Scan Magazine, Issue 130, November 2019

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Alphabeat: What’s Cool Anymore? The Danish pop legends in Alphabeat are back with the new album Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore. Cool or not, they sound better than ever. Scan Magazine caught up with the band about songwriting, vulnerability and what’s next.

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Be it a beautifully hand-crafted piece of jewellery or a rug steeped in heritage with sustainability at heart – these Swedish brands know not only how to design iconic, practical products, but also how to help finish off that Christmas shopping list.


Scandi Chic, Hygge, and A Seasonal Touch



Lucia Buns, Brews, and Other Christmas Treats


Nordic Architecture Fans of architecture that we are, we had some unfinished business when we wrapped up last month’s architecture special. Here are some architecture firms to keep an eye on in the coming months and years.



Visit Norway Those keen on mountainous views and charming hospitality could do worse than look to Vesterålen and Bodø, both areas in the north of Norway. We share some tips on the best destinations and experiences for an unforgettable trip.

CULINARY SECTION Alongside food columnist Louise Hurst, who reveals all about the Lucia tradition and how to celebrate it, we present a new columnist: beer sommelier Malin Norman, who shares her tips on the best seasonal brews to come out of the Nordic countries this year. Also don’t miss our guide to a Scandilicious Christmas, which not only lists tasty and beautiful-looking musts but also a quirky tradition or two.

A Guide to Danish Efterskoler Inspired by N. F. S. Grundtvig, the Danish efterskole system is keen on both democracy and individual responsibility. At these schools, teens get to explore subjects close to their hearts while prospering academically and learning to live together in a tight-knit community. If there is a teen in your life who might want to try something different as their next step, read on.

We help you embrace the colder weather with Scandinavian chic in your wardrobe and ideas on how to give the gift of hygge this Christmas. Add a seasonal touch in the form of decorative elves, and you’ll be all set for a cosy winter, Scandi style.


Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden


Visit Lapland What’s a festive trip to Finland without a visit to Lapland? Christmas or not, this is a magical place with plenty to see and do. Here’s where to go and what to do – after you’ve been to see the bearded man himself.


Peel Your Onion In this month’s business keynote, Steve Flinders shares some food for thought: what would be your layers if you were an onion? The questions asked by leadership coach Vidar Davidsen may be slightly less quirky, but it’s his job to inspire – head for the business section to find out how.

Beauty Clinics in Norway If beauty comes from the inside, why go to a beauty clinic? Well, confidence is complex, but a trusted quality care provider can help. Hear what some of Norway’s leading beauticians and plastic surgeons have to say about their work and how they aim to help their clients.

CULTURE 115 Festive Fun Where are the best Christmas fairs, Lucia concerts and other festive shows? And where can you go to escape the madness? We’ve got you covered.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 8 Fashion Diary  |  10 Street Style  |  12 We Love This  |  99 Restaurant of the Month 100 Hotel of the Month  |  102 Brewery of the Month  |  104 Attraction of the Month 106 Experience of the Month  |  108 Museum of the Month  |  110 Artist of the Month  |  114 Humour

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, I can’t be the only one who is wondering where this year went? I won’t lie: when we started plotting and planning for our Christmas gift guide for this issue, listing our favourite Swedish brands and gift ideas, I wasn’t quite ready. But now? Oh, now I can almost smell the ‘glögg’ mulled wine in the air and hear the first few chords of my favourite Swedish Christmas song in the background. If I may say so myself, I think we’ve managed to put together an issue of Scan Magazine that is sure to get you into the festive spirit. Alongside food writer Louise Hurst, the recent addition to our columnist clan, we’re welcoming yet another new member this month: beer sommelier Malin Norman. Between them, they share with you all the treats and flavours to prepare for as Advent approaches, and in addition, we’ve created a handy guide for anyone who wants to try out a more Scandinavian approach to the festivities this year, complete with tips on how to decorate in a sophisticated way, what to put on the table on the big day itself, and other quirky traditions to consider. The aforementioned gift guide, meanwhile, makes sure that you can spread that love of Scandinavia to all your family and friends, be it in the form of a cute Christmas souvenir or with a special piece of jewellery, a designer rug or print.

We haven’t quite moved on from last month’s big focus on architecture, however, as we have found a number of fascinating, respected firms from Denmark that we just had to get to know a little better. And while in Denmark, we decided to walk in the footsteps of philosopher and teacher N. F. S. Grundtvig, whose ideas about life and learning have shaped an entire educational movement, that of ‘efterskoler’. If there’s a teenager in your life who wants to grow, learn and make friends for life in an unusual, inspiring, democratic school environment, look no further. Finally, how could we prepare for Christmas without staking out a trip to Finnish Lapland? For those of you keen on an adventure in a winter wonderland, we list a number of both Finnish and Norwegian destination gems – and for the rest of you, there’s always glögg and Julebryg.

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… Many of us are keen to lead a more sustainable life. If you are too, it is important to be aware of your resource consumption while reducing unnecessary waste. To help, we have put together a round-up of some sustainable Scandinavian fashion brands who are doing a great job. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

Friendly fur is produced by shaving the fur and weaving it onto a cotton base, meaning that no animal is harmed in the production process. This process has been used since 2013 and is also gentle on the environment as the material is biodegradable and long-lasting. Swedish fashion brand House of Dagmar has been making beautiful coats and jackets in this material for years, and this Pearl coat is a great example. House of Dagmar, ‘Pearl’ friendly fur coat, £1,299

A classic silk shirt is a luxurious choice, perfect to wear with slim trousers or a pencil skirt to balance the easy drape. It can also be paired with denim, elevating an everyday look. This garment is made from a natural and biodegradable fibre that is durable, and a renewable resource. Filippa K believes that openness and transparency throughout the production chain play an important role in modern, sustainable manufacturing. Filippa K, classic silk shirt, £180

Made from a soft weave of tencel lyocell with a twill structure, these relaxed trousers from Arket are cut with straight, cropped legs and a comfortable, roomy fit, making them perfect for both smart and casual situations. Lyocell is a biodegradable fibre produced with pulp from sustainably planted eucalyptus and other fast-growing types of wood. Arket, relaxed lyocell trousers, £55

The Scandinavian fashion brand Swedish Hasbeens is proud to support sustainable fashion practices by using recycled wood in all its designs. The products are handmade in the old, traditional way, with respect for people as well as the environment, in small factories with production methods and materials that are kind to both nature and people. Swedish Hasbeens, ‘Shearling’ plateau boots, £229

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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Rains has set the direction towards a sustainable future. Its starting point for product sustainability is found in safety and durability, by developing products that are safe to wear and, in the long run, have less impact on the planet. This unisex overcoat is a contemporary and simplified take on a classic trench coat, a straight-cut style made from a waterproof PU, perfect for looking smart on a rainy day. Rains, check overcoat, £139

Danish menswear brand KnowledgeCotton Apparel has, since its beginning in 1969, been focused on sustainable principles. With a clothing line made from eco-friendly textiles, the company follows a special process of best-practice principles to reduce its impact on the Earth and ensure that natural resources are treated with respect and care. KnowledgeCotton Apparel, ‘Elder’ melange flannel shirt, £85

Nudie Jeans Co is a pioneer that has taken a prominent role in the industry’s work for a more sustainable existence. Its Rebirth capsule collection is a great initiative with garments made using postconsumer recycled materials. The capsule consists of Lean Dean jeans, made with post-consumer denim, and the Roy T-shirt, made of a recycled and organic cotton blend. A collective effort from the brand and the consumer makes it possible to move towards a more circular way of doing denim, and we are all for it! Nudie Jeans Co, ‘Lean Dean Dry Rebirth Embro’ jeans, £120 Nudie Jeans Co, ‘Roy Rebirth’ T-shirt, £58

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  9

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  |

Tomi Laukkanen Finnish furniture and product designer @tomilaukkanen

Linnea Guttelvik Swedish PR assistant for fashion designer Teija Eilola

“My style is relaxed, and I often wear jeans and a dress shirt. If I buy something new, I look for more ecological clothes; otherwise I shop at charity shops. For example, my trousers are by a Dutch brand that makes jeans out of used jeans, and they also lease them. My shoes are by Converse, my shirt is from a charity shop, the T-shirt is by Pure Waste, the blazer is by FRENN, and the jeans are by Mud Jeans.”

“My friends say my style is very ‘90s, and indeed, I am very inspired by the fashion of that era. I like balancing feminine and masculine. I might wear a feminine dress and a masculine blazer. Since last January, I have only purchased clothes from second-hand shops. My blazer and bag are from The British Red Cross, the shirt is from Oxfam, the jewellery is vintage or from my grandmother, and the shoes are from Mary’s Living & Giving.”

Tomi Laukkanen.

Nanna Bergmann.

Nanna Bergmann Danish industry manager at Google “My style is quite classic but also relaxed. However, I want to have some statement items, and today they are my shoes. I also like to wear jewellery. Most of my jewellery is either from my family or from my friend’s jewellery platform, FINEMATTER. There is no dress code at my office, so I can wear trainers to work. My jeans are from Weekday, my shoes are by Toga Pulla, the jacket is by Muus Malou ander, and the shirt is by Calvin Klein.” 10  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Linnea Guttelvik.

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… Can you believe it is getting close to Christmas already? As a result, we thought we’d help you get a head-start on the planning with a few Scandi gift ideas. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

Pillows are a great way to freshen up your home, and also a great gift for a homebody. Gudrun is a new, entirely Norwegian brand offering pastel-coloured pillows of high-quality wool, inspired by the two owners’ grandmothers, both named Gudrun. The three unique pillow designs are all inspired by late summer nights and childhood and holiday memories from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and will perhaps evoke some nostalgia in their new owners, too. Gudrun, ‘Nostalgic’ pillows, 50x50, £180

Warm, versatile and comfortable – the Mahabis pastel collection slippers are a great gift idea for both men and women this Christmas. With inspiration drawn from Danish architecture and the wish to evoke a sense of soothing comfort with calming pastels, these classics are sure to be a big hit under the Christmas tree this year. Mahabis, classic slipper, £79

Gifts you can use and reuse are always great, and that is why we love this candle. The Copenhagen-based brand NORLI provides unique products with a perfect blend of Nordic design and solid craftsmanship. When the light burns down and the flame goes out, you will have a beautiful, handmade piece of ceramic to use again and again. Use it as a coffee cup, flower pot or with a new candle inside. NOLI, ‘Unique’ organic soy wax candle, £25

It’s always nice to get a personalised gift, and this clutch bag by Stolbjerg Copenhagen can be customised with up to four initials on the front. It is nature-dyed in a classic, aesthetic design, and handmade in Denmark with love and care. Stolbjerg Copenhagen, ‘Unity’ clutch bag, approx. £162

Whether the gift is for someone who loves crafting or for the friend who simply wants something unique on their wall, the Swedish Folklore Company is a great place to find a fun and thoughtful gift. By combining modern techniques with a long cultural tradition, this brand brings the cross stitch into the 21st century. Get a DIY embroidery kit, a downloadable PDF-pattern, or a ready-made piece. You can even personalise it and write your own text. The Folklore Company, ‘Scandinavian Dream’ DIY embroidery kit, £31.90 The Folklore Company, ‘Scandinavian Dream’ downloadable PDF-pattern, £7.20 The Folklore Company, ‘Scandinavian Dream’ ready made, £55.30

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Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Klarborg Design

Wherever they go, Klarborg’s elves bring the Danish Christmas ‘hygge’ with them.

From elf land with love On the border of the forest, far into the Danish countryside, sit an old farm and a small workshop. Full of candles, warmth and love, it is the land from which the Klarborg elves and their message of ‘hygge’ originate. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Klarborg

Ever since she was a little girl, Etly Klarborg has been fond of making Christmas elves, not just because of their immediate charm, but also because of the message they carry within them. “Wherever they go, my elves are spreading the message of traditional Danish ‘hygge’ – and that means joy, love, and being together with family and friends,” says Klarborg. “The elves always follow their heart, and they remind us of how important it is to do so, too.” Created 30 years ago, Klarborg’s first signature potbellied elf was inspired by her oldest son Martin. The idea came about when, one evening, as she was putting him into his nightwear, his round baby belly popped out of his shirt. “All of a sudden, I just had this vivid image of this little elf with his belly popping out,” she explains. Elves inspired by, and named after, Klarborg’s two younger sons, Mads and Mathias, as well as nu14  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

merous friends of theirs, soon followed, and slowly Klarborg’s home began turning into an elf land of sorts. Today, Klarborg’s collection includes more than 250 small, blue-eyed, potbellied people. Sold all over Denmark, the elves’ characteristic charm has won

Ever since she was a little girl, Etly Klarborg has been fond of making Christmas elves.

them a special place in the hearts of the Danes, and many visit Klarborg’s farm shop to meet the maker and see where the elves originate from. Even more write or call to express their love for the little clay figures. “It’s not just a random decoration that people buy because it’s in fashion or a bit funny; they really mean something. People take them into their homes and hearts, and that’s something that really warms my heart – that people feel and recognise the love that my elves represent to me,” says Klarborg.

Web: or

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Suomen Lanka Oy

Molla Mills. Photo: Koel Magazine

Macrame by Siina Henttonen. Photo: Maria Salonen

Craftworks by Siina Henttonen. Photo: Siina Henttonen

The Suomen Lanka team. Photo: Marko Saloa

Weaving it together, the Finnish way Yarn by yarn, Suomen Lanka is weaving together tradition, innovation and design. Recycled materials, innovative colour combinations and creative collaborations are at the top of the agenda for the Finnish firm’s new owners, as they build upon the yarn maker’s decades-long legacy and technical expertise.

keep getting calls from places like Australia and Japan because people want to know what Molla’s materials are.”

By Jo Iivonen

Consumer thirst for ethically-sourced materials underpins just about every industry, and yarns are no exception – but the recent success of the Moppari range also reflects the trend whereby millennials are embracing traditional crafts like crocheting and macrame. “We offer recycled materials in lots of trending colours to stay at the top of the curve,” says Saariaho.

“We want to build on our company’s heritage by developing innovative materials and synchronised colour palettes,” says Saila-Maria Saariaho, the young entrepreneur in charge of business development at the Finnish firm. “Looking ahead, new creative collaborations are also at the top of the agenda.” Suomen Lanka was already an established name when Saariaho, together with her husband and CEO of the business, Kimmo Angervisto, took over the business from a family friend last year. Working as a tight-knit team with just two other employees, Saariaho and Angervisto took a hands-on role from the start. As a first step, the husband-and-wife duo rolled up their sleeves to develop the Moppari range. The twisted mop yarn is made out of regenerated cotton

with a pinch of polyester for durability. “We decided to triple the number of colours,” says Saariaho, and Angervisto confirms: “The strategy proved successful. The sales skyrocketed over the first year.” The company’s bread-and-butter product, the sturdy, 100-per-cent cotton Kalalanka yarn, remains a go-to among industrial operators and hobbyists alike. Indeed, Finland’s rich weaving tradition is what Saariaho sees as a key strength. “It sets us apart on the international scene.” Today, the yarns are sold worldwide. The company’s longstanding cooperation with Molla Mills, the craftswoman author whose namesake yarns are custom-made by Suomen Lanka, has promoted the brand organically. “We

Trending crafts

At the end of the day, what’s really on offer – for customers and potential collaborators alike – is the level of expertise built over four decades at the company’s factory in Lappajärvi. “This is key,” Saariaho concludes. “The technical know-how and artisanship on the factory floor are the backbone.” Web: Facebook: Suomen Lanka Oy Instagram: @suomenlanka

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  15

RE U h CT lT E a T i HI ec C Sp AR C I RD O N e:


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. 16  |  Issue 130  |  November 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 to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — 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 130  |  November 2019  |  17

The renovation of the old farm that houses Monomal’s practice was nominated for Renover Prisen in 2018.

Turning dream homes into reality Helping clients to realise their dream home, Monomal creates simple, functional architecture and beautiful spaces for everyday life. The firm’s recent transformation of an old, ramshackle farm into a modern home and architectural practice was nominated for Renover Prisen – a Danish renovation award – in 2018.

vice with a new house concept, the highly functional pre-architect-designed MonomadehausTM.

By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Monomal

simple, and ‘normal’, and that’s very indicative of our work. A large part of life is normal and ordinary, and we see it as our greatest task to provide the frames for that part of life,” says Snowman. “It’s very much about working with the space, the light and the materials. We can’t decide where we place the properties we design, but we can influence how they’re situated and how they’re designed, to include the best of the area in the building.”

Having specialised in residential architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Topsøe-Jensen always knew that he wanted to design homes. “My ambition was to take residential architecture, the creation of individual homes, more seriously; to take it back to the level that we know from great architects like Utzon and Jacobsen,” he explains. “But since their time, it’s a sector that has been pushed into the background as most firms have focused on bigger-scale projects – or on interior design.”

Building onto those principles, three years ago, Monomal expanded its ser-

The lack of focus on individual homes is largely due to the fact that many firms,

Founded by Uffe Topsøe-Jensen in 2008, Monomal is today run by Topsøe-Jensen and his partner, Kira Snowman. As partners in both life and business, the two architects have set up their home and practice in an old, renovated farm in Havreholm, north of Copenhagen. The renovation of the farm was nominated for the Danish Renover Prisen, and with a string of simple, beautiful and functional solutions, it provides a visually compelling illustration of the values at the heart of Monomal’s work. “Our name, Monomal, is a contraction of the words ‘mono’, for 18  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Serious about homes

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

especially bigger practices, struggle to provide the required level of individual service. But luckily, Topsøe-Jensen never had any ambition of creating a largescale business; rather, he wanted to create a set-up that allowed him to get close to clients and their dreams. “There are a lot of presumptions when it comes to an architect-designed house – that it’s going to be very abstract, fancy and three times the price of a regular house,” TopsøeJensen says. “I wanted to change that.” With a string of new homes and renovations in Monomal’s portfolio, it is clear that Topsøe-Jensen succeeded in doing so, and a couple of years into the new venture, Snowman, whom TopsøeJensen met at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, joined the practice.

A shortcut to an architect-designed home In 2016, Monomal started a new project: the design of a house that was to become

the prototype of the firm’s pre-architectdesigned house, the MonomadehausTM. “Early in the process, we set ourselves the challenge of creating the most interesting house possible in the most rational way possible – the aim was to transfer all of the resources put into the project directly into spatial and architectural experiences rather than fancy roof structures and so on,” explains Topsøe-Jensen. The result was a simple, modern house characterised by a light, Nordic design. When later faced with the request of creating a similar but smaller version of the house, the idea for the MonomadehausTM was born. “We had often been faced with requests for a thoroughly thought-through architect-designed house, but without the lengthy process – starting from scratch undeniably takes time,” explains Snowman. “It’s something that we’ve realised our clients really want; they know what’s good and bad quality, but today, there just aren’t any alternatives bridging

the gap between the standard house and the architect-designed home.”

A human scale Located in the old farmhouse of the renovated farm in Havreholm, Monomal’s practice adjoins the old barn, which is now the home of Topsøe-Jensen and Snowman. This means that clients visiting can get a glimpse of not just the work, but also the life of the two architects. “When designing someone’s home, getting to know people and gaining their trust is essential, and to that end I think it’s a great help that people can meet us as a couple in our own home,” says Snowman. “I can see why that’s something bigger companies struggle with. Meeting people as regular human beings and not just as architects is not something you learn at the academy.” Web: and

The two architects behind Monomal, Kira Snowman and Uffe Topsøe, are partners in life and business.

The MonomadehausTM is available in four sizes, and materials and spatial layout are designed to meet individual requirements.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  19

Mariehøj Cultural Centre’s sloping roof scoops up from the ground at the lowest part of the site and over the ridge of an existing block, connecting the arrival area, the cultural plaza and the beautiful backyard. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Redefining boundaries and building bridges The portfolio includes everything from a church conversion and private housing to cultural centres, schools and scout huts, but the starting point is always the same for Copenhagen-based architecture practice Sophus Søbye Architects: they work to push boundaries and improve lives. By Camilla Pedersen

“Being an architect is all about creating spaces that change people’s lives for the better. This is what makes architecture meaningful,” says Sophus Søbye, MAA, founder and owner of Sophus Søbye Architects. A short trip to the south-east coast of Greenland will serve as an illustrious example of one of the firm’s current projects that will do just that. In the small town of Tasiilaq, a Youth Culture House is currently taking shape – a project that is shaped by the voices and dreams of the town’s young people, who make up a big percentage of Tasiilaq’s 2,100 inhabitants.

need somewhere to meet and hang out in their spare time, and this is exactly what they’ll be able to do once the project is completed. It will be a safe place where they can enjoy being part of a community, explore various activities including music, dance, theatre and storytelling, and just have fun and nurture dreams and aspirations for their future life,” says Søbye. The culture house is mainly an investment into the future of the youth, but it will also benefit other inhabitants, with activities that build bridges across generations.

“Interviews with the children and young people in the town have served as the foundation for the project. These kids

“Many of the projects we’re involved with come to life out of an ambition to create connections and build bridges – between

20  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

people, cultures, materials; buildings and nature, and in some ways even the past, present and future,” Søbye explains. Mariehøj Cultural Centre in Holte, just north of Copenhagen, is a good example of how the architecture practice makes nature and architecture blend.

Sophus Søbye. Photo: Sophus Søbye Architects

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

In collaboration with WE Architecture, Sophus Søbye Architects has created an S-shaped aluminium roof extension that unites the cultural centre’s two separate buildings. Not only has the striking shape of the roof been inspired by the surrounding hilly landscape that it also blends in with, the roof extension also creates a link between new and old architecture.

Built to last Søbye enjoys experimenting with synergies between buildings and landscapes, but also between materials. This has earned the architecture practice several awards, including the Odense Municipality Architecture Award and In-Situ Prisen (‘the in-situ prize’) by Dansk Beton – both for Hindemosehus, a scout hut in Odense, which unites in-situ concrete sandwich walls with wood. “Concrete encompasses an unparalleled simplicity and honesty that I really love. The same goes for wood. It can take any form and character, depending on how it is treated. Using high-quality materials sourced from nature is rewarded in so many ways, and not just aesthetically. High-quality materials give buildings a longer life and earn more respect from their users. It doesn’t matter how good an idea is to begin with if the quality and craftmanship are compromised,” Søbye explains. Having worked for some of Denmark’s leading architecture firms, including Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), CF Møller and Entasis Architects, Søbye knows what Used for many different activities, the new foyer functions as the heart of Mariehøj Cultural Centre by bringing people together. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj

The Youth Culture House in Tasiilaq will be raised on the foundation of an existing office building, allowing direct access from the lower ground floor into the courtyard. Photo: Sophus Søbye Architects

The scout hut Hindemosehus is built of in-situ concrete sandwich walls, a design that earned Sophus Søbye two awards. Photo: Sophus Søbye Architects

he is talking about. While aesthetics and sustainability are important criteria in the firm’s work, authenticity is equally non-negotiable. “Many projects have the potential to turn a building into a piece of architecture, but it calls for a certain respect for architecture as a profession – as well as an understanding that each project is unique and needs to be treated accordingly with its unique context, end Søndermarken is a community centre in Copenhagen combining concrete and wood, built out of a vision to bring together the community of residents, joggers and the local scout group. Photo: Jens Larsen

user and priorities in mind. This is where the architect comes into play, partly by redefining the boundaries for what can be achieved. I try to turn things upside down. Spaces are not stationary; quite the contrary. They are full of potential, and it is my job as an architect to unfold that potential so the spaces can be used and enjoyed in multiple ways by many different people,” Søbye finishes. About Sophus Søbye Architects: Founded by Sophus Søbye, Architect MAA, in 2004, Sophus Søbye Architects is an architecture practice based in Copenhagen. The dedicated team consists of four permanent employees, but with a large professional network, a team of experts is put together for each assignment, covering conceptual design study developments, planning and design, sustainability, economics, construction management and supervision.

Web: Instgram: @sophussoebyearchitects

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  21

Private home in Funen.

Building dreams out of traditions and technical know-how A new home built based on a few ideas fetched from Pinterest? An extension to or renovation of your existing home? Perhaps a commercial or industrial building is on the drawing board? You name the dream, and John Veje Architects is quite likely able to turn it into reality. But how do the three partners at the architecture practice keep reinventing themselves and their work, while staying true to the legacy of technical know-how and building traditions that the founder of the architecture practice has built over the last 42 years?

porary yet stands the test of time calls for a visionary mindset combined with know-how, no matter if it’s ceramics or architecture,” explains Martin Freeman, MAA and one of the partners at John Veje Architects.

By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: John Veje Architects

This inspiration shapes the daily life at the architecture practice, which employs nine people, each with different skillsets to complement one another. And no two days are the same, with an architecture service offering that ranges from renovations of historical buildings and small extensions to residential and commercial projects of various sizes. “We’ve been fortunate to work

“Inspiration is such a fascinating thing. It can be found anywhere and anytime, and often you don’t even have to look for it. We’re based in Skælskør, close to beautiful nature, with the old harbour only a stone’s throw away. But in fact, Skælskør is also the Danish hub of ceramics, due in no small part to the annual ceramics 22  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

festival and Guldagergaard, the International Ceramic Research Center. Being surrounded by talented and enthusiastic artists who constantly find new ways of creating is a huge source of inspiration. And while ceramics and architecture are two very different crafts, the process of creating something that is contem-

A solid building foundation

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

on a great variety of projects,” says Freeman. “We renovated a house designed by furniture design guru Arne Jacobsen, located in Charlottenlund; built new rooms at Dragsholm Castle; converted an old barn at Borreby Castle into a theatre; and we’re creating new residential and corporate homes – no job is too big or too small, and that’s the beauty of it.” While the three partners are always looking forwards and outwards for inspiration, their work is based on a solid foundation of technical knowledge and building traditions, no matter the task – a foundation that was laid by John Veje, the founder of the architecture practice, over a period of more than 42 years. “Building, renovating or restoring can be complicated processes that involve a lot of paperwork, permissions and the likes. And then there is the technical side of things. What can be achieved, and what technical limitations are there? Basically, all the things you don’t see on Pinterest. We’re there to guide

our clients through this complicated process,” Freeman explains. “Aesthetics are one thing. But we haven’t done our job properly unless our work is carried out using the finest, healthiest and most sustainable materials to create a functional building that blends in with its surroundings – within the client’s budget.” While the projects are very different in nature, one thing remains true to all of them: “Our clients are what’s really at the heart of these projects. The clients motivate, inspire and develop us. And hopefully they would say that it’s mutual. We always listen intently and open-mindedly to what the client wants and needs. Then we challenge their dreams and ideas. We trigger their curiosity. This is when the magic happens. And at the end of the day, our clients are always our biggest source of inspiration,” says Freeman. Web:

About John Veje Architects: John Veje Arkitekter was founded by John Veje in 1977. The company is owned by three partners, who took over the company from John Veje in 2019: — Martin Freeman graduated as   an architect MAA from the Royal   Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School   of Architecture, in 1998 and has   more than 20 years’ experience from   several renowned architect practices. — Nicolai and Michael both hold degrees in Architectural Technology   and Construction Management from   Haslev and Næstved respectively. The architecture practice employs nine specialists and offers a wide range of architecture services within building, renovation and extension projects, including: — idea development; — design and planning; — construction management and delivery; — and one- and five-year review.

A Borreby Castle barn converted into a theatre. Photo: Vibe Castenschiold

Renovation of house designed by Arne Jacobsen.

Car dealership, Sorø.

Renovation of Guldagergaard.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  23

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

A house in a greenhouse in the middle of nature Yes, you read that right. A house in a greenhouse. This is one of architect Laura Mazanti’s latest projects. The house is colourful, full of personality and character, and unique in every way. It is the kind of house that makes you turn around, and the kind of project that Mazanti loves to work on.

the bathroom is green, the kitchen is blue, and in the living room there is a blushed pink wall. “The colours give each room character and personality,” says the architect.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Susanne Dencker

One of Mazanti’s latest creations is a one-of-a-kind house. How often do you come across a house built in a greenhouse? Probably not very often. But if you find yourself wandering around Hanklit on northern Mors, you will indeed see a house that fits that very description. “It is a very special house. At first, I was a little sceptical when the clients told me they wanted a house in a greenhouse. Was that even possible? Turns out it was, and the result is quite extraordinary,” smiles Mazanti, the architect behind the design. The greenhouse covers 247 square metres, of which 122 make up the actual house. However, part of the greenhouse works as an extension for the living room, so the room feels bigger. 24  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

“The house is in the middle of nature. It has fantastic views of both the sea and Hanklit, which is one of the most famous sights on Mors,” Mazanti explains. Another unique thing about the house is the materials it is made from. Back in the day, there used to be an old farm on the land. The family wanted to incorporate some of the old, historic farm into the house, so they decided to hand-clean 20,000 of the old bricks and build their new home with them. “The bricks are all in different shapes, which really makes the house even more fantastic. Even though the house is new, it feels warm because of the old bricks,” says Mazanti. The colours, too, add character and personality to the house. For instance,

The cherry on top is the yoga studio. It is currently housed in the pigsty, but in the future the plan is to also use the rooftop as a yoga studio. So, if you fancy practising yoga on a rooftop with stunning views, you know where to go.

Laura Mazanti is an architect and the owner of KARM ARKITEKTUR. She works on all kinds of projects for private individuals and public institutions alike. Anna Marie Madsen and Rasmus Møller own the house in the greenhouse.

Web: Instagram: @karm_arkitektur

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

A pioneering project, Villa Langenkamp earned international praise for its expertise in sustainable architecture. creates sustainable homes all across Denmark, and recently put the finishing touches on this home just outside Aarhus. Photo:

Villa Langenkamp is Denmark’s first certified passive house. The large windows make good use of sunlight all year round.

Sustainable, soulful, yet affordable: The future of energy-efficient homes is already here A pioneer of energy-efficient architecture in Denmark, Olav Langenkamp from architects tailors sustainable homes to real families. Sound expensive? Think again – sustainable homes are a cost-effective alternative to cookiecutter Danish homes. By Lene Bech  |  Photos: Thomas Søndergaard

12 years ago, architect Olav Langenkamp spent a year travelling across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He wasn’t trekking in the Alps or sampling local beer, but studying the techniques for building passive houses – energy-efficient homes with minimal environmental footprints and heating bills. Passive houses are super insulated and need no radiators or under-floor heating, yet indoor temperatures remain comfortably stable. “Think of a thermos,” Olav Langenkamp says, “that keeps your coffee hot in the winter and your iced water cold in the summer.” architects now designs passive houses, zero-energy and plusenergy buildings. Currently, Danish architecture is very much focused on the environmental benefits of using wood. That’s nothing new to architects, which has been using recycled construction mate-

rials throughout a decade of working in energy-efficient architecture – a complex and technical art form, considering more than just materials. “There needs to be an interaction between aesthetics, materials and techniques, and especially a focus on the people who’ll be living in this home,” Langenkamp says. Before embarking on projects, he talks to home owners about their needs, and scrutinises the sun’s movements across properties: maybe children’s bedrooms should face south-west so that they still have natural light when coming home from school; and maybe the living room should face south so that sunlight helps heat up the room. While prefabricated homes are still popular in Denmark, many new homeowners don’t realise that architectdesigned, sustainable homes are highly cost-effective. “There’s a bit of a preconception that architect-designed houses

are way too expensive,” Langenkamp says. But by sourcing the right materials and tailoring homes to their environments, architects save home-owners money on features that would have been expensive add-ons to standardised homes. Since highly energy efficient buildings maintain stable temperatures, sun panels can generate extra energy – potentially handing home-owners an annual surplus worth thousands of Danish kroner. Not least, homes designed with your family in mind have something that standardised homes just don’t: soul. Langenkamp doesn’t just think about sustainability in theory – he lives it. In 2008, he built Denmark’s first certified passive house and his new family home, Villa Langenkamp, a pioneering project that received national and international praise. In the midst of a freezing Danish winter, Langenkamp will happily lounge right in front of his panoramic window without feeling cold. That’s all thanks to his triple-glazed windows – and to that study trip he took 12 years ago. Web:

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  25

A house like no other “A house designed by an architect has integrity. It is equipped with its own personality, its own voice, which impacts those who live there and those who visit it,” says architect Annika Nørrebo, one half of the founders and owners of Tegnestuen Nørrebo Frandsen. “A lot of different elements go into doing that successfully,” the other half of the architecture company, Michael Frandsen, adds. “It’s about the little details and the greater whole. When they come together, you’ll have a house that keeps contributing positively to its surroundings and the people who live in it.” By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Tegnestuen Nørrebo Frandsen

The two share a lifelong passion for architecture. When she was young, Nørrebo drew up countless floorplans and sketches, while Frandsen constructed little houses made from bamboo as a child. “Architecture for us is something much more than just aesthetics and glamour,” Frandsen explains. “It is the power to create rooms that improve lives and create a comfortable atmosphere, whether you’re considering the interaction between the spaces inside the house 26  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

or how the building will interact with its surroundings.” Unlike many smaller architecture companies, Tegnestuen Nørrebo Frandsen has extensive experience with both private and commercial architectural designs. Before they decided to go it alone three years ago, Nørrebo and Frandsen both worked for a large design and building contractor, working with all aspects of a project, from design through

to construction. “Whether we work on a single-family home or a 50-house project, we’re very aware that the cost of the build must be considered from the getgo. It’s easy to draw up fantastic plans for a mansion with no financial constraints. It’s much more challenging – and fun – to draw up equally fantastic and unique plans within the constraints of a realistic budget,” says Nørrebo. “Working within particular parameters is part of the fun of being an architect. You’re not just building a pretty house in isolation; you’re building a home that is perfect within its particular location, which works with the council’s restrictions and for the family who’ll live in it. It’s something you wouldn’t get in a tract house,” Nørrebo says. Pre-modelled tract houses are a highly popular choice for families who want to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

build a house from scratch in Denmark. While they come with some modification options, they’re known as ‘typehuse’, or ‘type houses’, for a reason, as clients choose from a limited range of possibilities, leaving the finished house looking and feeling very similar to other tract houses. “With an architect-designed home, the house adapts to you. With a prebuilt home, you have to adapt to it,” Nørrebo points out.

Long-term value Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive to have an architect draw up your house. “Nørrebo and I know what things cost in the real world, and we take pride in designing realistic projects that will keep their value and stand the test of time,” Frandsen says. “It’s crucial to consider whether the building will still be as attractive five, ten or 50 years down the line.” To create something timeless, Nørrebo and Frandsen take on board the lessons of the classic Danish architectural tradition of light, openness and clean lines and make it into their own. “If you look at houses from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, they possess a certain elegance and timelessness that make them just as attractive today as they were back then. Just look at Jørn Utzon’s 1950s home, for example.” This year, Tegnestuen Nørrebo Frandsen was asked to design a former client’s

new home. Their family had expanded, and they’d found a beautiful spot for a new home close to Vejle. The old house was demolished, revealing a gorgeous, open plot of land by the sea on Strandvejen, though it came with something of a challenge: the new house would have to be built on a significant slope. “That’s exactly the kind of challenge we like,” Frandsen says. “It breathes some personality into the building before we even begin.” The family needed a large and spacious house, which Nørrebo and

Frandsen managed to give a light expression by playing around with different levels, colours and lines. The hidden third floor and tessellated façade belies the size of the house from the road, and the house evokes the sharp elegance and poise of classic mid-century Danish architecture, while fitting the modern needs of the 21st century. Web: Instagram: @norrebofrandsen

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  27

Set right on the shore of the Glomma, Norway’s largest river, Tulinius Lind’s design for the school and multi-purpose hall in Våler combines a calm exterior with an interior that embraces a feeling of liveliness and community.

Divine designs From Danish churches to a Norwegian school and multi-purpose hall – the timeless Nordic design of architects Thomas Tulinius and Anders Lind has won their architecture practice Tulinius Lind a number of varied jobs. Behind the success of their still-young firm is the founders’ demonstrated ability to project a sense of poetry onto the ordinary. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Tulinius Lind

For years, the two friends Thomas Tulinius and Anders Lind met up to design architecture proposals in their spare time. With full-time jobs at architecture firms, they were motivated to spend their weekends working by a desire to be free to follow their own visions. One day, about two years ago, a proposal, a major one for a school and activity house in Våler, Norway, was awarded the competition’s first prize, and the two architects promptly made the decision to quit their jobs and start their own practice. The ambition was not to revolutionise the world of architecture, but rather to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to 28  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

the ideals and qualities they admired. “A lot of our ideals are very classic, but when you work within your own frames, you can add some nuances and a bit of attitude – take the path others haven’t recognised,” explains Tulinius. “There’s nothing special about what we do – we work with the ordinary, but in that work, we try to infuse a beauty, a sense of something poetic.” Having won the contract for the Lanternen school and activity house in Våler, the firm quickly started building up a portfolio of smaller renovations and extensions in Denmark. It was this path that gradually led to the firm’s niche work within church extensions, de-

signs for emotionally delicate locations, and renovations of listed buildings.

A feeling of life When submitting proposals for architecture competitions, Tulinius Lind works with a firm focus on the task and its challenges. “What we provide are solutions to challenges, but, of course, we would like to add something extra in the process, an individual touch. As we’re a distinctly Nordic practice we have a strong focus on the use of natural light in buildings and on creating timeless and durable architecture. Our buildings are designed to stand for many years, and to do that they

Anders Lind (left) and Thomas Tulinius founded their firm, Tulinius Lind, after winning first prize for their proposal for the school and activity house in Våler, Norway.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

The new organ loft in Rungsted church, designed by Tulinius Lind.

have to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the surrounding area,” Tulinius says. Set right on the shore of the Glomma, Norway’s largest river, the design of the school and activity house in Våler clearly actualises the two architects’ vision. With its location, the building and its reflection in the water draw attention to the river and the special quality it adds to the town. Meanwhile, the interior of the building has been designed to bring together a string of functions and facilities, creating a feeling of life and community. “The competition had a very complex starting point with a lot of requirements, which we united in one building with a lot of transparency, both between the inside and the outside and throughout the house,” explains Lind. “The ambition was to create a set-up where all users could – driven by individual interests such as swimming, reading and handball – meet and get a sense of belonging to the same place.”

traditional materials like white-washed walls, stone, wood and glass, while the exterior is defined by a paper-thin and almost abstract, white steel roof; from the outside, the building appears like a white monolith against the church. “The challenge was to create an appropriate extension to an almost 1,000-yearold building; we agreed that the solution had to be something that projected a respectful humbleness in relation to the church,” Tulinius explains. “We didn’t want to attract any of the attention away from the church, but at the same time we wanted to create something special, something of a high quality, which would give visitors a distinct experience; it was a very delicate balance.” The design for the new sacristy for the church in Tilst combines classic materials such as whitewashead walls and patterned glass with a modern, almost abstract, white steel roof, creating a respectful yet distinctive extension to the almost 1,000-year-old building.

The sacristy grabbed the attention of another church, Rungsted church, which invited Tulinius Lind to design a new organ loft. However, though the two  architects have, since founding their own firm, worked mainly with public projects, they are not shy to admit that they have other dreams too. “We would like to design homes; that’s one of the reasons we started in the first place, but it’s something we haven’t really done a lot of yet,” says Lind. “Funnily enough, in our career, we’ve been doing everything else, but it’s something we’re both very interested in and we feel that we can bring something unique into.” Web:


Designing for the divine Having done a number of minor renovations and extensions, Tulinius Lind was last year invited to submit a proposal for the design of a new sacristy for the church in Tilst. The winning design has created space not just for a number of practical functions, but also for quiet reflection. The serene inner space merges Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  29

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Denmark

Photo: NB ark

Photo: NB ark

Photo: Torben Eskerod

Photo: Christina Kayser Onsgaard

Photo: Christina Kayser Onsgaard

Making the most of every square metre Renovating or building from scratch can often seem like a daunting task, but with the right people behind a project it can be a breeze and bring about some wonderful results. The architects at NB ark work with their clients throughout the whole process, from initial idea to finished project. By Josefine Older Steffensen

“Our expertise lies in renovating and building homes and offices. Most important for us is that we want to be there to help our clients and hold their hand throughout the whole process,” explains Nanna Bering, partner and architect at NB ark. From the beginning of a project, NB ark focuses on how to make the most of every square metre, both inside and out. “In homes with gardens, people often don’t focus on the outside space, but it’s something we like to make the most of as well. The outside also brings pleasure to the inside. We focus on bringing in as much daylight as possible. We 30  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

don’t have a huge amount of it in the north, so we have to make the most of it,” says Bering.

Sustainable projects From the initial chat with a client to the final day on the project, NB ark helps to take care of everything, including finding builders and helping with planning permission. They have organised projects in Denmark for clients living abroad and have the expertise to make the project as easy as possible. “We want to help our clients, but also challenge them so that they end up with the best solution. It can even mean

questioning whether to rip something down, rather than keeping it and updating it. It’s also a more sustainable solution, in reusing some of the materials that are already there. We’re there to think outside the box and come up with great solutions that might not have been thought about already.” Throughout the process, they work closely with the clients to accommodate their wishes and make sure that what is being built is something that they will enjoy using. Most important to NB ark is that the client is happy at the end of the project. “I’ve just come from a handover earlier, and it’s the best feeling seeing someone so happy about the finished project, knowing we’ve done everything we could and also given them that little bit extra,” concludes Bering. Web:

ArtGarden by night. In ArtGarden, community spirit is combined with art and green living in an urban environment.

Architecture that puts people before buildings For Antti Heikkilä, the founder of Antti Heikkilä Architecture, architecture is not just about buildings. “It is about facilitating good life for people in different life situations and taking care of the smooth running of everyday life,” he tells Scan Magazine. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Antti Heikkilä Architecture

“An architect’s work is very much about customer service,” says Heikkilä. “I think that architecture services should be available for everybody; a house designed by a professional architect can fulfil the owner’s needs and yet be cost-effective. When I listen carefully to clients’ wishes about their dream home and understand their life situation, I can find the best possible solution within the target budget.” Heikkilä started the company in 2004 and runs it with his team from their of32  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

fice in Vantaa, next door to Helsinki Airport. “The majority of our projects are in the capital area, but we cover the whole country, including Lapland,” he says. The firm offers a full range of architectural services, from residential, retail and office construction to real estate development, land-use planning and zoning. The residential construction projects vary from private homes and summer cottages to large apartment blocks with several different types of homes.

In city zoning projects, Heikkilä and his team give their input to city planning, including, for example, what options there are for the particular area in question, what type and size of buildings are suitable for the area, what public services such as schools and transportation are needed, and so on. “In real estate development, the architect designs the big picture: how the area serves the citizens for at least the next 100 years. You need to build on the potential of the area and often combine existing buildings with new ones.”

From big picture to every little detail According to Heikkilä, an architect must be able to visualise people’s everyday life in the new home while designing it.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture — Finland

“The architect’s job is to design and use space well. This requires that you have the understanding of the routines of the people you are designing the building for – how they actually live there,” he explains. “Like when designing a whole apartment block, I need to be able to visualise the finished individual homes, even if there are perhaps a hundred of them. The design needs to get to a very detailed level: what do they see from the window, which materials suit the space best – the list is long. It is not just about how it looks; it’s very much about how functional it is,” explains the architect, adding that there are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration. “Sustainability is also one of the main principles in today’s construction – how to minimise the carbon footprint through sensible use of energy and materials.” For some projects, Heikkilä and his team create a virtual 3D model, and by using

ArtGarden consists of different types of flats and plenty of communal space.

VR-glasses, the customer can effectively walk into the building. “This is useful: for example, when you need to choose between two different flats. You can then virtually visit the space and see the different layouts and materials, and even test the equipment like the kitchen cupboards and drawers.”

Impressive projects Heikkilä’s current projects include two large residential construction blocks in Tuusula and Järvenpää, both just outside the capital area. Common factors for these two projects are wood construction and community spirit. This means that properties have, for example, their own community space for working or spending time together, greenhouse and vegetable garden, and garden saunas with hot tubs. Heikkilä likes to incorporate modern services into apartment blocks, in the form of electric bikes, car-sharing and cool storage spaces for flexible home delivery of groceries, to name a few.

WoodCube flats have spacious balconies.

The project in Järvenpää is called ArtGarden, and there, Heikkilä and his team have combined the community spirit with art and green living in an urban environment. This new neighbourhood has both studio flats and city villas offering homes for all ages and family types, and there are both indoor and outdoor spaces for communal use. Art is a visible part of the architecture. “The art in the buildings is inspired by the fruit and vegetable garden,” says Heikkilä. “Then in Tuusula, in our WoodCube project, we wanted to bring in the Scandinavian spirit,” he says. They have used a lot of Finnish wood both in the construction and in the interior design. “The Finnish nature was our inspiration for the interior design themes called Halti, Saimaa and Hanko,” Heikkilä adds. WoodCube will be showcased at Housing Fair Finland 2020 next summer. Web:

WoodCube is a great example of modern wood construction.

ArtGarden offers bright and spacious homes.

ArtGarden by night.

WoodCube facade.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  33

Photo: Johan Mard,

Ten ways to enjoy a Scandilicious Christmas By Linnea Dunne

1. Prepare for Advent with sophisticated decorations Combine an unmatched design heritage with a penchant for hygge, and it’s obvious why no one does sophisticated cosiness better than Scandinavians. The build-up to Christmas is no exception: think atmospheric lighting, candles everywhere, and patterns resembling snowflakes and stars. It all kicks off on the first weekend of Advent – the four Sundays in anticipation of Christmas – and the Advent star and Advent candle holder are among the most important decorations. 34  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Advent candles. Photo: Simon Paulin,

Scan Magazine  |  Top Ten Feature  |  Ways to Enjoy a Scandilicious Christmas

2. Light a calendar candle for a Christmas countdown Throughout Scandinavia, and in Denmark in particular, the calendar candle makes a hugely popular countdown from 1 December all the way to Christmas Eve, which is the big day in the Nordic countries. These thick block candles are lit every day, erasing the dates one by one as the wax melts away.

3. Pay tribute to an Italian martyr

Danish calendar candle. Photo: Kristian Krogh

Danish brunkager. Photo: Kristian Krogh

Sweden may be a reasonably secular country, but this important tradition is all about remembering and celebrating an Italian girl who was killed for her faith. Don’t ask for logic here; the link is in stories told by the monks who travelled to Sweden and brought Christianity with them. The legend about Lucia goes that she wore candles on her head in order to have both hands free when bringing food to persecuted Christians in Rome. With 13 December being the shortest day of the year – the day for a festival of lights in the old, pagan calendar – it seemed like just the perfect time to pay tribute to generosity, kindness and light bringing. Schools up and down the country in Sweden, and now also in Denmark, do so by dressing the pupils in all-white gowns and, indeed, plenty of candles. Traditionally, boys get to wear star-adorned cones on their heads or dress up as gnomes or gingerbread men. Again – don’t ask for logic...

Lussebullar. Photo: Magnus Carlsson,

4. Bake treats as if your life depended on it If you’re not baking Christmas treats, are you even worthy of celebrating Christmas at all? Not in Scandinavia, you’re not. Buying ready-made sweets and baked goods will suffice only if you’re doing so while attending an atmospheric market or having a ‘fika’ at a nice café while Christmas shopping – but, really, the baking is more than a means to an end, an activity that should be cherished as much for the social aspect of it and the lovely scent it brings to your house as for the treats you get at the end. Around Lucia time, saffron buns and gingerbread men are must-haves, but treats such as the Danish ‘brunkager’ and ‘klejner’, the Swedish ‘knäck’, the Finnish ‘tähtitortut’ and various versions of fudge and marzipan figurines are also important for a genuinely Nordic Christmas vibe.

Swedish Lucia. Photo: Lena Granefelt

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  35

Scan Magazine  |  Top Ten Feature  |  Ways to Enjoy a Scandilicious Christmas

5. Display Viking courage with a winter sauna Saunas are a part of daily life in Finland, and so saunas are also a part of the festive season. You might shiver at the thought of running naked through the snow for a dip in ice-cold water, but ask Wim Hof and you’ll see that it has plenty of benefits. More importantly, that Scandinavian predilection for cosiness is rarely as striking as when you’re sitting there – in the nude or wrapped in a towel, if you insist – sweating out the year’s frustrations in the heat of a winter sauna. For an extra festive touch, add candles and a mug of ‘glögi’ (see point 6) before or after. Finnish winter sauna. Photo: Harri Tarvainen

Photo: Pexels, Tembela Bohle

Finnish winter sauna. Photo: Harri Tarvainen

6. Over-consume Scandinavian mulled wine ‘Glögg’, ‘gløgg’ or ‘glögi’ is Scandinavian mulled wine, made with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, bitter orange peel and cloves. It is typically consumed at least every Sunday of Advent and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and often all the way through the holidays until New Year’s Eve. These days, the glögg craze often starts weeks before Advent officially kicks off, making most of the festive season into a glögg-fuelled but gorgeous-smelling haze. Serve heated in small mugs with raisins and blanched almonds, and remember to serve the children nothing but the kiddie version.

Glögg. Photo: Helena Wahlman,

7. Try all the new Christmas beers Just like there’s a special type of Christmas cola – julmust – in Sweden, Scandinavians are fans of making special Christmas brews. Decades ago, there was ‘julöl’ or ‘juløl’ – a type of Christmas beer with a special festive flavour. Off the back of the craft beer trend, there is now a long line of seasonal brews, covering different beer types as well as strengths. They are a must to have with Christmas dinner, and ideally also on what’s sometimes referred to as ‘Little Christmas’, on the evening of 23 December. But with so many different types to try, it’s a good idea to start well before then in order to ensure that you can enjoy the very best kind on the big day itself. 36  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Scan Magazine  |  Top Ten Feature  |  Ways to Enjoy a Scandilicious Christmas

8. Dance like frogs and little old ladies

Swedish dance around tree. Photo: Carolina Romare,

You thought the funny dancing was reserved for Midsummer alone? Welcome to Christmas Eve and the tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree, a habit some families embrace more reluctantly than others. Favourites like the frog song (Små grodorna) and the one about the little old ladies (Tre små gummor) make a comeback after six months’ hibernation, and the repertoire is added to with some special Christmas tunes. They’re no Fairytale of New York, but who can argue with a bit of movement to get all those Christmas treats to settle?

9. Enjoy a smorgasbord of Christmas food Forget the plate of meat and trimmings; Scandinavians do an entire table or two of different kinds of meat, fish, bread, bakes, potatoes, salads and sauces, and you must go for seconds – or even thirds. From across the various Nordic countries you get everything from meatballs, ‘sill’ (pickled herring), baked ham and rice pudding to roast duck, pork belly, ‘lutefisk’ (cod cured in lye), ‘pinnekjøtt’ (dry-cured ribs of lamb) and turkey, along with crispbread and rye bread, beetroot salad and creamy potato gratin with anchovies. Add snaps and snaps songs, and you’ll soon be ready to crash out.

Swedish Christmas food. Photo: Helena Wahlman,

Finnish Christmas food. Photo: Jussi Hellstén

Classic Danish Christmas foods. Photo: J. Buusman

10. Welcome Santa Claus into your home

Meeting Santa. Photo: Jani Kärppä & Flatlight Films

Scandinavians don’t mess about. Forget paying a fortune for your kids to sit on Santa’s lap and get a photo taken in a shopping centre; in the Nordic countries, the old man himself comes to your house to hand out the presents. The logistics involve someone – traditionally the father of the house, but recently often a kind neighbour or other friendly face – popping out ‘to buy the paper’ and missing the whole shebang, while a bearded Father Christmas knocks on the door and asks if there are any kind children there. If you’ve ever been there when a child who’s used to Santa coming at night experiences this for the first time, you’ll know it’s Christmas magic at its very finest. Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  37

Scan Magazine  |  Food and drink  |  Column

Photo: Emelie Asplund,

Louise’s Nordic kitchen: Lucia By Louise Hurst

Lucia, also known as the Festival of Light, is celebrated on 13 December. The tradition dates back to the fourth century, when a young girl, Lucia, wearing candles on her head, served food and drink to the persecuted Christians imprisoned in the catacombs of Rome. Nowadays, children dress in white: girls wear a wreath of lingonberry foliage or tinsel, and boys, called ‘stjärngossar’ (‘star boys’) wear white, pointy hats. Traditionally, the oldest daughter of a local family would have been chosen to wear a crown of seven candles and a red sash around her waist, then leading the celestial procession of children into the candlelit church, singing the beautiful song, Sankta Lucia. These days, many schools and towns vote – almost like a pageant – to determine which young woman gets the honour. After the procession, a warming tumbler of ‘glögg’ (Swedish mulled wine) is served. Hot, zesty ginger, sweet, woody cinnamon and a strong flavour of clove and cardamom are among the aromatics of this spicy seasonal drink. For the home-made 38  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

version, preparation begins in November in order to allow the flavours to steep in spirit. Fruity red wine is mixed with the liquor and warmed before serving to create this delicious, distinctive Nordic delight. Glögg is a crucial part of the lead-up to the festive season in Scandinavia, with glögg parties held throughout Advent. Served with either coffee or glögg are delicacies unique to the festival. ‘Lussekatter’ (‘Lucia cats’) need to be freshly baked, so on the day of Lucia we prepare sweet, yeasted, saffron rolls, shaped into an S like a cat’s tail, and finish them off with two raisins to represent cats’ eyes. Last but not least, my personal favourite: no other scent reminds me of the festive season more than freshly baked ‘pepparkakor’, or gingerbread biscuits – so moreish that you can never just stop at one! These delicate, incredibly light, thin, crisp cookies are baked in their hundreds in every Scandinavian home: melt-in-the mouth biscuits shaped as hearts, pigs and goats. Skål and smaklig måltid!

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

Scan Magazine  |  Food and Drink  |  Column

The season for winter warmers By Malin Norman

It’s that time of year again; the festive season is fast approaching. The days are getting shorter, it’s colder outside, and all we want to do is to snuggle up on the sofa or in a comfy armchair by an open fire, with a tasty treat in hand to keep us warm. Scandinavia has a long tradition of Christmas beer, and many breweries produce a special festive brew, usually launched in early November. In Denmark, there is even a special day, known as J-day. On the first Friday in November, Tuborg releases its annual Christmas beer (Julebryg), which is celebrated across the country. An important part of the tradition is also Tuborg’s iconic advert from 1980, an animated film that symbolises the arrival of Christmas. Intended to bring warmth in the winter cold, the Christmas beers are usually fairly strong, malty and full-bodied, and spiced with ingredients such as cinnamon, orange peel, cloves and vanilla – think a bit stronger and a bit sweeter. Most are easily paired with traditional Christmas food such as ham, ribs and

smoked fish, or with strong, mature cheese or perhaps a chocolate dessert. In the innovative spirit of craft beer, however, there are new, interesting winter versions now appearing: for instance, Danish brewery Mikkeller’s Hoppy Lovin Christmas, a hoppy IPA brewed with ginger and pine needles; and Swedish brewery Brekkeriet’s hit Lusse Lelle, a deliciously fruity and tart session wild ale, fermented with saffron. Not yet in the mood for Santa but still appreciating full-flavoured brews to keep you warm? Surely a Barley Wine will do the trick. This is one of the strongest beer styles, with a mix of toffee and fruit balanced by warming alcohol and hops. Or perhaps enjoy a robust and complex Russian Imperial Stout, with heaps of dried fruit, coffee and dark chocolate, but not as sweet. There are plenty of barrel-aged beers, too, which take on the unique character of the wood or the spirits previously stored in the barrel – all delicious sippers, to be enjoyed slowly by that open fire.

Malin Norman is a certified beer sommelier and a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. With a background in international marketing, she has a particular interest in consumer trends in the beer market. Malin writes about beer for Scan Magazine as well as international beer magazines, and also creates beer-related content for global producers.

Cheers for the season of winter warmers! Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  39

Danish eggs: high-quality, healthy and environmentally and animal friendly Did you know that eating eggs can reduce the risk of dementia? Eggs are also full of essential vitamins and minerals, making them somewhat of a power food. Moreover, they are versatile and so much more than simply a breakfast food. How about a Buddha bowl with eggs for lunch, or a tasty quiche for dinner? However, not only are eggs merely healthy and delicious; it turns out that Danish eggs are possibly also the safest in the world. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Danish Egg Association

Eggs are a must on any breakfast table. Just try imagining a Sunday brunch without scrambled eggs or soft-boiled eggs. It simply would not be the same; just not quite right. Moreover, not only are eggs a delicious, absolute musthave food in your kitchen, they are also healthy and environmentally friendly, and Danish eggs are possibly the safest in the world. 40  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

“The Danish production is subject to one of the world’s most strict salmonella control programmes, where the layer flocks are tested for all types of salmonella every second week throughout the production period. Generally, in the EU, tests are only done for two types of salmonella once every 15 weeks,” explains Jørgen Nyberg Larsen, CEO of the Danish Egg Association.

Jørgen Nyberg Larsen.

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Feature  |  Danske Æg

When you see the Danish Egg Association’s stamp on eggs, you can be positive that the eggs are of the highest quality possible. Besides being tested for all types of salmonella every other week, Danish eggs promise a cool chain from farmer to cold counter, meaning that the eggs will not be stored at room temperature at any point throughout the process. This ensures that the eggs stay fresher and better for longer. But it does not stop here. Danish eggs are produced through a very transparent production cycle, which means that on each egg you buy at the supermarket with the Danish egg stamp on it, you’ll find a series of numbers that you can look up to see exactly which farm your eggs are from. “The egg production in Denmark takes place on family-owned farms, by farmers who then sell them to packing facilities, from where they are sent to different supermarkets in Denmark and exported to other countries. The Danish farmers produce the eggs with care and pride,

and they only get eggs from hens bred in Denmark,” Nyberg Larsen explains.

Eat your eggs If you are still not an egg convert, we have more insights on the matter. Not only are Danish eggs extremely safe; they are also healthy and both environmentally and animal friendly. For instance, did you know that a recent study done by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland has shown that dietary intake of phosphatidylcholine is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, and that it is also linked to enhanced cognitive performance? Guess which is one of the main dietary sources of phosphatidylcholine? You guessed it: eggs! Besides containing choline, eggs are rich in high-quality protein and many important vitamins and minerals. In fact, eggs contain all vitamins except vitamin C, and they are especially great for providing vitamin D, which is particularly good news for those in the north, where sunshine is limited for much of the year. Oh, and that whole ‘you can only eat seven eggs a week’ notion? That’s old – and false.

“It is a myth that you can only eat an egg per day. The cholesterol in eggs does not contribute to high cholesterol levels – that’s a study from the ‘80s. Today, we know that there are no such restrictions. Enjoy as many as you like; eggs fit perfectly in a healthy diet,” says Nyberg Larsen. If you need another reason to boost your egg consumption, consider that Danish eggs are not just environmentally friendly, but great from an animal welfare perspective, too. First and foremost, Danish hens are not beak trimmed; and secondly, the eggs are produced under proper conditions and with high demands on the well-being and welfare of the hens throughout the production period. “Danish eggs are both healthy and animal and environmentally friendly. Really, there is no reason not to enjoy eggs,” Nyberg Larsen smiles. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some eggs to eat!


Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  41

Photo: Stefan Steinn

42  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Alphabeat

Alphabeat – ditching cool for fun and a love of pop With a number of chart-busters and a sound steeped in infectious joy, Alphabeat won over a loyal fan base when their first album hit the airwaves in 2007. More than a decade and a short hiatus later, they bring out their fourth full-length album, Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore, and it seems very little has changed: they may not care for cool anymore, but they sure know how to pen a catchy feel-good tune. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Alexander Leistiko

Seven years have passed since Scan  Magazine last caught up with Alphabeat, then just settled back in Denmark after a stint in London. In the car on the way back to Copenhagen after an all-day radio tour, promoting their upcoming album Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore, the band reflects on the impact of the move. “It’s been really good for the band, almost like a reunion – we feel at home,” says vocalist and percussionist Anders SG, adding that they’ve found a presence and focus in recent years that was hard to come by in London. “Our guitarist has a summer house where there’s no internet or phone signal, and we’ve been there together to work many times.  Denmark has made it easier to do that, and that way, we’re more in touch with the music.” Singer Stine Bramsen adds: “It’s also helped us to ignore what’s in the charts. In the UK, we probably focused on the charts too much, because everyone talks about it there. Here at home, it’s been easier to stick to our gut feeling.”

It sounds as though it’s been a home-  coming in more ways than one. Indeed, the first two singles from their upcoming album make writing pop songs sound easy, both characterised by a catchy confidence, the latest – I Don’t Know What’s Cool  Anymore – flirting with Spice Girls nostalgia and boasting an irresistible four-on-thefloor pre-chorus. And maybe it’s true that they don’t know what’s cool anymore, but that’s exactly what makes the tunes sound so stupidly refreshing, in a way that makes you want to jump up and break out into a choreographed Grease-style flash mob. It’s not cool – it’s wonderful. Their earlier releases have always referenced – sometimes subtly, other times blatantly – earlier decades, with the debut album This is Alphabeat presenting an unmistakable love for the ‘80s, the follow-up The Beat Is… hinting at the ‘90s and, finally, Express Non-Stop going a little more disco with a 1970s influence. This new sound is both more difficult to put in a box and perfectly straight-forward in its genuine

love of a good pop tune. “I think for the first time ever, we haven’t tried to make music to suit a specific time,” says Stine. “In the past, we’ve always come up with a concept for each album, but this time the concept was just to sound like the true Alphabeat – to focus on what we felt like making rather than try to nail a certain style.” Anders agrees: “We wanted to sound like people – like me and Stine – and to capture that energy of the six of us playing together.”

Getting personal Danish hit genius Emil Falk has produced the album, something that, according to the singers, allowed them to focus wholeheartedly on the songwriting. “We know each other from ages ago. He’s a great guy, and we have a great deal of respect for his work,” says Anders. “He just fits with the band – there’s great chemistry there. I remember the first demo we did of Shadows, when we thought it was great. Then we went into the studio with Emil and recorded everything from scratch, and he made the demo into a record; it added a whole new layer. It’s been a long time since we’ve sounded that good as a band.” A big change from previous albums is that Stine has played an active part in the songwriting process, perhaps a natural progresIssue 130  |  November 2019  |  43

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Alphabeat

sion after going solo for a bit and releasing her own, more personal compositions. “When Stine went solo, she started writing these super personal songs, and it really inspired us as songwriters too,” says Anders, and Stine continues: “It’s just something I needed to do. It took about five years for me to feel stronger, to feel proud and improve as a songwriter. I didn’t have the confidence before to go into the room and write with Anders SG and Anders B, but now I do, and we all feel much stronger for it.”

Nordic melancholy and earnestness in favour of a happy-go-lucky innocence. “We’re not walking around dancing all the time, it’s just what happens when we get together – happy pop music is what we love doing,” reflects Stine, “but we have days when we’re sad and tired – that’s what Shadows is about, that there are times in life when you’ve got to pull yourself together and focus on what’s positive to find hope. We’ve grown in that way as well – we’d never have written a song like that before.”

Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore is yet another suite of songs oozing with joy, and the band often talks about the importance of having fun and its influence on their songwriting as well as live gigs. Looking at fellow Scandinavian pop exports like Lykke Li, Robyn, Aurora and Sigrid, it’s hard not to wonder if the Danes lost out on some of that

Giving it 200 per cent You’d sure hope they’d have grown: more than a decade has passed since the gang of 20-somethings started out, and they’re now in their 30s. But has maturity changed how they feel about music and the band? “In some ways it’s changed, and in some ways it’s completely the same. We’re six

people who know each other extremely well and have an incredible amount of fun together – but we’re mature enough now to write songs that are a bit more personal, and we’re also appreciating every second much more now that we’ve had a break with a chance to think about how unique this is, the energy we have together,” says Stine. “Every time we walk on stage, we think that this could be the last gig we ever do, and we give it 200 per cent.” With a string of gigs throughout Denmark between now and February and four shows scheduled for the UK in April (two in London, one in Brighton and one in Glasgow), the band seems only delighted to be back on the horse. “We did a small gig in London earlier this spring and really didn’t know if anyone would be up for coming, thinking that maybe people had forgotten about us – but it was a crazy experience,” says Anders. “It was the best night we’ve had in a very long time; I’ll remember it until I’m 80 and in a wheelchair! It was so special, because you could feel that people had missed it, like maybe they’d thought they’d never get to experience an Alphabeat gig again. It was just buzzing – I even had a tear in my eye afterwards – and now we’re itching to go back and do it all over again.” To find out about live shows, tickets and new releases, keep an eye on:

Photo: Tom McKenzie

44  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Web: Facebook: Alphabeat Instagram: @alphabeat

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  45

TY U Y EA WA lT a B i R ec EE NO Sp R H -T S IN P C TO INI CL e:

m he

Sandra Michélle Romano.

Fillers and filter coffee It is care that’s at the core of the Beauty Medical ethos. Not only does the small Oslo salon welcome its clients to enjoy some high-class pampering and the latest in beauty technology; more importantly, they put the kettle on for you while you’re there. By Lisa Maria Berg  |  Photos: Gudny Åman, PB Serum and Beauty Medical

One might well raise an eyebrow, were a beauty salon to swear that beauty actually comes from within. At Beauty Medical, however, it is the team’s everyday ambition to find the perfect balance between the client’s wishes, the therapist’s advice and the latest beauty techniques being incorporated. Founder and general manager Sandra Michélle Romano argues that it’s not just an injection that will make your forehead appear less frowned, but rather the whole 46  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

experience of walking into this particular beauty clinic. “It’s the chat that comes with the treatment that makes a difference. It’s the cup of coffee and the hug. It’s being able to share experiences, things you’ve perhaps felt insecure about. I firmly believe it’s the ability to see the whole person that makes us different,” explains Romano.

With the client at the centre The clinic and its team have a wealth of

experience behind them and both teach and speak at conferences at home and abroad. She’s not shy, Romano – and why should she be? With clients spanning Norwegian celebrities and high-powered business women, she’s put the ‘Romano lip’ – the clinic’s signature treatment is its flawless lip fillers, contouring and Botox treatments – on the map, as well as the screen, since 2016. The clinic also finds itself having to redo jobs done at other clinics. “Every week, we have about six to ten women come in with enlarged and deformed lips after a badly done lip filling. Often, we find ourselves emptying their lips after a job gone horribly wrong. This is a big prob-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

lem in the industry today, and something we want to combat by giving a good example of a job well done.” Romano, with a BA in nursing and training in most beauty technologies, shares her secret: “I come from a rather large family, and if I have a philosophy in life, it is to create the same relaxed atmosphere and togetherness in the salon that we have at home during Sunday dinners: frank, honest and friendly. That goes for the staff as well as our guests.”

A stellar team Beauty Medical has championed new technology for years. It was the first in Norway to introduce Carboxytherapy into its repertoire – a non-surgical, 100 per cent natural treatment using carbon dioxide to stimulate growth and revitalisation, apparently a wonder treatment for everything from cellulites, strechmarks and hair growth, to undereye bags. “I think that educating the client is key. Quite often, we end up sending clients home without an injection. Instead, we’ve offered advice on skin care and suggested products that might help. Integrity is vital. We answer any question a client might have and talk about the products we use. Often, we’ll advise on starting with a smaller dosage or even suggest they go home, have a think and come back to us if and when they’re ready to go through with treatment. In short: we’re never just after anyone’s money,” Romano clarifies. Moreover, an in-house medical doctor is available at all times, in order to reassure that the chosen treatment is conducted properly and without any side effects. With a highly educated team representing the helm of beauty technology in Norway, Beauty Medical appears more like a tight-knit family of beauty professionals than a clinic.

To the future Humans have always wanted to look their best. Our fascination with beauty can be found in any culture in any part of the planet. Beauty has been just as Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  47

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

Beauty Medical: — Founded in 2016 by Sandra   Michélle Romano. — Situated in the city centre of Oslo. — Treatments include: HA fillers,   Botox, PB Serum Medical, Carboxytherapy, Bloomea micro   dermabrasion, Laser plasma   pen, chemical peels, thread lift,   hyperpigmentation, skincare,   eyelash extensions, nail design,   brow styling, permanent make-  up, microblading and waxing. — Brands include: ZO Skin Health   by Dr Obagi, Mesoesthetics, Colorescience, and Zinzino Health products. — Agencies: PB Serum Medical in Norway & Sweden (, Julié Carboxytherapy (,   Elise plasma (,   and Bloomea ( — The clinic also holds classes in   PB Serum Medical for doctors and   nurses, and lash extensions/lifts   by Nouveau Lashes.

48  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

vividly discussed by the great philosophers of the world as by some mates down at your local pub. Romano concedes that in many people’s eyes, putting money towards altering your own appearance is considered vain – but ponders if perhaps there is a spot of Narcissus in all of us; that young, beautiful man who couldn’t get enough of his own reflection in the water and sat pining for himself until he withered away of thirst. “There still very much exists a mindset in Norway where a person cannot admit that they like to get a little something done. In fact, I think many even find it’s vain to get your hair done on a regular basis! I think quite a few of the people who come to us still feel a taboo around telling their friends and family that they’ve come to see us. Funnily though, this leads to a lot of great stories. We’ve had clients come in for treatment, telling stories about how they’re basically being showered in compli-

ments, and not necessarily on how they look! They’re just being told that they appear happier!”

A whole lot more than beauty The clinic has never spent a dime on marketing; however, the word of mouth around its skills, hospitality and warmth has gotten around and made it busier and more popular than ever. For many, a trip to the beauty clinic isn’t just about combing out some forehead lines or giving that lip a little lift. For some, it can mean a complete re-write of the relationship they have with their own body. Romano explains: “Many of our clients describe various things as being massive issues in their lives – be it scarring from acne, operations or perhaps burns. Being able to help these people means a lot, and the technology to do this has come a long way. The latest might be the PB Serum; it has completely revolutionised how we treat these kinds of challenges. To have someone come up to you and say you’ve changed their life is a powerful thing!”

PB Serum Medical: PB Serum Medical, originally invented and manufactured in Spain by Proteos   Biotech Laboratories, is a new biological therapy based on the use of recombinant enzymes in the treatment of many diverse skin problems, such as scarred tissue and burns, cellulites, localised fat and flaccidity/loose skin. PB Serum science has shown very favourable and encouraging results, and it opens the door to a new world of personalised and adjustable treatments. Beauty Medical is the first clinic in Norway and Sweden to offer this treatment and will launch its use of PB Serum at the Senzie Conference in Norway in November, and in Sweden as part of Stockholm Beauty Week in May 2020.

Address: Vogts gate 56, 0477 Oslo, Norway Phone: +47 40311017 Web:

Before and after PB serum.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  49

A modern, high-end clinic of expertise Cosmo Clinic is a cutting-edge plastic surgery clinic located in Oslo, emphasising a natural result achieved in a safe and comfortable environment. Here, in top-modern premises with the latest equipment available on the market, a staff of hand-picked plastic surgeons and cosmetic nurses offer the most advanced treatments within facial and breast surgeries, along with a full range of other cosmetic procedures. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Per-Erik Skramstad

Cosmo Clinic offers plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments at a top-quality, international level. The clinic is known for its high patient-satisfaction levels and is highly recognised. “We are one of the largest plastic surgery clinics in Norway, and the reason for that is our impressive team – we have some of the country’s best plastic surgeons,” says 50  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Dr. Tomm K. Bjærke, chief plastic surgeon at Cosmo Clinic. Considered one of the foremost facial surgeons in Norway, Bjærke has been working as a plastic surgeon for 20 years. After extensive experience from both Rikshospitalet and Colosseumklinikken, he decided to found Cosmo

Clinic in 2016. “My vision was to start a clinic of expertise with the best plastic surgeons in Norway. Together with doctors Hilde Bjærke, Thomas Berg and Tormod S. Westvik, I am confident that this vision has been realised,” he says.

The importance of the personal aspect The clinic, which today spans over 850 square metres and is located on the top floor of a building in Nydalen, has since grown to become one of the leading plastic surgery clinics in the country. The surgery is equipped with the latest and most modern equipment on the market, but Bjærke believes that the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

most important factor in its popularity – besides the skilled surgeons – is the personal touch given to each patient. “The personal aspect is important to us. Everyone working here has a positive attitude, and we focus strongly on our patients’ wellbeing in a welcoming and safe environment,” he explains. Every patient receives a thorough assessment, with ample time to discuss all available options with one of the topnotch surgeons. “We make sure that it’s an honest assessment with realistic expectations so that the patient can be sure this is the right step to take. Most often, people have already been thinking about this for many years,” says Bjærke. At Cosmo Clinic, every patient undergoing treatment gets direct access to their surgeon or cosmetic nurse, to assure optimal follow-up.

Focus on a natural result With the aim to achieve a natural result, the clinic prefers using the latest surgical methods to minimise discomfort and get the best possible result with the shortest possible downtime. “I often tell my facelift patients that they should be able to walk down the street after two weeks, looking like a rejuvenated version of themselves,” says Bjærke. “Our philosophy is that results should look

natural, not artificial, regardless of which procedure the patient has done. Based on each patient’s specific needs, we utilise different scar placements and lengths, minimally invasive techniques, laser, and so on, to achieve these natural results.”

When it comes to breast enlargement, Cosmo Clinic focuses on offering the latest, safest and best implants with adjunctive techniques to give a natural look and feel. Recently, the clinic extended its breast enlargement warranty to six years from the time of the operation, and now offers Norway’s most comprehensive warranty for breast implants.

First in Norway with 20-year age limit With a wish to reduce the increased body pressure in today’s society, especially on young girls, Cosmo Clinic introduced a 20-year age limit on all of its cosmetic treatments and procedures in 2018. It was the first and is still the only clinic in Norway to do so. “Many of the patients who are under 20 can be quite immature and want to change their body based on the ideals they see around them, with unrealistic expectations. Young people can be quite vulnerable and may have trouble making the right choices, and because of that, we wanted to raise the limit from 18 years to 20,” Bjærke explains. Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  51

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

A team of plastic surgeons with specialised expertise At Cosmo Clinic, you’ll find a selection of hand-picked plastic surgeons and cosmetic nurses with specialised expertise. They have many years of experience and want to give you the best possible result. “What sets us apart from other clinics is that our surgeons are highly specialised in one particular area, instead of working across all different fields,” he says. All of these plastic surgeons are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Dr. Hilde Bjærke is a board certified plastic surgeon, specialised in facial plastic surgery. She was trained at Rikshospitalet, Oslo, specialising in advanced microsurgical facial reconstructions. At Cosmo Clinic, she is the facial expert, performing advanced facial procedures like facelifts and necklifts, endoscopic forehead lifts, upper and lower blepharoplasty, laser treatments, and chin implants. Bjærke’s broad experience in facial surgery makes her a trusted name in Norway, and she has been interviewed about facial plastic surgery several times on national TV. Dr. Thomas Berg is a board certified plastic surgeon, trained at the University clinic in Uppsala, Sweden. He has been working both in Uppsala and at Rikshospitalet in Oslo for more than ten years. After many years performing advanced microsurgical facial and breast reconstructions, he is considered one of the most sought-after, leading plastic surgeons in Norway. He is Cosmo Clinic’s expert in breast and body contouring procedures, having performed several thousand breast and body procedures. In addition to breast surgery, he performs abdominoplasties, liposuctions, body-contouring surgeries and Brazilian butt lifts (BBL) at Cosmo Clinic. 52  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Dr. Hilde Bjærke.

Dr. Thomas Berg.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

Dr. Tormod Westvik is the rhinoplasty expert at Cosmo Clinic. He was trained at Yale and Harvard Universities in the US, and is board certified in both the US and Norway. He was part of the first US full-face transplant team. Since returning to Norway, he has been chief of plastic surgery at Telemark Hospital. His vast experience, with over 3,000 procedures, covers microsurgery, facial trauma, hand surgery and surgeries of the face and body. His professional network spans both the US and Europe, and he is an active member of ASPS. Each year, he is an invited instructor at the prestigious Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium. Westvik has performed several hundred rhinoplasties, both in the US and in Norway. Based on this expertise, he performs all rhinoplasties at Cosmo Clinic. Dr. Tomm Bjærke is a board certified plastic surgeon and founder of Cosmo Clinic. He was trained at Rikshospitalet and worked at Colosseumklinikken from 2004 to 2016. Bjærke is one of Norway’s most experienced cosmetic plastic surgeons, having performed thousands of procedures both at Colosseumklinikken and now at Cosmo Clinic. He is especially well known for his forehead- and facelifts, through his experience with more than 1,500 facial procedures, as well as more than 3,000 breast augmentations. At Cosmo Clinic, Bjærke performs all kinds of plastic surgery, with a special focus on facial and breast surgery.

Dr. Tormod Westvik.

Procedures offered at Cosmo Clinic: Breast enlargement, facelift, eyelid surgery, nasal surgery, forehead lift, laser treatment, wrinkle treatment, breast reduction, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, reducing pouches under the eyes, Bell’s Palsy treatment, bum enlargement, breast reconstruction, lip enlargement, fillers and Dermapen.

Web: Facebook: cosmoclinicoslo Instagram: @cosmoclinicoslo

Dr. Tomm Bjærke.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  53

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top-three Beauty Clinics in Norway

‘Me time’ at Essens Dagspa in Tromsø Escape for wellness and beauty at Essens day spa and boutique, your one-stopshop for relaxation and retail therapy, situated in the heart of Tromsø.

available on the market, recommended to you especially by a highly qualified and knowledgeable team of make-up artists and skin experts.

The highly experienced practitioners at Essens Dagspa can truly transform a face that has experienced the effects of ageing. Combining the best, most luxurious, warming body treatments and great-quality massages with finishing touches such as manicures, pedicures, waxes, lashes and brows, Essens invites you to make some time for yourself.

Need to get party-ready? Treat yourself to flawless make-up, hair styling and a manicure. For this, advance booking is required. For a more long-lasting effect, you might want to dive into the spa’s full range of invigorating beauty treatments.

Visit Essens Dagspa in Tromsø for knowledgeable advice and recommendations, pampering treatments, and to browse the large range of the latest skin and beauty products.

By Bianca Wessel  |  Photos: Essens Dagspa

Whether you are looking to update your essential skincare product range, in need of a quick pick-me-up, or looking for more in-depth treatments, a fresh face and a relaxed body await you at Essens Dagspa. Tromsø is also known as ‘the Paris of the North’, with its sophisticated and stylish people. And indeed, the city located above the Arctic Circle and its longstanding spa and beauty clinic offer expert help for a natural, beautiful appearance. This year, Essens celebrates 43 years of beauty and skincare. Set over two floors, the day spa has a bright and inviting retail space, a dedicated area for complete tranquility, and a calming area for your spa treatments. As you leave the busy shopping street and step into Essens, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the best-quality brands 54  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

The team at Essens Dagspa are truly experts in their field, offering the latest in medical and aesthetic skincare. If you want to improve your appearance, a non-surgical facelift could lift and rejuvenate the face by restoring volume with dermal fillers, relaxing wrinkles with botulinum toxin injections, and improving the appearance of the skin with medical needling, laser, IPL or chemical peels.

The Essens Dagspa is open Monday to Saturday. Shop the range of skin and beauty products online, at Essens Beauty.

Web: and Facebook: essensdagspa Instagram: @essensbeauty


AS EN M D T i IS WE ec p R S S CH M O P TO FR S FT I G m he

T al

Photo: Cooee Design

Discover what Sweden has to offer on a shopping trip Tourists visiting Sweden love shopping. A shopping trip is a perfect way to experience a destination. It gives you a sense of the local people and their culture; you learn about the differences and similarities between the place you are visiting and the place where you live.

to take this opportunity to bid you welcome as a visitor to Sweden and to the Swedish shopping experience.

By Karin Johansson, CEO of Swedish Trade Federation

Sweden has plenty of unique products to offer, including food, design and fashion, all of which give you the opportunity to enrich your travel experience as a visitor to Sweden. An extensive range of shops, shopping districts and products await you when you visit our country. What’s more, Sweden is a global leader when it comes to innovation, with a highly skilled workforce and sophisticated consumers. Let the staff in our shops give you a helping hand with their expert recommendations. If you are looking for truly personalised service, many de56  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

partment stores offer the option of enlisting a personal shopper who can help you track down just the style you are looking for. No doubt you are already familiar with some of Sweden’s many well-known retail chains – IKEA, H&M and new rising stars such as iDeal of Sweden and Babyshop. Take the opportunity to discover even more up-and-coming chains during your trip to Sweden. The Swedish Trade Federation, representing retailers in Sweden, would like

Karin Johansson. Photo:PMAGI AB


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Photo: Gavle Design

Photo: Nääsgränsgården

Photo: Brita Sweden

Photo: Mila Silver

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  57

Jemima Hargreaves. Photo: Johan Nyström

Fine hand-crafted jewellery that doesn’t cost the earth Since its launch at Stockholm Fashion Week 2017, Hargreaves Stockholm has established itself with a unique offering of the highest-quality fine jewellery, crafted using ethical methods and materials. By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Hargreaves Stockholm

Jemima Hargreaves draws upon over 20 years’ expertise as a master goldsmith. She has worked at and managed some of the UK’s finest traditional jewellery workshops, created pieces and managed projects for royal clients and celebrities, and worked on jewellery for the film industry, with director Tim Burton among the commissioning directors. Yet, despite the prestige of much of the work she has done, she says her fascination with jewellery stems from something much more essential. “I think it’s about the connection that people have to it. From the time that someone first saw that nugget of gold washed 58  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

up in a river bed somewhere, people have felt that it’s meant something — a gift from the gods, a piece of the sun, and so many other things. And it still feels like that, even all of these thousands of years later,” she says. “Whether it’s a wedding ring, or a pendant that your child has made you out of pasta, jewellery means something to us and we connect to it on a base level.”

A collaborative process Hargreaves relocated to Stockholm in 2017. It was a return of sorts – although born and raised in the UK, her family originally hails from Denmark – and Hargreaves Stockholm’s early work was

heavily inspired by her Scandinavian heritage and by traditional Nordic motifs. More recently, much of her work has evolved towards strong, clean shapes, contrasted by the use of stones in a scattered effect, reminiscent of sunlight reflecting off the waters of the Swedish coast and through dappled forest leaves. In addition to the brand’s established collections, however, Hargreaves also

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Photo: Saerún Norén

encourages customers to become involved in the design process. “Some people just want something specific, and that’s absolutely fine, but more and more I find that it’s about developing an understanding,” Hargreaves explains. “I have a lot of customers who come to me because, even if they may not know exactly what they want the piece to be like when it’s finished, they know that they have control over that design process. If a piece has to have a certain function in their lives or has to mean something to them, they know that I’ll try to make sure that that is considered in the design.” She adds: “It might sound big for something that’s ‘just a ring’, for example, but that might be a ring that that person is going to wear every day for the next 40 years. And they will only do that if we’ve got it right.” The process is dependent on close communication, something technology has made possible even for Hargreaves

Photo: Saerún Norén

Stockholm’s many international clients. And such is the closeness of the collaboration that Hargreaves says it often transcends the traditional customersupplier relationship. “I actually have a lot of customers that have come to me from abroad. We happen to have connected because they were looking for something specific that I could help with, but then it has remained a really strong connection, to the point where they’ve become part of my business and almost like family in some ways.”

Responsibly crafted Another quality that makes Hargreaves Stockholm stand out from the crowd is a strong focus on ethical production. The social and environmental problems that can be brought about by the mining of precious metal and stones are myriad — from mercury poisoning and the destruction of natural landscapes to the fuelling of conflicts and the exploitation of workers — and an important

Photo: Saerún Norén

part of Hargreaves Stockholm’s ethos is to encourage change within the industry. Leading by example, the brand therefore uses responsibly sourced materials, including conflict-free diamonds purchased from official retailers in agreement with UN resolutions, and Fairmined ecological gold and silver. It also recycles and re-uses antique pieces and offers lab-grown diamonds as an alternative to mined stones to customers who are interested. “This is a unique, very special industry, and I really love its traditions and history, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be frightened of change,” Hargreaves argues. “Our position has always been to show that we can keep that tradition and those handcrafting skills, and still produce really high-quality pieces, without doing harm to the world around us.” Web:

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  59

Shaped by the forces of nature The new photo collection Studio Elements by Desenio can be described as nothing short of spectacular. Shot in Iceland, the stunning photographs showcase the powerful forces of nature. The best part is that you can bring some of that dreamlike scenery into your own home. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Desenio

Desenio is the go-to hub for trendy prints and bold art, all born out of a passion for design and self-expression. The brand is somewhat of a success story in the industry, and today, a creative studio brimming with expertise is at the heart of the company and all its work. “We want to be at the forefront when it comes to interior design trends,” admits Annica Wallin, chief design officer. “We have our own Design Studio and create motifs in-house, alongside some hand-picked collaborations with selected artists.” 60  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Showing the raw beauty of nature “Our vision was to create a photo collection capturing the magical elements of nature,” says Wallin about the new photo collection, Studio Elements, which was shot by Desenio’s Design Studio team in Iceland. It features photographs of remarkable scenery from famous locations as well as Icelandic horses roaming freely in their natural habitat. “The harmonious colour palette brings a sense of peace and calm to our homes,” Wallin adds. Iceland was a suitable destination for representing this direction, and

Studio Elements fits well into the concept, as the spectacular photo art adds a true sense of escapism. Iceland’s nature is constantly changing, and the production team experienced some truly breathtaking settings. “The team managed to capture unique motifs in varied landscapes, everything from mighty, green landscapes and scenic waterfalls to dramatic lava fields ending right by the beach. The prints illustrate the raw beauty of nature and some of the most magical places in the world.”

Harmony and escapism at home Home is a place where we can relax and escape from some of the daily stresses. There is currently a growing trend in interior design that encourages closeness to nature and a caring and nurturing attitude towards ourselves and the envi-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

ronment we live in, illustrated by the addition of simple, natural and sustainable materials as well as natural colours. “Many of us have a strong need and longing for relaxation right now, and that is reflected in one of the biggest home trends this year,” concludes Wallin. “Decorating simply with natural materials and natural colour schemes creates a gentle backdrop for our everyday life. Studio Elements fits right into this trend.” Take the opportunity to bring a sense of inner harmony and peace of mind into your home. About Desenio: Desenio is a fast-growing design company, leading the field of affordable wall art in the Scandinavian region. Over the past few years, Desenio has experienced impressive growth, now distributing posters, frames and accessories to over 30 countries worldwide. Desenio aims to create an inspiring and fashion-forward space for those interested in trends and interior design. Providing unique art prints at affordable prices, Desenio houses its own Design Studio that continually creates art prints that are unique and on-trend.


Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  61

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Timeless jewellery that resonates with the present Jewellery designer Maria Laakso has a diverse, artistic background, which has paved the way for her successful jewellery brand Mila Silver. By Kristine Olofsson  |  Photos: Mila Silver

Ten years have passed since Laakso opened a jewellery boutique in the small, southern Swedish coastal town of Båstad. Six eventful years later, and with a rapidly growing business, she decided to focus solely on online sales of her expanding collection. “The first pieces I created were three combinable rings. I love rings, so it was a natural project to start

The Journey Collection.

with,” she says. The rings are still popular among customers and form the base of the brand’s characteristic Combo Collection. The collections at Mila Silver have their own messages and underlying ideas. “For example, the Journey Collection symbolises an inner journey, and all collections can easily be combined,” explains Laakso. The design

The Journey Collection.

revolves around timelessness that resonates with the present, and in combination with renewable material such as silver, the designer creates pieces for generations to come. “I find inspiration in everything. It can be the kids’ toys, spread over the living room floor in a certain pattern, or interesting shapes in nature. Some ideas become reality, others don’t,” says Laakso, who is as passionate about her work today as when she started – and a lot of time and thought go into the creations. “Since you wear jewellery against your skin, it is important that it feels right, literally. In the future, I want to continue to create meaningful and lasting designs,” she sums up.

Web: and Facebook: milasilverjewellery Instagram: @milasilverjewellery Pinterest: milasilver

Stay cosy with materials and patterns that last a lifetime Family-owned, sustainable and with deep roots in Swedish traditional craft – those are three ways to describe the company Brita Sweden, producing quality rugs, cushions and throws. With patterns created in timeless styles and durable materials, these products promise to keep you warm and on trend for a long time.

all over the world, and demand is increasing. Scandinavian design with a sustainable ethos is on the rise – and luckily, this is what Brita Sweden knows best.

By Nina Bressler  |  Photo: Brita Sweden

The company was founded in 2007 by sisters Pia Gabrielsson and Monica Harrie, together with their mother, Margaretha Eriksson. “Back then, the market didn’t have the same sustainability focus it has today – we were unique in our approach of using organic textiles and creating durable products with a long lifecycle,” Gabrielsson says. Initially, the rugs were the most successful product, something that shifted to include throws and cushions along with the change in the market attitude, now demanding transparency in terms of where and how the products are made. Continuously aiming to use eco-friendly processes and materials as much as possible, Brita 62  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Sweden uses wool and 100 per cent recycled cotton for its throws and cushions, and eco-friendly dye for selected product lines. Production takes place mainly in Sweden, with a few exceptions within the European borders; keeping it close is another way to ensure quality, minimised shipping needs, and continuity of design. “Inspiration comes from everywhere: everyday items, a pretty colour, natural patterns, special events – sometimes it’s simply created around a feeling! We aim to create classic patterns that will last a long time and work despite changing trends; many of our early designs are still bestsellers today,” the sisters say. They have customers

Throws, cushions and rugs made sustainably to keep you warm this winter.

Web: Instagram: @britasweden

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Not your typical Santa In southern Sweden, you will find the magical, mystical province of Småland. This region is closely associated with traditional folklore, old fairy-tales and modern, world-famous stories (a certain Astrid Lindgren hailed from this part of the country). No wonder, then, that Åsas Tomtebod was born here.

and if you were wondering: Åsa Götander is still a driving force of the business – especially in terms of envisioning, designing and creating the products.

By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Åsas Tomtebod

A lot of love and care go into the creation and production of these little rascals. “The most important thing for us is the quality of our products. We use exclusively natural materials, which have a nicer feel and better look and are superior from an environmental point of view compared to, for example, synthetic materials. When developing a new product, we spend a lot of time trying to get the overall impression and feel of the product right,” Götander emphasises.

A family-run business, Åsas Tomtebod makes and distributes a little creature, who could be described as a Scandinavian version of Santa or perhaps Father Christmas – or why not a gnome? However, forget your American-style, colourful, larger-than-life variety; this ‘tomte’ is something completely different. “The idea of the design came from the fact that a tomte is a shy and timid creature who lives in the forest and doesn’t like to spend time around people. This is why his hat is pulled down over his eyes and only the nose sticks out,” explains Martin Götander, CEO and secondgeneration tomte creator. It was his mother, Åsa Götander, who started the business in the 1990s, after the family had moved out to the countryside in Småland. In those early days, she did not realise what a formidable success this initially modest one-woman business

would grow into. Nowadays, the charming tomte from Småland is found in every corner of the globe, given that the majority of them are sold outside Sweden. Oh,

When it comes to new products and highlights, Götander points out that this season has seen the introduction of a new member of the tomte family. “A completely new tomte character we created in 2019 is a little guy called Gustav, named after my son. They happen to share a couple of similarities – they’re both round and cute,” Götander concludes. Web:

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  63

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Festive classics with a touch of magic From images of forests draped in snow, to cosying round a roaring fire, there is something undeniably irresistible about a traditional Nordic Christmas. And what kind of a festive period would it be without a friendly elf or two to keep an eye on the home?

our pieces have in common is that they are of authentic Scandinavian design, which stands the test of time and which people love to collect.”

By Liz Longden  |  Photos: Nääsgränsgården

“Christmas is a holiday associated with conviviality, warmth and love, and it’s a time when we love our traditions, when we’re not afraid to decorate our homes with colour and indulge in a bit of maximalism,” says Annica Hovbom, product manager and co-owner of Nääsgränsgården. “I think that’s why our elves continue to be so well-loved.” The Västra Götaland-based company produces ornaments for every season and occasion and has made a name for itself with its high-quality, exclusive Scandinavian design. It is arguably best known, however, for its Christmas collections, and in particular its characterful elves, which have been adding a touch of magic to Scandinavian homes for 25 years. The collections are created by Swedish and Danish designers, who are carefully selected for their expertise and experience, and who work closely with Nääsgränsgården in a collaborative de64  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

sign process. And while each collection has an almost timeless quality, a subtle touch of contemporary style also helps to keep the product range fresh. “We see our series as classic, but also with the occasional nod to trends. Our best-known elves have been in our range since 2000, although they change their shape and sometimes colour and material, too,” Hovbom explains, adding that last year saw the introduction of a new range of wooden elves, which proved to be very popular. “But what all

This solid base of tradition, complemented by a sprinkling of innovation and an eye on the market, has helped to ensure the brand’s journey from strength to strength. Already well established in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Denmark, Nääsgränsgården’s collections have also begun to attract attention in the UK. And Annica Hovbom says that admirers will soon have even more to look forward to: “We will be launching a new series of mixed products by a new designer before next year, which we are very excited about, so customers should keep an eye on our website.”


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Setting the table with love With PotteryJo, a table setting will incorporate a little bit more than what your standard set of tableware may offer. The brand always strives to encapsulate more than just its products’ primary functions. Instead, PotteryJo is tailored towards our enjoyment of food and our experiences around the table with our loved ones. And it’s why the brand has already built up a legion of admirers. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: PotteryJo

PotteryJo designs and produces tableware for everyday use, contributing to making every meal that little bit more special. “The brand is not just about ceramics – it represents the social aspect of eating together,” says founder Johanna Hampf. “We love gathering around the kitchen table. Our mission is around food and the importance of setting the table, to provide something a bit extra. That’s why we talk about setting the table with love.” Based on a passion for ceramics, art and design, Hampf created her own brand PotteryJo in 2011. Production takes place in southern Europe, where there is a strong tradition of producing beautiful ceramics. “I would always bring ceramics from my travels, as Sweden had a limited choice. Then I started making my own products, ones that I felt were missing on the market. When designing,

I like to combine old and new patterns, as it becomes more personal.”

Sköna Hem. PotteryJo is also frequently used by chefs on TV shows Nyhetsmorgon and Middagstipset. Growing organically to make sure it lasts over time, the brand is steadily expanding its range and retailers internationally. PotteryJo is available at selected retailers such as Nordic Nest, and will open its own online shop soon.

Today, there are five collections of tableware, designed to last for many years in the kitchen. The first collection, Daisy, is based on a pattern found in the factory’s old archive. It comes in a range of shapes, colours and finishes. Growing fast is also Daria, a collection with a sleeker and more contemporary expression, which will have new additions added to it next year. PotteryJo will soon also introduce additional collections, including a range of stylish vases. “Interior design and cooking shouldn’t be so serious. It should be fun and easy, a mix of everything and with more focus on those you’re spending time with,” says Hampf. The concept certainly works and has received attention in, for instance, interior magazines Elle Decoration and

Johanna Hampf.

Web: Instagram: @potteryjo

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  65

Do it yourself What do you do when you realise that the perfect necklace you have been looking for all this time, does not actually exist yet? Well, you simply have to start your own jewellery company and begin producing it yourself – right? Realising that there was a gap in the market that needed to be filled, this is exactly how Sofie Axelsson entered the wonderful world of jewellery making, some 13 years ago. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Astrid & Agnes / AROCK

“The thing is, I’ve always had a keen interest in jewellery, as it’s such an easy way to add something special to an outfit. However, I realised that jewellery with that extra oomph – at a reasonable price – was hard to find,” Axelsson begins. And so the brand Astrid & Agnes was born in Varberg, a town on the scenic west cost of Sweden. Initially, Axelsson ran the company together with companion Janina Lindström, but as of this year, she runs it on her own, together with an amazing team. At the 68  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

and add a range for men to the growing jewellery business, and so the AROCK range was established. “Scandinavian, masculine and classy jewellery for men, which has grown into one of the leading jewellery brands for men in the Nordic countries,” Axelsson adds. Particularly

time of the foundation of the company, Axelsson was working as a hairdresser. This meant she had a vast network within the hairdressing business all over Sweden, which proved useful, as it became her door to the market. “My background as a hairdresser has been very valuable, as it’s given me a lot of experience when it comes to creative thinking,” says Axelsson.

Solid as a rock After a few successful years, Axelsson thought that the time was right to expand

Sofie Axelsson.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

popular within the AROCK range are the many leather bracelets, which come in various shapes, designs and colours – something to suit everyone.

A wide appeal Together, Astrid & Agnes and AROCK offer a wide supply of jewellery, ranging from dainty to rough, and from small to large. “Because of this, our products attract a lot of people, regardless of age and style. A continuous theme in our collections over the years has been that classic touch. However, we’ve made sure to include a slightly edgier line every season,” Axelsson says. Owing to the fact that these two ranges have a broad appeal, this is a perfect brand when it comes to gifts. “That’s what many of our retailers often say,” Axelsson points out. Many media profiles agree that these ranges are

appealing, and Astrid & Agnes and AROCK products can often be spotted on the arm, around the neck or on the finger of many famous people on TV and social media. Initially selling at hair salons up and down the country, Agnes & Astrid and AROCK can today be found in various watch, jewellery, clothes as well as interior design shops, all over Scandinavia.

A la mode Notably fashionable this season are chains, chains and more chains. “We offer a large selection of chains, within both the Astrid & Agnes range and the AROCK range. The chains look great on their own or with several combined together – or why not mix a delicate piece of jewellery with a more roughlooking chain? It’s just so gorgeous,” Axelsson suggests.

Power jewellery A couple of very special pieces of jewellery that Axelsson is keen to mention are the POWER necklace and bracelet. “We developed these to support breast cancer research. Earlier in the autumn, we were incredibly excited to participate and sell our POWER jewellery at the Pink Power Weekend in Stockholm. All profits were donated, through Pink Power Weekend’s collection, to the Swedish Breast Cancer Association,” Axelsson explains.

A long life Ever since those early days, the philosophy behind Astrid & Agnes and AROCK has been to offer designed jewellery of high quality and durability. It is Scandinavian, powerful and unique, and created from carefully selected materials – stainless steel and genuine Italian leather – to guarantee that they will last. “We aim to design powerful jewellery with clean and beautiful characteristics. Wearing our jewellery will make you stand out from the crowd,” Axelsson concludes. Web: and Facebook: astridoagnes and arock_official Instagram: @astridoagnes and @arock_official

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  69

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Classically timeless Klong is one of Scandinavia’s favourite interior design brands, with some truly beautiful and unusual creations. Celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, Klong is only set to continue providing more modern classics for your home. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Klong

“Our vision is to create a pioneering collection where each unique product has the potential to become a future classic,” says Eva Hjertberg, founder and CEO. “All the products are selected to match our vision of functionality, playfulness and care, rather than fashion and trends.” The combination makes for a range of timeless products full of character. The collection consists of elegant furniture, lighting and interior decoration. One of its best-sellers is the vase Äng, by designer Eva Schildt, where the idea is to give each individual flower support to stand by itself. Another popular product is the sophisticated candle holder Gloria, by design duo Broberg & Ridderstråle, with a graceful halo surrounding the candle. 70  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

“It’s an interesting challenge to create beautiful designs that also add something unexpected and lasting,” continues Hjertberg. “Our customers appreciate that we have the courage to make products not seen before. We continuously strive to find our own style and path, and work with the best designers who dare to play with shapes and materials.”

Successful design collaborations The brand collaborates with wellestablished interior designers as well as newly graduated talents when developing its collections of furniture and interior decoration. A recent collaboration is with Jordi López from Kutarq Studio in Valencia, Spain, who has designed the

upside-down vase Awa, which can also be used as a candle holder. Another new design collaboration is with Charlotte von der Lancken, who has created two spectacular products: the sleek candle holder Tender, with a thin silhouette inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s delicate sculptures, and the playful spreader knife Tilt, which has a built-in weight so that it remains upright while swinging back and forth on the table. More exciting things are in the pipeline; for instance, Klong will add to the success of its Äng series with a low-edge version of the vase, and another addition to the product family is the elegant advent candle holder A.D. by duo Broberg & Ridderstråle. No doubt plenty more modern classics are set to arrive from the elegant interior design brand in the near future. Web:

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Therapeutic patterns on beautiful design ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is an expression Elin Hellgren and her mother, Ann-Christine Hellgren, took to heart when Elin’s rheumatic illness interfered with many of her dreams. “In the hospital bed, I didn’t have energy to do anything but draw,” she explains. Today, her drawings are featured on some truly beautiful interior design products. By Sara Wenkel  |  Photos: Elin Gavle Design

During an extended hospitalisation, Elin developed an interest in drawing. What started out as doodles soon turned into creative, mesmerising Mandala patterns – and after creating a tray with the pattern as a Christmas gift to a family member, people in her circle started to get in touch as they were so impressed with her work. “My mum started to look into production and founded the company so that I could pursue my dream of having my own web shop,” says Elin.

Fascinating pattern

Elin’s chronic illness is constantly present, but with the start of Gavle Design, the mother and daughter had something new and exciting to talk about. “Everything has to take its time as I can’t work that much, but this new focus helps me so much,” says Elin.

Print of traditional Christmas symbol

All products by Gavle Design feature prints hand-drawn by Elin. The Mandala patterns she creates, which make the products so unique, are in and of themselves therapeutic – both to draw and to look at. “To many, it is extremely fascinating – the way you follow a line that seems to never end,” explains Ann-Christine. “Most people can’t believe that Elin has actually drawn these patterns herself!”

One print from Gavle Design that is current right now is that of Gävlebocken, the Gävle goat. What is basically a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat has become a

global Christmas symbol attracting many curious Swedish and international tourists every year. “As we live in Gävle, we found it natural to create a print of the goat,” says Elin. The print can be found on tea towels, dish cloths, trays, postcards and posters in Gavle Design’s web shop.

Ann-Christine and Elin Hellgren.

For international purchase requests, you can email: Web: Facebook: gavledesign Instagram: @gavledesign

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  71

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

High-quality, environmentally friendly warmth In a day and age when sustainability is becoming increasingly important to the average consumer, Stackelbergs meets the brief with flying colours. Focusing on luxurious wool and mohair plaids, along with bed linen and other items for the home, this thriving company celebrates ten years this year. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Malin Cropper

The straight-forward design is accompanied by a dedication to offering a product that will last longer than a couple of seasons. “The common denominator in everything we do is that, in addition to high quality, we also strive to offer a green profile,” designer and CEO Anna-Carin Stackelberg emphasises. This green profile runs through the entire company, from the materials used in the production to customer advice regarding how best to care for the products in order to make them last longer. Having always had a firm commitment to high-quality products, founder Stackelberg is clearly of the view that less is more. “We don’t plan to 72  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

expand our range, but instead focus on and continue to develop what we’ve become really good at, and well known for. We’re perfectly pleased with what we’re doing now, and we just want to refine and aim to get even better,” she explains. Stackelbergs plaids come in many colours, from mustard to moss, and they will certainly add a bit of warmth and colour to any home. With the business having also recently branched out to become the sales agency for the new Calvin Klein Home range in Scandinavia, Stackelbergs has evidently become successful in its niche.

Surely the perfect Christmas gift is one that does not include worrying about what size to get, is sure to make the recipient feel cosy and appreciated, and means you can rest assured that the item will stand the test of time and not be broken or scruffy-looking come January? Well, you might just have found exactly what you were looking for.

Web: Instagram: @stackelbergs

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

All rings are made in Sweden, imbued with skilled craftsmanship passed down through generations.

Sustainable diamond rings made for you – and made to last Gold of Sweden is a young company with old traditions, rooted in three generations of goldsmiths, the youngest of whom decided to open a new business for a wider audience. An online shop with wedding and engagement rings was launched in the summer of 2019, offering exclusive collections with the chance to tailor every detail to your specific taste. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Gold of Sweden AB

The story began in Borås, Sweden, when the grandfather of Johan Odén founded Guldsmedjan, a goldsmith that is still today a renowned business in the town. Odén followed in the footsteps of his forefathers, and after getting a lot of positive feedback he decided to launch a new venture together with Hanna Waldenström and Jenny Odén. “My customers made me think about launching an online business; they encouraged me to expand to an audience beyond the local community,” Odén says. They decided to cut out middle men altogether, selling directly to the customers and focusing on the web shop to enhance the customer experience, also enabling them to offer lower prices

on their collections. A close connection is still preserved with Guldsmedjan, where production takes place and collections can be viewed in person. Two collections have been released so far, and the next two will include signet and gemstone rings. Gold of Sweden is, as far as they know, the only online jeweller to offer Swedish-made 18-carat gold rings with both lab-grown and natural diamonds. A lab-grown diamond has the exact same shape, chemical structure and qualities as a natural diamond, but is grown in a lab during a four-week period, thereby decreasing the pressure on the Earth’s natural re-

sources. Taking pride in their focus on sustainability, Gold of Sweden wishes to be a leader in the industry for conscious choices. “We only use recycled gold – you can even send us your own gold for your creations – and all of our production takes place in Sweden, by skilled craftsmen. Our rings are made to last for generations,” Waldenström says. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, Gold of Sweden also provides the chance to design your own, by making amendments to existing rings or by starting from scratch. With traditions inherited through generations, in combination with modern technology, Gold of Sweden will help you create the ring of your dreams – carefully crafted by experienced craftsmen. Web: Facebook: Gold of Sweden Instagram: @goldofsweden

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  73

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Layer upon layer of birch veneer creates unique items, handmade in Sweden

A traditional trademark serving trendy trays – and more Åry Trays started making birch veneer trays in 1952, and has since then been one of the most prominent producers on the market. You can easily customise your own tray, or head directly for Åry Home, the sister brand where you can choose from carefully selected motifs from famous designers and artists. Looking for a table, coaster, shelf or other interior design item? Look no further – an abundance of other design items are available, too. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Åry AB

Founded in the small town of Nybro, Sweden, Åry Trays has made a name for itself as one of the most high-quality producers on the market, with its original trays still being sold at auctions – a clear sign of their longevity in design and durability. The company only sells business to business, and despite producing high quantities for retailers and hospitality businesses around the world, the production has stayed the same since the beginning; all products are handmade in Nybro, where layers of birch veneer are pressed together and molded into trays, bowls, cutting boards, coasters and much more. A sustainable pro74  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

duction cycle is important – all the wood is FSC certified, and any waste goes into heating the premises as well as the machines for production. “We are proud to offer so many beautiful options. We collaborate with fantastic designers and artists, and we are also honouring the simplicity of finely crafted wood. In our Viventium collection, we have used oak, ash and walnut to create gorgeous trays and bowls, where the beauty and longevity of the wood itself are celebrated,” says Sara Åberg, head of sales and marketing. The trays are also made to match the brand’s tray ta-

bles; choose between anthracite, gold or wooden stands, and mix and match in the way that suits you best. Scandinavian design is always in focus, and the portfolio boasts work by Scandinavian designers with contributions from international talents. Sam  Pickard’s Pine Cone collection evokes memories of the vast pine forests of Sweden; Ulrica Hydman-Vallien’s world-famous, playful motifs make another obvious choice; and Jesper Ståhl has contributed with a shelf that can be set up in 16 different ways. Simplicity and the quality of the wood are key,  and with some help from playful designers, Åry Trays provides items that will keep any room beautiful for a very  long time. Web: and Instagram: @aryhome

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Christmas Gifts From Sweden

A colourful hello to timeless design After several inspiring years abroad, Catrine Åberg, founder and creative director of Cooee Design, returned to Sweden. Bursting with ideas and exciting visions, she set out on a mission to add colour to Swedish homes. The interior design company Cooee Design equates to stylish minimalism for all homes, with its easily distinguished silky-smooth, matte-surfaced ceramics in beautiful colours. Åberg grew up in an arty family, and after several years in Australia, she fell in love with the Aboriginal Australians’ artistic expressions. Cooee, which means ‘hello’ in a local aboriginal language, was founded in 2008 and has since grown from a small venture with a focus on jewellery, where the Åberg family stood for everything from design to production, to one of the leading Scandinavian interior design brands. “I find inspiration in everything from nature to art exhibitions, and many ideas start with us missing and wanting a certain product ourselves,” Åberg explains. Cooee has many iconic designs, such as the signature vase Ball, advantageously combined

with other Cooee sculptures, such as the Pillar vase. In addition to permanent features, Cooee collaborates with eminent designers who share the same love for timeless and minimalist design. The recent collaboration with Swedish artist Kristiina Haataja resulted in COOEE x KRISTIINA and 13 unique ceramic sculptures, designed and developed to effortlessly match the colour scheme, sizes and shapes of existing Cooee products.

By Kristine Olofsson

All products are available through the company’s web shop and 300 resellers, through which Cooee continues to add splashes of colour and interesting designs to homes all over the world.

Photo: Catrine Åberg

Photo: Osman Tahir

Web: Facebook: Cooee-Design Instagram: @catcooee


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Enlightenment for life, the Danish way If you’ve ever thought about studying in Denmark, you’ll likely have come across the ‘efterskole’ concept. This unique educational institution for teens currently sees almost 30,000 students attend and reside at in total close to 250 schools across Denmark – and heralding a slightly different form of enlightenment. Photos: Faaborgegnens Efterskole

Similar in philosophy to the more senior Danish folkehøjskole (folk high school) concept, the efterskole tradition is closely linked to the values and ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), who didn’t believe in formal vocational training but wanted schools to provide, as he called it, enlightenment for life. As such, while these schools offer many of the same subjects and qualifications as state schools, most efterskoler also provide students with the chance to specialise in a field of interest 76  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

close to their heart, such as sport, music or theatre. Overall, these schools take a freer, sometimes more alternative approach to teaching and education generally, some in line with their political, religious or pedagogical ethos. The first few efterskoler were founded in Denmark around 150 years ago, but the popularity of the tradition is showing no sign of waning – quite the contrary. With many efterskoler practising a genuinely

democratic governance and making a conscious effort to prepare students for a life as active, engaged world citizens, this segment has seen a surge in interest in recent decades. If you want to spend a year indulging a special interest while making friendships for life as part of a community that makes the world seem that bit warmer and more positive – read on.

Want more information about the efterskole concept, registered schools and courses, and relevant rules and regulations? Efterskoleforeningen has all the details and links. Web:

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  77

With students from more than 20 different countries, Ranum Efterskole College presents a truly diverse school environment.

‘We’re the school for Danish expats’ With a specific focus on young expats from Danish families abroad, Ranum Efterskole College’s bilingual set-up provides students with an unmatched chance to learn Danish while being part of an inclusive, English-speaking environment. With ninth- and tenth-graders from more than 20 countries, the school presents a truly diverse environment focused on introducing youngsters to the Danish learning culture, while preparing them for continued education in Denmark or abroad. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Ranum Efterskole College

Having initiated its full international programme seven years ago, Ranum today presents one of Denmark’s most international and diverse school experiences. With 430 students, the school is able to offer no less than 25 profile subjects, 25 culture subjects and more than 50 extra-curricular subjects, as well as two international programmes. Currently, the international programmes, Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge AS/A 78  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

level, have more than 180 students from over 20 different countries enrolled. “We are the only Danish efterskole offering students the possibility of combining Danish and international programmes, and that creates a unique possibility for us to give expats a smooth introduction to the Danish educational system, while at the same time enabling them to continue their education abroad,” says principal Olav Storm Johannsen.

On top of the flexible programme and academic offerings, Ranum is also the only efterskole in Denmark to offer international boarders a full host package. This means that the school can take over all practical responsibility for students, who do not have the opportunity of visiting a family or host family in Denmark during the extended weekends and short school holidays.

430 individual timetables It is not just when it comes to the international options that students at Ranum are free to create their own individual programme. As everybody chooses individual profile subjects – such as dance, drama or gastronomy, or culture subjects including Cuba, China or Thailand – none of the school’s 430 students have

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

identical schedules. Furthermore, to ensure that each student is academically challenged no matter which level he or she enters the school at, all academic subjects have different levels from one to five. For example, a student can take mathematics at level one, English at level three and Danish at level four. The different levels range from the Danish ninth- and tenth-grade programme to the international IGSCE and AS-level programmes. In addition to other offerings, students who attend the school to improve their Danish skills have the chance to do so through Danish lessons specially tailored to their needs. “Because of the school’s size, we are able to offer a class specifically tailored to the students who need to improve their verbal and written Danish skills more fundamentally to prepare for a continued education in a Danish secondary school,” explains Johannsen.

Danish efterskole values and global skills On top of preparing students with the academic skills needed to navigate an international world, the size of Ranum and its global structure also enable students to gain life skills from all over the world. “An ‘efterskole’ is very much about being pre-

Ranum offers an extraordinary range of co-curricular and extra-curricular subjects, allowing each of the 430 students to create their own schedule.

pared for a free and independent life, and that’s something that is greatly furthered if the students learn these values in a diverse community,” says Johannsen. “Diversity changes the light the students see themselves in so that it naturally expands to include a much wider spectrum of colours; it gives them a much broader understanding of the world and emboldens them to explore the possibilities it holds for them – both at the school and after.” Meanwhile, while at the school, the youngsters will also be immersed in

Danish efterskole culture. Based on the values of an inclusive and participatory democracy, the school aims to provide a framework in which each of its 430 students can contribute to the development of extra-curricular subjects and activities. “Our school is founded on the ambition of enabling students and employees to shape the content of the school’s extracurricular subjects, as well as profile and culture subjects, together. It’s a unique way to learn about the responsibility, participation and democracy that are the cornerstones of what our students here call ‘#togetherness’,” says Johannsen. “The fact that students and employees shape the year together creates an innovative and highly motivating environment that you won’t experience at schools where everything is in pre-defined boxes. It also means that our students learn to focus on their individual interests and goals, and to implement decisions that will enable them to achieve them.”

Exploring the world

Students can explore the cultures and traditions of different countries through Ranum’s 25 culture subjects.

As the third-biggest efterskole in Denmark, Ranum collaborates with schools and global education institutes from all over the world. Among its partners are international organisations such as Cambridge Assessment International Education, the Nordic Network of International Schools, and UNESCO. Furthermore, the school offers all students three yearly travel experiences to global destinations that challenge the students’ Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  79

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

academic and cultural skillset. All of the trips are integrated into the students’ chosen profile and culture subjects, with students partaking in academic preparation two to three months before each trip. “It’s not just a random chance to get out of class, but a trip planned as part of the academic programme; it’s a learning tool that supremely connects academic skills, life skills and individual interests,” stresses Johannsen. The trips abroad are also among the many experiences that make Celine Svinding, who completed the school’s International General Certificate of Secondary Education this summer, absolutely sure she made the right choice in coming to Ranum. “My year at Ranum has been amazing – not least because I made friends for life and had unforgettable trips to Liverpool, South Africa and Hong Kong, but also because I learned to adapt to others, to people very different from myself,” she says, adding: “I’ve only had one school year here, and it’s passed incredibly fast, but I have in no way regretted my choice. Nothing else would be able to replace what I’ve learnt at Ranum.”

Summer school While there are many obvious advantages to a year at a Danish efterskole, at just 80  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

International offers at Ranum Efterskole College: — Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education — Cambridge Advanced Level Ranum Efterskole College in numbers: — 450 students — 101 employees — 57 teachers — 19,600-square-metre campus. — Students live in one-, two-, four-,   or six-student apartments. — More than 50 extra-curricular   subjects. — Four science laboratories. — Three music rooms. — Six specialist classrooms: design/  art, craft, multimedia, e-sport,   e-music, and IT. — Four gyms and an outdoor sports   arena. — 25 profile subjects including adventure race, dance, drama,   gastronomy, yoga and mindfulness,   and street performance. — 25 culture subjects including Cuba, Hawaii, China, Nepal, New Zealand,   South Korea, and Thailand.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

15 or 16, signing up for a full year can be daunting, especially for those students who spent their entire life in a different country. To help those struggling to decide, Ranum has created a two-to-fourweek International Summer School, offering a taste of Danish efterskole life. The summer school provides students with a chance to challenge themselves personally and academically, while strengthening their social competencies and exploring a number of Denmark’s famous attractions and cities. 15-yearold Ludovica from Italy was one of the youngsters taking part last year. “I joined Ranum Summer School, and it was the best summer of my entire life. I experienced things that I would never have thought of, because there are a lot of different opportunities at the school – you will most certainly find something you think is interesting and fun. I both learnt how to sail and studied science, and to me that is a really nice combination.” Web: and Facebook: ranumefterskole Instagram: @ranumefterskole

Ranum’s two-to-four-week International Summer School offers students from all over the world a taste of the Danish efterskole life.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  81

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

A space to grow and flourish Everyone deserves a chance to discover, develop and reach their potential – also intellectually disabled teenagers with severe learning difficulties, including Down Syndrome and autism. Therefore, a group of volunteers decided that it was time for a boarding school dedicated to this specific target group. Fast-forward two years of preparations and fundraising efforts, and Kvie Sø Efterskole – the first school of its kind in Jutland – welcomed its very first group of students earlier this year. By Camilla Pedersen  |  Photos: Kvie Sø Efterskole

“Despite their disabilities, our pupils want to grow personally and professionally like any other person their age – they want to be good at something. We’re here to nurture and support our students on that journey so that they can lead the most fulfilling lives possible,” says principal Lars Lærkesen Holm. Kvie Sø Efterskole is similar to other boarding schools in many ways. The curriculum includes subjects such as maths and Danish, and the students have several electives to choose from on top of four different programmes – cooking/health, media/performance, farming, and art/design – each designed to support their development. However, the day-to-day life at the school is characterised by a slower pace, struc82  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

ture and regularity – including in the classrooms, where subjects are taught in creative ways that draw on play and hands-on activities. “The students are divided into three groups based on their cognitive level. It’s important that they are around students that they have something in common with and that they can reflect themselves in. They need to feel safe in order to flourish; our highly skilled and dedicated team of school teachers and social educators, who complement each other well with each their set of expertise, excel at providing an environment for that. We also hired a farmer who teaches the students on the farming programme. They help looking after our goats, pigs and chickens, and some-

thing as simple as measuring fodder for the animals can strengthen their mathematical proficiency. There is a lot of learning for them in these little things,” Holm says. This is exactly what a stay at Kvie Sø Efterskole is meant to do: the goal is for the students to become more self-reliant and leave with some areas of interest that will give them a happier and more fulfilling life. Everyone deserves that. About Kvie Sø Efterskole: Kvie Sø Efterskole welcomed 37 students in August 2019. Next year, the school will have capacity for up to 62 students, including four wheelchair users. The school welcomes students from 14 to 19 years of age. It is recommended that they stay for two to three years.

Web: Facebook: Kvie Sø Efterskole

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

Traditional values in a modern world With a strong focus on sustainability, diversity and inclusivity, Faaborgegnens Efterskole is a modern ‘efterskole’ with traditional values. The school offers four main subjects focused on food, IT, nature and art. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Faaborgegnens Efterskole

Founded 17 years ago, Faaborgegnens Efterskole is a relatively new school, but at the heart of it are the values of a traditional Danish ‘efterskole’. “Our school centres on the feeling of community – to come here, you have to be willing to give and receive something to and from the community,” says principal Marianne Kjær Nielsen. “It’s something that many pupils find challenging, but intriguing. A lot of children now spend more

At Faaborgegnens Efterskole, traditional ‘efterskole’ values like solidarity, inclusivity, and diversity are at the heart of all activities, both inside and outside the classroom.

time with their friends on social media than in real life, and here we’re back to basics – sitting in circles and actually being together.” Beautifully located by the sea in Southern Funen, Faaborgegnens Efterskole attracts pupils from both Denmark and abroad and is currently collaborating with a school in Schleswig to welcome more pupils from Germany. The school also has a number of spaces earmarked for pupils with physical

disabilities. “Many of them have conditions that have meant that they have spent a lot of time on their own, but here they will experience being part of something,” says Nielsen. Pupils will also be part of the school’s aspiration to become as green as possible, a quest that has led to big-scale measures such as the use of a straw-fired boiler and solar panels and smaller-scale measures such as buying and preserving local vegetables and knitting sustainable table cloths.

Web: Facebook: Instagram: @faaborgegnensefterskole

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  A Guide to Danish Efterskoler

Where collaboration and community are in focus A year at an efterskole in Denmark is one where you get a chance to explore your interests, meet new people and live away from home. At Bråskovgård Efterskole in Jutland, there are eight different pathways to choose from, 140 students to get to know, and 70 hectares of grounds to roam around. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Bråskovgård Efterskole

At Bråskovgård, there is the opportunity to choose between gastronomy, KreaLab, TechLab, outdoor, hunting, photography, horses and farming pathways, all of which are combined with traditional school subjects. The pupils are also currently working with the Millennium Development Goals, doing experiments and learning how they can make the school more sustainable. “The different pathways work together and alongside each other. We put a lot of effort into pupils working with and helping each other out: for example, with the TechLab group creating solar panels for a backpack the KreaLab pupils had made, and the gastronomy students going out

into the field with the farming group. It creates a community of people who are able to work together and can learn from each other,” explains Preben Brunsgaard, principal at Bråskovgård Efterskole. Within the normal subjects, the classes are divided into different levels in order to help and challenge the pupils. “Everyone is equally important, and we want our

Get a flying start in life

pupils to gain as much as possible from their year with us. It creates a great community where people are supportive and want to actively participate in the school,” says Brunsgaard. From day one, to help with working out the future, Bråskovgård supports its pupils and helps them to develop themselves and their interests. The school’s welcoming, inclusive and collaborative community is one that brings out the best in people and gives them one of the most memorable years of their life.


By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Tjele Efterskole

With extensive skate, scooter and BMX facilities, Tjele Efterskole is the place to be for wheel-obsessed eighth, ninth and tenth-graders. But the school also has many other exciting offers, including the chance to train in table tennis with the assistant coach of Greenland’s national team. Founded in 1985, Tjele Efterskole’s main aim is to enable students to “be outstanding”. It does so through an action-packed schedule and focus on health and exercise. “All our students, even those on non-sports programmes, learn about diet and exercise during their time with us,” says principal Kim Hansen. Though most famous for its skate-, BMX- and scooter facilities, Tjele Efterskole also offers a number of creative subjects, as well as table tennis headed by Michael Jørgensen, who also coaches Greenland’s national team. Another popular subject is e-sport, in which pupils can improve their skills in a range of different games. For youngsters looking to pursue a vocational education, the school offers a unique craftsman class combining academic subjects 84  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

with vocational skills and apprenticeships. The big range of subjects creates a great variation in ambitions and backgrounds among the school’s 100 pupils. “It’s a very diverse group, and one thing we prioritise is that they learn from each other and their differences. Tolerance is a keyword at Tjele Efterskole,” stresses Hansen.

Main subjects offered at Tjele Efterskole: Art and design; artisan; animation; scooter; BMX race; author; table tennis; skateboarding; girl skills; BMX freestyle; e-sport. The school is located in Tjele, about   25 minutes from Randers.

Pupils at Tjele Efterskole can enjoy the school’s outstanding facilities and expertise within subjects such as BMX, skate, e-sport and table tennis.

Web: Facebook: Ta’ Te’ Tjele


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AY W e OR Sp N T SI I V l cia


Hiking in the queen’s footsteps As beautiful as the Norwegian mainland is, even more dazzling are its islands. At the stunning Vesterålen archipelago, well above the Arctic Circle, you’ll find pearl-white beaches, impressive mountain peaks and picturesque fjords aplenty. In between the many islands lives a great community of whales, for whom the abundance of food in the water is a true feast. Yet, the crown jewel of the archipelago is Dronningruta (The Queen’s Route), a magnificent walking trail through the mountains. It sure isn’t for the faint-hearted – but if you’re brave enough to embark upon it, you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic vistas. By Arne Adriaenssens  |  Photos: Christian Roth Christensen

The Dronningruta was named after Norway’s Queen Sonja, who walked this trail herself in 1994. Many royalty watchers soon followed in her footsteps, and it became a popular route thereafter. But, even if you have less affinity for what happens behind the palace doors, Dronningruta still deserves a spot on your hiking bucket list. 86  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

As it is a round trip, the trail both starts and finishes in Stø, a tiny fishermen’s village crept in between the mountains and the waves. Whether you walk it clockwise or counterclockwise is entirely up to you. Either way, you are up for a demanding 15-kilometre hike, which will take up five to eight hours of your time. A mix

of steep slopes and easily walkable paths guide you from panorama to panorama, and to Finngamheia, the tour’s highest point, some 450 metres above sea level. But the pristine nature of Vesterålen most definitely makes the hard work worthwhile. The many peaceful ponds, green meadows and stunning seascapes along the road are some of the most beautiful in northern Norway. Many Norwegian travel guides recommend avid hikers to head to Dronningruta, and we’ll happily second that. And while you’re in Vesterålen, why not pay a visit to some of our favourite destinations? Allow us to introduce them to you over the following pages.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Visit Norway — Vesterålen

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  87

Hvalsafari AS brings you close to the majestic whales of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Whale watching with a money-back guarantee For the past three decades, Hvalsafari AS (Whalesafari Andesnes) has been bringing people from all over the world closer to the giants in the sea. From its small beginnings in 1989, the company has expanded and perfected its craft and product, and may well be the only whale-watching company in the world with a money-back guarantee if no whales are seen. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Tone and Thorleif

Located in Andenes, the northernmost settlement of the island of Andøya, Hvalsafari AS is a destination whose visitors find themselves surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Vesterålen archipelago in northern Norway on one side, and the vastness of the North Atlantic Ocean on the other – the perfect location for whale spotting.

explains. The idea of a whale spotting company was born when Swedish and Danish marine biologists were travelling the Norwegian coastline and, during a stay at Andenes, told tales of sperm whales discovered in the sea outside the village. They also told of other countries using such opportunities for tourism, bringing the people out to the whales.

“We were actually the first to offer whale safaris in Norway,” Geir Maan, general manager and owner of Hvalsafari AS,

The idea was brought to life, and after a successful trial season in 1988, the company was officially founded in

88  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

1989. The rest, as they say, is history. 30 years and 400,000 tourists later, Hvalsafari AS now has two boats fully customised as whale watching vessels, as well as a whale museum with a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and a bar with panoramic views of the Andenes Harbour and the ocean.

Using technology to ensure safety and success A lot has changed since the company first started out. Technology has improved both on land and at sea, and finding the whales is no longer the guessing-game it once was. On board their boats, they have underwater listening devices called hydrophones, allowing Maan and the rest of the crew to hear the whales from miles away. This, again, allows them to easily locate and find the whales, rath-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Visit Norway — Vesterålen

er than having to wait and hope for a chance encounter. The hydrophones also help to make the trips more efficient and environmentally friendly, as they allow for shorter trips and less fuel being used. This allows Hvalsafari AS to introduce a complete money-back guarantee as part of their 30th anniversary. “If no whales show up during the trip, we refund your ticket,” Maan says. “We’ve been out 270 times so far this year, and except for the couple of times we’ve had to return to land due to the weather conditions changing, we’ve seen whales on every single trip.” But even before a trip kicks off, technology is utilised. The weather conditions in coastal environments change rapidly, and the company is continuously keeping an eye on the weather forecasts to make sure the trips are safe. With the gulf stream on their doorstep, the strength and direction of wind dictate how rough the sea gets. This might mean that a trip is brought forward or postponed on short notice, but it’s all in the best interest of the customers. But even if you find yourself having to wait an extra day or two to get to go out on a boat, there’s plenty to do on land.

In the winter, Andenes is among the best places in Norway to see the northern lights, and Hvalsafari AS is happy to help you experience the phenomenon on its northern lights safaris. In the summer, there’s the midnight sun, offering magical nights with golden views of the ocean and hikes over the sandy, white beaches. And soon, you’ll be out on the waves with Maan and his crew, respectfully greeting the great marine mammals. Hvalsafari AS takes great care in treating the whales appropriately and not

disturbing them in their natural habitat. They use low speed, approach them from behind, and attempt to never approach a whale with more than one boat at a time. They leave it up to the whale to decide the distance to the vessel, and the captain always keeps an eye on the behaviour of the whale to make sure it’s as comfortable and safe as the people on deck. Web: Facebook: whalesafariandenes

Photo: Fernando Ugarte

Photo: Helge Hellesund

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  89

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Visit Norway — Vesterålen

In 2017, Sigerfjord Fisk won the Det Norske Måltid award in the category Seafood of the Year – Farming. Photo: Det Norske Måltid

Juniper smoked Arctic char by Øyvind Bøe Dalelv. Photo: Fredrik Ringe, Chef of the Year 2017.

Using a caring and knowledgeable approach to fish farming, Sigerfjord Fisk achieves tasty, dense and healthy Arctic char products. Photo: Sigerfjord Fisk

Flavours of the north – caring for product and process For fish farmer and producer Sigerfjord Fisk, the goal above all else is to create environments where fish thrive – just like in their natural habitat. Using a state-ofthe-art farming method, the company achieves healthy, high-quality and flavourful Arctic char. By Julie Linden

“I have been part of this exciting development since 1982,” says owner and CEO Trond Geir Reinsnes. He recounts how he spent 43 nights in a tent across northern Norway in the early 1980s in order to secure broodfish from ten of the region’s largest waterways. “We  represent a unique commitment to nature and the natural, and specifically a farming process that mimics the life cycle of the fish.” Called ‘the queen of salmon’, Arctic char has a clean taste, dense consistency and is less oily than other types of salmon – with the added benefit that the natural fat in the fish comes from healthy mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Using a caring and knowledgeable approach to fish farming,  Sigerfjord Fisk has absorbed more and more of the Norwegian market and, 90  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

since 1991, the company has represented 70 per cent of the production of Arctic char in Norway. Important to this success is that the fish is farmed without the use of antibiotics and delousing agents. As one of few Norwegian turnkey suppliers of fish products, supplying succulent products from roe to whole fish, the Sigerfjord name stands for the highest possible quality and flavourful culinary experiences. “Our method of farming involves natural nutrients that grow in the production plant, in addition to the fish feed provided, which makes for a natural and fantastic taste,” says  Reinsnes, explaining that the wide range of products includes fillets, hot-smoked, cold-smoked and ‘rakfisk’ (traditional fermented fish) varieties, in addition to whole fish and roe.

Sigerfjord’s Arctic char from Vesterålen, the area just north of Lofoten, is a natural choice and cherished product among chefs and culinary aficionados. Having gained a protected geographical designation in 2007, the brand is a proud supplier of Vesterålen produce. The company’s excellence, its diligent process and its products have earned Sigerfjord  Fisk several accolades, most impressively the 2017 Det Norske Måltid award in the category Seafood of the Year – Farming, an award recognising the best food products in the country.

Fresh Arctic char. Photo: Strømme Throndsen Design

Web: Facebook: Sigerfjord Fisk AS Instagram: @sigerfjordfisk_ishavsroye

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Visit Norway — Vesterålen

The modern house by the sea An architect-designed holiday home that offers nature and serenity in combination with art and culture on its doorstep: the perfect getaway is waiting for you to discover it. Are you dreaming of exploring the north of Norway, with its famous midnight sun, northern lights, whale safaris as well as small villages off the beaten track? Get to know Lofoten’s lesser-known neighbour, the Vesterålen islands, with Huset på Skåltofta as your perfect base. The hiking trail Dronningruta (The Queen’s Route) leads right past the house, taking you along pristine, white sandy beaches and over tall mountain peaks, offering an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean. Only a stone’s throw away is the historical fishing village of Nyksund, today a thriving community with its own art gallery, cafe and restaurant. Originally a fisherman’s house, the self-catered Huset på Skåltofta is the perfect home away from home, with capacity for up to seven guests across four bed-

rooms. It has recently been meticulously refurbished in a stylish yet functional design. Enjoy the outdoor patio on sunny days or stay cosy indoors in front of the open fireplace. Generous panoramic windows

provide lots of natural light, as well as unparalleled views of the breathtaking landscape and wildlife. Huset på Skåltofta is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway for two, or spacious enough to gather family and friends. It can also cater well for company off-sites, for those looking for an away-day with a difference.

Photo: Ruth Anne Steffensen

Photo: Ruth Anne Steffensen

A nostalgic holiday in Norway Nestled away in Vesterålen, Loviktunet offers guests the opportunity to stay in one of two historic holiday homes. This is a great place to find peace when visiting this part of northern Norway. Loviktunet consists of two traditional Norwegian houses from the olden days. “The red house is from 1918, while the yellow one dates back to 1750. They are both old farmhouses adjoining our farm,” says owner Tor-Ivar Grav, who together with his wife welcomes guests all year round to this idyllic place. Newly restored and renovated, the houses have kept their original charm but are equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay. The atmosphere is homely, with a calm colour palette and vintage furniture. Located in the small village of Lovik in Andøy, with only 13 inhabitants, Loviktunet is a quiet place where you can easily find peace. “We are close to the sea, with great views, and since there are limited lights around it is an optimal place to experi-

By Bianca Wessel

Web: Facebook: Skaaltofta

By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Loviktunet

to be a nostalgic place where people come to learn old techniques and enjoy themselves together.”

ence the northern lights,” Grav says. The area also offers plenty of activities such as mountain hikes, whale safari, fishing and day trips to Lofoten. With plans for expansion, a new building is set to be completed in the summer of 2021. “We have designed a large space where cultural gatherings, conferences and courses will take place. It will be modern but still look like an old barn, with a style that matches the yellow and red house,” Grav explains. “We want it


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Relaxing delights and shared experiences in northern Norway In Bodø, you will not only find some of Norway’s most scenic nature and most glorious displays of the northern lights. Here, you can also enjoy quality time with the family at one of the country’s largest activity centres, and marvel at the spectrum of delights this region has to offer – from swimming pools to spa days. By Julie Linden  |  Photos: Marthe Mølstre

“Bodø Spektrum offers everything you need to enjoy a dynamic and wide array of experiences, whether that’s a weekend escape with a loved one, a day out with the family, or an inspiring getaway for you and your colleagues. We’re fully equipped to accommodate your every wish, including swimming pools, spa experiences, culinary delights and wonderful nature experiences. Few experiences match that of enjoying time with loved ones in a warm pool while watching the 92  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

northern lights – you’ll have to come see it for yourself,” says Kristin Haugen, marketing manager at Bodø Spektrum.

Quality time, relaxation and safe learning environments As one of Norway’s most bountiful and abundantly equipped sports, culture and adventure centres, Bodø Spektrum boasts two large multi-use halls that serve as well-organised locations for sports events, fairs, concerts, confer-

ences and events. Beyond these halls, named Bodøhallen and Nordlandshallen, the centre provides a modern water park – Nordlandsbadet – and a state-of-theart spa and wellness centre. Through its separate in-house businesses, Bodø Spektrum also offers a modern fitness centre, physiotherapy, skin, body and spa treatments, an emergency room and a ballet studio. Welcoming around 520,000 visitors each year, the centre is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike – and boasts an ever-expanding range of exciting offers for individuals, professionals and families. “We’re an experience-based centre aiming to offer something for everyone, with an emphasis on relax-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Visit Norway — Bodø

ation, safe learning and quality family time. From the diving tower to children’s pools, there’s an offering for visitors in every category,” says Haugen.

Seizing the day – a splash of quality time With fun zones such as wave pools, diving towers and current machines, Nordlandsbadet provides plenty of room to challenge oneself and have a good time – no matter one’s level of swimming proficiency. The centre also encourages guests to enjoy a visit disconnected from mobile devices if they so wish, enabling a feel of mindfulness and in-the-moment enjoyment. This is a welcome feature at the water park, perfectly summarising its family-centred approach. “We think there’s real and attainable value to be derived from focusing on the present moment – especially as it promotes togetherness and all-round wellness,” says Haugen. “Our aim is to focus on quality time for kids and families, attaining not only a safe and enjoyable

environment – but creating a space conducive to learning and great memories. Children are notably happier, parents delight in seeing their young ones playing in the water, and those special moments are captured and remembered,” she says, adding: “We hope to inspire parents to take part in their children’s world in an immersive way, bringing out that playfulness that is so important to keep alive. There’s nothing more rewarding than setting the scene for those childhood memories.”

Relaxation under the northern lights As a prolongment of its present-moment ethos, Bodø Spektrum’s wellness offering is relaxing, soothing and something out of the ordinary. In the modern wellness centre, clients can ensure a stay perfectly in line with their personal preferences – whether one is after a celebratory group stay with friends, a quiet day for pampering, or simply relaxation. “The most important thing for us is that our clients are looked after and receive a service that makes for a relaxing stay,”

says Haugen. “Our popular restitution spaces, spa offerings and saunas are always available, and full meals, snacks and beverages can be ordered to enhance one’s stay.” Notable to Bodø’s location just north of the Arctic Circle are the ample opportunities to experience the northern lights in the wintertime, and the midnight sun during early summer. As many of the activity centre’s pools are situated fully or halfway outside the water halls, these seasonal phenomena can often be experienced during a warm dip in a Jacuzzi, or a swim in one of the heated pools. “These experiences add a spectacular bonus to an altogether exciting day out,” says Haugen. “Regardless of which activity you choose to take part in at the centre, the location and surrounding nature will take your breath away.” Web: Facebook: Bodø Spektrum Instagram: @bodoespektrum

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  93






m he


Experiencing northern wilderness Arctic wilderness makes Finland an adventure traveller’s dream come true. Visitors looking for a truly memorable experience are spoilt for choice by the tailor-made itineraries and activities on offer by a crew of experienced, multilingual tour guides at Nordic Unique Travels. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Marcelo Souza

“Finland is sometimes overshadowed by Iceland and Norway as a Nordic nature destination,” says Marcelo Souza, international business manager at Nordic Unique Travels, a tour operator based in Rovaniemi. “Many of our clients are absolutely stunned by the variety of attractions and activities on offer.” Nordic Unique Travels offers around 100 experiences in Finland. Families with young children often arrive to visit Santa Claus – who calls Rovaniemi his official hometown – but most visitors come to explore the vast wilderness that surrounds the hub located almost exactly at the Arctic Circle.

Northern lights “Finland is particularly well-suited for spotting the northern lights,” Souza says. “The weather patterns during peak 94  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

season are more predictable than in some of the neighbouring countries. We have a pretty good track record in predicting sightings.” The Northern Lights Photography Tour is one of the company’s most popular activities. “We’ve got professional photographers with specialist equipment as tour guides, and our guests get to go home with copies of all photographs taken that night.”

Tailor-made experiences The North Cape King Crab Tour is another of the company’s specialities. “We bring visitors on an unforgettable tour across Finnish Lapland to the shores of the Arctic Ocean in Norway,” Souza explains. “Our guests tend to love the fact that they’re also invited to indulge in an unlimited amount of the highly-prized delicacy.”

Other perennially popular experiences include the snowmobile, husky and reindeer safaris. “We have our own brandnew snowmobile fleet and can provide safaris that are tailored for beginners and experts alike,” Souza says. The company’s customer-focused approach sets it apart from the competition. Nordic Unique Travels is happy to tailor the tours for a seamless fit with clients’ travel itineraries. “We’re an established name with solid contacts across the whole region. However, we’re a niche operator and therefore nimbler than some of the biggest tour operators, so we can offer a totally flexible approach.” The company caters for its international clientele by offering nearly all of the activities in several languages, all guided by native speakers. “Our tours are available in English, Spanish, French and German, as well as Chinese for our Asian visitors.” Web: Facebook: Instagram: @nordic_unique_travels

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Visit Lapland

In the midst of breathtaking wilderness Holiday Village Valle is a resort located at the northern border of Finland, owned by Sámi family Valle. What started with some fishing trips in the 1970s has grown into a charming holiday village in the unique surroundings of the Arctic wilderness, right on the banks of the River Teno. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Holiday Village Valle

Today, the holiday village consists of a hotel with 12 stylish rooms, five riverside cabins and a spacious apartment for up to eight people. There is also a high-quality restaurant offering local specialities like reindeer and elk, prepared in the traditional Sámi or Lappish way.

“When my father started to bring the fishing groups here, our home became the centre for the operations – and it still is. Here, guests get to experience the real Sámi way of living,” explains CEO Petteri Valle. “We enjoy being a small, family-run company; many of our guests stay a whole

week, and we get to know them properly and offer them personalised service,” Valle says. While the resort offers a lot of exciting sports and cultural activities, and even excursions to the Arctic Ocean, the most memorable part of the holiday is simply the amazing Arctic nature, which encircles the resort from every direction. “We are surrounded by the fells and the River Teno – they are just on the doorstep,” Valle says. “When you are this far north, the season for the northern lights starts already in August. Here, you don’t need to drive anywhere to see them; they happen right outside the window.” It certainly sounds like the ideal set-up for an unforgettable stay in Lapland.

Web: Facebook: Holidayvillagevalle Instagram: @holidayvillagevalle

An Arctic dreamland Located in the heart of Finnish Lapland, Arctic Dreams House offers high-end accommodation to anyone looking for something special for their stay in a winter wonderland. Scan Magazine spoke to marketing manager Nid Ho about what to expect on your next getaway to this beautiful wilderness. By Maria Pirkkalainen  |  Photos: Arctic Dreams House

Imagine a unique, luxurious villa that offers you panoramic views of the gorgeous nature surrounding it. Welcome to Arctic Dreams House, a company offering highend accommodation in Finnish Lapland. “All of our villas and cottages have been specifically designed for their area. In-

spired by Lappish nature, the horizontal design gives everyone a fantastic opportunity to fully take in the breathtaking views,” says Ho. Arctic Dreams House consists of three brand-new luxury villas and cottages in the area of Ranua, as well as a high-end

apartment in the city of Rovaniemi, all decorated with Scandinavian design. Their staff are also happy to help you plan your holiday, whether you have a visit to Santa Claus Village in mind or would like to try out ice swimming or a wellbeing package. Ranua is also known as ‘Santa’s animal land’, as there’s a zoo as well as other opportunities to see local wildlife. “We take pride in offering our customers a relaxing, authentic Lapland experience,” Ho says of the idea behind Arctic Dreams House. “A key priority for us is that everyone leaves with the feeling that they learnt something valuable from the locals, as well.” For your next escape from a bustling city, make it an Arctic dream.

Web: Facebook: Arcticdreamshousefinland Instagram: @arcticdreamshouse

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  95

Scan Business Keynote 96  |  Business Profile 97  |  Business Calendar 98



Draw your culture onion When you think about your cultural identity, do you think about your nationality first? In fact, we are made up of multiple layers of culture. The culture onion helps us to understand this. A culture is a self-identifying group of people with shared habits, traditions, values and beliefs. We are potentially part of any number of different cultures. National identity may be important to many, but there are others for whom regional or even local affiliation is stronger. For others, membership of an ethnic or religious group may compete with national allegiance. At work, every organisation, department and team has its own culture – “the way we do things round here”, to quote interculturalist Fons Trompenaars. Professional cultures vary enormously – just think of HR and marketing – and business sectors too: the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors have entirely different cultural characteristics. All this can be represented visually as an onion – a series of concentric circles. In the middle is you. Gender may well form the inner ring – highly formative of who we are. Family may come next, although notions of family vary hugely: you might 96  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019


By Steve Flinders

see 20 or 30 of them every week or two or three once a year.

culture onion, deciding where you put the circles and the width of each.

Age could be there: baby boomers and millennials belong to significantly different groups. Socio-economic or class affiliation may be weaker today than before, but rich and poor people still identify with different worlds. Then there are hobbies and sports; these groups may be virtual, too.

I did this exercise with some young Germans recently. They all included a European layer, but one had an extra dimension: that of global citizen. “I try to identify with all of humanity in what I do,” he said. I take heart from my latest lesson in understanding cultural identity.

Understanding one’s own culture onion and those of others is critical in intercultural communication. My political identity is an important part of who I am, but perhaps not at all for you. So try drawing your

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

Scan Magazine  |  Leadership and Executive Coaching Profile  |  Vidar Davidsen

Vidar Davidsen.

Tailored leadership training With leadership and team-development programmes that are adapted and scaled up and down as needed, Vidar Davidsen works closely with companies’ strategies, business ideas and objectives in order to achieve the best possible result for his clients. “To sum it up, my job is to inspire, challenge and train management teams and individuals to develop teams that exploit their best qualities and communicate, collaborate and solve challenges effectively.” By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Vidar Davidsen

Vidar Davidsen has obtained 15 years of experience of development and change processes in the business world. Previously, he was a top-level professional football coach for 16 years, which contributed to his knowledge of team building. “As a pro trainer, your aim is to change and develop the team as well as analysing skills, which is linked to the leadership development work I do – especially the development of peakperformance culture and handling change, so that one can understand and make the right demands of people in the process,” Davidsen explains.

vidual organisation, resulting in tailored leadership development solutions. “The programme must be tailored and relevant to the particular company and individuals working there in order to have the desired effect. Therefore, development of the management team happens through a programme based on real-life situations and the current needs of the company. Changes seem to occur faster than before, and I believe digitisation and robotisation make the need for effective human interaction even more important in utilising new technology within companies,” says Davidsen.

When working with businesses, Davidsen always considers the company’s needs and operates in line with what he refers to as the tailor-made principle. This means that content, angling and methodology are adapted to each indi-

The leadership developer and coach trains both Norwegian and international clients, predominantly around Scandinavia, offering specific changemanagement courses, cultural development, value creation, peak-performance

training, team-building, as well as coaching. “I use reputable methods for developing effective management teams and have exciting experiences and references from different industries, both nationally and internationally,” he states. In his latest project for seafood group Insula, Davidsen is working closely with consultant colleagues and will be visiting more than 20 subsidiaries around the Nordic region to implement a leadership change programme linked to an ongoing Enterprise Resource Planning implementation. Today, Davidsen is also frequently used as a speaker on topics related to motivation, feedback, cultural change and performance boost. “It was how I started in leadership development: while working as a coach I was often asked to hold lectures about peak-performance culture, which resulted in a passion for development processes and the desire to share my knowledge and explore successful business people in a ‘never stop learning’ process.” Web: Phone: +47 41004443

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  97

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Calendar

Business Calendar Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month By Sanne Wass

DKUK Golf Network Tee-Off The Danish-UK association invites its members and wider network for an evening of golf, networking and socialising with like-minded people at one of the UK’s most impressive and iconic driving ranges. The event is for anyone, whether experienced, new to the game or just a little out of practice. Date: 14 November 2019, 4.45-7pm Venue: Greenwich Peninsula Golf Range, 265 Tunnel Ave, London SE10 0QE, UK

Business Breakfast featuring Miles Celic The Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK continues its business breakfast series with a roundtable discussion featuring Miles Celic, the CEO for TheCityUK. Celic is also a member of the HM Treasury Financial Services Trade and Investment Board and the board of UK Finance. He began his career in

broadcasting and has since worked in the UK Parliament, reputation management and public policy consultancies, HSBC and Prudential. The discussion will be followed by networking. Date: 25 November 2019, 8-10am Venue: 1 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9AA, UK

NBCC Annual Christmas Lunch The Norwgian-British Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas lunch is all about tradition, great company and festive spirit, celebrating the best of Norwegian and British traditions. The event will commence with ‘Pakkelek’ followed by a buffet lunch with regional specialities and traditional British dishes, concluding with musical entertainment and a raffle. Date: 29 November 2019, 1-4.30pm Venue: The Rembrandt Hotel, 11 Thurloe Place Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RS, UK

Swedish British Summit 2019 In a world where business models and processes are constantly changing, what makes good, sustainable and successful leadership? Themed ‘outer thinking’, this half-day conference is about 21st-century leadership, bringing together business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and academics from Sweden and the UK to address the key trends facing any business today, from technology to climate change, the future workforce and global trade. Date: 5 December 2019, 11am-5pm Venue: The Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, London W1D 7DT, UK

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Chic gastronomy in the bank hall Bonnie’s is one of the hottest culinary experiences in Stockholm, having earned a well-deserved award for Business Restaurant of the Year last year. Among many other highlights from the menu, be sure not to miss Smash the Piggy Bank, the restaurant’s outstanding chocolate dessert. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Johannes Maxweller

Bank Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel in Stockholm, jam-packed with history and elegance. Bonnie’s is the hotel’s main restaurant, located in the impressive bank hall with a six-metre-high glass ceiling that floods the space with light. Just like the hotel, the restaurant boosts luxurious interiors with details from the building’s heritage as a bank, such as the classic checked floor and lush, green seating. The modern cuisine is international, made with the best local produce available, and two dishes in particular stand out: firstly, the tasty Poached Witch Flounder with Sandefjord sauce and four kinds of roe; and secondly, of course,

the not-to-miss, delicious chocolate dessert Smash the Piggy Bank, Bonnie’s hallmark and, unsurprisingly, a mega hit on Instagram. Chocolate, strawberry bavarois, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, hazelnuts and fudge sauce – who could resist such a treat?

Awarded business restaurant For 35 years, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri has presented Sweden’s oldest restaurant prize. Last year, Bonnie’s won the prestigious Business Restaurant of the Year, an indication of its successful gastronomic concept. “Our guests love the food as well as the setting in the bank hall,” confirms head chef Janne Holopainen.

“We will continue in the same spirit, focusing on continuity and doing what we do really well.” After a wonderful dinner, the evening continues at the hotel with three more bars, in addition to the one at Bonnie’s. The Papillon Bar is an elegant, intimate cocktail bar with design inspired by the bank director’s personal office. Discreetly tucked behind sweeping curtains, Sophie’s Bar is more modern, with upbeat music and fabulous cocktails. And the terrace bar, Le Hibou, on the top floor, has an amazing view of the city and interiors inspired by an exclusive Parisian suite. Bonnie’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Web: Facebook: bankhotelstockholm Instagram: @bankhotelstockholm

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  99

Hotel of the Month, Norway

Unwind with nature and leisure in the Norwegian mountains Set in the middle of some of Norway’s steepest and most stunning ski slopes, offering year-round nature and well-being experiences, Norefjell Ski & Spa makes for the perfect destination for the winter season to come. By Åsa Hedvig Aaberge  |  Photos: Norefjell Ski & Spa

The mountain resort Norefjell Ski & Spa, situated amid dazzling mountains within a two-hour drive from Norway’s capital Oslo, invites its guests to enjoy the diversity of nature in a relaxing environment focused on wellbeing, with activities such as skiing, crisp hikes and spa. “Our value and mission are all about great experiences outside in nature and inside in a relaxing atmosphere. We offer something for everyone – all year round,” says general manager at Norefjell Ski & Spa, Sjur Aalvik. 100  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

In the winter, the area turns into a playground for skiers, where one can put on the ski boots inside the hotel, and slide onto the slopes just outside the hotel door. “Norefjell has slopes in every category, suitable for all ages and levels, from first-time skiers to the toughest ones out there seeking to push their limits,” Aavik adds.

Nature and leisure The resort offers an unbeatable combination of nature and fresh mountain air

with leisure and comfort in the Norwegian countryside. How about coming in from a cold day on the slopes, to then heat yourself in a warm sauna or an outdoor Jacuzzi with views over the mountains and a cold drink in your hand? “The spa is a department devoted to relaxation with saunas, pools, heated bubble baths indoors and outdoors, and various treatments. Our aim is for our guests to find peace,” Aalvik says. The spa facilities are dedicated to adults only, but the premises offer wellness for all ages, with a swimming pool and saunas open for the whole family, old and young. And for those who aren’t that into only relaxing, an indoor climbing wall, playrooms, and other activities might spark more interest.

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

Year-round experiences Norefjell Ski & Spa is an adventurous place to discover Norwegian culture and traditional mountain farm life, whatever the time of year. During the summer months, animals such as horses and goats frequently visit the resort, and outdoor activities for children, such as horseback riding, are available. The lake Krøderen is situated a few kilometres from the resort, and just in front of the hotel, there is a small swimming pond – perfect for a dip in the warmer months. “The area surrounding the resort is great for hiking or biking in summer and autumn. The hiking terrain suits all ages and moods – whether you wish for a short stroll or a challenging hike. The views are great, too!” Aalvik adds.

A unique conference hotel In addition to leisure and relaxation, Norefjell Ski & Spa makes a great setting to host conferences and events of all sizes and scales. “Our conference area consists of several meeting rooms, the largest fitting up to 650 people. Hosting meetings and conferences here makes

for a unique experience, thanks to the location combined with the premises’ range of activities,” Aalvik says. Restaurants and bars can also be found at Norefjell Ski & Spa, with fine dining as well as à la carte dinner, and a more laid-back pizzeria that stays open during holidays. Norefjell Ski & Spa is open year-round – even during  Christmas. The hotel opened its doors ten years ago and offers a modern yet cosy atmosphere with apartment suites with kitchens, bedroom suites, and standard bedrooms – both double and single. The common area is, like most of the hotel, dedicated to relaxation both indoors and outside. The hotel’s suites and rooms can fit up to 1,900 guests in total, ensuring that there is plenty of room for guests from all over the world in need of some leisure and nature in the high mountains. Web: and Facebook: norefjellskiogspa Instagram: @norefjellskiogspa

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Photo: Kalle Kaltio

Brewery of the Month, Finland

Stirring up the beer scene Craft beer is now everywhere, but not many breweries can boast of the world’s purest water and Arctic rarities as their raw materials. Even fewer manage to maintain a garage-like edge while delivering double-digit growth, award-winning products and even an IPO. Pyynikin Brewing Company delivers on all fronts – with a pinch of distinctively Finnish madness thrown in for good measure. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Pyynikin Brewing Company

Growing consumer thirst for all things artisan has fuelled-up demand for an alternative to the names that dominate the banners at football stadiums, but what exactly is the recipe for success in craft beer? “We’ve always focused on innovation, quality and top-notch ingredients,” says Tuomas Pere, head brewer and co-founder of Pyynikin Brewing Company, an award-winning brewery 102  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

quirky type of creative drive,” Pere offers by way of explanation as to how the company has become a serious contender for the spot of Finland’s fifth- or sixth-largest beer label without becoming too corporate-like. Nowhere is the drive more apparent than at the brewery’s own venue in Tampere. In fact, this is where the whole story began in 2012, when Pere, together

based in Tampere. “But we want to do so without being too serious.” Maintaining a tongue-in-cheek attitude through the thick and thin of a company’s formative years is one thing. Doing so while simultaneously securing doubledigit growth in a saturated marketplace is an altogether different beast. “There’s this thing about Finnish madness, a

Veikko Sorvaniemi (community manager) and Tuomas Pere (founder). Photo: Ronja Honko

Scan Magazine  |  Brewery of the Month  |  Finland

with a group of friends, decided to start a gastropub. In addition to a restaurant serving up the label’s liquid concoctions and innovative grub to match, there’s a cinema and an in-house sauna where visitors get to experience a truly Finnish concept: beer-infused sauna vapours.

Extraordinary experiences “We’re building up our offering on the experience front in particular,” Pere says. “Our Beer Sauna concept is pretty unique, and we’re focused on adding more experiences within the coming months.” Tickets to the experiences are available as a one-off, or beer lovers have the opportunity to become shareholders with unlimited access. This has made shareholding a popular gift as well. The aim of the IPO and a round of crowdfunding is to fund the company’s growth strategy. With some 6,000 private investors already on board, the listing has hit a sweet spot among beer aficionados across borders. However, Pere is keen to highlight that the company is also actively on the lookout for a larger investor partner with expertise, to bring the next stage of growth into fruition. The focus on community stems from deep-rooted traditions. Pere, who himself hails from a family with centurieslong brewing traditions, thinks that the world at large has yet to wake up to the full potential of the phenomenon. “That’s part of the reason we decided to

go public at this point in time. We know there’s demand for authentic experiences that tie up really well with our brewery function, and we’re looking to build on that notion.”

Artisan innovation Yet it’s the company’s beverages that act as a bedrock for the whole business. Take Mosaic Lager, for one. Having claimed the top spot at the World Beer Awards in 2017, the lager is now available on supermarket shelves in over 15 countries. It appears that Pyynikin may have been ahead of the curve, with lager now experiencing new-found interest after an era more dominated by darker ales, stouts and IPAs. “The single-hop recipe that we use makes Mosaic really stand out,” Pere says. But Mosaic is far from the only product that has won praise in international awards. In fact, Pyynikin has claimed the top spot in World Beer Awards for three years in a row. In addition to beer, Pyynikin has a selection of spirits, soft drinks and a new long drink created with the in-house gin, which is playfully named Payday Craft Gin, in reference to the distilling division’s prohibition-era roots.

Finnish nature are not limited to water, however. “We like to experiment with ingredients like Nordic berries, as well,” Pere says. Traditionally considered a male domain, the beer scene has shifted and women are driving a lot of the innovation. This has provided close links to the use of pure, Arctic ingredients for Pyynikin products. “Women tend to be more health conscious and interested in these types of fusions,” argues Pere. Craft breweries have driven innovation ever since President Jimmy Carter deregulated the sector in the US in the 1970s. Legislation remains a key driver of success even today, according to Pere. Smaller players cannot compete against global conglomerates on a volume basis, but they remain a key driver of innovation and employment within the community. About Pyynikin’s IPO: — Share price: €125 — Staff: 35 full-time staff,   50 per cent of them women — 2019 production volume:   Two million litres — Best seller: Mosaic Lager

Nordic ingredients Being based in Tampere, surrounded by Central Finland’s pristine lakes, Pyynikin is blessed with some of the purest water sources on Earth. Ingredients from

Web: and Instagram: @pyynikin

Brewery Sauna.

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Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Denmark

Top left: Fritz Syberg, Woman Painter, 1901. Top middle: The domed gallery room with passage to main painting gallery with Fritz Syberg’s self-portrait. Top right: Fritz Syberg, Evening Game in Svanninge Bakker, 1900. Bottom: Small painting gallery with Kai Nielsen’s The Marble Girl. Photo: Hélène Binet

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

Faaborg – a local artists’ colony with international repercussions Nestled within the rolling hills of Svanninge and overlooking Denmark’s beautiful South Funen Archipelago lies a colourful, cheerful art museum. As the prime beneficiary of Faaborg town’s art colony and a rich local benefactor, Faaborg Museum is a shining beacon of Danish neoclassical architecture and showcases the contributions of the Funen painters, which formed an important chapter in Danish and international art history around the turn of the last century. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Faaborg Museum

“In the late 19th century, artists’ colonies started popping up throughout  Europe as a counter-reaction to the cultural domination of the big cities; a stance from the periphery towards the centre of the country,” the museum’s director, Gertrud Hvidberg-Hansen, explains. In Denmark, Skagen’s unusual light attracted painters from across the country to Jutland’s northernmost tip, while the Funen painters began to emerge in Faaborg in the 1880s. “The Funen group painted scenes from the everyday and rural life. As such, they weren’t unusual for an artists’ colony. What was unusual, however, is that they weren’t outsiders who came to celebrate the nostalgic idyll and romantic backwardness of the locals; most of them were born and bred in the community they were depicting.” In Faaborg, a group of four local artists – Peter Hansen, Anna Syberg, Fritz Syberg 104  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

and Jens Birkholm – formed the core of what evolved to include 23 artists between the 1880s and the 1920s. While many had been trained in Copenhagen, they settled down in their childhood community in Faaborg, hosting other artists and forming the backbone of the Funen group. “Their subjects were people and places that they knew, and they approached them directly and openly as equals. That’s a quality that even those who did up and leave, such as Jens Birkholm, who made a name for himself in Berlin in Germany, brought along and became celebrated for.” By 1910, the local industrial tycoon Mads Rasmussen decided that the Funen group was impactful enough to have its own museum. On the recommendation of the Faaborg artists themselves, artist Carl Petersen was asked to design the museum. Though he had a background in architecture, he worked mostly in

ceramics and was a bold but brilliant choice, managing to tie together the grandeur of a classicist museum with the straightforward local spirit, using local clay to form the classic mosaics, for example. Though each room is striking, their size and the museum’s mazelike layout mean they emphasise rather than distract from the artworks within. Kaare Klint’s famous Faaborg chairs, purpose-made for the museum, leave plenty of room for comfortable contemplation of this international monument to the local area.

Web: Facebook: faaborgmuseum Instagram: @faaborgmuseum

Built in 1843, Hanstholm Lighthouse is, with its beautiful views and imposing architecture, a popular destination for the area’s many visitors.

Experience of the Month, Denmark

Throwing light on nature and art Completely renovated and reopened in 2017, Det Nordatlantiske Fyr i Hanstholm (Hanstholm Lighthouse) now presents not just stunning views and history, but also tailored art exhibitions, culture events, and artist residences (also available for paying guests). By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Hanstholm Lighthouse

At the time of its completion in 1843, the light beam of Hanstholm Lighthouse was, with a 65-metre reach, the most powerful in the world. Still active today, the lighthouse is, thanks to its characteristic outline and wonderful views of Thy National Park and the North Sea, also a popular destination for the area’s many visitors. And now, the old tower has even more to offer. 106  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Through a thorough renovation of interiors and exteriors as well as dedicated fundraising efforts and the help of a host of local volunteers, the lighthouse has been reopened as a culturally and historically remarkable art gallery and event space. “First of all, the view from up here is just breathtaking – you have the distinct Danish dune landscape on one side, the ocean on the other, and

a light that’s always changing,” lighthouse manager Marie Louise Klitgaard Nielsen says. “Having modern, contemporary art in that same space creates an incredibly interesting energy. It’s very different from viewing an art show in a regular art centre, and the audience is different, too. Many of them come mainly for the lighthouse and not the art, and that makes for some very raw and honest encounters.” Aiming to open up the historic buildings to everyone, the lighthouse also hosts a string of evening events, including everything from talks and concerts to foresting and dinner nights. The events

Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

take place in the lighthouse’s adjoining buildings, such as the old machine hall and the former lighthouse keepers’ home. Furthermore, parts of the historic buildings have been transformed into five flats for residence artists and travellers looking for a different getaway immersed in peace, beauty and a distinct historic atmosphere.

Installed halfway in, halfway out of the lighthouse’s emergency room, Watched #3, by artist Steve Messam, was created for the exhibition Menneskelig Tilstedeværelse (‘Human Presence’) at Hanstholm Lighthouse 2019.

Art, nature and history From the beginning of 2019,  Hanstholm Lighthouse has been able to present a professional art programme, named Hanstholm Art Space. During 2019 and ‘20, the art programme will present ten exhibitions with more than 30 different artists from the North-  Atlantic region, including Greenland, Canada, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries. “The art exhibitions present a broad scope of genres and artists from all over the region. The uniting theme is that the artists come from areas that are located on the border of society, such as the remote islands of northern Scotland, where there is a strong maritime connection and a sparse population,” explains Nielsen. “The main requirement is that they create an exhibition that plays into the settings of the lighthouse and the historic buildings. For instance, the old emergency room, where the current artists have chosen to exhibit, is a listed building, which means that nothing can be altered – you can’t even put a nail into the walls. They have chosen to create new walls, which have become part of the exhibition and enabled them to hang their works.” The duo currently exhibiting is the Sami art duo, MAADTOE, whose works will be exhibiting until 15 November. After that, the Hanstholm Art Space will be paused until April 2020. In the meantime, guests will be able to enjoy an exhibition of  nature photography.

Get inspired While preparing or creating works for their exhibition, artists are invited to stay and work in one of the lighthouse’s adjoining flats, two of which are re-

Photo shoot from the exhibition Blomsterøjne (2019) featuring works by Laura Krogsgaard and her granddaughter, floral designer Poppykalas.

Watched #2 by Steve Messsam. Pop-up installation at The Bunkermuseum Hanstholm 2019 (part of the HAS programme).

served for artists and researchers in residence. “A lot of the exhibiting artists create something specifically for us; they come to live and work here, and in doing so, it’s almost impossible not to create something that’s different – sometimes works that won’t be seen again anywhere else,” says Nielsen. “We would also love to welcome other artists, especially those whose works seek inspiration from the area.”

The non-reserved flats are available at special prices to all artists, but can also be rented on Airbnb by regular travellers looking for a different experience.


Facts: — Hanstholm Lighthouse is located   at the northern border of Thy   National Park, approximately   90 minutes by car from Aalborg   Airport. — Hanstholm Lighthouse is open   every day. — Hanstholm Art Space is open every   day from 11am to 4pm in peak   season (Danish national and   school holidays) and Friday to   Sunday from 11am to 4pm at all   other times (but paused from 15 November 2019 to 5 April 2020.) — Admission: 30DKK   (approx. £3.50 – includes both   lighthouse and art gallery) Children go free. — The admission fee goes towards   funding the maintenance of the   lighthouse and the cultural activities.

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  107

Museum of the Month, Norway

Shining a light on the past and informing for the future Fancy a peek into the private life of Adolf Hitler, where he nourished his artistic side? Or perhaps a glimpse at Eva Braun’s purse? This and many more curiosities from World War II can be found at the Lofoten World War Memorial Museum. The museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of unique artefacts that tell a story from the war far from the battlefield. By Helen Toftner & Astrid Eriksson  |  Photos: Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum

The Lofoten World War Museum is a museum that is out of the ordinary, where the focus has drifted from the military to the personal side of the war. Thus, the museum takes pride in reflecting the time span between 1940 and 1945 with all its drama and brutality alongside examples of personal sacrifices, altruism and courage. “It is a historical museum with curiosities that attract people from all over the world. It intends to encourage people to think for themselves,” William Hakvaag says. He is the enthusiast behind 108  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

the museum, and it has become his mission in life to locate and exhibit artefacts that tell stories about people and the war. “A museum ought to shed light on the past, namely through photo material, pictures and text. Together, this constitutes a story, but the best thing it will do is to encourage visitors to think and make up their own conclusions,” Hakvaag says.

Josef Terboven’s porcelain Being Norway’s largest exhibition of uniforms, artefacts and small objects

from World War II, there are many curiosities displayed within the museum walls. Hakvaag himself has travelled near and far to get his hands on the unique pieces, and the current collection consists of porcelain of Reichskommissar for Norway, Josef Terboven; Christmas trees called Frontbaums, sent up north to cheer up Waffen-SS; Christmas tree decorations with Hitler’s head painted on them; as well as a large collection of uniforms. One of the most notable artefacts includes the main flag taken from the German ship Blücher after it was sunk in the Oslofjord. On that note, the museum also holds the cap of Birger Eriksen, the officer who ordered firing on the ship and was thus instrumental in stopping the first wave of Germans invading Norway.

Scan Magazine  |  Museum of the Month  |  Norway

The museum exhibits a range of original artefacts from World War II, including clothes and equipment as well as five watercolour paintings painted by Adolf Hitler. The painting of the farm house had a double back – a hidden compartment – where four other images painted by Hitler were hidden.

“Eriksen was from Lofoten, and it is therefore particularly special to have his cap,” Hakvaag says.

The Lofoten raid – the first victory against Germany It is no coincidence that the museum is located in Lofoten in northern Norway. The place played an important role during the war at the centre of Operation Claymore, often referred to as the Lofoten raid. On 4 March 1941, the allied forces, with the United Kingdom in the lead, carried out the raid on the Lofoten islands. It was soon considered the first total victory against Germany during the war, and it was a massive morale boost for British and Norwegian troops. It did, however, lead to the enormous fortification of Svolvær in Lofoten, and not least it opened German eyes to the north.

As a direct consequence of the raid, the Gestapo established their regional headquarters in Svolvær, alongside a considerable increase in German soldiers in the area.

Hitler behind the scenes – an artist and vegetarian Adolf Hitler is probably one of history’s most talked about men, and there is no lack of biographies. Most people are struck by his brutality, while others are also fascinated by the man behind the public appearance. It is a well-known fact that he was an eager artist, and it has been argued that the whole war might have been avoided if he had been admitted into the Vienna Academy of Art. With this in mind, Hakvaag bought a painting by Hitler for 200 Euros. What neither he nor the vendor knew was that behind the

paintings there were five drawings of dwarfs from Snow White, all signed by Hitler. “He was an artist by nature, which one could also see in his behaviour as a leader. He did not follow the rules of the game and did things that no rational leader would do: for example, sending his troops to Russia without winter clothes,” Hakvaag says. While obviously portraying Hitler as the leader of the war, the museum is also trying to show the person behind the scenes, who was a vegetarian and a non-smoker. “He was a hard-line psychopath, who may not have struck people as the dangerous person he really was at first. This is all part of our desire to make people think for themselves and gain a new insight into history.” Web:

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Notodden exhibition. Photo: Marek Padowski

Artist of the Month, Norway

Letting the invisible thread form her art For over 40 years, the leading Norwegian artist Ragnhild Monsen has created beautiful and colourful textile art inspired by nature. Through the process of long nature walking tours and entering an almost meditative state, the artist uses the old traditions of weaving in symbolic ways to create charged, energetic visualisations of general human experiences. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Photos: Ragnhild Monsen

The leading philosopher and influential thinker, Arthur Schopenhauer, wrote ‘... it is as though an invisible thread had run through my life…’. This metaphor of the invisible thread permeates much of the thinking of mankind through the ages, whether it is found in Japanese folklore, the work of Western thinkers and writers like Nietzsche and Melville, or ancient Chinese proverbs. All these speak of a common concept: threads 110  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

are our clothes; invisible threads bind humanity and even connect the seemingly random experiences of our lives. The long established and respected textile artist from northern Norway, Ragnhild Monsen, takes this metaphor and materialises it by giving it form, embellishing it with colour and texture, while allowing us to touch and feel it as a tangible reality; expressing human

sub-conscious symbolisms in abstract forms that speak of a commonality of cultures and in an intellectually frustrating manner appeal to our deepest senses, usually without us consciously knowing why.

The weaving loom, present from early memories Born and raised in the northern town of Rognan in Saltdal, Monsen was an active and energetic, sporty person. This interest eventually led her to training as a gymnastics instructor. “I was always interested in being active, but I was also raised in a home where the weaving loom was present in the living room and my mother was very fond of weaving and knitting, so I was introduced

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

Integrity from the Icon series. Photo: Thomas Tveter

Possibilities from the Icon series. Photo: Thomas Tveter

Self Respect from the Icon series. Photo: Thomas Tveter

to art early on,” she explains. The compulsion to weave and work with textile art eventually made her leave her job as a gymnastics instructor to study textile art. “Tapestry has a very long tradition in many cultures throughout history, and there is something very personal and symbiotic about textile art,” she says. After studying weaving techniques and the science of dying yarn for three years at Norwegian state college, Monsen launched into her artistic career by being selected as an assistant to the famous Synnove Anker Aurdal. “Aurdal was at the time the foremost artist in this field, and she brought the art form from the traditional to the modern times. I learnt a lot from working with her,” Monsen recalls. “In today’s society, when everything is going by so fast, I enjoy sitting down and using the old tapestry techniques. Hand weaving is slow, and it reminds us to not rush.”

Photo: gkr

A cocoon of her own subconscious Monsen soon came to realise that, like the silk moth, she was required to go

Ragnhild Monsen’s studio in Oslo. Photo: gkr

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  111

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

Notodden exhibition. Photo: Marek Padowski

into what she describes as a cocoon of her own subconscious and let the invisible thread form ideas that were to become reality in her work. This has been, and still is, her method of working throughout her whole creative life. She has followed the almost mystical process of allowing a concept to form without the precondition of her own thought limitations. When composing a work, she goes into an almost meditative state, sensing the environment in which the work will be located and allowing that environment to dictate the pathway to the woven or constructed reality. She will often spend many days in a place, allowing the location to absorb her and finding a harmony of intentions before starting the creative process. “Sometimes, I have even spent the night in a location to walk around at night; it helps me to really get a sense 112  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

of the place,” the artist says. “The finished expression of the piece of art is always influenced by the surroundings and what I capture from them.”

Inspired by nature Driven by a stamina that allows her to take pilgrimage walks – for example, from Sundsvall in Sweden to Trondheim in Norway, covering over 560 kilometres in 30 days – Monsen explains that she finds her biggest inspiration through nature. These tours are not simply embarked upon to discover the magnificence of the scenery along the routes, but the ambiance of the experiences become treasures of one’s memory, with repositories of colour and form, which become tools of the subconscious that inspire her creativity. “Nature is very important to me, and to just walk for days by yourself in silence has an empowering effect,” she says.

Dualism in the form of opposites helps form a thread through Monsen’s art. Life and death, light and darkness, femininity and masculinity – these are basic and recurring themes found in her works. She creates charged, energetic visualisations of general human experiences resulting in democratic art that increases the recognition for the audience. Monsen’s artistic universe surrounds itself with common denominators in the form of expressive, visual structures. About her art, the artist explains that she does not believe she has a coherent style. “Since I have a long career, things have changed along the way and I have always tried to be innovative instead of sticking to one specific expression and style,” she says. “My work is not completely naturalistic, but it takes a lot of elements from nature. For example, Understrømmen (meaning ‘undercurrent’), which is the

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

title of one of my pieces, points to nature but also talks about the psychological aspect of the word.”

Icon series In addition to creating large tapestries and textile installation projects at, for instance, Sola Strand beach project and Oslo Cathedral, she has in the past two years played with ideas based upon the icon symbols found on smartphones on a smaller scale. The Icon series consists of textile expressions of self-awareness and character observations that are both playful and deeply profound. “The project started when I inherited a lot of materials from a friend of mine. There were lots of half-finished pieces, which I wanted to use in a new way,” Monsen says. The idea behind it is to find the connection between the old, religious Orthodox icons and the modern icons we find today on our mobile phones. The result is an ongoing project that so far includes 30 to 40 different smaller works.

Over the last 40 years, Monsen’s works have been commissioned for spaces such as hospitals, schools, churches, banks, businesses, army camps, elderly care facilities and even an oil platform. The artist has exhibited in 11 countries as far afield as Japan and Canada, and had an enormous amount of exhibitions in Scandinavia and, of course, in her native Norway. This year alone, she has had five solo exhibitions. In addition, her art has been studied by over 40,000 students in art and design around the UK as part of their curriculum for university admissions. “I am turning 71 this year and am still as excited about being able to work with textile art as I was when I started,” she smiles, and adds: “It is becoming trendy again to create and to reuse old materials. I see a big rise in people wanting to learn these old art forms, which makes me really happy.” Web: Email:

Hope at Sorreisa Church. Printed with kind permission from The Architecture Guide for Northern Norway and Svalbard. Photo: Torbjørn Andersen

Defragmentation I and II exhibited in Canada. Photo: Hanna Photo

Issue 130  |  November 2019  |  113

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who has always pondered, curiously, what people are really like when they think nobody is watching? In recent years, I have actually found out. Let me explain: I live on a mountain top in one of Los Angeles’ most revered recreational parks. It’s a popular hiking trail, and because it’s in the middle of Los Angeles, it’s where Angelinos come to work on the demanding DIY projects our bodies have become in modern society. I’m right at the top, where the trail peaks – a natural spot for hikers to stop and marvel at the 360-degree view of the grand city and the mountains stretching to the ocean. There, on the peak, people will gaze in wonder, thinking they are all alone. They are not. I can see them from my balcony, but they never notice. The groups of houses scattered down the mountain sides are too indistinct in the grand scheme of nature for anybody to pay attention to, so people feel a solitude – a profound intimate moment between them and nature, God, or whatever spiritual dimension they believe in.

So, what do they do? Well, they marvel at the view and – increasingly over the last few years – themselves. The amount of selfies taken is astonishing, and the forced-relaxed, yet somehow inevitably smug look people adopt when they take pictures of themselves, is always amusing to me. After the mandatory photo shoot, most people feel an urge to get loud. A surprisingly large number of people start to sing, which is okay, but once there was a man who played the trumpet. He brought a freaking trumpet to the mountain top. When he played it, you immediately understood why he would prefer to play when he assumed he was alone: it sounded terrible. After approximately half an hour, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I yelled: “Stop it! Just stop!” Confused, the man looked around but didn’t see anybody, and clearly, for a moment, he thought he’d heard the voice of God. It was hilarious! Confused, he played a

Illumination Being Swedish, I enjoy dinner by candlelight. Just one candle will do, preferably of the taper variety, stuck into a nice candleholder and placed in the middle of the table. On a recent visit to Stockholm, I wandered down the cobbled streets of the old town, my heart soaring with appreciation as I peered into the restaurants crowding this lovely part of the city. Outside, the autumn light was fading, while inside, candles twinkled, softly illuminating couples at tables, having what I assumed to be the most romantic time of their lives. My husband doesn’t get it. “It’s too dark,” he’ll shout. “I can’t see what I’m eating!” In fact, lighting has been a recurring source of disagreement in our relationship. It took 11 years for him to accept that Big Light, i.e. the single, bright ceiling light, should only come on in emergencies: for example, when you’ve dropped a pin on the floor. Last night, after yet another lighting114  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

few more notes and I yelled again. Disparaged, he put down the trumpet and went home. I’m sure he still wonders what happened that day, whether it really was the voice of God. Come to think of it – did anybody check whether someone lived in a house near that burning bush where Moses heard the voice of God? And whether Moses was singing or playing the trumpet, thinking he was alone?

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

products and camping equipment, before I snapped. The cupboard door was closed and we were back to compromise number 40,182 – candles one end of the table, table lamp the other. Too bright for me, too dark for him, but by this point the food was getting cold, so we got on with it. Sometimes, compromise really is necessary for the sake of multi-national domestic peace and a warm curry.

related argument, my husband thought he’d stumbled upon the perfect solution. Turning on the lamp inside the under-stairs cupboard, he left the door to it slightly ajar, so that light trickled out across the dining room table. I lasted about ten minutes, staring at the dangling lightbulb inside the cupboard and at the shelves, stacked with cleaning

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Music

Scandinavian music Cast your mind back to a decade ago, and you’ll recall the inescapable Release Me, by Swedish pop sensation Agnes. Alas, that was to be her only global hit, and even in her home country, she’s been completely quiet for the past four years. Until now, that is. She’s back with a brand-new EP, Nothing Can Compare, which demonstrates all of that creativity she’s been honing of late. While half of the EP is an instrumental soundscape straight from the dance floor, the other half produces three fully-fledged pop songs, each of which could serve as a new career highlight for her. Best of the bunch is the title track, a string-laden masterpiece that throws it right back to the disco era of the ‘70s, and on which she bares her soul. It’s not just the more seasoned pop girls who are looking to past decades for inspiration; Swedish newcomer Nova Miller has gone one step further and sought clearance to use a sample from the iconic California Dreamin’ for her new

single Do It To Myself. With a sound that blends new-school pop with vintage aesthetics, like those ‘60s harmonies of The Mamas & The Papas, she delivers a strikingly astute number about recognising and lamenting one’s own toxic behavior. Americana might well be the flavour of the month in the Nordics, as Swedish hitmakers Vargas & Lagola mine the sound as an influence on their latest single, Forgot To Be Your Lover. On it, they combine the kind of melodies that they’ve previously penned for the likes of Avicii and Swedish House Mafia, with a sophisticated glaze of nostalgia via a distinctive electric guitar that flirts with traditional American roots-styled music. The tune is set to be another massive radio hit for them in their native Sweden. Swedish media have hailed him as their country’s own answer to Sam Smith, and now Patrik Jean has turned his soulful sounds and stylings to his first release på svenska: new single, För Alltid. With

By Karl Batterbee

it, he’s gone for a straight-up R&B song, on which those incredible vocals of his are showcased in a whole new light.


Jacob Dahlgren, Art is Life. Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here!

By Sanne Wass

The Receptionists (20-21 November)

Off season by Vibeke Slyngstad (until 23 November)

Scandinavian Christmas Market (22-24 November)

This Finnish physical comedy takes the mundane and familiar and makes it hysterically absurd. The show, featuring clown duo Inga Björn and Kristiina Tammisalo from the contemporary circus company Kallo Collective, is part of Jacksons Lane’s Made in Finland miniseason, showcasing contemporary Finnish performance. 7.30pm. Jacksons Lane, 269A Archway Road, London N6 5AA, UK.

OSL Contemporary presents the exhibition Off season by Vibeke Slyngstad. Slyngstad is among Norway’s most prominent contemporary figurative painters and known for her psychologically poignant figures and interiors. Her latest works explore, through landscape, the mysterious in natural surroundings. OSL Contemporary, Haxthausens Gate 3, Oslo, Norway.

The Scandinavian Christmas market returns to London this winter. Taking place on Albion Street, between the Finnish and Norwegian churches in Rotherhithe, the three-day event will give you the chance to experience the traditional Nordic Christmas atmosphere through food, drinks, decorations and much more. Albion Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16, UK.

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Scandinavia Electronic Winter Festival (30 November)

Astrid Sonne: Cliodynamics (6 December)

Sankta Lucia by London Nordic Choir (11 December)

The Scandinavia Electronic Festival presents its first winter edition, taking place at Fryshuset in Stockholm. The event will span one evening and three different floors, focusing on psytrance, techno and hardstyle, with a line-up including  Swedish as well as international DJs such as Neelix, UMEK, E-Force, Clockartz,  Talamasca and DJ Anneli, among others. 9.30pm. Fryshuset, Mårtensdalsgatan 2-8, Stockholm, Sweden.

Danish composer and viola player Astrid Sonne will announce the release of her new mini-LP, Cliodynamics, a collection of tracks written and recorded over the past year in Germany, Portugal and her birth island of Bornholm in Denmark. The evening will present the lead track Area Under A Curve with accompanying visuals and a live dance performance. 7.30pm. Cafe OTO, 18-22 Ashwin St,  Dalston, London E8 3DL, UK.

Celebrate the traditional Scandinavian Sankta Lucia together with the London Nordic Choir as they perform a shimmering candlelit a capella Luciatåg procession at St John’s Church near Hyde Park. With renowned Swedish soprano Miah Persson, the evening will feature songs such as Betlehems stjärna, När det lider mot jul, Silent Night and The  Angel Gabriel, and there will also be ‘glögg’ (Swedish mulled wine), saffron buns and ‘pepparkakor’ (gingerbread

Astrid Sonne. Photo: Magnus Bach

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Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

London Nordic Choir. Press photo

Jacob Dahlgren, Art is Life. Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

DJ Anneli. Press photo

biscuits) for a true Scandi experience. 7pm. St John’s Church, 18 Hyde Park Crescent, London W2 2QD, UK.

Art is Life at Copenhagen Contemporary (until 1 June 2020)

The Receptionists. Photo: Esko Mattila

118  |  Issue 130  |  November 2019

Copenhagen Contemporary has opened the first floor of its art centre and is marking this premiere with an exhibition by Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren. The name of the display, Art is Life, refers to the way Dahlgren involves everyday life in his artistic practice, often sourcing materials from DIY shops, supermarkets and ironmonger shops. Copenhagen Contemporary, Refshalevej 173A, Copenhagen K, Denmark.