Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture and Design — Sweden
Kindergarten Ängsmarken in Örnsköldsvik. Photo: Sander Taats
Water reservoire in Örebro, competition proposal.
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: www.lovarch.se Facebook: Lönnqvist & Vanamo Architects AB Instagram: @lonnqvistvanamoarchitects
Issue 129 | October 2019 | 101