It’s about creating this huge house of innovation, connected across different floors and disciplines and doing that via a sustainable structure. One of the keys to this was to create a flexible building with a lot of large open spaces, because in a dynamic environment like DTU’s, we cannot know what the space will be used for in two or ten years, and that makes flexibility essential to the building’s sustainability,” explains Hansen. To minimise heat loss, DTU Skylab is designed with a small surface, while also maximising natural daylight. Internal and external facades are made of aluminium cladding that can be reused, and the building is partly aired through a natural ventilation system. “It’s quite complex, really, but we’ve succeeded, and that all means that we get top points on the environmental scale, and when it comes to the social dimension, the entire building is structured around this large developer floor, the Innovation Room. It’s a building where everyone can see and sense what’s going on,” says Hansen.

Building and collecting expertise The expertise that allows Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter to aim for the DGNB Diamond certification comes from decades of experience of pushing the limits and testing new solutions. “Working with

Holmens Kanal 20.

clients who, like DTU, represent the world of innovation and progress, has allowed us to collect a continuously growing set of data; every time we try out new solutions, we evaluate what we can do better, and it is that accumulated knowledge that we, in dialogue with experts from all fields, carry into new projects,” says Hansen. “It’s a lot of things that have to come together, and only a few parts have to slip for the result to become less than perfect when it comes to both environmental and economic sustainability.”

Sustainable beauty Among other recent projects to have challenged and expanded the firm’s

knowledge on sustainable solutions is the recently completed renovation and transformation of Holmens Kanal 20, a listed building from 1937. The building houses two ministries, and the aim of Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter was to open up and adapt the old in-situ cast-concrete building to current needs, while maintaining the original functionalist Danish architecture. “The building was quite scarred by various mismatched reconstructions, so our first job was to go back and find its original expression. We decided that it was possible to bring the house back to its original spaciousness and quality, and by doing so, creating the most sustainable solution,” explains Hansen.

To revitalise Holmens Kanal, a listed building from 1937, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter restored the building’s old atrium, brought in daylight, and extended the wood from the old atrium’s wooden panels throughout the building.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

To revitalise the work environment, the building’s old atrium was restored, creating a new social heart, and daylight, acoustics and air quality were improved. At the same time, the building was adapted to possible future needs by creating flexible office spaces divided by glass prisms that allow natural daylight to enter and, with rubber floors, fabric ceilings and wood cladding, provide a pleasant work environment. During the restoration, old materials, like the wooden panels from the old atrium, were reused and extended throughout the building. Like many other projects, the renovation was guided by DGNB’s principles. However, DTU Skylab is the first of their projects to be designed to meet the requirement for DGNB’s Diamond certification. As a matter of fact, if awarded, which it looks set to be, it will be the second such certification to be given to a building in The DGNB certification: The DGNB sustainability award system was developed by the German Sustainable Building Council and adapted by the Danish Green Building Council in 2011. The DGNB Diamond certification pilot programme launched in spring 2017, developed in collaboration between the Danish Green Building Council, the Danish Association of Architects and the Danish Association of Architectural Firms. To be eligible for a DGNB Diamond certification, a building must first earn a DGNB certification for sustainability, evaluating elements such as economic impact, social benefit, environmentally conscious construction and the technical inclusion of elements such as solar energy and low-impact building materials.

When designing DTU Life Science and Bioengineering, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter designed a large, bright atrium cladded in oak at the heart of the building.

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To promote a new understanding of sustainability, the Diamond certification extends the evaluation to measure a building’s longevity in relation to its architectural and aesthetic quality. This means that beyond judging the immediate use of resources, DGNB Diamond certification gauges the building’s sustainability in terms of its service life.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Denmark, ever. But the demand and interest for projects that combine certified sustainability with quality architecture are increasing, and that is, says Overgaard, a positive development to a firm that has, for decades, aspired to create just that. “As architects, we have to rejoice in the direction things are moving in when it comes to sustainability. Because of course we want to create sustainable buildings, but we don’t want the sustainable ambitions to compromise the architectonical qualities. So, hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll see a lot of Diamond-certified buildings.”


Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter:

— Developer: The Technical University of Denmark

Founded in 1950, Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter is an architectural practice working with newbuilds as well as the restoration and transformation of existing and listed buildings.

— Location: Lyngby Campus — Funding: The Skylab project is supported by a donation of 80 million DKK (approx. 9.5 million GBP) from Den A.P Møllerske Støttefond (the Maersk Foundation). — Project collaborators: EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører, CITA, Urgent Agency

A dedicated team of around 50 employees work at their office, located in a former steam laundry from 1918 in northern Copenhagen.


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  63


Buildings to be lived in “A building is much more than just a structure; it’s a character in itself, which influences the way that we live or work,” says Torben Sørensen, co-owner of ZENI Architects. “Architecture starts off with certain needs, which must be accounted for. If the building doesn’t properly cater to how it’ll be used, then it fails as a building, no matter how pretty it is. Good architecture listens to its users.” By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Martin Schubert

ZENI Architects’ buildings will see you through from birth to grave. As the people behind an ever-expanding portfolio of private, commercial and public buildings in southern Denmark, they have built everything from kindergartens to the interfaith Aabenraa Crematorium. The team has won critical acclaim, particularly for its educational buildings, and this year is no exception: ZENI Architects won ‘Årets Skolebyggeri’ (School Building of the Year) in 2017 and has been nominated four times in the 64  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

seven years since the award’s inception. This year, it is the quirky lines of its newly completed FYNs HF in Odense, designed together with local architect Jesper Thyge Brøgger, which have gained a nomination.

People’s impact on the building Though only ten people strong, ZENI Architects has know-how and experience that span far and wide. “No two days look alike for any architect, and particularly not for us,” Sørensen says. “That’s what I love the most about what we do


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

here at ZENI. We build a lot of different types of buildings, but the basic principle is always the same: every building needs to fulfil the needs of its inhabitants; it’s a building to be lived in, whether that’s 8am to 5pm or 24/7. We ground ourselves in that, and then we have fun with the aesthetics based around that mould.” In order to create architecture that continues to wow and inspire long after the first impression has faded, ZENI Architects works closely with the buildings’ inhabitants-to-be, whether they’re school children, gym goers or homeowners. “We value workshops a great deal when mapping out people’s needs and wishes – they’re very helpful in articulating thoughts that even the user might not have fully realised yet, or in ironing out issues that no one had really thought about changing.”

The building’s impact on people “That said, however, architecture is about more than ‘just’ fulfilling people’s needs.” On the one hand, Sørensen believes, it is crucial that the architect stays humble and actually listens to the users; they should be happy and comfortable in the building. On the other hand, buildings are more than mere receptacles for function; they in turn impact their inhabitants, and in that fact lies great potential for the skilled architect to support the users’ future behaviour with subtle, positive touches before they even move in.

FYNs HF. Photo: Kirstine Mengel

At the newly opened Broager Kindergarten, for example, 50 happy little humans stomp down the wide, open corridors in search of the cosiest cubbyhole, while others make numerous traffic violations racing each other round the pedal car track outside. “Nowadays, we are much more aware of the importance of being active from an early age, so we’ve taken care to encourage movement in every aspect of the design,” says Sørensen. The building encourages children to interact with each other, to roam about exploring both inside and out, and to get in touch with nature – and away from screens. “We also made sure to solve the needs of its other users, the nursery staff, and to anticipate the challenges they’ll face working there,” Sørensen notes. The open layout makes it easy to keep an eye out while features such as sound-absorbent walls and easily accessible sinks provide a safe, practical and comfortable environment for all of Broager Kindergarten’s inhabitants, regardless of maturity level.

A taste of their own medicine “For years, we’ve been talking about the need for buildings to perform practically as well as aesthetically; for the importance of long-term functionality,” Sørensen says. “Now, we actually get to experience a taste of our own medicine.” In 2018, ZENI Architects hit

upon a golden opportunity to transform the old steam-power plant in Aabenraa into their own offices. “It was, if you’ll excuse the expression, an architect’s wet dream. We had this gorgeous old building, Kedelhallen, with an exciting past that we were free to shape to our hearts’ desire.” ZENI Architects went about the design the same way they do any other project – considering Kedelhallen’s specific context and hosting regular workshops with their own employees, leading to details such as shower facilities and quiet nooks. “We wanted to preserve Kedelhallen’s great spirit and character without compromising our own modern requirements.” Windows and pipes from the plant add interesting focal points to the impressive open space, while great new acoustics ensure that noise isn’t thrown around the room, creating a comfortable working environment. “We’re all in love with the look, but we’re just as pleased to say our process works: we’ve lived here for nine months and everything works for us,” Sørensen says. “We’ve learnt a lot about what it’s like to be on the user side of the build. Best of all, when clients ask to see our work, we can just point to our surroundings.” Web: Facebook: ZENIarkitekter

Broager Kindergarten.

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Creating something out of nothing Central Copenhagen is tightly packed, leaving very little room for any kind of expansion. However, when a school in the centre needed more space, there was no way around it: they needed more space. Architecture firm NOVA5 stepped in to create an award-winning solution with innovative ideas and a brand-new building. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Tom Jersøe

Situated in the heart of Østerbro, one of Copenhagen’s oldest neighbourhoods, Vibenshus Skole needed 12 new classrooms for 300 extra students. “This posed a bit of a problem, as there was little to no space to expand on. Inner city schools have limited space and Vibenshus Skole, which is made up of an old, grand school building, a gym and administration building from the 1980s and a playground, is no different. But this is definitely also what makes being an architect exciting: it’s about finding solutions when there don’t really seem to be any,” explains Thomas Dahl, partner at NOVA5. 66  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

The Copenhagen-based NOVA5 are specialists in homes and educational and cultural structures. They are also specialists in making something out of nothing and pushing the limits of what can be achieved in a variety of projects, while also having a strong focus on creating sustainable solutions.

Creating space where there is none “We had to ask ourselves, how do we take space from the playground, which is already too small, without making it seem like there’s less space overall? That’s not always an easy predicament to have. How

do you do that without ruining what is currently there and what will be there?” asks Dahl. The solution that NOVA5 came up with was to use height. They took space from the playground to add a building connected to the building from the 1980s. But rather than leaving it as that, they used the roof of the building to create a new space where the kids could play. The roof became the place to play ball games and hang out. The new building connects to that from the ‘80s seamlessly, while also protecting the building from the environment. “This has suddenly become a central meeting place in the school, as people can more easily walk between the buildings and use the rooftop to relax and have fun,” says Dahl.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

A better learning environment “Outside of needing more space, the school also wanted to get a better structure to the way it was organised. The two buildings that were already there weren’t working very well, and the administrative staff sat far away from what was actually going on in the school. The older and younger kids were stepping on each other’s toes, so we had to do something about that,” explains Dahl. NOVA5 worked closely with the school to find solutions to these problems. “We have to draw from their experience of working in the school,” continues the architect. “They have an amazing amount of knowledge that we need to make the most of, so working closely with them and understanding how best to optimise the social and learning environment in the school was key to this project.” The new building has transformed the school, moving the administrative staff closer to the action and making them more accessible for pupils and parents, while the school now also has the space to divide the older and younger pupils. “This was done deliberately, as

the younger kids often find it intimidating to be near the older ones, and the older ones can sometimes find the younger pupils a bit annoying,” Dahl smiles. “By giving the age groups specific parts of the school, we’ve allowed them to roam a bit more freely and enjoy being the age they are.” The classrooms were designed with the newest pedagogical approaches in mind, creating classrooms that will make it

easier and more fun to learn, for both current and future generations of pupils.

Award-winning sustainable architecture The Vibenshus Skole project won NOVA5 the BUILD award for Best Sustainable Transformation in the Nordics in 2016, thanks to the way it used sustainable materials to create a warm and welcoming school. “The new building uses a combination of concrete and wood. This means the building is better able to stand up to the tough environment it’s in, with heavy use, lots of people and also the pollution that inevitably finds its way to the inner city. We really wanted it to be a welcoming addition to the school and a friendly building that people wanted to be in and use, and we created that by using the wood to balance the building and give it more warmth.”

Photo: Helene Høyer

Photo: Helene Høyer

The school project has become a huge success, largely due to NOVA5’s ability to see potential and push the boundaries of what can be achieved. “I think our strength lies in overcoming obstacles and solving difficult projects. We create something that can be used, is personalised to its needs and is sustainable,” concludes Dahl. Web: Facebook: Nova5arkitekter Twitter: @Nova5arkitekter

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  67

jacobsli school norway


No half-measures Two years ago, experienced architects Niels Christoffersen and Erik Weiling decided to go it alone, together. “We wanted the chance to get closer to our clients and to see the projects through from start to finish, so we decided to ‘walk the line’,” Christoffersen explains. “We don’t do things by half-measures and we didn’t want to have to compromise to the detriment of our buildings, our clients or ourselves.” The result became Christoffersen & Weiling Architects, or CWA for short, which creates little masterpieces for real people to live in. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Ralf Buscher Photography and Tina Stephansen

“I think that idea of ‘no half-measures’ really defines us as architects. In order to be successful, we think, you have to have a simple idea that you follow through with. Of course, that makes it all the more important to come up with the right idea, or the right line, to follow the project from start to finish, and it’s a line that both we and the client have 70  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

to be happy with. The simpler the basic concept, the better. And that doesn’t have to mean minimalist.” Despite the company’s young age, CWA has been responsible for 18 unique homes and several transformations and, in the process, they have racked up several awards. Most recently, the partners

were awarded both the Iconic Award and the German Design Award for their naturalistic modern farmhouse, Casa Ry. The secret, it seems, is a simple, joint creative vision. Christoffersen and Weiling knew each other from Arkitema Architects, where the former was creative leader and the latter acted as a senior consultant. “We knew we worked well together and that we complemented each other’s strengths,” Christoffersen says. “Most of all, we had a common goal. We very much appreciated the opportunities to work on big builds that we’d had at the big architectural offices, but that often entails building something to be sold or rented out immediately. What we both loved the most was those times

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

when we got to create something of real value for and together with the people who’d live there.” Honesty is a defining characteristic of all CWA’s homes, reflected in their relationship with the client as well as in the simple graphic lines of their houses. Each building and every room take shape based on the client and the way that they will live in the house, and Christoffersen and Weiling take great pleasure in getting to know their clients and their wishes. “The type of person who is pas-

sionate and dedicated enough to have a creative vision actualised is usually a pretty exciting character to work with. We take on clients who are searching for a bit of an avant garde solution; who care about getting the right thing for them, not getting ‘the right thing’ that everyone wants.”

“However, there comes a point where people can get too caught up in a picture or a look that has already been done, and then it’s our job as architects to step back and find out exactly what they want and need. There is a lot more potential in a bunch of black lines on white paper than getting ‘locked in’ to a picture.”

The power of a simple line

By experimenting on a drawing board, clients can get a feel for exactly what will suit their needs – from the location of the fridge in relation to the sink to the grand flow from room to room. “It

“The internet has radically changed the way our clients interact with us architects, and that can be an excellent tool for communication,” Christoffersen says.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

takes a great deal of trust to take the leap and go with us on this journey to find just the right idea together, and a lot of time and commitment for us to make sure everything fits with it through to the end, but that’s what it takes. We love this process, and that’s just what being a smaller office allows us to do,” Christoffersen continues. “The feel and flow come first, always. Once we establish how the rooms will relate to each other and the client, we have the key to the house.” At CWA, bigger isn’t always better. The trend from recent years of having the largest, most spacious rooms just for the sake of it is not a priority. In fact, they often encourage clients to balance their budget in favour of the right materials rather than space for the sake of 72  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

space itself. “If you look at older houses from around the turn of the last century, there’s often this very lovely hierarchy to the rooms. The function of each room has really been thought into the flow and aesthetics. Think about the impression you get walking into one of those beautiful old hallways with a large stairwell and not much else,” Christoffersen explains. “Though the functions we look for in rooms may have changed, daring to let each room have an honest purpose and expression gives the house character and warmth.” CWA’s quest for honesty and simplicity in the design continues on in their choice of materials. “The marriage between the flow and materials is what makes each house unique. Continuing that same line from the design to the

materials brings it all together.” According to Christoffersen, less is more – but that doesn’t mean minimalism. “I think that makes sense if you think about the New Nordic wave in gastronomy. The ingredients are humble but just right, and each dish looks fairly simple, but every perspective and every bite is a perfect composition. That’s what we try to do with our builds – make sure that everything flows together, from the foundation to the countertops in just the way that’ll make a bigger whole and the right home for our client.” Web: Facebook: Christoffersen & Weiling Architects Instagram: @cwa_architects Pinterest: CWA

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  73

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR has created a string of renovations and extensions all over Denmark.

Volunteering for Architects Without Borders, founder Kim Pretzmann Olesen has helped design a mobile house for homeless people.

Improving the everyday life of people Working with people from all walks of life, DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR focuses not on grand structures but on the enhancement of everyday life. This has led to a number of private extensions, renovations, and – as volunteer for Architects Without Borders – mobile homes for homeless people. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR

Founded by architect, university guest lecturer, and carpenter Kim Pretzmann Olesen, DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR has created a string of projects all over Denmark. Though widely different, all projects express the founder’s passion for everyday architecture created in dialogue with its users. “I enter into a project with all of my being, and I believe that by doing that, I manage to find the core of every project,” says Olesen. “I find that materialising that essence through everyday architecture is very rewarding; the everyday is where people live their lives, and by bringing in elements that combine functionality and enhanced materiality, we can create spaces where people feel happy and relaxed, spaces with comfortable lighting, a healthy climate and a positive atmosphere for life to unfold in.” Since founding his own firm just about a year ago, Olesen has worked with reno74  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

vations and extensions of private homes. In the process, he uses his expertise both as an architect and as a carpenter, a qualification he took in 2013 to improve his knowledge of wood and building techniques. “My love for wood as a building material is difficult to hide – it’s an amazing material when it comes to everything from its environmental qualities and its low carbon footprint to its natural qualities in creating a healthy indoor climate. But despite wood having been used widely in the Nordic countries in the past, the material’s intrinsic qualities have largely been forgotten in Denmark’s modern building industry,” explains Olesen. One of the projects in which Olesen has used the natural qualities of wood is a mobile home for homeless people, which he helped design as a volunteer for Architects Without Borders. Including the homeless people in the design process,

the project aimed to create safe frames for them to live the everyday life that they know and feel safe in. “Despite being a small firm, we still work with social responsibility both directly and through designs that further social consciousness – it’s interconnected, and finding that connection is about dialogue,” says Olesen, and rounds off: “It’s about finding the core of people’s everyday life to create architecture that can help lift and enhance that, and with the feedback I have had, it’s clear that that is something in high demand, which is why I’ll soon be expanding my firm with more employees.”


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

The shared senior accommodation Sundbo is developed by fsb, Realdania and the senior community housing association Sundbo, in collaboration with Sangberg and FUTU.

AgoraHaverne is developed by Tetris A/S with Sangberg as architectural advisors.

Creating modern sustainability through shared accommodation Social, environmental and economic sustainability is at the core of architect Jonas Sangberg’s work – but it is not necessarily what the eye will see. Currently, his company, Sangberg Architects, is working on two projects, both of which provide sustainable, shared accommodation for senior citizens, but which have few aesthetic similarities. By Signe Benn Hansen  |  Photos: Sangberg Architects

“Essentially, a lot of people don’t want to live in something that looks like a hobbit house, and for a sustainable structure to make sense, it has to be something that people want, and can afford, to live in,” says Sangberg, a man on a mission to lower the carbon footprint of the construction industry. But, at the same time, he wants to create aesthetic, new and modern buildings. One of his core strategies for achieving this is building in wood, a carbon-positive material. Another strategy, which increases not just environmental but also social and economic sustainability, is building shared accommodation. AgoraHaverne, a just-initiated concept for sustainable, shared accommodation

for senior citizens, combines the two strategies. Designed in cross-laminated timber, one of the world’s most environmentally friendly construction materials, AgoraHaverne will provide the affordable, social and green accommodation requested by many senior citizens. Moreover, as it is constructed with prefabricated elements, it can be efficiently erected to meet local demand. “We know that this type of co-habitation has multiple advantages in regards to everything from the health and economy to the quality of life of senior citizens. It’s cheaper to share space, and it’s proven that living together also makes people healthier and happier,” says Sangberg. “So, it makes sense both from a human perspective and from a socio-economic perspective.”

Residents at AgoraHaverne, the first complex of which will be constructed in Slagelse, will each have their own flat, but will share common areas including a big, covered atrium garden. This concept and the wood structure are mirrored in the design for the shared senior accommodation Sundbo in Copenhagen. The background and expression of the two buildings are, however, very different. While the sustainable wood structure of AgoraHaverne will be essential to the building’s expression, Sundbo will, with a tile cladding, have an entirely different aesthetic. “Much of the carbon footprint of a building comes from the construction, and changing that might not be visible to the eye,” explains Sangberg, and rounds off: “It’s become a bit of a trend to create designs that highlight a building’s sustainability, but what is important to me when I design is not if a building looks sustainable, but that it really is.” Web: Instagram: @sangbergarchitects

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  75

Petry Retreat.

Taking a stance “A good architect designs a building in interaction with its specific surroundings and the people who will live there,” says Jesper Korf, co-owner of N+P ARKITEKTUR, nominated for Denmark’s Architecture Award. “You have to take some kind of stance in relation to the building’s location, otherwise you fail. The building can emphasise its surroundings or it can juxtapose its surroundings, but you can’t fall in between. If you do, you will get a dull building.” By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: N+P ARKITEKTUR

The three architects at N+P ARKITEKTUR like a challenge, whether it comes in the shape of a villa or a block of student flats. “The projects may be very different from one another, but they all have in common that these buildings need to have a positive impact on the people who’ll live there. We’re very good at figuring out the way people will live in what we build, I think, and accommodating that,” says co-owner Lars Bo Poulsen, who founded 76  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

N+P ARKITEKTUR back in 2005 together with the final co-owner and fellow architect, Thomas Nørkær. “Each project is different, and they all express something unique. Being an architect is fun. We get to meet and work with very exciting people, who trust us to create something for them that’s even better than they expected. That relationship is really the reason why people make use

of architects instead of just moving into a cookie-cutter house,” Poulsen continues. “We gain a lot by getting to know our clients really well too: architecture can’t be done in a vacuum. Each house, flat or commercial building gains a lot of personality and character through the people who’ll live there.” The three architects often work on the projects in pairs. “Two architect brains are better than one, and it’s great to get to bounce ideas off one-another,” Poulsen explains. In addition to taking care of the practical and technical sides of the build, architects become master mediators going between the council, the builders and the client to make the construction phase as smooth as possible. “We know how to prepare a project and how to pres-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Østerbye Retreat.

Frame House.

ent it to get the permissions needed; in fact, the better prepared a project is, the more you can convince the authorities to permit you to do. A lot of people need a little push to try something new, and the authorities are certainly no exception,” Korf adds. “We have to take a stance to create buildings that stand out.”

its exterior. In the countryside, beside the client, nature becomes the architects’ biggest sparring partner. “Buildings should always make time for their surroundings in some way. If the house is just there, that’s a missed opportunity. How does it comment on its surroundings and make us aware of them?”

Location, location, location

In Østerbye, a thoroughly modern family villa built with traditional materials pays its respects to the forest around it. Its natural wooden facade is reflected inside the house, where wooden floors and ceilings add warmth and character to the large, bright rooms. The warm wooden staircase is enclosed within a cooler cement wall, echoing the colours of the trees outside during the colder parts of the year.

Alongside getting to know the clients, the N+P architects spend a lot of time getting to know the site of the build at the beginning of the process and making sure that their ideas work with the surroundings during the construction phase. Buildings in cities must work in conjunction with other buildings and sights in the proximity, as well as with people who won’t use the building’s interior, but will interact with

At the Frame House in Hjørring, N+P ARKITEKTUR’s design comments on the location in a very different way. The sharp, long, one-floor house lies in stark contrast to the soft, cascading hill below it. Despite the size of the house, it is dwarfed by the conifers to either side of it. The house stands out, but it doesn’t take anything away from the nature surrounding it – on the contrary, it makes one notice the softness of the grass and the height of the trees. Inside the house, its inhabitants are encouraged to do so thanks to panoramic views from almost all the rooms. “One thing is the look of the house, in its surroundings, on the outside,” Poulsen says. “It’s just as important to consider what we can do with the location from the inside. Great architecture can even add to a beautiful location by framing it and making us look at it differently – that’s what we did at Petry Retreat, a summerhouse in northern Jutland with a gorgeous view of the North Sea.” He ends: “No one involves an architect to get a house that someone else has already made – and it wouldn’t be fun for us if we had to do the same thing over and over again, either. We’re humans, and we have to evolve – if we don’t evolve, we go backwards. It’s our job to push our clients a little, so that they get everything they want from their building, and then a little bit more.”

Østerbye Retreat.

Petry Retreat. Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen

Web: Facebook: N+P Arkitektur Instagram: @nplusparkitektur

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  77

Viborg Police Station.

Architecture that shapes society Since its establishment in 1944, the Danish architecture firm Alex Poulsen Arkitekter (APA) has worked with projects where safety, logistics and usability were of utmost importance. Through their redevelopment of old institutions, additions of new spaces into the public sphere and creative solutions, APA has helped to shape the landscape of society.

for passengers was easy and intuitive. This knowledge could later be transferred into the design phase with one specific purpose: to improve the passenger experience at Copenhagen Airport,” Hviid Mønster continues.

By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Alex Poulson Arkitekter

“When Alex Poulsen established the company, he was appointed as the architect for the Ministry of Justice in Denmark, and that’s an inheritance that we’re proud of and one we’ve continued,” explains Jonas Hviid Mønster, CEO and partner at APA. The majority of the firm’s work is based on public service buildings such as government buildings, local police head78  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

quarters, prisons, psychiatric centres and the new expansion of Terminal 3 at Copenhagen Airport, where APA has a central role as client advisor. “The airport required us to think a lot about flow, logistics and wayfinding. The new terminal is in the heart of the airport, located between two other piers. Through extensive pre-studies and analyses, we had to ensure that the journey

Viborg Police Station.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

“The architecture and designs that we create are very much influenced by the uses of the building. You have to think twice about the flow of people, how to make it easy in regard to safety, all while also creating a calming environment for people who are using it, with a variety of purposes in mind, be it business or pleasure,” says Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen, partner at APA.

patients, are able to feel and do their best. In the end, it really has to be functional, while bringing a surplus quality through architecture.” With its many years of experience, APA has worked on both private and public

Alex Poulsen Arkitekter in brief: — Client consulting and   user involvement — Consultancy from concept design   to project submission and   site management — Building integrated security and technical security systems — Environment planning and sustainability

Research and development Most of the projects that APA manages require safety and logistics to be at the forefront. “Safety becomes part of the designs we create. When we work on prisons, we have to take into account that the inmates are a challenging user group, constantly requiring new adjustments of the institution environment. Our main focus is on how to integrate security in the design solutions, which have to meet very high demands and go through a long investigation process,” explains Sonia Bom, partner at APA. APA has to take into account the current and future uses of the building and the optimisation of the use. “It isn’t enough to simply continue the building’s function as it is now; we need to also future-proof it with the newest research into prison reforms and rehabilitation, safety checks or police services, to give a few examples,” says Hviid Mønster.

buildings throughout Denmark. Through innovative designs and extensive research, they have helped to shape society by providing the spaces needed to give people the opportunity to better themselves, whether on a societal, health or professional level.

The old Trifolium Milk Supply, located in Copenhagen’s South Harbour, is undergoing a full refurbishment and conversion into office areas, being modernised with a number of new features as well as a thorough renovation.

— Building inspection and maintenance planning — Young and engaged team of architects alongside experienced   project managers — 75-year anniversary in 2019 — 26 employees with a mix of seven nationalities — Owned and run by Sonia Bom, Jonas Hviid Mønster, Erik Madsen   and Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen

Psychiatric Centre Ballerup.

Web: LinkedIn: Alex Poulsen Arkitekter A/S

“Every project is different and will require a different approach, but one thing is always clear, and that is that we need a thorough understanding of the building and how it is and will be used. After that, we can ask ourselves how to improve on it,” Nielsen adds.

Challenging the norm Whatever building or project they are working on, APA tries to go in and challenge the status quo. “We do all of the research for a reason – we want to know not only how we can optimise every square metre, but also how we can make it that much better,” explains Bom. “We have soft values when it comes to our designs. We want to innovate and create spaces where people, whether inmates, police officers, travellers or

Psychiatric Centre Ballerup. All common facilities are placed around its large, enclosed, secure courtyard. The architecture seeks in a simple and poetic way through deliberate use of both design, form and robust materials such as brick, glass and light, wood to create a safe, stimulating and treatment-optimal Viborg Policewarm Station. framework for future users.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  79


Disregard the usual In Denmark, there’s a common perception of what the cool materials are, what an aesthetically pleasing room is and what makes a nice-looking, modern building. Sometimes, however, things can become just a little… safe. “We all know that a herringbone floor looks good,” says architect Anette Meldgaard Andersen. “But how interesting is it when we all walk around on those? Does it contribute to the space, the tactile sensation? Why not see if there’s something else you think looks just as good, or even better? Or make the effort to reuse materials, even though it is unpredictable and difficult?”

than what they originally expected, because they can really visualise the different options.” The architect’s job is far from done once a sketch has been approved. Having Meldgaard Andersen on board ensures peace of mind and that every as-

By Louise Older Steffensen

Meldgaard Andersen mainly works with single-family houses. “As the clients rarely have any professional experience with bigger building projects, I’m their anchorwoman, sparing them many frustrations and insecurities, so they can enjoy the process – building is fun!” she says. No matter the scale or type of project, she always begins with visiting the location, observing the surround80  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

ings, and getting to know the client’s situation, thoughts and needs.

Ideas taking shape It is important to Meldgaard Andersen to always make sure that the client is confident and happy at every stage, from the sketch to the completed building. I often find that by showing the client more options, they end up with something else

Meldgaard Andersen in front of Summerhouse.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

pect is taken care of. Once construction begins, the architect becomes a mediator between the drawings and the builders. “I’m there all the way, from the theoretical beginnings to the most practical, gritty bits of the building site,” says Meldgaard Andersen. “And what never ceases to amaze me is seeing an idea in my head materialise into a real, tangible building, experiencing the space and light for real – hopefully how I had imagined!” In 2014, a couple from northern Copenhagen approached Melgaard Andersen. They had recently bought a classic, yellow-brick 1960s house, but the 114-square-metre house didn’t work for their family. “They needed more space and better light but were open to getting that in a more unusual way. Together, we found solutions that worked exactly for them, like the skylight based on the existing beams, and the slatted wooden acoustics ceiling that adds warmth to the white and open rooms. The slanted fibre-cement siding requires next to no maintenance, and the way the façade panels are individually tilted changes how you see them according to the light, adding interest to the exterior.”

A material girl Recently, Meldgaard Andersen got to experience a very personal bit of magic.


“Our newly-bought ramshackle summer house from 1960 was in need of some TLC. Unfortunately, I eventually had to conclude that saving the main house didn’t make sense due to the orientation, state of insulation and layout. That meant I got to design a new house, connected to the original sleeping quarters that weren’t demolished,” she explains. This reflects an important issue for Meldgaard Andersen: to ideally maintain some of the existing building, such as beams, rooms or materials, to not waste materials. “Retaining materials inevitably adds something you could never have thought out yourself, a certain light, an odd way of two spaces interconnecting, a clash of materials – which could end up being the favorite spot,” she reflects. Inside the house, Meldgaard Andersen got to live out more of her own beliefs, using 15 years’ worth of leftover tiles from projects to make a beautifully unique, lively floor, which has become a muchloved feature. “I’ve always figured that we gain something by daring to surprise ourselves and trying something out,” she continues. “The recognisable and predictable can get in the way of actually seeing, perceiving and being – ingenuity gets squashed and any element of sur-

Photo: Anette Meldgaard Andersen

Skylight based on the existing beams, with the slatted, wooden acoustics ceiling adding warmth in the white and open room. Photo: Torben Nielsen

prise disappears. Be open-minded, and choose some materials and solutions that really speak to you. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you dare to try something a little different? It’ll probably be just as good as the currently popular herringbone pattern – and it could blow you away!” Web: Phone: 0045 26 25 93 01 E-mail:

Photo: Anette Meldgaard Andersen

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  81

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

The city’s best location Walking through Copenhagen’s various neighbourhoods, exploring the streets, provides an excellent opportunity to see some of the historic and charming buildings that make Copenhagen such a special place. What most people do not know is that just under the roofs of these buildings lie hidden treasures.

ry, despite the fact that it’s new,” says Baltsen. “They’re built and designed for the modern person, while still retaining the charm of the city.”

By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Christina Kayser

In addition to rooftop apartments, Baltsen works on houses, villas, renovations and extensions, always with a focus on light, sustainability and innovative ideas. Architecture in the skies is where his skillsets are brought together, to create beautiful spaces where you can enjoy the city from new heights.

“Rooftop apartments make use of a space that has otherwise been deemed unusable, when actually the roof is the best location to be in in the city. You can do so much with the light and outdoor areas while still being in a building that has soul and history,” explains Torben Baltsen, owner and architect of Torben Baltsen Architectural Firm. The roof in Copenhagen apartment buildings has historically been used for either storage or clothes drying, but Baltsen has seen the potential in it and made it his speciality since starting his own firm in 2011. “The fun is in the challenge of creating something in a limited space. It’s great to see how spaces that are usually quite dark can be opened up, 82  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

and even combined with the outside with balconies and terraces that have some quite amazing views.”

A partner throughout the process From the initial ideas process through the ups and downs of planning permission and all the way to the final product, Baltsen provides a helping hand. “It can be a long process from start to finish, and it’s very important to work on it together. That way, we can come up with the best solutions,” he explains. The transformation from a dark room into a light and liveable apartment is quite astonishing. “The surroundings have soul and patina, which gives the new rooftop apartment its own histo-


Infinity House is an uncompromising two-storey modernistic pearl set outside Aalborg.

Designing from the inside out Designing from the inside out, BAKS Arkitekter has created an array of exceptional homes that embrace the good life. BAKS Arkitekter’s holistic approach, combining uncompromising designs, Nordic minimalism, and high-quality materials, has become so coveted that for the third year in a row, the company has received the Danish Gazelle award. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: BAKS Arkitekter

Most people spend approximately 62 per cent of their life at home – a very personal space, which requires careful design consideration. Ever since his days at the Aarhus School of Architecture, creating inspiring and beautiful environments for people to live in has been the primary goal for owner of BAKS Arkitekter, Rasmus Bak. “It’s not just about architecture; it’s about embracing ‘the good life’ and all that that entails: entertaining guests, cosy evenings by a fireplace, al fresco dining, or simply creating an inspirational space, where children can play or do homework while in the company of their parents,” he explains. “We aim to take the best that our clients have experienced in restaurants, holiday homes and nature, and make that a part of their everyday life. 84  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

We concentrate on the senses – the way in which light reflects onto an interior space, the scent in an orangery, the touch of natural stone, or the feeling of experiencing an outdoor bath.”

tecture firms. During this time, he experienced that the essential elements of time, attention to detail, and an allencompassing design process were, in his opinion, lacking from the design process. As inspiration for his own firm, he therefore looked not at his contemporaries, but back to the golden age of architecture in Denmark, the 1950s and ‘60s. “Back then, architecture firms would design everything: landscaping, interiors, furniture and the building itself. That’s what I want, scaling everything down so that we can work

In the 15 years since Rasmus Bak founded his firm, the scale of projects has expanded from minor extensions and renovations to uncompromising, ambitious projects spanning everything from homes, townhouses and holiday homes to modern farms as well as major interior design projects for shops and hotels.

Attention to detail In the early 2000s, while studying and establishing his own firm, Rasmus Bak worked at several larger archi-

Rasmus Bak.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Daybreak House is situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach in Dragør. The facade is made of Petersen Tegl Kolumba brick and the roof clad with Petersen Tegl Cover.

Øresunds Residence combines a number of building volumes, both new and existing, into a modern family home where interior and exterior spaces flow naturally into one another.

with the project in its entirety,” he says. “It’s about combining a minimalistic Nordic design with a unique and personal touch and a tangible quality.” Working with the project from start to finish, BAKS Arkitekter encompasses everything from landscaping and outdoor facilities to design and interiors. Throughout the process, the practice works closely with craftsmen and suppliers to ensure that every detail is skilfully completed, using only the best-quality materials. “When you want to complete a project that is uncompromised, having a close dialogue and collaboration with all those involved is essential; it’s the way it used to be, and it allows us to accommodate any unforeseen changes throughout the process and create the best possible solutions for our clients,” explains Rasmus Bak.

Leaping forward Featured prominently in Danish design magazines and newspapers, many clients seek out BAKS Arkitekter because they appreciate the firm’s combination of uncompromising architecture and individual details. “I think what people see is the mix of the masculine and minimalistic with the feminine and romantic,” explains Rasmus Bak. “We work from the inside out; first and foremost, it’s about creating a heart within the home and creating a simple and timeless design that stands the test of time.” BAKS Arkitekter’s many acclaimed projects have not just led to much publicity, but also to continuous expansions of the firm, which has for the past three years been awarded a Gazelle, a title given by the national Danish newspaper Børsen to companies fulfilling a set measure of

growth. This does not, however, necessarily mean that the company will take on more projects, says Rasmus Bak; rather, it means that it will take on bigger and more complex projects and take full control of every detail and every stage. For this purpose, the firm is expanding with an interior design department, which will enable BAKS Arkitekter to design furniture, fireplaces, kitchens and other key elements within a building. Expansion of the practice in this way will further its ability to materialise the clients’ understanding of ‘the good life’. “The best thing about working with private homes is that we get to work really closely with our clients, and they are always 200 per cent engaged in the project,” says Rasmus Bak. “For them, it’s not just about financial value, but about real value, and working with someone who feels like that is amazing.” Facts: — BAKS Arkitekter is located in Risskov, just outside Aarhus, but due to the firm’s many projects in the Copenhagen area, it has a weekly   day for meetings in Copenhagen. — Founded by Rasmus Bak in 2004. — Number of employees: 14

Double Wing House is a modern, three-winged countryside residence, which houses two families. It’s a contemporary interpretation of a classic, Danish farm building, comprised of a combination of grey brickwork, cedar wood slat panels and a steel roof.


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  85

Wuttke & Ringhof Architekten works on everything from the initial idea to the final product, helping with all practicalities along the way.

Drawing the best solutions It is an art to be able to create buildings that fit into their context, which are astonishing in their own right but without overpowering the environment they find themselves in. Since 1993, Wuttke & Ringhof Architekten has been refining this art, working on projects in Germany and Denmark from its office in Copenhagen. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Wuttke & Ringhof

“The early ‘90s in Berlin were incredibly exciting for architects. Everyone was coming to Germany as so much of it had to be rebuilt, and there was an opportunity to start again and create something astonishing. It was in this environment that Thomas and I joined forces and started to take part in competitions, which we found ourselves winning a lot of,” explains Beatrix Wuttke, partner at Wuttke & Ringhof Architekten alongside Thomas Ringhof. They have since then continued on their competitive path, winning competitions 86  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

in both Denmark and Germany. Over the years, Wuttke & Ringhof have worked on everything from home extensions to neighbourhood developments, and most recently, they have been working on a hotel in Eutin in Germany.

Blending in while standing out The hotel site is next to a beautiful lake, which hugs the small local town. On the opposite side of the lake is a castle from 1776, and the town is picturesque and traditional, having been spared in the war. “It was very important to us to take care of the town when we had to consider

how to design a modern hotel in one of the prime locations of the area. Throughout the process of designing and drawing the building, we knew we wanted to give something back to the town, rather than only providing a space for visitors,” explains Wuttke. The hotel had to be an inclusive space, meaning that 25 per cent of the staff have some kind of disability, which had to be taken into account when designing the work environment; there should be plenty of rooms that are easily accessible. “There were many factors involved, so we had to utilise every corner we could, while taking care not to disrupt the beauty of the town.” The final design, which won them the competition, includes a terrace on the lake and a restaurant that opens up the space

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

Beatrix Wuttke at one of their rooftop projects in Copenhagen.

to the locals. The hotel has 44 rooms, with those overlooking the lake having their own private balconies, so people can make the most of the views. The outside of the building uses bricks and stones from a local brickyard, which are the same as those used to build the castle opposite. It is a simple and effective way to create something new and beautiful, which still fits perfectly in with the town’s historic and charming buildings.

Coming up with the best solution “When we take on a new competition or a project, we always work through a process of trying every option on the table. We work with other specialists and gather all the information we can, and then try lots of iterations of how the

building could work optimally. That way, we can ensure that we’ve tried all solutions and ended up with the best one,” explains Wuttke. The best solution is also closely related to the context of the building and the use it will have. “It’s impossible to bring about a good piece of architecture without understanding how and where the building is used. In fact, the most important thing is to understand the place you’re building in, whether it’s creating new buildings within a city or designing a whole new area of housing.” In all their projects, Wuttke & Ringhof let the building speak for itself. “As an architect, you can’t shout too loud. The

building has to have its own character and be able to transform with its context and allow people to make it their own as well. We have to let the building be transformed by its environment, from the initial drawing and far into the future.” Wuttke & Ringhof Architekten takes great care to create buildings that not only serve their purpose well, but also fit in while still standing out. Their approach of testing numerous solutions has led to them winning a vast array of competitions, which has ultimately led to innovative and beautiful buildings across both Denmark and Germany. Web:

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  87

To create an atmosphere of calm and simplicity, aNNeKS seldom uses more than three different types of materials or colours.

Building stillness through dialogue Based on an all-inclusive, democratic dialogue, Danish architecture firm aNNeKS aims to create oases of calm for everyone from office workers to children and homeless people. The result of the dialogue is not just a diverse range of projects, but also a test of a four-day working week for aNNeKS’ employees. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: aNNeks

Since taking over aNNeKS in 2004, 51-year-old Morten Sonnenborg has dedicated himself and the firm to designing spaces that not only allow people to escape the everyday busyness of life, but actively facilitate stillness. That means working with a number of tools not customarily a part of the architectural practice. “Literature on psychology, architecture and people is really not that easy to come across; the last Danish publication we have on how the built structures 88  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

we live in affect us as human beings dates all the way back to 1971,” explains Sonnenborg. “But even though we’re all educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where we learn to prioritise art above all else – and I also agree that we should – I strongly believe that our job is also to find and integrate the human perspective.” This approach has resulted in a number of projects specifically adapted to individual users. One example is a school with

windows at children’s height, and another is a home for homeless people, which combines a safe, private sphere with a versatile, low-maintenance space that allows for informal socialising.

A London office and homes for homeless people Creating space for rest, stillness and restitution is at the heart of most of aNNeKS’ designs, and facilitating this requires research into the individual user’s needs. “You need to put yourself in the user’s place and think: what is peace to them? At the moment we’re creating homes for people with autism, and creating an environment that facilitates stillness for them means making sure that everything is manageable,” Sonnenborg says.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Denmark

home from the potential damage of reactive behaviour. “The challenge became to create a design that was durable, with interiors that were easy to maintain and hard to break and, at the same time, create a comfortable and safe base that people would want to stay in,” explains Sonnenborg. “We did that with concrete walls, a drain in the floor for easy cleaning; and, to allow users to put their own mark on the place, we added lines of wooden wall cladding, allowing the residents to hang up pictures and creating a softer, warmer feel to the space.”

aNNeKS applies this approach to living spaces as well as work spaces. In one recent project, for instance, the firm faced the challenge of transforming a typical, bland British office environment for International Consumer Research and Testing Ltd. into a space that could facilitate what is in Danish termed ‘job joy’. “In reality, it was a beautiful old house, so that wasn’t something that we could or would change. What we did was to change the colours and the lighting and soften everything up with wooden panels. On top of that, we created a number of secluded spaces that allowed employees to retreat from the open office space,” explains Sonnenborg.

Creating together

The requirement for private and protected spaces also guided aNNeKS’ design for individual houses for homeless people. Created for the municipality of Slagelse, the project involved the homes’ future users in design process and dialogue. The result was a design that, with small shielded verandas, enables residents to retain a safe and private sphere outside, and with sturdy interiors, protects the

The all-inclusive, democratic dialogue, which guides the design process at aNNeKS, not only includes clients and users, but also all employees and external advisors, such as psychologists. This means that all projects are, as Sonnenborg puts it, quality-checked. “In a lot of firms, it’s the head who draws the big lines and then everyone else fills in the dots, but I’ve chosen to create an openness that allows everybody to give

At the International Consumer Research and Testing Ltd. office in London, aNNeKS designed a simple solution to the challenge of transforming a typical, bland British office into an attractive work environment.

their input at all stages of the design process,” he explains. “No matter what education you have, you can have an opinion – actually, sometimes not being an architect can be an advantage.” Sonnenborg’s focus on creating a democratic workplace also means that instead of employee evaluations, every week he takes a walk-and-talk with an employee, giving everyone the chance to talk candidly about work and life. One of the results has been the decision to test a four-day working week next year. This, he says, comes from the realisation that for employees to be able to design space for peace and calm in the lives of others, they need it in their own. Facts about aNNeKS aps: — Founded in 1963. — Location: Slagelse and Copenhagen. — Number of employees: nine.


aNNeKS’ organic school extension, designed in wooden slats, creates a secret garden between the existing buildings, a place for each pupil to find a pocket of calm and peace.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  89

E UR N T C E lT TE ED ia I c e CH SW Sp — AR N C I G RD ESI O N DD AN e:

m he

The first lady of the Republic of Korea, Yujin Kang, Sanghee Park, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Hayoung Lee – meeting the three designers who won Korea + Sweden Young Design Award 2019 during the Korean state visit.

Inspiring sustainability and strengthening the image of Sweden abroad Sweden is without a doubt a superpower on the international design stage, and Svensk Form is one of the leading promoters of Swedish design internationally. By Mats Widbom, managing director of Svensk Form

This has seen various crescendos throughout history, not least at world expos like New York in 1939 and Paris in 1925, where Svensk Form was head curator and Sweden was awarded the second-most gold medals after the host nation, France. At the time, the goal was mainly to increase Swedish trade and export. Today, it is also about meeting the big sustainability challenge with design, where Sweden has the chance to serve as 90  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

inspiration to other countries in the effort to meet the UN development goals Agenda 2030, thereby strengthening the image of Sweden abroad, while at the same time promoting Swedish export and job growth within design, architecture and fashion. One relevant example is how our annual flagship, Ung Svensk Form, has inspired Korea to launch a similar competition to highlight young talents within design – and

for which we at Svensk Form had the honour, during the Korean state visit in June 2019, of hosting the awards ceremony and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Institute of Design Promotion to encourage the exchange of design between our two countries. It is no doubt that the design industries play a major role, both on the international stage and in meeting the government’s climate goals, as a driving force for sustainable social development in the transformation that society must achieve in a short time. Industries that have a big environmental impact, such as the fash-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Mora Armatur. Photo: FM Mattsson Mora Group

Photos: Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter, Studio Adrien Gardère and Luigi Pardo Architetti

Marge. Photo: Johan Fowelin

Usify. Photo: Anders Bryngel, Stena

J Nordwall. Photo: Steven Wade

ion industry, must turn to sustainable production, and Swedish architects and designers must offer services in a growing international market for the design of both sustainable cities and products.

Mats Widbom, managing director of Svensk Form

Web: Facebook: SvenskForm Instagram: @svenskform

Photo: Gemla Fabrikers AB

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  91

Stairs with evening sun and a unique-looking pavilion are among the features of Marge’s design at Sergelhuset, where the task has been to revitalise a previously rough and almost forgotten part of the very heart of Stockholm.

Architecture that gives something back With a portfolio packed full of awards and accolades and a number of highly noteworthy projects in the bag, Marge is the Stockholm-based architecture firm that joins the past with the future through attention to detail and respect for place. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Johan Fowelin

“Sustainability is crucial to us. The least possible energy is used when buildings or environments last, and in this context, the architectural quality and social interaction are decisive,” starts Katarina Grundsell of Marge, a contemporary architecture firm she set up with her three co-founders: Pye Aurell Ehrström, Louise Masreliez and Susanne Ramel. “We’re working together for 18 years now, and collaboration has always been one 92  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

of our key values,” she continues. “The starting point for any project must be to understand the space and its programme. Yes, the design is crucial, and subtle architecture with a twist is probably characteristic to Marge – but the people always come first. For us, collaboration is a way to get one step further.” But how do you design buildings that last in a world that’s changing so quickly? “The only thing we know is that noth-

ing will be as we expect,” Grundsell laughs. “But we can look at the buildings that have stood the test of time and see that there are certain details and qualities they share, which are crucial to the experience of the quality of the urban space – the detail that reveals something about the entirety.”

Revitalising the heart of Stockholm And attention to detail is something Marge has plenty of, evidenced not least by the plans for the new Sergelhuset, an ongoing project, commissioned by Vasakronan, that aims to revitalise a previously rough and almost forgotten part of the very heart of Stockholm, right by the famous Sergels torg square. Central

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

to the task of Marge, who won a competition for the job, was to allow the former pleasure district to heal and gain a natural flow of people, with activity across all floors and welcoming social spaces that are at the same time sustainable and respectful of the city space. “Our solution was to work with the existing frame of the high-rise building, energy-proofing its façade and recycling the stone previously enveloping it. Recycling is really important to us, and a part of the sustainability aspect in this project,” explains Grundsell. As in all their projects, a thorough research stage preceded the design stage, including an analysis of the space, conversations with everyone from the public to the police force, and a look at the different uses across 24 hours. “It became evident to us that we had to remove part of the existing building to make it obvious for people how to get from one street up to the next,” says the architect. Stairs with evening sun, a sun floor in one of the buildings, and a unique-looking pavilion that breaks up the space – these are among the outside-the-box solutions Marge has brought to the project.

Respecting place and cultural history Both the attention to detail and the recycling aspect are evident to some extent in everything Marge touches, regardless of the size of the project. Grundsell

In Naturum Trollskogen, local limestone anchors the exhibition space on the island of Öland geographically.

Marge’s re-design of the reception area at Röhsska museum.

design that presents plenty of spaces for people to enjoy a packed lunch alongside views of the nature. Another niche close to the hearts of Grundsell and her co-workers is that of projects in cultural-historically significant environments. One such project is the re-design of the reception area and museum shop at Röhsska museet, ahead of its reopening this year. Picking up on the geometric pattern of the existing foyer ceiling, a basic diamond shape was established that is repeated in different ways throughout the design, while the colour scheme echoes shades from the glazed brick friezes of the architecture hall.

goes as far as to say that the small projects are central in how they inform larger-scale designs. In the case of Villa Hedberg, for instance, a distinctive roof – the only element visible from the nearby beach – holds together the design as a feature also reflected in the adjoining guest house and sauna. In Naturum Trollskogen, local limestone anchors the exhibition space on the island of Öland geographically, while the many glades of the surrounding forest are echoed in a

“There’s a common denominator here, in that many of our projects deal with cultural history in one way or another,” says Grundsell. “Sergels torg is one of the most valuable modernist places we have, and Röhsska carries a hugely important cultural-historical heritage. What we’ve aimed to do in all of these projects is give something back to the space. This is of such gravity to us: we respect the place, work with place-specific design and materials, and always, always try to give something back.” Web: Facebook: Marge Arkitekter AB Instagram: Marge Arkitekter

Villa Hedberg, one of Marge’s smaller projects which, according to co-founder Katarina Grundsell, are crucial in their way of informing the firm’s work with bigger projects.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  93

Pfaff creative icon.

Facilitators of transformation Zenit Design combines collaborative creatives with extensive experience, and is a strategic design partner regardless of business or challenge. From product design to facilitation of transformation, the journey with Zenit is constantly evolving. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Zenit Design

Starting out 25 years ago, the Malmöbased agency Zenit has developed into creators of exceptional human experiences. The team of trained specialists in fields such as product, service, UX and mechanical design works across disciplines, guiding clients from the first spark of an idea to a complete product or service that adds real value. “We help our clients navigate developments in society and technology,” says Jonas Svennberg, CEO. “With a base in product and industrial design, we have transformed over the years and focus on user-centred design in a broad sense. The user-centred design method raises innovation potential and also requires curiosity, commitment and courage, to challenge what’s expected. In the future, 94  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

no one will dare not to involve users in their innovation processes.”

Changing world, stronger offering Thanks to new technologies, people are more connected, better informed and have also become more demanding customers. There is a changing landscape of supply and demand, with new expectations, requirements and opportunities for manufacturers and service providers, which contributes to a stronger decisiveness in the user. As a result, design has shifted from engineering-driven to user-centred. Over the years, Zenit has transformed itself from an agency working purely with industrial design and mechanical engineering of physical products, to a

full-spectrum design and innovation agency tackling challenges all the way from the physical to the virtual space, but always starting at the root of the user’s needs and challenges. “To thrive, a business needs to be comfortable with continuous transformation,” begins Johanna Wretling Stadler, COO. “It’s often a new way of thinking for our clients, starting from the user’s needs and involving all stakeholders. A list of requirements is just a starting point, and collaboration is crucial. We have learnt to actively adapt to the new normal, to solve problems.”

Showcasing broad competence Tork PaperCircle® is an example of how Zenit worked together with Essity to streamline the back-end of tissue handling, which enables the recycling of used bathroom paper towels on a scale not seen before. “We looked at the whole process and got under the skin of user groups, actually spending

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Minutes of Light for Skånetrafiken

time with them to see how they were behaving,” explains Rolf van de Boel, service designer. “It transpired during our testing that it was not the general users that needed to change their behaviour, but rather the cleaners who had to change their routines. The solution has been awarded multiple times as a good example of a circular economy business model, and has now been launched on a wide scale. A user’s experience is defined not just through their interaction with a product or its aesthetics. It can be discovering, learning, or purchasing, as well. One example is Minutes of Light for Skånetrafiken, finding a way to communicate the time remaining until the next departure at Trelleborg train station. Zenit looked at what commuters actually need and realised that it was soft input on whether they were in a hurry or not. The solution is a smart light installation with changing colours, a live feed counting down time to departure, visible from a distance. Himanshu Rohilla, UX designer, highlights the added value: “With this solution, we moved away from the negative sensation of delays in timetables to a more positive experience, only focusing on the remaining time before departure.” Another example is Pfaff creative icon, an advanced sewing machine with access to complex embroidery technology. “Here, we combine a long tradition of handcraft with computer-controlled production. It provides an interesting

clash of traditional sewing and high-end electronics, yet with an easy-to-use interface,” elaborates Wretling Stadler. “By combining usability and complexity, we allow users to be more playful in their creations.” Pfaff creative icon won the Best of the Best at Red Dot Awards last year.

The power of design The multidisciplinary teams at Zenit understand and empathise with users. They are experts in their respective domains and technologies, and thus able to not only create substantial value for the end-users, but also enable the customer to capture value with their business offerings.

Zenit is dealing with solutions for the future but is grounded in the knowledge of the past and present. Requirements lead to solutions through creative imagination together with the users, who are the real experts on what they need. “Technology changes over the years and consumers have more knowledge; they want things to work so that they can accomplish the task in the best possible way and without errors,” concludes Svennberg. “Our designs provide solutions, boost user experience, reduce costs and get rid of headaches.” Web: Facebook: ZenitDesign Instagram:

Pfaff creative icon.

Jonas Svennberg, CEO.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  95

Interior of Hillenberg restaurant, Stockholm. Photo: Mathias Nordgren

Serious fun with architecture and design Okidoki architects are unique in offering a ‘full service’, from visionary urban development to the details of interior design. Yet although their work is varied, the desire both to make the world a better place, and to have fun while doing it, is a common thread running through every project. By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Okidoki

Rickard Stark wears the fact that neither he nor his business partner Fredrik Hansson has a full architecture degree as a badge of pride. “I did one year of architect school, he did three years, so we usually say we almost have a whole degree between us,” he laughs. “Neither of us has worked for a big architectural firm — we’ve done other things instead — so I would say that we come from a slightly different place.” The unconventional paths of Stark and Hansson, who jointly own and run 96  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

rant, incorporating bespoke artwork into the décor, but also designed everything down to the air vents and butter knives. Similar painstaking attention to detail, along with a sensitivity to the existing environment, can be seen elsewhere in

Okidoki, don’t seem to have held them back, and the Gothenburg-based firm is notable for the breadth of its work, which includes public spaces and buildings, housing and commercial properties. Indeed, one of Okidoki’s unique selling points is that it provides a ‘full service’, working in all aspects of environment design, from strategic planning to interior design, and everything in between. And no detail, it seems, is too small. At Stockholm’s Hillenberg, Okidoki not only developed a new aesthetic for the restau-

Fredrik Hansson and Rickard Stark. Photo: Linnea Sundemo

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Okidoki’s considerable design portfolio — whether it’s the historically sympathetic renovation of one of Sweden’s oldest hotels, or an extrovert take on Asianinspired themes in a contemporary setting – and testifies to a passion for design.

A different perspective At the other end of the scale, Okidoki has also made a name for itself with innovative urban planning projects. These include, among others, its plan for the new housing development Vallastaden in Linköping, which was designed with social sustainability in mind and inspired by the layout of medieval cities; and its winning proposal for a new school in the suburb of Rinkeby, Stockholm, with the building symbolically placed in the centre of the development and the implementation of a ‘feminist strategy’ to create spaces for women and girls. “The fact that Fredrik and I aren’t fully schooled in a big architectural firm means that we perhaps have a different perspective and dare to challenge certain ideas,” Stark argues. The apparent un-

assailability of modernism as an architectural style is one such idea, he says. Another is the self-satisfaction and complacency of architecture as an industry.

interface between morality and design. We work with both areas, we think that both are fun to work with, and we like to combine them where we can.”

“As architects, we need to dare to criticise not just society, but ourselves, too, and the construction industry,” Stark says, and gives the example of the ‘Arkitektupproret’, a Facebook group dedicated to fighting ‘ugly’ modern architecture, currently counting in excess of 36,000 members. “There’s a widespread feeling that we’re not meeting people’s needs, and we have to take that on board. We need to dare to criticise this doctrine of modernism, which is born from a rational ambition but which nevertheless continues to deliver substandard architecture to society.”

And fun, in fact, is a word that comes back again and again when discussing Okidoki’s work. There is a hint of it in the name, a mention of it in the firm’s mission statement of sorts — to help create ‘a better, more attractive, more fun world’ — and Stark is unapologetic about the office’s often playful attitude.

For Stark, these, at first sight, contrasting fields of design and more socially-orientated projects are of equal importance to the firm and not mutually exclusive. “We are as interested in design as we are in ethics and social issues. We often say that we work at the

“We’re very serious about the jobs we take on, and we’re interested in important issues, but there’s sometimes a sense that this industry can be a little bit pompous, and we like to burst that bubble and bring things a bit more down to earth,” he says. “We love working in this area, and we have a lot of fun together; we can’t hide that, and that’s also something that characterises everything we do.”


Vallastaden, Linköping. Photo: Ida Gyulai

Varberg station. Illustration: Okidoki

Interior of Toso restaurant, Gothenburg. Photo: Thomas Yeh

Öster Mälarstrand, housing development in Västerås. Illustration: Okidoki

International English School in Gothenburg. Illustration: Okidoki

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  97

This is what The Student block in Huddinge will look like when it is completed, with vast, green spaces and a pleasant courtyard and square for all its residents.

A fresh take on sustainable housing for all — visions become reality when curious minds design for the future A house is a house. But what happens if you turn the whole concept on its head? The Stockholm-based architects at Total know just how to do that. Their forte is building houses for the future, containing compact living studios and roomy family flats combined with big, open spaces for all stages of life, from nursery to retirement. Total finds innovative solutions to create sustainable and long-lasting architecture, not only for the buildings, but for the surrounding landscape as well – all for, as they would say, the total picture. By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: Total Arkitektur

With long-standing traditions since the 1940s, architect bureau Total is a bustling, dynamic, interdisciplinary office working with a blend of 25 houseplanning specialists, architects and landscape architects – all involved in developing quirky, innovative and sustainable solutions for their clients. 98  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

The full picture “We’re called Total, short for Total Architecture and Urbanism. Our name reflects that we’re not just designing a house per se, we’re working with the full picture – urban landscapes and newbuilds alongside reconstruction projects, always with a focus on buildings

that will last for a long time,” explains Total’s CEO Johan Granqvist. “We design for the whole surrounding landscape, to make the housing environmentally friendly and a great place to live. We strive to be an expert in every phase of the build, from initial idea to finished product,” he says. Johan is excited as he talks about his work. No wonder – he just got back from the ceremony of the first spade in the ground in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, among politicians and prominent guests at one of Total’s most interesting sites, The Student. Total has been working on the project since 2011, and it will be com-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

pleted in 2022. “Yes, it’s been quite a journey. It’s very exciting to finally be putting a shovel in the ground – if slightly surreal,” says Granqvist. “But mainly I feel a huge sense of relief that we’re finally doing this.” With its 25 employees, Total is involved in many exciting projects. It creates sustainable architecture beyond the predictable, just like the project The Student in Huddinge. Total is designing a block for the future, which incorporates dwellings for living, big open spaces and wrap-around care. It contains 209 apartments in total, some big family units and smaller apartments for single-parent households, as well as studios. Consisting of three houses in total, the highest being ten floors, the area also includes six stories of student accommodation for 81 students – and childcare for 160 children.

View of Total’s project The Student, along the Medicinvägen road.

Bridging differences The challenge is how to make the living space work for such a diverse crowd: occupants of different ages, with different backgrounds and expectations. “The Huddinge site has its challenges, as it is surrounded by very different areas. On one side, you’ll find affluent, knowledgebased businesses and world-famous universities like the Karolinska Institute and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). On the other side, there are 50-year-old high-rise buildings from the ambitious Million Programme of public housing,” says Granqvist. According to the chairman of Huddinge council’s executive board, this is Sweden’s biggest accommodation project to date, worth about five billion euros, as stated in early estimates. The Huddinge area is interesting as it is expanding rapidly, becoming the hub for a big travel centre and new communications, and has a huge influx of people.

is also one of Total’s fortes – something that’s come to the fore in The Student in Huddinge. “We’re starting to think in new ways when we plan for housing, since the areas for building are shrinking rapidly,” says Granqvist.

But Total is not a one-trick pony: the company designs all kinds of housing solutions. Total has quite a few projects like this in the pipeline, either in their initial phase, or under development. But houses aren’t everything; landscape planning

But back to the project in Huddinge for a final question: how do you design a housing project on a limited space, known to be a tricky area, with so many different purposes – and keep everyone happy? “Well, that’s the big challenge, and that’s

View along the Hälsovägen road.

also what makes our profession so exciting,” says Granqvist with a smile. “We’re still figuring it out. But our aim is to avoid segregation, to bridge the two different sides of the area – the academia and the less affluent housing estates. To make the two sides meet.” Integrating occupants in sustainable housing: now that sounds like real hope for a better future. Web: Facebook: totalarkitektur

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  99

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

An unforgettable experience in The Forest Our forests are a fantastic resource as well as a place for reflection and relaxation. In celebration of this dynamic ecosystem, the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020 becomes an inviting space for imagination, creativity and co-creation in the spectacular The Forest. An unforgettable experience awaits visitors. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter, Studio Adrien Gardère and Luigi Pardo Architetti

Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter won the design competition for the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, together with French exhibition architects Studio Adrien Gardère and Luigi Pardo Architetti, an Italian architecture firm working with energy and sustainability. Their concept uses the forest as a metaphor for Sweden, in the architectural approach and the exhibition’s dramaturgy – a clever way of presenting the Swedish identity to the rest of the world.

space on the ground floor, which houses the exhibition and café in forest glades with seating on wood logs, while the conference area is placed in tree houses above the tree crowns. The interiors and exterior work well together and cleverly illustrate the Swedish identity. The pavilion consists of wood and sustainable materials, a manifesto for a new technology in the business. “More than

70 per cent of Sweden is covered by forest,” says Ripellino. “We use the forest as a symbol of the Swedish welfare system and demonstrate the importance of the forest as a fantastic, sustainable resource for the future, a dynamic ecosystem that creates life every day. The forest also hits the spot of the theme of the pavilion, which is co-creation for innovation. And our work on the concept is proof of the importance of working in teams and leading co-creation processes.” Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. It is the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and considered one of the most important in exposition history.

The Forest speaks to visitors regardless of nationality, bringing out curiosity and mysticism. “The forest is free for all, an open and accessible environment that is also a place for contemplation, something that we need more of these days,” says Alessandro Ripellino. Visitors will be able to stroll amongst the trees in the open 100  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Web: Facebook: ripellino.arkitekter Instagram: @ripellinoark

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Kindergarten Ängsmarken in Örnsköldsvik. Photo: Sander Taats

Water reservoire in Örebro, competition proposal.

Cloud Villa.

Reaching high and staying grounded The architecture signed by Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects AB is shaped by the flexibility of a small firm, where an open mind married with a practical approach helps them reach the specific needs of each client. With a strong passion for creating awe-inspiring sceneries, they aim to have an impact on the social landscape, too. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Lovarch

The young Stockholm-based architecture firm was founded in 2015 by Max Lönnqvist and Pilvi Vanamo, both experienced architects who spent their careers, prior to launching their own adventure, studying and working at high-profile universities and firms around the world. Their approach when developing a new project is practical but classical. It is practical in the sense that, rather than following a strict set of methods and theories, they open up for a wider breadth of inspiration. Without a set architectonic profile, they instead adjust their ideas perfectly for each individual client. Their approach will decide the process based on the needs of their client, the budget and other pre-requisites. “We work with a pragmatic yet playful method, which results in on-point ar-

chitecture, but it also helps us present designs that often surprise the client. Up until then, they didn’t know that that’s exactly what they wanted,” the architects reveal. One of their most spectacular projects to date is Cloud Villa, an old fire station that will see the station building preserved and renovated to serve as a commercial hub, and the hose tower completely reconstructed, adding a grand extension to house a private villa. The combination of their belief that integrating new design with the old helps keep the essence of a building intact, and fearlessness with regards to new ideas, guides them on exciting projects that vary from private to public and pro-bono work. Their social and ecological impact plays a big part in the choice of projects as well as materials. With help from oth-

er architecture firms and fundraising campaigns, they are currently building and designing a self-sufficient orphanage and a kindergarten in Tanzania – a token of their huge investment in sustainability. Another project in progress is one with straw-bale houses, still a relatively unused method in Scandinavia, but with great potential as an eco-friendly alternative – yet another step on their journey towards impactful design, both aesthetically and socially.

Straw bale house Hattefall, ongoing research project.

Web: Facebook: Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects AB Instagram: @lonnqvistvanamoarchitects

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  101

Interiors inspiring creativity and productivity Edsbyn has a long manufacturing history, having been established 120 years ago. But the company keeps its eyes firmly set on the future, aiming to provide interiors to make the next generation thrive and grow in the workplace. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Edsbyn

Gunnarsson, CEO, and ponders: “What happens after tomorrow? How can we get the next generation to thrive, and ultimately be creative and productive, in the workplace? We look at the next generation’s employees, their future expectations and the type of environments and furniture we can produce to make people enjoy their time at work.”

Located in the middle of Sweden, Edsbyn is surrounded by forests. With a history of manufacturing a range of wood products, these days the focus is on providing interiors for modern workspaces. As digitalisation is speeding up, demands in the workplace are changing too. Future workplaces are conscious, mobile and demanding, and Edsbyn is keeping up with its own designs and collaborations with prominent designers.

From offices to collaborative spaces

“Progress is exciting, and we are elevating our brand to stay ahead,” says Bengt

But before we look into the future, let us rewind to the ‘90s. In Sweden, offices typically had a separate hallway, confer-

102  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

ence rooms and a kitchen – and separate rooms for its employees. Everyone had their own desk, often a robust construction to carry heavy computer equipment. Things have changed, though, and companies realise that it is costly to provide individual rooms for staff. There are new ways of working collaboratively, with

Bengt Gunnarsson, CEO

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Neat Green by Thomas Eriksson Architects.

Arc Stool by Jens Fager. Photo: Pia Uhlin

activity-based spaces, which also impacts the choice of furniture, with new requirements for construction and size. “When we work collaboratively, we work better,” says Gunnarsson. “Workplaces are no longer about a desk and an ergonomic chair. The new generation has different and higher demands on flexibility and atmosphere, and the interior should promote creativity and productivity.” Gunnarsson elaborates on the new interior trend: “Offices tend to look a bit like hotel lobbies these days, with a mix of seating in small groups of armchairs and tall bar tables. A meeting room can be a sofa group or a touchdown table in the middle of the communal areas – for example, the new Clair Café Sofa by Andreas Engesvik, Oslo, which is higher and suitable for working with a laptop and as café furniture. The sofa has straight contours, so two can easily be placed next to each other or back to back, to create islands of sofas suitable for spontaneous meetings or lunch breaks.

A sense of silence Plants have proven health benefits, and designers understand that trees and plants can be used as functional furniture, in addition to decoration. With people’s wellbeing in mind, Thomas Eriksson Architects designed Neat Green for Edsbyn, a range of stylish storage units with a functional plant box placed on top or at the base. These are practical, decorative and perfect for dividing spaces, and with added transparency depending on the type of plants. Sound has an impact, too, as shown in the project My Soundspace, a collaboration with Martin Ljungdahl Eriksson, PhD at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, who is conducting research in how sound can have a positive effect in workplaces. “We believe that areas can remain open-plan with the help of furniture to reduce sounds,” says Gunnarsson. “There is no need to limit the space and flow of rooms by building permanent walls.”

Working with wood products, Edsbyn has had sustainability in its DNA for more than 100 years. It started by producing Fanett chairs, produced by waste wood from the production of skis, and these days, waste from production is used to heat the top-modern factory. Moreover, the sustainable product development has a long-lasting focus, with reusability at its core. For instance, it should be easy to swap only worn parts, such as the top of a desk, while keeping the legs. An example of bringing the solid wood heritage into the future is Jens Fager’s Arc Stool for the National Museum in Stockholm, already a classic. This will be added to the permanent collection at the National Museum, which has high demands on artistic expression and the quality of its items. “Arc Stool is a great step into future work places and public settings,” concludes Gunnarsson. “The chair is sleek and light and can be easily moved. It suits all environments and you can choose how to sit on it. And solid wood can be refurbished to give it new life. It demonstrates how we work with sustainability.” Several other exciting collaborations around the promotion of a stimulating and creative working environment for the next generation will kick off this autumn, and will be presented at Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2020. Web:

Clair Café Sofa by Andreas Engesvik, Oslo.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  103

Gemla Fabrikers AB creates unique and contemporary design – built to last for generations.

Handmade in Sweden since 1861 Gemla Fabrikers AB is an esteemed furniture company grown directly from the roots of the deep forests of Småland. With wit and ingenuity, they have managed to stay at the forefront of Swedish furniture design ever since their establishment in 1861. Design and quality are meant to last, and Gemla’s continuous longevity and success on the furniture market stands as solid proof: they are creating something that stands the test of time. By Nina Bressler   |  Photos: Gemla Fabrikers AB

The production takes place in the small town of Diö, located in the south of Sweden, where easy access to transport, water power and raw material has made for an ideal location ever since the founding days in the 19th century. While the company has changed owners and even items of production over the years, 104  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

the importance of providing durable craftsmanship has always stayed at the core of the business. Benny Hermansson has been the owner since 2016. Having spent many years in another successful furniture business from the same area, he received the of-

fer to become part-owner, which later turned into full ownership. A great design and furniture enthusiast, he found the decision easy enough, and he talks enthusiastically about the importance of sustainability as well as durability in all their products. “We build our furniture to last not only the next 50, but 100 years to come; it’s a given for us to offer restoration of our chairs to enable a second, or third round of life for the next generation of owners,” he says.

Beauty, comfort and sustainability – essential trademarks of production Gemla’s range consists of tables, headboards and mirrors, but what has be-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

come synonymous with the brand’s name is the chairs: their durability has made them a beloved item in the hotel and restaurant industry. “Many have probably sat in a Gemla chair without even knowing it,” Hermansson says. The product’s appeal is made possible thanks to three pillars that firmly set out the product development process: desirable design, functionality and sustainability. Since the 1930s, Gemla has continuously worked with the most talented designers, Swedish as well as international, and is conscious to work closely with only a small handful in order to keep the spirit of the company intact and continue to capture customers’ attention with the visual details that signify the craftsmanship. The functionality of the products is the second step: the products need to have the form and function to be comfortable, and sturdy enough to last. Thirdly, sustainability is key – ranging from the choice of material to packaging and long-lasting quality. Gemla uses beech and ash tree, strictly ordered from certified forests; the padding is made from natural materials; and the chairs are adorned with vegetable-tanned

leather. Using wholesome materials where every detail is thoroughly checked is how they ensure the beauty and longevity of each product.

Taming wood – the characteristic trait of Gemla The unique method of taming massive wood arrived with Bohemian craftsmen during the 18th century, where the socalled Wiener furniture would turn into the trademark of the Gemla production. They are the only company in Sweden that still masters this method, meaning that the material is steamed for six to 12 hours, whereby the wood will become flexible enough to be bent and processed by an experienced craftsman. Each chair spends days, if not weeks, in production, before it leaves with a stamp of approval. This method is the core behind the rounded, light form, and a way to keep the design simple yet elegant. It gives a natural flexibility that plays a big part during production, and which also helps to enhance the quality. Moreover, it makes for less production waste and is a natural way to work the wood without chemical additives – another part of the brand’s sustainable promise.

Contemporary design leading the way Despite the hospitality business historically representing the biggest clientele, Gemla’s target group is spreading increasingly into the private customer realm, much thanks to chairs being spotted in well-placed locations throughout fine-dining restaurants and hotels. Hermansson envisions a bright future, where the historical trademark and long reputation for providing handmade quality furniture with a Scandinavian touch will allow Gemla to enter the global market. “We want Gemla to become one of the most exciting and interesting furniture producers on a global level. We are always aiming to reinvent ourselves in order to stay in touch with what’s contemporary and at the top of our game, while at the same time holding on to our wellpreserved traditions,” Hermansson says. And with the connection between the past, the present and the future, always firmly rooted in the Småland soil, the journey of spreading their masterly crafted furniture to generations to come continues. Web: Instagram: @gemlafabrikersab

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  105

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden Photo: Light My Fire

Photo: Steven Wade

Photo: J. Nordwall Design

Design without boundaries From high-performance sports cars to kitchen appliances and the world-famous Spork – designer Joachim Nordwall’s speciality is not to specialise. The talented creative thrives on diversity and designs without boundaries, helping businesses to stand out. By Malin Norman

After design school in Switzerland and a career at Electrolux in Stockholm and Sydney, Nordwall set up his own business in 2002. Electrolux was his first client, and over the years he has designed a range of home appliances, from vacuum cleaners to toasters to Grand Cuisine, an ultra-luxury brand. “The technology for professional kitchens is more advanced, and the idea was to provide a range of high-end designs for the exclusive consumer market,” he explains. One of the most reputable clients is Koenigsegg Automotive, a Swedish manufacturer of high-performance hyper sports cars. In 2015, Regera was launched with Nordwall’s innovative design of the exterior in collaboration with founder Christian von Koenigsegg. It became a big hit at the Geneva Motor Show and led to the big breakthrough of 106  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

the car manufacturer. Earlier this year, Koenigsegg’s new star Jesko was presented, also at Geneva Motor Show. “Jesko brings breathtaking technology together with an outstanding and praised design,” says Nordwall. But not all products are for the luxury segment. In 2003, Nordwall teamed up with Swedish company Light My Fire and designed a lunchbox with cutlery and accessories. The combined fork and spoon, called Spork, became a huge success and more than 40 million have been sold worldwide. This is not just design; it is a clever solution, and many people recognise and use it. “I guess this is my speciality, not to be specialised,” the designer elaborates. “Designing a low-price product for the big consumer market or high-performance cars are equally fun – I really enjoy that contrast.”

Another collaboration is with Charge Amps, offering charging solutions for the electrical vehicle market. They have developed the cable RAY for smart and efficient charging, and continue to work on new products for the segment. “As a product designer, you can work with most types of consumer products,” Nordwall emphasises. “For me, it’s important to continuously challenge myself to learn and develop as a designer.” Together with his wife Beatrice – nee von Koenigsegg – Nordwall is now also launching his own accessory brand, Loluma’s Suburbs. The products stand for empowerment and make you feel dressed for any occasion, whether on the red carpet, on the beach or in the boardroom. Scarves can be mixed endlessly, depending on your mood or how you want to express yourself.

Web: and Instagram: @jnordwalldesign and @lolumassuburbs

FM Mattsson.

Seeing the bigger picture For most people, a mixer is an interior fitting to supply water and enhance the feel of a kitchen or bathroom. Tap specialists FM Mattsson Mora Group sees aesthetic values on the inside too, for example by saving water and energy at the same time, thus protecting our environment. This is what aesthetics is about: always seeing the bigger picture. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: FM Mattsson Mora Group

FM Mattsson Mora Group develops, manufactures and sells water taps under four strong, established brands: FM Mattsson, Mora Armatur, Damixa, and Hotbath. The vision of the group is to be the consumers’ first choice for kitchens and bathrooms. “With our four brands, we can offer a broad range and depth to customers,” says Fredrik Skarp, CEO of FM Mattsson Mora Group. “Taps are an important detail in our homes, from when we wake up in the morning and make that longed-for coffee to when we go to bed at night and brush our teeth. Our 108  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

taps fill all these functions but also provide water in the right volume and at the right temperature.”

Craftsmanship and touchless products FM Mattsson has a long history, founded back in 1865 by Frost Matts Mattsson outside Mora, and is now Sweden’s oldest producer of faucets. Production still takes place in Mora, with a mix of craftsmanship tradition, research and modern technology enabling technical innovations and solutions. Focus is on functionality and technical usability, for example in touchless products.

An example of a clever touchless solution is Siljan Duo by FM Mattsson, a kitchen mixer with a traditional lever as well as a touchless sensor function. It will deliver a limited amount of water during a chosen time period, but can easily be stopped by holding the hand again in front of the sensor – a simple and hygienic solution, which also saves water. Damixa is renowned for excellent Danish design and works closely with talented designers from all over the world to remain at the forefront of tap fittings for the homes of the future. In collaboration with award-winning industrial design firm Halskov and Dalsgaard, Damixa has launched Silhouet, a simple, modern and appealing series of taps and mixers that fit beautifully in the kitchens and bathrooms of today as well as tomorrow.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Using water with respect While the heritage and design of the brand are Scandinavian, the commitment is global, with care for water and the environment. The group is committed to finding sustainable solutions to reduce water consumption in a smart way for different products. To demonstrate respect for the environment, the Care For Water concept aims to offer smart products that help customers reduce water and energy by showing respect for water. Care For Water highlights all aspects of water use, environment and health. The hope is to give opportunities to save water and make healthier, greener choices. “We see big opportunities with, for instance, touchless products,” says Skarp. “The benefits are both hygienic and economic, bringing down consumption by 30 to 40 per cent, which is beneficial for the environment as well as the consumers’ wallet.” In addition, products are designed in high quality and with a long-lasting perspective. The brands work closely with architects and technical consultants to increase the understanding and benefits of products that can help save water and energy. Web:

Mora armatur.



Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  109

Usify uses a wide spectrum of tools to enable and drive complex discussions – some physical objects, some game-inspired.

Design’s new frontier: business transformation Whether it be helping a utilities company to better understand its relationship with its customers, or facilitating an enterprise in forming its transformation strategy, every project undertaken by Usify has something in common. “We use design thinking to help organisations form their future,” explains CEO Bjarte Bugge, “and always with the focus on people – people forming strategies, culture and services.” By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Usify

Design thinking is a philosophy and methodology that takes the needs of people as the starting point and which then aims to create solutions to meet those needs. Developed primarily in the US over the past 25 years, Bugge explains, the method has emerged as a reaction to the colossal changes in society and business culture brought about by huge technological advances. With the opportunities and digitalisation of information, the necessity of increased sustainability, and the explosion of communication tools such as social media, Bugge ar110  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

gues that companies find themselves in new and complex territory, and in need of new approaches. Design thinking helps organisations define their goals and then find ways of getting there. Linköping-based Usify has taken the concept of design thinking and run with it. By using the methodology to help companies and organisations to develop visions and strategies, it has grown to be one of Sweden’s leading providers of strategic design and service design, with an impressive client portfolio that includes

Saab, Migrationsverket (the Swedish Migration Agency), Stena Recycling, SKANSKA and LKAB, to name just a few. While design thinking has proved fruitful for Usify and its clients, however, Bugge says that it is at odds with the traditional and dominant culture of problem-solving in Sweden. “In Sweden, we have a very strong culture of science and logic and engineering, which influences our way of thinking. And while it has had its advantages, it can also be limiting,” Bugge argues. “We’ve trained ourselves to be ‘solution machines’ and find ‘the right answer’. But in the more complex scenarios of today, there isn’t one right answer, but lots of good answers that each affect the organisation in a different way.” Helping organisations find their way towards the answer most fit for the desired outcome, is Usify’s speciality.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden

Empathy, dialogue and inclusion Usify’s method employs what Bugge calls ‘strategic dialogue’, a collaborative process of discussion that draws on the diverse experiences and perspectives of those within a given organisation. In doing so, it helps its clients to better understand the issues in question, often also using simple and clear visualisations to help make complex situations and processes more understandable. “We enable our clients to navigate their way through complexity, make connections, form and tell a common story. And through this storytelling, they are then able to align and develop more effective solutions.” These solutions turn out to be better, Bugge argues, precisely because they are based on the needs, experiences and skills of people, rather than on restrictive logical principles. And the more inclusive the process, he says, the better the results.

Visualisation is a key tool for driving strategic dialogue, creating alignment and a common story to support organisational transformation. Here Usify has a close collaboration with Combitech.

“Empathy is a key word that we use a lot – empathy and understanding for different perspectives,” Bugge explains. “People are not logical animals, but rather emotional animals who have the ability to think logically, and it’s emotions that lead people to take responsibility for a situation.”

must be as inclusive as possible, and to illustrate the point, he gives an anecdote from his own recent experience. Having finished a session with the top management of a regional hospital, he and the participants were ready to pack up when a cleaner came in. Looking at the board and at what they had done, the cleaner then reflected and spontaneously gave his own thoughts. “That was great, and to use all those different perspectives as part of the solution process is so important,” Bugge says.

In order for an organisation to find effective solutions to complex problems, Bugge argues that the solution process

Bugge’s own career path, in fact, began in nursing, and he says that has given him valuable experience that he can

bring to the table. “With my background in nursing and working with people, I have a different perspective to an engineer. Designers have a different perspective again, as does a cleaner. That’s why dialogue is important, to draw on all these different viewpoints.” He adds: “Our mission statement is: ‘We see people and create opportunities for meaningful change’. Whatever the project, it’s always people who are at the heart of the process.”


Bjärte Bugge, CEO of Usify.

Usify has facilitated and visualised the vision work for and collaboration between Stena Recycling, ABB and Combitech. Photo: Anders Bryngel, Stena

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  111

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Swedish Design Schools

One big, creative family Forsberg’s School first opened its doors in Stockholm in 1991, with graphic design and advertising at its core. Nearly 30 years later, the school still celebrates diversity, flexibility and learning by doing, all in a family atmosphere.

munication. Everything happens fast – if you are looking for a package deal where you know exactly what you get, this is not it,” Easton explains.

By Kristine Olofsson  |  Photos: Forsberg’s School

The college has 117 full-time students and four departments, covering graphic design and advertising, copywriting, game art and game design, as well as several evening classes and correspondence courses. “When the school started, it quickly gained a reputation for its guerrilla approach,” says William Easton, acting head of the school. Easton himself has vast experience as an artist and teacher, and with several years in the industry, he is very familiar with the importance of adaptiveness and flexibility. “We are different from many other schools, partly due to our size, but mostly because of our mindset. We strive not to be very institutional,” he continues. “News cycles nowadays consist of seconds, not hours. It can be anything from a tweet to a natural disaster that changes everything 112  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

and affects the project you’re working on. This is the type of environment we train our students in, and the mindset we work with across the school.” The school has three permanent teachers, all active in the industry, and between 50 and 100 guest teachers each year. They are all top-level professionals, bringing real perspectives and examples to their lectures.

Long live diversity Forsberg’s School, founded by Pia Forsberg and Pelle Lindberg, focuses on retaining its home-away-from-home touch and its experiential and professional essence. The charming fourstorey school building invites its students to be part of a family, with all that it entails. “We have open and clear com-

The students are encouraged to work across departments and collaborate, just like in real life. The school strives towards diversity and the students come from very different backgrounds. “The greater the diversity, the greater the possibilities for us, since we have more to work with. Our job is to teach how to retain and use information, and how to put it to practice in a collaborative process,” Easton continues. “We want to be a school open for students regardless of age and background. People should see a Forsberg student and know that this person will be slightly different, slightly outside the ordinary, and able to deliver on a professional level.” Web: Instagram: @forsbergsskola Facebook: forsbergsskola

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Swedish Design Schools

Celebrating 80 years of creating the pioneers of tomorrow Beckmans College of Design is a groundbreaking school, where students have the opportunity to learn from the very best in the industry. Study design, fashion or visual communications, and leave the school as uniquely an individual as when you entered – but with a long list of invaluable skillsets and a multitude of contacts richer. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Beckmans College of Design, Isak de Jong

Beckmans was founded in 1939 by Anders Beckman, a successful creative in the advertising industry, who saw a huge gap in the Swedish creative educational system. Ever since the beginning, the school has let working professionals that are active and successful in their fields teach their trade to the

students – a fundamental way of keeping the name synonymous with top education and an unbeatable preparation for a future design career. “The education focuses intently on the artistic aspects and the craftsmanship in each field of study, and it doesn’t let you get caught in a student ‘bubble’; the school will

involve you in live business cases to ensure all graduates hit the ground running with an already well-established network,” principal Karina Ericsson Wärn explains. The school offers three bachelor degrees: design, fashion and visual communications – as well as preparatory evening classes. Only 123 students attend the school, with the assistance of 30 teachers, providing a familiar feeling and an undivided focus on the students. With a long list of prominent alumni, Ericsson Wärn says proudly: “Our former students win prizes in fashion, film production, commercial advertising – they are people who continuously break new ground and pioneer the industry. We believe that design can change society – that with new and innovative methods, you can help build a better future, for all.” It is a vision that’s still embodied as clearly today as it was 80 years ago.

Web: Instagram: @beckmanscollegeofdesign

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  113

E UR Y T lT EC RWA a T i I ec CH NO Sp R — A N C I G I RD ES O N DD AN e:

m he

Let the sunshine in With a timeless and robust living space, utilising the very essence of its surroundings, Vindveggen Architects’ latest flagship, Haneborgåsen Panorama, lives up to its 360-degree name.

journey of a place and a project for so long really makes it rewarding in the end,” explains Glomnes.

By Lisa Maria Berg  |  Photos: Vindveggen Architects

They’ve been a core team of five, carrying this project through. “It’s great fun when people actually move in and start living there,” Glomnes continues. “I went to visit some of them, and it was just so lovely to see how they had made it their own.”

One special feature of the new complex of soon-to-be 150 flats in the valley overlooking Lørenskog – a mere 20-minute drive from Oslo – is our very own star: the sun. With all apartments facing west, the light is the main character in this idyllic place. “To be allowed to build on such a beautiful site has been extraordinary. With the forest only yards away, and a view overlooking Lørenskog, it has been a true pleasure to lead on 114  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

this project from start to finish,” says Martin Glomnes, general manager at Vindveggen Architecs.

From beginning to end The process of turning this spot into a habitable place to build on began years ago – and the firm has been there from the very beginning. “We’ve been part of the project since the initial scouting of the area began. To have followed the

A house to live in It truly is a place to make one’s own. At the moment, two of the in total six buildings are up, and in due course, the six will form a circle with a square between

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway

them. That Glomnes and his team have focused on greenery is not by chance. “By building a square in the middle, where there is no traffic – cars are all parked in an underground garage connected to the buildings – we keep the heart of this complex safe and green. It was fun to see that, already, one could hear children playing amongst the houses. It becomes a place where you can live fully and freely, and to me as an architect, that means that our initial plans have contributed to a good place to live.”

A green lung Vindveggen Architects builds houses that veritably shake hands with nature, based on an ethos that says that anything human-made should play on the same team as the ground it is built on. “We want to make architecture that not only looks good, but that’s formed – from the first drawing to the last stroke of paint – in line with its surroundings,” explains Glomnes. And what a fine example Haneborgåsen is. With the mighty forest behind it, making for a green lung just outside the front door, and every living room

facing the sun, it makes for wonderful living conditions. You can enjoy your glass of wine as the sun sets on a hot day, and go to bed in a cool bedroom, which has been sheltered from the sun at the back of the flat. “By utilising the natural light and movements of the sun, we’ve built flats that invite you to live in them,” Glomnes continues. The lushest feature of the 150 flats might just be the fact that every living room is complete with its own veranda, making it possible to not only look at the sun coming in

through your window, but to practically bathe in it.

A bigger picture “We try to think environmentally friendly where we can and choose materials that are durable and, if budget and building restrictions allow, go for low-emission materials. Our main goal is to make houses that are built on the conditions of the land that they’re on,” Glomnes explains. The firm has had a vast and varied architectural career, from schools and kindergartens to swimming pools, houses and now, a new fire station. “It’s interesting for an architect to be allowed to work with such variation in buildings, and to get to be a part of the construction of houses that come to mean a lot for the community and for the life of possibly generations to come,” says Glomnes. The team of architects from Vindveggen Architects taking part in the Haneborgåsen Panorama project: — Mathias Nill — Christina Mano — Anne Widengren — Oda Bru Sundquist — Martin Glomnes — Landscape architect: Gullik Gulliksen AS with Kristian Berger


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  115

Akerselva Atrium. Photo: Einar Aslaksen

A young and curious architecture studio With a combination of fresh enthusiasm and substantial experience, the people behind the young and curious architecture studio OSLO WORKS believe in the importance of innovation and technology in achieving the best solutions for their clients. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: OSLO WORKS

Ever since OSLO WORKS was founded by Siri Bakken and Gudmund Stenseth in 2016, the Norwegian architecture studio has seen big growth in terms of both size and experience. “We had a substantial development in a very short time – we’ve been very busy. Today, our office consists of 14 employees with a great range of competence and knowledge,” says architect Francis Brekke. He joined the firm as partner in August 2017, along with Håvard Skarstein. 116  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Covering a wide spectrum of expertise, from large, urban zoning plans and architectural programming to project detailing and completion of built projects, the architecture studio currently has ongoing projects in Tromsø, Trondheim and the Oslo region. In the summer of 2016, OSLO WORKS was contracted by DNB Næringseiendom NE to renovate the entrance and shared areas in the office building Akerselva Atrium.

Akerselva Atrium. Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway

The space was given a comprehensive material palette, with micro cement floor, veneer walls and a perforated metal ceiling. “We removed some meeting rooms to create more informal meeting areas for the employees, which helps bring more daylight into the building,” says Brekke. “In conjunction with the new reception solution, there is a green plant wall and a beautiful, sculptural staircase also lined with veneer to tie it all together.” In their most recent project, the young firm worked on upgrading and transforming the artillery stable in Myntkvartalet into a smart building for the future. “The aim was to create a new technologydriven innovation hub named Share Oslo, supporting Norwegian scale-up technology companies towards international success,” Brekke explains. The building is part of the historic Akershus Fortress, and this specific part of it was where the horses were kept.

Myntkvartalet. Photo: Jan Kühr

“We have reestablished some of the original features and modernised the structure with open and inclusive solutions. Our idea was to remove many of the mistakes made during the remodelling in the 1950s and add as little as possible to the space, which has resulted in an industrial look that reveals traces of the past,” says Brekke. Throughout the interior, plenty of natural materials have been utilised, and in terms of colour choices, the architects searched the building to capture existing tones from the early days. “On the windows, for example, we used a light-green shade, which was the oldest layer of colour we could find on the oldest window in the building.” Web: Instagram:

Myntkvartalet. Photo: Jan Kühr

Myntkvartalet. Photo: Jan Kühr

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  117

Sommerro’s circle-shaped, two-floor rooftop restaurant will provide guests with the best views of Oslo city.

Innovation through revitalisation Boasting a resume of transformational projects, such as the noted Vulkan project in Oslo, architectural design firm LPO Arkitekter is re-shaping how we think about sustainable construction and preservation. Currently in the process of transforming and repurposing the landmark Oslo Lysverker building in Solli Plass into a neighborhood hotel, the firm is a leading star in the art of re-doing with purpose.

grand projects in the capital – including everything from museums and urban villages to airports and seafront apartment buildings – the firm boasts versatility, breadth and plenty of innovative spirit.

By Julie Linden  |  Photos: LPO and Finn Ståle Felberg

A notable example is the segment of the portfolio dedicated to Oslo’s revitalised riverside area of Vulkan – an area that was long a dormant industrial zone with

“It feels like a significant part of who we are as a firm,” says Lisbeth Halseth, head of administration and partner at LPO Arkitekter, an Oslo-based firm made up of more than 100 architects and advisors. “The identity we’ve grown into is one of connecting old and new in a seamless manner, bridging the sometimes challenging space of what must be preserved and what is served by renewal. With the experience we’ve built over the years, we 118  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

feel a sense of belonging in this – there’s a great sense of purpose in being able to achieve two such different goals at once.”

Visualising a ‘town within a town’ Joined by CEO and partner Tom Sletner and communications director Hilde Lillejord, Halseth explains that the firm’s ethos and goals are reflected in its everdeveloping and expanding portfolio. From the northern island of Svalbard to

LPO Arkitekter have worked closely with the city planning office and other design firms to get the project off the ground.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway

The Sommerro project is a ground-breaking revitalisation of an old, closed-off office area of western Oslo.

little social utility or connection to the adjacent area of Grünerløkka. In revitalising the old brick constructions that formerly housed several factories, a ‘town within a town’ was facilitated, welcoming a popular food hall, several cafes, restaurants and concert halls, in addition to homes and office buildings. This new ecosystem of a city area has since boomed in popularity, won several awards and accolades, and become a must-visit district for tourists, a home to young locals, a fine-dining destination and more. “It’s a project we’re very proud of, and essentially, an expression of our identity,” says Sletner. “In combining innovation with respect for constructions that are already in place, we achieve an inclusive design process that is both solution-orientated, practical and aesthetical.”

The new design will restore and repurpose large parts of the revered building.

Sommerro’s roof garden.

Sommerro – creating a social node for the modern era Opening its doors in the spring of 2022 is the most recent testament to LPO’s vision of sustainable modernity. In redrawing and breathing new life into the 1930s building Oslo Lysverker, that once housed the capital’s electrical company, the firm is breaking new ground. Situated in the middle of Solli Plass in the western part of the city centre, the finished project will utilise the conservationworthy building in a brand new way – offering Oslo’s first neighbourhood hotel. The hotel will be run by magnate Petter Stordalen’s Nordic Hotels & Resorts. “The goal with the Sommerro project is to create a versatile spot for people to come together, making the most of

The building’s original art deco interiors will be preserved.

The revered Oslo Lysverker brick building will be revamped to offer a brand-new Nordic Choice hotel.

Interiors of the old hotel, which will be retained.

the building’s original art deco interior, which really is part of Oslo’s design history,” says Halseth, adding that architectural elements and artworks in the building will be preserved. “Also, it’s exciting to be working closely with city planning and design firms to make this happen. The city’s cultural heritage management has provided constructive information and guided us well, and designers GrecoDeco are great to work with. It’s a monumental cooperation, preserving this magnificent piece of local history and transforming such a revered building – making sure it fits in with modern times without losing its uniqueness. It means a lot to us as a firm, and the cityscape.”

Inviting activity and city pulse The hotel will have 252 rooms and suites, as well as bars and restaurants, including a circle-shaped, two-floor rooftop restaurant with the best views of Oslo city. The adjacent Vestkantbadet spa will also be renovated and made available for not only hotel guests, but also other visitors, as before. Additionally, the hotel will have a rooftop swimming pool – as Oslo’s only hotel with this kind of offering. It’s a first step in a total redesign of the area, which will include parks, green spaces, and several smaller squares. “Opening up the area to invite life, activity and pulse is a step with the times,” says Halseth. “We’re excited to see the finished results.” Web: Facebook: LPO Arkitekter

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  119

Works of art by Anthony Milson, currently in exhibition at Galleri Günther.

Design concepts for the bigger picture Putting users, their needs and the recontextualisation of spaces at the very centre of their philosophy, Birthe and Anthony Milson of Birthe Milson Designconcepts see interior design a little differently. With a multifaceted, international background, this firm helps clients repurpose and reconceptualise their spaces with longevity, user-friendliness and comfort in mind. By Julie Linden  |  Photos: Birthe Milson Designconcepts

Boasting a creative background – she with a BA in interior design, and he an artist with a BA in fine art – the couple bring several years of experience and a diverse set of perspectives to each project. Having met in the UK as students and moved to Norway with limited means but a lot of creative spark, their knack for visualising and creating beautiful homes within any budget was clear from the start. Today, finding creative solutions and sustainable ways of making each space the best it can be, has become 120  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

know where they are in life, and what they need their space to represent and be for them,” says Birthe. “We always ask ‘what is going to take place here?’ to try and gauge what the client is after. Sometimes they don’t know, and that’s where we come in to shed some light and find solutions.”

their livelihood and passion. And, as the firm’s impressive portfolio shows, no challenge is too daunting.

Understanding each client “We base each of our decisions on individual needs. Therefore, it’s important that we perform a thorough analysis before doing anything else in a project – everything must come from a place of knowledge and understanding of who the client is, whether it’s a private individual or a business. It’s also crucial to

Birthe and Anthony Milson moved to Norway from the UK after meeting as students of art and interior design.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway

Bergsdalshytta, Vaksdal. Upgrade of an old boarding school in beautiful Bergsdalen.

Presenting a diverse and comprehensive portfolio of services, the Milsons underline that their strengths lie in the combination of technical skills, a practical approach and a flexible manner of working. Taking on projects far outside their base in Vaksdal, Norway (just north-east of Bergen), Birthe says the firm will visit and inspect sites if desired or needed, but that increasingly, the distance to a client can be bridged with the help of digital tools and consistent communication.

Anthony’s creative eye and artistic background bring another dimension, focusing on interesting surfaces, textures and abstract motifs. Creating and selling his works out of his own studio, Anthony is able to integrate unique pieces of art into each project. Birthe has previously worked with design projects in the context of sensory experiences for people with special needs, an experience that has informed the firm’s take on the importance of considerate design.

Considerate, personal and sensory designs

“Design must have a function, yes, but must also be personal. It cannot simply be pretty to look at,” says Birthe, with Anthony adding that the company’s ethos is to re-use as much of what is already there as possible. “Often, I think people are intimidated by design professionals because they think hiring them equates

With a comprehensive skillset in 2D and 3D design, Birthe creates both digital and physical models of design concepts. When a model has been created, she explains, it is easier to visualise colours, forms, proportions and textures.

Ringheim Kafé, Voss. Upgrade of interiors.

to spending a whole lot of money. On the contrary, our main goal when designing is to give new life to what is already present in the space. It’s all about re-visualising items in a new context, making the client go ‘oh, I’d never thought of that’. That’s a natural way for us to work sustainably, not re-doing every little thing solely for the purpose of coming up with something different,” he says.

A beloved café and designs fit for a queen Having re-designed the long-standing, beloved institution of Ringheim Kafé to the delight of locals and travellers from all over Norway, and designed the interiors of two new buildings at United World College in Fjaler for the grand opening by H.M. Queen Sonja, Birthe Milson Designconcepts is doing better than ever before. The couple agree that it’s not the grandeur of the project that excites them the most – it’s the reactions from the users of each space. “I remember when we worked on the Ringheim project, and people were lined up outside the door before the light fixtures were even hung,” laughs Anthony. “There was such a welcoming feeling to the project, you got the sense that people were excited to see the place come back to life. As a result, I believe sales increased significantly. It was an absolute delight to take part in.” Anthony Milson’s artworks are currently exhibited at Galleri Günther in Stord, Norway. See their Facebook page, Galleri Günther, for more information.

Left: KVEIK Kafé, Voss. Re-design of rooms for use as a café and catering business. KVEIK facilitates vocational rehabilitation and long-term, facilitated work. Right: Vossabakst, Voss. Development of a design concept for a new craft bakery.

Web: Facebook: Birthe Milson

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  121

The modern office in times of ‘working from home’ In a time when digitalisation has made it possible to do your job from anywhere, the interior architects at Scenario strive to make offices in line with the changing needs and the modern way of working – tailor-made for their clients’ needs and preferences. By Synne Johnsson  |  Photos: Scenario v/ Gatis Rozenfelds

For 35 years, Scenario has been helping clients design the optimal office, with a focus on giving the employees more options of where to work by including allocated areas for concentration and teamwork, lounge seating, drop-down places as well as traditional computer desks. “There are pretty big changes happening in the way we work, which is very exciting to be a part of,” partner and interior architect, Annethe Thorsrud, says. “We are focusing on a functionality-driven work space, which means that we base the design, layout and facilities on the functions 122  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

and activities the client needs and uses. For example, an accounting firm may need something completely different than a graphic design firm.” To the architects at Scenario, one of the most important things in a functionalitydriven workspace is choice, and they put the opportunity for people to choose where and how to work high on the agenda. Most employees have a variety of different tasks to complete during one workday, and Scenario believes that the time when a desk, a chair and a computer could fulfil all of those needs is gone.

Everyone has a different and unique way of working, and Scenario wants to embrace these differences, creating an environment where the choice lies in the hands of the employees. “If the choices are available, it’s up to the employee to choose the best work space for the task ahead,” interior architect Kristine Aassved Storeide says. “If the person next to you is talking too loudly on the phone, it’s easy to move to a different workspace that supports you better. The employees have been given back the freedom to choose when and where, but also given the responsibility to organise the best possible workday for themselves.” Scenario offers not one particular design style, but a focus on creating a unique, personal signature look and feel for the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Norway

client they are working with. For them, it is not about putting Scenario’s image on their work, but about creating, and showcasing, the image their client wishes to express, both internally and externally, and at the same time making the office functional.

Offices in an era of working from home Creating offices according to what the client wants and needs is nothing new, but creating a lot of opportunities for different ways of working within one office is rarer, according to the two interior architects. They point out that at a time when many people can work from home, the office has to offer something different or more than the sofa at home can. “Technology has made it less important to actually be in the office – people can do their job from anywhere,” Thorsrud says. “However, we think it is still important to go in to the office. We believe it’s important to interact with your colleagues, to exchange ideas face to face, and to feel like you’re a part of the company you work for, instead of being a lone wolf.” They both see the value in spending time with colleagues and getting to know them better than you would if you just interacted by email. Aassved Storeide adds that, in her experience, employees are expecting something more than just a job and a salary. “People, especially millennials,

Annethe Thorsrud.

care more and more about other benefits, like the level of freedom they are given, gyms, lunch, coffee and so on. It is not just about the job itself, but about everything that comes with it, which is something we work a lot with,” she says. The two interior architects both believe that people respond to pleasant surroundings, making employees proud of their workplace and enjoy going to work, something they believe might in turn make employees better at their job and motivate them to go that extra mile for their company.

Spaces One of Scenario’s many projects is designing the offices for Spaces, International Workplace Group’s new, flexible offices in Oslo, made for everyone from individual entrepreneurs to small busi-

Kristine Aassved Storeide.

nesses and larger firms. “Spaces offers a more structured system for people who usually do their work in a coffee shop. Now, their clientele has expanded to include more established businesses and bigger companies, as well,” Aassved Storeide explains. “What makes working with Spaces a little different is that we have no idea who the end consumer is, so we are trying to make it as specific as possible, but at the same time making it generalised enough for anyone to use it.” Spaces has four locations in Oslo as well as one in Bergen, with a second location opening in 2020. All the Spaces offices consist of a range of different facilities, from offices for one single person to bigger ones. They also have areas with dedicated desks and co-working areas, as well as a Business Lounge, which is open for everyone, making Spaces a social and enjoyable place to work. Spaces will be expanding to other Norwegian cities, where Scenario will again work on the interior design.“When working on Spaces’ offices, and indeed all other projects, we try to make the office as welcoming and homely as possible. We want people to enjoy spending time in the office,” the interior architects say. “As the CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Doug Conant, said: ‘To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.’” Web: Facebook: scenario interiørarkitekter MNIL Instagram: E-mail:

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  123

E UR D T C AN lT TE L ia I c H FIN e C Sp — AR C GN I RD ESI O N DD AN e:

m he

Konkret’s office is situated in Hattutehdas, which is one of its own projects. The generous ceiling height enabled creative and versatile solutions. Photo: Kuvio Oy

Conversions give buildings a second life Helsinki-based architect firm Konkret specialises in residential construction projects and conversions, which are about not just updating the building, but actually giving an old building a new purpose. They often participate already during the concept phase, when they look for a new use for the building together with the owner. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Konkret

Family-owned Konkret was founded in 1997 by Jaakob Solla and his partner Anne Routaniemi. Combining Solla’s architectural vision and technical know-how with Routaniemi’s expertise in materials and colours, they have created a company with an impeccable track record. High-profile projects such as the first Louis Vuitton boutique in Helsinki and Artek’s flagship shop are among the many success stories in Konkret’s portfolio. 124  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Today, their 20-member professional team works with numerous different projects, and their method of advanced building information modelling helps to ensure predictable costs, high quality, and on-time delivery. It also allows the architect and the engineering consultants to participate in the design process on a real-time, multidisciplinary basis. “We have used this method for nearly ten years now; the traditional 2D draw-

ings are replaced by intelligent, digital 3D models,” Solla explains.

Clever conversions “There is a lot of empty industrial and office space in the capital area, which is not suitable for modern adjustable office use in its current condition,” says Solla. The real-estate companies see it as a challenge that they have vacant property in highly valued districts, and it is an unbearable situation for them. “Together with the owner of the building, we search for a new use for the building,” Solla continues, adding that city planning and zoning is a slow process that not always moves as quickly as the demand in the market would require. “I see many opportunities in hybrid build-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Finland

Photo: Kuvio Oy

ings that could cater for, for example, housing, business and retail purposes. Hybrid buildings can create solutions for co-working and co-living, too.” Konkret’s office is situated at Hattutehdas, an old hat factory, which is also one of their recent projects. “Here, everything was torn down, except the load-bearing structures, and new spaces for modern offices were created,” Solla explains. “Many old buildings like this have the advantage of strong, robust structure, which opens up lots of possibilities for diverse use and enables the installation of modern building technology that fulfils the modern-day requirements.” Today, Hattutehdas offers a lively milieu, versatile premises and excellent accessibility, making this almost 90-year-old factory building an exciting and attractive working environment.

Extensive projects

ing in blocks of flats and integrate new personalised solutions into them. Leipätehdas, meaning Bread Factory, was also a large conversion project. The building used to function as an old bread factory located in the inner courtyard in Sörnäinen, Helsinki. The long, colourful history of Leipätehdas has had many phases. Before Konkret’s involvement, there were problems with the air quality. Several renovation projects were done and the indoor air problems gone – but so too were the tenants. Despite the trendy and lively location, it was not attracting new tenants. The new owner recognised the potential in the building and started to look for new ways to bring life back there. Soon, ​​​​​​​the cultural centre Caisa, which promotes the development of Helsinki into a diverse city through arts and culture, be-

came interested in their plans, and new facilities were built for them. They now have spacious halls equipped with upto-date sound and lighting systems for concerts and art exhibitions. “Along with Caisa came a new buzz to Leipätehdas, and this attracted many creative organisations. It is now nearly fully booked,” Solla explains. “In this project, too, it was not just about architectural design, but more of a holistic approach to finding a new purpose for the building and then carefully customising the building according to each tenant’s requirements,” Solla sums up. “Hiring professional designers can be a way to find new opportunities for existing buildings, which you might have never thought of yourself. With careful planning and professional design, old buildings can become even better than the newly-built.”

Another great example of a conversion is a project executed for the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region (HOAS). “This HOAS HIMA project is special, because the building is a less-than 20-years-old office block, but it did not really find its users and there was lots of vacant space,” Solla says. “We did extensive research and investigated many different options, until we came up with this idea of student housing.” The building is located close to an underground station and just a few stops from the large college campus area. “We have now begun the construction phase there, and it will be finished in about a year’s time,” Solla adds. This project was also a part of the City of Helsinki’s Re-thinking Urban Housing programme, which aims to increase the quality and appeal of liv-

In the HOAS HIMA project, an existing office building is being renovated into student housing consisting of mini studios and shared common spaces.

Web: Facebook: KonkretOy Instagram: @konkret_oy

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  125

ORTRAUM pushes the limits of technology with its stylish designs. The MK5 house has been praised in the press.

Pushing boundaries ORTRAUM is an architecture studio with an ambition: pushing the limits of technology while keeping the human at the heart of the design. Main designer Martin Lukasczyk combines the best of both worlds by mixing technical expertise with Nordic clarity of vision. A good architect, according to him, is a humble problem-solver who loves customer meetings.

I believe it can also play an important part in leading the construction industry towards a sustainable future and carbon neutrality,” Lukasczyk envisions. “Mak-

By Hanna Heiskanen  |  Photos: Marc Goodwin

For Martin Lukasczyk, architecture is a deeply personal and intimate affair. He runs ORTRAUM, a small Helsinki-based practice that specialises in small-scale, yet challenging, architectural projects. Hailing originally from Germany, but having built most of his career in Finland, Lukasczyk’s approach is a fascinating combination of both countries. “The German architectural tradition feels very technical to me. It’s a lot about engineering,” he says. “In Finland, designers take their inspiration more often from the natural world around them.” Lukasczyk talks about the coming together of technology and Nordic pristine126  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

ness to produce a strong vision that also makes sense to the customer. “In a way, I’m trying to strip away everything that’s unnecessary, to uncover the essence of the design itself.”

Maisonette level.

Building sustainable solutions Thanks, to a large extent, to his technical background, Lukasczyk’s particular interest lies in pushing the possibilities of his practice, as well as the materials used, further. He is drawn to solid wood, a traditional yet modern element that has become the main material of nearly all his projects. “Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, isn’t just connected to the history of using timber to build houses.

Second Floor.

First Floor. Photo: ORTRAUM

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Finland

ing sure the projects I work with are as ecologically sound as possible makes all the difference to me, and nowadays, it’s a high priority for the customer, too.” Much of Lukasczyk’s time goes into indepth conversations with prospective and current customers – after all, they should be at the centre of any design. It’s crucial that the customer meets the right architect for their project, and vice versa. “There cannot be too many meetings!” he says. Lukasczyk sees his role as coming with good solutions to design problems and leading people to see the possibilities of architecture. “Nothing I do comes from the drawer; it’s all created from scratch and requires input from both the designer and the customer side.”

Much more than a house Perhaps surprisingly, Lukasczyk makes a conscious effort to avoid too much inspiration from urban environments and observing the architecture around him. Instead, he prefers to look at each project as a blank canvas. A close working relationship with the customer can begin to resemble a friendship – a part of the joy of the work. While most of his projects are in Finland, for practical reasons – he wants to spend as much time as possible on site – he is also open to international commissions and new challenges. Recent projects include the MK5 house, which has gained accolades in the form

The MK5 was designed as a family home.

of press coverage and awards, and the TWELVE project, designed for two creatives, a composer and a ceramic artist, which is about to be finished this year. “The MK5 was designed as a family home. We wanted to try several new ideas with it and managed to push wooden elements to a new level,” Lukasczyk explains. TWELVE aims to tell the story of the relationship between the two artists using architecture. “I want to show my customers what architecture can really do for them.”

From dreams to reality Lukasczyk is one of the lucky few who have managed to turn a childhood dream

into a career. Sketching floor plans as a hobby, he looked up to a ‘cool’ uncle who also happened to be an architect. “I wanted to become just like him,” remembers Lukasczyk, who many years later made the sketches come to life in the form of a home for his own family. Being both the client and the architect was an unusual but ultimately necessary experience. “Unless you design your own home, you don’t fully understand your job and the challenges the customer goes through,” he concludes. Web: Facebook: ortraum

Pushing wooden elements to a new level.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  127

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design — Finland

Architecture meets art The lines between environmental art and architecture are becoming increasingly blurred, and Finnish firm Arkkitehdit Casagrande’s two consecutive exhibitions, running parallel to the Venice Biennale, showcased that creative architectural solutions can add value on multiple levels for the community at large. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Arkkitehdit Casagrande

“We’ve had an interesting year,” says founder Caterina Casagrande. “After exhibiting in Venice during the architecture biennale of 2018, the organisers got back in touch to see if we’d like to participate at the Venice International Art Fair 2019.”

been a bit of an eyesore in many towns. “They’re often not particularly pleasing to the eye, yet they serve an important purpose, and with relatively small investments on the facade, we are able to change the feel of the overall setting.”

Facade design

The Finnish firm’s expertise in functional designs that don’t skimp on the aesthetics was featured as an example of architecture that also serves another purpose. “There’s a growing trend whereby municipal building regulations require for art to be a part of the package,” Casagrande explains. “As architects, we have the technical knowhow to get this done.”

One of the firm’s projects is a forestthemed transformer building in Parainen. The facade was created by using a sandwich panel featuring photographic imagery of nearby woodlands. “The building still serves its duty, but the sandwich panels make it blend into the surrounding nature,” Casagrande explains.

The trend is particularly evident in technical buildings that have traditionally

Other facade design options include graphic concrete and perforated metal,

128  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

both of which were used to transform the feel of a parking hall in Turku. “By adding these layers,” she says, “we were able to completely change the feel of a building that ultimately serves a utilitarian purpose.” Many of the designs are done in-house, but the firm has also collaborated with Finnish artist Jani Rättyä. On display in Venice during the architecture biennale were two housing projects for the disabled as well as a children’s home, two of them featuring artwork by Rättyä.

Collective wellbeing By deploying innovative technical solutions for facade design, Arkkitehdit Casagrande is at the forefront of a broader trend towards urban settings that serve the community on multiple levels. “Functionality is the foundation, but wellthought-out facade design can really add value, too,” Casagrande ends. Web:



Photo: Liga Sirava

Become an Arctic explorer Arctic Norway is a destination well worth exploring. It offers everything from the midnight sun and captivating northern lights to scenic landscapes, impressive fjords, majestic mountains and the Arctic wildlife. You can book your next tour to this stunning part of Norway through Arctic Expedition. Whether a cruise along the coast or a day trip, the company has expeditions in Trømsø, Alta and Lofoten for the adventurer as well as the whole family to join in. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Arctic Expedition

“We provide Arctic exclusivity and specialise in showing you the northern lights, bringing you on whale safaris, and helping you explore untouched areas in the Arctic. It can be by boat or expedition ship, rigid inflatable boat (RIB), bike or foot, depending on the season,” says Carolina Pena, chief marketing officer at Arctic Expedition. Located in Tromsø, the company allows you to meet a team of people with local knowledge, eager 130  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

to show you the undeniable beauty that Arctic Norway has to offer.

Ready for an expedition cruise? A paradise for those who want an adventure in the north, Arctic Norway is a holiday destination you will not want to miss. Throughout history, it has always attracted explorers and people seeking out exciting expeditions. That hasn’t changed through modern times, and this is still

the place to go if you want to experience the feeling of being alone, surrounded by nothing but raw nature. “Our expedition cruises are very popular and worth experiencing while here in the far north. It is all quite exclusive, because there are only 60 guests on each cruise,” Pena explains. Lasting four, five or seven days, the cruises have itineraries full of exciting, family-friendly activities on board. “We recommend the four- or five-day Northern Lights and Whales Expedition Cruise – a unique way to see all the best parts of the Arctic in one trip,” Pena continues. With all meals included and the main goal being to see whales, this cruise takes you to local villages with

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences

unique and exciting histories, on a whale safari, and to visit the northernmost whisky distillery. Throughout the long nights of the Arctic winter, from September to April, the spectacular natural phenomenon, the aurora borealis, dances across the sky and creates a magical setting on the boat. The seven-day Hike & Bike by Boat trip takes guests from Tromsø to Lofoten and is an eco-friendly excursion. “We focus on the environment and not leaving a footprint, getting around by bike or foot. Cruises: — Hike & Bike by Boat Cruise. Duration: seven days. Availability: June to July. Price: from 23,800 NOK (approx. £2,120). — Northern Lights and Whales   Cruise or Hidden Fjords of   Northern Norway Cruise. Availability: November to April.   Duration: four or five days. Price: from 9,990 NOK (approx. £900). Summer day trips: — Fjord Adventure tour on RIB.   Availability: May to August. Duration: 2 hours. Price: 750 NOK   (approx. £67). — Midnight Sun tour on RIB. Availability: May to July. Hours: starts at 10pm. Duration: 2-3 hours. Price: 1,200 NOK (approx. £107).

The area is stunning, and you really get the best view of it like this,” she says. Arctic Expedition also offers diving with whales as well as cruises for special occasions such as Christmas, New Year’s and Valentines, and in addition, the company can help to arrange trips for groups and companies with private activities to destinations, guaranteed to deliver that ‘wow’ factor.

Daily tours of Tromsø Tromsø is a major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle, famous for its beautiful nature, thriving marine life and beautiful fjords, and Arctic Expedition can help you explore this exciting city, too. With daily tours available all year round, tourists can make the most of their time here, both in summer and winter. “In the summertime, we offer a selection of RIB trips; these are rigid inflatable boats that can go fast and get you as close to the water as possible,” says Pena. The Fjord Adventure tour is a fun and affordable way to explore the amazing surroundings. “The tour goes around the island and stops in several interesting locations, including the bridge, the Arctic Cathedral and a World War II submarine, among other places, before concluding with a hot drink back on land.” In addition, there’s the Midnight Sun tour, which also takes place on an RIB boat, but later at night. “It is very special to be out on the boat at 10pm and experience a beautiful

sunset right in front of you,” Pena smiles. “During the winter months, our fourhour Northern Lights Cruise tours take you out from Tromsø in the evening, with beautiful views of the surroundings and, of course, the northern lights, as the best way to experience them is away from the lights of the city,” she says. Other highlights are the popular Fjord Cruise & Whale Safari tours, a unique experience. The most common whale species seen are the humpback whale, killer whale (orca), harbour porpoise, and sometimes even the fin whale. “Once we reach the whale feeding site, you are invited to come on board an RIB to take a closer look at them,” Pena explains. Last but not least, the Fjord Cruise &  Cultural Heritage tours offer an introduction to local history and culture, its wildlife and the eco-system in the  Arctic, where the guests can try caviar, dry codfish skin and codfish liver oil, while being guided through the restaurant and museum Full Steam for one hour after the boat trip concludes. “With our focus on being eco-friendly, we also offer a day, on some of our trips, where guests can help clean a beach if they wish to participate,” Pena concludes. For more information or to book your expedition, please visit: Web: Facebook: Instagram:

Winter day trips: — Northern Lights Cruise.   Availability: October to April. Duration: 4 hours. Price: 990 NOK (approx. £89). — Fjord Cruise & Whale Safari. Availability: October to January (depending on visibility of   whales). Duration: 5-7 hours.   Price: 1,550 NOK (approx. £138)   or 1,990 NOK (approx. £178) – including RIB (only for people   taller than 140cm). — Fjord Cruise & Cultural Heritage.  Availability: December to April. Duration: 5-7 hours. Price: 1,550 NOK (approx. £138).

Photo: David Gonzalez

Photo: Truls Iversen

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  131

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences

Dog sledding in Geilo, the ultimate Norwegian winter adventure Sledding at great speed through a snow-covered landscape, in complete silence apart from the sound of the six dogs that are racing you through the wilderness, is a truly exhilarating winter adventure, if not an experience of a lifetime. By Bianca Wessel  |  Photos: Geilo Husky

If you have ever wanted the thrill of exploring Norway in the winter, Geilo Husky offers a truly authentic experience. Try dog sledding with someone who is passionate about what they do. Each instructor lives locally and has their own dogs who they live with, care for and train. Some are in fact considered to be among Norway’s best dog sledding racers, ready to teach you how to do it, too.

Frozen lakes and snowy mountains Geilo offers the best conditions for dog sledding. The popular winter destination lies at the foot of Hardangervidda, the largest mountain plateau in Europe, which is covered in snow from November until May. Reindeer roam freely here, in what is Norway’s largest national park, and at night, the snow will be lit up by an incredible starry sky. If you are lucky, the northern lights will put on a show for you, too. Spring is arguably the best time to visit, as the days get longer and warmer, but 132  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

there is still plenty of fresh snow as it cools down at night.

An unforgettable experience With Geilo Husky, you can go on shorter trips to get a flavour of what dog sledding can offer. Or you can choose to immerse yourself in the experience with a complete package. Geilo Husky offers full-board accommodation at the family-friendly Halne Mountain Lodge, a comfortable base for days spent exploring the surrounding wilderness together with your new four-legged friends.

As well as caring for and going on trips with the dogs, you might want to try ice fishing and hikes to frozen waterfalls. After an adventurous day spent outdoors, you will be served local specialities, before ending the day in front of the fireplace.

Time to breathe Regardless of the experience you book, the sledge will not only take you into a frozen wonderland, but also far away from everyday life, giving you proper space to unwind and relax. And despite the high energy level, the huskies have a gentle and playful nature – and they love to be cuddled.

Geilo is easily accessible by car or train from Bergen or Oslo. Booking: Instagram: @geilohusky

Grong Ski Centre has 15 slopes with great snow conditions.

Snow and show in Norway’s skiing paradise With 15 slopes and four lifts, Grong Ski Centre is one of Trøndelag’s largest ski resorts, bringing you excellent snow conditions and several parks for a fun day – and night – out. Cruise downhill, show off your tricks on the rails, play in the kids’ park or ski into the woods on one of the cross-country trails – here is something for every aficionado. By Julie Linden  |  Photos: Jan Arild Landstad

A perfect destination for the whole family, Grong Ski Centre presents a well-rounded resort that caters to the needs of each skier. Whether you are just starting out and enjoying your first time on the slopes, or looking for an opportunity to fine-tune your skills, Grong meets your every need and desire.

Free skiing, children’s land and family slopes Beyond the 15 slopes that range in difficulty from children’s and beginners’ slopes to the ‘red’ (intermediate difficulty) and ‘black’ (advanced difficulty) varieties, you will find a separate ski park that caters to free skiers – offering rails, 134  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

jumps and boxes. This park has been expertly crafted by professional park builders to offer the best combination of practice opportunities, a range of equipment, music from high-quality speakers and evening lighting. What is more, a wealth of powdery hills is available in the vicinity of the resort – providing the best location to enjoy those skills. For those looking to entertain the youngest of the family, the base area of the slopes offers an engaging and fun children’s land – often visited by the mascot Bjørge. Here, a slow-moving lift ensures that children can move about independently, exploring the area and

developing their skills while having fun. For children who want more of a challenge, the adjacent family slope offers a chance for the whole family to ski together, before enjoying some down time at the slope’s base in Skistua – a cosy ski lodge providing delicious meals of burgers, pizzas, salads and a range of hot beverages. Whenever evening skiing is available at the facility, flood lighting makes it easy to come and go as you please, making the most out of your day and night.

A paradise lift to slopes and toboggan runs Super’n, a 1.7-kilometre-long slope, is a scenic experience requiring only an intermediate-level proficiency, but offering all the benefits of the more difficult slopes. Here, you may enjoy the most beautiful views of the nearby areas, reaching the top of the slope by way of the ten-minute Paradise lift – a picturesque trip that drops you off at a great

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences — Visit Namdalen

Free skiers will have a field day at the excellent ski park, built by professional free skiers.

starting point for several slopes, well-lit stadium runs, cross-country trails and hiking trails on Geitfjellet mountain. At the southern tip of the resort, you can find the Expert slope, a black-level slope that offers the best possible challenge for all those craving an adrenaline rush. Take the Ola lift to the top of Geitfjellet and enjoy the spectacular sceneries. For a quintessentially Norwegian experience, you can also choose to go for an exhilarating toboggan run down the mountain – a beloved activity for young and old. Toboggans can be borrowed at the foot of the mountain, and skis, helmets and all other equipment needed for a fun and safe time at the slopes can be rented or bought at the resort. At the end of a long day of fun and games, after-ski at Skistua is nothing short of a must. Cosy up with a warm or cold beverage and talk through the day’s adventures, enjoying some nibbles and the warm atmosphere.

Ski and sleep for a better price Offering a ‘ski and sleep’ price guarantee in partnership with providers of nearby accommodation, Grong Ski Centre is a leading resort in offering economical ski holidays in Norway. With a firm belief that the joy of skiing should be at the heart of every ski trip to the area, the resort has partnered with Grong Hotel to set a 700 NOK (approx. £62) price cap on the daily cost of accommodation, including breakfast and lift pass. For children

Grong Ski Centre offers powdery hills for alpine skiing and well-combed tracks for the cross-country aficionado.

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Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences — Visit Namdalen

Enjoy the spectacular sceneries that the Trøndelag region offers.

under the age of 16, this price cap is at 450 NOK (approx. £40) when accompanied by adults. The hearty breakfast included is served in the hotel restaurant, ensuring your skiing adventure is off to a good start each morning. For those wanting to enjoy dinner at the hotel at the end of a busy day on the slopes, this is a welcome possibility. Why not tuck into one of the hotel restaurants’ delicious pizzas?

Slopes range from beginner to advanced, and equipment is available to rent on site. Photo: Ola A. Seem

Available throughout the season, whenever the resort is open, the popular ‘ski and sleep’ deal has become a way for more families to access, enjoy and nurture their love for skiing. Situated just a few hours north of Trondheim and its airport, Grong Ski Centre and Grong Hotel make the perfect Norwegian ski destination. Web: and Facebook: Grong Skisenter and Grong Hotell

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Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Norwegian Autumn and Winter Experiences — Visit Namdalen

All aboard! Norway is a country full of one-of-a-kind experiences. Namsen Salmon & Train Experience, founded and run by Torger Haugen and Elizabeth Hamsund and located in the county of Trøndelag, is an attraction unlike anything you might have seen before. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Torger Haugen

Permanently parked on the Bertnem Bridge over the salmon-rich river Namsen, perfectly preserved carriages from a 1960s train have been converted into a hotel with a restaurant and bar. The sleeping carriage sleeps up to 20 people in ten compart-

ments with two beds in each, all compartments fully fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. The sanitary carriage in connection with the sleeping carriage has toilets and showers. The restaurant carriage, separated from the sleeping and sanitary carriages by a large, seated outdoor lounge, serves lunch and dinner, focusing on local delicacies such as salmon, moose and reindeer. The perfect destination for fishing, hikes or hunting, or for business outings and special occasions such as weddings, confirmations or parties, Namsen Salmon & Train Experience caters to your needs, whatever they may be. Whether you want adventure, a celebratory spirit or a qui-

et weekend away, you can be certain that you’ll be well looked after by Haugen and Hamsund. “We, along with the locals in the area, do everything in our power to make this as good an experience as possible,” Haugen says, commenting that he doesn’t have more hours per day than the rest of us, only more minutes per hour!

Web: Facebook: Namsen Salmon & Train Experience

Scan Business Keynote 138  |  Hotel of the Month 139  |  Business Column 140  |  Business Calendar 140




Alexa may soon control the future By Nils Elmark, Incepcion

Where does the future come from? To get an idea, we should look for future gatekeepers. Who holds the keys to change? Right now, we can boil it down to a handful of smartphone manufacturers and a similar number of social media companies. The tech giants are presently gatekeepers to the Brave New World and have been so for a decade. But what comes next? Smartphones in the present form won’t rule forever, trust me. I believe that smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, with the AI woman Alexa inside, will win growing influence at the loss of the mobile screen. I’m the happy owner of two Echo speakers, connected to the Internet and my Amazon Prime account. When I come home from work, I ask Alexa to switch on the light and play some relaxing music, and she answers: “OK – shuffling songs by Nat King Cole on Amazon Music.” If I want to buy something on Amazon’s website, Alexa puts it quickly in my shopping basket and takes the money from my credit card. Thank you, Alexa. 138  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Alexa is smart, and so are Google’s assistant, Apple’s Siri and Xiaodu from the Chinese search engine Baidu. They learn new stuff all the time, and their sales double each year. Some 60 million homes in America already have a smart speaker – that’s a third of all households. China has 90 million speakers that answer back, and the market is expected to explode by 160 per cent this year. Europe follows suit, not as fast because of many languages, but we will catch up. IKEA is betting on smart homes too and has recently launched its own smart speakers in collaboration with Sonos. Soon, we’ll all have smart speakers and new gatekeepers to the future. If I want to listen to music, if I want to pay a bill, control my heating, watch something on TV or whatever we call the big screen, or when I want to speak to someone, it will go through ‘the intelligent speakers’. We will no longer look down on our silly little screens, but lift our heads and talk straight into an intelligent loudspeaker.

The trend we see now is a new platform economy in the making. Prepare for it!

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

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

A standard room at the hotel in bright colours and modern design.

Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen serves delicious breakfast on the seventh floor.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

A comfortable stay in the heart of Bergen On your next holiday to the west coast of Norway, with its idyllic scenery of mountains and fjords, Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen is the perfect place for you to relax while making the most of what this vibrant city has to offer. Located right in the middle of the city, this newly renovated hotel and its friendly staff will make you feel right at home. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Espen Grønli

As one of Bergen’s most popular hotels, Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen is a great starting point for shopping, sightseeing and enjoying the nightlife in Bergen, a mere 20 kilometres from the airport. “The hotel is very central; it is situated near the harbour, so you’ll be right in the heart of Bergen when staying with us,” says general manager Solveig Haugland. With just a five-minute walk down to the famous fish market, numerous attractions to explore nearby, such as Fløibanen Funicular and Bergen Aquarium, as well as a wide range of restaurants, guests will get the most of what this vibrant city has to offer. Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen is a modern establishment nestled inside a venerable, old Norwegian building. “The exterior is retained as it was, in all its glory, but the interior has a contemporary look, which is currently undergoing a complete renova-

guests. On the hotel’s own premises on the seventh floor, you’ll find an extensive breakfast area with a balcony. “We often refer to it as ‘the seventh heaven’,” Haugland smiles. “We’re delighted to be able to pamper our guests with a fantastic start to their day.”

tion,” explains Haugland, who is excited to reveal the hotel’s brand-new appearance, set to be ready by the end of the year. Furnished with everything you could want for a comfortable stay, Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen has a selection of 123 different rooms to suit all needs. The rooms have a minimal, Scandinavian style with bright, sharp colours and clever interior solutions. “We offer standard rooms for the everyday traveller, and superior and business rooms with a Nespresso machine in the room, as well as bathrobes and slippers to add that little extra touch,” says Haugland. In addition, the top floor boasts junior suites over two rooms, with their own large balcony offering fantastic views over Bergen. Egon Restaurant, located right next to the hotel with direct access from the lobby, serves lunch and dinner for hungry

Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen is known for its friendly and helpful staff.

The renovation and new interior design at Thon Hotels has been led under the supervision of the head designer of the Olav Thon Group, Mrs. Sissel Berdal Haga Thon, and interior architect Mr. Trond Ramsoeskar.

Web: or get the Thon Hotels app!

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  139

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Column/Calendar

Towards nirvana in the workplace 60 per cent of UK employees work longer hours than they want to. 24 per cent find it hard to relax outside the office because they are thinking about work. These are the depressing findings of the annual UK Working Lives survey from Britain’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Most British employers are paying no more than lip service to the notion of good work-life balance for their people. Their inflexible approach to staff presence contributes to employee overwork, stress and physical exhaustion. Workers need time and space to manage stress, and companies should help with this. If you’re a manager, do you know how your team members (would) like to get going in the morning, and to unwind? Jogging, walking the dog, playing the piano – we all have different ways – but too few bosses do anything to encourage their staff to start and end the working day in a way that promotes wellbeing. My day starts with some yoga. I’m a relative beginner and my new knee means I can’t

kneel properly, let alone sit in lotus position. However, the more I practise, the more obvious the benefits become. And there are several of these. First, it’s a great way to wake up the body: stretching bits that would otherwise stay dormant forever makes one feel brighter and more alert. Breathing regularly and deeply gets the lungs working and has a calming effect on the relentless mental buzz. Staying still in a favourite pose helps with mental control and relaxation, too. Other positive outcomes for me include weight loss, improved posture and the disappearance – touch wood – of an old back problem. You may loathe the idea, but I can’t help be-

Business Calendar

By Steve Flinders ing a yoga evangelist. Somewhere in a parallel universe, people are starting their working day with a yoga class provided by their benign employers, leaving them serene and focused until home time. If only we could find a wormhole through to that better place.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

By Sanne Wass

Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month Nordic Chambers’ Business Forum For over six years, the Nordic Chambers’ Business Forum has brought together senior business people to celebrate Anglo-Nordic business, share expertise and discuss timely topics. In light of a growing focus on climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, this year’s forum will explore the strategic opportunities that sustainability carries for companies and investors across industries. Speakers include experts from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, DNB, SAS and Grundfos, among others. Date: 28 October 2019, 6-9pm Venue: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, One Exchange Square, Spitalfields, London EC2A 2JN, UK

Nordic Banking 2019 MoneyLive Nordic Banking is the Nordic region’s leading banking innovation conference. It will bring together retail banks, challengers and fintech companies from across the Nordics to discuss themes revolutionising the bank140  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

ing landscape, including open banking, digital identities, personal data and customer experience. Among the speakers are executives from the region’s leading players, such as Danske Bank, Nordea, DNB, Klarna and Lunar Way. Date: 21-23 October 2019 Venue: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Amager Blvd. 70, 2300 København, Denmark

Sales pitching for Finnish companies This one-day workshop will seek to assist Finnish companies in selling effectively to UK customers. Organised by the Embassy of Finland in cooperation with Business Finland, the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and the Finnish Institute in London, it will be an interactive event moderated by a team of international consultants who have first-hand experience in the field. They will cover concepts such as the anatomy of a sale, knowing your customer, building client empathy, pitching techniques and closing a deal. Date: 7 November 2019, 9.30am-16.45pm Venue: The Finnish Institute in London, Unit 1,

3 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AE, UK

Brexit-proofing your business Faced with growing uncertainty around Brexit, small businesses are finding it increasingly challenging to assess their own exposure and take appropriate measures to minimise possible risks. This event, which is part of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Running a business’ series, will help business owners take the initial steps to Brexit-proofing their business, with experts providing practical advice on subjects such as importing and exporting, immigration, as well as tax and contractual issues related to Brexit. Date: 12 November 2019, 6-9pm Venue: TBC, London

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

Photo: Emil Fagander

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Home-cooked happiness Having worked in award-winning restaurants in New York and London, Jonas Petersson is now focused on a project much closer to home: to introduce a new generation to the mouth-watering joys of traditional, Swedish food. By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Kenny Runefors

Jonas Petersson is very clear: in his restaurant, they serve traditional, Swedish home cooking. ‘Punkt slut’ — full stop. No quirky interpretations, fusion food, or eye-catching gimmicks. Here, you’ll find hearty food to fill hungry bellies, made from the best-quality ingredients. Nothing more and nothing less. For Petersson, running a restaurant dedicated to traditional, Swedish cuisine had been a longstanding dream and, after gaining experience at New York’s Aquavit and London’s Quaglino’s, among others, in 2012 he finally decided the time was right. Since 2014, the fittingly-named Tradition has been located in Gamla Stan, a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace. In an age when much of the restaurant world is looking for the next new trend, Petersson concedes that he’s swimming against the tide, with many young chefs

more interested in fine dining. But while traditional cuisine might not be viewed as glamorous, it’s nevertheless very popular. “It used to be the everyday reality, the sort of food that your grandmother would cook. Now people work so much, they don’t have time to prepare food like this anymore, but they still really enjoy it,” says Petersson. “Right from the start, we’ve had a really positive response.”

all feature regularly. The menu also includes seasonal twists, such as asparagus in spring, new potatoes in the summer, and mushrooms in the autumn. And, naturally, the restaurant offers a broad selection of Swedish craft beers and aquavit. “Today’s generation has grown up with pizza, spaghetti bolognese and kebabs as staples, and foreign food has become more and more common. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think it’s a shame if we don’t, at the same time, try to preserve and celebrate our own Swedish traditions, as well,” Petersson explains. “That’s been my dream and what Tradition is all about.”

It’s no empty claim. Popular ratings site TripAdvisor bestows 4.5 stars out of a possible five on Tradition, which has been awarded the site’s Certificate of Excellence for the past four years. So what sort of home cooking can guests expect? Classics such as ‘raggmunk’ potato pancakes, casseroles, herring in mustard breadcrumbs, smoked salmon and, of course, the iconic meatballs with mashed potato and lingonberry sauce


Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  141

Traditional lutefisk served on slate. Photo: Stakeriet Mat & Vinhus

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

A stake in excellence Crafting cuisine that is experienced through storytelling, Stakeriet Mat & Vinhus has become a high-end staple of Alta, situated in one of Norway’s northernmost municipalities and called the ‘city of the northern lights’. Here, you will be immersed in local history, steeped in a unique combination of one of the world’s best salmon rivers and slate mining communities. By Julie Linden  |  Photos: Mads Suhr Pettersen

Understanding Stakeriet is understanding northern Norwegian history and culture. In particular, fishing, mining and mineral extraction industries play a part in the restaurant, leaving a trace in everything from the menu, to plating, presentation, and décor.

From riverboat to table “We’re known for our high-quality dishes that are fairly traditionally made, 142  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

but we combine our respect for the past with an openness to the hip and trendy,” says general manager Vegard Uglebakken. “We are situated in the Norwegian heartland of the fishing and slate industries, and it’s important to us that this history is reflected in everything you experience at Stakeriet. Anything else would be dishonest,” he says, adding: “That also means we have an interesting foundation to play around

with. Hopefully that shows in everything from dish to décor.” Stakeriet, derived from the term ‘elvestaker’ (Norwegian for gillie, poleman or river guide), bears testimony to this history. The elvestaker was a key figure in the community from the beginning of the 1800s onwards, as he would guide wealthy lords, statesmen and other persons of stature to the Alta river. Many came from abroad, for instance England, and had travelled far to fish in this bountiful river of the north they had only heard tales of. Still today, plenty of fishermen and sportsfishermen consider snaring a salmon in the Alta river a highlight of their fishing careers – and the small town of Alta sees individuals

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

At Gabo Bar, guests can enjoy a fresh tipple with a local flair.

from all over the world fly in and secure fishing rights for the various seasons, especially the wild salmon season.

Exotic fish, succulent meats and local heritage For Stakeriet, the plentiful fishing waters show in the nuanced menu, which varies with the seasons and offers everything from king crab gratinated in butter and herbs, to traditional ‘boknafisk’ (dried cod) and baked halibut. Lighter menu options are available, including a creamy fish soup, and meat options include exotic varieties such as reindeer sirloin with lingonberry sauce, reindeer carpaccio, and a succulent, homemade burger with Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese. A special lunch menu is available every day between 11am and 3pm, including delicious open sandwiches, salads and meatier dishes. For the youngest, a separate menu of Norwegian waffles, fish and chips, and burgers is available, keeping those smaller tummies both healthy and happy. All dishes are of course based on locally sourced ingredients, and the menus can be altered to accommodate private events and conferences. Excitingly, the team behind Stakeriet Mat & Vinhus is building an urban environment in the city centre of Alta, which boasts everything you could need for a great evening out. In the same building as Stakeriet, you will find exciting cocktails and a relaxing atmosphere in Gabo Bar. Providing a high-end quality cocktail list, including the bestseller Gabo Mule, the bar is the perfect hub for a refreshing tipple. Private dining rooms

Photo: Alten Lodge

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Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

can also be provided for all occasions, with a room accommodating up to 30 people.

Taste, explore and be amazed For those wanting to expand on their visit to the far north, Stakeriet has a partnership with NORD Ekspedisjon, which provides tours and guided explorations of Alta and its gorgeous surroundings. Opting for an Arctic Escape – City Life package, you’ll be guided through a trifecta of quintessentially Nordic experiences: a northern lights hunt, a dog sledding tour and a fjord and whale safari, simply taking your breath away. Three nights at the nearby Canyon Hotel are included, as well as breakfasts and dinners. Two dinners will take place at Stakeriet, with two-course menus based on the chef’s choice of the day. This package is also available in a budget version, allowing for a range of options for your trip to Alta. The Arctic Escape – Lodge Life package is another perfect option for those who want to experience the very best the Arctic has to offer – with the added perk that it is available to private groups only, and therefore it can be customised to your preference. In four days, you will get an insight into the history of Alta, with a wilderness evening at the beautiful Alten Lodge and a visit to the Igloo Hotel, in addition to chasing the northern lights, exploring the wild fjords and seeing majestic whales, and whipping through the snow-clad sceneries behind a pack of Alaskan huskies. Dinners at Stakeriet are of course included, as well as a dinner cooked by a private chef at the lodge.

Photo: NORD Ekspedisjon

Stakeriet welcomes locals, tourists and foodies to experience traditional Norwegian cooking in a hip locale.

Available a mere one-hour-and-50minute flight from Norway’s main international airport in Oslo, Alta provides an accessible wilderness adventure with modern, urban elements. It’s all available in the Alta region, and you are invited to discover it for yourself. Welcome to Alta! Web: and Facebook: Stakeriet and NORD Ekspedisjon Instagram: @Stakeriet and

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Stakeriet presents traditional and innovative dishes on the most famous local export – slate. Here, a dish of traditional reindeer. Photo: Stakeriet Mat & Vinhus

Scan Magazine  |  Bed & Breakfast of the Month  |  Denmark

Bed & Breakfast of the Month, Denmark

Authentic Danish ‘hygge’ in idyllic surroundings Far away from the hustle and bustle, Jungshoved Præstegaard is the perfect place to unwind. It is also a magical location for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and conferences. The Bed & Breakfast has a rich history, lush scenery and a private beach.

and unwind – they can go on nature walks or swim in the ocean. It is the perfect place for a break,” smiles Rasmussen.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Katharina Lea Grange

If you are feeling a bit adventurous or are looking for a true nature experience, then the perfect room is waiting for you at Jungshoved Præstegaard. “We built a wooden cabin in the woods, right by the ocean. It’s a bit of a secret. We have quite a few guests who choose to sleep there the second time they visit us; we call it our most exclusive, primitive accommodation,” says Rasmussen.

An hour away from Copenhagen, you’ll find Jungshoved Præstegaard, an idyllic and peaceful place. Dating back to 1791, it also has a rich history. It is an old rectory and was used as such until the 1970s. After that, the church rented out the property until 1992, when Frederikke Rasmussen’s parents bought Jungshoved Præstegaard. “Jungshoved Præstegaard is my childhood home. In 2010, when my sister and I moved out, my parents decided to open it up to guests, host events and weddings and so on. Today, I run it together with my parents,” says Rasmussen, who is responsible for booking and marketing. “We greet all the guests ourselves, and we tell them about the history of the property and the room they are staying 146  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

in. We want to make them feel like part of our family when they stay here, so, for instance, we have breakfast in our old dining room, and our family pictures still hang on the walls.”

Unique rooms Each room at Jungshoved Præstegaard is unique, and while you will certainly sense the history, each room has been renovated to create the perfect combination of luxury and history. For instance, you will find the original safety box in the reverend’s old study room, but you will sleep in a nice, comfortable bed. “It is authentic, yet functional and modern. It’s authentic Danish ‘hygge’, and the guests really feel at home here. We’re away from the city, so the guests can relax

Jungshoved Præstegaard is also a magical place for a wedding, a conference or any other big gathering or celebration. It can host up to 80 people for an event and accommodate for 32 sleeping guests.

Web: Facebook: Jungshoved Præstegaard Instagram: @jungshovedpraestegaard

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who gets tired of the negativity that seems to be prevalent in media and online communities? The tone of debates on the internet is harsh and confrontational, and that only seems to be reinforced by the endless news cycles that focus on conflict, confrontation and division. It is not unusual to see guests on political panels yell at each other, and you can see the news anchor smirking, secretly thinking: ‘This is brilliant’. I thought it was just the chosen modus operandi of the news business, but then I did some research. It turns out, it’s not them – it’s us! We are all complicit. We encourage it without knowing it. Surveys on this topic have persistently shown since the ‘80s, that we – you and I – perceive negative people to be smarter than positive people. For instance, a survey pinpointed that, when reading reviews, people by default concluded that the negative reviewers were ‘smarter’ than those expressing positivity. The negative reviewers were perceived as ‘much more competent’.

At first, I was shocked – but actually, it makes quite a lot of sense, sadly. Don’t we all secretly think that people who are smiling all the time are a bit soft? A bit of a looney tune? And if you want to impress someone, if you want to look smart, you don’t smile and tell warm, fuzzy stories. No, you do acerbic lines and critical observations. Have you ever overheard people discussing a film? It’s an excellent example on this, because it’s always the negative spin on the film that wins. Someone might start out by saying “Oh, I loved it”. And another chips in, “well, yeah I liked it, but...” and the criticism starts. Consensus eventually lands on, “well, it wasn’t that great”, and even the person starting out positively ‘loving the film’ concedes that “there were actually some plot holes”. Because nobody wants to be that dopey dork that just ‘loves’ everything. It’s a fascinating topic, and I wish we would talk more about this. Imagine if we

Boatyard On a recent trip to see my parents in Sweden, my husband (British) and I visited the small, local boatyard to check out the ongoing excavations of a 15th-century boat wreck. As we arrived, we were met by two men sitting on the jetty, one unhurriedly completing a crossword, the other looking distinctly pale. “Hello,” said crossword man, seeming used to foreign visitors. On hearing us speak English, the pale man joined in, perhaps feeling the need to explain his pallor. A wreck diver recently arrived from New York. He’d just discovered that the keys to his rented Volvo were accidentally locked inside of said Volvo, and now he was struggling to get through to the car rental company, not realising that on weekends, everything in Sweden is closed. Also, there was a crayfish party for the visiting divers last night, and he’s not feeling very well. “Snaps?*” I asked, and he nodded regretfully.

could change our mindsets a little bit and be more positive towards each other. Oh, and please think again before you discard that idea as ‘stupid’.

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

divers included. It was all very exciting and unusual for this normally quiet place. As we left, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for these visiting professionals, though. They weren’t the first and won’t be the last to be lulled into a false sense of security by a small, sleepy Swedish community, only to be unexpectedly and brutally done over by an impromptu crayfish party. *Aquavit As we talked, an Englishman staggered from a boat further down the jetty, looking in poor shape. This turned out to be another diver, who’d somehow mysteriously reaggravated an old foot-injury during the previous evening. As the Brit was packed off to hospital, crossword man pointed to a shed next to the boat repair shop, explaining this was now a café/party venue set up to accommodate all the recent visitors – Italian academics, American documentary crews and English

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.

Issue 129  |  October 2019  |  147

The beautiful library in Tønsberg is the venue for the opening ceremony on 4 November. Photo: Peter Fiskerstrand

Readers’ delight For almost a quarter of a century, Vestfold Literature Festival has been spreading the love of books to the people of the region. This year, the programme is more versatile than ever, in both geographical and literary terms, making it an autumn highlight for the book nerd, as well as the more sporadic reader. By Lisa Maria Berg

For seven days, the entire Vestfold region – on the west side of the Oslofjord, the closest airport being Torp – will fill to the brim with literature. There will be words on every street corner, in every concert hall, library and church. With a programme including everything from literary stars and debutants to children’s theatre and talks, it makes for the ultimate end-of-autumn cultural event.

For the love of words At the helm of it all sits festival manager Steinar Engeland – a manager with an above-average love and passion for literature. “A book is a wonderful thing. If 148  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

you give the same book to ten different people, you will end up with ten different experiences, ten different sets of faces and places. A good book is one opening up, giving room for the reader to step inside,” says Engeland. He is part of a team that – as the first in Norway – spreads its festival campus across an entire county. Spending the 45th week of the year in Vestfold is like going on tour with your local book bus, only the librarian has been supplied with literary stars from both Norway and beyond. Studies conducted, some at the The University of Stavanger, have, perhaps unsur-

prisingly, found that children who are read to at a young age become better readers and writers. Engeland sees the love of books as one of the founding pillars of the festival. “We want to give the love of books to people at a young age. Literature has a quality like no other art form, to open up an entire new world to its readers. It’s as if one is allowed to, just for a little while, step out of one’s own everyday life, enter into someplace else and see the world through different eyes,” he explains. The festival has always had a strand of events designed specifically for young people and families. With talks from youth literature writers and theatre for the whole family, it invites children to attend the festival both during and after school time.

Freedom of speech The week-long festival is not all about the joy of books, however. Engeland talks about a deeper meaning to the literary

Scan Magazine  |  Culture Feature  |  Litteraturuka i Vestfold

Ingvar Ambjørnsen is a returning guest at the festival. Photo: Marie Sjøvold

Judith Hermann. Photo: Juergen Bauer, Pelikanen

event, as well. “When putting on a festival like this, there will always be a focus on the very core of literature: freedom of speech,” he says. Words hold huge power, and Vestfold Literature Festival has been harnessing this for 24 years, now. “We don’t have to go further than our daily news to see that people all over the world are being denied the right to freedom of speech. If we can help teach children and young people that this right cannot ever be jeopardised, we are doing something right,” Engeland insists.

Of the people, for the people Supported by the local council, the festival speaks of a political desire to bring art to the people. There is an understanding, across party lines, that this festival not only should be happening, but it needs to be happening. “It’s a mis-

sion – a mission to give our audience access to literature where they live. This festival only comes to life because of the work that happens across a range of people and institutions: libraries, public offices, politicians, schools, churches and local businesses all help pull their weight,” explains Engeland. And what a pull. With the community at its core, the festival has set the standard in Norway for how to organise a literary event outside of a big city or the capital. The festival has a varied programme, including everyone from Norwegian literary stars such as Dag Solstad, Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Vigdis Hjorth and Jørn Lier Horst, to debutants just starting out on their literary journey. Alongside the more renowned writers, there are also those representing genres perhaps less known

The world-famous jazz vocalist Solveig Slettahjell will be closing this year’s festival in Tønsberg Cathedral. Photo: Jørn Stenersen

to the audience. “We believe our audience to be a wise one, one that is up for a challenge,” says Engeland. “There’s nothing that’s as fun as sharing new poetry or short stories from emerging writers with a new audience. It’s the breadth of our programming that makes us unique.” With an eclectic and innovative programme, Vestfold Literature Festival looks certain to get to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. But for now, don’t forget to book your tickets for this year’s literary, autumnal treat. Vestfold Literature Festival takes place 4-10 November 2019.


Dag Solstad, considered by many to be the greatest contemporary Norwegian writer. Photo: Baard Henriksen

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture Profile  |  L.A. Ring

L.A. Ring’s works are representative of symbolism and Nordic art from the decades around 1900.

Danish artist re-enraptures the international art world Almost a century after his death, the art of the rebellious Danish artist L.A. Ring is now in increasingly high demand internationally. In recent years, his works have been acquired by leading art institutions such as the National Gallery in London and Currier Museum of Art in the U.S. Currently, 25 works by Ring are the sole focus of the On the Edge of the World exhibition at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle.

ate social justice for the lower classes. However, while the rebellion never happened, Ring’s works document the world that, in his eyes, justified it.

By Signe Benn Hansen  |  Photos: SMK/AFSMK

Many Danish painters from the 19th century have established quite a name for themselves. In our time, Vilhelm Hammershøi is one of the best known, but even more popular in his own time was the Danish realist and symbolist painter L.A. Ring. Now, the modern art world is reigniting the relationship. “I believe the growing interest in Ring’s work is a result of a transpiring perception of him as an artist representative of symbolism and Nordic art from the decades around 1900, something that is of great international interest,” explains Peter Nørgaard, senior researcher and chief curator at SMK – The National 150  |  Issue 129  |  October 2019

Gallery of Denmark. “Like Hammershøi, Ring is now perceived as someone special on the international art scene.” The popularity of Ring’s paintings can be attributed to both his leading role in Danish symbolism, and to the social realism of his work. Meeting the modern world head on, Ring portrayed the great changes of his time more prominently than many of his contemporaries, and it was not only on the canvas that he took a keen interest in society. The artist is known to have been politically active in a group of revolutionary students preparing for an armed rebellion to cre-

L.A. Ring’s masterworks are the sole focus of the exhibition On the Edge of the World at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle.

Currently showing at the National   Nordic Museum in Seattle, On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark will be the first exhibition solely devoted to L.A. Ring outside the Nordic region. The exhibition can be seen until 19 January 2020, when it will relocate to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, open from 1 February to 24 May 2020.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Sorin Sirkus / Music

Bringing circus arts to another level Tampere-based Sorin Sirkus is a famous youth circus known for its high-standard, unique performances. Next year, they will celebrate their 35th anniversary. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Kristian Wanvik

“One of our goals for the anniversary year is to involve the young members of our circus in the decision-making processes,” says circus director Taina Kopra. “We will also organise an international summer camp for 60 young circus enthusiasts from all over Europe.” Sorin Sirkus has been a pioneer in the development of social circus, and they were one of the founders of Caravan, an international non-profit network, which promotes circus practices in youth education along with improving the skills of the social circus teachers. “Even so, there has not been any degree-level training for teachers of circus art,” says Kopra. Now, together with universities and circus schools from five European countries,

they have received Erasmus+ funding for a project called ‘Circus ++ Youth and Social Circus Arts – an innovative and inclusive education for Europe’. The project aims to develop a curriculum for a Bachelor of Youth and Social Circus Pedagogy programme, which the universities can then apply locally. “Our aim is that Tampere University could start the programme in 2023,” says Kopra. But before the beginning of this project, or the anniversary year, Sorin Sirkus focuses on its annual Christmas Show. “This year’s show, Soriferia, will take the audience to the desert and the wild west for thrilling adventures. The talent and energy of the brave circus acts will leave the audience thrilled,” Kopra promises.

Scandinavian music She’s been the queen of the Swedish indie scene for a good 15 years now, and Veronica Maggio now returns with a brandnew album, her fifth. It’s called Fiender Är Tråkigt, and you need look no further than the title track to find the LP’s most shimmering gem. The song almost sounds like it’s channeling Robyn’s Be Mine. And if you are familiar with Robyn’s Be Mine, then you’ll also be aware that that’s high praise indeed. Robyn herself has got some new music out, too, which is always an occasion. She features on The Warning, by British producer Kindness. It’s a tender electronic ballad on which we get to hear her truly let rip, vocally; quite different to how she sounded on her own most recent album, Honey, and so it’s wonderful to hear. Robyn isn’t the only one making music with the Brits, however. Her former collaborator, Swedish producer Kleerup (with whom she scored a UK number one single back in 2007, With Every Heartbeat),

is back with his first new music in three years. It’s a song called Lovers Table, featuring London-based AlunaGeorge. And mercifully, despite all this time away, it sounds very much how you would hope and expect a new Kleerup single to sound. He’s kept that inimitable style firmly intact. For some fresh new talent, look no further than 18-year-old Carl-Emil Lohmann, from Lejre in Denmark. Under the artist moniker Elliot, he’s just released his debut EP, I Don’t Like To Have Fun. And if you think that’s an alarmingly sombre title for a teenager, just wait until you get to the EP’s big highlight, Would You Cry If I Died. The music is wonderful, though, sounding like Billie Eilish on a particularly low and downbeat day. I’m also hearing flashes of early Noah Cyrus. But listening to the EP as a whole, it’s clear that he’s already formulated what is his own definitive sound, and it’s one that he’s very comfortable standing behind.

Web: Facebook: sorinsirkus Instagram: @sorinsirkusofficial Twitter: @SorinSirkus

By Karl Batterbee


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Ars Nova Copenhagen. Photo: Jeppe Bjørn

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Graphic Encounters in Manchester (until 15 October)

Baltic voices by Ars Nova Copenhagen (27 October)

Graphic Encounters is a project that reveals the experiences of women in Manchester through a series of compelling illustrated narratives presented in poster sites across the Metrolink network in Greater Manchester. Behind the artworks are Finnish artists Kaisa Lela and Tiitu Takalo and British Jamie Squire and Una.

Ars Nova Copenhagen, one of Scandinavia’s leading vocal ensembles, is coming to London. The group of 12 singers specialises in the interpretation of polyphonic choral music of the renaissance and new vocal music, and has recorded nearly 50 albums. Their London appearance is themed ‘Baltic voices’ and will see the performance of music from around the Baltic Sea. 4pm. Holy Trinity Church,

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By Sanne Wass

Sloane Street, London SW1X 9BZ, UK.

Emilia Martensson album launch (3 November) Swedish vocalist and composer Emilia Mårtensson is launching her new album Loredana, a project that celebrates the relationship between mother and child and explores how it shapes our lives. Although based in the UK, Mårtensson’s

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

gently expressive voice and highly personal compositions are firmly rooted within the folklore and countryside of her native southern Sweden. 7pm. The Old Church, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 9ES, UK.

Thomas Søndergård conducts Guildhall Symphony Orchestra (7 November) Guildhall School welcomes Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård to conduct two radical, late-Romantic seventh symphonies by Jean Sibelius and Gustav Mahler. Søndergård, who has conducted many leading orchestras, is today music director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and has previously served as principal conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 7.30pm. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS, UK.

Håkan Hardenberger. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Håkan Hardenberger at Barbican (8 November) Sweden’s Håkan Hardenberger has been called “the cleanest, subtlest trumpeter on earth” by The Times. Appearing together with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sakari Oramo, Hardenberger will blast his way through a lively performance of works for trumpet and orchestra at the Barbican Hall in November. 7.30pm. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS, UK.

Hang Massive. Press photo

Nordic Craft and Design (until 10 November) If you haven’t already visited the Nordic Craft and Design exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, this is your last chance. The year-long exhibition celebrates the major impact that Nordic design has had on contemporary design and lifestyle, showcasing influential craft and design – anything from furniture, lighting and ceramics, to metalwork, fashion and jewellery – from 1930 to the present day. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL, UK.

When Saints Go Machine. Photo: Daniel Hjorth

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Thomas Søndergård. Photo: Martin Bubandt

Hang Massive in UK and Ireland (24 October-11 November) Hang Massive, a UK-Swedish Hangplaying duo, returns to the UK and Ireland this autumn. The band was formed in 2011 by British Danny Cudd and Swedish Markus Offbeat after the two met on the shores of Goa, India. They initially started playing together in the streets of Europe and today perform at venues and festivals all over the world. Their new live show includes uplifting beats and bass complementing the rich sound of the handpan. Various locations, UK and Ireland.

When Saints Go Machine (13 November) Danish electropop trio When Saints Go Machine will be playing at the Pickle Factory in London in November. The group’s sound is a melting pot of musical influences, crossing dance, post punk, experimental electronica, pop and two-step, with the end result resembling a mix of modern electronica, European club culture and contemporary rap. Their performance will come just a few days after the release of their new album, So Deep, which will be out on 8 November. 7.30pm. 13-14 The Oval, London E2 9DU, UK.

Edvard Munch. There are Worlds Within Us (until 19 January 2020) The KODE Art Museums in Bergen has opened a new exhibition called Edvard Munch. There are Worlds Within Us. It offers a rare meeting of four of the largest Munch collections in the world, displaying nearly 100 paintings and works on paper by the famous Norwegian artist. A parallel exhibition looks at Munch’s exploration of photography and film as an artistic medium, presenting a golden opportunity to explore the breadth of his artistic oeuvre. KODE 2 & 3, Rasmus Meyers allé, 5015 Bergen, Norway.

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