Scan Magazine, Issue 136, November 2021

Page 1





VADEHAVSCENTRET - The Gate to a UNESCO World Heritage Site

What’s not to like? · Award-winning architecture and exhibition design · Exhibitions about 15 million migratory birds · Oyster safari with professional guide

VADEHAVSCENTRET Okholmvej 5 · Vester Vedsted 6760 Ribe · DK · Phone +45 7544 6161

Welcome to Vengsøy Rorbuer

A quiet getaway, a place to breathe, think and to just exist. Perfect place to recharge your batteries and let yourmind relax. Only 1 hour in distance from Tromsø by car and ferry. Vengsøy, Tromsø, Norway Tel: (+47) 902 94 877 Email:

Scan Magazine  |  Contents




Spatial Perspectives at World Architecture Festival Delivering an annual festival about physical rooms and spatial design is no mean feat during a global pandemic. But World Architecture Festival is back, not just making the most of a virtual festival, but highlighting hidden potential and perks, too. We speak to the programme director, explore the jam-packed programme itself, and highlight some Nordic short-listees.



Nordic Architecture and Design – Sweden Creative integrity, storytelling, restoration and conservation and, naturally, sustainability – these are just some of the things the Swedish architects we spoke to for this month’s architecture special told us characterise their work. From quirky interior design concepts to the restoration of legendary buildings and architecture that improves lives, we report from a ground-breaking architecture scene.

101 Nordic Architecture and Design – Denmark


From Vintage Wares to Custom Kitchens This month’s design section shows you how to mimic an Instagram influencer’s coveted vintage interiors, while finding out what’s new in custommade kitchen fronts, art from Finland and truly Scandinavian lighting design.


SPECIAL THEMES Nordic Architecture and Design – Norway A bird-watching tower, stunning treehouses, holiday homes and spaces that truly care for people – you can do a lot with wood alone, not just in purely environmental terms. We talk to some of Norway’s most inspirational architects: wood fanatics, interior decorators, classical minimalists and detail-driven designers alike.


112 Nordic Architecture and Design – Iceland Californian builds inspired by the dramatic landscapes of Iceland – how could we not go to find out more? In addition, we spoke to a husband-andwife team with Berlin influences in Reykjavik.

Treats, Sweets and Kombucha Brews Beer lovers will be aware that Norway boasts some globally respected, impressive breweries – but it’s not all about beer. Read about the brewery that’s putting its money behind kombucha and exciting winealts. And if that’s not your cup of tea, how about hand-made liquorice and luxury crisps?


Low-energy housing, psychiatric care environments and a first for Denmark with an all-female prison – this and more is what we found when we set off to explore what is happening in the country that shaped star-architect Bjarke Ingels and, as you’ll see, many more renowned designers since.

115 Nordic Architecture and Design – Finland What’s happening on the architecture scene in the country of a thousand lakes, in the footsteps of Alvar Aalto? Timber construction, functional design, environmental awareness and a collaborative approach, we found.

CULTURE 134 A Very Swedish Voyage Gimme, gimme, gimme more ABBA, the world pined for decades – and here they are, back with perhaps not a bang, but plenty of excitement indeed. Scan Magazine’s music writer Karl Batterbee, aka Scandipop, reports, in addition of course to his monthly recommendations of what to listen out for in the world of Nordic music.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 8 121 126 132

Fashion Diary  |  10 Get the Look  |  118 Business Feature  |  120 Design Studio of the Month Museum of the Month  |  122 Experiences of the Month  |  124 Attraction of the Month Holiday Profile of the Month  |  128 Hotel of the Month  |  130 Shopping Centre of the Month Restaurants of the Month

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  5

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, The first ever issue of Scan Magazine I produced in capacity of editor was an architecture special. This time last year, as what we quickly came to know as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic swept in over Europe, I reflected on the cyclical nature of the work I do, and the emptiness when those cycles are broken. We had bigger fish to fry then, and our protective bubbles were both comforting and necessary – but an autumn without a Scan Magazine architecture special felt highly strange to me. It seems fitting, then, that we’re back this autumn with an epic architecture issue. We just do architecture specials so well, even if I do say so myself – and, honestly, Scandinavian architects have so many interesting insights and perspectives to share. From the beauty and sustainability of wood to the importance of adaptation over brand-new designs, we talk to the leaders and creatives behind some of the most renowned firms in the Nordics – and what an inspiring task that’s been.

in a more profound way after the 18 months we’ve had than our favourite four musical geniuses? Our music writer, Karl Batterbee, reports on this most exciting news to come out of the Nordics in years. Once we’ve caught our breath after all these awe-inspiring architecture and design chats, we’ll be taking stock and making some changes. But for now at least, our regular design and fashion columns are back, as is Maria Smedstad with her heart-warming cartoons. Because sometimes, there’s a lot of comfort in what you know. And all I can say about that right now is this: it’s good to be back.

Linnea Dunne, Editor


It did strike me as fitting, too, when I heard that ABBA were announcing a reunion. Truly, what could possibly lift our spirits


Scan Magazine

Graphic Designer

Maria Vole

Scan Magazine Ltd

Issue 136

Mercedes Moulia

Ndéla Faye

3rd floor, News Building, 3 London

Signe Hansen

Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG,

Cover Photo

Emma Rödin

United Kingdom

Published 11.2021

The Whale by Dorte

Lena Hunter

ISSN 1757-9589

Mandrup, /

Trine Jensen Martin

World Architecture Festival

Karin Blak

November 2021

Tina Nielsen

Published by Scan Client Publishing


Maria Smedstad

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may

Karl Batterbee Print

Amanda Ottosson

Sales & Key Account Managers

not be reproduced, in whole or in

H2 Print

Hanna Andersson

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

part, without prior permission of

John Sempill

Johan Enelycke

Scan Magazine Ltd.

Executive Editor

Malin Norman

Veronica Rafteseth

Scan Magazine® is a registered

Thomas Winther

Nina Bressler

trademark of Scan Magazine Ltd.

Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones


Creative Director

Alyssa Nilsen

Mads E. Petersen

Andre Papanicolas

advertorials/promotional articles

Åsa Hedvig Aaberge

To Subscribe


Hanna Heiskanen

Linnea Dunne

Heidi Kokborg Nicolai Lisberg


Lise Laerdal Bryn

Karl Batterbee

Mari Koskinen

6  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

This magazine contains

Snowroller is a young Norwegian ski apparel brand that revived the retro ski suit in 2017.


Check out the new ski suit and wool suit collections at and

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… Dropping temperatures make for great style opportunities. This season’s chicest option is layering with love. Think wool, cashmere, sustainable materials and durable outerwear that take you through changeable and colder weather with style. Opt for a timeless, earthy palette that is seasonless and pairs well with items already in your wardrobe. By Åsa H. Aaberge  |  Press photos

Lightweight, tailored and warm – the Moscow coat from Norwegian Rain is fit for both biting cold and rain, made with materials such as Norwegian wool and a waterproof outer shell. On sunny days, zip off the hood, and on freezing days, pull up the wool-lined collar. A classic, for now and for years to come. Norwegian Rain, The Moscow coat, €1,100

A cashmere scarf adds a touch of sartorial elegance to any look. Arket, woven cashmere scarf, €69

A cardigan in cashmere helps you stay warm both at home and at work. Pair with a thinner turtleneck underneath when the temperatures drop, or leave it open combined with just a plain T-shirt and joggers at home. Soft Goat Cashmere, men’s shirt walnut, €245

For the woods, for the rain, the city and beyond, these boots from the recent collaboration between Diemme and Danish brand Rains are classic and durable. The slimmed-down ankle and leather lining offer an elegant contrast to the waterproof rubber sole. Rains x Diemme, Antra boot, €315

8  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

The ideal way to elevate any look is to add some sparkle. Even if you are all snuggled up in comfortable clothing, you deserve to shine brightly. These Afrodita gold-plated hoops from Norwegian brand Crystal Haze add the perfect finishing touch. Crystal Haze, Afrodita hoops, €142

A warm, soft scarf that feels like a hug is essential to stay cosy in the cold. This chunky scarf from Swedish brand Soft Goat even doubles up as a blanket. The light beige tone harmonises well with any colour, making the scarf the ultimate wardrobe staple. Wrap it around your shoulders, pair it with a cashmere jumper and loose wool pants, and you are ready to embrace the cold. Soft Goat, chunky scarf, €235 Soft Goat, ribbed, o-neck, €245

An oversized, lightweight coat in wool can easily be used across seasons and shifting temperatures. This loose and light wrap coat from COS is ideal for layering thicker garments underneath during the colder months of the year. The belt adds an elegant element to the relaxed silhouette. Cos, belted wrap coat, €225

The best thing about a chunky pair of leather boots, apart from them being comfortable, functional and perfectly on-trend, is that they do the job when the ground gets wet, slippery and cold. Wear these Acne Studios boots for Sunday walks, on your way to work and everywhere you go in between. Acne Studios, Lug Sole ankle boots, €590

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  9

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Get the Scandi Look

Get the Scandi Look With earthy tones and vintage finds, we are loving this homely living-room by Danish Cecilie Kovsted, who shares snippets of her interior universe on Instagram. It’s the perfect look for a cosy, autumnal space, don’t you think? We share some tips on how to recreate this Scandinavian look with some current design items. By Ingrid Opstad  |  Press photos

The table lamp in Cecilie’s home is a gorgeous vintage find, but if you want something similar, the Matin table lamp from HAY makes a great alternative. With a contemporary yet poetic design, it consists of a steel wire bent frame finished in polished brass with matte black hardware, and is paired with a pleated cotton shade available in a variety of vibrant colours. HAY, ‘Martin’ table lamp, €199

Photo: Cecilie Kovsted, @interiorunivers

Cecilie’s sofa is from the Danish brand Sofacompany. If you are after a similar style, the Elvi sofa from MADE is great. With soft seats and traditional button-back details that complement the high back and armrests, it will keep you feeling snug and supported. And if you have guests over, it folds down into a bed in minutes, thanks to a simple click-clack mechanism. Functional and decorative all at once! MADE, ‘Elvi’ sofa, €399

10  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

The Umpu vase from Marimekko has a beautiful, flowing ovoid form and retro style, which fit perfectly in this setting. The long, narrow neck is ideal for supporting both bouquets and single-cut flowers. Place the vase on the coffee table with your favourite colourful flowers inside for a stylish display. Marimekko, ‘Umpu’ vase, €121

Scan Magazine  |  Section  |  Get the Scandi Look

Adding the perfect vintage look, the LYFA’s Divan 2 is a stunning pendant lamp designed by Simon P. Henningsen in 1962, consisting of overlapping brass trapezoids carefully assembled one by one. It not only provides soft, indirect lighting, but also looks incredibly aesthetically pleasing. LYFA, ‘Divan 2’ ceiling lamp, €728

The vintage-style coffee table in Cecilie’s home is from Jysk but no longer available, but the In Between lounge table from & Tradition is a great alternative if you want to achieve a similar look. A result of designer Sami Kallio’s love for Scandinavian heritage and woodwork, the In Between table is made with traditional techniques out of strong and characterful oak wood. &Tradition, ‘In Between’ lounge table, €563

For more inspiration and vintage looks, follow Cecilie Kovsted on Instagram @interiorunivers

A key feature in Cecilie’s living space is the wall colour, Impression 12125 by Jotun Lady. This is a golden brown tone, which is warm and works well together with the variety of other brown shades and wood accents. It also makes the wall art pop, and helps to set a retro tone. Jotun Lady, ‘Impression 12125’ wall paint


2. 3.


Soft accents and warm tones – choose a selection of cushion covers in orange and brown shades to complement the wall colour and light wooden features in the room. For a nostalgic look like this one, go for velvet textures of luxurious quality that enhance the cosiness. 1. ‘True’ cushion, Ferm Living, €55 2. ‘Velv’ cushion, House Doctor, €34 3. ‘Galore’ cushion, Warm Nordic, €189.00 4. ‘Sanela’ cushion, IKEA, different sizes and prices

Creating a gallery wall with a selection of wall art you love is an excellent way to add personality to your space. Cecilie has curated a great, minimal wall full of interesting artwork in different sizes, and with different frames, making it the perfect fit for her Scandinavian home with a vintage touch. 1. ‘Obejct 01’ by TPC x Bycdesign Studio, Poster & Frame, 70x100cm, €137.95 2. Matisse Lithographie poster, Postery, 50x70cm, £24.95 5. ‘Perfect Imperfection – No. 3’ by Mille Henriksen x Danica Chloe, Poster & Frame, 30x40cm, €48.95 4. ‘Intuition Collection 03’ by Rune Elmegaard, Poster & Frame, 70x100cm, €104.95 5. ‘Carl Newman 03’ by Arch Atelier, Poster & Frame, 30x40cm, €26.95 3. 1. 5.

2. A graphic rug can be a great statement piece in any room, and helps to define the style. This Morocco rug in black and white provides balance to the neutral tones in the home, and complements the graphic artwork on the wall perfectly. Trendcarpet, ‘Morocco’ rug, €94.99


November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  11

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Picky Living

Dream homes with custom-made solutions Classic white, elegant wood, or perhaps a modern dark grey? Picky Living tailormakes kitchen and wardrobe cabinet fronts to preferred dimensions, materials and colours – for personal homes, with the environment in mind. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Picky Living

Picky Living is known for creating stylish fronts suitable for IKEA kitchen and wardrobe cabinets. Whether you’re building a new kitchen, in need of a wardrobe solution or just wanting to change the IKEA fronts for a new look, this company can make interior dreams come true. In addition to kitchen and wardrobe cabinet fronts, Picky Living also provides kitchen counters, fittings and legs. Three high-tech factories in Sweden tailor-make orders according to your required dimensions, preferred materials and colours. Thanks to plenty of design experience, technical knowledge and 12  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

craftsmanship, the team can solve tricky problems and adapt interiors according to customers’ wishes.

Interior magazines regularly feature Picky Living’s solutions, and on the website are house tours with celebrity customers such as retired high jumper Emma Green, alpine ski racer Frida Hansdotter and singer Oscar Zia, all having renovated their homes with the help of Picky Living. From World Expo to online orders How did it all start? Furniture designer Anders Lagerström and industrial designer Henrik Haij were asked to design and manufacture SEB’s exhibition furniture for the World Expo 2000 in Hannover. The project was a success and other requests followed, including event materials, exhibitions and specially designed furniture – and they often used IKEA’s cupboard bases. In 2009, the two childhood friends founded Picky Living, a pioneering concept in the field of custom-made fronts for IKEA

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Picky Living

kitchen cabinets. The vision was to offer simple solutions available to order online, to help create more personal homes. To offer flexible solutions and build with the environment in mind has been part of the company’s ethos since the start. “Why throw away entire kitchens if you don’t have to?” asks Haij, who argues that the understanding and knowledge among customers is greater these days, and predicts that the sector will grow further. “We strongly believe that kitchen layouts will last longer, as people can keep the cabinets and just change the fronts and still achieve a major change in how their kitchen looks. So, we encourage people to keep as much as possible when they renovate, as this is a great way to save resources.” Design collaborations and sustainability

stand out but also keep with a simple and elegant look,” explains Haij.

Trends evolve over time, and while classic, white cabinet fronts were big years ago, clients these days are increasingly asking for wood and darker, bolder colours. The company works closely with designers such as Lotta Agaton, one of Sweden’s foremost interior designers and stylists, for limited collections. One recent collaboration is Guldkant, a collection of gold-coloured steel fronts with gold-pleated handles and legs, developed in partnership with the lottery Triss. “With Guldkant, we created fronts that really

Picky Living also works with Hardware Stockholm, a provider of handles and knobs, to offer exclusive fittings manufactured in Sweden. Together with White Arkitekter, the company has launched an exciting collaboration based on sustainability, Gröna Luckan (which means ‘the green hatch’). White Arkitekter is one of Scandinavia’s leading architecture practices and works with sustainable architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design for current

and future generations. The collaboration is another step towards reducing the environmental impact with the most environmentally friendly kitchen fronts.

Haij’s top tips: Buy second-hand IKEA cabinets. It’s good for the environment, the cupboards are already assembled, and you get money left over for stylish fronts.

Lagerström’s top tips: Cut your IKEA cabinets to desired dimensions, assemble with common wooden screws, and order fronts from us with special measurements.

Web: Facebook: pickyliving Instagram: @pickyliving

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  13

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Katja Kotikoski art and design

Full and empty. Photo: Johnny Korkman


Cotton Candy Drops.

Joy through ceramics Katja Kotikoski is a Finnish ceramics artist and designer whose inspiration comes from her everyday life experiences. Her passion is to create timeless objects, which bring joy to people’s lives. Kotikoski has had numerous exhibitions both in Finland and abroad, and her work is also represented at different public art collections, like the State Art Collection of Finland.

2022. At the time of writing, Kotikoski is putting the final touches to the last few pieces for the exhibition. “The new pieces are quite different – they are more abstract compared to my earlier, more figurative pieces,” she reveals.

By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Katja Kotikoski

Kotikoski observes the world around her with a curious and optimistic mindset. “I am influenced by everything that happens around me, and that materialises itself through my art,” Kotikoski explains. Her work is known for visual minimalism and attention to detail, a combination that spontaneously combines art, design and craft. Her subjects come from current issues in today’s complex world. “I aim to portray imperfection and often handle subjects that might be difficult to talk about, like a feeling of inadequacy, fears or secret desires,” she explains. She handles these sensitive topics with kindness, and her playful touch comes across in her designs. Kotikoski’s love for the material and form can be seen in both the visual and 14  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

the technical details of her work. She uses her own porcelain clay mixes and is known for combining different techniques and inventing new glazes. “I could not imagine using another material, there are so many compelling aspects in ceramics. I often work with moulds and create a series of art, but in the end, every piece is unique,” she says. “Ceramics is an endless learning process. You are never ready; sometimes it still surprises me, and that keeps me intrigued.” New retrospective exhibition Kotikoski is celebrating the tenth anniversary of her artistic career with a new exhibition carrying her life motto, Every cloud has a silver lining, as its title. The exhibition takes place in KWUM, the Karin Widnäs ceramics museum in Fiskars, Finland, and runs until March

Ice cream.

Katja Kotikoski’s anniversary exhibition can also be visited virtually at

Web: Facebook: katja.kotikoski Instagram: @katjakotikoski

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  By Rydéns

Left: Seagrass is slick, versatile and functional for perfect dining. Right: The stately, eye-catching illumination Gross. Below: Imperia – an installation and a light source all in one.

The trendy light from the dark Swedish forests As daylight rapidly disappears and winter approaches, Scandinavians turn their lights on: big statement lights in the ceiling, functional lights for cooking and recharging, decorative lights for giving a cosy feel and pretty lights in the windows, where the curtains are never drawn. It’s that time of year, when provider of all things light, By Rydéns, gets extra busy. By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: By Rydéns

In the deep, dark forests of Småland, slap bang in the middle of southern Sweden, charismatic young entrepreneur Arne Rydén had a lightbulb moment in the late ‘50s. He was going to start a business. With a flair for marketing, he quickly realised that Stockholm was the place to sell his wares. As demand grew for his trinkets, china cats and household articles, he set up a factory in his hometown, the idyllic Gnosjö. During the late ‘90s the company changed direction, focusing on providing fellow Swedes with any light source thinkable. The rest is history. “We took a huge leap onto the European market in 2020. By Rydéns was already working with retailers in Norway and Germany, but last year we followed it up by opening showrooms in both countries.

We also have agents in a lot of countries, like Finland and Belgium. Next up is a German web shop!” says market coordinator Annette Schill. The lamps sold at By Rydéns are not merely a functional light source; they are meant to delight. As is the case with any fashion company, what’s on the shelves at By Rydéns won’t stay there for long. The company has a clear focus on following trends – and starting their own. “We are keen to provide our customers with something exciting. We design our lights to follow trend themes offered to our customers: ‘Scandinavian’ for a modern touch, ‘Nature’ for nature-based products, ‘Lobby Lounge’ for big and bold pieces, and ‘Rebel’ for lights with an element of surprise and humour,” says Schill.

Even after its expansion, By Rydéns is a Gnosjö company through and through. The entrepreneurial spirit of this village is renowned. The company may be taking big steps on the European market, but it still has its feet planted firmly on the ground in Gnosjö. “We want to give something back to our community, so we’re inviting customers living close to Gnosjö to come to our By Rydéns Light Factory and buy show products at a good price,” says Schill. Because home, as all Scandinavians know, is where the light is.

Web: Facebook: ByRydens Instagram: @byrydens

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  15

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile – Made in Norway  |  Sørlandschips

Co-founder Leif Arne with influencer and Sørlandschips ambassador Amalie Snøløs. Photo: Fahil Anweri

Crisps with personality Sustainability, a low environmental footprint, innovation, local produce and crisps full of personality and flair: Norwegian crisps brand Sørlandschips is paving its own way making one of Norway’s most-loved snacks. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Sørlandschips

The story of Sørlandschips is like a modern fairytale. Co-founder Leif Arne’s friend returned to the south-coast town of Kristiansand from a holiday in Canada, carrying a plastic bag full of kettle crisps. Sharing the goods with his friends, the group mused about how inconvenient it would be to have to travel back to Canada every time they craved the thick, crunchy golden flakes that were unlike any other crisps they’d ever tried. “We’ll just have to make them ourselves then!” Leif Arne shrugged, and so they did – slicing po16  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

tatoes, skin and all, dowsing them in peanut oil and baking them slowly in the oven. Sørlandschips was born, and the rest, as they say, is history. 30 years later, Sørlandschips has become one of the biggest and most-loved crisp brands in Norway and is the country’s defining brand in kettle crisps. Selling not only locally in Kristiansand but also nationwide, it has become one of the staples of the Norwegian concept of ‘lørdagsgodt’, or Saturday treats.

Sørlandschips was the first brand to introduce Norway to the concept of kettle crisps, the rustic crisp utilising the whole potato, rather than peeling off the skin before cooking. This not only adds to the feel and the taste of the crisps but also helps battle food waste on an impressive scale. “It benefits both the taste and the environmental footprint of the brand,” says CMO Daniel Bernstein. “We save more than ten million potatoes’ worth of food waste per year just from keeping the peel on the potato!” The potatoes are locally sourced, from 50 farms in the surrounding area. The farmers bring their potatoes to the factory, and 27 minutes later they can get a bag of crisps labelled with their own farm,

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile – Made in Norway  |  Sørlandschips

containing crisps made from their own potatoes, in return. Adventurous and playful Not only is the environmental footprint important to Sørlandschips: the brand also contributes to the local community by training, employing and providing language courses to immigrants. This led to a 2021 nomination for Mangfoldsprisen, a prize awarded by the Norwegian government for outstanding use of immigrants’ skills in working life. “Having immigrants as part of our workforce brings a whole new warmth and joy to the factory,” says Bernstein. “We are that little crisps factory that is also a family.” With a multitude of flavours, two different types of crisps (the original and the world’s thinnest version of the original), vegan options and a concept unlike any other, Sørlandschips has charmed its way into people’s hearts. The bags, rather than just depicting a generic bowl of crisps, all feature individual cartoon-like crisp characters – each with its own distinct personality, much like the different flavours. The sea-salt crisp hangs out on a sunny beach while the sea salt and vinegar character wears a sixpence and walks a dog draped in the Union Jack past a London phone booth. Rather than the straight, thin, rounded flakes most brands present, Sørlandschips’ crisps are wonky, curly, folded and

perfectly imperfect. During a poll a few years ago, the brand asked Norwegians whether they preferred the straight or the bent crisps, and the bent crisps won by a landslide. This adventurous and playful spirit is also demonstrated in the flavours Sørlandschips presents. There are the familiar ones, like sea salt, crème fraîche, and sea salt and vinegar, but also some more unusual ones like sea salt and rose pepper, sweet chilli, and sea salt and truffles. A couple of times a year there are also special edition crisps being released, like the two varieties of very Norwegian Christmas crisps, which will return in time for the holidays: one with ‘ribbe’ (pork belly with cracklings), and one with ‘pinnekjøtt’ (that’s lamb ribs) – the two traditional dishes most Norwegians eat on Christmas Eve.

Sørlandschips is one of the few snack brands out there whose merchandise is truly sought after. Wearing Sørlandschips products is so popular that the brand has opened up its own webshop, containing socks, tote bags, sunglasses, beach towels, shirts, and other fun things bearing the Sørlandschips logo and crisps characters. Leif Arne, the co-founder and face of Sørlandschips, is still as involved as ever – not only in terms of the production, but also through social media, music videos, live performances and other appearances, tying it all together and giving the brand that personal, local touch. Web: Facebook: SorlandsChips Instagram: @sorlandschips

Left: Freshly sliced potato ready to be cooked. Photo: Fahil Anweri. Right: Raw material manager Tommy Christiansen, co-founder Leif Arne and influencer and Sørlandschips ambassador Amalie Snøløs joining the harvest. Photo: Fahil Anweri

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  17

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile – Made in Norway  |  Empress Brew

Nourish your senses with refreshing kombucha brews made in Norway Inspired by the power of nature, Empress makes high-quality, sophisticated kombucha – an excellent non-alcoholic alternative. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Empress Brew

The artisanal non-alcoholic brewery Empress is the brainchild of Anna Karenina Anda Barron and Christer Andersson. Some years ago, they became obsessed with the acidic and sweet fermented beverage first introduced to them by Vanessa (@calikombucha), a fellow kombucha brewer from Cabo, Mexico. “Kombucha has many health benefits and hits the right spot between sweetness and acidity, which gives it a mature taste,” explains Anna. “Although it’s a traditional beverage, we found a 18  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

gap in the market when it comes to nonalcoholic drinks tailored for adults. We want to empower people with uplifting alternatives that shift the way we drink.” They set up the brewery in 2019, focusing on making high-quality products with sophisticated flavours. Here, the products are mindfully handcrafted using natural botanicals, ancestorial knowledge and modern alchemy. “Our brew lab is our playground, a space to dream, experiment, respect the craft and follow

our passion,” says Anna. “With the right balance of bitterness, acidity, and sweetness, kombucha is a great element to play with.” Empress can produce up to 8,000 litres of kombucha per month. Among favourites in its line-up is an uplifting beetroot, turmeric and apple kombucha – a true immune-system booster. Another delight is kombucha with ginger, goji berry, and gotu kola, a stress-reducing herb. The result is a ginger-like beer with a herbal kick. Tasty wine alternatives Empress is expanding its portfolio of fermented sparkling beverages inspired by

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile – Made in Norway  |  Empress Brew

Anna Karenina Anda Barron and Christer Andersson, founders of Empress Brew.

the world of wine. It creates exciting flavours by combining teas, fermented fruits, vinegar and botanicals with a kombucha base. The winealts are mildly sweet with a tangy, acidic taste and palate-cleansing properties, lovely to pair with food or enjoy just like wine. Moonbrew Iridescent is like a pét-nat wine with a base of kombucha and fermented stone fruits, giving it a crisp and vibrant flavour with apricot, nectarine, elderflower and orange peel. It was referred to as “a fine stand-in for Champagne” in the Wall Street Journal feature Kombucha for Connoisseurs: The Best Bottles to Pair With Food by Julia Bainbridge. Through a collaboration with Oslo Brewing Co., Empress has also crafted two mead-inspired honey wines. Ficus Zing is a modern take on honey wine with an exotic blend of fig, cacao and cardamom in symbiosis with citrusy orange peel and a gentle ginger kick. Woodland is a respectful ode to the Norwegian forest, a harmonious mix of wildcrafted ling flowers, pine, juniper berries, birch bark and blueberry. It has an elegant floral aroma with leafy pine notes and fresh minerality. All three winealts are natural and free from additives, contain less than 0.5 per cent alcohol, and contribute to some perfect food pairings.

Close collaborations The founders have built a loyal community of followers through social media and continuously collaborate with local companies such as breweries and sustainable fashion and wellness brands. “We work with local farmers, foragers, tea and coffee importers, and other producers representing Norway,” confirms Anna. “Even if we are a fast-growing company, we haven’t forgotten what it’s

like to start a business. Working together means growing together.” Empress is available at cafés and restaurants, including some with Michelin stars. It can also be found in specialised shops and cocktail bars and at yoga studios, bakeries and coffee and tea houses, as well as Oda, the biggest food delivery business in Norway. The client base includes the yogi community and the fashion and design world, which hosts many events. One recent collaboration was with fashion house Holzweiler, serving non-alcoholic drinks at the launch of Vogue Scandinavia at Café Platz in Oslo. “We want to show that non-alcoholic cocktails can be both sexy and exciting,” smiles Anna. While kombucha is a product to be enjoyed fresh, the wine alternatives are shelf stable. They have been tested on the US market with great acceptance, including the fabulous review in the Wall Street Journal. The aim is to grow organically and become a leader in the nonalcoholic field: “We want to impress the world with invigorating drinks.” Web: Instagram: @drinkempress

Moonbrew Spritz A refreshing spritz with Moonbrew’s stone fruit and floral notes with a touch of aromatic citrus. Ingredients: 30ml Everleaf Forest (non-alcohol spirit) 20ml grapefruit juice 2 dashes Angostura Bitters (optional) Top with Moonbrew Sparkling Tea How to: In a glass with ice, add grapefruit juice, bitters and Everleaf Forest. Top with Moonbrew, stir gently and garnish with fresh botanicals. Sip slowly and enjoy! This refreshing drink also goes well with gin and sweet vermouth.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  19

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Kouvolan Lakritsi Oy

Photo: Kouvolan Lakritsi Oy

A liquorice factory with a lot of soul Sending liquorice into space, and creating the world’s largest bag of sweets – Timo Nisula, owner of the Kouvola Liquorice factory in Finland, has no shortage of quirky ideas for his business. There are no long production lines or heavy machinery at the Kouvola Liquorice factory, as the liquorice is prepared by hand, using traditional methods. It’s a labour of love. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Ville Juurikkala

Kouvola Liquorice has been the first to do many things: it was the first to produce liquorice beer, and also the first to send liquorice out into the stratosphere. In 2016, Kouvola Liquorice teamed up with renowned Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, who is probably best known for the Ball Chair he designed in the 1960s. As a result of the collaboration, the world’s first design sweet, titled Ghost, because of its shape, was born. In the middle of the pandemic, Nisula felt he wanted to counterbalance the doom 20  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

and gloom of the world. “I realised no one had ever made and announced the world’s largest bag of sweets, so I decided we would make one,” he says – and Kouvola Liquorice now holds the Guinness World Record for the largest bag of sweets, filled with salty liquorice and weighing in at 829.1 kilogrammes. So what happened to all the liquorice after the world record was achieved? A local sports team helped divide the liquorice into small bags, which were sold at a local supermarket. Kouvola Liquo-

rice then used the profits to buy a onebedroom apartment in Kouvola. “We bought the apartment and renovated it, and put out a call-out in a newspaper, looking for a person in need of ‘A New Start’, as we called the campaign. We received over 300 applications from various people who had fallen on hard times. We picked one person from the applicants, and they now live in the apartment and work with us,” Nisula explains. “This is the issue with having an active imagination, which is probably the result of reading too many comics as a child,” he laughs. Carbon-neutral liquorice Liquorice has been used by great kings and leaders for millennia, from pharaohs in ancient Egypt to Alexander the Great. The Kouvola Liquorice factory’s

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Kouvolan Lakritsi Oy

story initially began in Vyborg in 1906, but after two world wars, the company was established in Kouvola, where the factory has been producing sweets since 1945. Since the beginning, Kouvola Liquorice has been produced by hand, using traditional methods and a traditional recipe. Now, the factory has 25 employees, and everything from the start and all the way to the packing of the end product is done by hand. Kouvola Liquorice proudly uses good-quality ingredients and cooks its product with care and a lot of love, and they believe this trickles down to how the finished product tastes. “Our liquorice is cooked on a stove, by real people,” says Nisula. In addition to having deep respect and commitment for the traditional way of making liquorice, Kouvola Liquorice also prides itself on striving to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. In order to do its bit for the environment, the factory is offsetting its carbon footprint by fertilising forests in Finland. “Instead of offsetting our carbon emissions by planting trees somewhere halfway across the world, I wanted to do something that would have an impact right now. So we decided to focus on forests in Finland and come up with something tangible that would have an immediate effect. We do things that really matter,

and sustainability is very important to us,” Nisula explains. “We are a small fish in a big pond, and we’re not even trying to compete with the big sweet manufacturers. However, the fact that we are a smaller company also means we can do a lot of things that bigger companies can’t. Having fun is important to me,” says Nisula. Kouvola Liquorice might be a small company, but it has big plans. The company is planning to grow the business tenfold by extending its sales across Europe, Asia and Australia. There’s also an exciting new project underway: it is opening a second factory in an old school building. “It’ll be a place where visitors can come and see what we do and buy our products,” Nisula explains. “The most important thing for us is to pass down our knowledge of traditional liquorice making to the next generation, and to be able to share our product with the world. We’re not a massive-scale production, but we have a lot of soul. Making the best-tasting liquorice possible is a matter of heart for us,” the liquorice factory owner concludes. Web: Facebook: kouvolanlakritsi Instagram: @kouvolanlakritsi

Factory owner Timo Nisula.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile  |  Seaside Toldboden

The seven wonders of gastronomy Seven super chefs are bringing the harbour back to the locals, as Seaside Toldboden mixes exquisite gastronomy with the best techniques from the world of street food. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Rolands Varsbergs

Imagine enjoying experimental gastronomy in an open kitchen with astonishing views over the harbour, all in a very informal atmosphere reminiscent of a street food context. That is the reality at Seaside Toldboden in Copenhagen, where seven chefs with plenty of experience from all over the world are ready to serve up their specialities. “Our vision is to give these chefs the chance to become independent and make their own food. They are extremely passionate about their cooking, and they like to experiment, which is why you as a customer can enjoy some incredible dishes here,” says owner of Seaside Toldboden, Jesper Julian Møller. Each chef at the gastro house has their own signature dishes, so there are plenty of plates on the menu and something to suit all tastes – from oysters, shellfish, ceviche and sushi to grilled monkfish, 22  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

tournedos rossini and souvlaki, as well as the more classic burgers and chips. Sharing the harbour Seaside Toldboden offers high-quality gastronomy, but one thing that truly makes the place special is the way it combines the different techniques from street food. “All seven kitchens are open, so you can be just one metre away from the chefs and watch the process while they prepare your food,” Jesper Julian Møller enthuses. “Also, instead of waiting in line before being seated and served, you can order your food with your mobile phone using an online platform, while you sit and enjoy a cocktail on our heated terrace or inside on the cosy chairs with spectacular views over the harbour. To my knowledge, we are the only place in Copenhagen that mixes the best from restaurants and the traditional restaurant industry with the more informal atmosphere and techniques from street food.”

Møller adds: “We want to share the harbour with all the locals, and we want our customers to feel like they are part of the harbour. The outdoor terrace will make you feel like you’re walking on a ship deck, and inside you’ll quickly notice that the colours and materials are inspired by the Royal Ship Dannebrog, which is moored right outside our premises.” Indeed, everything about this place is special.

Photo: Danny Sakarov

Web: Facebook: SeasideToldboden Instagram: @seasidetoldboden

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  World Architecture Festival 2021

World Architecture Festival 2021 – celebrating creative ideas to tackle the greatest challenges of our time As World Architecture Festival (WAF) returns yet again after a first pandemic-induced move to the virtual world, the cerebral vision is greater than the spatial format – the former zoning in on the theme of ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health & Urbanism’, and the latter abandoning the scheduled venue in Lisbon once more in favour of a live, interactive digital format. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: World Architecture Festival

24  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  World Architecture Festival 2021

The Whale, Dorte Mandrup,

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  25

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  World Architecture Festival 2021

Shenzhen Natural History Museum, 3XN.

Perhaps, if anyone can make magic happen in spatial terms despite the current limitations, it’s architects. Indeed, a sense of reimagining and a desire to embrace the reality of the world the way it looks now is at the heart of this year’s instalment of the world-renowned celebration of architecture. “We wanted to reflect the thinking that has been taking place in respect of city planning following the pandemic and lockdowns, including the role of nature and landscape going forward,” programme director Paul Finch says of this year’s conference theme. “One of our aspirations is to encourage discussion about possible futures, from the perspectives of architects from different cultures and geographies,” he adds. “We celebrate this through our WAFX Awards, which cover areas such as sustainability, food, water, climate, social equity and digital environments. We need creative ideas about how to

tackle major social and environmental issues more than ever, and the contribution of architects needs to be encouraged and acknowledged.” Accessible, jam-packed programme No doubt, architecture, when executed well, has the power to emphasise unexpected benefits and hidden opportunities – and this year’s WAF will use that creativity to squeeze the very best out of what the world wide web as a platform has to offer. Crucially, stresses Finch, “now that the event is online there will be hugely enhanced access to every element of the festival. For the first time, we will record and make available every single awards presentation, as well as the three-day conference and final judging elements – which will also be live streamed. Delegates will be able to view whatever they want for 90 days after the festival – and there is more than 40 days’ worth of material in total!”

Some of the many Nordic agencies whose projects have been shortlisted for awards at this year’s festival are Sandellsandberg arkitekter, 3XN, Nordic – Office of Architecture, White Arkitekter, Liljewall, JKMM Architects, LINK Arkitektur and Dorte Mandrup, to name but a few.

26  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

No one will need to miss a thing, in other words – nor would you want to, considering the characteristically illustrious lineup of speakers and sessions. With the super jury including names such as Jeanne Gang from Studio Gang, Abdelkader Damani from Frac Centre-Val de Loire | Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans and Kim Herforth Nielsen of 3XN, you get to watch the very best of the world’s architectural creations judged across categories including World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year, and more. For three days straight at the start of December, delegates can Nanchang Waves, Nordic – Office of Architecture

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  World Architecture Festival 2021

Web: Facebook: ArchitectureFestival Instagram: @worldarchfest Twitter: @worldarchfest

Kirkkonummi Library, JKMM Architects. Photo: Marc Goodwin

enjoy a jam-packed, live-streamed programme of conference talks by leading architectural thinkers, awards, fringe events and a total of 18 digital crit rooms, making this the largest festival to date in terms of content since WAF first launched in Barcelona in 2008. Were there challenges along to road to a fully inclusive virtual format? Sure. “Particularly matching the time zones of award presentations with the zones of the juries,” acknowledges the programme director. “On the other hand, the pandemic forced us to think about accessibility in the digital age. We realise that what we are doing now could have been done before. The cultural shift

towards remote communication has transformed the world of events forever. We plan to be live again in 2022, but the nature of the event will be hybrid, with both live and online delegates.”

The 2021 WAF comprises: A thematic conference programme on the theme ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health & Urbanism’ Electronic gallery of all award entries Virtual partner and exhibitor booths Live judging of finalists’ projects Online networking and social events, including partner fringe events

Hospital Nova, JKMM Architects. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

Fisksätra Folkets Hus, Sandellsandberg Architects.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  27


e Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Norway Scan

ND C A I i D RE AY ec R p W S NO CTU OR TE – N I CH IGN R A ES D m he

T al

Birdwatching tower.

Architecture made to last Norwegian architecture firm Vindveggen Arkitekter AS designs striking buildings and constructions with sustainability in mind. From schools and apartment complexes to swimming halls and birdwatching towers, Vindveggen creates spaces for future generations. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Vindveggen Arkitekter

Founded in 1995, Vindveggen, which translates as ‘the wind wall’, was named after an impressive 650-metre-long wooden wall built in the early 1900s to protect timber from the harsh winds ravaging the Lillestrøm area. Though the wall is gone and the timber no longer needs the same type of protection, Vindveggen carries on the legacy of creating aesthetically pleasing designs that contribute to society and the local area. One of Vindveggen’s current projects is a brand-new indoor swimming pool, Jessheimbadet, designed in collaboration with Nuno Arkitektur AS. The swimming 28  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

pool, located in Jessheim, Norway, is part of a big development involving housing, sports facilities, schools and kindergartens, essentially building a brand-new district in the South-Eastern town. Birdwatching tower view.

“Designing public buildings can be challenging, but very rewarding,” says architect and partner Espen Bærheim. “We consider it an important social responsibility. They are buildings designed to be used by a lot of people over a long period of time, so the quality must be high, both aesthetically speaking and in terms of usability.” Attention to detail “A swimming pool, in comparison to most public buildings, has a very varied clientele,” reflects Bærheim. “It has to cater to top athletes and senior citizens. Schools should be able to do swimming lessons there, and pools need to be accessible for the multi-handicapped for training and rehabilitation. Everyone, ages zero to 100, should be able to use the facilities.” Safety is another key element in a swimming pool, requiring the building to be

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

open, airy and bright, while simultaneously maintaining a certain level of discretion for its visitors. The climate of swimming pools poses another challenge. It is hot, damp, and with a lot of potential corrosion. This means that every little detail must be taken into consideration, all building materials must be top quality, and the technical facilities cleaning the air and water are extremely advanced. Jessheimbadet, with its perfectly round shape, is a striking construction and was nominated for the 2021 Arkitekturpris for Ullensaker kommune (Ullensaker municipality’s architecture award). 6,600 square metres large with a maximum capacity of nearly 500 visitors, the building offers seven pools, including a sports pool with eight lanes and accessible pools for training and rehabilitation. There is a Jacuzzi, saunas, a toddler pool, diving boards, a water slide, and a cafeteria serving both inside and outside of the pool area. A tower for the birdwatchers Another project Vindveggen has just finished is a very different kind of structure: a birdwatching tower. The wooden construction is located in the nature conservation area Nordre Øyeren, the largest inland river delta in the Nordics. Here, the rivers Glomma, Leira and Nitelva meet the lakes Svellet and Øyeren, creating a complex ecosystem that is home to a multitude of flora and fauna. The birdwatching tower was commissioned to allow safe and easy access to the area,

Diving into the pool at Jessheimbadet. Photo: Tove Lauluten -

which has been a popular destination for birdwatchers through the ages. The tower, designed in collaboration with Museene i Akershus (MIA), opened to the public in 2020. It is built from ore-pine, the heartwood of old-growth pine. This is the same kind of wood used to build the Scandinavian stave churches in the Middle Ages and can be used untreated thanks to its resin bleeding outwards and acting as natural impregnation. Environmentally friendly and gently placed in its surroundings, the tower benefits the birdwatchers while shielding the surrounding wildlife. “It has become a popular destination for both ornithologists and hikers,” Bærheim says. “Ornithologists often

Jessheimbadet building. Photo: Tove Lauluten -

have highly advanced equipment, requiring a very stable foundation, and we’ve taken that into consideration when designing the tower.” This is why, structurally, the tower consists of three separate constructions standing independently of each other. This makes it incredibly stable, despite people walking up and down the stairs. Built mainly by enthusiasts and volunteers, the project was nominated for the 2021 Lillestrøm kommunes arkitektur- og byggeskikkpris (Lillestrøm municipality’s architecture and vernacular architecture award). Access to the birdwatching tower is free for all. Web:

Detail from Jessheimbadet.  Photo: Tove Lauluten

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  29

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

A seamless blend of architecture and nature When Architect Per Pande-Rolfsen was asked to design a cabin blending seamlessly into the Norwegian mountains, with panoramic views of the scenery, he jumped at the idea. Playing with the elements and combining natural materials with innovative ideas, he designed a building challenging the idea of what a cabin should be and look like. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Per Pande-Rolfsen

Currently stepping away from his own company and into architecture firm CK Nor Bygg AS, renowned Norwegian architect Per Pande-Rolfsen has more than 35 years’ experience of designing housing and commercial buildings behind him, in addition to working with interior and furniture design, regulation and planning. With extensive knowledge and clients ranging from individual customers to large financial groups, the Norwegian state and The Royal Court, Pande-Rolfsen drew inspiration and experience from his substantial CV and portfolio when asked to design the cabin in the mountains. 30  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Before he even started designing the building, he, along with the owner of the cabin, went to the plot of land high in the mountains and spent a whole day getting to know the area, the geography and the surroundings.

Sunrise on the roof.

“We brought food and coffee and spent hours in the heather just looking around,” says Pande-Rolfsen. “We then walked around, outlining the plot and taking note of each bump, ditch, anthill and tree. This also gave the client the time to tell me about his dreams and visions for the cabin.” The main focus: a view of the nature reserve Hallingskarvet. And not only should it blend seamlessly into the surroundings, but it should also be sustainable and near maintenance-free.

Cabin in winter.

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

A seamless extension of the terrain The terrain of the plot was a slope, but rather than levelling the ground to make for a plane building, they decided on building the cabin into the ground, making it a seamless extension of the existing terrain. And rather than building a multi-storey structure, they decided on a single-level construction, allowing the natural rise and fall of the terrain to give the various rooms an added dynamic and a feeling of space and distance. This would also leave the surrounding nature as the focal point, rather than the cabin itself. In addition, the structure of the cabin needed to be built to withstand the elements, whether facing heavy snowfall, autumn storms, or frosty winters. This was the starting point of the design, centring on the panoramic windows that visually connect the cabin’s living room to the outside. The interior of the cabin ties it all together by continuing the use of natural materials such as stone and wood, which adds to the sense of connection with the nature outside. The colour scheme inside is subdued, so as not to take away from the light and the colours of the surroundings. By avoiding attention-seeking colourful and bright interiors, nature and the local scenery are allowed to serve as the work of art and become the focal point.

Rock cladding outside.

The luxurious cabin offers not only a spacious living room with a fireplace and dining area, but also a top-modern kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom, as well as a sauna with views of the mountains. From the outside, however, the cabin is barely visible from a distance. Built into the ground, using materials matching the colour scheme in the area, the cabin is a far cry from the wooden palaces often found in the Norwegian mountains. In the winter, when snowfall is heavy, the large windows and the weathervane are the only giveaways that there is more than just rock and moss here. A room with a fjord view Pande-Rolfsen is also working on some seaside projects. New buildings are cur-

rently being built at a resort by the water on the island of Senja in the north of Norway, with panoramic views of the fjord, the midnight sun and the Aurora Borealis – the northern lights. PandeRolfsen, together with DI interior design, has designed the resort’s ‘Aurora rooms’, named after said Aurora Borealis – superior suites designed to host the big occasions in life, be it a honeymoon, a proposal, or simply a luxurious experience out of the ordinary. In addition, he has designed cabins in the area clad in a type of wood that naturally impregnates over time, blending them with the surrounding colours, but with an eyecatching silhouette against the sky. Web:

Cabins in Senja.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  31

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

This Håvegen residence won the 2019 Hå municipality Byggeskikkpris award.

Room for excitement Norway has exceptionally varied geography, ranging from large cities to windy coastlines, from deep forests to rocky mountains and sunny archipelagos. This creates demand for houses and buildings tailored to their specific use and location, in terms of both design and durability.

ing them feel bigger, brighter and more spacious. Each building is tailored to the plot of land, be it a garden, the archipelago with its rocky terrain, or the shore.

By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Joakim Bjerk / Arkitektkontoret IHT

Located in Jæren on the southern coast of Norway, Arkitektkontoret IHT is used to coastal weather and harsh climate conditions, and despite having clients nationwide, this is something they always take into consideration when designing houses. Built to withstand heavy rain, storms, and the wide span of temperatures the Norwegian climate has to offer, their houses are solid, yet elegant and spacious.

Founded by four women in 1993, Arkitektkontoret IHT, with its 11 architects and engineers, works towards one clear, shared goal: creating room for excitement. This motto is the foundation of all their work and is achieved through good conversations and communication with clients and builders, engagement, and creativity without limits. Though they design a large spectrum of buildings all over the country, from office and utility buildings to housing and holiday homes, their focus is on the latter: houses built for people. “Traditions within construction is something that has accumulated over the 32  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

centuries,” says CEO and architect Ingunn Aarrestad. “Today, everything is developing very fast, and it is important to be critical about what we create and make sure that we are positively contributing to future generations. Still, we shouldn’t be so true to tradition that we are afraid to create new cultural elements. Things that are created today also have a right to exist.” Designing buildings made to stand out while blending in with the surroundings defines the work of Arkitektkontoret IHT. Trying to erase the visual barriers between the outside and the inside of a building extends both spaces, mak-

Award-winning architecture One of these buildings is the awardwinning Håvegen. The private residence, consisting of the main building, a tool shed and a garage, is built around a yard the traditional Norwegian way. This provides a sheltered outside space between

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

the buildings, protected from cold winds and allowing for a prolonged season of outdoor activities. Located by the sea at Jæren, the buildings are designed in natural materials such as wood, concrete, glass and slate. Clad in environmentally friendly, low-maintenance materials, the colours are subdued and made to harmonise with the surroundings. The view, good lighting conditions and ability to withstand the harsh climate of the Norwegian coast were equally important when designing the project, which won the 2019 Hå municipality Byggeskikkpris (Vernacular Architecture Award). Another example of a house perfectly tailored to its surroundings is a holiday home near the Southern Norwegian town

of Mandal, Norway. The cabin is delicately built among the rocks in the archipelago, with the sea immediately outside the house. The rocky and varying terrain demanded creative solutions, making the house a one-of-a-kind holiday home, seamlessly blending into the beautiful surroundings. With an outstanding ocean view and the opportunity of opening up entire walls towards the sea and the surroundings, the cabin challenges the border between indoors and outdoors. This means that on warm summer days, the surrounding nature extends into the cabin, while still providing a warm, cosy shelter in the winter months. Enhancing rather than interrupting “We always want to add something positive to the landscape and the surroundings with what we build today, so

that our children and grandchildren can see the qualities in what we’ve created,” Aarrestad says. One non-residential project, designed using the same principles, features three boathouses located right on the water in Rogaland county in the South West of Norway. Clad entirely in wood, the three buildings are situated partly on the water. With their eye-catching angles and the way they’re positioned next to each other, they make an artistic addition to the area – enhancing the beauty of the scene, rather than interrupting it.

Web: Facebook: Instagram: @arkitektkontoretiht

Top left: This holiday home is delicately built among the rocks in the Mandal archipelago, seamlessly blending into the surroundings. Photo: Ingunn Aarrestad/ Arkitektkontoret IHT. Top right: The eye-catching boathouses in Rogaland county add an artistic touch to the area. Bottom left: This Stavanger residence is perfectly adapted to the lot and the surroundings. Bottom right: The environmentally friendly Håvegen residence is built to withstand the harsh climate and harmonise with the surroundings.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  33

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

Carpe Diem outside of Oslo is a constructed village for people with dementia, with recognisable surroundings, colours and outdoor gardens and walking paths. Photo: Simon Kennedy

From airports to hospitals and homes – a Nordic way to democratise architecture Based in the Nordic hubs of Oslo, Reykjavík and Copenhagen, Nordic – Office of Architecture (or Nordic, for short) creates and designs across borders and fields. By Åsa H. Aaberge

“We specialise in complex issues and enjoy taking the role of advisor in projects. You can be an architect and only focus on drawing a house and finishing a project, but the way Nordic sees it, you can also be an architect and an advisor by trying to solve bigger issues rather than just drawing and designing the lines,” says Eskild Andersen, CEO and architect at Nordic – Office of Architecture.

be a part of. To succeed, multidisciplinary teams and thorough procedures are key, according to Andersen. “What’s unique for us is how we approach architecture democratically. The process is a goal in itself. What we create is a result of a process that includes bringing our clients and users along in making decisions, designing and creating,” says Andersen.

The firm aims to approach architecture in a way that people understand and can

With over 40 years’ experience and expertise in fields ranging from airports

34  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

To stand the test of time

to learning facilities, complex hospitals, urban spaces, interiors and residential design, Nordic’s portfolio is remarkably broad. The architecture office has gained notable attention and nominations for its approach to architecture, design and sustainability, both within the Nordic countries and globally. Its ambition is to create enduring spaces that can be used and lived in decades from now, by opting for natural materials with a long lifetime, such as massive wood constructions. “The most important thing we can do to be sustainable is to plan well, refrain from building bigger than we need to, and reuse materials. An aspect that characterises our architecture is a

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

timeless expression, allowing buildings to stand the test of changing fashion and time,” says Andersen. Nordic explores and strives towards sustainability in every step. A current example is its role in a nationally funded consortium, together with Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company Hydro, to discover how to make the construction industry more sustainable by using scrap aluminium in a constructive context. Currently, the Oslo office is working on the new Regjeringskvartalet (New Government Quarter) in the Norwegian capital, which was damaged during the bombing in 2011. The premises will consist of new buildings that work in harmony with the old main block. “Many would argue that we should tear it down – it’s old, partly destroyed, with many challenges to meet current technical standards. But as an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint, we chose to transform the existing block. Transformation is a practice we use in several projects,” says Andersen. Nordic has the technical skills and experience to take on such projects of extreme complexity, he adds, higlighting masterplanning as an area of expertise. Buildings for people While environmental sustainability is part of Nordic’s DNA, social sustainability and

the contribution to a happy and healthy society are equally essential. “Architecture is important to humans because it affects our well-being. Good architecture does something to you. Science has proven that. We work a lot with healthcare facilities and urban planning projects and see what we call health-promoting design as an essential mainstay by always putting humans first in our projects,” says Andersen. Nordic is the name behind facilities of leading, modern hospitals such as Stavanger University Hospital and London Cancer Hub, as well as nurseries and schools across the Nordics. Each building is formed with people’s well-being in mind. “An example is our project Carpe Diem, Norway’s first dementia village, just outside of Oslo. The goal of the project is to give the residents the best possible quality of life and more independence. The buildings and outdoor spaces are connected so that no one gets lost, and we used recognisable colours and surroundings, intending to give them a sense of a neighbourhood and a feeling of being at home,” says Andersen. An international approach While the Nordics make up the prime area of focus, Nordic – Office of Architecture works across the globe and collab-

Nanchang Waves in China, a landscape-based community centre. Photo: Shiran

orates across borders and offices. “It’s a great way to learn from each other’s cultures. Additionally, we have a multicultural team consisting of over 30 nationalities. Yes, we are a Nordic architecture firm, but we certainly have an international approach,” says Andersen. This international approach is reflected in the office portfolio. Airports are an area of expertise for Nordic, and they have constructed Flesland in Bergen, Gardermoen in Oslo and Istanbul Airport in Turkey. Currently, airports in India and China are in the works. For international projects, Nordic always brings a uniquely Nordic touch. For instance, the teams use natural light and warm materials otherwise not commonly seen in big, international airports. “These projects increase our cultural understanding across borders and our perception of the world. When it comes to architecture, we work closely with our clients to find the right way to balance our Nordic touch with their local culture and identity,” Andersen concludes.

Web: Facebook: nordicooa Instagram: @nordicooa LinkedIn: /company/  nordic-office-of-architecture/

Nordic Oslo Office. Photo: Anne Bråtveit

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  35

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

Left: Outside the children’s hospital in Bergen. Photo: Jiri Havran. Top right: Photo: PKA. Bottom right: Interior of the award-winning hotel, Britannia Hotell in Trondheim. Photo: Dreyer+Hensley

Architecture for a lively and ever-evolving city “Nordic architecture is, to us, about sensitivity to human nature, to history and our surroundings,” says architect Axel Kristoffersen. By Åsa H. Aaberge

Kristoffersen is the current CEO of Per Knudsen Arkitektkontor (PKA), one of the leading architecture firms in Trondheim. With a history stretching over more than 40 years, PKA is the creator of several architectural monuments in Norway’s third-largest city. Among them are the Dragvoll campus of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and more recently the ongoing project Trondheim Central Station and the notable renovation of the award-winning Britannia Hotell. “PKA has made a mark on and continues to enhance the city of Trondheim, with projects like the new Trondheim Central Station, Pirbadet and the head offices of the city police, among others. Such purpose-built designs, alongside health premises such as the new children’s hospital in Bergen, university buildings, office spaces and, crucially, housing, 36  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

constitute the broad array of our portfolio today,” says Kristoffersen. Imprinted in the DNA of PKA are pillars of sustainability to emphasise the use of natural daylight in every building and create spaces that play a role in empowering a buzzing city. PKA aims to choose lasting materials that evolve to become more beautiful as time passes and buildings age. Kristoffersen highlights that PKA’s staff, now counting almost 50, has a shared vision of collaborating across planning, designing and creating. Engagement with the communities each project is part of, collaboration and a willingness to empower each other as well as customers, are also important values for PKA. The firm aims for the buildings it creates and designs to give people a sense

of belonging, energy and a feeling of well-being. “A vibrant city evolves according to changing needs. For it to remain, things have to work, and the town needs to evolve. The city must serve its purpose at all hours – streets and urban spaces must be activated through outwardfacing and inviting premises at street level,” says Kristoffersen. He adds that it is essential for PKA that buildings are given flexibility and qualities that make them robust enough to cope with ever-changing needs and technical transformations. “Our aesthetic goal builds on sustainability and an experienced fact: namely that humans take care of a beautiful city and pretty buildings – and to take care, that is the essence of sustainability,” concludes Kristoffersen.

Web: Facebook: PKAArkitekter Instagram: @pkaarkitekter LinkedIn: company/pka-arkitekter

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

38  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

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

Lilleakerbyen – a new, vibrant and sustainable district in Oslo The construction industry is behind 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and the use of energy and material resources. At a time when we know how important sustainability is to preserve our planet for the future, LPO architects aims to change the game through new ways of reusing old materials, turning old into new. By Hanna Andersson and Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: LPO and A-lab

The Oslo-based architecture firm has already transformed large spaces such as Vervet in Tromsø, and Vulkan and Sørenga in Oslo. From old, run-down and unfriendly areas filled with traffic, storage containers and very little to offer visitors, LPO architecture has turned them into vibrant spaces filled with people, culture, restaurants, arts and life. They’ve become tourist destinations and sought-after residential and social areas – places people want to live in and visit. The vibrant Lilleakerbyen

The culture square.

One of the firm’s current projects is at Lilleaker, a part of greater Oslo, right on the border between Oslo and Bærum. This area has an old industrial history, but today it’s defined by offices and a dark shopping centre completely disconnected from its surroundings. The project, dubbed Lilleakerbyen, aims to tie the two suburban parts of the city together and create a lively district for both living and working.

“The project was commissioned by family-owned company Mustad Eiendom and developed in collaboration with Civitas, A-Lab and Leonard Design. The intention is to cultivate the identity and distinctiveness of the area, turning it into a lively, welcoming and accessible place filled with residential housing, commercial trade, working spaces, sports and culture – a community with great living spaces and social arenas.” “Lilleakerbyen will be a destination, a place people would like to visit. We want to create a district of Oslo that is vibrant and full of life both day and night,” says Hilde Lillejord, communications advisor at LPO. Part of the project vision is about opening up the shopping centre, moving the shops outside and into classic pedestrian streets with restaurants, cosy cafés and parks. To achieve this, traffic and deliveries to the shops are moved underground, November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  39

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

The culture quarter.

leaving the green pedestrian zones completely car-free. Making sustainability a priority For the project team, the environmental sustainability of the building process is the top priority, along with limiting the level of CO2 emissions. As much of the original building material as possible is kept and reused, whether a building is being demolished, rebuilt or otherwise transformed. “If brand-new materials are necessary, we seek to use sustainable sources and materials with a low environmental footprint, low maintenance and high durability,” says Lillejord. Another key priority has been that any new building mass should consist of materials that can be reused in future reconstruction. In addition, the project team is continually researching, exploring and utilising new methods and materials to reduce their impact on the climate. The aim is a 50 per cent cut in energy emissions, focusing on new solu40  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021


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

tions in materials, transport and ways to produce energy. The architectural solution will be based on the area’s industrial history and will bridge the past and the future. “The team was inspired by the industrial history, but the main goal is to create architecture that has a long life span. This will highlight the historical heritage, yet the architecture will always reflect the era in which it was created,” says Lillejord. Lilleaker is located near the transport hub of Lysaker train and bus station, providing easy access from the surrounding areas. A new subway line out of central Oslo, Fornebubanen, is under construction and a subway station at Lilleakerbyen is part of the plan. “This way, the project can facilitate an area where the preferred method of arrival will be public transport, walking and cycling, rather than by car,” Lillejord adds.

Illustration of the flow of life in the district.

Lillaker Square.

The project aims to facilitate social interaction between people of different aspects of society, with lots of accessible social arenas such as the river bank of Lysakerelven as well as new public squares. Buildings will actively define the streets, and the ground floors will feature functions that bring vibrant city life to the area. As such, Lilleakerbyen is sustainably creating a vibrant and colourful district, boosting people’s quality of life – a good place both to live and to spend time in. Location: Oslo, Norway Team: LPO architects, Civitas, A-lab and Leonard Design Client: Mustad Eiendom Number of new apartments: 2,300 Total gross area: 430,000 square metres Construction start: 2022

The main street.

Read more about Lilleakerbyen at: Web:


November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  41

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

The Økern area in Oslo.

Transforming negative spaces into positive places All cities have some negative places: those lost, unattractive areas where people simply do not want to be. It takes a special breed of architect to find the opportunities in these unwanted locations and transform them into something attractive and enticing.

as a ‘pocket park’, inspired by New York’s High Line.”

By Hanna Andersson

Another project where Reaktor AS had to get creative with a negative space is a residential project at Skøyenbakken. The client wanted to alter their home so that they could continue to live there for the rest of their life. As such, it was important to have all the main functions on the ground floor.

Reaktor AS is an urban design architecture firm based in Oslo that possesses this rare quality. “The name Reaktor was chosen because we react to negative spaces in cities, with ideas that will transform these into positive places where people want to live, work and relax,” says Helge Aarstad, civil architect, CEO and founder. Økern urban renewal project The Økern area in Oslo, which is located right next to a trainline and underground station, is one of the areas that has been seen as a negative space – unappealing and lacking in purpose. 42  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Reaktor AS has been creating a new, enticing connection between the underground station and Økern’s residential, commercial and retail areas. It features a park, designed to draw light into the core of a new multi-storey building above the underground station. The design will also improve accessibility, create cross-connections, and enable 24-hour activity. “This design will bring the different Økern functions together as there will be no barriers,” says Aarstad. “When you exit the subway station, you’ll walk towards the sun and the park, which we have designed

Skøyenbakken 10 residential extension

To do this, Reaktor AS designed an extension that fits into an otherwise unwanted area. It provides both a contrast to the main building and an enhancement to the garden. It’s made of rustic materials and features climbing plants, which grow across the walls. “The new space doesn’t compete with the main building but offers a contrast and a

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

modern feel, which works very well with the garden. It is made from concrete both inside and out, with oak details. The idea is that the black façade will be a part of the garden,” Aarstad explains.

tractive. But we think about what makes it great, like the fact that it brings places and people together, and that it’s a part of the community.”

The complicated and the complex

The architecture firm was established in 2016 and has a diverse team of six. With different backgrounds and experiences, they generate ideas but also possess all the skills needed for efficient and professional project delivery. Clients have commented that they feel included in the creative process, with the small team able to respond quickly to emerging customer requirements.

The complicated, the complex, and the sometimes-tricky projects are those that appeal to the Reaktor team the most – challenges where creativity is needed to make it work. “There can be many barriers to a good outcome, such as local authority rules, neighbours, laws and other restrictions. These force us to think hard about what we can do with what is available to us. In summary, we look at the negative areas and find ways to make them positive places for people,” Aarstad explains. “For example, many would find it difficult to make an urban railway track look at-

Clients are a part of the creative process

When creating a new space, sustainability is important for the Reaktor team. They want to create designs that are robust over time, and that can handle more transformation. “We want to be able to look at our projects in ten years’ time and see that they continue to develop in ways aligned with the transformation process that Reactor AS created at the beginning,” the CEO and architect concludes.

Web: Facebook: reaktorene

“You have to be flexible and listen to both your team and the customer or the partners. Because we are such a small organisation, we have to have a good network and a good way of communicating,” says Aarstad.


Skøyenbakken 10.

Skøyenbakken 10.

Skøyenbakken 10.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  43

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

Photo: Sindre Ellingsen

A story of love, a treehouse and being close to nature The story of Woodnest is a true love story. Almost from the moment Kjartan set eyes on Sally, he knew that he wanted to build her a treehouse to propose in. Fast forward a few years, and the couple are happily married. And the treehouse? Well, that has turned into Woodnest, and now everyone can have their own little fairytale in the most magical surroundings in the small Norwegian town of Odda. By Heidi Kokborg

Nestled between two of Norway’s largest national parks, Hardangervidda and Folgefonna in Odda, you’ll find Woodnest. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life, it offers a magical experience. Imagine sipping your morning coffee while enjoying breathtaking views of the fjord, taking a hot shower surrounded by nature in a treehouse – and no need to leave the nest, because all your comfort and adventure is right there, within the 15 square metres, five metres above the ground. “From the intricate details of the outward structure to running your fingers 44  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

along the fine woodwork interior, and of course the stunning views, we want our guests to gasp, ’Wow!’,” enthuse Kjartan and Sally Aano, the owners of Woodnest. “Together with Norwegian architects Helen & Hard, we put great effort and attention to detail into making these treehouses one-of-a-kind designs in authenticity and originality.” But despite being in the middle of wild nature, this is far from a camping experience. In fact, you will enjoy a high level of comfort. Take a relaxing, warm shower, use a normal flushing toilet, brew a fresh cup of coffee and cook your dinner

in the small kitchenette – all this, up in one tree top. “For us, it is about sharing this love for a childhood dream of a treehouse with others and giving them an experience that will last a lifetime,” says Sally Aano. A proposal turned small family business As if the architecture, the magnificent views overlooking the fjord, and the pure experience in itself of staying in a treehouse were not enough, the story of Woodnest is one filled with the kind of love that will touch even the most unromantic of hearts. Kjartan and Sally Aano met at a wedding in Australia. Kjartan had never been to Australia before, and he only spent three weeks there. When he saw Sally at the wedding dinner, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. The groom noticed this, and he made sure that the two of them got to

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

dance. Unfortunately for Kjartan, dancing is not exactly his forte, so that proved to be a rather embarrassing experience. But luckily for him, Sally still found him interesting the next day. They started to talk about the film The Bucket List and decided to write their own. “I had written that I wanted to sleep or live in a treehouse. Kjartan had written that he wanted to build a treehouse. We were shocked that we both had something so specific in common,” says Sally Aano. At that moment, Kjartan thought to himself that if he were to ever marry this woman, he would build her a treehouse to propose in. After a year of long-distance romance, Sally took the plunge and moved all the way from Australia to Norway to be with the love of her life. Kjartan had secretly started to work on a treehouse in the woods, and Sally, who had no idea what was going on, got a bit frustrated that he was never at home – but then, one day, something magical happened. Right there in the woods, ten metres above the ground in the self-made original treehouse, she gave him her ’yes’.

Photo: Tor Hveem

Photo: Tor Hveem

And from there, Woodnest grew organically. Friends and family wanted to see the treehouse, and the newly married couple started to dream about sharing it with others and making it into a business. “We had no experience of starting up businesses, and managing to finance the project required a miracle in itself, but we were willing to take a risk to see a dream come true and do something we love. We would not have done it if it wasn’t for each other. We are very good at cheering each other on,” say the couple, who are now busy planning the next

two treehouses, which will be finished by the summer of 2022. Woodnest is located in Odda, Norway. There are currently two treehouses. The drawings for two more are finished, and they are expected to be ready by the summer of 2022.

Web: Facebook: Woodnest Treehouse Instagram: @_woodnest_ Architects: Helen & Hard

Photo: Sindre Ellingsen

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  45

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

Domus Medica, University of Oslo.

Rådhuskvartalet, Kristiansand.

HRTB arkitekter: transform and inspire HRTB Arkitekter design and work across a broad range of projects, including housing, urban planning, healthcare, research, education and commercial projects, covering construction as well as urban planning projects all across Norway. The firm fuses traditional Norwegian architectural qualities with modern, sustainable architecture, creating innovative and distinctive projects for a broad spectrum of public and private sector clients. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: HRTB

Originally founded in 1961 by three young architects, following a first-prize win in a major urban planning competition, HRTB has many years’ experience of designing and working across a myriad of projects. The Oslo-based firm now has ten partners and a total of 28 staff. “At HRTB, we work across many different sectors, but our values shine through in each and every project, whether an apartment building in central Oslo, a research centre or a healthcare project in rural Norway,” says Harald Lone, partner and architect at HRTB. 46  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Despite working on a wide range of project types, the firm’s design approach is similar for each project. The first things they take into consideration are the location and the context, and then they design buildings with respect for the surrounding environment, which are simultaneously of their own time. “We try to find out what the significant elements are in each area, and then create new buildings where we link the surrounding environment and historical context with a modern, calmly confident architecture,” says Lone. “We also like

our projects to have a distinct element. It could be the way an entrance sequence is created, the colours or the choice of materials – something that catches the eye a little bit, but without being too much.” It’s important that the projects have a certain distinctiveness, while at the same time avoiding being too dominating in their urban environment. HRTB always strives towards a balance between these two concerns: each project has a unique quality, yet is timeless and considerate of its context. “Our projects do stand out, and they are recognisable. Even the most modest project will be designed with creativity and innovation. We aim to design projects that are both transformative and balanced,” explains Lone. Sustainable and inclusive projects Throughout the design process, there’s one more thing the architects at HRTB always try to keep in mind: inclusivity. Many

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

people will either walk past or live their daily lives within these buildings, and it’s important to HRTB that the projects are a cause for happiness and joy in people’s everyday lives. “We always try to look closely at both the community and the surrounding buildings in order to develop something that will actually fit in with that community. Being as inclusive as possible is important to us – it’s that constant balancing act between being modern and forward-looking while also maintaining the utmost respect for the context and the wider community,” says Lone. When thinking of contemporary and innovative buildings, most people naturally also think of sustainability – and HRTB has a leader in this field. “Sustainability is at the forefront of what we do. We have to design and build in a sustainable way,” says Lone. The goal is to use as few resources as possible: firstly, by designing space-efficient buildings, and secondly, by developing efficient but elegant construction principles, then closely collaborating with building contractors to find sustainably sourced materials. But sustainability is not just a question of technical solutions; it’s also an architectural design approach. Environmental design is often a case of design integration, something that re-

Slemdalsveien Townhouses.

quires clear architectural organisation – and clear design thinking. “We try to almost integrate – or at least think – nature into the projects. This could, for instance, be expressed in the design of a roof garden, which is a wonderful way of bringing an element of nature into an urban environment. We have also designed one of Norway’s first biosolar roofs, an innovative solution that combines a green roof with solar energy technologies – nature and technology working together,” Lone explains. Thinking sustainably also means designing projects that use as little energy as possible. HRTB has designed and completed several building projects with BREEAM environmental certification and Nordic Swan Eco Label certification, as well as several Passive House, low-emission and ’massivtre’ (solid cross-laminated timber) projects. The firm has also designed cuttingedge pilot projects for the Norwegian Government, supported by FutureBuilt and Framtidens Byer (Future Cities) programmes, and won several competitions with a focus on innovation and sustainability – this across an ever-expanding range of sectors.

Web: Facebook: HRTB Arkitekter

Siloen Oslo.

Tjuvholmen 86, Oslo.

FutureBuilt project, Brynseng Skole.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  47

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

Photo: Tor Ivan Boine

Photo: Tor Ivan Boine

Bringing value to communities through architecture Aksetøy Arkitektur is a young architecture firm made up of a small team of committed and hard-working individuals. The company’s founder, André Aksetøy, started the business with a desire to create architecture that had people and nature in focus – buildings that would add value to communities and foster wellbeing. By Maria Vole  |  Photos: Aksetøy Arkitektur

After André founded the company four years ago, the small team grew quickly, and the firm now employs 15 people. With employees who hold expertise in a range of different fields, the company has a high level of technical competence across disciplines, meaning that 48  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

they’re able to deliver the best-quality work to their clients. A varied roster of projects Since its start in 2017, the architecture firm has seen its fair share of interesting projects. Their work is mainly relat-

ed to residential buildings, cabins and commercial projects. As a continually growing company, the team at Aksetøy Arkitektur is always looking ahead to the future, and currently has several zoning plans under development. Although Aksetøy Arkitektur is based in Trondheim, they often work on building projects further afield, with recent projects based in the city of Oslo as well as on small, remote islands. The architecture firm often focuses on modern solutions and expressive, innovative designs

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

most of the stunning views of the area. Interestingly, leftover materials from the National Museum, which was being built at the same time as this cabin, were used in the construction.

Photo: Tove Lauluten

that are well-tailored to the space and client they’re working with. Their varied portfolio of completed work ranges from office landscapes to a trendy bar and café in Oslo’s fashionable Grunerløkka, with plenty more interesting projects behind them. The team recently completed an exciting housing project in central Oslo: Mariboes gate 14. This was an interesting project for the company, and one key consideration was the preservation of an older structure at the building site. “There was an old smithy on the property that needed to be preserved, so the building was therefore placed on top of it,” Aksetøy explains. In terms of design, the building is clad in light-grey brick with slightly warmer windows and framing, creating a pleasant visual balance. The building has 33 residential units with a communal planted roof garden featuring an upstream swimming pool, which is a fantastic bonus for residents, and the garden also benefits local birds and insects.

The company is focused on sustainability both in terms of the environment and when it comes to people’s well-being, and this can be seen in most of their work. Innherredsveien 79 is a residential project in development in central Trondheim, where a key focus is on encouraging residents to get involved with growing plants. This is a modern build with integrated planting beds that residents can use to grow plants that will be beneficial for the health and well-being of those living there. The plants and greenery will also make the environment surrounding the site more pleasant to look at and spend time in, adding value to the lovely urban area. Purposeful architecture with a focus on people and nature For Aksetøy and his team, the goal is to create architecture that takes the local communities into account, finding a harmony between buildings, the nature or landscape that surrounds them, and the people who spend time in them. “Our focus is on destination development that adds value to communities within a sustainability perspective,” he says. “We want to create architecture with a focus on people and nature that elevates its surroundings, both aesthetically and functionally. For us, architecture is to a large degree about emotions, and we’d like to add something new while also aiming to preserve feelings of nostalgia.”

The dedicated team takes great care to see their projects through in a mindful way. Always starting from a specific idea, they’re focused on preserving that initial vision through a lengthy planning and building process. “We’re focused on giving ourselves the simplest prerequisites to succeed, starting with the simplest concepts and clearest ideas possible. As the project is gradually developed, it’s important to retain the central idea or the common thread,” Aksetøy explains. “Throughout the project, there’s also a continuous balance of contrasts, where it’s impossible to add anything new without diluting or reinforcing what is already there. This requires continuous work and focus on everything from minor details to the bigger picture.” The team at Aksetøy Arkitektur’s wide-ranging experiences and willingness to take on a variety of different projects truly make the company one to watch when it comes to Scandinavian architecture firms. In terms of the firm’s goals for the future, the main focus will be on continuing to create great architecture that adds value to communities – with a continued emphasis on sustainability in their projects. “Our long-term ambition is to be seen as a reliable partner, and that we’ll continue to deliver great-quality projects. We’re also committed to keeping our focus on nature and biodiversity in our projects, but our end product must be good architecture,” Aksetøy concludes. Web: Instagram: @aksetoy_architecture

The team at Aksetøy Arkitektur.

Residential cabin projects are a key focus for the team, and Sartskardvegen 310 is one such project. Located in Kvitfjell, a popular skiing region close to Lillehammer, this holiday home has a modern and innovative design. At 30 metres in length, the cabin has been well-integrated into the surrounding terrain, making the November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  49

Nullmeteroverhavet (‘ZeroMetreAboveSeaLevel’) by architect Per Erik Aadland at LINK Arkitektur. Photo: Else Lill Tvedt

Building for a better future The award-winning architecture company LINK Arkitektur brings innovation and creativity to its diverse, multifaceted projects. With a philosophy focused on sustainability and adding value to spaces as well as people’s lives, LINK is creating architecture for the future.

es you have. Combining ambitious goals for energy and environmental impact with good architecture, good floor plans, and certainly the social aspect, requires topnotch planning tools,” Haugland explains.

By Maria Vole

With 500 employees spread across 15 cities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, LINK Arkitektur is one of the world’s 50 largest architecture firms. Combining years of experience, deep industry expertise and a genuine passion for architecture and design, the team behind LINK has won a number of awards for its work. Throughout all the varied work the company does, a central theme emerges: LINK is always looking ahead to the future. “LINK creates architecture for tomorrow. People live and socialise in the environments we design,” says Grethe 50  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Haugland, CEO of the Norway division of LINK Arkitektur. “In all our projects, the vision is to create spaces for better living. We are people-focused and strive to create good environments for the users.” A focus on sustainability In the field of architecture, sustainable building practices have long been a key focus. But LINK Arkitektur has taken its passion for sustainable architecture a step further than most. “Sustainability is no longer about having the smallest possible footprint – it’s about achieving the greatest possible effect with the resourc-

In a bid to facilitate positive changes, the architecture firm has developed its own tool: LINK Compass, comprising all the UN sustainable development goals, selecting those that will make the biggest impact in the specific project, and focusing on making it easier to build sustainable architecture. Diverse, fascinating projects With ambitious leaders at its helm and a strong team of committed employees, LINK is a productive firm that handles around 2,000 projects per year. Among a wide selection of interesting recent projects, a few stand out.

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

Architect Per Erik Aadland at LINK Arkitektur created the newly opened Nullmeteroverhavet (‘ZeroMetreAboveSeaLevel’), which aims to allow as many people as possible to enjoy Norway’s stunning coastal landscape without damage to the natural environment. The project consists of small, simple cabins erected along the coast, accessible either by walking through the natural landscape or by kayaking or travelling by a small boat across the water. Stovnertårnet is another recent project that is important to LINK, having won the title of Norway’s most inclusive innovation project in the category of landscape architecture in 2020. The tower functions as a viewpoint and attracts visitors from Norway and beyond. The idea behind the tower, which is situated on historic ground and embedded into the natural environment around it, is that it should be easily accessible for everyone. Another exciting recent project was the feasibility study Destination Lauvvik. LINK took on the mission as a result of the tourist interest in the beautiful area of Rogaland, and demonstrated the significant opportunities of positioning Lauvvik as an attractive tourist destination with a low carbon footprint. Utilising the fantastic natural landscape surrounding the area, LINK created a comprehensive plan for destination spots, activities and much more. Øvre Lynghaugen is a residential building designed by LINK’s Andreas Neumann Meyer. Located in a quiet spot at the top of a popular residential area in Bergen, the house will present a unique, modern expression while blending in well with its surroundings. The architects focused on creating a pleasant dynamic between the new build and the existing houses as well as the dramatic landscape in the surrounding area.

“There will be increased focus on rebuilding and transforming existing buildings, within a sustainability perspective,” Haugland reveals. “Architecture is about transformation, about changing the context of cities, places or buildings so that they can be preserved and filled with new life; transforming existing buildings and areas to promote better utilisation and new functions, giving old buildings a boost and filling them with new content – a change for the better,” she says.

tions, but also about creating better lives for the people inhabiting these spaces. “We believe that architecture can contribute to solving social issues and challenges, and several LINK projects have led to decreased levels of crime and increased security for residents,” Haugland says. Web: Facebook: linkarkitektur Instagram: @linkarkitektur LinkedIn: company/link-arkitektur-ab

LINK has considerable experience and a long tradition within these kinds of transformation projects, which are all about preserving and breathing new life into what we already have, before adding more buildings to the cityscape. The focus is on re-purposing and re-working rather than tearing down and building anew. LINK’s key ambition is to create spaces that add value to society and to the people living in and around their spaces. Their architectural philosophy is not just about developing more sustainable solu-

Stovnertårnet, Oslo. Photo: Jiri Havran

Øvre Lynghaugen by architect Andreas Neumann Meyer at LINK Arkitektur. Photo: MIR

Destinasjon Lauvvik, Sandnes.   Photo: K2 Visual

Transforming existing spaces rather than building new The architects at LINK are very aware of their role in handling the future global challenges, and they are focused on innovation and building a better future. November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  51

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

Oslo University Centre.

Uncovering the enduring value in buildings Is there value in old, discarded buildings? Absolutely, if you ask the team at Rebuilding Architects. This Oslo-based studio is passionately dedicating its practice to the transformation of purpose and architecture in existing buildings, transferring their inherent value into the future with the help of ingenious and creative design.

tions, they also provide a unique opportunity to bring forth history in exciting ways, while unlisted buildings provide greater freedom to venture into the unknown and make radical changes.

By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Rebuilding Arkitekter

55 buildings are torn down every day in Norway – a senseless waste of materials and resources, according to Rebuilding Architects. Ida Winge Andersen, manager of the studio, discusses the need to reuse existing building structures to increase sustainability. “There’s always value in something that has already been built; it’s right there – time, energy and money have already been spent on building it once. In tearing it down, only to build something else from scratch, a huge amount of material, concrete, steel, glass, not to mention history, goes to waste,” she says. “The construction sector is behind approximately 40 per cent of global CO2 emissions, and we believe that one way to reduce that number is to restore and develop existing buildings, which also helps to preserve the legacy 52  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

of the building, as well as its surroundings, for generations to come.” Founded in 2015 and consisting of a tightknit team of eight enthusiastic individuals, the studio is passionate about changing the world for the better with the help of creative thinking and clever solutions. Restoring historical and commercial value Working with existing buildings means building styles from a vast timespan are on the drawing board: stretching from the beginning of the 20th century until the 2000s, it means that different methods need to be applied, all depending on the current condition and whether the building is listed or not. While listed buildings are more strictly tied to regula-

But on some occasions, it’s the subtle adjustments that make all the difference. “One of our projects is an office building from 2008 that didn’t manage to attract any businesses. Small alterations made a huge difference: by introducing a canopy marking a new main entrance, along with reorganising and gathering all the common areas into an open ground floor, constructing a new staircase to alRenovated staircase at Lysaker Torg, a renovated office building.

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

low easy access to a new bicycle parking space in conjunction with the car parking space, along with other small adjustments, we managed to inject new life into the building and create an attractive workspace,” says Winge Andersen. Silurveien is another project underway, where an old telephone exchange building is set to become a supreme location for apartments. The project is centered around fresh ideas for how to turn an industrial building from the ‘80s into a climate friendly, unique living space for the residents. “We believe in using local material as much as possible. What do we have around us that could provide quality to this project? What’s hiding, quite literally, inside the walls, and what could we utilise that is readily available in our part of the world?” Winge Andersen asks. “Local materials like timber, brick and stone, plus products and furniture designed and manufactured locally, are some of the features we try to implement as much as we can.”

Bridging past, present and future The importance of history is present throughout all the firm’s projects, which means that they work closely with antiquarian authorities to ensure that a responsible restoration is undertaken. While the future purpose holds an obvious importance during the restoration process, the original function of a building is also an essential aspect in creating a wholesome context. Turbinveien, a listed bath house from the 1920s, is one project where in-depth knowledge about its original purpose was fundamental to enabling a sensible restoration of its existing structure. Minimal changes were allowed to the façade, which instead brought the focus to the interior, where mezzanines, increased ceiling height and cleverly constructed staircases aligned to create unique apartments on a historical site. Another project currently in the works is the revitalisation of Oslo University Cen-

tre. Several listed buildings from the ‘60s are set to be restored and developed, turning the area into the main hub and heart of the campus. Careful reinterpretations of their original shape, along with extensions to the existing buildings, will lay the foundation for modern structures made to last, with the historical roots stretching far back. “History is so important in creating coherence in a place. It creates purpose for the building and the people using it. History is a link between the past, the present and the future, and the more you know about it, the more mindful you can be about the architecture,” says Winge Andersen. Indeed, when sustainability is key to creating a better future, remembering and preserving the best pieces of the past sounds like a good place to start. Web: Instagram:

Staircase in Turbinveien, a renovated public bath.

Turbinveien, a renovated public bath.

Entrance to Lysaker Torg, a renovated office building.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  53

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

Fogo Island Inn. Photo: Bent René Synnevåg

Spectacular creations in tune with nature Saunders Architecture is the much-accoladed architecture firm where Todd Saunders leads an international team with some carefully picked projects taking place across the world. Having spent nearly half his life in Bergen, Norway, after leaving his homeland Canada, his contribution to architecture has resulted in countless awards and an impactful addition to more socially conscious and sustainable architecture. By Nina Bressler

Circa 25 years ago and newly arrived in Bergen, Norway, Todd Saunders was one of few within the architecture community who were interested in ecological design. It was a subject very close to his heart, having graduated with both a bachelor degree and a master’s in architecture with a special focus on ecological community design, and he was up for the challenge. 54  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

“Ecological design wasn’t on top of anyone’s list back then. And now, 25 years later, we have this great shift where the social aspect plays a key part – not only building sustainably, but also building to do good for communities and individuals alike,” says Saunders. Saunders Architecture was founded and transformed into a multi-awarded and

highly sought-after studio. It’s home to a close-knit, international and multidisciplinary team with a great vision: to create harmonious interrelations between nature and architecture, where the natural landscape is intensified by human-built form. Buildings fit for a president The projects span the globe and are carefully selected by the studio. Its clients need to have a focus on quality and an intent to create a better world. A healthy framework should permeate the project to allow sound decision-making in every regard. Having been ranked 89 on the top-100 list of the best architects in the world, the firm’s projects tend to

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

get recognised by prestigious awards and media. Aurland lookout – a bridge passage built in wood, stunningly overlooking the fjords in Aurland, Norway – was named one of the seven new architectural wonders of the world by Condé Nast. Fogo Island Inn – a five-star hotel supremely located on the shores of Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada – has housed international celebrities and presidents alike. Private homes make another aspect of the portfolio, and stunning locations in combination with striking geometric forms have also paved way for international recognition as well as life-enhancing living spaces. Nature and culture before architecture A staunch believer that positive change is propelled by good architecture, Saunders is turning his focus to philanthropic projects that have a positive impact. “We’re focusing on projects based on what they are giving back to the community. Fogo Island Inn is reinvesting its profits into the local population, and I’m working with a group of female entrepreneurs on Fedje Island, Norway, who are rebuilding an island community that has faced depopulation for a long time. It’s a stunning location that, along with its people, deserves

a far greater destiny. We are focusing on the whole picture rather than a single destination – it’s the interaction between all elements where buildings are adapted in harmony with the landscape, and not the other way around, that will create a lasting impact,” says Saunders. A hotel merged into the cliffs with the Norwegian sea swells rolling in below, along with a distillery and a park, is currently in the works. “I believe that nature and culture should come before architecture, and rather than occupying land with a man-made building we want to extend the natural landscape through our design and by the materials we use,” Saunders explains. A future in the right direction Saunders sees architecture as a way to create a better world and views the process with a holistic approach: healthy deadlines make for healthy choices, creating elevated ideas that turn into ground-breaking buildings that feed back into the community. His social entrepreneurial spirit is also infused in his teaching at Yale University, where he hopes he can influence the students to do better. “I see such ambition from the next generation of architects – it’s a

powerful shift from a male-dominated, egoist mindset to a curiosity about the social impact that the architecture can have on society.” For someone who has been fortunate enough to see his many visions realised, is there still a dream project hovering on the horizon? “I would love to design a library in the forest – a destination to read, write and create, to disconnect from the digital and reconnect with the physical, the serenity inside and around you.” A place to dream about a better world, sprung from exceptional architecture, perhaps. Todd Saunders is currently working with selected projects around the world while teaching at Yale University. The documentary Strange and Familiar, based on the firm’s work on Fogo Island, is available on NRK and iTunes. A selection of his most renowned projects have been compiled into a book written by Dominic Bradbury: New Northern Houses, available now.

Web: Instagram: @saundersarchitecture

Villa Grieg. Photo: Ivar Kvaal

Villa S. Photo: Bent René Synnevåg

Villa Austevoll. Photo: Ivar Kvaal

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  55

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

Nordkapp badet is one of many public pools designed by se-arkitektur. To be located next to the town’s cinema and culture house, the pool is designed to help invigorate and utilise the city centre.

From cradle to grave – architecture that sustains a full life The vision of the successful architecture firm se-arkitektur in Bergen, Norway, is a pragmatic yet complicated one: it’s about finding the path that creates joy for as many as possible – developers, users, municipalities and the surrounding neighbourhood. Based on the belief that buildings need to fit in both current and future settings, it entails a plan for new and alternative ways of living for all generations. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: se-arkitektur

“When you start a project, you have a vision that you try to get down on paper. Then you try to get it out into the real world, and that’s where the great challenge lies, but also the great opportunity – the opportunity to create something that gives back to the society,” founder and partner of se-arkitektur, Stig Eide, says about his visions. “I’m quite a prag56  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

matic person, and I see the whole process as architectural. When you start the feasibility study early in the process, you have lots of ideas, but at some point, you need to take it down to earth; it’s the practical part where you make it functional, take the theory and turn it into an actual use of space, and that’s part of the process as well.”

Taking responsibility for the entire process, from feasibility studies to planning applications and construction, has in recent years become a trademark for se-arkitektur. Founded 20 years ago, the firm today employs 15 people with different backgrounds and has for the last three years included a dedicated planning department. This structure allows the firm to work within a wide range of sectors, from residential to industrial, healthcare and sports buildings. From cradle to grave While se-arkitektur has a broad reach, one area has become a bit of a speciality for the firm, namely the design of public

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

pools and baths – probably because, says Eide, it was what he did his dissertation on. “Swimming facilities are actually incredibly complex to design – all you see is a big hall and a pool, but there are so many components you don’t see, but which are essential to the functionality of the structure,” he explains. “But I enjoy it; there’s something special about pools, you have all people coming there, from the very beginning of their life to the end. Swimming is something that can bring you joy throughout your entire life.” Pragmatism is sustainable Part of Eide’s pragmatic vision is a desire to build a solid portfolio of happy clients who keep coming back. One of the ways of doing so is, he says, to produce buildings that are sustainable, solid and easy to maintain. “When it comes to the aesthetics, we go for the simple solutions,” he says. “We don’t want to complicate things, because that just means more things that they might have to change in the future. Aesthetics will change, but solid architecture and a pure form do not.” At the beginning of 2021, se-arkitektur’s focus on sustainability led to the firm being certified as a so-called ‘eco lighthouse’ with the Miljøfyrtårn label, a certification awarded to companies that have proven their dedication to a list of environmental goals. “It’s about making the best of the building from cradle to grave, from the first steps in the planning process to the final use of the building,” explains Eide.

One of the new focus areas brought about by the dedication to sustainable development is the reuse and restructuring of existing buildings. Recently, se-arkitektur completed the transformation of what used to be part of the University of Bergen into a large office building for the Norwegian public road administration. Close and accountable Despite a steady increase in size, the close and continuous contact with clients is still at the heart of se-arkitektur. It runs from the very beginning of the planning phase through to the completion of the building, says the architectural manager of se-arkitektur’s planning department, Gro Borkner. “We have very short lines of communication in the organisation and keep close contact with clients all the

way through, and it starts even before the planning application. It’s not just about the building, but about the whole neighbourhood, and when we make the planning application, we ensure all the pieces come together into one process.” Involving planning specialists, engineers and architects throughout the whole process also means that the clients can find everything in one place, Borkner explains and rounds off: “It allows us to create a solution that gives us what the client wants, what the local authorities want, and what the community needs – in other words, the right building for the right place.” Web: Facebook: SE-Arkitektur AS

Finished in 2015, Sunnmørsbadet includes a 25-metre pool, a wave and children’s pool, a cafeteria, hot tubs, and a second-floor fitness facility with views over the water facilities.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  57

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

Konglen is a pinecone-shaped pod, which serves as an overnight cabin, suspended in a spruce tree in Bergen, Norway.

Holistic craftsmanship For Norway-based UTMARK Arkitektur, sustainability, collaboration and the conscious use of materials are at the core of their beliefs. From quirky designs (a pinecone-shaped cabin in a spruce tree, anyone? Yes, please!) to restoration projects, UTMARK embraces the future while staying true to the past. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Jacob Schroll

UTMARK’s architects – Jacob Schroll, Guro Rød Alver, Ingvild Garford Bennett and Helge Samuelsen – have combined their knowledge of what true craftsmanship looks like with their goal to develop sustainable architecture that will stand the test of time. “Around 80 per cent of the buildings of the future have already been built. Our mission is not always to build new things from scratch, but to transform these existing buildings and reinvent them,” says Schroll. As an architecture firm, they are not afraid to push boundaries, but functionality and sustainability are always at the forefront of all their designs, from housing to industrial and public buildings, 58  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

urban development and transformation areas. UTMARK Arkitektur incorporates wood into its designs whenever possible, and many of the projects include extensions to existing buildings. The architects have first-hand experience of carpentry, which has further enabled them to take a hands-on approach with their projects. “In all our projects, we strive for sustainability in both material and site adaptation. A holistic approach and environmentallyfriendly solutions are important in everything we do,” Schroll adds. The intersection between old and new UTMARK’s latest project, Konglen, is a pinecone-shaped pod that serves as an overnight cabin, suspended in a spruce

tree in Bergen, Norway. The cabin is made of spruce and pine, and it can accommodate two adults and two children. “In this project, we focused on the detail and the materials. Some of the wood had to be exposed to hot steam for an hour in order for it to be soft enough to bend around the structure. As with all our projects, its longevity was an important aspect for us to consider. As time goes by, the roof shavings will be influenced by nature and will eventually blend into the surroundings,” says Schroll. A recent collaborative project between UTMARK Arkitektur and Oslo-based architecture firm Saaha is Skomakerstuen, which was nominated for EUMiesAward in 2021. Located in mount Fløyen, Bergen, the building’s unique shape incorporates the surrounding nature in its design, and every detail has a purpose. “This project is all about creating a dynamic shape that adapts to the landscape and at the same time has a tranquil, good atmosphere.”

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

Hands-on approach “For us, a building’s functionality is a key aspect of the design. We might look at an old building and figure out ways in which to adapt it to current standards and requirements. It’s about finding a healthy balance between respecting the old, and using modern techniques and knowledge to add layers to that,” explains Alver.

Inside Konglen, guests can enjoy views of trees, mountains and the Atlantic ocean.

In addition to original designs, UTMARK’s repertoire also includes a number of restoration projects. One of these is a warehouse building, Bellgården, in Bryggen, Bergen, which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The old warehouse building dates back to the 1760s. “This project is a collaboration with the company Gamle3Hus. With this particular project, we needed to bring the old building up to today’s standards without compromising on the antique qualities, which was challenging and exciting,” says Schroll. With all its work, UTMARK Arkitektur values building a close rapport with clients and contractors. “Building a close relationship with our clients also means we are able to better understand their needs. Where possible, we also aim to collaborate directly with the craftsmen and manufacturers in our projects,” Schroll adds. It is clear that the architects take great pride in the quality and holistic under-

Skomakerstuen’s unique wooden roof flows with the surrounding landscape. Photo: Frank Robert Webermann

standing of architecture, as well as construction. “Understanding all facets and details is essential to our approach to architecture,” Bennett concludes. Web: Instagram: @utmark_arkitektur

UTMARK Arkitektur reinvented an old log house, Sirihuset.

Chopping logs for restoration work at Bryggen, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Photo: Roger Knutsen

One of UTMARK’s specialities is incorporating their understanding of traditional construction by rethinking and repurposing old features into new and sustainable designs. They try to reuse and reinvent old designs and constantly keep their sights firmly on the future. “Our designs are not created as quick fixes; we are focused on how well the design will age, and how we can make its look and also its function relevant for years to come,” says Samuelsen. November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  59

The Mikado Suite at Grand Hotel Oslo. Nordre Åsen palliative care home for children and their families.

The dream factory

– the power of stunning colour palettes and strong patterns Christine Hærra, who always aspired to be a stylist, started her impressive 19-year career right after her studies in interior design and visual merchandising. Over time, her work has expanded to include interior design, and while she often works for private clients, her extensive portfolio also includes public spaces like hotels, restaurants and care homes. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Sveinung Bråthen

“Today, I mainly focus on interior design, and the majority of my projects are private homes,” explains Hærra. Her work takes her all over the country. “We have a lot of old heritage homes in Norway, and they traditionally have a lovely variety of colours and patterns. It is important to me to respect the style the house represents.” A new project starts with an interview with the client to find out what they expect from the end result, and whether they have preferences for colours and materials. “I spend time getting to know the clients, and their likes and dislikes,” Hærra continues. “During longer pro60  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

jects, I often grow close to them. An extensive farmhouse project with several buildings, for example, can last for months, or even years.” Hærra studies the history of each house and the period it dates back to. “These homes are meant for living, so mod-cons are installed, but always with respect for the past,” she explains. This is achieved by including the history of the building in her design, which uses styles, colours and patterns typical for the era in question. In the end, all this information is gathered into sketches, colour and textile sheets, together with a proposal for

furniture and lighting. “I am very fond of solutions for floor plans – it’s like a puzzle, and it always feels fantastic when all the pieces find their place.” Hærra is also concerned with sustainability of materials and furniture. “I believe that it is worth investing in quality materials and furniture, which last for many generations. Old pieces can really liven up a space, and it’s great to be able to give old furniture a new life. This can be achieved with any budget. You can get good second-hand furniture for the price of newly produced furniture.” Hærra also delivers turn-key projects, where she coordinates the renovation from start to finish. “I work with a professional team of highly skilled carpenters and painters,” she says, adding that this passion and dedication has contributed to long-standing relationships with many clients. “I love it when I get a message

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

from them even a year after the project, saying that they appreciate the space they live in and enjoy inviting people there. Much of my business comes from repeat clients and direct referrals.” Hærra wants to pass on her knowledge and vast experience, and she teaches at two different design schools. Her subjects include the historical interior design periods, where she is an expert in her field, and also photo styling, composition and other interior designrelated subjects. “I love to teach. I learn new things every day myself, and it is a pleasure to share that with my students. I want to teach my students good craftsmanship, like composition – so important in both interior design and styling.”

Well-known projects Hærra also boasts large public projects in her portfolio, like the recent project for Norway’s first palliative care home for children. “This project was close to my heart. The focus was on creating such an atmosphere where families can feel safe and comfortable while they go through that hard time.” Another well-known project encompassed the colourful suites at Grand Hotel Oslo, which soon became the most popular rooms at the hotel. Hærra believes that a well-designed space can give something to all of the senses, and she prefers to use natural materials like cotton, wool and linen.

Interior designer Christine Hærra.

“Natural materials have a completely different feel, smell and texture to artificial materials. Often natural materials also last longer and just get more characterful as time passes,” she explains. Public buildings naturally come with strict health and safety guidelines, but Hærra does not see this as a problem. “All guidelines need to be met, but I always teach my students that it is as important to make it look and feel lovely – you can’t take any shortcuts there.”

Dreams at the dream factory Next year, Hærra is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her career. The name of

The children’s department of the Ullevål University Hospital is among Hærra’s earlier projects.

her company is Drømmefabrikken, ‘the dream factory’. Asked about her own dreams, she contemplates that she is very satisfied with the situation she finds herself in today. “I get to work with my dream projects and I often have a lot of freedom, and I find that very rewarding. Perhaps one dream would be to design a whole boutique hotel. I am open to new challenges and always give my best to every project.”

Web: Facebook: Drømmefabrikken as Instagram: @ilovepolkadot

Styling for Csoaps.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  61

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

The interior architects with many hats In the past year and a half, maximising the cosiness and comfiness of our homes has become more important than ever. With that, the nature of interior design is also shifting towards a focus on more functional spaces with softer features. Norwegian company CAIAX is not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to interior architecture. For them, collaboration with architects is the key to creating cohesive spaces that can be likened to pieces of art. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Studio C_Indoor

For Linn Aamodt, interior design is all about the details. Her company, CAIAX, was founded in 2014. The company’s extensive repertoire of projects ranges from houses to luxury cabins, offices and restaurants. Despite working across a wide range of projects, CAIAX still manages to inject its own signature into the work. Aamodt describes the firm’s style as “classical, with a hint of rock vibes”. 62  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Interior architects play an important part in complementing the architecture. “Interior architecture involves a lot more than just picking cushions and wallpaper,” Aamodt says. Very early on in the process, she and her team work together with architects. In addition, they work closely with plumbers, electricians and carpenters, and it is clear that CAIAX has refined the art of multitasking. “As interi-

or architects, we have to be able to wear several hats. We need to have the ability to collaborate with all the people involved in each project, and be able to juggle several moving parts,” Aamodt explains. From having a solid understanding of construction and building practices, the interior architects also make decisions on acoustics, materials, finishes and colours, all the way down to minute details. Interior design is about how spaces are experienced, and how they feel. “Our job is to enhance the way spaces are utilised. We are all about our clients being able to maximise the enjoyment of whatever space we are working on,” says Aamodt. “Sometimes, our clients have a pretty clear picture of what they would like, but

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

they struggle to create a cohesive solution that works throughout. That’s where we come in, and make sure they don’t have to worry about anything.”

It’s all in the details To a large extent, the design elements indoors are what set the mood and vibe of a place, and that’s why to CAIAX, the minute details make an opportunity to really let their talent shine. One of the firm’s recent projects is Tunheims Lodge, with highend cabins in Vanylvs Fjord, on the west coast of Norway. The client wanted to create three cabins with three distinct looks: one with a maritime vibe, one with an Argentinian edge, and a third that would be reminiscent of a 19th-century fishing log cabin. “We rose to the challenge immediately,” Aamodt says, clearly proud of the project. “At first, it seemed like it would be difficult to create a cohesive ensemble with quite a mis-matched idea. But I feel we managed to create a final product where all three cabins have a unique feel, yet it all works well together, too.”

contractors, while constantly liaising with the architects. “We work closely with our clients throughout the process. Our aim is to create visually pleasing and functional spaces, and to work alongside the architects to do so. At times, it can be difficult for our clients to see the whole picture, so we fine-tune their ideas.” It is clear that CAIAX’s many years’ experience, as well as the team’s keen eye for details, have allowed them to perfect the art of creating visually pleasing places. Currently, the firm is working on a ski chalet in Hemsedal in Norway. The space

is unique – and with eight-metre-high ceilings, there is a lot of room to create something wonderful. What’s in store for the future of interior architecture? Aamodt sees a shift from bold features and symmetry towards softer, rounder features. “Perhaps it’s a symptom of the softer life many of us are striving for,” she says, laughing.

Web: Instagram: @caiaxinteriordesign

Perhaps the biggest challenge, according to Aamodt, was giving slight hints and nudges to the theme for each cabin, but without making it garish or blatantly obvious. After an initial consultation with a client, CAIAX gets to work with the numerous November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  63

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

Photo: At Wallpaper via private client

Long-lasting Norwegian design Norwegian design is where nature and functionality work seamlessly together. The varying nature of the country can be harsh, sometimes ruthless, and at the same time radiate warmth and comfort. Norwegians would never live without nature, and their homes will show you exactly that.

things you wouldn’t even think about. Like where does the afternoon sun come in? Or what is the most important part to highlight in the living room: the TV or the art collection?”

By Andri Papanicolas  |  Photos: At Wallpaper

Norwegians are known for their humble, minimalist, simple design, but if you look closer, you’ll notice that their homes boldly represent their personality and way of life. Functionality, sustainability, and highquality materials are keywords in Norwegian design according to interior architect and furniture designer Andreas Andersen from At Wallpaper, an Oslobased interior design firm. The firm was established in 2012 and has a team of 11 people, including everything from interior architects to construction consultants. Design built around your personality Functionality and long-lasting solutions are the most important aspects of creating a home and also make up At Wallpaper’s main values. With its interdisciplinary team, At Wallpaper offers expertise in interior as well as furniture design. They will help you through the 64  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

entire process, from initial idea to finished product, whether you are based in Norway or elsewhere in the world. Andersen’s current project is a good example. He is working on a newly developed house in Sandefjord, but the client lives in London, and all communication goes through email and virtual meetings. The main goal, Andersen explains, is to make sure that the design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly functional for this year and many years to come. “Functionality is the foundation of any design we do, and we combine that with your personality,” he says.

At Wallpaper will not only help you create your dream space, but also find the right materials to fit your personal needs. Whether you need a piece of custommade furniture or a full house renovation, you can expect to get the job done in line with your personal requirements.

Subconscious well-being The way Andersen works with his clients is very much like a long interview. “I need to get to know them to be able to create their personal, comfortable space,” he explains. “There are many aspects that contribute to your well-being. Many are

Web: Facebook: atwallpaper Instagram: @atwallpaper

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

Top left: Retro Bergen. Bottom left: Retro Mathesongården Trondheim. Right: Ekornes Stressless Studio, one of 4,000 new ‘Stressless Studios’ being rolled out worldwide. Photo: Kristin Støylen. Bottom right: Suit department at Retro Mathesongården Trondheim.

Delivering design concepts from A to Å Driv Design delivers the full package of a tailor-made interior design concept, from conceptual brainstorming to the final flourishes, using high-quality, locally-sourced furnishing. The keywords? Functionality, approachability and exceptional design. By Lise Lærdal Bryn  |  Photos: Driv Design

17 years ago, Åse Fet and Karl Magnus Eriksen moved out of the city with a dream. The relocation from Oslo to Sykkylven, a fjord-side village where the primary industry is furniture manufacturing, marked the birth of Driv Design: a design studio that specialises in individualised design and full-scale furnishing for independent boutiques. From this small-town base, they collaborate with businesses all over Norway, from Kristiansand to Tromsø, developing a design concept that suits the client’s needs, and implementing the interior concept from start to finish. “We appreciate the contrasts, but definitely need an urban counterweight,” Fet notes when asked whether their natural surroundings are a source of inspiration. This is evident in the designs, which combine clean, Scandinavian lines and robust materials with a glossiness found in the high-end boutiques of

London and New York. “As long as you live close to an airport, the whole world is easily accessible.” But that doesn’t mean that their location isn’t central to their work. “We’re very focused on using local, Norwegian producers,” says Eriksen. This ensures sustainability, along with their focus on functionality and furnishings that last. A client once told them they produce “approachable design” – design that truly works – and this is something Fet says distinguishes Driv Design. The company’s small size, focus on local production and practical design solutions have resulted in enduring partnerships with clients and suppliers, whom they work with intensively for several months. Many of these clients hire Driv Design over and over again, whether to refresh a shop they fitted 15 years ago or design new locations.

One partner they’ve worked with from the very beginning is the fashion house Retro. They are especially proud of the most recent of Retro’s Trondheim locations, a three-storey clothing store that opened in 2020 – their biggest project to date. Fet remarks that, although it was demanding, it was “incredibly exciting work in an inspiring building”. Another notable client is furniture company Ekornes, with whom they have developed the flexible ‘Stressless Studio’. This design solution is one that has taken off internationally, with a roll-out of 4,000 new studios – the fruits of a long design process flown out across the globe.

Web: Instagram: @drivdesign

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  65

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

Photo: Dag Sandven

A holistic solution and a new way of thinking After several years in the industry, Michelsens saw the need in the market for a player who could deliver floors, doors and staircases produced from the same raw material. They saw the need for a holistic approach.

ing, the staircase and the doors that are the real furniture of the house, so those are the things you should pay more attention to,” explains Nina Michelsen.

By Nicolai Lisberg

When planning their new house, most people begin with the kitchen or the bathroom. Those two rooms seem to be the most expensive and urgent to fix, so it makes sense to begin with them. Or does it? What if we’ve gotten it all wrong from the beginning? What if the very way we think about interior design and the refurbishing of our house needs to be flipped on its head? “If you are a painter, you start with the landscape before you paint the moon or the sun. It’s actually the same with a house, because it’s the flooring, the ceil66  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Morten and Nina. Photo: Terje Andersen

Together with her husband, Morten Michelsen, Nina Michelsen founded the multidisciplinary company Michelsens in 2014. Located in Bergen, the couple boasted extensive experience from the design and wood industries and saw a different way of doing things in order to make the entire process easier for the clients. Instead of having to contact three different manufacturers when deciding on what type of floor, doors and perhaps staircase they need for their house, they can now go to Michelsens, who offer a more integrated solution. “For some reason, I don’t see anyone else out there offering the same thing we do. Our approach is very holistic. It makes it

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

easier for our clients, but it also gives a better end result. By using the same raw material for all our products, you’ll get a more integrated look in your house. If you pick these things separately, although it’s the same material or sort, there is no guarantee that the doors will actually match the staircase. Everything we do is made of wood, and it’s as beautiful inside as it is outside,” says Nina Michelsen. Michelsens also have a passion for compact living projects, where there is a focus on urbanisation, fewer square metres per inhabitant, a market need with growing demand and requirements for a higher degree of utilisation, multi-functionality, quality, craftsmanship and sustainability. They are constantly looking to work on new compact living projects. They produce and deliver products with craftsmanship quality across all production stages, and the interior components are of high material quality. The tailor-made solutions for kitchens, wardrobes, shelf systems and more are 100 per cent unique and adapted to each client’s project with agreed qualities, surface treatments and details. The conscious choice ‘Elements of wood’ is the name of the collection that Michelsens have been working on for years, launching earlier this year. It includes floors, doors, staircases,

Photo: Dag Sandven

panels and tables. With the product collection, Michelsens want to be as attractive to the private market as to the professional market, where architecture offices are the main target audience. They aim to be a valuable partner within a market that shares their passion and understanding of the industry and end result. The wood collection takes care of important details such as the matching colour of doorsills, steps and floors, with the same use of raw materials and surface treatment across all components. The idea is to showcase the perfection of nature and encourage sustainable interaction with the environment.

Michelsens spends a lot of time working on those little details that customers only notice when using their products – but they never lose sight of the bigger picture. “As a customer of Michelsens, you will be assigned a dedicated team including a project manager, an interior architect and a technical draftsman, who follow your project all the way from the beginning and to the end. The team will take care of the entire process, keep you updated and manage continuous progress. We believe in a personal and passionate collaboration working towards a proud result, and we enjoy working closely together with our clients. It’s really a journey within design, processing, producing and installing,” Nina Michelsen concludes.

“Early on, we decided not to use plastic in our designs and products. We care about the environment, and that’s why we also use every last part of the wood, so nothing is wasted. Trees are more valuable than ever, not just because of the price, so we make a virtue out of explaining to our clients how unique each piece is, and how, if used correctly, it can tell its own story in a house,” Nina Michelsen explains. The Norwegian interior design company imports its wood from FSC and PEFCcertified European forests that are sustainably managed, and the oil and glue used for its products comply with the strict European rules for a healthy indoor climate.

Photo: Dag Sandven

Photo: Terje Andersen

Web: Facebook: michelsensinterior Instagram: @michelsens_interior Pinterest: Michelsens

Photo: Terje Andersen

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  67

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design: Interiors – Norway

Saga Hotel.

Grand Hotel Oslo.

Son Spa.

A one-stop shop for beautiful indoor spaces Founded in 1983, Norway-based SIAS Contract specialises in creating aesthetic and functional environments for real estate, hotels and restaurants. Having worked with some of the biggest names in the Nordic countries, the company has no shortage of experience when it comes to delivering quality architectural solutions to businesses. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: SIAS Contract

Having previously renovated hotels all over Europe, SIAS Contract has now returned to its roots and, over the past few years, has focused on projects in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The company’s 11-strong team has extensive experience of architecture, design and project management, and they have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, from real estate companies to hotel chains, as well as independent hotels.

tomers coming back again and again,” says SIAS Contract’s CEO, Marianne Wang-Polden.

From preparing technical drawings to overseeing the work of craftsmen, the team at SIAS Contract is happy to take the lead on any project. “Our clients know how to run their business. We know how to create the best atmosphere possible, which will keep their cus-

In addition to this, the company takes great pride in building close connections with clients and contractors alike. To ensure the quality of the process, the firm finds it important to keep the clients actively involved throughout the process. From the initial planning stages through

68  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Creating visually pleasing, functional spaces that serve the clients’ needs is of utmost importance to SIAS Contract. “For us, it’s all about assessing what the client’s business needs, and coming up with tailored solutions that support those needs,” Wang-Polden says.

the design and all the way to delivery and implementation, the team is able to offer clients an all-round service. “We are always at the forefront of new technology and modern, functional solutions. Our skilled project managers ensure the smooth running of all aspects of the projects. This means that our clients are able to take the back seat and focus on their business while we do the heavy lifting,” she concludes.

Scandic Stavanger Park.



ND C A I i D RE EN ec R p D S NO CTU WE S ITE – H N C G AR ESI D m he

T al

Fixfabriken. Photo: What! Arkitektur

A movement for sustainable design 2021 feels like the definitive breakthrough for sustainability within design, politics, business and society. Alongside digitalisation, which has been boosted by the pandemic, it is one of the big mega trends of our time. It therefore makes complete sense that the so-called Design Programme, which we started in 2016, now has a clearer focus on sustainability, with the goal of promoting sustainable growth in our country’s regions. By Mats Widbom, CEO of Svensk Form – The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design

The Government’s export strategy emphasises that Sweden must be a leader in the global effort to realise the goals set out by the Paris Agreement, and that a transition to a circular and bio-based economy is crucial in order to achieve our climate goals. This transition can simultaneously serve to strengthen business competitiveness and help create new jobs. 70  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Our eyes are now therefore increasingly set on 2030, which will be a decisive year for the world’s sustainable development. It is the target year for the UN Agenda 2030, as well as the benchmark for halving global carbon emissions according to the Paris Agreement. The Government wants Sweden to take the lead for the implementation of both

Mats Widbom, CEO of Svensk Form – The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design. Photo: Rana Van Pellecom

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

Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement – which feels quite natural considering Sweden has for three years running been ranked highest in the world for its efforts to curb global warming, according to the Climate Change Performance Index. As is well known, Sweden also has the world’s most influential climate activist in Greta Thunberg and her movement, Fridays For Future. So there is no doubt that Sweden holds a leading position as a sustainability nation, not least on the European market, where 90 per cent of Swedish furniture export lies. This gives Swedish design and furniture companies a momentum to strengthen their competitiveness through sustainable design. Web:

Liso lab, by In Praise Of Shadows. Photo: Björn Lofterud

Interior of Viking Line’s new ship Viking Glory, design by Koncept. Photo: Koncept, for AFRY

Studio Epic, by New Order Arkitektur.  Photo: Daniel Grizelj

Bolon by Patricia Urquiola. Photo: Bolon

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  71

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

Architecture for everyday life An educational hub north of the Arctic Circle, an artistic outdoor gym, and a sports venue in a new urban development: these are just a few of Liljewall’s recent projects.

Sami artworks, the six-storey building combines wood, steel and concrete, to tell a story about its location and culture.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Anders Bobert

One of Liljewall’s most exciting designs, located in Gällivare, north of the Arctic Circle, is part of a unique metamorphosis, where two city centres will become one. Gällivare’s neighbouring town, Malmberget, must relocate due to mining and the increased risk of collapse. This is one of the world’s largest urban transformations and a massive investment. 72  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Together with MAF Arkitektkontor, Liljewall has created Kunskapshuset (House of Knowledge), an educational hub for an upper secondary school and adult education. Great emphasis has been put on creating a flexible and beautiful environment that can meet future demands for change and development. Inspired by the mine, Arctic nature and

“Connecting Kunskapshuset to the Sami culture has been an important aspect,” says Niclas Sundgren, CEO at Liljewall. Three local creators from different disciplines have joined forces in creating the art that makes a key component of the characteristic red school: textile artist Britta Marakatt-Labba, glass artist Monica L Edmondson, and artist Anders Sunna.

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

Outdoor gym and sports venue It’s not the first time that Liljewall has worked with artists. The captivating project Tetraedern (The tetrahedron) is a new landmark created in collaboration with artist Gunilla Bandolin, combining aesthetics, exercise and the ability to experience the surrounding nature of lake Trummen in Växjö. The construction of impregnated wood invites passers-by to climb, jump and lift, or simply enjoy the view of the lake. “As in several of her earlier works, Gunilla Bandolin used geometric forms at an early stage,” says Niclas Sundgren. “This idea was further developed and shaped into a recognisable and functional piece of art, one of its kind.” Another innovative commission is the sports venue in Mölnlycke Fabriker, which opened in the summer of 2021. The new activity and sports centre was built on behalf of Wallenstam, with park-

ing for more than 500 cars and separate areas for gymnastics and trampolines. Both were developed in cooperation with the local athletics communities. The vision for the new district was to create a seamless weft of history, sports, health and entertainment, as well as housing and the Wallenstam arena. Re-build and re-use Sustainability is at the top of the agenda for Liljewall. “With the UN’s global sustainability goals as a framework, we push for a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development,” says Niclas Sundgren. “Throughout the design process, we value resources, ecosystems and people’s wellbeing. We want to re-build instead of building from scratch, re-use materials and construct with wood where possible. Our ambition is to shape societies that develop for the better, with the goal that all our projects are climate neutral by 2030.”

One important aspect of how Liljewall works with urban planning and architecture is digital tools. “These days, software for early analysis and smart sketching is a natural part of the design process and complements pen and paper,” elaborates Sundgren. “Our toolbox ranges from physical models in wood and 3D-printed structures to smart digital BIM models. With parametric design, we iterate different ideas with a diverse set of parameters to generate hundreds of sketches to choose from. By bringing together architects and experienced BIM experts, programmers, visual designers and marketing competence, we are developing tomorrow’s architecture.”

Web: Facebook: liljewallarkitekter Instagram: @liljewall_arkitekter

Photo: Perfect Picture Visuals

Founded in 1980, Liljewall is a diverse company with many strengths and talents. Just over 250 co-workers in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö aim to make life smoother, more fun and beautiful for the great many.

Photo: Emma Karlsmark Elfstrand

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  73

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

Gothenburg Courthouse. Extensive restoration of Architect Gunnar Asplund’s world-famous extension. Photo: Krister Engström

GAJD combines restoration with commercial projects GAJD Architects believes in working with the current reality of a building in order to bring out the unique touch of the time it was built in, to keep a city fresh and vibrant but firmly rooted in its own history. By Amanda Ottosson

Cities, particularly older ones, all tend to have their own particular touch – something you can’t quite put your finger on, but which makes it entirely unique. It’s true for places like New York and Paris, but also for a certain city in the west of Sweden – namely Gothenburg. GAJD Architects is part of the reason why. With an epicentre on the West Coast, the architecture firm undertakes responsible newbuild and restoration projects for private and public developers. These projects range from commercial developments to the restoration of landmarks, but always with a view to responsibly reusing what they can. 74  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Founded in 2003 by Gertrud Gudmundson, Magnus Englund and Mikael Nädele, the business has grown into a boutique consultancy well-known for finding tailored solutions to its clients’ issues. They

thrive on helping their clients find solutions to issues that arise throughout the construction process. This has meant that their work often continues through to interior design and even furnishings. This could mean a residential project that requires careful staging in order to help prospective buyers understand the potential of the unit, or a new office building that needs to adhere to an existing company’s brand. It all requires great attention to detail, and GAJD is more than happy to put in the extra time needed on a project until the client is 100 per cent happy. Agile thinking

The Maritime Museum and Aquarium with its new subterranean extension. Visualisation: GAJD

This can be especially important when reworking an older building to suit modern use. Though it can be more complicated than just tearing it down and replacing it with a new build, it’s worth it – not least

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

because it is much more sustainable to reuse materials and structures when possible. As they say: the greenest building is one that already exists. “One thing we always want to do is preserve whatever we can. We’ll often use the basic structure of a building, and it does mean that you have to be much more involved in the project. With a new build, things are more predictable, but in an old building you can tear down the walls only to find that the supporting construction isn’t where you had thought it was. It requires agile thinking and more involvement in the project from our side,” says Gudmundson. “One thing we’re quite mindful of is to preserve not just the original build, but also any details that have been added during a time when they had a different view of building preservation. So a building may be from the late-18th century, and in the ‘70s they built an add-on. To us

that’s a part of history too, almost like the rings on a tree,” Englund adds. Caring for history Of course, attention to detail is also crucial when restoring and maintaining landmarks, which GAJD has been trusted to do across Sweden. Working closely with the National Property Board of Sweden as accredited architects, the firm undertakes a variety of projects in the many churches, castles and other historic buildings spread throughout the country. One notable project was the restoration of the internationally renowned Gothenburg Courthouse, originally by architect Gunnar Asplund in the 1930s, which had fallen into disuse. A project of that scale would always start off with thoroughly researching the building and possible solutions before committing to any work, and from start to finish it could take up to nine years. But it paid off, with

the firm being awarded the prestigious Helgo Award in 2018. Awarded by SFV every four years, the prize is a recognition of the value the firm continues to bring to public space. Not all restoration projects are as grandiose as that, however. “Often what’s interesting about restoration projects might be smaller details that don’t seem that interesting to a layperson. It could be, for example, a fireproof roof structure in Läckö Castle, which means that it will be safer going forward. So it might not be something visible that you can point to and show people what you’ve done, but it feels good to know you’re helping to preserve it for future generations.” With current and upcoming projects including Skansen Kronan and the Maritime Museum and Aquarium in Gothenburg, GAJD Architects is set to continue to shape the future of the West Coast and beyond. Web: Instagram: @gajdarkitekter

Top left: Nya Kasernen, an extensive renovation of an office building from the ‘70s in the centre of Gothenburg. Owner Alecta fastigheter. Visualisation in collaboration with Walk the Room. Bottom left: New restaurant in an old port warehouse in central Gothenburg. Visualisation: GAJD/ Råformat. Middle: The owners of GAJD in front of a new entrance to The Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft – Gertrud Gudmundson, Mikael Nädele and Magnus Englund. Photo: Cecilia Hallin. Right: Gothenburg Courthouse. GAJD performed an extensive restoration and interior design of Architect Gunnar Asplund’s world-famous building. Photo: Krister Engström

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  75

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

Prisma - Innovation hub in Helsingborg

Sustainability the Scandinavian way Erik Giudice Architects create modern architecture with ties to traditional roots, underpinned by a strong focus on sustainability. By Amanda Ottosson  |  Photos: Erik Giudice Architects

Sustainability is a buzzword thrown around by many in the urban development industry, but few live and breathe it the way Erik Giudice Architects (EGA) do. Founded by Swedish-Italian architect Erik Giudice, the firm has offices both in Sweden and France, and works internationally with architecture and urban planning. Key in all its projects is the materials used throughout. Wood makes an appearance time and time again, inspired by Giudice’s early brush with the material during his apprenticeship in his uncle’s woodworking shop at 16. Wood is also easily accessible in Scandinavia, which has meant that an architectural tradition has formed around it. It’s not just Giudice’s personal 76  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

connection to the material that appeals, however; it’s also its sustainability credentials. “There have been attempts to make other materials, for example concrete, more sustainable, but we prefer working with wood because it’s just inherently sustainable. You don’t have to try to make it something it’s not,” he says. Focus on impact This is something that the firm tries to bring to all its projects – that simple focus on doing what’s right, not only for the environment but also for the communities they work in. This approach is evident in all EGA projects, from museums

and sport stadiums to housing, with one future office building in Malmö being the first to gain NollCO2 certification, verifying that it’s a climate-neutral building. This marks it as one of the most sustainable projects in Sweden, with its wooden frame and biomaterials used throughout – another signature of the firm. This is especially important when working with different communities the firm may be less familiar with. Its recent work on a community centre in Paris, for example, was done with a clear view of what the residents of the area were in need of. It’s a more holistic way of looking at sustainability: it’s not just about how a project affects the environment, but also about the social aspects and how the project affects the people who interact with it; firstly, in terms of materiality – while wood is easily accessible in Scandinavia, it may still be less so in other parts of the world

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

– and secondly, an equally important dimension, in how the finished project fits into the community it serves. “We’re quite an international office, both in terms of the people who work here and in how we work on our projects. When we undertake a project in a country we’re not as familiar with, we make sure to work with local experts. It’s important to collaborate with someone who understands the context from a materials perspective, but also from a cultural perspective,” Giudice explains. “We never want to build anything that seems like it has no connection to the area; we want to make sure that it makes sense alongside everything around it. We’re always introducing innovation and a different way of thinking about things, but it needs to be innovation that makes sense for the area.”

Designing for the long term Even on the home turf, there are opportunities for thinking bigger and letting a long-term view influence the project. The eco-quarter in Ile-Saint Denis is one such project, designed by EGA to provide housing for athletes during the 2024 summer games hosted in Paris. It’s a bit of a misnomer to say that athlete housing is what it’s been designed for, as the primary thinking has been around what can be done with the structure after the event is over. Constructed with a long-term perspective in mind from the outset, the buildings have been designed to easily convert into office space and housing. The design uses modular components that will be easy to remove and reuse. The approach is groundbreaking and provides a new

path for the construction industry towards a circular economy. “We are seeing that this long-term approach, where we are a few steps ahead from the beginning of the project, is highly appreciated by our partners. People are excited about getting onboard and putting our ideas into practice,” says Giudice. And it’s not just about the firm’s own projects. Its focus on sustainability has informed a directive from the French government that more sustainable thinking and materials need to be used in construction going forward. Likewise, the firm’s work in Sweden is setting the standard for delivering innovation in a sustainable way. Project by project, EGA is leaving a lasting impact on the world.

The Athletes Village in Paris

National Wolesale Market in Nantes. Photo: Luc Boegly

Prisma. Photo: Josefin Widell Hultgren

Web: Instagram: @ega_erikgiudice_ architects LinkedIn: company/ega---erikgiudice-architects The Athletes Village in Paris

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  77

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

Left: Eken.Top right: Naked men and women, in movement, on the facade of Eldaren. Right: Using a unique photo scanning process, Monsén Arkitekter were able to recreate exact copies of trees on the facade of HVB Falköping.

Building an architectural story What story does your favourite building tell you? Founder of Swedish architecture firm Monsén Arkitekter, Daniel Monsén, believes that storytelling is the key to great architecture. By John Sempill  |  Photos: Monsén Arkitekter

Following an excursion to China after his studies, Daniel Monsén returned to Sweden refuelled and ready to start his own company in 2003. His huge interest in tech made him one of the BIM (Business Information Modelling) pioneers, setting out to make it a standard in his industry. His dream became reality in 2013, as the wider architecture trade adopted BIM as a digital standard. But tech is not his only passion – he is also passionate about creating buildings that have an opinion. “We need buildings that have context and something to talk about,” he says. “If you can describe your surroundings, you feel safe and secure – you are part of it.” Monsén and his team travel frequently to find inspiration. Experiencing new cultures and local communities, as well as how they interact, is part of what gives a city a sense of safety, the architect explains. “Cities are formed when peo78  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

ple meet and connect,” he reflects. “We need to build a city environment with a focus on experiences and bring back storytelling in our architecture, creating context – and not copies of old buildings, but rather new, super modern buildings, which contain art.” The power of storytelling One such conversation starter is the building Eldaren, part of the concert and congress hall in Uppsala, north of Stockholm – a project Monsén is especially proud of. The theme for the project was movement. “This became very controversial and provocative for a lot of people,” Monsén recalls. “People started talking about the building, and not because it was big or too high, but because we put characters on the facade. Timeless, naked men and women, in movement, in profile. Some of the reactions were, ‘where are the overweight, the tall people?’ and so on. Somebody even counted 202 men and 198 wom-

en – it got pretty messy. At the end of the day, this is the power of storytelling.” Other interesting projects include Jumbo Stay, an old Boeing 747 airliner turned into a hotel, a stone’s throw from Stockholm Arlanda Airport. This was one of Monsén’s first projects and one which is still being talked about today. “Another example of storytelling,” as the architect himself refers to it. Asked what inspires him the most, he reveals Oslo as a city and Sydney Opera House as an architectural wonder. “But ask me in a year and I’ll probably tell you something else!”

Web: Facebook: Monsenark Instagram: @monsenarkitekter

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

Photo: Johan Eldrot

Cecilia Holmström With inspiration from the world of Tetris, a former parking space has been transformed into a welcoming green plaza, embracing culturally protected office buildings in Solna Strand, outside Stockholm.

‘We can’t consume our way out of the crisis’ Cecilia Holmström tells it like it is. The climate crisis is a fact, but the architects at ÅWL Arkitekter consider it an opportunity. With nature as a tool, they create architectural solutions to heal the Earth. By Frida Jeppson Prime, translated by Malin Norman

Construction and property developments are facing the biggest challenge of our time: to solve the climate crisis. Together, the two sectors are responsible for around 21 per cent of total CO2-eq emissions in Sweden, according to the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. “Climate change is exhausting and challenging, but above all exciting,” says Holmström, CEO at ÅWL. “Together with builders, entrepreneurs and suppliers, we are creating new systems. We can’t consume our way out of the crisis by tearing down buildings to build new ones, buying electric vehicles or soothing our bad conscience through e-commerce, like media wants us to believe. The solution is to be innovative with what we have. “For many, climate change is an existential question with consequences in the form of heat waves, forest fires and flooding. It’s heart-breaking when nature pro-

tests, but that’s also where the answer is – right in front of us,” emphasises the architect. “Nature has long been regarded mostly as beautifying in architecture, rather than part of the solution. From a bigger, perhaps utopian, perspective, it’s better to leave nature alone. But change can be achieved with simple measures and still make a big difference.” ÅWL is incorporating nature in city planning and architecture to increase the well-being of the community, but also so that nature’s resources can in turn improve the environment. “By working with nature as a tool, we can solve problems related to our living environment,” Holmström explains. “Less impact on nature is always more desirable. For instance, if we build on virgin land, it’s important to recreate wetlands and work with local water management, rather than investing in concrete culverts underground.”

Another example is filling green areas with flowers and trees, which provides better carbon sink and biodiversity than a traditional lawn. Instead of blasting away land, buildings should be adapted to the topography of the site. And instead of building in steel and concrete, which generate high CO2 emissions, nature can assist as a building material through wood. On a smaller scale, sedum can be used on rooftops, which naturally regulates the temperature inside the building – a better solution than high energy consuming systems like air conditioning or heating. “We need to adjust our mindset,” concludes Holmström. “For too long, smart solutions have helped stakeholders benefit financially at the expense of the climate. Collectively, we need to take responsibility for creating real change. We welcome clients and partners who realise that sustainable solutions are the only economically justifiable solution.” Web: Facebook: awlarkitekter Twitter: @AWL_Arkitekter Instagram: @awl_arkitekter

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  79

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

Dubbel Dubbel has Chinese cuisine on the menu and an interior to complement the vibe. Photo: New Order Arkitektur

Interior decorating with creative integrity How do you create an atmosphere that complements its surroundings without being too obvious, yet is simultaneously bold and in harmony with your client’s vision? This is a balance that architecture firm New Order Arkitektur has mastered. By John Sempill

Who knows, if it were not for the British post-punk band of the same name, New Order Arkitektur might not even exist. Just as influential as the group was in the ‘80s are founders Frida Sjöstam and Victor Alm in their journey to turn ideas and visions into three-dimensional spaces. Whether it’s an office, a beauty salon, a brewery or a hotel, they are up for it, with no project being too small.

they might have in the future. If we share a vision and a goal, we have the basis for a great project.”

“If it’s an office, we need to understand what the business behind it is about, and what its needs are,” says Alm, “and then help the client understand what needs

In a way, you could describe them as interpreters – interpreting ideas and turning them into areas that rhyme with the client’s needs. But sometimes mere rhym-

80  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

“A client knows what their business is, but our knowledge is how to plan and create their vision in three dimensions,” adds Sjöstam. “How can we challenge them, both spatially and functionally, and help them put it all together?”

ing isn’t the best way to go. One example they bring up is restaurant chains – they lack in personality and “are too generic and a little too easy to code,” as Sjöstam puts it. “We are advocates of the unique,” adds Alm. “We aren’t happy if we see something that looks like everything else. We always strive to take the next step.” It is clear they have an eye for it, too. Some of their exciting projects include Lynk&Co Club, a showroom, meeting space and boutique for the car sharing company Lynk&Co; a new theme park hotel, Liseberg Grand Curiosa Hotel; and an ultra-modern playground in the heart of Gothenburg. The Lynk&Co showroom was particularly fitting for New Order Arkitektur, thanks to the company’s unique vision for show-

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

Left: How do you advertise a car-sharing company without being too obvious? The answer lies in this picture. Photo: Lynk&Co. Right: The adventure playground in Gothenburg. Photo: New Order Arkitektur

casing their product. “It came naturally,” says Alm. “Lynk&Co themselves are pushing to move away from the traditional way of marketing a car, which is probably why we work well together. They want it to feel like a boutique, or a club. You’re not supposed to realise what it is.” It has obviously been a successful collaboration, to date counting two Lynk&Co Clubs and several pop-up locations throughout Europe. But that’s not all. “Now we’re working on their main offices in Gothenburg, a brand-new building that will house offices like no one’s ever experienced them before,” teases Sjöstam.

Hotel will surely keep the pair busy. This 35,000-square-metre project is a collaboration with YAAM Art & Architecture and is scheduled to open in 2023. Looking ahead “We want to be a high-quality, compact firm that people come to when they need something specific,” says Alm. “Or if they need an interesting collaboration, whether they are a contractor, an artist or another architecture firm.” Sjöstam and Alm seem to be the perfect business pairing for the job. Sjöstam’s experience in construction architecture

combined with Alm’s résumé, spanning carpentry, interior and furniture design, means they have it all in-house, including a team consisting of ten or so talented people. The fact that the duo has roots in the village of Aneby, nestled in the Swedish woods of Småland – coincidentally the same landscape that inspired a certain Ingvar Kamprad – can only be considered a positive, too.

Web: Facebook: neworderarkitektur Instagram: @new_order_arkitektur

The aforementioned playground project is currently in progress and is one they are especially proud of. It is a collaboration with artists Patrik Bengtsson and Daniel EKTA Götesson. “We enjoy collaborating, it’s something that inspires us a lot,” continues Sjöstam. “We love bringing in other sources of expertise. We also invite other architects to get ideas going and introduce fresh perspectives. For this project, we’ve also produced everything. It will be something very unique.” By the look of things, New Order Arkitektur is not planning to slow its pace anytime soon. 450 rooms, with five beds in each, including market halls, restaurants and a conference centre at the upcoming Liseberg Grand Curiosa

Left: An epic hairdo at Studio Epic. Everything you see has been customised – mirrors, storage, even the trolleys. Photo: Daniel Grizelj. Right: Bathroom at the Lynk&Co Club in Antwerpen. Photo: Lynk&Co

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  81

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

City Library in Gothenburg. Photo: Bert Leandersson

Architectural landmarks built for the people Erséus Architects is the studio that doesn’t shy away from a new challenge. Energised by an exciting variation of projects, they have managed to put their distinguishable mark on a number of locations around Sweden, where the human experience always takes centre stage. By Nina Bressler

The firm has been around since 2002, founded by Peter Erséus with the intention to keep it small and personal. Nearly 20 years later, reality panned out a little different. “I never intended it to expand exponentially, but little by little, our projects have grown in size and the company with it. We’re about 35 employees today, with one office in Gothenburg and one in Stockholm. It’s a good size that really allows us to explore projects around the country, yet at the same time enables us to keep things personal – support between colleagues and close relationships with our clients are essential,” says Erséus. They put great emphasis on nurturing a dynamic company culture where every82  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

one’s voice is heard. Everyone has something to contribute and life-long experience doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the answers – there’s a firm belief here that the best ideas are sprung from a combination of mindsets where each and every individual adds something unique to the final result. Architecture made for well-being “Our starting and end point for every project is the human being that will spend time in the building and its neighbouring area. How do we enhance well-being for the people that will inhabit the space, the individuals moving inside and around the building? Does it contribute to quality of life, does it encourage creativity?” Erséus asks.

Interior of Kviberg Crematorium in Gothenburg.

“We want to be the voice for the people who will spend their lives within close proximity to the building, and we believe it’s our responsibility to bring forth the human experience during the

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

design process,” he explains. Sustainable choices are an integrated part of the firm’s work, and it works thoroughly to achieve environmental grading on all of its projects. Buildings designed to astonish High-profile buildings play a substantial role in the firm’s portfolio. Through successful participation in architecture competitions, it has been rewarded with the opportunity to influence the cityscape in more than one place. Clarion Hotel Draken will become a defining part of central Gothenburg, where the 34-storey-high edifice will provide the perfect spot for a rooftop bar, top restaurant and conference spaces – a landmark for Gothenburg, where groundbreaking design will serve to enhance the city centre. Another long-anticipated project intended to replace a water tower with a residential building in the southern city of Växjö was also entrusted to the firm. Its proposal of a tall, black building with balconies facing every direction is now proudly overlooking the city, where the

residents can enjoy breathtaking views stretching miles across its surrounding landscape. And not only do the firm’s projects affect external onlookers, but the architect himself tends to be struck by pinch-me moments too. “We were awarded the project to rebuild and extend the City Library of Gothenburg. It’s located right in the heart of the city, next to its most iconic spot, Götaplatsen. To have one of your own projects there is something else. Something that started like a thought inside our own minds is realised for the benefit of other people. I feel very privileged to do what I do – we have the ability to create, shape and improve the life of many,” Erséus reflects. The energy of creating something new “Our aim is to break new barriers and to create buildings for purposes we haven’t done before. We would never say no to a job – the more challenging the project, the more alert we become, bringing more energy to the team and onto the drawing table,” says Erséus.

One example of first-time challenges is a crematorium designed for the Swedish Church in Gothenburg. How do you create a dignified space, paying respect to the deceased and their relatives, while also creating a room that fulfils its functional purpose? Its many contrasting functions paved way for something of a creative test, and a square-shaped building with slightly concave walls and windows placed in playful compositions, allowing light to flow through a spacious indoor setting, became the answer. Wood, white and black, in stark contrast to one another, provide a space for contemplation, and its design has been awarded and recognised on numerous occasions. “Our dream project is simply what we haven’t done before. New projects require new ways of thinking, and that is what develops us as architects. An opera house, a football stadium, maybe?” Sounds like yet another landmark may be on the horizon. Web: Instagram: @erseusark

Top left: Kviberg Crematorium in Gothenburg. Photo: Bert Leandersson.  Bottom left: Clarion Hotel Draken in Gothenburg. Photo: AdoreAdore.  Bottom right: Residential Tower in Växjö. Photo: Anders Bergön

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  83

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

Varg Arkitekter has designed a sustainable summer house in northern Sweden. Photo: Varg Arkitekter

Sustainable design, from the small details to the full picture Stockholm-based Varg Arkitekter raises awareness of sustainable architecture and creative urban planning. Its designs are shaping the future for how we live, work and play.

and a project studio for teams to meet and co-create.”

By Malin Norman

“Our perspective goes from the little details all the way to the full picture,” Rosvall continues. “Projects range from small summer houses to offices such as Sthlm 02, as well as large urban developments and everything in between. The broad range makes for a fantastic mix.”

“Built environments need to be longlasting, functional and loved,” says Inga Varg, architect and founder of Varg Arkitekter. “Following the pandemic, it’s even more important with office environments that are not just workspaces – they need to be changeable and somewhere we also long to come back to.” One such project is Sthlm 02 in Hammarby Allé, part of Skanska’s investment in Sthlm New Creative Business Spaces, with seven buildings in total, which will 84  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

have offices for more than 8,000 people when finished. This is the fifth building, developed in response to changeable working conditions and requirements. It will include seven floors with flexible workspaces in an elegant and playful office environment. “Sthlm 02 is not just going to be offices,” confirms architect Ylva K Rosvall. “We believe in integrating workspaces in a dynamic setting, so this building will also house a lively ground floor with a lounge

Tegnér Tower: a small plot in a big city

Tucked in on a small piece of land by the Barnhusbron bridge, at the corner of Tegnérgatan and Hälsobrunnsgatan in the Sabbatsberg district of Stockholm, is a tower clad in green slate and sheet metal that stretches across 11 floors. Tegnér Tower, designed by Varg Arkitekter, was a

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

finalist in Stockholm Building of the Year 2020, thanks to its architecture, sustainability, innovation and impact on the city. “The plot was tricky, really small and by a bridge and a street corner, yet we wanted to build something that adapts to the big city,” says Varg. “We are fascinated by how people meet and interact with a built environment, whether it’s an office or a home. It’s important to keep that meeting in mind when designing a building or a space, so that people feel that someone cares.” Dream houses with minimal environmental impact Varg Arkitekter is currently working on several private houses with high sustainability ambitions. “We look at how new

sustainable methods of construction can be implemented,” Varg elaborates. “Our smaller projects are really exciting as they function as a playground where we can experiment with new approaches to construction. Small projects actually help drive the progress in larger-scale developments.” A good example in the pipeline is a private summer house for Anja Pärson and Filippa Rådin Pärson in northern Sweden, with plenty of sustainability opportunities. To reduce the CO2 footprint, the designers make use of an innovative wooden frame and façade, combined with a foam glass base. Indoors, the house will have a cosy atmosphere with light plywood and carpentry details. The

L-shaped building will also have room for a large veranda, a pergola and an outdoor shower with a view of the ocean. “In the search for more sustainable ways of working, one can get lost in numbers and complicated manufacturing processes,” Varg concludes. “As architects, we must still remember those small details which make places inviting and loved by many generations to come. The buildings we love and choose not to demolish will be the most sustainable in the long-run.” Web: Instagram: @vargarkitekter Follow Anja and Filippa’s dream house on their YouTube channel.

About Varg Arkitekter: Set up in 2014, Varg Arkitekter is run by architect Inga Varg and associates Kajsa Laring, Jonte Norin and Ylva K Rosvall. Based in Stockholm, the team consists of around 25 people. Projects are mainly focused around the Stockholm region and range from city planning to accommodation, offices and private houses.

The Sthlm 02 building with flexible workspaces. Photo: Skanska

Inga Varg has worked with complex assignments in city planning, architecture and interior design since 1978. She is elected chairman of Stockholm Beauty Council and has been awarded the Kasper Salin Prize, among other awards.

Left: Tegnér Tower tucked in on a small plot in central Stockholm. Photo: Mikael Olsson. Middle: Kallbadhuset, private houses in the south of Stockholm, by Varg arkitekter. Photo: Anders Fredriksen. Right: Anja and Fillipa’s house features an outdoor shower with a view of the ocean. Photo: Varg Arkitekter

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  85

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


The power to improve lives through architecture What! can architecture do to improve the cityscape and the lives of the people inhabiting the space? Quite a lot, if you ask the team at What! Architecture. Their award-winning projects continuously deliver surprising design created to enhance the quality of life of the people living in and around it. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: What! Arkitektur

A smaller team makes for better decisions and more open communication, if you ask the colleagues of What! Architecture. They know it from experience, having been working as a close-knit group from the beginning. 15 architects with expertise in different fields allow the company to provide clients with expert advice throughout the building process, led by company founders Jannika Wirstad and Peter Hulting. “Being a small team means that everyone can be involved in the entire process, adding their valuable knowledge to our projects that span everything from buildings to landscape design. Communication is 86  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

easier and more seamless when we’ve got easy access to each other and when hierarchical structures are non-existent; it creates space for open dialogue and an expanded mindset, which eventually seeps through to our clients and our accomplished buildings,” says Wirstad. An approach infused with analytical and tactful decisions is applied to the projects to reach the client’s vision as well as their own – they are well aware of the impact their buildings and spaces will have on the environment and the people inhabiting the space. Active listening is implemented at every stage – to clients, to residential neighbours, to colleagues

– ensuring that every step is one in the right direction. Surprise! “We chose our name because that’s the reaction that we’re looking for every time; we want our client to be wowed, to feel that something extraordinary has been created in their name. Like, ‘What, this is beyond what we imagined!’. It would be easy to take a simple route and build standardised houses that have proved sufficiently good before, but that doesn’t resonate with us. Our team is abundantly creative, and we want to excel above and beyond every time,” says Hulting. Ingenious and unexpected solutions are key to solving sometimes tricky structural obstacles, where imaginative ideas become crucial. Putsegården in Gothenburg, Sweden is a great example, where new ideas meet traditional Swedish building design, forging an innovative and previ-

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

hood where houses along with schools, care homes and social areas are being planned. “It’s a dreamy project, and it’s been with us from the beginning. The size of the project is exciting and we’re fortunate to participate on a long-term basis. We believe in social sustainability, and we are creating an area in tune with the surrounding city, mainly four-storey houses where the spaces in between are carefully constructed to allow life to flow in a natural and healthy way,” says Wirstad. Giro.

ously unseen residential space. A commission to create a residential building that would allow the preservation of the 18th-century house demanded new ways to see solutions beyond the ordinary: an extension from the original house built with wood stretches into a sheet-covered, extravagantly tilted building that stretches tall in companionship with the surrounding neighbourhood. The original red colour has been transferred to the new extension, and creative play with both shape and details creates a bridge between the past and the present. Cleverly used materials enabled the firm to reduce costs without reducing the living standard. “It’s not always about the materials that you use, but rather how you use them. By strategically considering the purpose behind every choice, we managed to create a unique building cleverly constructed to fit its purpose, its surroundings and its people,” Hulting explains.

grounds with different stories meet. Aptly named Giro, for its adaptation to a cycling lifestyle, it’s one of the many examples of how ingenious ideas are met with clever solutions to enrich the everyday life of the inhabitants. Fixfabriken is another project that is gradually taking shape in the area of Majorna in Gothenburg, a residential neighbour-

And speaking of dreamy projects: “we would love to create a bath – we are crazy about water, and a public bath combined with a recreational space where nature and spa facilities meet, perhaps in an old, unused factory building, would be the dream,” says Wirstad with a big smile. No doubt another project destined to surprise. Web:

Project Putsegården. Photo: Ulf Celander

Living spaces from inside and out The firm’s projects stem from a wish to integrate into the area that encapsulates the building. It’s never just about one single house. It’s about how it speaks to its surroundings; it’s about the spaces that allow new meetings and fresh ideas to happen. One yet to be realised project that was submitted to a competition illustrates the firm’s idea of a house becoming much more than just a space to live: it’s a social space, it’s a co-working space, and it’s a space where people from different back-

Bohem, a project in Lorensbergsparken, central Gothenburg.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  87

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

Esencial turns ideas on their head. Hey presto – what could be a dull waiting room is a viewing platform, with a colourful ringside view of the world going by.

Spiritual buildings for a practical future In 2017, two young Swedish architects with Spanish and Argentinian heritage joined forces. Today, the progressive architecture firm Esencial is on a winning streak, creating everything from dream homes to futuristic city planning projects, public buildings, and a bottomless swimming pool, submerged in the sea. By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: Esencial

2022 will be a year of fruition for Esencial’s founders Carmen Izquierdo and Mariano Tellechea. Many of their exciting architecture projects will either start or come to completion. The dynamic duo, with their trademark visionary ideas, extensive experience and sustainable knowhow, has bagged numerous awards, including the Kasper Salin Prize, the most prestigious architecture award in Sweden. Esencial has created and collaborated on a long line of projects, from cultural buildings like Domkyrkoforum in Lund and Varberg’s Komedianten culture centre to KTH’s School of Architecture building and smallscale residential dream homes. “We think of architecture as a built reality that moves between the practical and the spiritual. In today’s era of regulations and strict frameworks, it is the spiritual, the soft experiential values of architecture that we are particularly attentive to,” the two architects explain. “We really enjoy the variation. It’s exciting to one day build for private clients, and 88  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

the next to collaborate with other offices to create comprehensive urban planning. It allows us to be really creative and experimental, but at the same time downto-earth and pragmatic,” they add.

“When we design, we reflect on the core issues of architecture: space, materials and light. Regardless of the scale of the project, we’re searching for timeless and meaningful qualities, all rooted in culture, in places and people. That’s what defines the character of our work.” Web: Facebook: esencialarkitekter Instagram: @esencial_se

“At the moment, we’re hugely excited to create a partly submerged, bottomless set of public swimming pools at the old port, Frihamnen, in Gothenburg. It’s been a fun challenge to find solutions to working with the current and pumping up the freshest seawater that flows naturally underneath, into the pool.” It’s clear to see that a great deal of sustainable thinking goes into Esencial’s projects. The architects consider the impact of extreme weather with torrential downpours, while using sustainable building materials and constructions. Creating a healthy microclimate is another objective of the firm’s environmental efforts, while making sure that cultural values that create a sense of belonging are also at the very heart of the design process.

Sustainable thinking is behind every Esencial creation, like this poetic take on the traditional ‘kallbadhus’ (meaning ‘cold bath house’) in timber.

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

Le Pavillon hexagonal in Paris. Photo: Agnes Clotis

Atelje Grytnäs. Photo: Björn Lofterud

Going back to the roots Building with wood has many environmental benefits, and it’s increasingly becoming a material used in larger building projects. In Praise Of Shadows is an architecture firm that harnesses its qualities to an utmost extent, with a passion for the sustainability and beauty inherent to the material. By Nina Bressler

Sustainability and interest in wood as a building material were prevalent from day one for Katarina Lundeberg and Fredric Benesch. Having seen a clear development of the industrial wooden techniques around Europe, they were inspired to take the progress and implement it further in Sweden. The studio was founded 12 years ago with a clear aim: to create beautiful buildings where the aesthetics play in harmony with sustainable choices, increasing wellbeing for inhabitants, as well as the nature. The firm’s project range is intentionally kept broad: the energy that goes into smaller projects circles back into their larger projects. Private houses, housing projects, interior design, exhibitions and public spaces are all on the drawing board. “There are so many benefits of working with wood. Not only is it incredibly beautiful; it’s tactile, constructive, sustainable and can be used as a great substitute for concrete. Circularity is key

– we believe in the natural rhythm between the materials and the world they inhabit,” says Benesch. Projects that unite The studio is part of a greater initiative to bring Swedish wooden design onto an international platform. A pavilion proudly residing in the Swedish Institute in Paris is an example of ingenious upcycled and recycled pieces of wood that have turned into an inspiring room for meetings, made to be deconstructed and used again in another location – a manifestation of creative thinking and collaboration across borders, with the Swedish wood tradition confidently at the centre of attention. The first Aesop store in Stockholm was decorated with wooden interiors and bestowed with carefully selected pieces of a 100-year-old locally sourced elm tree, creating a balanced synergy between a modern expression and natural tactility. Having constructed a number of pri-

vate villas, In Praise Of Shadows is now growing its focus on residential buildings. “More entrepreneurs and builders are open to working with sustainable materials, and there’s a real pioneering spirit between everyone involved; we’re in this together for a better world,” says Lundeberg. With Klockelund, for the client Folkhem, in Stockholm being one of two residential projects launching next year, it’s clear that the interest in building sustainably is growing increasingly serious. The return of wood is here. Illustration of Klockelund. Photo: In Praise of Shadows

Web: Instagram: @inpraiseofshadowsark

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  89

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

How to create a room with multiple layers When decorating a space, most people tend to focus on the big pieces of furniture: sofas, beds, tables and cabinets. After that, we move on to look at smaller décor, including lamps, curtains and artwork. But more often than not, we forget the rugs – and when we do decide to invest in a rug, the limited selection available can often feel unnecessarily expensive or impersonal. This is where Malin Glemme, founder of Layered, comes in.

lady demanded that I’d help her through the whole process, and she was being so tricky about it – and I was thinking to myself, ‘hey, I’m doing this for free, maybe I shouldn’t?’. And that’s when I created Layered.”

By Hanna Andersson  |  Photos: Layered Design

A year later, Layered was launched, and even though it seemed like a long shot, Glemme never doubted that it would be a success. “A lot of people thought it wouldn’t work, that there wasn’t enough demand, but I could see the gap in the market and have always been good at noticing trends before they happen. Now we are 14 employees and have revenues of 40 million (SEK) this year.”

“My business started when I was moving house and started looking at the rugs available on the market. I wasn’t happy with the selection and the prices. So, I took the matter into my own hands and designed a rug and had it produced,” Glemme explains. “It went so well, and there was a feature in the local newspaper about it, after which I started getting questions from people interested in doing the same thing. I helped everyone as much as I could, until one day, when a 90  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Affordable and high-quality Glemme started Layered with a vision: to create affordable, high-quality rugs that

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

could really make a home. With skills gained as a buyer for H&M, she had the initial tools needed to learn how to operate within a new industry.

of having really knowledgeable and experienced people around me, who will do it better than I can, and I can do what I do best,” says Glemme.

“I didn’t know anything about rugs when I started, so I was just following my gut feeling,” she says. “My goal was to create rugs of good value, where you get a quality product that doesn’t cost a fortune. This is why we work so closely with our producers; it means we can keep the prices at a sensible level.”

The rug industry, as well as the demand for them, has been growing in the past few years, and Glemme predicts that it will continue to do so. “Rugs are becoming more of a statement piece. We used to see a rug the size of a stamp under the table, how crazy is that? Now, people are buying bigger and bigger rugs that can really change a room, which is a new thing in Sweden.”

She adds: “I have also created a great team around me. Last year, I hired a woman who I knew from H&M, and she has been able to take over the executive work so that I can focus on the creative and business development, which is what I do best.” The layers behind Layered Design Many small businesses have to be dynamic, and you have to, especially if you are the founder, be able to work with every part of the business. But hard work, a good product and a good organisation can create a situation where you no longer need to spread yourself so thin. “I didn’t mind being involved in every part of the business. I appreciated those times as well, but now I have the luxury

Inspiration – timeless and original Since its inception, Layered has expanded and now offers other furniture as well, including sofas, armchairs and benches, as well as pillows and blankets. All products differ but have one important thing in common: they are timeless designs that the customer can enjoy for many years. “I like to sit down to read a magazine and take inspiration from there. It takes you to a different state of mind when you flip through pages rather than scrolling through your phone. And from there, I tear out inspiration that could be developed into patterns,” Glemme says of

her inspiration. “But I’d say my greatest source of inspiration comes from travelling. I usually go away twice a year on my own for a few days. It takes me away from all the distractions, and I can spend the plane journey drawing. I think I have drawn more designs on flights than anywhere else.” But not everyone is as happy with Glemme’s many ideas. “When I go on these trips, I always feel excited, while my team worries that I’ll come back with a million new ideas, in addition to those we’re already working on. I recently went to Copenhagen for three days, and I think that they were actually a bit freaked out,” she laughs. “The good thing is that I save a lot of designs for the future, and a lot of the time I create something that doesn’t feel quite right. I might need to work on the storytelling around the product, or the design needs some adjustments. So my ideas can go to my bank of potential designs, and I can spare my colleagues some stressful times.”

Web: Instagram: @layered_official

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  91

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

Bolon by Patricia Urquiola, inspired by the Japanese stitching technique ‘sashiko’.

Deep-rooted passion for design With a strong heritage yet always forward-thinking, Bolon combines art, fashion and architecture with woven designs. This year has seen a new collection with an exciting VR solution as well as made-to-measure design rugs, and the most recent collaboration with renowned designer Patricia Urquiola was launched at Milan Design Week.

fantastic designer, and her creativity and never-ending curiosity make a perfect match with Bolon, where we believe that great design is design that lasts,” says Annica Eklund, chief creative officer.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Bolon

The high-end design collection with four designs is characterised by soft colours and expressive patterns: Grey Sashiko, Light Sashiko, Nude Sashiko and Sage Sashiko. Inspired by the Japanese stitch-

Bolon specialises in innovative and sustainable flooring solutions for public spaces, with clients such as Armani, Google, Four Seasons Hotels, Chanel, Adidas, Apple and Missoni Home. The company has gained worldwide recognition for its award-winning design, superior quality, and collaborations with some of the world’s most acclaimed innovators and creatives. This year, Bolon has revealed a number of exciting new projects. In January, the new base collection Emerge was released with a special VR tool, a virtual world where the user can explore architectur92  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

al spaces such as a hotel, a museum or an office, with flooring from the new collection. And for the very first time, Bolon offers made-to-measure design rugs – a great complement to the existing flooring with endless possibilities to choose the right rug for environments and projects not suitable for wall-to-wall installations. Bolon by Patricia Urquiola, four in one At the recent Milan Design Week, Bolon announced its latest design collaboration with renowned industrial designer and architect Patricia Urquiola. Her addition to Bolon is a modern collection with expressive yet subtle design. “Patricia is a

The Emerge collection was released with a special VR tool.

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

ing technique ‘sashiko’, the collection features recycled material, has been produced using renewable energy, and has a durability rating of 33, making it suitable for heavy commercial use like in offices, hotels and in retail, where it also adds softness, warmth and neutral elegance. “Bolon is an exciting brand that has successfully maintained an ambitious design approach in a highly technicalfocused contract business,” designer Patricia Urquiola says in a statement. “It inspired me to explore the interaction between the strong structure of the flooring and its tactile woven expression. I wanted the collection to have a soft textile touch balanced with gentle colours. During the collaborative process, we discovered a resemblance between the Bolon weave and traditional Japanese ‘sashiko’ stitches. We decided to enhance this aesthetic, creating a warm texture appearance. The result is a hard-wearing commercial flooring with a warm, comfortable softness.” Strong heritage, but always forward-looking The progressive company is managed by sisters Annica and Marie Eklund, the third generation to run this successful, family-owned business. With heaps of passion and commitment, they have challenged conventionality and transformed the traditional weaving mill into a modern, cutting-edge brand. “Bolon is a mix of craftsmanship and innovation, driven

Bolon’s new base collection, Emerge, launched in January.

Bolon also offers made-to-measure design rugs.

by design,” highlights Annica. “We are entrepreneurs at heart. Even though we are the third generation now, this is just the beginning and that’s pretty fantastic!” The sisters’ grandfather, Nils-Erik Eklund, started the company back in 1949, born from an idea of making use of leftover textiles and creating rag rugs for homes. His son, Lars, took over in 1967 and, from a love of camping, developed awning mats tailored for caravans, which were launched abroad and became a big success in the camping domain. Production eventually expanded to include flooring for offices in 1991, and two years later, the wall-to-wall vinyl flooring was launched. In 2003, the two sisters took over. Similar to their grandfather, who was ahead of his time, the sisters are keeping the innovative spirit alive and con-

Annica and Marie Eklund.

stantly strive to create long-lasting products. “We want to be the leader in environment, technology and design,” Annica emphasises. “Sustainability is a part of our design and something we always keep in mind.” Bolon has an ambitious goal: that no later than 2028, their floorings will be 50 per cent circular, with half of today’s carbon footprint. All products are designed and manufactured at the facility in Ulricehamn, which also houses a recycling plant that transforms production waste into new floors, and all collections contain recycled material. Web: Facebook: bolonofficial Instagram: @bolonofficial Pinterest: bolonflooring

Bolon by Patricia Urquiola.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  93

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

Light Bureau’s project Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant. Photo: Tomasz Majewski

A sustainable future – for generations to come With innovative design solutions for urban environments, workspaces and residential projects, to mention a few, AFRY helps accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society. By Malin Norman

AFRY is a global engineering, design and advisory company. In 2019, Swedish ÅF and Finnish Pöyry joined forces under the new name, with almost 17,000 experts covering infrastructure, industry, energy and digitalisation – creating sustainable solutions for generations to come. In architecture and design, the group has more than 500 designers, under a palette of brands within architecture, acoustic design, lighting design, product design, digital design, industrial design and user-  experience design. The same year as the merger, AFRY commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey of more than 5,000 people aged 18 to 35 in six European countries to find out what they want in terms of future cities. During the autumn of 2021, a follow-up 94  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

survey was conducted, showing the same result. “What was clear before the pandemic and is still true, is that the young generation prefers mid-size cities to mega cities,” says Helena Paulsson, VP and Head of BA Architecture and Design.

More than half of the respondents prefer to live in a community with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, and they value sustainability highly. One explanation could be that it’s easier to get the life puzzle to match up without long commutes and high living costs, and while being closer to nature. “This is a renaissance for smaller cities, and we are looking at how we can design and build future cities where people thrive and want to stay.” Inspiring acoustic design “Sound is such an interesting aspect in design and architecture. The aim is not to simply reduce noise, but to use sound as a design feature to enhance visual experiences, increase awareness of functionalities, or improve a physical space,” says Paulsson. “And our audio-branding services help companies to use the power of sound to add meaning to their products or services and increase brand awareness.”

Helena Paulsson, VP and Head of BA Architecture and Design.

Efterklang, a part of AFRY, delivers award-winning work within acoustics,

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

vibration and sound design. The team creates unique sound environments, reinforcing emotions and encouraging collaboration, concentration, play and learning. One recent project is Arena Sergel, a co-working space in Stockholm with a focus on well-being. The concept offers flex-work stations, meeting rooms and lounge areas – all with a coherent multisensory theme. The key is a well-balanced interplay between acoustic measures and psychoacoustically anchored sound design, so everyone can choose the sound environment that suits them best. Another recent commission, Liljevalchs+, opened earlier this year and is an extension to the famous art gallery designed by architects Wingårdhs. Efterklang carried out the acoustic design with great consideration for aspects such as sound insulation and noise reduction. Additionally, the project included room-acoustic design, which aims to optimise sound distribution in the space.

Interior of Viking Line’s new ship Viking Glory, design by Koncept. Photo: Koncept

Underwater and park lights AFRY also works with innovative light solutions. One of Light Bureau’s projects is Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant, using light to promote marine biodiversity while teaching visitors about marine life. Working closely with world renowned architects Snøhetta, Light Bureau developed a lighting design for the restaurant in Norway that extends beyond the interiors and into the water, visually connecting the interiors with the ocean outside. Light Bureau received the Award of Excellence at the 38th annual International Lighting Design Awards for its design in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. The new lighting strategy highlights the cultural and historical value of this urban park. The luminaires, made up of two concentric cylinders, are specifically designed for the site and connected to a two-tier control system, allowing the electric light to intertwine with the natural light throughout the day. Another award-winning project is the playful and dynamic lighting design at The Musicon Path in Roskilde, Denmark.

Optical illusion Synvillan by Sandellsandberg in nature reserve Eriksberg. Photo: Sandellsandberg

The pump track is designed to create an experience out of the ordinary for cyclists, skaters and bystanders, and the interactive lighting is a flow of water designed to invite people to use the pump track and put it into play at night. More playful design projects Synvillan, by architects Sandellsandberg, is a nature residence located at Eriksberg in Blekinge. The mirrored villa, an optical illusion, is elevated on pillars and allows visitors to sleep securely surrounded by wild animals. Through a glass panel in the floor, visitors have the chance to see European bison, red deer, fallow deer, mouflon and wild boar that roam freely in the fenced nature reserve. In 2021, the project was awarded with Plåtpriset for its simplicity, playfulness and material choice. Koncept, another of AFRY’s architecture brands, has designed the interior of

Viking Line’s new ship Viking Glory, in operation from 2022. The stylish interior can be described as timelessly innovative and homey, but with a golden touch. There is nothing to obscure the view, and with focus on the full-height panoramic windows to the surrounding archipelago, you always get front-row seats.

Dynamic lighting design by Light Bureau at The Musicon Path. Photo: Tomasz Majewski

Web: Facebook: afryofficial Instagram: @afry.official

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  95

A growing hub for the top communicators of tomorrow Berghs School of Communication is known for its high-quality, award-winning education, which is run in close collaboration with the industry. The school has recently moved to a redeveloped industrial area, where it continues to grow its creative hub.

skills such as copywriting; international offerings in collaboration with partner schools; and tailormade business solutions on demand.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Emil Randulv

Communication and businesses can make a difference. “We are an impact company with a triple bottom-line approach, which means that we want to make a social, environmental and financial difference,” Camilla Wallander, CEO of Berghs, explains. “Education is crucial for the future of businesses so that they can grow, innovate and build sustainability for long-term profitability. We make sure that our programmes and courses are current, that they include real-life experience, and that students and professionals can build their own networks.”

Berghs educates the top communicators of tomorrow, and the students who have attended are sought after, with more than 90 per cent getting a job in their field of study withing six months of graduation. Part of the secret is action-based learning and integration between students and the industry. The entrepreneurial model is based on four pillars: full-time education programmes in areas such as strategic communication, digital design and art direction; courses in current topics for people who want to improve 96  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Camilla Wallander, CEO of Berghs.

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

The school recently moved to Gasverket, an old industrial area undergoing redevelopment. “It’s an authentic area with a focus on sustainable development, one of the largest city planning projects in Europe, and we are excited to be part of shaping a new community here,” says Wallander. Berghs now resides in Gasverket, every year welcoming some 800 industry leaders, hundreds of students and thousands of participants in industry courses, as well as offering co-working spaces to rent. “It’s a fantastic space where we can grow our hub of creativity and knowledge.” International partnerships “This school is a beautiful gem,” says Marco Ortolani, director of international business at Berghs. “It’s a Swedish success, but also relevant in the international world of design. We look at design in a broad way, not just communication, but also interaction, user experience and motion design, to name a few. The user-centred approach, with practicality and informality at the core, is extremely valuable, and also internationally, too.” In addition to former and current students, the school’s network consists of industry experts, agencies and businesses, as well as partner schools around the globe, such as Ravensbourne University in London and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “Our students can complete their degrees at one of our partner schools, or students can come and finish their studies here,” says Ortolani. “We run courses in collaboration and share trends from around the world. It’s a fun process of contamination and cross-pollination.”

Award-winning education It’s been a successful journey with numerous awards, including the AKQA Future Lions School of the Year Award on several occasions. And One Show’s prestigious student competition, The Young Ones, has been a big win for Berghs in the last three years. The school claimed Best in the World in the Brief category and landed third place overall by collecting the most points. In addition, the top-four most awarded students in this year’s The Young Ones are all students from Berghs. This year, the school celebrates its 80th anniversary. “We are proud of 80 years with a proven educational concept, but we are also looking forward and continue to develop,” says Wallander, who also reveals that new courses are in the pipeline for the coming spring. “The way we work, live and build sustainable cities is changing. We have looked into industries with a future need for competence and identified urban planning and design. We will continue to grow our meeting place for creativity and synergies to build competence for the future.”

Photo: Hilda Randulv

Web: Facebook: BerghsSoC Instagram: @berghs LinkedIn: school/ berghs-school-of-communication

Photo: Hilda Randulv

Photo: Hilda Randulv

The format is flexible with courses onsite as well as online, where students and teachers can tune in from anywhere. Ortolani emphasises that the school is always challenging its education format. “Berghs is a gateway to the industry, and students and professionals reach out to us expecting the action-based learning that we’re known for, but we continue to challenge and blend approaches, accelerate the offerings online and also onsite at different destinations.” November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  97

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

Walls of life Born from the curiosity to explore what’s possible, Butong is on a mission to change built environments. Concrete panels of a patented material with the same name have placed Butong as industry leaders, and role models too. Offering vertical gardens with a strong emphasis on sustainability, this business is showing the world what growing architecture looks like – literally.

client receives a product tailored for their needs, while architects get a chance to be expressive and wear their creative hats. Passion goes into every single project and the results speak for themselves.

By Emma Rodin  |  Photos: Butong

Facing the challenges of the future, Butong inspires creative solutions that go way further than the borders of their industry. They believe that the sterile walls of today will vanish to be replaced by the living, breathing cities of tomorrow – and we’re all invited along on the journey.

The material, also called Butong, is made by pressing a cast substance between two sheets of bubble wrap, creating two mesh-structured panels. It’s light, versatile and cost effective. “Our method saves up to 80 per cent of the raw material by replacing it with air. We end up with a CO2-optimised façade product that can be used with or without plants,” explains Lars Höglund, CEO at Butong. The concrete panels can be formed and coloured to fit a specific design and come with little need for maintenance. No wonder they’ve become highly sought-after among property owners, both in Sweden and internationally. It’s not all about maintenance though. What makes Butong special is the environmental focus and impact of both brand and product. Höglund and his col98  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

leagues strive to keep their global footprint at a minimum, being responsible in every part of the process. Butong as a material has the power to help reduce rising temperatures in cities, improve air quality, reduce noise and even support biological diversity. Reflecting on the brand’s booming popularity, Höglund has a theory. “I think the increased interest goes hand in hand with cities growing bigger and becoming more crowded. To have organic life in our cities, we need to think vertically instead of horizontally, and that’s where we come in.” This is all part of a bigger brand vision, where vertical parks and walls of entire neighbourhoods are bursting with life. To find bespoke solutions for each client, Butong works closely with architects. This is a win-win partnership where a

Butong is changing the world with vertical gardens.

Web: Instagram: @butong.concrete. innovation

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

Erik Martinson.

The power is in our hands Svea Solar has an ambitious goal: to provide Europe with solar power for all. In an era when the shift from fossil fuel is more imperative than ever, the company provides what is perhaps not a full silver bullet, but a big proportion of it. By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Maria Cruseman

As a company, Svea Solar is well on its way on the trajectory to become the biggest solar power provider in Europe. Founded by two friends, Erik Martinson and Björn Lind, on the day after their university graduation in 2013, the company has grown at an exponential speed. With over 500 employees, it is currently supplying solar power to Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, with no intention of stopping there. Svea Solar’s solution is rooted in a holistic viewpoint, where a focus on communities across national borders is part of the foundation. “It’s a European electricity grid. It’s a scale game where growth is key: the more users that are connected to the grid, the more advantageous it will become. It’s an elastic system where our users can choose to store or feed back their surplus energy into the grid to supply power to the network,” Martinson explains.

This way, there will always be energy available promptly, whether you live in a sunny area or not. In conjunction with wind and water power, it’s a collaborative effort to provide a renewable system across countries. The architectural advantage Bold plans come with bold statements. “Architects have a crucial role in defining how we should live our lives. A huge responsibility, right? If we want our future to be a better version of today, solar energy needs to become a much more integrated part of the architectural design process,” says Martinson. “Considering that the evolution of renewable energy sources will only increase in pace, environmental and commercial success will depend on whether you’re adapting to the progress or not.” Currently providing power to residential buildings, housing cooperatives, agricul-

ture, businesses and solar parks, where solutions are flexible depending on the project, Martinson asserts that the notions of solar power being expensive and unaesthetic are outdated. Solar power is becoming more price effective than the alternatives, and solar panels can be tailored to the surface and surroundings. In the end, what motivates them? “We genuinely believe that solar power is the most efficient tool and greatest weapon to fight climate change. Our vision is to, as soon as possible, eliminate fossil fuels. Full stop.”

Web: Instagram: @sveasolar LinkedIn: Svea Solar

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  99

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

Right kolor at the right place We’re constantly surrounded by colours, yet sometimes it’s tricky to grasp their relationship to one another. What makes yellow turn into brown, and why doesn’t pink fly well with red? Kolormondo is the one-of-a-kind colour globe that helps you understand the patterns and connect the dots between the hues. Nicoline Kinch is an entrepreneur who fell in love with the science behind colour during a course on chromatics. “I finally understood how colours relate to each other, but I realised there wasn’t anything on the market that could explain it in a pedagogical manner,” says Kinch. She decided to take matters into her own hands. Using the Bauhaus scholar Johannes Itten’s colour star, she created something one ingenious step further: “To truly understand the distance and relationship between places on earth, you need a globe – and I believe the same is true for colour. I developed the colour globe with three dimensions: colour hue, brightness and saturation, going from white in the north to black in the south

100  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

and from light grey in the middle spreading out to the saturated, coloured edges.” Kolormondo comes in a physical and a digital version and is used in a number of industries where colour is crucial. It’s used by artists, architects, designers, hairdressers and university lecturers

By Nina Bressler

alike, but also in more surprising trades – sugar production being one of them. Colour affects everything in our daily lives, and Kolormondo is aiming to help more people out there to comprehend the interrelations between the countless variations. Oh, and it looks pretty nifty on your shelf, too.

Web: Instagram: @kolormondo

Left: Kolormondo globes, mixed sizes. Photo: Jan Zettergren. Right: Kolormondo used by professionals. Photo: Stina Gullander


ec Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Sweden

How can we live better in the future? Can a family of four live on 37 square metres? Can we live more sustainably without compromising our quality of life? And can architecture help us to live better? If you are visiting Copenhagen soon, make sure to visit the Living Better Lives exhibition and be inspired to think about architecture in a new way. By Danish Architecture Center (DAC)  |  Photos: Tunet Trekroner, by Melissa Ørnstrup, 2019

This autumn, Danish Architecture Center (DAC) invites you to experience the exhibition Living Better Lives, which zooms in on how we will – or might – live in the future. With sustainability and climate awareness topping every agenda, is it time to re-examine housing? After all, who says an abundance of square metres

and a brand-new ‘conversation kitchen’ bring happiness? Since the 1970s, the Danish architecture firm Vandkunsten has been demonstrating how living on fewer square metres can allow us to rediscover closeness, togetherness and security when it’s most About Danish Architecture Center (DAC) DAC is an international cultural attraction for anyone who wants to experience and understand how architecture and design create the framework for our lives. DAC is based in the heart of Copenhagen, by the inner harbour in the spectacular building BLOX. Facts:

Living Better Lives: 20 November to 18 April 2022. Danish Architecture Center (DAC) Bryghuspladsen 10

needed. Those values are more topical than ever.

Living Better Lives is structured like a small town with housing, a greenhouse, a communal meeting house and a playground. It’s a small community and a living town. The exhibition is based on a manifesto, formulated by the architects, in which they present five principles for the home of the future. The exhibition looks inward into the most private spheres – and the home is the perfect place to start if the aim is to make a difference for yourself, your family and the climate. Copenhagen is an architecture destination like no other, and DAC is your perfect go-to guide: from our home, BLOX, by the harbour in the city, and onward through guided tours. See you in Copenhagen, and at! Vandkunsten’s manifesto for the home of the future: Let’s live smaller and better! Let’s share more! Let nature move in! Let’s DIY, together! Let it be and enjoy its beauty!

1473 Copenhagen Opening hours: 10am to 6pm daily; Thursdays until 9pm


November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  101

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

Taking low-energy housing to the next level As Denmark’s first construction company completely committed to low-energy housing, Klimahuse has 50 years’ experience of building homes and more than ten years of building homes with minimal environmental footprints. Today, the advances in technology and increased interest have led to the creation of a number of larger low-energy housing developments in environmentally friendly and socially sustainable neighbourhoods. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Klimahuse

In recent years, the green zeitgeist has motivated many construction companies to branch out into environmental housing. For Klimahuse, however, the commit102  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

ment to the creation of low-energy housing is neither new nor circumstantial; it is the essence and vision of the company, and it has been so since 2010.

“We were the first construction company in Denmark to completely commit to environmentally friendly housing, and that means that we are at the very forefront when it comes to low-energy housing,” says Claus Keld Hansen, chairman of the board of Klimahuse. “But now we have taken things one step further – we are currently working with larger projects that aim to create socially sustainable communities as well as environmentally sustainability homes. It’s about combining our years of practical

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

Thanks to advances in technology, Klimahuse can today offer homes that are 100 per cent self-sufficient with regards to electricity and heating.

Right: Klimahuse is working on a number of larger projects, which will see the company’s low-energy houses combined with other sustainable features, such as rainwater collection and sustainable communities.

experience within low-energy housing with a bigger and broader vision of a sustainable society.” At the same time, Klimahuse has begun to work with the standards of DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) to get larger projects certified within the organisation’s environmental standards. A win-win business model Amazing as it sounds, applying the newest technologies and tried and tested solutions, Klimahuse can today offer a November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  103

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

home that is completely free from reliance on fossil fuels. This is possible thanks to a combination of high insulation levels, integrated solar panels, water reusage and house batteries for the storage of energy. However, Klimahuse strives not just to ensure that their houses live up to the company’s high environmental standards, but also to ensure that they fulfil all the needs and hopes of their clients, now and in the future. “The greatest job of any of our houses is to be a home, and that includes anything from the overall look of the house to the type of interior design, kitchen and bathroom our client wants and needs,” says Hansen. “However, it became clear quite quickly that we wouldn’t just help the environment – we would actually help our clients save quite a bit of money, too. It was literally a win-win situation for us, for the environment and for our customers. It wouldn’t make sense for us to cut corners or go for anything but high-quality products, because our purpose is so closely tied up in making a house that will still be Klimahuse headquarters.

104  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Growing ambitions

As part of the project, Klimahuse has bought 70 hectares of land, which will be transformed into 550 homes due to be ready in 2023. “We have a couple of major projects like this at the moment, and it is allowing us to not just fully exploit the many years of expertise we have in energy efficient construction, but also to work within a greater vision of social diversity and sustainability,” explains Hansen, and adds: “We have another similar, large project in Skibby [close to Roskilde], which also includes a local rainwater solution, allowing the water to slowly drain through the ground or via water viaducts to a rainwater lake. As we know, our climate is changing and larger rain falls are to be expected, this is one way of climate proofing the area while reducing the pressure on the existing sewage capacity.”

One of the major projects Klimahuse is currently involved in is one of Denmark’s first circular housing projects. Located in Holstebro, the project is based on a vison of a neighbourhood that is 100 per cent energy independent, and it will become one of the town’s largest ever newbuild projects.

But the homes and the new neighbourhood will provide a holistic approach not just to energy, climate, and the environment, but also to human and social resources. With homes for all age groups and family constellations, as well as communal gardens, conservatories, a

at the top of its game in years to come. We have to keep up with the newest developments in construction and environmental technology.” Ensuring this longevity also means working closely with clients to make sure that the house they get will meet their needs now as well as in ten or 20 years, creating flexible designs that allow for modification as families increase or decrease in size. Starting with a series of architect-drawn model houses, the company works with each client to choose the house that best meets their needs, then modifies it to fit them entirely, beginning with the layout of each room and ending with materials both inside and out.

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

common house, and even a farm area with chickens and sheep, the new neighbourhood in Holstebro is designed to create a strong and largely self-sufficient community, and the one in Skibby will include similar features. ‘It is all we do’

low-energy housing, and we are constantly pushing the limits to take things to the next level.” Web: Facebook: Klimahuse A/S Instagram: @klimahuse

Private clients can approach Klimahuse with their own plot of land in mind, ask Klimahuse for help with finding the perfect spot, or buy into one of the large-scale projects Klimahuse is currently building with investors across Denmark.

That Klimahuse is increasingly taking on larger and more ambitious projects within environmental and sustainable housing projects should, says Hansen, not really come as a surprise. With the decades of experience and exclusive focus on environmental construction, the company has gotten a strong head start compared to many of its competitors. “Making environmentally friendly housing has been our one and only goal and focus for the last ten years, and I believe that’s our strength compared to many of our colleagues who try to do both – keep one foot in the regular construction industry and at the same time try to get a foothold in low-energy housing,” he says. “It is like in the car industry; you clearly see that though most companies are now offering electric models, the one that has been focusing only on electric is miles ahead. That’s us in the construction industry – we do nothing but November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  105

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

Jyderup prison.

Re-shaping a more sustainable society A well-established company rooted in the traditions of Nordic architecture, Alex Poulsen Arkitekter strive to engage creatively and consciously with the world around them. Through inventive, socially viable and authentic projects, they aim to participate with and give back to society. By Trine Jensen-Martin  |  Photos: Alex Poulsen Arkitekter

“We believe that our projects have to be of value to the community,” explains managing director and partner Jonas Hviid Mønster. Alex Poulsen Arkitekter (APA) do not claim to be unique, nor do they compare themselves with others or point fingers at people who do not follow their ethos. APA do what they love and do it their way. And they evidently enjoy the creative process and overcoming challenges throughout. Recently, two diverse projects did just this, while fit106  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

ting under what Hviid Mønster calls “the umbrella of society”. Jyderup prison – Denmark’s first all-female prison A current APA project is the redevelopment of Denmark’s first all-female prison in more than 20 years, when the last prison for women in Amstrup closed its doors. Jyderup prison reopened on 11 October this year, now only housing female inmates.

APA has a long history of rebuilding social spaces, aiming to engage with societal needs without compromising on quality, comfort or functionality. The work on Jyderup is a prime example and encompasses many principal values of the company. The focus has been to create a space where all inmates feel safe, and where their everyday lives are markedly improved. The importance of a sheltered space for female inmates is vital, and APA has been working closely with Kriminalforsorgen, the body in charge of the Danish penal system, to ensure that Jyderup is secure and practical, while being “welcoming and less institutionalised”, as Hviid Mønster puts it. Many of the women have children,

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

The changes to the buildings were made while it was still operating as a prison for inmates of different genders, and the logistics of creating a different space in those circumstances were among the bigger challenges. It was a thoroughly planned yet organic project as a result, and the role of APA went beyond their expertise in designing high-security facilities; the ongoing liaison and dialogue with all involved parties was crucial. Trifolium – A playful universe in Copenhagen’s Sydhavn


and in this reimagined place, which includes family rooms, they can comfortably spend time with their relatives. The new prison allows Kriminalforsorgen to provide targeted education and training to, and treatment for, these women, who make up four per cent of current Danish inmates. “We worked very closely with the prison staff and Kriminalforsorgen, ensuring that the day-to-day running of Jyderup remained largely unaffected by the changes we were putting in place,” says Hviid Mønster. “This was challenging, but also fun and satisfying to find solutions and overcome potential problems.”


At the other end of the spectrum of APA’s portfolio is Trifolium, a creative re-shaping of an exciting property. The firm is staying true to its value DNA in terms of the essence of this project, yet this is a very different kind of space. What is currently happening in Sydhavn is very exciting. “One of the most exhilarating things about this project is working alongside developers keen to create something truly original and off the scale, and joining forces with people who are already inhabiting some of the spaces in Sydhavn. It’s a really fun project to be a part of, genuinely passionate and challenging,” says Hviid Mønster. The playfulness embedded in the development of Trifolium is evident, as is the thrill of teaming up with compatible creative and sustainably focused minds. The

attention in the construction work itself is on reusing existing materials, including repairing old windows rather than replacing them, and using structures already in place instead of creating new ones. Much of Trifolium is re-imagined rather than created, and Hviid Mønster explains how the nature of the place springs from what was already there, rather than being invented anew. The transformations taking place at Trifolium link directly back to the materials and colours originally used in the construction work in the ‘60s. “It is wonderful to be a part of this development at this stage, because the area still has an unapologetically authentic feel to it. It is inevitable that the nature of this place will change as it is developed over the next many years,” Hviid Mønster reflects. Trifolium is an experiment for creative companies, who all contribute positively to the community, and it houses many different companies, people and passions. It plays an integral part in the redevelopment of the last pocket of undeveloped land in Copenhagen, and it seems fitting that APA plays a crucial part in the regeneration of this unique space.

Web: Instagram: @alexpoulsenarkitekter LinkedIn: Alex Poulsen Arkitekter A/S

Photo: Kriminalforsorgen

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  107

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

Designed to make the most of a new building site, this new home in Ry provides shelter and privacy in an otherwise open and unsheltered space and combines cosy comforts such as an indoor fireplace with a practical and economic layout. Below: Designed in wood all the way through from interior to insulation and exterior, this recently finished holiday home fully utilises the many natural qualities of wood: its ability to create a healthy indoor climate, a negative carbon footprint, and a warm yet elegant aesthetic.

Building an arena for life We all need a roof over our head, but most of us want more than that. We want something that gives us safety and comfort, but we also want a home that captures and enhances the meaning of our everyday life. For Danish architecture firm Nordpil Arkitekter, enabling the fulfilment of that dream is at the heart of all projects. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Nordpil

Uncovering the core of people’s everyday life and creating an architectural framework to lift and enhance that has been the driving vision of Nordpil Arkitekter since the firm’s foundation. “Whether it is at work, in your home, or at your child’s nursery, the life you live is always the starting point for our designs,” explains architect Kim Pretzmann Olesen, who founded Nordpil Arkitekter together with construction architect Bashar Nasouri. “Our designs manifest people’s everyday life in all its facets, and we see it as our finest job to increase the quality of that. By bringing in elements that combine 108  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

functionality and enhanced materiality, we can create spaces where people feel happy and relaxed, spaces with comfortable lighting, a healthy climate and a positive atmosphere for life to unfold in.”

Since merging their independent companies two years ago, Olesen, Nasouri, and their team of architects, renovations specialists and construction architects, have turned this approach into a string of new homes and holiday houses, renovations and extensions all over Denmark. More recently, the firm has also started designing for larger projects, such as nurseries and residential complexes for commercial developers. Turning necessity into art While Nordpil Arkitekter’s designs all take their starting point in the life of the people who live, work or play in them, that does not mean that any two projects are alike. On the contrary: whether it is a new holiday house, the extension of an old villa, or a nursery design, Nordpil Arkitekter applies what Olesen calls an “architectural opportunism”. This means

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

that each project is shaped by its individual opportunities, financial limitations and practical requirements, and that is not, stresses Olesen, a bad thing.

ers so many aspects of what we do, creating places for people to be together, healthy environments, and long-lived solutions,” stresses Olesen.

“We don’t believe architecture is architecture when it’s just on the paper – it won’t be until it has actually been built, and that is why our designs are inspired by both the possibilities and the limitations given by a specific project. That is also why you won’t see a specific style that runs through all our projects. We have no desire to be known for that. We prefer to do it the other way around; we take our starting point in the specific site and the people we are working with, and because of that, the architectural and material choices will be unique each time, because humans, budgets and places are all different.”

Taking advantage of the natural sustainable qualities of wood is one of the simple but efficient tools often used by Nordpil Arkitekter. Indeed, as a qualified carpenter, Olesen is a great fan of the material and its many advantages. “When you build in wood, it will have absorbed carbon, unlike other materials that generate CO2 in production, and then it has a lot of amazing natural properties. It creates a healthy indoor climate and a warm atmosphere.” Flexible and long-lived Nordpil Arkitekter’s ambition to ensure that buildings are as sustainable as prac-

tically possible also entails a focus on longevity, space efficiency and flexibility. This means, for instance, ensuring that walls can be moved when a young family member leaves home, or even that entire extensions can be removed and sold when no longer needed. “The best way to make sure that we can defend our designs is to ensure that they are not static – that they can be brought into the future. This also means that it will take longer before new changes and expansions are needed, and in the end, ironically, the most sustainable square metres are those that aren’t built,” asserts Olesen. Web: Facebook: nordpil-arkitekter Instagram: @nordpilarkitekter

This approach to architecture also entails a dedication to following the project all the way to the end, from the first sketches to planning applications and building-site management. Sustainable architecture through common sense The focus on individual clients also means that while principles of sustainability and durability are always integrated in Nordpil Arkitekter’s designs, it is not about advanced analyses and statistics. “For us and the clients we work with, expensive analysis and data sheets do not really make sense. But it still makes sense to talk about sustainability. It cov-

Above and bottom left: “Many of the things we work with on a smaller scale, we also apply in larger scale designs,” explains Olesen. “In the nursery, we transferred the concept of familiar closeness to create a number of shared spaces. We’ve melted together some of those spaces with the connecting halls to create a sort of DNA string running through the entire building.” Bottom right: Newbuild in Ry.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  109

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

Research and education centre, new psychiatric hospital in Slagelse, Denmark.

Karlsson Arkitekter: design ‘for those who need it the most’ Perched on the bank of a quaint canal in Copenhagen’s oldest quarter, design studio Karlsson Arkitekter is the name behind some of Denmark’s newest, most innovative healthcare architecture. By Lena Hunter  |  Photos: Karlsson arkitekter/Jens Lindhe

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

Designing Danish welfare Since its founding in 2007, the small firm has seen a windfall of awards come its way. In 2016, they were awarded Denmark’s Farvepris for their “conscious use of colour and its interplay with architecture” and landed Architectural Review’s inaugural Healthcare Award. They won MIPIM’s prestigious Best Healthcare Development prize in 2017, while 2019 and 2021 saw Karlsson pick up two more Danish architecture awards. Karlsson Arkitekter’s admirable portfolio falls under the category of modern public welfare architecture – hospitals, care homes, high-security facilities and the like – in which their approach is unprecedentedly analytical. “We design for a wellprepared society – for people who find it hard to understand and to use the world,” explains founder Christian Karlsson. Slagelse Psychiatric Hospital Karlsson Arkitekter’s most notable project is the 1.3 billion DKK psychiatric hospital in Slagelse, completed in 2015. The construction spans 44,000 square metres across multiple interconnected, smaller buildings and a main centre reaching five floors high. Inside, a cavernous atrium is flanked by balconies of varnished birch and filled with beaming natural light. At each end, elegant twin corkscrew staircases draw the gaze upward to a bright, angled glass ceiling. Outside, small gardens, paths, and open-plan communal areas all conform to the central design principles of transparency and versatility.

But despite the impressive scale, the interior never dwarfs. On the contrary, the unobstructed lines of vision encourage a sense of comforting oversight. ‘For those who need it the most’ Around 800 people use the building each day – short and long-term patients, as well as administrative and healthcare staff. With that in mind, the architecture needs to accommodate diverse needs and routines. “This was exciting. It’s an understudied area – there was no reference project for us or for the client,” says Karlsson. A major touchstone of the project was the concept of the recovery process. “From being in a state where you can’t manage the world, until the day you step out of the hospital again – it’s a constantly evolving process. So your need for space, contact and stimulus also changes a lot,” explains Karlsson. A hierarchy of stimuli But existing psychiatric clinics aren’t built on that philosophy – so Karlsson Arkitekter decided to flip it. “We defined some general, recognisable values of wellness and said, ‘this is what we’re aiming for’. To be part of a normal life where you socialise and meet people,” he says. Especially innovative was the use of interconnected spaces that suited patients’ changing needs throughout recovery. The ‘hierarchy of stimuli’ is a physical reflection of psychological process and transition.

Architecturally, this meant transparency between spaces. Karlsson theorised that enabling patients and staff to mingle openly would promote an aura of understanding and enable patients to be a part of their own healing process. Daylight was another crucial feature. 52 gardens are integrated into the construction. Natural light imbues a tangible sense of the changing hours and seasons to support a natural circadian rhythm and aid sleep – a pivotal factor in wellness. Ahead of the curve “I think we’re ahead of the curve in Denmark. Region Sjælland – who commissioned the hospital in Slagelse – was unusually ambitious, and it paid off. There’s a lot of international interest in our work,” says Karlsson. Now, all eyes are on the studio’s latest completion – a highsecurity hospital in Trondheim in Norway. Meanwhile, a new project on a beautiful natural site in Kristiansand, southern Norway, will house 80 inpatients over 12,500 square metres. Situated at a forest’s edge, the design centres on the interplay between out- and inside so that the rhythm of the day, weather changes and flora and fauna of the surrounds are integrated into the building. Further afield, Karlsson Arkitekter has also been shortlisted to design a hospital for behavioural and addiction treatment in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island in Canada. “Our work includes, besides hospitals for psychiatric treatment, research into new architecture for people with dementia and new centres for the homeless,” says Karlsson. “We have a strong welfare model in Denmark. It’s exciting and positive to ask how buildings can mirror the social problems and help those who need it the most,” he concludes. Web: Facebook: Karlsson Arkitekter Instagram: @karlssonark

Left: Main entrance, new psychiatric hospital in Slagelse, Denmark. Right: Shared area, new psychiatric hospital in Slagelse, Denmark.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  111

: Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Iceland eScan D

m he



Where the unassuming meets the extraordinary Meet Minarc, a globally recognised design studio that doesn’t confine to tradition. Think unexpected materials, a strong holistic and environmental direction, and a desire to always do better. Adhering to sustainable practices and design standards, Minarc uses architecture to blur the line between the outdoors and indoors, the expected and the unexpected – challenging what’s possible for clients around the world. By Emma Rödin  |  Photos: Art Gray

Based in sunny California, Minarc draws influence from Iceland, a corner of the Earth that could be described as the polar opposite. Founders Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson both originate from this place, which is widely known as the country of fire and ice. Famous for its harsh climate and striking natural beauty, it’s hardly surprising that this barren part of the world has come to represent such a big part of Minarc. 112  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

a shared appreciation for the absence of barriers and respect for open, integrated living spaces. “This understanding has become a key element of each project. We use what we know, where we came from, and what we understand,” adds Tryggvi. The Minarc Group

“Me and Tryggvi are long-term partners in both life and business. We’re leading principals and head designers at our firm, working side by side and constantly creating and dreaming of new ideas for what we can and will do,” explains Erla. The pair has always been passionate about sustainable practices, promoting architecture that highlights what’s outside in our natural surroundings while heralding warmth and socialising inside. There’s

There’s more to Minarc than just an award-winning design studio. It sits under the Minarc Group umbrella, which is best described as a set of collective subsidiaries bringing thoughtful, modern design to an international landscape. The other pieces of the Minarc jigsaw include mnmMOD, Plús Hús and ERLA Construction, which together translate into a holistic and environmentally aware approach that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the firm’s clientele.

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Iceland

All this comes together to create an expertise applied to projects ranging from commercial and residential to small-scale renovations, all the way to full-blown construction works. “We treat all of our projects equally, and the process to achieve something no matter how large or small is always the same,” explains Erla.

mnmMOD is a prefabricated panel system that replaces traditional wood framing. It provides structure and insulation that can be cladded with any exterior and interior finishes clients want. “Using mnmMOD, we can speed up the building process, which in the long-run means lower energy bills and less maintenance as mnmMOD panels don’t mould, catch fire, get termites or warp,” says Tryggvi. Additionally, there’s Plús Hús, an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) design service developed by the two Minarc founders. Plús Hús offers simple, efficient multipurposed structures designed to help anyone add an affordable, environmentally responsible space to their property. And let’s not forget ERLA Construction. Founded by Erla, this is a full-service general contracting firm built on integrity and an unconditional commitment to the highest quality in the implementation of projects. By forging relationships based on teamwork and smooth execution, ERLA Construction contributes a hands-on approach, resulting in the success of Minarc projects, and continuously strives to be a forerunner in the interest of sustainability. Smart solutions and mighty materials Line up the projects signed Minarc side by side and you’ll begin to see – or not see,



rather – what connects the dots. The deliberate absence of paint, tiles and carpet might sound curious to the uninitiated, but makes perfect sense once you look at the full picture. Then there’s the perhaps unusual, yet innovative, use of reclaimed wood, recycled glass, rubber tires and cement panels. All hallmarks of Minarc designs, these are complemented by eco-conscious decisions like the use of warm, natural materials such as walnut, birch and ipe – a durable South American wood that can last up to half a century.

Construction aside, Minarc’s designs can also be obtained in the form of interior products. The agency has its own range with carefully crafted items designed for sustainable living. Right now, the DROPi chair is a definite bestseller, inspired by – you guessed it – a droplet. The idea is that DROPi appears to descend in a free fall from the heavens, showered by yards of fabric that gently cradle the softly curved seat of moulded metal. DROPi is available for purchase worldwide on Etsy. And there you have it, Minarc in a nutshell – a firm that hopes to remain fiercely driven and idealistic for years to come. In tune with its natural ties, Minarc is consistently evolving and growing, hoping to change the way buildings are built. “We must all strive to build smarter and do better,” concludes Erla. Web: Instagram: @minarcdesign

Erla and Tryggvi. Photo: Asta Kristjans

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  113

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Iceland

Jigsaw puzzles of sustainable architecture The emphasis for A2F is always on reducing the environmental impact of their architecture: choosing the materials that are best suited for the function of the buildings while taking the landscape, weather and social aspects into account. In 2010, husband-and-wife team Falk Krüger and Adalheidur Atladottir established the architecture firm AF in Reykjavik. When Filip Nosek from Berlin joined them in 2014, they became A2F. Atladottir talks enthusiastically about their holistic approach to designing buildings: “We work closely with our clients’ wishes from beginning to end.” To her, a

building is part of the bigger context: the environment, the geology, the history and society that surround it. “I want to create structures that have positive social impacts wherever they are built,” she says. She describes each project as a jigsaw puzzle: the requirements of the land, authorities and regulations that do not always allow for the client’s wishes. But Atladottir

Left: Award-winning project: FMOS Upper Secondary High School, Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Completed in 2014. Photo: A2F. Right: Adalheidur Atladottir. Photo: Díana Júlíusdóttir

114  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

By Karin Blak

likes the challenge of putting the pieces together, creating buildings the client loves and which fit with their individual purpose. The versatility of being a small company enables A2F to take on projects ranging from interior design and urban planning to larger architectural developments. “We can adapt and work with any project, no matter the size, and taking part in each stage of the process gives our clients a continuity in the relationship we develop with them.” When Atladottir was ten years old, she wanted to become a teacher, an artist or an architect. She has achieved all three, lecturing at universities in Reykjavik and being a partner at A2F. She reflects on how art plays a part in architecture: “The art is combining the aesthetics with the technical aspects. When these two things come together, you have achieved something quite beautiful.” Web: Facebook: a2farchitects Instagram: @a2f_architects


Left: K2S Architects, Ylivieska Church 2021. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo. Right: JKMM Architects, Kirkkonummi Library 2020. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo.

Architecture in tune with nature Finnish architecture is usually known for its closeness to nature. The reasons for this are a low population density and late urbanisation, which is why people still know to live with northern nature and the use of local resources, such as wood, as a building material. By Kristo Vesikansa, editor-in-chief of Finnish Architectural Review, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA)

This tradition offers Finnish architects good conditions for pursuing carbonneutral construction, although its potential has not yet been fully exploited.

In any case, timber construction has increased its popularity, and the Wood City, designed by Anttinen Oiva Architects, shows that it can even be used to build

high-rise residential and office complexes in the centre of Helsinki. Many architects today think that, instead of complex technical systems, the path to sustainable architecture can be found in traditional building techniques. For example, K2S architects have designed a new church in Ylivieska with solid masonry walls, timber roof trusses and natural ventilation. The steep-roof exterior references medieval parish churches, while natural light fills the interior in a way similar to that in modernist sacral buildings. The pursuit of sustainability has made conserving, reusing and transforming existing buildings an increasingly important part of architects’ work. This is indicated by the fact that the Architecture Finlandia Award has been given to such a project three years in a row. The most recent winner is the Kirkkonummi Library by JKMM Architects, where the old building was wrapped inside a copper-plated extension.

Anttinen Oiva Architects, Wood City, Helsinki 2021. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo


November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  115

Left: Illustration of an ongoing land-use plan for an ecological semi-urban settlement in Finland. The wooden housing design is a collaboration between Tommila and Kaleidoscope, the overall plan being by Tommila Architects. Illustration: KVANT-1. Right: The prefabricated CLT ‘building set’ of repetitive elements is efficient and economical. Digital fabrication allows for playfulness of form within the framework of the CNC machine. The design explores three-dimensional expressions, creating the new identity of the area. Illustration: KVANT-1.

Thinking beyond architecture Since its foundation in 1984, Tommila Architects Ltd, based in Finland, has been at the forefront of Nordic innovation by combining the practices of traditional architectural design with urban design. Today, they partner with Norwegian firm Kaleidoscope Nordic. With the collaboration, the companies want to be a driving force for change in the Nordics. By Ndéla Faye  |  Illustrations: KVANT-1

Tommila Architects is a multidisciplinary team with a wide-ranging skillset. Part of their strength comes from the team’s varied backgrounds that enable them to cater to a range of needs and better understand different viewpoints. “We always aim to meet the ever-changing and increasingly complex needs of today’s society,” says Miia-Liina Tommila, the architecture firm’s CEO, and daughter of the company’s founder, Mauri Tommila. The architecture firm’s extensive portfolio showcases talent and innovative thinking by combining architecture, urban and ecological design, as well as construction. Their aim is to deliver fresh, inspiring and 116  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

sustainable solutions that meet the needs of people, business and environment. Some of Tommila Architects’ most notable recent projects include transformation of the Arabia135 quarter in Helsinki, a historically industrial city block that today houses the Metropolia University of Applied Science and the Pop and Jazz Conservatory creative campus. The campus is an excellent example of functional design, as it needs to also cater to possible future evolution of educational needs. “As with all our projects, userfriendliness is key, so we worked in close collaboration with the users in coming up with new solutions,” Tommila explains.

In collaboration with the users, Tommila Architects designed Soiva – meaning resonant or musical – which is a building for making music, also part of the Arabia creative campus. Tommila Architects and Kaleidoscope Nordic sketched together the architectural concept of the music house that encourages casual meetings and a sense of communality among the occupants. The window configuration alludes to the medieval musical notation, giving identity to Soiva. The project itself was quite challenging, due to space constraints in the tightlybuilt factory quarter, as well as having to come up with new, versatile uses of the space that cater to evolving training needs. “We considered the users’ needs in this project, too, and decided to create music tuition rooms for versatile acoustic needs rather than different instruments, enabling high spatial efficiency, for example. We also designed several monitoring and editing rooms, which are clustered

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Nordic Architecture and Design – Finland

Left: The Arabia Creative campus brings new creative life to old factory spaces and reveals the rational concrete framework of the original building. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo. Middle: The spacious atrium of Soiva fills with natural light and caters for social encounters, and the rhythm of the facade continues in the interior spaces. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo. Right: Project by Kaleidoscope. Illustration of a vision for the future of Ulsteinvik in Norway. At the core of the project is an energy-efficient smart grid system. The photovoltaic ‘SmartPERGOLA’ modules create sheltered meeting places and generate energy. Illustration: KVANT-1. Bottom: Project by Kaleidoscope. Dolvik is a housing project with focus on prefabricated wood construction and a re-interpretation of traditional Nordic framework architecture. Illustration: KVANT-1.

around recording spaces so that they can be used simultaneously in various combinations, which is ground-breaking in pedagogy,” Tommila states. Creating environments that are good for people and nature In a venture aiming to be a driving force for fresh, Nordic architecture, Tommila is collaborating with Kaleidoscope, an architecture firm based in Bergen. Kaleidoscope was born in 2014, after Tommila’s studies in Norway, when she and her fellow colleagues entered the architectural competition Europan12 and won first prize for their proposal, named Kaleidoscope. Since then, the company has grown in numbers, and Kaleidoscope is now an eight-strong team of architects.

Together, Kaleidoscope and Tommila Architects have a joint strategy, where the companies are harnessing the extensive knowledge between the two teams. “We have a lot in common, but it’s our differences that are our main inspiration. We have an investigative, curious and empathetic approach, which ensures we understand the true needs of people, business and the environment,” says Tommila. Tommila Architects and Kaleidoscope are also involved with product development relating to circular economy in Norway. Kaleidoscope and Tommila Architects’ speciality is using wood in architecture. Recently, the two firms joined forces and entered an invited competition at Kerava Housing Fair in Finland to design an

innovative wooden apartment building. “Our planet’s resources are already overused, so we feel compelled to do what we can to use sustainable solutions and renewable materials in our designs. We want to be at the forefront of bringing new materials to architectural design,” Tommila explains. The company is committed to being a part of inclusive, participatory urban development. With Kaleidoscope, Tommila Architects are part of Nordic Works collective, which specialises in user-orientated and participatory urban planning for municipalities, businesses and communities. “Somewhere along the way, humans have become disconnected from nature. Whether it’s by maximising natural light in our designs, or carefully considering our building materials, we aim to create harmonious and inspiring environments that are good for people and nature,” she adds. It is evident that Tommila Architects wants to shape a better future, and be a driving force in pushing change forward. “As architects, we have a duty to come up with solutions that leave meaningful marks on the environment we live in,” the CEO concludes.

Web: Instagram: @tommilaarchitects @kaleidoscopenordic

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  117

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

Innovative high-quality face masks When the first waves of Covid-19 washed over Norway and the country closed down, protective gear was high in demand and short in supply. When the Norwegian government sent out a message asking for help, innovative minds in Sykkylven heeded the call, created the company InnoVern, and immediately started producing high-quality face masks.

weeks hired staff, assembled suppliers and production equipment and started the production of surgery-grade face masks.”

By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Tommy Rasmussen

InnoVern, becoming Norway’s first specialised factory producing surgical face masks, was officially opened in November 2020. The factory was opened by then Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who stated: “InnoVern is doing a very important job, and deserves heartfelt thanks and a big applause.”

The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise as it spread across continents through the end of 2019 and early 2020. Unprepared, with very little stock in terms of protective gear, Norwegian hospitals and health institutions were struggling to provide their staff with the security needed in an unprecedented situation. Import of equipment from other countries was restricted and took too long, and the necessary quality couldn’t be ensured. When the Norwegian government asked for help from domestic companies who might produce equipment locally, Sykkylvenbased company InnoVern was founded. “There is a large innovative and creative 118  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

industry community in Sykkylven,” says CEO Grethe Loe. “So when the country locked down and the borders closed, founder Lars Einar Riksheim gathered the necessary people and in a matter of

Facemask production factory.

20 million face masks for Norwegian hospitals

The company’s first order was for 20 million face masks for use in Norwegian hospitals – but InnoVern’s work won’t stop once the pandemic ends. A national health preparedness plan aims to make sure that Norway will never be as unprepared again, and InnoVern, which today has 14 employees, is looking towards the future, in terms of both production and the actual product. Its goal: developing

Scan Magazine  |  Business Feature  |  InnoVern

surgical face masks as safe and comfortable as possible. Developing innovative and sustainable high-quality masks Surgical-grade face masks typically come in two different grades. Type II is less secure but easier to breathe through. Type IIR, the splash-resistant and most secure type, is harder to breathe in due to its density and material. Now InnoVern has managed to combine the level of security of Type IIR with the breathability of Type II, ensuring that the wearer gets enough oxygen and comfort throughout the day. The new face mask, named InnoVern Duo, has already been tested and CE-approved as both Type II and Type IIR. This, in turn, eliminates errors that can occur when users are confused by the Type II and Type IIR labelling – confusion that can increase the risk of infection for the wearer.

Another aspect of producing face masks locally as opposed to importing them is sustainability. Producing the goods locally using Norwegian and European suppliers reduces emissions and improves stability in terms of delivery. Automating the production process to the fullest extent effectively cuts down material waste, and InnoVern continually cooperates with suppliers on developing more sustainable raw materials. In addition, InnoVern is an inclusive company, hiring and training immigrants and offering language courses for its employees. Emphasising diversity, it’s also gender-conscious and aims to have a workforce of both old and young employees. But not only hospitals and health institutions need face masks. Athletes are among those who will continue to wear infection protection in the future and need

face masks that are secure and easy to breathe in. InnoVern was recently announced as the official supplier of face masks to Olympiatoppen, an organisation that is part of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, responsible for training Norwegian elite athletes. This contract not only ensures a continuous flow of products to Olympiatoppen, but also deliveries earmarked for the Olympic Games. This means that the Norwegian athletes will be using face masks from InnoVern during the 2022 Beijing Olympics, the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Paralympics, and several Youth Olympics Games. Web:

“The InnoVern Duo face mask is notably easier to breathe in and improves my working day.” Magnus Brevik, professional driver.

Top left: InnoVern was opened by then Prime Minister Erna Solberg, here with founder Lars Einar Riksheim (left) and production manager Mathias Grebstad (right). Bottom: CEO Grethe Loe, production manager Mathias Grebstad and purchasing manager May Lisbeth Riksheim.

“I think InnoVern Duo face masks have a very good fit, and that they’re comfortable to wear, while simultaneously being easy to breathe in. This is important since I wear face masks pretty much all day long at work.” Camilla Brandal, doctor.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  119

Scan Magazine  |  Design Studio of the Month  |  Norway

Left: Mendel’s, a luxury French pastry shop in Oslo, received a delicious new look. Right: The right colour scheme supports a brand’s communication.

Design Studio of the Month, Norway

Design for growth April Design, an Oslo-based design agency, approaches all of its projects with the same purpose: helping others express what they are about as clearly and efficiently as possible – and with plenty of passion. By Hanna Heiskanen  |  Photos: April Design

When asked what April Design is all about, business partners Catharina H. Wedel and Marianne Spernes quickly settle on two words: quality and passion. The pair, who set up their joint venture

in 2015, have been working together for almost ten years. April Design covers the entire spectrum of brand building, from logos and visual identity to brand names and design for various products in print, digital and packaging. “We are passionate about good design in all its forms,” Wedel says. “As designers, we see the role of an agency as a partner, not just a supplier.”

The designer-founders have an international background; Spernes was educated in the UK and has worked in Milan, and Wedel studied in Los Angeles, giving them a different perspective on Nordic design. “We would say that it’s efficient and clean, not because Nordic people are minimalists but because we want to express ourselves precisely.” While both Spernes and Wedel enjoy working with visual identity, “we don’t have dream projects, we have dream clients. As long as we can challenge ourselves, we are satisfied. And whoever we are working with, we want to help the clients communicate their values and vision through design.”

What does that mean in practice? Working hand in hand with the clients’ decision makers. “Often a new name or new design is a strategic move to show that a company is changing. Our approach involves getting a thorough understanding of the business, but also of why they want change,” Wedel and Spernes explain. “We love to dig into the client’s DNA to discover elements to work with.”

Top: A stylish annual report for Stingray, who offer technological solutions for the fishing industry.  Bottom: Bruse is a fibre broadband and smart-home provider, the brand name and visual identity of which April Design developed.

120  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Sometimes even small adjustments can have a big impact. Spernes mentions how simply updating a company logo can instantly bring it from 2001 to today – and show that it’s ready for the future.

Web: Facebook: April Design Instagram: @aprildesignoslo LinkedIn: April Design AS

Scan Magazine  |  Museum of the Month  |  Denmark

Museum of the Month, Denmark

The gruesome yet fascinating history of witch hunts in Denmark and Europe HEX! Museum of Witch Hunt is located in the heart of historic Ribe. The museum focuses on one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history. In Denmark alone, around 1,000 people were brutally killed for practising witchcraft. Ribe was a major centre for the witch trials in Denmark, and you can still witness the magic and folklore around the city.

acquitted. But the king took control of the trial, and Maren was eventually executed as a gruesome witch. Later, her name was cleared, and she is now viewed as a great heroine,” says Lindgaard.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: HEX! Museum of Witch Hunt

The museum primarily uses audio and visual storytelling, making it suitable for everyone, although it is advised that young children do not visit the museum due to the darkness of the theme.

HEX! Museum of Witch Hunt is one of the first museums, not just in Denmark but in Europe, with a dedicated focus on witch hunts. The hunts escalated in Denmark after 1617, when King Christian IV prohibited all forms of magic. At this point, not only black but also white magic was seen as a crime, and all Danes had a responsibility to raise trials. “This helped the witch trials explode. In the following eight years, a witch was burned every five days,” explains Louise Hauberg Lindgaard, historian at HEX! Museum of Witch Hunt. But despite witch hunts being an important part of history, there are still many myths surrounding these horrifying years. “Many people believe that only women were burned, while in fact ten per cent of

the executed witches in Denmark were men, and in all of Europe the number is about 20 or 25 per cent,” says Lindgaard. Another myth is that the church was behind the witch hunts. But in Denmark, it was in fact the common people and the nobility that started the trials. “While the elite feared a pact with the devil as the source of magical powers, common folks concentrated on the misfortunes of daily life. But both saw witchcraft as a horrible threat,” explains Lindgaard. HEX! is located in the old renaissance centre of Ribe, which is infamous for its many witch trials. Ribe was also home to the best-known Danish witch trial against Maren Spliids, who was burned in 1641. “Her case was completely atypical; she was well off and respected, and actually

Web: Facebook: HEX Museum of Witch Hunt Instagram: @hexmuseum

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  121

Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Experience of the Month, Denmark

A stepping stone to nature Back in June, Thy National Park opened the doors to its brand-new Thy National Park Centre, located in Nr. Vorupør. The purpose of the centre is to connect the coastal village with nature and inspire guests to go for a hike in Denmark’s greatest wilderness. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Rasmus Hjortshøj

Thy National Park Centre is a stepping stone to vast coastal dunes and heathlands, limestone slopes, the Atlantic Wall, deserted villages and clear lakes – quite literally. “We purposefully created two doors when building Thy National Park Centre: one that connects the centre to the village, and one that connects the centre to nature,” explains Else Østergaard Andersen, head of Thy National Park. Thy National Park covers 244 square kilometres and stretches along the coast of north-west Jutland. Here, you can experience some of Denmark’s wildest and most unspoilt nature. If you are lucky, you might spot some red deer, cranes and otters while exploring the wilderness. “The forces of nature are strong here, and humans have been unable to control nature in this part of the country. Everything you see in the park is shaped 122  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

by sand, salt, the wind and the ocean,” says Østergaard Andersen. A royal urge to explore The centre opened on 15 June and, since then, 60,000 guests have visited the centre, including Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, who visited in August. The purpose of the centre is to get more people to explore the surrounding nature. “Many guests are unfamiliar with what the park has to offer and what you can experience here. The centre is a place to get information, ask questions and learn what Thy National Park has to offer,” explains Østergaard Andersen. In the newly built centre, you will find a 12.5-metre-long reconstruction of the national park. This gives a good impression of the park, and you will without a doubt then get an urge to explore the wilderness. Furthermore, a film plays

above the reconstruction so that you can listen to short stories about the park. On the back wall, you’ll find information about the kinds of plants and the wildlife you can expect to encounter in the park: heathlands, unspoilt dunes, small lakes and much more. Finally, when visiting Thy National Park Centre, you’ll always be able to meet the passionate local volunteers who can tell you everything you need to know about their beloved Thy National Park, making your trip there one to remember.

Opening hours: February to April: 12-4pm daily May to September: 10am to 5pm daily October to 22 December: 12-4pm daily 23 December to January: Closed Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Web: Facebook: Nationalpark Thy

Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Faroe Islands

Experience of the Month, Faroe Islands

Experience magical landscapes and a lively culture on the Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands are known for wild weather, fermented foods and a landscape that takes your breath away. Heimdal Tours can show you everything the Faroe Islands have to offer. Whether you wish to see the lush greenery by foot or by car, you’ll be astonished by its beauty. And, naturally, you also have to taste the traditional winddried, fermented lamb and other local foods before leaving.

Islands is like no other place on Earth. It’s a landscape of contrasts: lush greenery, valleys, deep-blue sea, steep cliffs and mountains. The Faroe Islands also have a rich bird life, with puffins probably the most popular among visitors.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Heimdal Tours

Heimdal Tours offers customised trips and activities for individuals and small groups of up to nine people. Whether you wish to explore the magnificent nature of the Faroe Islands on a hike, you prefer to enjoy the stunning views from a car, you’re visiting only to taste the traditional food, or you wish to experience the landscape from the seaside, Heimdal Tours can make it happen. “We offer a myriad of activities. Visitors can go on both longer and shorter hikes, and if you for one reason or another are unable to hike, we also offer sightseeing trips where we drive you around. Some visitors book an activity for just one day, while others prefer that we schedule activities during their entire stay on the Faroe Islands,” says Tummas Rubeksen, director of Heimdal Tours.

Moreover, Heimdal Tours offers tours on small fishing boats, kayaking, and local food experiences. The Faroe Islands have a rich food culture, which is a must to experience. Whether you wish to do so in a restaurant or visit locals in their homes and dine with them, Heimdal Tours can make it all possible.

“There are so many nature experiences here, and you are very close to the elements,” says Rubeksen.

“The most important thing to us is that we can give people a personal and customised experience, while being sustainable. That’s why we exclusively do tours in small groups. We don’t want to take up too much space or be too dominating in the landscape,” explains Rubeksen. This also means that you as a visitor get to fully immerse yourself in the culture and truly soak up the breathtaking nature. The landscape on the Faroe

Web: Facebook: Heimdal Tours SP/f

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  123

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Denmark

Attraction of the Month, Denmark Left: Danish dinner services. Karen Kjældgård Larsen’s reinterpretation of a classic pattern revitalised Royal Copenhagen in 2000. Right: Vase with Frogbit, Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone, 1898. Bottom: From the exhibition Natur, Spor & Spejlinger. Photo: Malene Hartmann Rasmussen

Telling the story of Danish culture through CLAY The largest ceramics museum in the Nordics, and with a strong international profile, CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark offers an enviably large collection representing the country’s cultural heritage. By Tina Nielsen  |  Photos: Sylvain Deleu

As a relatively young museum, at 26 years, CLAY, which is located in Middelfart on Fünen, continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Originally opened in 1994, the museum’s profile was boosted dramatically in 2010, when it was the recipient of a substantial donation from Royal Scandinavia, consisting of 60,000 pieces. The historical collection originates in the country’s three renowned companies: Royal Copenhagen, Bing & Grøndahl and Aluminia. “The donation marked the beginning of a significant development in the museum and brought a twenty-fold increase in the collection,” says museum director Pia Wirnfeldt. “It is Denmark’s ceramic heritage that has been gifted to us, and it has made us the largest museum for ceramic art, crafts and design in the Nordics.” This addition to the collection also led to an extension of the building in Middelfart. 124  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Ceramics is an artform with deep, strong and proud traditions in Denmark. “We have a real tradition of ceramics because of all the clay in our subsoil, and we have used it for both functional pieces and art,” adds Wirnfeldt. While it is practically impossible to exhibit 60,000 pieces at once, the main exhibition of CLAY, named Skattekammeret – or ‘the Treasury’ – shows off 1,000 pieces at any time. In addition to this permanent collection, there are three platforms dedicated to temporary exhibitions. “What we offer at CLAY is this historical collection that we apply different perspectives to,” explains Wirnfeldt. “We invite contemporary artists to work in conjunction with and take inspiration from the large historical collection to create new pieces.” Currently, three ceramic artists, among them the international profile Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, come together in

an exhibition, named Nature. Traces & Reflections, which runs until 13 March 2022. Another exhibition documents the rich cultural heritage and reflects the sociocultural development in Denmark represented by Danish dinner services. This exhibition, Danish Dinner Services – from Delightful Flowers to Raw Glazes, sees 20 dinner services, selected from the Royal Copenhagen Collection, and shows the history of the dinner and coffee services through pieces made of porcelain, stoneware and faience. A boost in the visitor numbers means that, next year, work will commence on another architectural extension. “It is another exciting development, and it will help us present even the biggest names in ceramics to our visitors,” concludes Wirnfeldt.


Scan Magazine  |  Holiday Profile of the Month  |  Denmark

Photo: Michael Kortbek

Holiday Profile of the Month, Denmark

Mindful team-building exercises in serene nature Nestled between the North Sea and lush greenery, Feriecenter Slettestrand offers a myriad of outdoor activities ranging from mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding to mindfulness exercises, forest bathing and campfire cooking. The familyowned holiday centre is the perfect place to host seminars and conferences, and the activities are designed to bring your team closer together. By Heidi Kokborg

Too often, conferences and seminars involve endless hours of boring PowerPoint slides. By the end of the day, you probably have more doodles than notes in your notebook, and you need a good dose of caffeine to get through the last few slides. Fortunately, there are alternatives to this more traditional approach. Business events can be both educational and fun, bringing teams closer together and strengthening the work community. 126  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

“At Feriecenter Slettestrand, we believe that by switching the office landscape for time in nature, the brain starts adapting and we change the way we work together. Time in nature with your colleagues provides a completely new and different context, which will strengthen the workplace as a whole,” says Kristian Skjødt, director at Feriecenter Slettestrand. “By participating in various activities in nature, colleagues learn new strategies and explore new ways of working to-

gether, which can later be applied to the workplace. Here, everyone can be a part of the outdoor activities, and everyone has a fantastic experience.” At Feriecenter Slettestrand, they offer a wide range of team-building activities, suitable for everyone. You will not be asked to jump into rivers, climb a tree or take part in other extreme team-building exercises. The goal is to give you a good time in the great outdoors, so that you can experience the huge impact of nature on your well-being and develop a closer bond to your co-workers. Break down the barriers in nature The magical, healing effect of nature becomes truly apparent when taking part in mindfulness exercises under the

Scan Magazine  |  Holiday Profile of the Month  |  Denmark

Photo: Jens Thimm Valsted

guidance of Feriecenter Slettestrand’s certified eco-therapist. This can involve using stones, leaves, soil and other items found in nature to get to know yourself better. You can also experience forest bathing, a Japanese practice to help you relax. The method is simple: it is about being calm and quiet among the trees, and observing nature around you while breathing deeply. The practice is known to help destress and to boost health and well-being in a natural way. “Something happens to humans when we spend time in nature. We become more open-minded and less defensive. The barriers are being broken down,” reflects Skjødt.

Photo: Daniel Villadsen

“The nature in this area is fantastic, and there are so many activities you can try as a team. We take great pride in the fact that we have activities for every company, every team and every person,” says Skjødt. Socially and environmentally responsible After all the team-building activities, you will probably have a bit of a rumbling belly. Luckily, the dining options at Feriecenter Slettestrand are plenty, and can even be part of your team-building experience. A foraging trip to gather wild ingredients that the team then uses to prepare dinner over a campfire is one extremely popular group activity. Alternatively, the restaurant serves delicious,

Feriecenter Slettestrand also has some of the best mountain bike instructors in Europe, and the trails in the area are phenomenal, making it a great team activity. It doesn’t need to be a wild or daring ride. Anyone who can ride a bike can join in, and your guide will ensure that everyone has a good time. If mountain biking is not your thing, there are plenty of other activities available. You could enjoy a gentle horseback ride through the forest to the beach, or go on a guided hike – both excellent ways to take in the dramatic scenery of the Danish west coast. A dip in the sea followed by a sauna experience can be an activity of its own, or make the perfect end to an active day.

home-cooked meals, made primarily from local, seasonal and, where possible, organic ingredients. “Sustainability is important to us – not just when it comes to being green, but also when it comes to being socially responsible. Therefore, we also have a residence for people with disabilities, who work alongside us and help take good care of our guests,” says Skjødt. Feriecenter Slettestrand is also a popular destination for families and groups of friends on holidays, and they have some of Denmark’s most accessible facilities for people with disabilities. “Feriecenter Slettestrand is for everyone. Here, you can come exactly as you are,” says Skjødt. Web: Facebook: Feriecenter Slettestrand Instagram: @feriecenter_slettestrand

Photo: Jens Thimm Valsted

Photo: Kristian Skjødt

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  127

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Faroe Islands

Hotel of the Month, Faroe Islands

An uninterrupted stay in unspoiled, peaceful surroundings Enjoy a freshly brewed cup of world-class coffee, wrap yourself in a big, fluffy robe after relaxing in the hot tub, and wake up to a delicious breakfast made from local ingredients. Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948 offers guests an exquisite stay, and you will leave feeling recharged, at peace and grounded. The boutique hotel has a rich history worth exploring, too, when you’re not gazing at the ocean or enjoying some tasty treats. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948

Located by the sea on Úti við Strond, only a stone’s throw from the historic fort Skansin and within easy walking distance to Tórshavn town, you’ll find the Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948, a boutique hotel with an emphasis on attention to personal service, and where the staff always go the extra mile for their guests. Almost all 14 rooms have stunning ocean views and have been designed with inspiration from the fjord. The calming colours are 128  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

inspired by the ocean, the fields, and the ever-changing sky in the Faroe Islands. “The hotel is like a little oasis situated on the shore. Many of our guests come here to unwind and get away from all the hustle and bustle and the busyness of life. It is a very calming and peaceful place with a personal touch. Most of the guests are so mesmerised by the tranquillity of the ocean that they simply sit and watch it

for hours, while listening to the waves as they crash against the rocks,” Jenny A. í Heiðunum, general manager at the hotel, explains. While staying at the hotel, it will no doubt feel like your second home. The attentive staff will be at your service and help you with anything you may need, whether you’re looking for restaurant recommen-

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Faroe Islands

dations, boat trips, the best hikes or anything else. “We care deeply about each and every guest and we take great pride in helping our guests with anything and everything. We will do our best to ensure that the stay at our beautiful and historic hotel is unforgettable,” í Heiðunum adds. Staying at Hotel Havgrím, you’ll get the feeling that you are far away from everything, but in reality, it’s only a seven-minute walk from the town centre, the old part of Tórshavn, and a bouquet of restaurants and the coffeehouse, Kaffihúsið. The great white house The mother-and-daughter owned hotel opened its doors in April 2018, after restoring the impressive Commodore’s House, also known among locals as the White House. The house, which has always been surrounded by a veil of mysticism among the locals, has a rich and interesting history dating back to 1948, when it was built by Havgrímur Johan-

nesen from Tórshavn, whom the hotel is also named after. Built just a couple of years after the end of World War II, the house was like no other house ever built on the Faroe Islands. “The house was designed by Eyðálvur á Heygum, inspired by Havgrím’s many sailing trips to Great Britain, and in particular Scotland. The house was very impressive, stylish, and extremely modern for its time,” says Lis Eklund, the mother and one of the owners. Unfortunately, the Johannesen family only got to live in the big, beautiful house for a few years, as the family went bankrupt when a financial crisis hit the Faroe Islands in the early 1950s. The Danish Navy then purchased the house and since then, 21 Danish Commodores and their families have lived in the house. The last Commodore left in 2013, and the Faroese Government took over responsibility of the house until in 2016, they sold it to the new owners and the house was trans-

formed into the beautiful boutique hotel that it is today. “When restoring the house, it was important to us to keep the history of the house alive. For instance, we have a list of the names of all the dignitaries who have lived here hanging in the reception,” Eklund explains. Sustainability at the forefront “We use eco-friendly products, including fair trade and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. All the energy at the hotel comes from our own geothermal source, and we use eco-friendly shower heads,” says Eklund. With its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and appetising breakfast, Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948 is not only the perfect place to stay when visiting the Faroe Islands; it is also the perfect place for board meetings, business meetings, bridal showers, weddings and so much more. Web: Facebook: Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948 Instagram: @havgrimseasidehotel1948

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  129

Scan Magazine  |  Shopping Centre of the Month  |  Norway

The factory building at Christmas, a magical time at Devoldfabrikken. Photo: Peder Otto Dybvik

Shopping Centre of the Month, Norway

Merging the past with the present for the future In Langevåg, just a seven-minute boat ride from the Norwegian town of Ålesund, you’ll find the buzzing hub of Devoldfabrikken – an old textile factory turned outlet, arts and activity centre, preserving historical buildings for future generations. By Alyssa Nilsen

Devoldfabrikken (The Devold Factory) hails back to 1853, when local textile worker Ole Andreas Devold founded the Devold brand and started producing woollen products that remain popular to this day. From his humble beginnings as a worker in his father’s textile workshop, he not only created a successful brand; through curiosity, innovation and vision, he also built what eventually became an industrial town, containing one of Norway’s first hydroelectric power stations, hospitals, churches, kindergartens, cultural venues and a fire station. Devoldfabrikken was among the first in Norway to install electrical lights, and only one year after the invention of the telephone, Devold brought two devices home from England, connecting 130  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

the factory in Langevåg to the administrative offices in Ålesund across the fjord. The production of woollen garments has since moved out of the factory, but the buildings remain, with ample space and opportunity. This was recognised by the Flakk family, whose business Flakk Group AS purchased the factory in 1989 and has since repaired, restored and rebuilt the old buildings, preparing them for a new life in the modern era. Award-winning sustainability and preservation Today, Devoldfabrikken is a buzzing hub containing outlet stores, shops with local design, eateries and event spaces,

as well as a chocolate factory, a bakery, a forge, workshops and art galleries. In the spring of 2022, Devold of Norway, the original brand of Devoldfabrikken, is establishing a brand-new flagship store in addition to the Outlet Store they have had for generations at Devoldfabrikken. The goal with the new Brand Store is to showcase the whole collection of iconic woollen garments. In keeping with the values of the Flakk Group and the factory’s tradition, Devoldfabrikken aims to be a sustainable hub where the past meets the future on historical grounds. The rustic interiors and original details make for a very special atmosphere. “We want to recreate the experience the original workers had back in the day,” say CEO Kari Mette Ski and marketing manager Kristine Støversten, representing O A Devolds Sønner. “Even if you’re stepping into a modern office, you will find the factory’s old walls and floors.

Scan Magazine  |  Shopping Centre of the Month  |  Norway

We aim to use the original elements as much as possible.” In 2016, Devoldfabrikken was awarded Olavsrosen (St. Olaf’s rose), a seal of quality awarded by the Norwegian organisation Norsk Kulturarv (Norwegian Cultural Heritage), due to the organisation’s efforts in maintaining and preserving a cultural heritage site for the future. Stay for a while, or for the whole day Devoldfabrikken has plenty to offer, whether you’re there for a few hours or stay for a whole day. Stroll through the shops, grab a pastry and a coffee at one of the cafés, join in on one of the events taking place at the grounds, or visit the resident artists in their workshops. For those who crave a bit more action, Devoldfabrikken’s newest attraction is the activity park Kraftverket. The park, consisting of 800 square metres of obstacle courses, slides, a bouldering wall and climbing frames, opened earlier this year and is a playground of fun for both kids and adults. Rental spaces for birthday celebrations are opening soon, with activities and access to the activity park. The Devold Museum gives you a glimpse into the Devold story and displays garments and production equipment from the factory’s beginning back in 1853. A model train museum is also currently being built and is on track to become the largest in the Nordics. Already open to the public, the interactive miniature world of the Devold Model Railway displays landscapes from around the world, across 1,000 square metres.

Devoldfabrikken is located on the west coast of Norway, near the town of Ålesund.

Outside the factory, a gondola lift is planned to open in 2024, transporting visitors up to the nearby mountain of Sulafjellet, with its spectacular hiking opportunities. Ever-growing, Devoldfabrikken is set to be a lively experience and retail centre for generations to come, offering local residents work and opportunities and contributing to the diversity and economy of the region, all while keeping its rich and intriguing past alive. Web: Facebook: Devoldfabrikken Instagram: @Devoldfabrikken

Travel to Devoldfabrikken from Ålesund by boat (seven minutes) or by car (30 minutes).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10am to 8pm  Saturday: 10am to 6pm Shops: Devold Outlet - Bergans Outlet Helly Hansen Outlet - SWIMS Outlet - Porsgrund Outlet - SWIX Outlet Sport’n Outlet The outlet shops always offer a 30 to 70 per cent discount. Also visit: Binderiet - Pralina chocolate factory - By Sunde - X-FAKTOR - Kantina café - Geiranger Bakery - Spinneriet - Vinmonopolet Arts and craftsmen: Siw’s Pottery - Celsius Glass Studio - OH Design Forge - B&G Frame and furniture - Inger K. Giskeødegård Photographer Frida Berg - Solevåg Carpentry

Browse the iconic woollen Devold garments at the Devold Outlet shop. Photo: Kristin Støylen

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  131

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

Københavner Caféen: High-class smørrebrød in Copenhagen’s old town Tucked away on a cobbled side-street in Copenhagen’s old town, the unassuming Københavner Caféen might be hard to spot at first. By Lena Hunter  |  Photos: Københavner Caféen

Petite red and white flags flutter above large, deep-set windows on an ochre stone façade. “We serve traditional Danish dishes and smørrebrød. Just as grandma made them,” proclaims the menu from a glass display beside a pine-green wooden door. Unlike eateries that claim to be traditional, Københavner Caféen is authentically old. “It’s actually one of Copenhagen’s oldest restaurant locations,” says restaurant manager Sune Siestø Helmgaard. “It goes back to when there were bathhouses on Badestuestræde. This was the first place in the city where you could pay for a bite to eat,” he explains. Traditional and down-to-earth For the past 40 years, Københavner Caféen has occupied the spot, serving the highest-quality smørrebrød (openfaced ryebread sandwiches), traditional Danish lunch and dinner, and transforming the intimate space with warm red walls, wood panelling, and local, antique artwork. 132  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

The display makes for great dinner conversation. From a high shelf, a stuffed alligator eyeballs the dining room, a cigarette clamped between long teeth. “All I know is he’s always been there, and he’s always had a cigarette,” Siestø Helmgaard laughs. “The vibe is very informal and down-to-earth – it’s like coming home to your grandma’s kitchen.” High-quality local produce

isn’t about sitting down and eating food… it’s about more than that: relaxing, being mindful, sharing one another’s company,” says Siestø Helmgaard. “Danes really get into the shared lunch concept – and that’s what we have here,” he continues. That’s the reason, according to Siestø Helmgaard, why Københavner Caféen is fully booked every weekend until Christmas. “We host a lot of big, festive lunch parties for businesses, groups of friends, and families. The energy is lively and high-spirited – nobody can do it like we can.”

That said, the restaurant runs as tight as a ship. The back bar is a meticulous line-up of quality Nordic snaps and liqueurs. The set menu changes four times a year, and the head chef is uncompromising on quality. “We follow the seasons,” says Siestø Helmgaard. “We prioritise using local produce – meat, greens, fish, everything. All our pork comes from Glomsø Grisen – a free-range farm here on Sjælland, and we only use Danish-caught plaice. It costs a little more, but it’s better quality.” An authentic Danish lunch The culinary attention to detail is only half of the story. “A classic Danish lunch

Web: Facebook: Kobenhavnercafeen Instagram: @kobenhavnercafeen

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Faroe Islands

Restaurant of the Month, Faroe Islands

The smell of good food, entrepreneurial spirit and history Fríða Kaffihús started out as a small café trying to focus on the Faroese kitchen, but it has since developed into a movement that combines traditional food with tourism and history. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Fríða Kaffihús

“It was a bit against the odds.” When Mimmy Vágsheyg set up the coffee shop a few years back, she could not have foreseen that it would take a few twists and turns along the way. Its start was successful, as the small café with its delicious coffee quickly became the main attraction in Klaksvik on Tripadvisor, able to compete with the bigger establishments in Tórshavn. Then came the coronavirus, just when they were about to move to new and bigger premises in Klaksvik’s first shopping centre. So it was only two months ago that Fríða Kaffihús was finally able to open up the new shop. “It’s still very much an international menu, but the variety has grown and improved a lot. Every Saturday, there’s a big brunch with homemade buns, lamb rolls, rhubarb and much more. We aim to make as much of it homemade as possible, by using local ingredients where possible, to give our guests an authentic

experience. All our cakes are also made here on site,” says Vágsheyg.

which has been refurbished, is situated just a few metres away from our café, and we have the old brewery just on the other side. Not only do we prepare local dishes, but we also co-arrange guided tours and storytelling about the area, because Fríða Kaffihús has become so much more than just a café.”

Pioneering spirit Fríða Kaffihús is named after the first boat built by the Faroese people 250 years ago, and the two share more than just the name. Pioneer Nólsoyar Páll built the boat, illegally and in hiding, and smuggled goods out of the country and traded them for corn, as many people were starving. Back then, this was seen as treason, but today it is recognised as having been of great significance for the Faroe Islands. “They were pioneers, and that spirit is still very much alive here in this area. With our menus, we try to be small pioneers as well, by adding foreign ingredients to our recipes and mixing them with the local products,” Vágsheyg says. “We want to leave tourists with the feeling that they are in a historically very significant place. The house of Nólsoyar Páll,

Web: Facebook: fridakaffihus Instagram: @fridakaffihus

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  133

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  ABBA

Photo: ABBA Voyage

A voyage into the unknown Next month, on 11 December, it will be 39 years since ABBA last performed together as a group – on The Late Late Breakfast Show, which was broadcast in the UK via satellite from a studio in Stockholm. However, contrary to what has for decades been considered a done and dusted conclusion, the Swedish foursome won’t be unceremoniously stumbling over that 40-year milestone of inactivity on the stage. Because a mere six months from now, Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad will be appearing before thousands of concert-goers once more, albeit sending forth digital versions of themselves to do the heavy lifting. By Karl Batterbee  |  Photos: Universal Music Group

On Friday 27 May next year, the ABBA Voyage concert experience will kick off at a purpose-built venue at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, officially called ABBA Arena. The question on most people’s minds is regarding what exactly these concerts will entail. We know that ABBA will be represented on stage by their own ‘ABBAtars’ (a playful pun that has been far too perfect for the global press to avoid, and which has inevitably stuck, whether the band wanted it to or not) – but just how ABBA are these avatars? It’s a set-up that’s been a long time in the making. The digital versions of ABBA 134  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

have been created following months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by George Lucas. As the group said in a press release to accompany the announcement: “We have infused a good deal of our souls into those avatars. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re back.” So we know that we’ll be watching the actual movements of ABBA, carefully incorporated into the digital guise of their younger selves, but what would we be listening to, should we be attending one of these shows (as if there’s even a

doubt in anyone’s mind that they’ll be going along to at least one)? The band has indeed been singing together again, for the recording of the Voyage album: their ninth studio album, which was released at the start of the month. But for the live shows, they’ve opted to give the audience ABBA at their very best. “The vocals are original band recordings backed by a live ten-piece band on stage,” revealed the foursome in a recent Twitter Q&A. Björn summed it up quite well more recently, when discussing the inclusion of an old demo, Just A Notion, on the new album: “Benny has recorded a new backing track to which we’ve added drums and guitars, but all vocals are from the original 1978 tracks. In a way, it demonstrates what we plan to do with ABBA Voyage in 2022. There, we will have a live band playing, but all vocals will be from the old recordings.” A concert experience above and beyond With that in mind, it seems as though we’ll be getting a concert experience that’s eerily similar to that of the band’s live shows back in their heyday

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  ABBA

– a chance for those of us who weren’t around the first time to attend a gig by the all-time greats, but also a great opportunity for those who were around to go along and relive it. The show’s producer, Ludvig Andersson (Benny’s son, so you know he’s going to be doing a splendid job), believes that we shouldn’t be concerning ourselves with how close the experience will be to what it was in the ‘70s. Speaking to Variety in September, he said: “I don’t think that’s the way to look at it. I mean, it will be incredibly close – it will be as close as it’s possible to get. But this is more than that. I don’t think you will come and feel you’re getting close to something, you’ll feel like you’re going past something and out into space.”

call it Voyage, and we’re truly sailing in uncharted waters. With the help of our younger selves, we travel into the future. It’s not easy to explain, but then it hasn’t been done before.” And with that, one of the biggest bands of yesteryear have returned to usher in what could well be the start of a

new chapter for live music. As they innocently trilled back in 1974 when they introduced themselves to the rest of the world: “The history book on the shelf, is always repeating itself.”


In any case, people’s expectations, concerns or general bewilderment about the set-up haven’t dampened their enthusiasm for it. Within minutes of the tickets going on sale in September, the website crashed due to high demand. And what was originally announced as a three-month run was just a few weeks ago extended by a further three months. Though it’s fair to assume that, with a purpose-built arena having been brought into the equation, plans for this ambitious endeavour won’t be halting at just six months. Rather, the possibilities for something like this seem only to be limited by one’s own imagination. Certainly in the more realistic realm of looking at it, considering only the basics like potential setlist rotation, ABBA Voyage looks set to be a destination event for the world’s population for several years to come. “Every day brings a new set of nightmarish problems, but we overcome them!” admits Ludvig Andersson. “It’s an adventure, to say the least.” The band members themselves, meanwhile, are so excited about what’s to come that they have spoken out about it with an enthusiasm that is refreshingly out of line with what might be expected from a band at their age, who have purposely avoided the spotlight for so long, and also so untypical of the more reserved Swedish manner of speaking about one’s own ambitions: “We simply

ABBA Mo Cap Suits. Photo: Baillie Walsh

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  135

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Columns

Scandinavian music The album format has become something of a rare breed in the Nordic countries, with a lot of artists now preferring to punctuate much shorter and more frequent creative eras via the release of an EP. One body of work in the form of an album has just come along, however, that may well inspire others to return to the idea of the LP: it’s Magic Still Exists, by the Swedish artist Agnes. She’s taken inspiration from classic disco, paired it with philosophical lyrics, and come up with a genre that she’s calling “spiritual disco”. The album that this has resulted in is a collection of beats to get lost in and mantras to live by, with 2am dancefloor highlights sitting alongside 7am postclub ponderings. It’s about awakening, acceptance and aspiration. An admirably unique record, it will get you moving while simultaneously getting you thinking. The album was produced by Agnes’ long-term boyfriend Vincent Pontare and

his collaborative partner, Salem Al Fakir. Together, they make up the duo Vargas & Lagola, and they too have some new music out that’s well worth investigating. Listening to their latest single Ain’t Leaving Now is a bit of a journey back to a sundrenched period of the free-spirited ‘70s. You’re transported to a dinner theatre setting, the air thick with smoke, perhaps two cocktails down and having to stop yourself from singing along to the crooner who’s live on stage. It’s really quite pleasant, all things considered! Finally, Norway’s own Aurora has been doing rather well of late, carving out her own niche within the more quirky and ethereal side of music, straddling the line of pop and something else entirely. But she returns now with what’s probably her most mainstream single in a long time. Giving Into The Love is blockbuster pop that packs a radio-friendly punch, but still manages to maintain that special sense

Terraced-house garden Our neighbours recently acquired some windchimes. Which neighbours I do not know; the sound rises elusively above our collective tangle of gardens, the source hidden from view by the tall fences and hedges that make it possible to live yards apart. When Swedish guests visit, they will often stand at an upstairs window, mesmerised. “You live so close to each other!” they say, marvelling at the sight of neighbours on either side, going blithely about their business, mowing their lawns, or sunning themselves with a cup of tea. It’s not uncommon for Swedes to live yards apart either, in flats for example. But flats offer a different kind of closeness, one where you never look directly into your neighbour’s back yard. “Don’t you mind?” my friends will ask. The truth is that I often forget. Occasionally when I’m outside, I’ll hear the shuffling of someone nearby. But because I can’t see them, it’s like they’re not really there. And 136  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

By Karl Batterbee

of Aurora – thanks to her own inimitable vocal delivery. It’s therefore something for her current followers, while also being a track that may well usher in a whole new hoard of fans for her. Web:

By Maria Smedstad

bells you might hear coming from a distant herd of goats, roaming the mountains of, say, Greece. And because I can’t see them, I can simply pretend that to be the case. That’s the beauty of a boxed in, English terraced-house garden. You can take solace from the fact that you’re not alone, while at the same time pretending you’re far, far away, in your own little secluded slice of paradise.

I don’t think about the fact that the garden is overlooked from above any more. Our garden, to me, feels entirely private. I’m surrounded by others, but for all I care our house could be plonked in the middle of a field, with no one else around for miles. And those windchimes? Lately I have realised just how much they sound like the

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  |  Calendar

Teawalk. Photo: Jarkko Myllykangas

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! The Joke Factory: English stand-up (3 November) Looking for a bit of fun to relieve your Christmas stress? Head to SALT Art & Music in downtown Oslo for an English stand-up comedy night. Langkaia 1, 0150 Oslo, Norway

#Stockholmsjul Christmas Lights (13 November-15 January) The capital of Sweden lights up for two months in a festival of light. Over 40 streets and squares are taking part, with decorations in the shape of moose,

cones, deer, spruces, reindeer, angels, and a giant sprig of mistletoe. Download a map from the website and explore!

Volvo P1800 60 years! (15 November-30 December) If you are into automobiles, this is a mustsee. The legendary Swedish Volvo P1800 is turning 60 this year, and an exhibition at the Volvo museum lets you explore everything about this motor made famous by Sir Roger Moore in the TV series The Saint. Arendals Skans, 405 08 Göteborg

By Hanna Heiskanen

Helsinki TeaWalk (until 20 November) Fancy a cuppa? The Helsinki TeaWalk will warm you up on a chilly November day. Join to visit four tea houses with tastings and stories included. The tour wraps up at the fancy Salutorget by the Market Square.

Helsinki Christmas Market (27 November-22 December) Visit the Helsinki Christmas Market to grab a Finnish mulled drink, ‘glögi’, or to purchase a tasty stocking filler. While there, take a spin on the old-fashioned November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  137

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Volvo Museum. Photo: Volvo Museum

carousel and explore the nearby Torikorttelit area. Market Square, Helsinki

The School of Architecture’s Christmas Market (4-5 December) If you are looking for a stylish Christmas present, check out the products sold by students at the Aarhus School of Architecture – from jewellery to decorative items and sweets. Exners Plads 7, 8000 Aarhus C

Zoom in on Kekkonen! Press Photographs (until 19 December) Urho Kekkonen was the President of Finland for 25 years, but in addition to leaving a political mark, he was also the ultimate outdoorsman: fisher, hunter and cross-country skier. A new exhibition at his former official residence in Tamminiemi, Helsinki, showcases press photos taken by this ‘man of the people’. While there, do explore the Seurasaari open-air museum next door, too. Seurasaarentie 15, 00250 Helsinki 138  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

Helsinki Christmas Market Photo:Jussi Hellsten

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.