Scan Magazine, Issue 136, November 2021

Page 89

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

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