Scan Magazine, Issue 152, March 2023

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Floral healing!

The traditional Japanese art of arranging flowers, Ikebana, is the inspiration for the spring collection. Where Western florists often focus on the amount of flowers, practitioners of Japanese flower art choose to work with less things but in harmony and peace. Beautiful color combinations, clean lines and the aesthetic interaction between vase, flowers, stones and nature elements are the base. Our designer Marita Lord has combined Scandinavian design with Japanese culture in our spring collection named Floral.

Visit our website for more products and spring inspiration.

Our cover star for this March issue of Scan Magazine is a breakout name in interior design. Marie Olsson Nylander’s renovation of Palazzo Cirillo – a gorgeous, 300-year-old pink mansion in Sicily –sparked a national obsession with faded Italian grandeur, fluffy rugs and Nylander herself. In our exclusive interview, we dive into her unconventional interior design universe, and set the stage for an issue brimming with Nordic art and culture.

This issue features a deep dive into Sweden’s exhilarating culture scene, an adventurous Finnish travel guide, and fascinating profiles with modern pioneers and traditional artisans of Norwegian craft and design. We’ve sought out the Nordic regions’ most exciting events in our March Culture Calendar, while the Fashion Diary is bursting with spring trends. Elsewhere, we speak to TRUENORTH,

the Icelandic film and TV production studio behind an eye-watering number of blockbusters and series, from No Time To Die and True Detective to the much-anticipated original series Sturlungar –rumoured to be “The Godfather of Nordic Noir”.

And for tips on where to unwind after it all, our Best Of guide is packed with hotels and restaurants that you’ll be writing home about on your next holiday in Scandinavia. I hope the interviews and profiles in this issue of Scan will ignite your imagination and encourage you, as it did us, to delve into hidden corners of the Nordic cultural landscape.

Editor’s Note
MAGAZINE 100 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 3 Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

In this issue


28 Marie Olsson Nylander: the interior designer stirring up a storm

The Swedish interior designer Marie Olsson Nylander shot to fame when her hit TV series Husdrömmar Sicilien, which documented her renovation of the stunning 18th-century Italian mansion Palazzo Cirillo, became a national obsession. Across TV and Instagram, podcasts, design collaborations and beyond, her irresistibly quirky style is the flavour of the moment – and she is only getting started. In this exclusive interview, she opens the door into her beautiful, poignant and daring creative world.


6 Spring style guide, foodie treats and pioneering Nordic design brands

This month’s Fashion Diary rounds up the transitional garments you need in your spring wardrobe, while We Love This presents six of the hottest new yoga brands in the Nordics. Then, swot up on contemporary design trends with our profiles of pioneering interior companies spanning eco-concrete, steel coating and modernist furniture, and get to know the heavyweights of Sweden’s culinary scene.


24 Beer competitions, staycations and hypermodern skin treatments

Why do breweries compete? What happens at beer competitions? In her monthly column, beer expert Malin Norman smuggles us into one, shedding light on the world of professional beer-drinking. Elsewhere, sustainability columnist Alejandra Cerda Ojensa makes the case for staycations, and we visit the Oslo beauty salon that specialises in the most advanced skincare treatments on the market.

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36 Top Experiences in Finland 2023

In this Finnish holiday guide, you’ll find glassroofed Lappish cabins with an open vista onto the aurora borealis, intrepid husky safaris led by mushers who know the Arctic plains like the backs of their hands, and legendary seafaring stories at Finland’s leading maritime museum. And there’s plenty more to discover in the form of regional destinations, cultural events and institutions to curate a memorable trip to Finland.

50 Sweden’s Culture Scene

In this Swedish culture special, we’ve profiled 13 of the country’s forerunning institutions whose unmissable programmes for 2023 will enthral tourists and locals alike. Spanning the Vikings, naval history, heritage textiles, modernist furniture, mind-bending paradoxes and far more, the events and exhibitions slated to launch this year cement Sweden as one of the most exciting countries in Europe in which to immerse yourself in the arts.

72 Made in Norway

We’re diving deep into Norwegian tradition in this theme, with profiles of businesses in sustainable salmon-farming, traditional boat-building and modern shipping, and the heritage skill of ‘bunad’making. Plus, meet the Norwegian baker allergic to flour, who has taken realist cake-decorating to new heights.

77 Mini theme: Top Creative Studios in Norway

Learn from leading experts in branding and design in our interviews with three of the most boundarybreaking creative studios in Norway.


98 Unmissable contemporary art, events and music in March

The founder of the powerful Finnish art initiative

The Silence Project, Nina Backman, gives us an insight into the project’s inner-workings, and we sit down for a chat with TRUENORTH – the Icelandic production company behind major scenes in Die Another Day, Oblivion and Star Wars, to name only a fraction. Plus, discover the best events and exhibitions in the Nordics in the March culture calendar, and tune in to the best new releases from Scandinavian music scene, selected by resident music columnist Karl Batterbee.

BEST OF THE MONTH 83 Restaurant 84 Hotel 88 Experience 95 Holiday Destination 96 Artist
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Fashion Diary

We are gearing up for spring, with big bags and accessories, big flowers and big, bold colours.

And why not opt for colours when it comes to base layers too? Pastels are a great pick for spring wardobes, and the Thor Tee from Danish Mads Nørgaard, in organic cotton, offers a nice hint of colour. Layer it under a shirt with a few buttons open.

Thor Tee, €49

Green is in – both in fashion and nature. This shirt from Swedish shirtmakers Eton matches the season as spring’s first buds and blooms apear.

Denim Twill Overshirt, €250


To match the bright greens, we invite faded indigo into our wardrobe with these regular fitted trousers from Acne Studios, crafted from a cotton blend suited for the milder months ahead.

Regular Fit Trousers, €260

Crafted from organic cotton twill, the Heyday Overshirt from Danish brand Forét is an excellent heavy layer for colder days, while offering a refined silhouette. It features distinct workwear characteristics such as a corduroy collar and front pockets, and comes in an army green, too!

Heyday Overshirt, €160

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary
Jacket by Forét T-shirt by Mads Nørgaard Shirt by Eton by Acne Studios
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Bag by Opéra Sport

One of the season’s most prominent fashion trends is oversized bags. As convenient as they are convertible, they’re ideal for filling with all the essentials for a spring weekend getaway, workout gear, or groceries. This bag from Danish brand Opéra Sports is deliciously puffy and features hues reminiscent of the sea and sunsets.

Jerome Unisex Bag, €200

Dress by Lovechild1979

A flowy dress is the perfect transition piece. We love the bold pattern of blurred flowers and adorable bow on the Scarletta dress from the Danish brand Lovechild1979. Wear it with colourful tights and ballerina shoes – both remain big trends for the coming season. Or how about pairing it with wide jeans under a knitted cardigan while the spring air is still sharp?

Scarletta Dress, €220

Coat by Mark Kenly Domino Tan

Yes, the temperatures are slowly rising, but we still need a handy coat to keep us warm. In March, we transition from comfy puffers into chic, lighter coats, such as this navy blue A-shaped coat, wadded and lined with quilted cotton from the Danish label Mark Kenley Domino Tan.

Celina Coat, €650

Hair clip by Caro Editions

Oversized hair accessories are having a big moment, and the Rosie Hair Clip in pale pink from Danish Caro Editions is an excellent pick for spring.

Rosie Hair Clip, €51

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary
March 2023 | Issue 152 | 7

We Love This: New Scandinavian yoga labels

“Inhale, reach your arms up, and exhale, fall forward. Inhale to lengthen, and exhale to plank. Lower halfway and – oh, excuse me! I somehow forgot I was in this café. What was I reaching for again? Oh yes, this coffee. Sorry, it’s these new leggings. You know when you’ve got a new workout fit and you’re just in the zone?”

Updating your fitness wardrobe feels good – almost as good as actually doing the exercise. And while you’re at it, why not support the latest crop of ethical brands springing up in Northern Europe? Read on for Scan’s rundown of the hottest new Scandinavian yoga labels on the market.

Sisterly Tribe

Sisterly Tribe is a Swedish yoga and wellness brand inspired by the notion of sisterhood. As part of its Sisterly Stories blog series, inspired by the philosophy of ‘collaborations over competition’, the label publishes interviews with teachers of various yoga styles, pilates instructors and wellness-brand founders. Sisterly Tribe’s range is broad and bright; this candy-coloured yoga set, made from recycled plastic bottles, is buttery, snug and, crucially, ‘100 per cent squat-proof’.

Planet Nusa

Danish label Planet Nusa’s strong graphic branding and delicious fits have attracted a loyal fan-following, making it the unrivalled yoga brand du jour in Denmark. “Planet Nusa is a community where everyone’s welcome! It’s a place to catch up with your friends, take your dog for a walk, head to the gym, hike up a hill or whatever floats your little exercise boat,” proclaim the founders. The design is all about good endorphins, featuring creative cuts and patterns as well as classic looks, while the business prides itself on being inclusive, ethical and sustainable.

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Stockholm-based Ninepine balances minimal aesthetics, form, comfort and elegance with functionality in a sweeping collection of active and leisurewear. The garments are highly adaptable, built to allow for maximum range of motion, without compromising on style. Its range of leggings featuring deep, hip-hugging pockets is an international favourite on the yoga mat, while its pillowy crew necks, super-soft tank-tops and slouchy tees have the straight-from-the-fitness-studioto-the-café market cornered.

Yuman Yoga

Yuman Yoga’s range of premium yoga mats and accessories is inspired by Nordic nature, sporting colours such as clay, sand, coal and sage. The Swedish label creates super grippy mats from natural rubber that complement design-conscious home interiors. The all-natural cork block for performing more advanced and deeper positions is a must-have for serious yogis, while the eye pillows and meditation pillows are beautiful luxury additions to a regular practice.


The Norwegian label Ainasana was founded in response to the plastic-waste catastrophe and began as a beach clean-up initiative in Hawaii called Yoga for the Ocean. The Mindful Yoga Mat, made from recycled plastic and natural rubber, was introduced in 2021 and remains its flagship product, but today the range has expanded to include natural cork mats, blocks and bags, and aromatherapy products. With its dedication to sleek, high-quality and long-lasting gear, and a percentage of the sales profits going to ocean-cleaning projects, Ainasana is a bright example of a small brand championing ethical and circular design.

Njálla Clothing

Njálla Clothing’s beautiful and responsibly produced yoga wear features art inspired by Nordic nature. The striking prints are based on original watercolour artworks made in Finland, and the garments are designed in collaboration with Finnish yoga professionals with a focus on comfort and mobility. Njálla’s philosophy is to ‘make a small amount of unique clothing’ and, accordingly, its range is lean, but punchy.

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 9 Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

Stockholm’s timeless beer hall

The haunt of loyal residents for 134 years, Zum Franziskaner stands as a bastion of historical authenticity in Stockholm’s now tourist-swamped Old Town. But tradition-seeking tourists are just as welcome through the doors as the locals are for a dose of conviviality, good food and assorted beer in the wood panelled interior of the institution’s bar and restaurant.

For well over a century, a perfectlypreserved institution has been dishing out honest food and foaming beer to its locals, right on the doorstep of Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan. Zum Franziskaner was opened in 1889, in a building erected back in 1620, when Skeppsbron – the street on which it lies – first began to serve as Stockholm’s quay. “The old building was torn down and Zumen, as it is known to regulars, moved back in around 1910,” says the restaurant’s current owner, Sten Isacsson.

Zum Franziskaner still features the original waterfront woodwork from that time. The building is listed and has recently been restored. The institution, as its name implies, was founded as a German-style beer hall. Today, though it now serves both German and Swedish classics, it has not forgotten its Teutonic roots.

Isacsson came to Zum Franziskaner five years ago, moving over from Akkurat, a beer bar across the bridge that had been showered with praise by critics from all

over the world. Fed up with modern flavours and innovations, he moved to Zum Franziskaner to get back to pouring traditional tankards.

Back then, the restaurant was in desperate need of repair. Traditional German beer halls used to be ubiquitous in Stockholm, thanks to the two countries’ cultural and economic exchange, but today Zum Fraziskaner is one of the last remaining. “I felt Zumen needed attention from someone with passion,” Isacsson recalls. “It’s very dear to me and I think Stockholm deserves to have a place like this in mint condition.”

Lilla Zumen and Bakfickan

The old beer hall is now used as a restaurant while, onwards through the bar and past the kitchen, you’ll find Lilla Zumen,

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a room that seats 15 to 20 guests. Importantly, the restaurant does not accept reservations, and if you’re a party of six or more, he recommends you arrive early and drink at the bar until a table is available. Lilla Zumen is the ideal hideaway to enjoy the company of friends, and guests seated here can order from Zum Franziskaner’s vast menu.

At Bakfickan, the institution’s popular tagon venue that lies just beyond Lilla Zumen, diners will find a different offering again. Bakfickan’s style is distinct from the restaurant, falling somewhere between Art Deco and Functionalism, while the menu features aquavit, appetisers and smörrebröd (open-faced sandwiches), served from a compact, stool-lined bar.

Back here, the dining is a mélange of European influences, with Jansson’s Temptation and Toast Pelle Janzon representing Sweden, and veal liver, pork neck, duck confit and kippers with scrambled egg and sauerkraut from the German kitchen. Specials spring up throughout the week, such as pytt i panna (pan-fried

chopped meat, potatoes and onions) on Monday, smoked sausage on Tuesday and black pudding on Wednesday. “Eating fish here with a beer, is timeless. It makes you

feel like you’re an intrinsic part of Stockholm’s history,” says Isacsson.

This unchanged, if restored, heritage is what keeps loyal locals returning – and which also draws in the occasional curious visitor. For all its culinary offerings, Zum Franziskaner remains an old-fashioned beer hall at heart. “When a new barrel is opened,” Isacsson laughs, “we still ring a bell, and everyone applauds.” The institution has 13 craft-beer taps, and they even brew their own beers – like the Zumen Schwarz, Märzen 2020 and Gamla Stans Porter – from scratch using their own recipes. These are poured alongside German imports, including smoked Rauchbiers sent up from Bamberg in northern Bavaria – a sumptuous pairing for both pork knuckle and Isterband sausages (a Swedish staple from Småland). The combination is, in true Zumen style, a Hanseatic mixture that’s hard to beat.

Instagram: @zumfranziskanerstockholm


March 2023 | Issue 152 | 11 Scan Magazine | Culinary Profile | Zum Franziskaner
Photo: Marcus Wärme

Bringing smoothness and flavour to another level

Voted best vodka and gin in the world, Purity is smooth and delicious; a treat for true spirit connoisseurs. The award-winning products are made from organic ingredients, distilled slowly and repeatedly, with magical copper-contact for heaps of flavour.

Housed in the 13th century Ellinge Castle in Skåne, Purity Distillery makes organic vodka and gin like no other. “A common misconception is that vodka is bland, but vodka can be incredible when made with patience, craftsmanship and love,” says Mathias Tönnesson, master blender at Purity Distillery. “Our mission is to put flavour at the forefront and create organic vodka that is both velvety smooth and showcases a noticeable character. When people try Purity, they often comment on the surprisingly tasty experience.”

The secret to Purity’s success is the unique copper still and the slow and re-

peated copper distillation process. The handmade still, developed by renowned technical engineer Leif Nerhammar, is designed to maximise the copper contact, which purifies the alcohol and enhances the taste. One distillation cycle is made up of 17 individual distillations, which is then repeated once or twice more. You can actually see the number of distillations in the product name, marked by the numbers 17, 34 or 51.

Unlike other distilleries, Purity uses a mix of winter wheat, for crispness, and malted barley, which adds sweetness. “We distil slowly, patiently. And then we

do it again and again, to bring flavour and smoothness to another level. Finally, we add soft water, which develops the character even further,” explains Mathias. “As you can see, flavour is central at every step of the process.”

Celebrated vodka and gin for true connoisseurs

The distillery’s crown jewel, the Connoisseur 51 Reserve vodka, has been recognised by experts as the best vodka in the world, praised for its incomparable smoothness and complexity. It was recently awarded 95 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the highest rated vodka for the last 5 years in the US.

Signature 34 Edition is Purity’s classic vodka. Perfectly balanced, it has won more than 150 international awards, including Gold at the International Wine &

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Spirit Competition. “Our first vodka has it all – layers of flavour, complexity and unparalleled elegance,” says Mathias with a smile. “It established a new era of vodka production, and changed the way the spirit is perceived and enjoyed.”

With his gins, Mathias wanted to achieve a bold profile with a lingering finish. “Gin is basically a juniper-flavoured vodka, and will only be as good as the base vodka used. You can tell a local story using local herbs picked in your garden, but if the base vodka is not great, the gin will not be great either,” he explains. “With our award-winning vodka as a base, the aromas and flavours have the chance to blossom, which makes our gins different from others in the market.”

Purity’s signature gin, the Navy Strength 34 Gin with its bold character and explosive flavour, was named Best Gin in the World by the International Spirit Challenge in 2020. “We discovered that a higher ABV in our vodka and time devoted to infusing our botanicals yielded more flavour. Our Navy Strength gin is rich and complex, slightly stronger but surprisingly smooth to drink.”

Old Tom 34 Gin is the original style of gin made famous in London in the 17th century and is recognisable for its softness and slightly sweeter taste, perfect for any cocktail. The London Dry 34 Gin is its nonsweet twin that became popular at the

beginning of the 20th century and, with its blend of juniper, coriander, thyme and basil, it will make your gin and tonic sing.

The craftsmanship and magic of blending

Quality is crucial at every step of the process, and Mathias compares the art of blending to cooking. “I’m passionate about the craftsmanship of blending. It’s similar to cooking, where you can combine flavours for a delicious dish. At the end of the day, if you use good ingredients and let the process take its time, you will get a delicious result.”

New this spring is the Mediterranean citrus-flavoured vodka, with notes of sweet oranges, bergamot and grapefruit. It’s bitter and citrussy, ideal for cocktails, ac-

cording to the master blender. “We added bergamot for a more balanced profile, it reduced the bitterness and added a fresh character. It’s like summer in a glass.”

Mathias hopes that 2023 will be the return of his personal favourite, the classic Martini, a vodka or gin-based cocktail that be can be personalised based on how you prepare and garnish it. He also recommends the Espresso Martini, which combines vodka and coffee. “Our Signature 34 Edition really brings out the coffee flavour, but you can also use our flavoured vodka and get a citrussy twang together with the coffee – it’s fantastic!”

Instagram: @purity_distillery


March 2023 | Issue 152 | 13 Scan Magazine | Culinary Profile | Purity Distillery
Mathias Tönnesson, master blender.

Quality nuts for the everyday athlete

The story of the Swedish nut company This is Nuts began in 2012, when Ranja Maria Vardalí, who would later found the company, was working as a fitness instructor. Before leading a class, she would usually have a pre-workout drink to boost her energy. She felt her heart racing and her blood pumping, but when she started researching what the pre-workout drinks at the gym contained, she was surprised and upset.

“When I realised how much sugar and additives are in products marketed as good for us, I felt angry! I naturally believed something sold at the gym would be good for my body, but it turned out that was not the case. With the widespread health problems related to the overconsumption of sugar, companies must take more responsibility, so I used that anger to make a change and started a company that takes health seriously,” Vardalí says.

“That is how the name This is Nuts came up. We sell nuts and the name is very straightforward. We want people to know what they are putting into their bodies. There is nothing crazy about the nuts, and they contain important fats that our bodies need daily to be healthy,” she continues.

A delicious variety of nutty snacks

Today they have expanded the product range to include dried fruits and berries and natural nut-based sweets. This is Nuts produces many snack variations from natural nuts to chocolate-covered salted almonds, liquorice raspberries and rum raisins, as well as bars and baking products. The raw nuts are of a uniquely high quality, and are processed and packaged in Sweden to benefit local Swed-

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ish communities. The patented toasting method comes from the middle east, and results in nuts that are evenly toasted and require less salt. The fruits and berries are organic and have no added sugars.

“Our philosophy has always been to sell healthy snack options for the everyday athlete. I have a background in fitness and health and thrive on helping people to live sustainable, healthy lives. That’s what I aspire to do with our products. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or someone who only runs to the bus – an everyday athlete – you still need high-quality nutrients,” Vardalí explains.

Nuts in the workplace

After the huge popularity of business-to-business sales to hotels, catering companies, grocery stores and airlines, Vardalí is launching a new concept this year: a subscription nut box for workplaces. “We know that a lot of employers want to take care of their employees by offering good quality snacks at the office. Office workers are largely stationary during the workday, while consuming sweets and coffee during the week will cause blood sugar to rise and drop very fast. But a snack-portion of nuts will keep you motivated throughout the day and regulate your blood sugar,” the nut-loving CEO says.

Before the pandemic, the subscription boxes were trialled in multiple offices and received an enthusiastic reception. The official launch was paused due to COVID-19, and the team is now very eager to get it out to Scandinavian offices. They are teaming up with coffee-solution and facility-management companies to make it as simple as possible for employers to offer healthy energy from delicious, high-quality nuts, instead of the usual fruit, cookies or sweets.

“We hope to encourage people to live balanced lives. Not everyone has the time to exercise regularly, but we all

eat every day and by eating well during the day, we can help our bodies to stay healthy and happy. As well as being yummy, a nutty snack before the gym can give you the boost you need to go and have a great workout,” she says.

Instagram: @thisisnutsswe

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 15 Scan Magazine | Culinary Profile | This is Nuts
This is Nuts is available to order for both private nut-consumers and companies that love their employees, for delivery all over the EU.
Ranja Maria Vardalí

An extraordinary combination of art and craftsmanship

The distinctive beauty of Moroccan rugs is front of mind when Matti Vilhunen recounts his reasons for bringing a slice of Morocco back to his native Finland. In his new business venture, MattoMatti, or Matti’s Rugs, Vilhunen connects Morocco’s Berber rug artisans with the Nordic and global markets.

Vilhunen originally owned businesses in the fields of art, food and vintage goods, before he found himself in Morocco for the first time in 2017. “I owned a restaurant and the chef was Moroccan. As a result, I visited the country. Immediately, the experience was mind-blowing. The hospitality, the colours, the architecture, the bustle and the landscapes were all so new and unique. While there, I visited a village market in Khemisset in the Atlas Mountains. I bought a carful of rugs from local Berbers, the indigenous people of North Africa.”

For a few years, Vilhunen thought about the rugs, mulling over business ideas. “During the pandemic, I decided it was time to try the rugs. I was lucky to find reliable partners, Yassine and Anissa. First, they sent me ten, then 20 rugs, and we slowly got to where we are now.”

A piece of art made from quality materials

For Vilhunen, the rugs are a form of self-expression. “They have meaning and tradition. For me, they even have a soul. The rugs are a piece of art,” he says. He also feels that customers appreciate their quality and the ambience they bring to a home.

“They are made using high-quality sheep’s wool. It’s a durable and natural material that effortlessly stays clean. The rugs can be traditional or modern. The colours of the natural dyes, which come from roots, vegetables, plants and mushrooms, are so unique.”

Working with local artisans Vilhunen buys rugs from individuals and rug collectives. He doesn’t collaborate with factories. “We only work with peo-

ple who contribute to their area and keep traditions alive. We pay the Berbers immediately.”

At the moment, Vilhunen sells the rugs mainly to customers in Finland, though he also ships worldwide. He plans to start marketing to the US and the rest of Europe this year. “I’d love to branch out to bigger interior projects like a restaurant, apartment or villa, using Moroccan tiles, ceramics and furniture, besides rugs,” Vilhunen says. “For example, I just sold a huge wooden door. There is so much potential and the Moroccan artisans are so talented.”


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Scan Magazine | Design Profile | MattoMatti

LUONNONBETONI: building an ecofriendly future with natural concrete

In an age of ever-increasing environmental awareness, one young Finnish company is pioneering new concrete production and design. LUONNONBETONI, meaning ‘natural concrete’ in English, is a start-up company making inroads into sustainable building materials.

Based in Nummela, Vihti, in Southern Finland, LUONNONBETONI was founded in 2017 by architects Kristiina Kuusiluoma and Martino De Rossi, and Vihdin Betoni – a factory producing prefabricated concrete elements, who together identified a need for cement-free building materials.

Kuusiluoma explains: “We are two founding architects from Studio Collaboratorio, and we were seeking a way to produce strong, ethical and environmentally-friendly building materials. We use natural materials like wood, clay and straw in our architectural work and became convinced of the need for more ecological stone-based products. We

came across rammed earth – one of the oldest building techniques known to mankind – and that inspired us to create LUONNONBETONI.”

A cutting-edge product born from tradition

LUONNONBETONI is made from unburned clay and aggregates. Aggregates consist of granular natural materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone, which give LUONNONBETONI products their unique patterns and hues. Raw clay imparts moisture-balancing and heat-storing qualities, while clay’s plasticity enables floors or walls to be built without seams –which is great news for designers.

Neither cement nor other energyintensive industrial processes are used in the production of LUONNONBETONI. Its key properties of hardness and durability are achieved by compressing the sifted clay and aggregate extremely densely into the desired shape. The surface is then sealed with linseed oil wax or other natural sealants, so it repels moisture and dirt, and is easy to clean.

“We started mainly by doing floors and are now piloting exterior walls. It’s all going on now! There is a lot of overseas interest. Ecological values are becoming more prominent in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe. However, we need to take an environmentally-conscious approach to operating and delivering over large areas both at home and abroad,” says Kuusiluoma.

The company’s products have been used in everything from stylish flooring and elegant staircases to luxurious bathrooms.

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LUONNONBETONI contains clay and different sized aggregates without chemical additives nor processing.

“Our material has a classic, timeless beauty, and similar processes have been used since ancient times. It is preferred by interior designers and architects as it is aesthetically pleasing but also feels good. LUONNONBETONI is versatile and high performing,” she says.

It can be dyed using natural pigments, and the pattern, while reflecting the materials used, can be matte or glossy. As it is both a surface and a body material, it is cost-efficient, since boards, tiles or other floor-coverings are not needed.

Cement production accounts for eight per cent of CO2 pollution globally. No burning or chemical processes that release CO2 are used in the production of LUONNONBETONI. “Not only is the product ecologically friendly but it is 100 per cent recycled and reusable – it can be easily removed and upcycled without losing its strength and quality. And of course, it can go straight back into the earth,” she continues.

Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall is one of the country’s most iconic buildings, designed by world-renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, to host visitors and a wide range of events. The ongoing renovation of Finlandia Hall’s white marble façade started for the second time in March 2022, following its original renovation in the 1990s.

The city of Helsinki was keen to restore the iconic building for concerts and congresses the world-renowned architect had intended. Aalto’s goal was, on the one hand, to endow the building with the elegance of white marble, both outside and inside; on the other hand, he had a soft spot for the south and wanted to bring some of it to the north.

This gave LUONNONBETONI the opportunity to work with the discarded Carrara marble from the Finlandia Hall façade that was set to be replaced. LUONNONBETONI will be showcasing the upcycled Carrara marble alongside its other products during the prestigious Milan Design Week, ‘Alcova’, in April 2023. “We’re really excited to present this upcycled material in Milan. LUONNONBETONI is the way forward for the restoration of older buildings,” says Kuusiluoma. “It’s an exciting time in eco-friendly construction materials and we at LUONNONBETONI are proud to be at the forefront of this building revolution.”

Instagram: @luonnonbetoni

Collaboratorio - Architecture & Research

Instagram: @collaboratoriohelsinki

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 19 Scan Magazine | Design Profile | LUONNONBETONI
Architects from Studio Collaboratorio, Kristiina Kuusiluoma and Martino De Rossi, developed LUONNONBETONI together with Vihdin Betoni. LUONNONBETONI floors and exterior walls of a restaurant in Päivölän Piha. Detail of LUONNONBETONI wall. Milan Design Week 2023 takes place 17-23 April. @alcova.milano
The LUONNONBETONI surfaces in Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA match the iconic concrete architecture by Arno Ruusuvuori, providing an ecological exhibition design.

Beautiful metal design that goes beyond the surface

Due to its versatility, black oxide coating is suitable for almost any kind of steel or stainless-steel surface, and the options for its use in design are limitless. The Finnish company Black Oxide Coating provides a beautiful, practical and durable alternative to traditional coating methods.

Founded in 2020, Black Oxide Coating is a company specialising in the chemical blackening of almost all kinds of steel surfaces. The black oxide coating is a great-value substance that results in a visually-impressive surface, without changing the surface’s dimensions or measurement accuracy. The products are intended primarily for architects and space planners seeking to make their designs grander and add value to them.

“Chemical blackening is a great solution for a high-quality finish. The steel does not lose its dimensional accuracy in the process, so even small details retain their shape, such as the patterns cut into the cladding elements in this site. We’re here to help our clients achieve the most stylish design possible and, while we take care of the practicalities, our clients are free to let their imagination fly,” says Jyri Kettula, owner and CEO of Black Oxide Coating.

Unlike painting, the process requires no preparation or drying time and the unique way that the black oxide colour permeates the material, rather than sitting on top of it as with other coating methods, means that the colour does not chip or flake. In addition, black oxide coating requires minimal to no maintenance – cleaning it with water when necessary is sufficient.

According to Kettula, the chemical blackening enhances the look of steel surfaces in unprecedented ways. “The methods used by Black Oxide Coating are unique and cannot be achieved with any other processing methods. Chemical blackening can be applied to virtually all steel surfaces. “We can handle

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At the The Barö Hotel, chemical black oxide coating has been used on the fireplace’s steel surfaces, bar counter and on the kitchen backsplash, for example.

pieces of many sizes and shapes. This allows our clients to fully focus on other parts of the design, while we take care of everything else,” he says.

Simple and sleek designs

Black Oxide Coating know that in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, steel surfaces also need to be practical. Depending on the lighting and angle, the surface changes colour, almost as if the surface was alive. “Our process brings out the characteristics of the material. The surface ages beautifully, and each coating is unique,” the CEO says.

A stunning example of the potential of black oxide coating is the design of The Barö, an archipelago hotel in Inkoo, Finland. The hotel includes black oxide coating as a focal point in its sleek and elegant interior design, on the fireplace’s steel surfaces, bar counter and kitchen backsplash, for example.

There is plenty of scope for customisation as the chemical blackening method can be used on floor-level furniture, and for finishing the surfaces of furniture frames as well as on fixed furniture. It can also be used for smaller detailing, to draw attention to or highlight something as a design feature. There are various shades, ranging from brushed, matte or natural metal for indoor and outdoor use.

“The owner of The Barö fell in love with the authenticity of the blackened steel. Simplicity is at the core of Finnish archi-

tecture, and we have found a way to accentuate this in a very understated but impressive way,” Kettula explains.

High-end details

Black Oxide Coating has also made an impression on the company Climecon, which specialises in indoor air design and whose clients include high-end restaurants and hotels. Incidentally, the owner had been impressed by The Barö’s design, and enquired into who was behind it. The trail led to Black Oxide Coating, and the two companies started a collaboration. Today, all Climecon kitchen hoods and ceiling ventilation solutions are available in black.

“Because kitchen hoods have a very specific and practical purpose, they are often not seen as design features. But in our opinion, the potential for blackened kitchen hoods is high, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of open kitchens. The elegant black oxide kitchen hoods are perfect for high-end hotels and restaurants. We want to provide fresh, innovative solutions and influence the market,” Kettula concludes.

Instagram: @blackoxidecoating Facebook: Black Oxide Coating LinkedIn: Black Oxide Coating Oy

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 21 Scan Magazine | Design Profile | Black Oxide Coating Oy
Black Oxide Coating owner, Jyri Kettula. Chemical black oxide coating has been used in Helsinki-based GILLET Bar & Bistro’s designs in columns and roof structures in the property’s courtyard. The site was designed by architect Stefan Ahlman (Ahlman Arkkitehdit Oy).

Møbelgalleriet Moss: Furniture for timeless Nordic interiors

Are you inspired by sleek and timeless Scandinavian design? Then look no further than Møbelgalleriet Moss in Norway. This independent, high-end furniture shop is on a mission to make houses into beautiful homes.

From the moment you step into the store, to the moment that brand-new sofa or dining table is carefully placed in your home, the staff at Møbelgalleriet Moss are there to help you curate your perfect, personalised space.

“We’re not simply a furniture shop,” owner Ann Karin Justad says. “We’re a driven crew who care first and foremost about providing the best advice for each individual customer and home.”

Being a sixth-generation furniture dealer, marketing manager Håkon Borg spent most of his life learning about the industry. Like him, interior consultants Lisbeth

Andreassen and Mette Folden have spent many years learning about and perfecting the trade. “We value passion and extensive knowledge in our store,” says Mette. “That’s how we can provide the best possible tailored service.”

Andreassen jokes that customers can expect full “interrogations” on everything from their wall sizes to floor plans. “It might seem a bit much, but it’s so we can make sure that they get the right piece for their home,” she says.

So, whether you’re on a mission to find the perfect dining table or are just looking to browse, the staff at Møbelgalleriet Moss

will welcome you with open arms, a cup of coffee and all the answers to your interior-related questions.

A new adventure

The store was established by Borg’s father in 1993 and simply went by the name Møbelgalleriet, until the ownership transfer in 2021, which launched it into a new, exciting era. “Since 2021, the shop has found its own voice and sense of style. We’ve been able to curate a space that makes us unique,” Borg says.

He adds that the re-launch has allowed them to focus on Nordic and Scandinavian designs and values, giving them a clearer vision. “Scandinavians are known for producing high-quality products and sensible designs, which also focus on comfort and durability,” he says. “This fits our mission to promote more timeless, sustainable furniture.”

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An in-store exhibition, featuring art by Tobias Ryen Amundsen.

Being an independent store, Møbelgalleriet Moss can play around in ways chain stores might not be able to. With their new vision and recently extended store, the team at Møbelgalleriet Moss have also used the shop to promote local, Norwegian artists.

“We’re a collocated furniture environment and display space that can exhibit up to 1,200 square metres of high-end furniture,” Justad says. “Our customer group appreciate good art and culture, so hosting exhibitions and featuring art pieces allows us to both promote excellent Norwegian artistry while also being creative in our own curation,” adds Borg. The exhibitions have featured artists such as Ine Bache-Wiig, Guttorm Nordø and Tobias Ryen Amundsen.

The future is Nordic, timeless and sustainable

The team at Møbelgalleriet Moss might have welcomed a new vision for the store, but they have also made sure not to forget the shop’s most important quality: timelessness.

“Many of our pieces in the shop today were designed 60 years ago, but they’re still popular with our customers,” says Borg. “Our goal is that when someone finds one of our current pieces in the attic in 100 years, it’ll be met with excitement.”

“It’s important to us that the pieces we sell today survive the many storms of passing

trends,” Justad says. “They need to be of high and durable quality, while also being functional and timeless, which is why we prefer selling Scandinavian products.”

The focus on durability, quality and timelessness is in line with the company’s goal to be a long-lasting and green design option. “We prioritise showcasing Norwegian items because we know that the quality is excellent and that production happens in Norway,” Justad says. “That way, if a sofa, for example, needs additional stuffing after years of wear and tear, the customers can get that through the producer rather than throwing away a perfectly good couch.”

To the team at Møbelgalleriet Moss, national production that requires minimal transportation isn’t only important because of the environment. “It’s also im-

portant to us that we help to create local workplaces,” adds Mette. “After all, no one knows how to create Norwegian products better than Norwegians.”

Instagram: @mobelgallerietmoss2020

Facebook: Møbelgalleriet Moss

Møbelgalleriet Moss

Ekholtveien 114 1526 Moss

Can’t drive the furniture home yourself? No problem! The staff personally ensure safe home deliveries and provide followup help even after the furniture has been placed in your home.

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 23 Scan Magazine | Design Profile | Møbelgalleriet Moss
a 45-minute
the store – only
drive from Oslo.
From left: Mette, Ann Karin, Lisbeth and Håkon. Fogia Bollo Chair in Vintage Cognac. Mette and a customer in Sven Ivar Dysthes Model 1001. Chair by Eiklund.

Modern professional beauty care in Finland’s oldest city

Opened by Somayeh Azizi in 2019, Soma Beauty is an inclusive salon offering an extensive range of beauty care in relaxing, modern surroundings. From fillers to permanent pigmentation, mesotherapy to micro-needling, and biorevitalisation to HIFU, a broad range of salon therapies are available from Soma Beauty’s experienced licensed consultants. The latest is the highly popular lifting HIFU treatment, a long-lasting treatment for the skin that gives a natural and regenerative effect.

Originally hailing from Iran, Azizi has lived and worked in Finland for over 12 years. Having trained initially as a nurse, Azizi also completed several beauty care courses in Finland and abroad. It was always her dream to launch her own salon and design and decorate her own business. Today, she has made it a reality, and Soma Beauty occupies a bright and comfortable premises right in Turku’s city centre, near the railway station park.

An international salon

One of Soma Beauty’s beauty technicians is Azizi’s daughter, Kimia Moradipour, a cosmetology studies graduate from Turku Beauty School who specialises in structural nails and nail treatments, as well as various facial treatments. There is also a doctor of aesthetic beauty care who works part-time at the salon.

“Our goal is to care for our clients and offer them quality services with a high level of professionalism,” says Azizi. “We always ensure a positive and luxurious treatment experience. We love to see returning clients, and to hear that our treatments have been recommended to friends.” Azizi highlights the importance

of listening to clients’ needs. “We strive to respond to our customer’s wishes and listen carefully to what kind of treatments they want. We’re always seeking to expand our offering to new treatments that clients might be interested in receiving.”

Azizi views Soma Beauty as an international salon. “We have not positioned ourselves as Finnish or foreign. Our customers are both Finnish and foreign, both women and men,” she says. Besides offering services in Finnish, they can also communicate with clients in English, Persian and Kurdish.

A contemporary space with cutting edge-treatments

The salon is modern, bright and spacious. Azizi chose to emphasise cleanliness with a sleek, clinical design. Five large windows introduce natural light and can be covered to protect privacy. A variety of refreshments before and after treatments is available, and Soma Beauty uses products from a range of countries, including Switzerland, Israel, Korea and Spain.

One of the most advanced treatments Soma Beauty offers is HIFU, or High-

Intensity Focused Ultrasound. This is a relatively new cosmetic treatment for skin-tightening that is considered a safe and effective replacement for face and body lifts. It uses ultrasound energy to encourage the production of collagen that results in firmer skin. The results tend to last for around a year. HIFU was originally used in cancer treatment, but has been approved for skin renewal since 2009. For clients in the 40-50+ age range, Azizi says these treatments are growing in popularity. “HIFU is being offered more frequently now because it is a safe, non-invasive treatment that actually works,” she says. For people who are not ready for or interested in this more complex form of skin-renewal, traditional therapies for the face that both sooth and deeply moisturise are also available.

For Azizi, continuing to develop her professional skills in the field of beauty therapy is especially important. “I have a huge interest in staying up to date with the cutting-edge of beauty care so that I can adapt and grow. Soma Beauty regularly participates in continuing education. We always want to provide clients with the most advanced, qualified experience.”

Instagram: @soma_somabeauty

Facebook: Soma Beauty Oy

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 25
Located on a peaceful tree-lined street in the centre of Turku, the ex-capital and oldest city of Finland, Soma Beauty offers patrons professional beauty and wellness treatments in a contemporary, relaxed environment.
Scan Magazine | Lifestyle and Wellness | Soma Beauty

Why beer competitions are important

Once again, my social media feed is filling up with photos from beer competitions, such as Copa Tayrona in Colombia and Birra dell’Anno in Italy. Many more will follow: SIBA Awards in March, Barcelona Beer Challenge in April and, of course, the World Beer Cup in May. Not only is WBC considered ‘the Olympics of beer competitions’, it has a waiting list for judges of around five years (yes, I’m still waiting).

But why are beer people such as myself so interested in competitions? And why do brewers enter their beers? Simply put, beer competitions are an excellent way for brewers to get feedback and recognition from well-trained tasters. Competitions are also a good opportunity for judges to network, extend their experience and, hopefully, to taste some excellent beers.

“It looks so serious,” my partner told me when I showed him a photo from a recent competition. Yes indeed! Each beer is carefully judged for appearance,

aroma, flavour and mouthfeel, but also drinkability and often commercial potential. Judges are provided with style guidelines, to see if the beer meets the style criteria. Basically, does it present the way the brewer intended? Judges then provide feedback, both good and bad, which is shared with the brewer. Some brewers tell me that this feedback is in fact more important than winning, so that they can perfect the beer.

Often, competitions take place and winners are announced in relation to a festival, which is clever timing; brewers are presented with their trophy on stage in front of an enthusiastic audience, and afterwards curious consumers can be first in line to try the award-winning beers. The competition’s photographer makes sure that all winners get their picture taken – great for sharing on social media. It creates a buzz and might help breweries reach more consumers and enter new markets.

A summer vacation close to home

Growing up, we never had a summer house, as many Swedish families do. Neither did we have a lot of money to buy one. Instead, my dad and his wife rented a little one-room cabin outside Stockholm with no electricity or running water. Every summer, we would spend weeks in our little summer house. We celebrated midsummer with the other families, and I loved helping to carry buckets of water from the well. This might sound like it was hundreds of years ago, but this was the late ‘90s.

During those summers, my best friend and I spent most of the time outdoors. We caught butterflies, read books, picked flowers and spent time with the other members of the community. Because the whole

site was car-free, we gladly ran around without fear of anything besides snakes or drowning – but we had our rubber boots on, and obeyed the adults’ rules of never swimming in the lake by ourselves.

Despite this picturesque childhood memory of playing outdoors, I wouldn’t consider myself a nature-lover – but it did teach me that a happy summer doesn’t have to be spent in exotic places. Of course, I went abroad a few times and loved it, but I enjoyed the Swedish summers just as much.

As an adult responsible for my own summers, I still seek out holidays that don’t include airplanes, that keep costs down and will give me time to rest. That’s what the summer vacation is for, isn’t it?


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Malin Norman is a Certified Cicerone®, a certified beer sommelier, an international beer judge and a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. Sustainability columnist Alejandra Cerda Ojensa is a Swedish sustainability blogger based in Copenhagen. She loves sustainable fashion, plant-based food, natural wines and music.
Scan Magazine | Lifestyle and Wellness | Columns

S:t Eriksplan 1, 11320

Stockholm, Sweden

Instagram: portal_restaurant_bar


Marie Olsson Nylander: the interior designer stirring up a storm

There’s always something happening around Marie Olsson Nylander. From TV shows to podcasts and collaborations, this bundle of energy is constantly challenging herself, breaking boundaries and bringing unconventional ideas and contrasts into her irresistibly quirky style.

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Interior designer, stylist and antiquesdealer Marie Olsson Nylander divides her time between Höganäs and Sicily, decorating two family homes, partnering with brands and growing her own portfolio of clients, making TV series, podcasts and writing books, as well as spending time with her husband Bill and their four children Vidar, Otto, Ingrid and Solveig. “My life is a crazy mix of everything, but that’s how I like it,” she laughs, whilst searching for the remote control that youngest daughter Solveig has misplaced and is urging her mum to find in the background.

Marie has worked with interior design since 2005, but it was only recently that she reached a mass audience in the Swedish TV series Husdrömmar Sicilien (House Dreams Sicily). For three sea-

sons, we have followed the renovation of Palazzo Cirillo, a beautiful pink house dating back to the 18th century. Many have fallen in love with the Sicilian house, which had been empty for 40 years before being carefully brought back to life by Marie and Bill, but we have also been transfixed by the narrow streets of Termini Imerese, its antique markets and small coffee shops, the neighbours watching curiously as the renovation progressed, and the architects, builders and gardeners who helped the family’s dream come true.

Since her TV success, Marie has become a household name and has been featured in numerous interior magazines. In 2020, she was named Interior Designer of the Year by Residence Magazine and, with nearly 140,000 followers on Instagram,

the talented designer has also launched celebrated brand collaborations including carpets and textiles with Ellos, wallpaper with Rebel Walls and furniture with HKliving. There’s more in the pipeline, but it’s all hush-hush at the moment.

A designer who doesn’t like to be labelled

The self-taught designer describes her style as ‘clean messy’, ‘modern bombastic minimalism’, and ‘rococo goes boho-wild’. She finds inspiration in abandoned houses and by travelling off the beaten track. “I’m not keen on sightseeing,” she admits. “I prefer to blend in with the locals and to explore odd places on backstreets that nobody has heard of. It inspires me to design rooms and create atmospheres where you feel a real buzz as you enter. That’s what I find exciting.”

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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Marie Olsson Nylander
The bedroom in Höganäs, with Marie’s fluffy carpet in the foreground, 2023. Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander Youngest daughter Solveig in the entrance to Palazzo Cirillo, 2023. Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander
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The quirky kitchen in Höganäs, designed and renovated by Marie and husband Bill. Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander

Marie steers away from design rules. She doesn’t like to categorise people or to be pigeonholed herself. Instead, creativity should come from a sense of freedom and happiness. “Designing is a bit like cooking. You need numerous different ingredients, and then you mix flavours and textures to create a delicious dish. It’s the same with interior design, if you combine styles, materials and fabrics you get a much more interesting result,” she explains. “If you can cook, you can design!”

Despite her aversion to rules, there are some themes in Marie’s ‘style of cooking’. She moves effortlessly between grandiose and simple, juxtaposing design pieces, bargains from flea markets and home-made objects. The self-proclaimed vintage-lover adores massive lamps that take centre stage in a room, big fluffy carpets that contrast with smooth and shiny surfaces, and textiles in nuanced earthy tones that seem to melt together. “My tip would be to use things, wear them out, soil them. It’s better to buy something that you really love, and then use it again and again. Use your best glassware and your best plates, every day,” she says.

From a life crisis to achieving the dream in Sicily

Last summer, Marie’s first book Det Rosa Huset (The Pink House) was published. This is not your typical coffee-table book with glossy photos of over-styled rooms. Rather, it goes deeper and shows both

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 33 Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Marie Olsson Nylander
Finnish artist Mirja Ilkka’s wall painting in Palazzo Cirillo, 2019. Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander The first sofa bought for Palazzo Cirillo, before the renovation, 2019. Photo: Marie Olsson Nylander One of the rooms in Palazzo Cirillo, with Marie’s unique interior design. Photo: Mike Lundgren Karlsson

strength and vulnerability. Of course, the main theme is the pink house in Sicily, as the title suggests, but intertwined are Marie’s thoughts on life, on a childhood without a mother, and on her two biggest personal challenges of the past few years: being diagnosed with cancer and divorcing Bill, who she has since remarried.

“I was undergoing breast cancer treatment and at the same time I went through a divorce. It was a really tough time,” she recalls, her voice softening. The couple eventually reunited and had their fourth child, Solveig. Soon after, they bought Palazzo Cirillo. “Our struggles made us stronger. I think that’s why we had the courage to buy a house in Sicily and approach a TV producer with the idea of filming the renovation. You can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen – you have to take charge and live now.”

Marie is a free spirit and a rebel at heart. In fact, she has always refused to conform to a certain style or way of life. “As a child, I was more like Pippi Longstocking than a girly-girl in cute dresses. I was a curious tomboy with jeans and clogs, playing with my dad’s toolbox,” she reminisces. People might call her brave, both back then and now, but she claims that she is just drawn to the different.

There’s always something new happening in Marie’s life. The latest is her podcast Syrran och Jag (Sis and Me), where she talks openly with her sister Susanne about everyday life and hardships, growing up with a hard-working single father, funny work-related situations and more. “It’s terrifying to do a podcast! We don’t prepare anything but rather go with the flow and see what happens,” she says with a wink. “Even though it’s scary, you have to try new things. Step outside the comfort zone, push yourself, have fun and see how you can develop as a person.”

Follow Marie on Instagram: @marieolssonnylander

10 quick fire questions with Marie Olsson Nylander:

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Driven, emotional, bubbly, honest, creative.

Who is your hero?

My grandmother, who unfortunately is no longer alive.

What inspires you?

Interesting people with a story to tell. People who are passionate about what they’re doing. Exciting places and quirky shops.

What motivates you to work so hard?

I want to achieve my goals. I love to see my ideas become reality. It’s like I have this painting in my head, and I’m as curious as everyone else is to see the end result.

Why should you dare to try new things?

Without courage, there’s nothing left! We live now and that old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is very true.

What is your biggest fear?

That something bad will happen to the people I love.

What makes you laugh?

My sense of humour is a bit odd. I think it’s really funny when Bill stumbles into something and swears, especially when he’s already grumpy. Everybody laughs at him then, even the kids. Actually, my kids make me laugh all the time. I love to laugh!

How do you imagine the future?

Everything is better than it was 300 years ago, but humans have a tendency to forget and to always want more and to never be satisfied. Perhaps we need the ongoing crises in order to slow down our ego. We’re not immortal or invincible, we only have one Earth that we need to take care of.

How do you spend a day in Höganäs?

If I have a day off, I love to be at home. I might also go to Salthallarna to buy fresh bread and have dinner with family and friends at Barbara.

Your favourite place to travel? Sicily!

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March 2023 | Issue 152 | 35 Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Marie Olsson Nylander

From hip-hop to modern art: Tampere is for the culture-lovers

The Tampere region is making a name for itself as Finland’s new culture destination – even rivalling the capital, Helsinki, when it comes to hosting events. Representing a number of local festivals, the organisation Tampere Region Festivals, or Pirfest for short, is whipping up excitement in the area by fuelling the growth of the festival scene, and turning Tampere into an unmissable destination for international travellers.

Pirfest is a unique network bringing together 36 festivals across 12 municipalities. It aims to share information and resources amongst its members, to represent them and to liaise with external entities, like the authorities, on their behalf. It also played a pivotal role in helping festivals navigate the turbulent and uncertain time of COVID-19 restrictions.

“A lot of our time was spent on crisis communications. We also facilitated training to ensure safe events. We were

still feeling the pandemic’s impact in reduced attendance last year, which is why we are very excited to see the Tampere region bustling with festival-goers this year,” says Tampere Region Festivals’ executive director, Tiina Kuusisto.

A region of culture, 365 days of the year

Many festivals take place in Tampere all year round. Visitors to the region will find events to satisfy every interest, from the casual to the highbrow. This variety is matched by the many types of venues that play host to the festivities: both new, purpose-built venues and old buildings and industrial estates that are brought back to life.

People might be looking for a summer holiday destination, but Tampere shouldn’t be forgotten come autumn, win-

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Everyone will find the right music to jam to. Brass band Cono performing from a diving tower at KesäVirratSoi festival. Photo: Matti Nenonen

ter and spring. The smiling people who fill the city streets in the summer will get their culture fix in the region’s clubs and concert venues when the weather gets colder. Tampere Film Festival takes place in March, while November will see the Tampere Jazz Happening take over the city. Why not contrast the smooth notes of the saxophone with ice-swimming and a visit to a sauna? Tampere is the world’s sauna capital after all!

Hip-hop, Baroque and modern art

One of the biggest festivals organised in Tampere is Blockfest. Taking place in August, it’s the biggest hip-hop festival in the Nordic region. The line-up in previous years has been a mix of the old guard and new talent – from Ice Cube to Jack Harlow.

Tampere Theatre Festival is another event that is setting the example for its Nordic peers; it is the oldest and longest running professional theatre festival in the Nordic Region. In the second week of August, this event will see performers from all around the world take to the stage all over town, at restaurants, theatres and clubs.

Kuusisto points out that many unique experiences can be found in the municipalities and not just the city of Tampere: “For the event Sastamala Gregoriana, which focuses on music from Baroque, the Middle Ages and the renaissance period, the concerts are held in an old church by a lake. It doesn’t get more scenic than that!

You can also travel 60 miles northeast of Tampere to discover Mänttä Art Festival, which showcases up-and-coming and established talent in the modern art space.”

Tampere welcomes visitors with open arms

The people of Tampere are known for their easy-going outlook on life but also for their hospitality. Tampere lived up to this reputation when it hosted the Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships in May 2022, which was a roaring success for Tampere and Finland alike. After a victorious tournament that saw Finland beat Canada in the finals, Tampere will again be hosting the competition this spring.

In July, there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy a local festival atmosphere when people of all ages flock to Tammerfest: a music festival where everybody who is anybody in the Finnish

music scene will perform. If you are in Tampere at the end of July, you won’t be able to miss it – the festival area is in a park in the middle of the city!

Tampere also makes for a perfect city break. The city is nestled between two lakes and is easy to reach from Helsinki with a direct rail connection, and its own airport. The town is walkable and, should you want to rest your legs or go further afield, the newly-built tram allows you to explore with ease. “The Tampere region is great to visit and offers city buzz and picturesque nature alike. I hope more and more people will make our region their culture destination this year,” says Kuusisto.

Instagram: @pirkanmaanfestivaalit Facebook: pirkanmaanfestivaalit

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 37
Blockfest has an internationally renowned list of acts every year. Fuoco E Cenere performed at Sastamala Gregoriana. Photo: Mónica Suárez Galindo Tampere Theatre Festival spectators admiring a performance by Akropatit last summer. Photo: Carolin Büttner

A cultural hub portraying the colourful history of a Finnish port town

Whether you’re a history nerd, an aspiring seaman or just curious about Nordic art and architecture, Maritime Centre Vellamo in Kotka has something to offer visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Situated in the Old Port of Kotka, Vellamo is home to the Maritime Museum of Finland, the Kymenlaakso Museum, the Coast Guard Museum and the Kotka Cultural Services. The centre provides visitors with an innovative and interactive experience of maritime and local history, houses displays of historic boats and ships, hosts art exhibitions and cultural events and serves seasonal specialites in its own cosy restaurant. It is no wonder that since its opening to the public in

2008, the centre has established itself as a central cultural hub in Kotka.

Seafaring is an important part of the port town’s history and the exhibitions at Vellamo aim to provide unique insights into life at sea. “Few people stop to think about how crucial seafaring has been to our current way of life, both in Finland and abroad,” says curator Erik Tirkkonen. “Throughout history, people have carried not only goods but also ideas, beliefs and religions across the seas.”

Forgotten stories of seafarers float to the surface in the acclaimed Fateful Svensksund exhibition housed by the centre. Providing a look at the most significant sea battle ever fought on the Baltic Sea just outside Kotka in 1790, the exhibition utilises interactive gaming technology and 3D-modelling, and displays unique objects recovered from the wreckage. At its core, however, are human narratives.

“Exceptionally, it approaches this military history through the stories of the people involved,” Tirkkonen explains.

An innovative yet human approach is a common element to all exhibitions at Vellamo. The I do! Stories of Love exhibition portrays wedding gowns and stories from the past decade, while Shifting to Wood sheds light on the forest industry in the Kymenlaakso region. The upcoming Escape From Pompeii exhibition explores the Roman Navy and the lives and fates of the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the shadow of the Vesuvius volcano.

While the centre’s exhibitions provide unique experiences to visitors, Tirkkonen also calls attention to the building itself, which is an architectural marvel: “Built in the shape of a massive wave, Vellamo’s façade comprises metal panels in the colour of the sea and glass panels presenting historical subjects. An essential element of the interior is oak, a traditional shipbuilding material.”

Instagram: @merikeskusvellamo

Facebook: merikeskusvellamo

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Top Experiences in Finland 2023 38 | Issue 152 | March 2023
Photo: Harri Tarvainen, Visit Kotka-Hamina

Enjoy authentic Lapland and its nature

Kolmen Koukun Majat provides high-quality log cabin accommodation in Saariselkä, northern Finnish Lapland. The iconic mountainous Urho Kekkonen National Park is right on the cottages’ doorstep, making them an ideal base from which to explore Lapland’s rich wildlife and nature throughout the year.

Saariselkä is a resort village in northern Finland known for its skiing and hiking trails, as well as for being right next to Finland’s second-largest national park, Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Kolmen Koukun Majat offers high-quality accommodation just a stone’s throw away from the local amenities and outdoor activities of Saariselkä. “Lapland’s nature is all around us here. From our cottages, guests have direct access to the starting points of the national park’s numerous hiking and ski trails,” says Tuire Holopainen, CEO and co-owner at Kolmen Koukun Majat.

Kolmen Koukun Majat has four cottages, the largest of which, the Tunturipöllö and Kelo, can accommodate 18 and 13 guests respectively. The cottages are fully-equipped for a comfortable stay, and

Kolmen Koukun Majat caters to guests’ every need, promising easy and hassle-free accommodation in a central location. “The centre of the village is small, and all the key places and local services are easily accessible from the doorstep of our cottages, so there’s no need for a car here,” says Holopainen.

Each of the four cabins are kitted out with the latest kitchen amenities, and the larger cabins have been designed to accommodate remote working and conferences. In addition, the cabins’ ski maintenance room and skis are freely available to guests.

Enjoy nature all year-round

In the summer, activities range from hiking the breathtakingly beautiful trails to fishing, canoeing and foraging for berries. In the winter, Saariselkä morphs into a re-

al-life winter wonderland, and the region is renowned for being amongst the best locations for spotting the Northern Lights.

To top off the ultimate Lapland experience, cottage guests can enjoy watching reindeer roaming free right outside their doorstep in the summer. “Whether travelling alone or in a large group, whatever the time of year, we are committed to providing our guests with the perfect setting to enjoy their getaway in Finnish Lapland,” Holopainen concludes.

Instagram: @kolmenkokoukunmajat

Facebook: KolmenKoukun Majat

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 39
Saariselkä is known for its hiking trails and skiing opportunities, as well as Finland’s second-largest national park, Urho Kekkonen National Park, which is located right on the cottages’ doorstep. Reindeers roam free in the cottage yards in the summer. High-quality accommodation just a stone’s throw away from local amenities and outdoor activities.

Xwander: planning adventures for all in Lapland

When travelling to Nordic Lapland, the assistance of a tour guide is often the best way to enjoy the wild beauty of the landscape and the adventures it has to offer –and Xwander is the ideal company to sort such a thing out. Since 2001, Xwander has created and delivered great outdoor experiences in Finland and Norway that give visitors an authentic taste of the region and make it accessible to all.

Xwander began as a business offering adventure group travel. Its founder Joni Kautto was born in Ivalo, Finland and had always been an enthusiastic outdoorsman. Growing up, he spent countless days hiking, fishing, skiing or snowmobiling. His grandfather had been a border guard in the Finnish army, specialised in Arctic training, and was a huge influence on Kautto. As Xwander grew, its focus shifted to creating re-

warding travel experiences in Scandinavia and Lapland.

Xwander’s primary goal is to offer premium outdoor services, tailored to customers’ hopes and needs. Xwander employs a Lapland travel concierge who works with visitors to design a trip that delivers what they want. On staff they also have a fixer who makes the impossible possible for special events. Re-

cently, they worked to find a crew for a big-budget TV series filming in Lapland. and successfully met the needs of the project in less than a month.

Besides these special roles, Xwander employs a team of dedicated professionals to support a variety of groups, including those with special needs. They are all highly-trained in safety, first aid and wilderness guidance. The main tourist package is the one-week Best of Lapland tour that includes the most important Lappish experiences.

Lapland’s eight-season year

Kautto feels Lapland has four distinct seasons with an additional four ‘half seasons’ that visitors can enjoy. “We

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have a frosty winter, snowdrift spring, icy spring, nights without dark in the summer, harvest in autumn, fall colours in late autumn, first snow and Christmas time,” he says. “The seasonality brings great richness to travels in Lapland. Many of our guests come back again and again to experience the variety that each season offers.”

Kautto feels the other thing drawing travellers to Lapland is the singularity of the environment. “Our backyard and playground is the largest wilderness area in western Europe. In Finland, 70 per cent of the land is covered by trees – more than any other European country. It’s a given that many people would like to experience this type of natural environment,” he says. Xwander’s clients come from all around the world. For the last few years, central Europe was its largest market, but with the pandemic receding, the number of travellers from the US, Australia and Asia are growing again.

Sustainability is a priority

Sustainability is at the core of operations at Xwander and an integral part of planning all their activities. Xwander focuses on working with small groups, utilising local resources and cooperating with regional partners. They offset carbon

footprinting and are involved with several high-quality carbon projects. Xwander was one of the first companies in the area to take part in the Sustainable Travel Finland programme and the Biosphere Sustainable project. At the moment, Xwander is working to achieve a Travel Life Sustainability Certification.

For the future, Xwander plans to expand its trips to make the most of the eight seasons in Lapland, and intend to continue making Lapland accessible for all,

regardless of ability or needs. “We help many people with additional needs to experience the region, from couples to families and groups. These days, there are lots of options that make our destinations accessible,” Kautto says. “We also offer a range of courses, including first aid, mountain biking and ice safety, so that people can begin new outdoor hobbies with knowledge and confidence.”

Instagram: @xwandernordic

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 41

Bikeland: showcasing cycling in Finland

In the summer of 2020, when the pandemic caused the closure of national borders and restriced holiday options, Finland did something remarkable to expand the travel possibilities of people living in and visiting the country. It created the new national Bicycle Tourism Centre, Bikeland. Bikeland’s purpose is to develop and coordinate cycling throughout the country in all its different forms: traditional cycle touring, mountain biking, bikepacking (backpacking while cycling), cycling events and city-cycle tourism. As such, Finland offers a wide variety of means to explore the country through cycling.

Bikeland sees Finland as an ideal cycling destination for cyclists of all levels, whether for a relaxed holiday or an adventure. During the last couple years, multiple new cycling routes have been opened all around the country, including its first official bikepacking routes: a 900kilometre-long cycle-route network on the south coast of Finland, and an Arctic cycle-route network in Finnish Lapland over 2,000 kilometres long. Both are open to the public and incorporate a series of paths that vary

in landscape and level of complexity, to suit all levels and types of cycling.

Besides routes, cyclists need services. Bikeland developed a programme for bike-friendly businesses and there are now over 300 of them across Finland working to make cycling easy and enjoyable, wherever travellers choose to explore.

All the businesses in the programme provide cyclists with safe bicycle storage, basic tools, tire-pumps and information about the cycling routes in the area. These

businesses are easily identifiable thanks to the Welcome Cyclist badge.

Finland’s Everyman’s Right law makes it a unique biking destination and allows for safe travel in forests and natural areas. The law protects the freedom to roam in the countryside and to enjoy the recreational use of natural areas. In addition, cyclists may often use the same trails as hikers. It is therefore important to understand biking etiquette in Finland before beginning a cycling journey.

The Finnish love of cycling

Cycling is deeply rooted in Finnish culture. In Finland, children learn to cycle at an earlier age than almost anywhere else – around the age of four and a half, while Finns famously cycle all year round. Finland is home to the capital of winter cycling, Oulu, where adults ride their bikes to work and students cycle to school even when it’s -20 degrees

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Celcius. Well-maintained winter trails can be found all around Finland and, with the right equipment, are a wonderful way to experience the snowy countryside.

The country has diverse habitats and scenery with low population density. This provides peace of mind for cyclists to enjoy quiet country roads and forest trails. From coastal areas to the Finnish Archipelago, and from Lakeland – Europe’s largest lake district, to the fells of Lapland, cycling in Finland is a gateway to explore an endless variety of landscapes.

Suggested routes

On its website, Bikeland offers numerous suggestions for cycling trips in different regions of the country for all levels of cyclists. To sightsee like a local, Bikeland recommends exploring cities and towns by bike. In the Helsinki area, for example, cyclists can hop on the metro with their bicycles and head out to explore the surrounding nature and countryside. Bikeland suggests bike-touring or bikepacking as an ideal means to discover Finland’s numerous lakes, peaceful forests and hills. Bike-touring is generally via paved roads, while bikepacking routes tend to be unpaved roads and smaller trails through the forest.

For beginners and intermediate-level cyclists, recommended areas are Kotka and the southeast coast of Finland. Here,

cycle routes include winding along the Kymijoki river, exploring Kotka’s magnificent and award-winning parks, and cycling a 94-kilometre coastal route to take in the numerous architectural landmarks by renowned Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto.

Mountain biking is also popular in Finland. It’s one of the few cycling destinations where cyclists can ride around the clock in the summer season. Biking under the midnight sun is a memorable experience and one of the best places to experience it is in Saariselkä-Kiilopää, Finnish Lapland.

In Saariselkä-Kiilopää are 230 kilometres of summer mountain-biking routes. Riding here is a one-of-a-kind experience,

with infinite chains of fells on the horizon. This unusual landscape is the result of ancient mountains being rounded by ice-age activity, making them perfect for mountain biking. The Saariselkä-Kiilopää terrain caters both to those eager to try mountain biking for the first time and for those who want the ultimate adventure in the Arctic wilderness. Those looking for a weekend bikepacking adventure in the area can ride the Urho Kekkonen National Park Loop that is part of the Arctic by Cycle bikepacking route network. Finland has many possibilities for cycling, and Bikeland is there to help all travellers explore their options.



Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 43

Chase the northern lights on an arctic snow safari

There is something undeniably magical about Lapland’s beautiful snowy wilderness. With abundant unspoiled wildlife, lakes and forests, it is a haven unlike anywhere else on earth. The Finnish destination management company Safartica knows the nature, culture and outdoor activities of this area better than anyone else. They are experts on arranging sustainable adventures to help visitors explore the best of Lapland.

The number of tourists to Lapland has been growing steadily since a boom in the 2000s. As a result, the wilderness adventurists at Safartica, who have deep roots in Lappish culture, have been busy arranging guided snow safaris, hiking trips and husky rides. You only need to see a handful of the many hashtags on Instagram to get a sense of the incredible activities they offer. “We are run by local people, who all share a passion for the outdoors and for

our region,” says Safartica’s digital project manager Mikhail Sinitcyn. The business has over 20 years’ experience arranging tours in and around Rovaniemi – known as the home of Santa, Ylläs and Levi – a popular ski resort.

Silence, snow and nature

The latest exciting addition to Safartica’s offering is Aurora eMotion, the innovative and environmentally-friendly snow mo-

biles. The e-Sleds are completely silent, and therefore don’t disturb wildlife, locals or the natural silence of Lapland’s wilderness. “So far, we’re the only company here doing this,” Sinitcyn says. “Our electric snowmobiles are manufactured with sustainable travel and the reduction of sound pollution in mind. Now all you hear is snowfall and silence.”

The e-Sleds are a green alternative to the traditional combustion engine snowmobiles. “The old ones were very noisy and smelly!” says Sinitcyn. Local engineers have been developing the e-Sled since 2010 and the improved, locally-produced machines retain a typical snowmobile frame but have been built specifically around the electric engine.

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Snowmobiles through forest. Photo: Mikhail Sinitcyn

Snow safaris and chasing the Northern Lights

Each Safartica Aurora eMotion trip is different, but they are all operated and run in the same way. “We pick up our customers and bring them to the office where everyone is equipped with appropriate clothing and helmets for safety,” Sinitcyn explains. The group is then taken outside to the snowmobiles and carefully shown how to operate them. You can either ride your own e-Sled or share with a friend, depending on your preference. Groups of up to ten people are led by an experienced and knowledgeable guide, who will be with the group throughout the trip. A typical tour will start with crossing a frozen lake into a snow-covered forest and can include either ice-fishing or building a campfire, where lunch can be cooked.

“We also do evening tours, where you get to see the Northern Lights,” says Sinitcyn. Undoubtedly, the aurora borealis is one of the biggest attractions for visitors each winter. An ideal stay to catch the phenomenon, Sinitcyn suggests, is three to five days, or a week if possible. “The weather changes all the time, so the more days you have here, the better your chance of catching the Northern Lights.”

The snowmobile tours only operate during the winter months, between 1 December and the end of March or the beginning of April, but climate changes are starting to affect these seasons. “People think we will not be affected by rising temperatures, but we see our winter season change each year and both temperatures and snowfall are hugely affected,” says Sinitcyn.

Safartica’s business is tangibly impacted by the weather, which can kick-start the season a week early, or delay it by a week. In recent years, winter has been coming to Lapland later and later.” Sinitcyn says this is worrying: “We try to prepare as much as we can and preserve the snow from the previous season, just in case.” Snow or no snow, as all the tours start on the frozen lake, they still must wait until the temperature drops enough for the lake to freeze over.

“We appeal to people who are interested in sustainable tourism and who enjoy exploring the great outdoors,” Sinitcyn says. Safartica facilitate exciting activities in their beautiful local surroundings without ruining them. Lapland’s magical snowy wilderness will continue to attract

people of all ages, and Safartica will continue to share their love of adventure and deep respect for nature with those who come to explore it.

Instagram: @safartica

Facebook: Safartica

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 45
Northern Lights and snowmobiles. Photo: Alexander Kuznetsov Snowmobiles with lights. Photo: Alexander Kuznetsov

A spa experience against an arctic backdrop


Although it is located a mere 15-minute drive from Rovaniemi’s train station in northern Finland, stepping through the door at Arctos Lapland Spa means instantly leaving the pressures and stresses of modern life behind.

Its traditional Finnish sauna and woodfire-heated Nordic hot tub invites guests to relax and unwind before a stunning open view of lake Norvajärvi. The spa also faces the northern sky, meaning lucky evening guests can admire the Aurora Borealis if the weather conditions are clear. “The spa experience in itself is amazing,” explains co-founder Raymond van Teeffelen. “The northern lights are kind of a bonus on top.”

He and his partner Paula Ahola founded the boutique tourist company in October last year, after the Finnish-Dutch couple had moved to the area for Ahola’s work. “We fell in love with the fresh, crisp

air and started to dream of opening a small-scale tourist company to share our passion for the Lappish nature,” van Teeffelen explains.

Van Teeffelen and Ahola both travelled extensively prior to moving to Rovaniemi and always sought out authentic experiences during their travels. This type of authenticity is precisely what the couple seek to offer guests at Arctos Lapland. “We believe that a perfect tour feels like you are enjoying a beautiful, memorable visit to an

At Arctos Lapland, guests always have a Lappish hut, sauna, hot tub, lounge room and ice-dipping hole to themselves, with a lunch prepared on an open fire during the day, and a light dinner during the evening. At the same time, Van Teeffelen and Ahola, who live close to the hut, are just a walkie-talkie button away, should visitors have a question or request.

Next year, the couple hope to convert a cottage located next to the spa into a guest house so that spa-visitors can also stay overnight. They are planning to add snowshoeing, forest skiing and ice fishing activities, which can be combined with the spa experience. But the two have no desire to transform their small company into something bigger or more corporate. “We want to grow slow and steady without compromising on the quality of our offering, and while staying close to our values,” Ahola explains.

Instagram: @arctoslapland

Facebook: arctoslapland

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Top Experiences in Finland 2023 46 | Issue 152 | March 2023
Founded in October last year, Arctos Lapland is a boutique tourist company in northern Finland that offers guests a restorative spa experience in a winter wonderland setting. friend, and unhurriedly exploring their way of living,” Ahola explains.

Happy dogs and satisfied customers make the ideal husky safari

An experience of the natural beauty and peaceful landscape of Lapland is simply incomplete without a husky safari. Maglelin Experience gives visitors the opportunity to explore the region while gliding over the snow on a sled pulled by a lively pack of Alaskan huskies.

Lapland, next to Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, where they created cozy and contemporary lodge-accommodation for up to eight guests, with views of the Northern Lights. Here, they offer a variety of husky safari experiences, including family and private safaris.

every customer will experience contented dogs on their safari.

Maglelin Experience is a family company and the Niemis say they don’t have plans to become the largest husky safari around. Instead, they intend to maintain the high level of quality on the safaris they already offer.

Instagram: @maglelin_experience

Facebook: Maglelin Experience

Maglelin Experience was opened four years ago by Raine and Karoliina Niemi. After spending 20 years travelling from their home in southern Finland to Lapland to train their sled dogs and participate in competitions, the Niemis decided to follow their passion. They bought a property 25 miles from Levi in western

Maglelin is an Inuit word that means ‘driving with sled dogs’. Karoliina found the name in an old book when she began breeding huskies herself. The Niemis have bred almost all their huskies and their way of life is centered on caring for them. High-quality food, sufficient exercise and rest make huskies happy, and their well-being is a primary part of Maglelin Experience. The pair hope that

Experience Lappish nature and the world’s purest air

Surrounded by the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in northern Finland, Muonio is one of the country’s top places to enjoy nature and outdoor activities – and to breathe the purest air in the world.

Muonio’s nature is very diverse, with over 20 fells and hundreds of lakes. The combination of the various natural elements makes for breathtakingly beautiful views and landscapes. It’s an ideal place for nature lovers; there are plenty of options for hiking, cycling, canoeing, rafting or fishing in the summer, when visitors also get to experience the magic of the midnight sun.

The winter ski season in Muonio generally begins in mid-October, and lasts until May. Due to its location directly under the auroral oval that orbits the Earth’s magnetic poles, visitors are almost guaranteed to spot the Northern Lights during the aurora borealis season, which usually runs from September to April.

Muonio is also known for having the purest air in the world. An air quality monitoring station is located in Sammaltunturi in Muonio. “It regularly measures the air particles and compares them to the results from other monitoring stations around the world,” Laura Hokajärvi, Discover Muonio’s tourism manager, explains.

“There is no mass tourism in Muonio. Instead, we are proud of our sustainable tourism, which is based on appreciating the local nature and culture,” Hokajärvi concludes.

Instagram: @discovermuonio

Facebook: Discover Muonio

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Three reindeers walking on a fell. Photo: Pauli Hänninen Lake Utkijärvi beach with autumn colours. Photo: Chris Alfthan
WATCHES & JEWELRY MADE TO LAST Timeless Gold EUR 159 Queen Earrings Gold EUR 69 Sparkle Ring Gold EUR 49 Twisted Ring Gold EUR 59 Marry Me Gold EUR 49 Gold Hoops EUR 29 Sweetheart Ring Gold EUR 49

Mindful enjoyment of Arctic nature

Less than an hour away from Rovaniemi’s popular tourist trail lies a true oasis of calm. Lapland Deluxe is a peaceful countryside getaway that provides an escape from the daily grind and busy schedules of urban life.

In 2017, Merja and Jari Paksuniemi became the owners of Merja’s family estate in Vanttausjärvi, a tiny village an hour’s drive from Rovaniemi, Finland. The estate was in a state of disrepair and had been vacant for nearly two decades. What ensued was a community effort to breathe new life into the old log house and the adjacent buildings, some of which are more than 150 years old. “We wanted to keep the spirit of the old estate alive, so the renovations have been made using traditional methods,” Merja explains.

Guests have the option to stay in two lakeside holiday homes – Ainola Holiday Home and Aurora Cottage Onnela – at opposite ends of a private peninsula, each of which enjoys complete privacy.

Feel, see, taste, experience

In the summertime, guests can experience the ‘nightless nights’, when the sun doesn’t set below the horizon. Summer

activities range from fishing, swimming and rowing on Lake Vanttausjärvi, to berry-picking and just relaxing. Jari and Merja also keep domesticated sheep. “They are an integral part of our family, and talking to them and hugging them has therapeutic qualities,” Jari says.

In the winter, guests can head out on the frozen lake for a snowshoe walk, and the Northern Lights can be spotted when the atmospheric conditions are right. The pace of the excursions is slow to allow for mindful wandering, or for admiring the starry Arctic sky while enjoying food around a campfire.

“We are involved as little or as much in the activities as our guests want. We can serve them a private dinner at our own historical log house and guide them on excursions, or they might prefer to have meals in their own cabin and explore the surrounding nature on their own.

We have plenty of tips on local activities, and we can tailor guests’ holidays to suit their needs,” Merja explains.

“Here, you can sample the clean local cuisine, and explore the surrounding nature. This place is a labour of love and a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. We want to share our way of life with our guests and to show them an authentic Lapland experience,” she concludes.

Instagram: @laplanddeluxe

Facebook: Lapland Deluxe

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Top Experiences in Finland 2023 March 2023 | Issue 152 | 49
Lapland Deluxe is an ideal place to see the Northern Lights. Photo: All About Lapland A private dinner is served for guests at the historical log house. Photo: Erkki Kuure Photography According to Jari, hugging the family sheep has a therapeutic effect.

Sweden’s commitment to artistic freedom

In this Swedish culture special, we’ve profiled 13 of the country’s forerunning institutions whose unmissable programmes for 2023 will enthral tourists and locals alike. Spanning the Vikings, naval history, heritage textiles, modernist furniture, mind-bending paradoxes and far more, the events and exhibitions slated to launch this year have cemented Sweden as one of the most exciting

countries in Europe in which to immerse yourself in the arts. Both Sweden’s capital and its second city are celebrating big birthdays this year. Gothenburg is turning 400 years old and will recognise it with a culture festival in June, while the renowned Nordiska Museet in Stockholm is turning 150, and putting on a smorgasbord of arts events in the coming months. This backdrop of cultural jubi-

lees also provides a fantastic opportunity to discover the smaller – but no less pioneering – museums and galleries around the country. In these interviews with curators, founders and historical experts from institutions large and small, we take you behind the curtain of Sweden’s exhilarating cultural sector.

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Special Theme:
Page 64. Photo: Martina Micuchova

In 2023, the Swedish Arts Council will host the ninth World Summit on Arts and Culture together with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). This much-anticipated latest edition of the renowned event will see government representatives, cultural policymakers, researchers and artists come together to discuss how to safeguard artistic freedom.

The term may sound nebulous, but artistic freedom entails concrete rights recog-

nised and protected under international law. UNESCO defines it as ‘the freedom to imagine, create and distribute diverse cultural expressions free of governmental censorship, political interference or the pressure of non-state actors’.

That the Swedish Arts Council is co-producing the summit this year is a significant accolade, and the IFACCA praised the Swedish Arts Council for its “longstanding commitment to artistic freedom”. It’s praise, not only for the organ-

isation, but for the entire country whose national drive to support the cultural sphere, at home and abroad, has made it a leader in the global fight for artistic freedom.

The World Summit on Arts and Culture will take place in Stockholm, from 3-5 May 2023.

Learn more about the Swedish Arts Council’s work:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Sweden’s Culture Scene March 2023 | Issue 152 | 51
Page 58. Photo: Kjell Renblad Page 68. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

Where Viking myth meets truth

Although the Viking era ended long ago, Stockholm’s dedicated Viking Museum continues to grow, evolve and attract. It’s the ideal place to learn more about this historical epoch, and a fantastic destination to feed curiosity.

Recent years have seen a spike in the general interest in Vikings. This is hardly surprising, considering the wave of Viking-themed TV shows, films and games that have been released. For the Viking Museum, this is great from an awareness and diversity point of view, as the demand for Viking knowledge comes from all different directions.

“Of course we welcome children who are learning about Vikings in school, but we also have visitors from all over the world who are simply curious about this mythical period in Scandinavian history,” explains Anne Charlotte Ytter, museum director.

Raids, journeys and ship building

So, who were the Vikings? Were they brutal, vicious looters, or is there more to their story? Paying a visit to the Viking Museum provides a thorough introduction to the Viking era, told in innovative and interactive ways. You will meet the Vikings through films, scenery, projections and sound effects, as well as archaeological objects.

There are guided tours available throughout the day in both Swedish and English, led by the museum’s knowledgeable guides. Dressed in Viking gear to look the part, the guides will answer any questions and share their specialised expertise. The Norse mythology is present everywhere, and the museum’s many replicas allow visitors to explore life as a Viking with all their senses, and learn about raids, journeys, mastery in ship building, as well as everyday life at the farm.

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For an even deeper dive into the world of Vikings, visitors are invited to experience Ragnfrid’s Saga. This 11-minute long adventure ride begins at Frösala Farm, where Ragnfrid and her husband Harald are introduced. Visitors are then taken on a remarkable trip to witness plundering in the west and slave trade in the east. Ragnfrid herself narrates the saga, with a little help from sound effects, lighting and atmospheric sceneries.

The eastern route and the Vikings as a brand

“The Viking era is an important and interesting part of Scandinavian history,” says Ytter. “It’s a definitive time in history, a time when the Scandinavian countries were formed and when Sweden began the process of uniting under one King and one religion.” The museum is in constant development, as ongoing research and discoveries within archaeology and history are integrated into its exhibitions, information and trivia. “It’s important for a museum to grow in line with society, and we strive to do exactly that.”

Speaking of change, there are two new exhibitions in the pipeline. At the end of March, the Viking Museum will present a deep-dive into the Vikings’ eastern route. “Most people don’t know that many Vikings actually travelled east, on rivers through Russia and Ukraine, and as far

as Baghdad in Iraq,” explains the museum director. “It’s an exciting and relatively unknown part of Viking history.”

This summer, the museum will open an exhibition in collaboration with journalist and film critic Göran Ewerdahl, themed around the Vikings as a brand and how Vikings have been portrayed in TV series, films and games. “The term Vikings didn’t exist back then, so they wouldn’t have identified themselves as such,” Ytter says humourously. “It will be fun to take a

closer look at the myth about the big and strong man versus the more comic take with a silly Viking figure.”

Shop, eat and drink like a Viking

The museum’s shop is well worth a visit too. It’s a trove of unique goods, including local handicraft and souvenirs produced by the museum itself. Everything is selected with care, adding to the overall experience of exploring the lives of Vikings.

Hungry for more? Head to the museum’s own restaurant Glöd, which boasts stunning views over Stockholm. It offers typical Scandinavian food in the form of simple dishes, like salads and sandwiches, and à la carte. “Of course, you can also try mead, the Vikings’ favourite drink,” says Ytter. “We’ve developed our own product together with a local brewery, and we offer mead tastings here at the museum,” she adds. There are also traditional Swedish cinnamon buns and coffee for those who fancy something sweet.

Ready to stand face to face with a Viking? Then steer your ship towards Stockholm and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the Vikings.

Instagram: @thevikingmuseum

Facebook: thevikingmuseum

TikTok: @thevikingmuseum

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Sweden’s Culture Scene March 2023 | Issue 152 | 53

Thought-provoking, mind-boggling and wow-factor-guaranteed

Paradox Museum Stockholm opened in 2022 and became an instant hit. Since then, over 250,000 people have tried the mind-bending experience in central Stockholm, in which 70 different paradoxes give visitors an unforgettable experience as educational as it is entertaining. On its mission to challenge your preconceptions of reality, this museum pulls all the tricks out of the bag, and will enchant and mystify visitors of every generation.

What is a paradox, you ask? The museum describes it as ‘a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one’s established expectation’. Every exhibit in Paradox Museum is an experiment in our human understanding of the environment around us. It is filled with fun activities that make you question the reality we live in and think twice about the facts you perceive as given truths. As the

museum embarks on their one-year anniversary celebrations, they can look back on a successful year of laughter and joyful exploration.

An analogue museum for everyone

The idea was born in Greece and brought to Sweden by Janne Broman, who, in addition to Paradox, founded the acclaimed photography gallery Fotografiska in the

Swedish capital. “It’s a privilege working with Broman and to be in the presence of such enthusiasm and great vision. His professionalism is inspiring and is the main reason why one of the first Paradox editions in the world came to Stockholm,” says Erika Charbonnel, CEO at Paradox Museum Stockholm.

Currently, there are only two other Paradox Museums in the world – in Oslo and Miami – but the concept is spreading fast. Museums in Limasol in Cyprus, Paris and Barcelona will open this spring, and London is next in the pipeline. Paradox Museum Stockholm is located in Hötorget, in the midst of the bustling city centre, and has become a popular destination for people of all ages. “We’re happy to see

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The Upside Down room.

people from every walk of life – be they young, old, school groups, couples on a date, corporate teams – get absorbed by the illusions of the paradoxes and have fun exploring together. It’s a tactile museum and the visitors actively participate throughout,” says Charbonnel.

What? Huh. Wow!

The stations are made up of clever exercises, destined to trick the mind into believing that what it sees is true. Walking through a spinning tunnel gives your mind the impression that your body is spinning, though in fact you’re walking on steady ground. The eye perceives the movement, but the brain won’t correctly register what is happening, so you’re tricked into believing that your entire body is spinning.

The popular Upside Down Room is the perfect photograph spot. Here, seemingly freed from gravity and glued to the ceiling, you’ll appear to cling to earth only by holding on to the items of furniture inside the room. The Ames Room will turn short people tall, while taller individuals will become half the size. “It’s about challenging beliefs and digging deep into how we perceive the world around us. Things are not always what they seem to be at first glance, and this proves how important

it is to be open to different realities. The interactive elements of this museum are there to start a discussion in your group and with the staff,” says Charbonnel.

A dynamic space where interaction is key The Paradox staff, clearly distinguished through their black-and-white overalls,

are there to help you understand what you see, guide you through the experience and help you take brilliant, mind-boggling action shots to bring home, post on social media and show your family and friends. QR-codes are another guiding element throughout the experience for anyone who wants to understand more.

The museum never stops evolving, hosting regular events that encourage an even deeper level of dynamic exploration. Holidays and seasonal shifts are observed in fun ways, and Easter week will be brimming with exciting events to celebrate the museum’s one-year anniversary. “People return over and over, bringing another group along for the ride, and the museum is filled with laughter and joyful shrieks when people see the pictures and realise what simple tricks can do to our perception. The Paradox experience is about being wowed while learning new things and having a great time. We’re here to challenge your perceptions of what reality is. Paradox Museum will make you think again,” Charbonnel concludes.

Instagram: @stockholm.paradoxmuseum

TikTok: @paradoxmuseumstockholm

Facebook: Paradox Museum Stockholm

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The popular Ames Room is an illusion that can make you look like twice the size as your friends. Paradox Stockholm is fun for all ages. The staff is clearly distinguished in their black and white overalls to help visitors understand the paradoxes.

Historic battles and present times displayed at naval museum

The Naval Museum in Karlskrona is Sweden’s national museum for the history of the Swedish Navy, from 1522 to today. The museum tells the story of the Swedish Navy, its historic battles as well as present times, and the human side of war.

In 2022, nearly 240,000 people visited the Naval Museum (Marinmuseum) in Karlskrona, one of the most visited museums in southern Sweden. “The exhibitions cover 500 years of Swedish naval defence, the world heritage naval city of Karlskrona, shipbuilding, the last decade of the Cold War, ship models, life on board and much more,” says Mats Persson, museum director. “You can explore on your own, go on a tour or listen to a lecture.”

Its logical that the Naval Museum is located in Karlskrona. The city was founded in 1680, when King Karl XI decided to build Sweden’s new naval base here. The architecture and the city plan impressed UNESCO, and the city was designated World Heritage status in 1998. Karlskrona is considered an exceptionally well-preserved example of a European naval town, home to one of the few remaining dockyards where it is still possible to see buildings and docks specifically designed

for the construction of sailing warships. “Wherever you go, you can see evidence of the navy,” says Persson. “The Swedish Navy still has its base here.”

Since 1997, the Naval Museum has been located on the island Stumholmen, which used to be the navy’s territory with no public access. The Government recently declared Stumholmen a state listed building to guarantee its long-term preservation and high-quality maintenance, and to ensure that the public can continue to experience and learn about its history.

Board a real submarine

At the heart of the museum is the Model Chamber dating back to 1752 with old

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Photo: Oliver Lindkvist, Marinmuseum/The Naval Museum/SMTM

ship models, smart designs and beautiful decorations. The Figurehead Hall displays perhaps the world’s finest collection of figureheads, with several-metre-high wooden sculptures that once sat in the bows of Swedish warships. Meanwhile, Surface Tension is an exhibition about the last decade of the Cold War from the Swedish Navy’s perspective, which also shows the contrasts between the military and civil society.

One of the highlights at the museum is the Submarine Hall. “You can get up close with a real submarine from the Cold War, NMS Neptun,” says Persson. “Few museums in the world have a submarine in original condition that you can actually enter and explore. Apart from the ship Vasa in Stockholm, this is the biggest built-in museum piece in Sweden.” Visitors can also see the Swedish Navy’s very first submarine Hajen (The Shark) from 1904.

Moored at the quay outside are the museum’s ships: the minesweeper Bremön, the full-rigger Jarramas, the missile ship Västervik and the motor torpedo boat T38, as well as sloops, longboats and other small boats. During summer, curious visitors can board some of the vessels.

Meanwhile in Ukraine

Last year, the Naval Museum acknowledged the 500-year anniversary of the Swedish Navy. In 2023, the museum’s theme is our present times. This mile-

stone has been marked with the photo exhibition Meanwhile in Ukraine, currently on loan from the Swedish Army Museum in Stockholm.

Meanwhile in Ukraine is on display outside the Naval Museum until June 2023. It features images by photographer Olena Shovkoplias, who on 8 March 2022 documented the war in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. “The photos shed light on an ongoing conflict and show that each war is both unique and universal,” says Persson. “The images depict how the inhabitants prepared for the Russian attacks, how they organised themselves, and the devastation that followed.”

Apart from the exhibitions, there are plenty of activities tailored specifically

for children. The Sailor’s Workshop has educational activities for kids aged from six to 12 years, and Dunder’s Deck is an imaginative play area inspired by ship interiors.

Did you know that in the past, some of the ships actually had pets? The most famous were the ship dogs. Nicke was the most renowned ship dog and lived on board the ship Queen Victoria in the 1940s. The Naval Museum has its own ship dog too. Keep an eye out for Pricken (The Dot) at the museum – he’ll let you know where there are fun activities for children.

Instagram: @marinmuseum

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Photo: Marinmuseum/ The Naval Museum/SMTM Meanwhile in Ukraine, with images by photographer Olena Shovkoplias. Photo: Jakob Hedlund, Marinmuseum/The Naval Museum/SMTM Photo: Hanna Marcolin, Marinmuseum/ The Naval Museum/SMTM Photo: Marinmuseum/ The Naval Museum/SMTM

Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde to display never-before-seen art and fine objects

Each year, the mansion and art museum Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, in central Stockholm, sees over 120,000 visitors stream through its doors. Now, as the museum prepares for a year-long highlights exhibition, it is shifting its focus to foreign travellers who may be experiencing Swedish art for the first time.

On Djurgården island in central Stockholm, looking across to Beckholmen and the Italian embassy, there sits a yellow-fronted museum. This was the purpose-built home of Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke, and the youngest son of Oscar II, from 1905 to his death in 1947. Prince Eugen was a prolific collector and painter, studying in Paris at the end of the 19th century. Housing a lifetime’s careful accumulation, his mansion – known as Waldemarsudde – was opened to the public after his death, and is today reputed as one of the Swedish capital’s cultural gems.

This year, that status will be reinforced with the unveiling of the new exhibition The Prince’s Well-Known and Unknown Treasures: Art and Fine Objects from the Waldemarsudde Collections. Open from 22 April 2023 to 17 March 2024, the exhibition will showcase Prince Eugen’s own art and applied art, as well as his private collection of works.

Waldemarsudde’s Head of Communications, Cecilia Dalborg, says the exhibition will be a chance to introduce foreign guests both to the museum, and to Swedish art more widely; Prince Eugen’s collection includes masterpieces from Swedish icons Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, along with other major Nordic artists, including Edvard Munch.

In the prince’s private apartments, which are built around a delicate, light-walled salon flooded with sunlight, a concurrent exhibition, running from 4 March to 20 August 2023, will take place in the adjoining purpose-built gallery. Women Pioneers: Visionary Landscapes will highlight the work of evocative landscape-painter pioneers Ester Almqvist, Anna Boberg, Ellen Trotzig and Charlotte Wahlström.

Museum Director Karin Sidén emphasises that Prince Eugen was one of the country’s finest artists. “He was known

for his landscapes, monumental paintings and frescoes and they still adorn the Royal Opera House, the Royal Theatre and Stockholm City Hall,” she explains. Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde is one of Sweden’s most popular museums, and its full-throttle upcoming season of art will platform Prince Eugen’s creativity, bringing the cultural gem of Stockholm to the attention of international visitors like never before.

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Photo: Anders E Skånberg Photo: Kjell Renblad Photo: Prins Eugens Waldermarsudde

At the Nobel Prize Museum you will meet scientists, authors and freedom fighters who have contributed to the greatest benefit to humankind. At the museum, the stories of the Nobel Prize laureates come to life through guided tours, videos and unique artefacts.


Stortorget, Old Town, Stockholm

500 years of national and royal history in a seminal exhibition

2023 is a year of grand celebrations in Sweden: not only is the country turning 500 years old, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of Carl XVI Gustaf on the Swedish throne. The two historic occasions will be brought together in the exhibition Vasa to Bernadotte 1523 – 1973 – 2023. Culture in Service of the Realm, on show at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. This unique presentation will be a showcase of epic events throughout history, embodied by extraordinary artefacts and objects.

Two great anniversaries in one year deserves celebrations that go beyond the ordinary. Turning half a millennium old is a feat in itself, but having a ruling monarch celebrate half a century on the throne at the same time adds another level of historical significance. Throughout the year, the royal jubilee will be recognised with events, exhibitions and royal visits taking place across the nation.

“This year’s anniversary is for everyone –from rural Sweden to the big cities. The

exhibition Vasa to Bernadotte will take a deep dive into the great history that has shaped modern Sweden: the victories and hardships, the great minds and remarkable people that, through combined efforts, have turned this country into the nation we know today,” says Bronwyn Griffith, exhibitions curator at the Royal Palaces.

Objects embodying history

Gustav Vasa was appointed the King of Sweden during a state meeting in Strängnäs on the 6 June 1523, a moment that is commonly credited as the birth of Sweden as we know it. Fast forward to 1818 when Charles XIV John is made King, and we enter the Bernadotte era. This was the family lineage into which Sweden’s current King, Carl XVI Gustaf, who ascended the throne on 15 September 1973, was born.

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Vasa to Bernadotte is expertly curated by Lars Ljungström, head curator at the Royal Palaces, and will take you on a 500-year journey from the rule of Vasa to today. The exhibition of 150 objects showcases the history of the royal court as an instigator of cultural and social trends, and as an innovator responsible for shaping Sweden’s national image. Exhibition designer Ulrika Wolff has designed the exhibition rooms to give a sense of the different chapters in history by combining colours and music. “Ljungström knows the royal collections better than anyone and he wanted to put these historic artefacts in a context that will take the visitor on an extraordinary journey through time. The objects are unique and this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them assembled. This exhibition will bring them into the public eye, unveiling history in a dazzling light,” says Griffith.

From the birth of a nation to the modern days

Objects with historical significance will tell the story of the nation, from its early days, when a stabile regime was of utmost importance, through to the renaissance, when the influence of the arts and culture in southern Europe became more prominent. Onwards, through the lives of kings and queens, the story will continue, finishing in the modern day, where communication with the public plays a central role. The Older State Sword, from the mid16th century, is one of two state swords and Sweden’s oldest state regalia.

A baptismal font, still used for royal baptisms today, is an example of how silver was modelled in Versailles – a rare insight, as most silver was melted down during the French Revolution. Elsewhere, more royal jewellery, design, furniture, tapestries, art and books will be on view in their historical contexts to bring the nation’s past to life. “Each and every object has been carefully selected for its historical significance. It’s like a theatrical play with the objects centre-stage – every piece tells a unique story,” says Griffith.

Th past, present and future of a monarchy

How do you convey history when history is still in the making? Carl XVI Gustaf and the royal family are prominent figures in Swedish society, and the exhibition will portray the work that the king

has been doing during his reign, spanning foundations and initiatives for the environment, state visits and his role as a unifying figure in tumultuous times.

“We want our audience to leave this exhibition with a sense of the continuation of history. We’ve witnessed the first 500 years and, as we step outside, the story continues. We have created the exhibition to make people feel like they are a part of the past, and as time moves forward, we are all part of Sweden’s next chapter,” Griffith concludes.

Instagram: @kungligaslotten

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Vasa to Bernadotte is open from 11 March 2023 – 7 January 2024.

Pioneering wooden architecture, home to bold cultural expression

When Sara Kulturhus opened in 2021, it quickly became a global phenomenon. One of the tallest wooden structures in the world, it proved that a different approach to building at scale was possible. The house, which honours the ideas and legend of the spirited local writer Sara Lidman, has quickly become a popular destination in the region, which also boasts leading art museums and concert halls, restaurants, a city library, theatre and hotel.

Sara Kulturhus is located in the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå – a place bursting with innovation and grand future plans. “Skellefteå has become a hub for leading industrial companies that are paving the way in the green transition, and we needed a cultural hub to match that expansion. The idea for the building was floated in 2015, and in the spirit of the writer Sara Lidman, who the house is named after, we chose to go bold and

do something unique. Sara Kulturhus is a statement on sustainability not only for the city, but for the planet. If we can do it, so can others,” says Anna Jirstrand Sandlund, CEO of Sara Kulturhus.

Local material for a future-proof building

With its 20-stories built entirely from wood, the structure was destined to make headlines. Meanwhile, it’s energy self-sufficient – and a leading example of how green buildings might look in the future. The building, designed by architectural firm White, runs on solar power, stored in batteries located within the building, the temperature of which are regulated according to AI algorithms. The house is carbon positive, meaning it uses less energy than it creates and can there-

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Photo: Johan Wennerström Anna Jirstrand Sandlund. Photo: Patrick Degerman

fore share its excess energy with neighbouring buildings.

All the wood used in the project was collected from within a 120-kilometre radius, which significantly reduced emissions during its construction. What’s more, every tree has been replanted, exemplifying the project’s circular approach to production. “The house binds 9,000 tons of carbon. That’s equal to 13,500 flights from Stockholm to New York. We take colossal pride in our home and the nature that surrounds us, and by bringing Sara Kulturhus to life, we have brought the forest into the city in a ground-breaking way,” says Jirstrand Sandlund.

Cultural activities for everyone

The house quickly became a hub for locals and visitors seeking entertainment, enlightenment or simply a dynamic space to meet. The building consists of two different art institutions, Skellefteå Konsthall and Museum Anna Nordlander, with one joint exhibition hall. Västerbottensteatern, the regional theatre association, is also housed in the building, and puts on a range of theatrical events for all ages. There are seven stages in total, where concerts featuring national and international stars are frequent. The city library is open for everyone from morning until late evening. Meanwhile, three restaurants –Paolo’s Restaurant, Restaurant Mandel

and Miss Voon – offer varied cuisines to satisfy all tastebuds, and The Wood Hotel by Elite provides the perfect stay, complete with a spa, for visitors to the town.

“We have marvellous forests and nature on our doorstep, and we want to complement this with an extraordinary cultural offering too. Sara Kulturhus is an embodiment of this town – a combination of our nature and our spirit, a vibrant addition to the city pulse,” says Jirstrand Sandlund.

Creative encounters in any shape or form The house is in a constant state of creative activity, bustling with events and exciting

exhibitions. Have you heard of Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström for Riksbyggen? This is a unique art project, oval and clad in gold, placed on one of the terraces overlooking the city. It forms a key part of the exhibition The Broken Greenhouse Not only is it a thought-provoking work from the outside, but the inside reveals a sauna that is open for everyone to enjoy until the end of April.

The concert diary is jam-packed with musicals, beloved Swedish artists, cultural personalities and international talents. The Danish pop band Lukas Graham are performing as part of their European tour, one of only four gigs in Sweden. Carola, Petter, Lisa Ekdahl and Joe Labero will also be performing during 2023, with new names constantly being added to the schedule. Authors’ talks, improvisations, guided tours, art workshops and after-work events mean that there is something for everyone. “Everything is made in a spirit of fearless expression – one that is courageous and creative. The house is as bold as our inspiration Sara Lidman, a boldness reflected in the activities that happen inside. We can’t wait to show what we have in store for the future,” Jirstrand Sandlund concludes.

Instagram: @sarakulturhus

Facebook: Sara Kulturhus

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Photo: Sven Burman Activities in the name of creativity. Photo: Sven Burman The stage at Sara Kulturhus. Photo: Jonas Westling

Layered stories told through textiles

One of the most many-layered forms of art is textiles. Fabric and clothing bring together history, storytelling, culture and fashion in one medium that sheds a unique light on society, making and thinking through the ages. The Textile Museum in Borås, with its comprehensive collection of historical and modern clothing and textiles, is one of the best places to explore this realm.

The Textile Museum was founded in 1972 after the rapid decline of the Swedish textile industry. Since, it has collected and preserved clothes and textiles from all over Sweden. The museum hosts a variety of special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection.

“We have two current exhibitions, Textile Layers and TUBE. Textile Layers is a selection of contemporary art that has been collected from the start of the century until today,” explain Malena Karlsson and Eva Blomqvist, curators of the Textile Museum.

“This collection of art really brings attention to our society and how we see the world. It tells stories about trends, political and personal choices,” says Karlsson. The beauty of textile art is that it is so far-reaching. Every item is a part of society on a bigger scale, and

everything from the material and its production to its usage has an impact. “You can enjoy and reflect on this art and its dimensions even if you are not invested in fashion or textile,” adds Karlsson.

The exhibition TUBE will also provoke your senses – in a different way. “TUBE is a three-dimensional sculptural installation that looks like a spider web or cocoon. It fills our biggest exhibition space and is constructed so that you can walk or climb through it. It is a creation without definitions – it exists to make you feel and explore new perspectives,” says Karlsson.

TUBE mirrors how we all participate in the shaping of public space. “It’s like you are being transported out of everyday life. You are a part of the art and make it come to life. When you climb inside it, it will move and create a motion that other

visitors can observe from the outside,” says Blomqvist.

Textile Layers can be enjoyed from 25 February until the 14 May, while TUBE will be open from the 1 April to the 27 August. Blomqvist’s advice is to come to the museum with an open mind: “Allow yourself to feel whatever comes to you –fear, happiness or a sense of freedom.”

Instagram: @textilmuseet

Facebook: Textilmuseet

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Photo: Fredrik Lindqvist Photo: Numen for Use Photo: Martina Micuchova Photo: Marjan Koorochina

When Nordiska Museet in Stockholm turns 150, it’s time to celebrate!

What happens when an established institution like Nordiska Museet in Stockholm turns 150? It celebrates all year long with a varied programme of exhibitions, activities and cultural events addressed to a wide public.

Located in the centre of Sweden’s capital city, on the urban island of Djurgården, Nordiska Museet, which first opened its doors in 1873, portrays Sweden’s cultural history through an interesting ethnographic collection. The museum is open every day of the year and, besides its permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, offers a unique assortment of everyday items, personalised gifts and a selection of handicrafts from the Nordic countries in its charming shop.

Over the past 150 years, the museum has become one of the most well-known institutions in Sweden, bringing a modern touch to the presentation of cultural history. To emphasise its landmark anniversary, Nordiska Museet will celebrate throughout 2023 with a wide range of activities and exhibitions. It will also mark the occasion with a renewed visual identity, by increasing accessibility to the building, and by inaugurating a new permanent exhibition at the beginning of 2024.

So, what might a visit to the museum in its 150th year entail? “Visiting Nordiska Museet means travelling through time and space. On this journey, you will have the possibility to join a guided tour to discover of the history of the museum itself, try out traditional handicraft in the form of a knitting event, or take part in various workshops,” says museum director Sanne Houby-Nielsen.

It is worth mentioning the two main events occurring during the spring: the family day in March, followed by the ‘Night at the Nordiska Museet’ event in Autumn, and the Culture Night on 22 April, when the museum – along with other cultural institutions in Stockholm – will open for a special festive night that gives a nod to the museum’s 150-year-long history.

The Jubileumskort (Jubilee Card) will grant access not only to the museum itself, but also to other cultural-historical destinations, such as Julita Gård, the cas-

tle and park of Tyresö, the summer resort of Svindersvik, and Härkeberga chaplain’s residence, as well as a series of concerts and events.

Even if you won’t pass through Stockholm this year, you can contribute to Nordiska Museet’s history-in-the-making, by submitting your predictions for what Sweden and the north will be like in the year 2173 on Nordiska Museet’s website.

Instagram: @nordiskamuseet Facebook:

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Bird’s eye view of the exhibition Come to Norden. Photo: Peter Segemark, Nordiska museet Detail of the exhibition Paris of the North. Photo: Helena Bonnevier, Nordiska museet Detail of the exhibition The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting Photo: Hendrik Zeitler, Nordiska Museet

Curious culture for a younger audience

Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus, a thematic cultural centre in Göteborg, celebrates the famous literary character Alfons Åberg and his creator, the late Gunilla Bergström. Bergström’s books about the curious Alfons Åberg, known internationally as Alfie Atkins, are so widespread that they’re a part of Scandinavian children’s cultural education.

“The building is a stone’s throw from Gothenburg central station,” says Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus’ CEO Anna Forsgren. “This is a place for curious people of all ages to watch short plays, experience Alfon’s living room, try out his helicopter and explore other exciting curiosities.”

Educating younger generations

It was at author Gunilla Bergström’s request to establish a place for developing and strengthening children’s culture, that the centre came about. “The building was built in 1876, and is an exciting place in itself, full of nooks and crannies,” says Forsgren. “It’s a mix of old and new.”

Visitors can discover the colourful scenography, the several reading corners and a reconstruction of Bergström’s studio. After she passed away in 2021, the centre acquired her original furniture, decorations, prizes and awards,

which have been used to make an accurate copy of the studio where she created her art and wrote her books. “There are shelves with books, notice boards with sentences that she saved, and the blue chair on which she sat and wrote her books about Alfons Åberg. We’ve also set up viewing cabinets where you can see her artistic process and experience how she worked, with colour samples and sketches,” says Forsgren.

There’s also a creative-arts corner for children and parents, workshops, a café, and a shop to buy your own piece of Swedish cultural history in the form of Alfons Åberg memorabilia. There’s even a cinema.

During your visit, be sure to see one of the daily theatrical plays. “We have daily performances with Alfons Åberg, we’ve also made our own play about the

Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Forsgren says. “Children have been part of the creative process. It’s about children’s right to have a voice and to be able to influence society.”

You can book your visit via the homepage or show up at the door for admission tickets. However, pre-booking is recommended due to the centre’s popularity. “At the end of the day, we hope visitors leave with great memories of a joyous experience,” Forsgren concludes. “And that children and their parents have a wonderful, recreational and educational time together.”

Instagram: @alfonskulturhus

Facebook: @AlfonsAbergKulturhusGoteborg

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Author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström, 1942-2021.

Experience the legacy of NK Furniture at Sörmland Museum

This March, Sörmland Museum opens the exhibition NK Furniture – showcasing the craftsmanship, design and furniture workshops behind the famous Swedish department store. It will be the largest ever exhibition presenting the NK furniture production that took place between 1904 and 1973.

The grand department store Nordiska Kompaniet (or ‘NK’, as it is also known) produced some of their most famous pieces of classic Swedish furniture in their workshops in Nyköping. NK’s production, located in Nyköping, represents a significant chapter in Swedish design history and, though the workshops are long gone, the NK furniture lives on –carrying with it the legacy of the skilled artisans and well-known designers who created it.

At most, some 500 skilled workers in carpentry, metalwork, sculpting and gilding were working alongside the best architects and designers at the time, such as Carl Bergsten, Axel Einar Hjorth, Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist, Carl Hörvik and Elias Svedberg.

The NK Furniture exhibition will unveil the story of NK’s furniture and its pro-

duction for the first time. It is accompanied by the book, NK Furniture, which is richly illustrated with new photographs and contains unique archival material.

Across 400 square-metres, Sörmland Museum will showcase more than 150 items of furniture, from exclusive pieces exhibited at World Expos in the 1920s and ‘30s, to the celebrated Triva range. Besides furniture from the museum’s collections, several contributions have been made by other institutions and private collectors, some of which are on public display for the first time.

AB Nordiska Kompaniet was founded in 1902, and became the first large department store of international standing in Sweden. From the start, furniture and interiors played a central role and, in 1904, the first NK furniture workshops were founded in Nyköping. The operations in

Nyköping spanned almost seven decades, and many of NK’s designs have found their home in embassies, city libraries and even at The Dag Hammarskjold Library at the UN headquarters in New York.

Sörmland Museum is a regional museum, presenting the history and contemporary culture of the province through permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as offering concerts, courses, creative workshops and free guided tours.

In the centre of the museum are the Story-telling Storerooms, housing the museum’s collection of over 80,000 historical objects. They are fully visible through glass walls, allowing visitors to come face to face with human stories from varied eras and origins. Rather than archiving the collection, Sörmland Museum invites visitors to step into history, both literally and figuratively.

Free entry

One hour south of Stockholm: Tolagsgatan 8, Nyköping

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Mora by Hjorth (1930) Butterfly Chair by Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari-Hardoy (1938) Borgen by Hjorth (1930)

A unique museum showcasing the creative process

Art is all around us. It decorates our homes, our streets and our public spaces, wherever we go in the world. Grand sculptures, wall art, watercolour paintings and statues with fascinating histories. Often overlooked, however, are the stories that can be told through the creative process behind the art.

At Skissernas Museum – the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art in Lund –you will discover a new perspective. Here, you can learn about and fall in love with the sketches, models, pictures, plans and objects that led to some of the world’s greatest public artworks. “You really need to come and see it for yourself. It’s mindboggling,” says Annie Lindberg, acting museum director at Skissernas Museum.

Skissernas Museum was founded in 1934 by Ragnar Josephson while he was professor of History of Art at Lund University. He wanted to create an archive of the creative process that students could study. “He described it as ‘the birth of a work of art’,” explains Lindberg with a smile.

“He started asking for donations from Swedish artists, and noticed that they happily gave away their material. Within

just a couple of years he had gathered thousands of sketches and other work that showcased the creative process.”

The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of creative-process works and public art, and includes 30,000 objects from across the globe which invite visitors to consider the creative process and how ideas become finished artworks.

“We want our visitors to feel inspired by the creative journey. There’s also a space where people can discuss and reflect on public art. We ask questions like who decided what art we see? Is there a message behind it? How does it make us feel? Public art mirrors society, so it’s an important conversation to have,” explains Lindberg.

Both the content and the design of the museum are unique. It feels more like a

creative art studio than an art gallery. “You walk into a creative chaos. It feels a bit like walking into the artist’s atelier,” laughs Lindberg.

In 2023, Skissernas Museum will present the exhibition Architecture Sculpture, featuring work by the artist and architect Petra Gipp and the world-renowned architect Sigurd Lewerentz, who famously said “the only thing I know is that you should do what you don’t normally do” – a beautiful nod to the creative process and why it’s worth exploring.

Instagram: @skissernasmuseum

Facebook: Skissernas Museum

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The Swedish Gallery at Skissernas Museum. Skissernas Museum. Marianne Lindberg De Geer, Jag tänker på mig själv (Thinking About Myself), 2006. Photo: Johan Persson

Stories from the Swedish mountains at Härjedalens Fjällmuseum

Which stories do tourists hear about the Swedish mountains, and which go untold?

Those were the questions Ola Hanneryd, the director of Härjedalens Fjällmuseum, asked himself when he took on the role. The province of Härjedalen is in northern Sweden, bordering Norway. It’s home to a population of some 10,000 people, 16,000 reindeer, the popular ski resort of Funäsdalen – and the museum.

“At the museum, we aspire to share stories from our place and history that are different from most stories told about ski resorts. There is a lot of history and life here that visitors seldom hear about, but are very happy to discover and take part in,” Hanneryd explains.

In spring and summer, three different exhibitions will run. One explores the decorative paradisial gardens and floral symbols that were popular in the region during the 18th century. Another tells the story of a woman who left her son with her parents to help Norwegian refugees over the border during the Nazi occupation of Norway, and sadly died in the mountains.

The museum has been in contact with the surviving son to share his memories. A third exhibition, Aerpie – meaning ‘herit-


age’ in Sámi – shares three different art forms from three Sámi generations. “We take pride in producing the majority of our exhibitions ourselves and holding space for new people to discover the history of Härjedalen,” says Hanneryd.

Facebook: fjallmuseet

Travelers Choice No:1 of Umeå sites eight (8) consecutive years at TripAdvisor

This space holds a guitar similar to the one Keith Richards used to play the Honky Tonk Women riff. And here’s one like the one Eric Clapton used for his solo in Layla. And the kind that Jimi Hendrix set on fire in Monterrey. But how in the world did these and hundreds more rare and priceless guitars from the 1950s and 1960s end up in Umeå and become Guitars – The Museum? Why aren’t they hanging in the MoMA in New York City, or in the Tate Modern in London? This is the story of how the Åhdén twins from Vännäsby managed to put together the world’s finest collection of vintage guitars surreptitiously, almost in secret.

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 12:00-16:00

For other hours - Please email:

Guided Tours: Daily at 13:00 & 15:00

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Sweden’s Culture Scene March 2023 | Issue 152 | 69
Flower bouquet from the exhibition ‘Mountain Gardens or The Lost Paradise’ open until 7 October. Photo: Ola Hanneryd Härjedalens Fjällmuseet occupies a dramatic location behind the Funäs mountain. Photo: Lasse Johansson.

A playful hub for art and creativity in Helsingborg

Dunkers Kulturhus is a museum and a hub for free-thinking creativity, as inspiring as the playful sea outside its windows. Here, you can enjoy art exhibitions, music, theatre and dance performances, as well as modern architecture.

Helsingborg is a great place to visit, with small alleys and cobbled streets, incredible architecture, and world-class culinary and cultural experiences. Located by the north port, the city also has its own museum and art hub. Dunkers Kulturhus was named after businessman Henry Dunker, whose father founded the famous brand Tretorn in 1891. After his death, Henry’s fortune was donated to a foundation dedicated to developing the cultural scene in Helsingborg.

Dunkers Kulturhus was designed by the Danish architect Kim Utzon and inaugurated in 2002. The 16,000-sqaure-metre building houses exhibitions, concerts, theatre and dance performances, as well as a school for art, music, media, dance and theatre for kids aged up to 19 years old. “It’s important for us to attract children and young people, so they can meet art in a playful and simple way, but we also have plenty of exhibitions for

adults,” says Gunilla Lewerentz, director of Dunkers Kulturhus.

Not to be missed this spring

Until 12 March, visitors can see the beautiful exhibition Yoshio Nakajima – Travel with the Sun. The celebrated Japanese artist was born in the small village of Kawamoto, became an active member of Tokyo’s legendary avant-garde art scene during the 1950s and ‘60s, and today lives and works in Helsingborg. His earlier pieces capture Japan’s post-war era, with the aftermath of the atomic bomb, the threat to the earth’s environment, and the rapid urbanisation of the country.

Another fascinating display is Ralph Nykvist – The Photographer of Photographers, on show until 30 April. “Nykvist is a well-known international street photographer, but perhaps less known by the Swedish audience,” says Lewerentz. “He finds everyday motifs on walks in cities

such as Paris, London and New York. His images are characterised by this special ability to see and capture the unintentionally comic in everyday life.”

And for music lovers, Lewerentz recommends Helsingborg Guitar Festival, which takes place from 16 to 19 March: “Over four days, talented Swedish and international musicians will take to the stage, including Jojje Wadenius with jazz trio GEJOMA, Anabel Montesinos, Sofia Karlsson and Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet.” The festival programme also includes master classes, clinics and workshops.

Instagram: @dunkerskultur

Facebook: dunkerskulturhus

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Sweden’s Culture Scene 70 | Issue 152 | March 2023
London 172, from Ralph Nykvist – The Photographer of Photographers. Photo: Ralph Nykvist From Yoshio Nakajima – Travel with the Sun. Photo: Dunkers Kulturhus Photo: Dunkers Kulturhus


Bonnie’s brings Bank Hotel´s old bank hall to life, inviting you for smart casual dining in a vibrant atmosphere. Take a seat under the tall glass ceiling and experience the old become new.

Bonnie’s serves one of the worlds most smashed piggy bank’s. The magazine Annabelle wrote ”The dessert Smash the Piggy Bank is legendary.” If you long to try this famous dessert, you have a good reason to visit Bonnie’s.

”Restaurant Bonnie’s is in a luxury league of its own”
6 | Stockholm |
”Smash the Piggy Bank -a real ro cket in so cial media"

Salthammer båtbyggeri: Norwegian-born, bred and built

Nothing says handmade in Norway quite like Salthammer Båtbyggeri, Norway’s oldest running shipyard. Responsible for every stage of the value chain, the familyowned business is one of few who can claim they built boats from scratch.

Founded in 1896 under the name L.H. Salthammer Båtbyggeri, the company is Norway’s oldest shipyard. Four generations later, it has become a parent group known as Salthammergruppen (the Salthammer Group), consisting of several companies.

“Each company is responsible for different tasks. Salthammer Tresfjord AS, for example, produce everything from small steel components to complete offshore equipment. Tomra Engineering AS is responsible for design, while Salthammer Sjøtransport AS deals with

transportation. Here at Salthammer Båtbyggeri, however, we build the boats,” says Salthammer Båtbyggeri’s manager Lasse Stokkeland.

The unique thing about Salthammer is their ability to execute every stage of boat-building, from the design and producing the necessary components, to the engineering and final touches. “We are truly handmade in Norway,” says Andres Vie Murvold, sales and marketing manager at Salthammer.

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Local, sustainable boats

Salthammer was established in Vestnes, Western Norway. Located near the coast with access to lumber, the municipality is known for its history as the country’s greatest boat-building community. For as long as there have been established communities in the area, there have been craftsmen and their boats.

“We have a long history and tradition, and we really value those traditions even in modern times,” says Murvold. “But that’s not to say that we aren’t modern in the way we do things. As our customer group grows and technology develops, we move with the ages.”

He adds that they bring the good, old habits with them, while exploring new technology and opportunities, especially if it helps them limit any harm to the environment. “We’re a company with Norwegian values in the way that we care for nature. That’s why everything is produced using clean, Norwegian energy. We also ensure that all our suppliers have the same values and high standards, so that we can be confident that everything we do is as sustainable as possible,” Murvold says.

Something to be proud of

Though producing everything locally is beneficial to the environment, it’s not the only incentive. By doing it all themselves, Salthammer Båtbyggeri can ensure a

superior quality standard. “Quality, craft and knowledge are incredibly important to us,” says Stokkeland. “We want to be synonymous with quality, and we want our customers to trust that we will deliver exactly what they need, and more. In addition, we’re able to make any repairs ourselves, if it’s needed.”

The boat building process at Salthammer is tailored, meaning that the staff work closely with clients to meet all their needs. Stokkeland explains that as their customer group grows, they continually solve new and unique challenges. “Our company was built brick by brick, and we’re continuing to build as we go. We develop and find innovative solutions because we want to be proud

of everything that leaves here, whether it’s a small steel part or a complete boat,” he says.

Whether making smaller wooden boats over a century ago, or building the large steel ships of today, all the staff at the entire Salthammer group take pride in their work. While they feel excited about the influx of new customers, Murvold says taking care of existing customers is very important to them. “There’s nothing quite as rewarding as old customers returning,” says Murvold. “It reminds us that we should be proud of our craft and where we came from.” Facebook: Salthammer Båtbyggeri

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Made in Norway March 2023 | Issue 152 | 73

The best salmon is happy, healthy and green

Off the coast of Trøndelag, where the Gulf stream meets the Norwegian sea, lies Frøya – a beautiful island with an old fishing community. Here, you’ll find some of the best salmon on the planet. One of the companies bringing this salmon to dining tables around the world is the family business Måsøval.

It all started in 1972, when Edvin Måsøval made sea enclosures and freezer rooms for the feeding, care and storage of farmed fish. The following year, Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett AS was founded by Måsøval and his sons Bjørn and Karsten.

The company has since expanded to some 220 employees, and is now led by the third-generation of Måsøvals, Lars and Anders Måsøval. The head office is still on Frøya, with new facilities on the neighbouring island of Hitra, and along the Norwegian coast from Ørsta up to Levanger.

Made by nature, pioneered by Måsøval

There is an extraordinary tidal range off the coast of Frøya that creates a stream of fresh, oxygen-rich and icy water, in which the salmon swim. This results in healthy and plump salmon that boast a great texture, good fat content and a vibrant red hue.

In 2013, Måsøval became Global G.A.P. certified. G.A.P stands for Good Agricul-

ture Practice and the certification documents that Måsøval takes sustainability, the environment and animal welfare very seriously. In addition to good systems for traceability, the certification requires well-documented hygiene measures, infection measures, safe harvesting and packaging.

The health of the fish is of utmost importance to Måsøval, and they even employ a ‘head of fish health’ to make sure that every fish thrives. In total, the company produces around 25,000 tonnes of healthy salmon a year.

Farming for the future

Måsøval are highly aware that they are only borrowing the coastal resources at their disposal. It is nature that makes the great salmon, with Måsøval helping it along. They aim to leave as small a footprint as possible for future generations.

To achieve this, they changed how they powered their facilities. Where they

used to power them with loud, polluting generators that relied on 70,000 litres of diesel a year, today they have laid a fivekilometre-long high-voltage line from land out to sea, which provides clean, quiet energy. With the generators gone, the air is fresh and all you can hear is the sound of the sea.

Instagram: @masovalas

Facebook: masovalFO

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Made in Norway 74 | Issue 152 | March 2023
Smoked salmon is a great choice for both breakfast and lunch. Photo: Måsøval It all begins with salmon roe. Photo: Øyvind Nordahl Næss Checking on the fish. Photo: Øyvind Nordahl Næss

The traditional Norwegian folk costume, the ‘bunad’, is seemingly more popular than ever. At Bunadhjørnet in Sandnes, staff has produced bunads from Rogaland, a regional version of the revered Norwegian folk costume, since 1994.

At Bunadhjørnet, each costume is made by hand in a traditional manner, from the cutting of the first piece of cloth to the application of the last silver pin. In addition to producing fully-fitted costumes, they also alter existing bunads and sell yarn and accessories.

“We sell all the materials you need by the metre, as well as the extras like shoes, laces and silver. We also have silver knives from a local Sandnes silversmith,” says Gerd Marit Sandberg, owner of Bunadhjørnet.

Hand-made and fitted

With three full-time staff employed in the specialised bunad sewing room, plus the experienced staff working in the shop, Bunadhjørnet is a good place to come to for expert advice and information if you are thinking of investing in a bunad.

Sandberg says that every piece they make is custom fitted to the person who is to wear it. She stresses that costumes are not sold over the counter in specific sizes.

“A bunad is commonly bought for young girls before their confirmation but often their mothers also buy one. Regardless of the client, we fit every piece to their bodies to ensure a perfect fit,” she explains, adding that a lot of their customers return to refit their bunad as they grow older.

To be sure to receive the bunad in time for the spring festivities, you’ll need to approach Bunadhjørnet in August. “Making one bunad takes a few weeks, but with a production of some 80 fully-fitted costumes a year, in addition to other work we do, we need time,” Sandberg stresses.

A treasured tradition

There are about 450 different types of bunad in Norway. Each design varies in colour and decoration, depending on the region it comes from. Bunads come in both male and female versions and are typically worn for confirmations, weddings and baptisms, and not forgetting for 17 May, Norway’s Constitution Day. They are decorated with traditional patterns and silver, and cost from 4,500 Euros up to as much as 12,500 Euros a piece. In spite of the cost, this traditional outfit is a musthave in Norway. “Just about everyone preparing their confirmation has a bunad now,” Sandberg underlines.

Instagram: @bunadhjornetas

Facebook: bunadhjornet

Scan Magazine | Special Theme |  Made in Norway March 2023 | Issue 152 | 75
A Norwegian tradition that’s more popular than ever

A sweet second chance to follow the baking dream

Jane Haugli was studying baking and confectionery when she discovered she was allergic to flour dust. After she finished school, the allergy made working in a professional kitchen impossible and she instead began a career in retail. But her love of baking remained as strong as ever, and she began modelling and decorating cakes as a hobby, making elaborate designs – a practice which did not affect her allergies.

Haugli is a mother of three and lives on a farm with her husband. When she

was due to go back to work, she worried about how she would balance late

shifts at the store with raising young children. Meanwhile, her cakes were becoming popular and the number of orders was increasing. It seemed that turning her cake-making hobby into a full-time job would give her more freedom and flexibility.

“We decided to just do it,” Hauli says. “My husband built a kitchen in the

barn and we thought ‘we’ll see how this goes.’” In October 2019, Fairy Cakes was open for business.

At Fairy Cakes you can build your own cake or cupcakes and choose from different cake bases, fillings and frosting. For cakes, you can also choose marzipan or fondant. All the cakes are made from scratch in Haugli’s kitchen at the farm in Furnes, outside Brummundal, and enthusiastic customers are happy to drive from further away to pick up their cakes.

Haugli is one of a few bakers who also makes 3D cakes – some of which are scarily realistic. “Making 3D cakes is so much fun,” Haugli says. The joy she takes in their creation is obvious; the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Instagram: @fairycakesnorge

Facebook: fairycakes

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Made in Norway Instagram: @cosytimesceramics.kerteminde
Left: Red onions and a cake onion. Right: A doll cake with a traditional bunad.

Bigger is not better

We tend to think that bigger is better, and that growth means success. But that is not always the case. In January 2015, Morten Strand Hauge and Anette Lund launched their own communication agency and, though it is just the two of them, they are a great example of quality over quantity.

Industry insiders may recognise the name Strand & Lund. In the 1980s and 1990s there was another agency called Strand & Lund, but it changed its name in 1997. Lund and Strand Hauge’s agency is not a continuation of this, but with family and professional connections to the old company, they humbly chose to bring the old name back.

Lund and Strand Hauge have worked together since 2006 and know each other well. It is a two-person company, but their skillsets complement each other. When needed, they collaborate with others to work on both short and long-term projects. No job is too big or too small. They aim to be the preferred partner for clients who value close contact and good teamwork when developing communication services.

Quick and easy

Being a small agency has its benefits. With bigger companies there are often intermediaries that slow the process down. “There are no intermediaries between us, our work and the customers,” Morten says. “We can find solutions quickly and easily.”

Strand & Lund are very flexible with how they work and where they work. They meet with clients at Strand & Lund’s office in Oslo, at cafes, digitally or at the client’s offices. “We work with some big brands who work with larger agencies than us, where we help with some ad hoc solutions,” says Anette. “We also do a lot of in-house work for large customers such as Schibsted and FINN – spanning digital presentations and other material for internal communication such as material for kick-offs or reports.” The pair develop websites and digital solutions

for and with their customers, and take care of everything from planning completely new webpages to redesigning and reprogramming existing platforms.

But it does not stop there: they also deliver in-house design work, logos, profile work, other print work and even large complex systems such as the registration and jurying system for Spellemann, Norway’s most prestigious music award.

Their mission is to offer efficient, thorough and clear processes with few, qualityconscious decision-makers along the way.

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 77
Mini Theme:
Anette Lund and Morten Strand Hauge. Photo: CF-Wesenberg/ Website designed by Strand & Lund. Photo: Shutterstock Photo: Petter-Helge Hareide

Full steam ahead with Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå

Trondheim-based Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå has quickly become one of Norway’s most exciting up-and-coming creative agencies. Since its launch during the pandemic, Ror has gone from strength to strength with clients in a wide range of industries.

Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå is based in central Trondheim, at the historic wharves along the Nidelva River. Their stylish office features wooden beams from the 1700s alongside modern glass fixtures – a perfect merging of old and new in one place.

Now in its third year, the communications and branding agency was founded by creative director Lisa Løseth and CEO Siv Mykland. “The pandemic was a strange time to start a business, but it gave us

the space to set our own course and think deeply about what we wanted to build,” says Løseth. “We believe it’s important to think holistically about a business; the brand must have a clear identity across all channels and communications.”

Where creativity meets strategy

Ror is an apt name for an organisation deeply committed to creative collaboration. The Norwegian word ‘ror’ refers to the helm of a boat and the act of rowing,

and is often used to describe pulling together as a team for a common goal. Last year saw exciting developments as the agency welcomed a new designer Even Halle Dragsten and copywriter Andreas Ryen Eidem to the fold. “Incorporating new team members always adds a lot of fresh energy,” says Mykland. “We’ve all come from different backgrounds with unique experiences and viewpoints, which is a fantastic resource.”

Creativity is the key ingredient in Ror’s work, and they believe the best solutions come from strategic creativity. This is where the magic happens, and where they generate value for their clients in terms of a strong return on investment. “When

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Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå team photo (back: Even Halle Dragsten and Andreas Ryen Eidem/Front: Siv Mykland and Lisa Løseth). Photo: Marco Villabrille

we’re working creatively, we want to create an arena where both our team and the clients can express themselves freely and know that their ideas matter. A safe and supportive environment will help bring out the best in everyone,” Mykland says.

Ror works with clients from many fields and industries, across research, banking and finance, culture, real estate and beyond. “It’s exciting for us to enter the world of each client,” says Løseth. “Though they have a deep knowledge and understanding around the products and services they deliver, many clients are less confident in their ability to communicate their work and brand well to customers.”

Ror uses a well-developed methodology to get a bird’s-eye view of the whole organisation. “We work to establish the identity and the larger societal importance of the organisation,” Løseth says. “We try to give them a better understanding of the impact they have on the world around them. This helps us determine how we can strategically communicate with their customers to build a clear identity and brand for the business.”

Helping businesses stay the course

Building a strong brand can be challenging. According to Ror, a key aspect of communication and brand-building strategy is the conscious relationship between what you say and how you say it. “These days, people are bombarded

with information, so it’s very important to be clear in your messaging. It’s key that business and communication strategies work in sync towards the same goal,” Mykland explains.

Ror recently completed a big project with Gjærevollsenteret – a centre for research, education and outreach around environmental sustainability and biodiversity. For the team, it was an interesting challenge to consider how to communicate data and research in a way that would connect with people. “It was a matter of taking information many would consider difficult to take in, and creating communications

that people could understand and engage with,” Løseth says. “We believe that speaking to both the heart and the head leads to powerful communications.”

Ror used the same approach to relaunch a large comedy festival in Norway this summer. “Of course, we allow ourselves to be a bit more playful when the customer’s goal is to make people laugh. The wide range of projects is not only exciting to work with, but also means that we gain a lot of experience in different fields,” Mykland says.

With their finger on the pulse of market trends and developments in wider society, Ror are committed to delivering the best solutions for their clients. “We work strategically and plan ahead, while remaining agile in our response to changing markets and world events in general,” Løseth explains. “We see that customers are drawn to brands that are sustainable, responsible and socially aware, and have a solid reputation.”

Now in their third year, it’s full steam ahead for Ror with a range of exciting projects on the horizon. “We’ve achieved a lot of our short-term goals and built a strong client base – now we want to keep growing and building our muscles,” says Mykland.

Instagram: @rorbyraa

Facebook: rorbyraa

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 79
Founders Lisa Løseth (Creative Director) and Siv Mykland (CEO). Photo: Lykt Foto og film Trondheim’s historic Bryggerekka, home to Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå. Photo: Mikolaj Niemczewski Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå interior office.
Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Top Creative Studios in Norway
Photo: Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå

Strengthen your brand with Losen Studio

Imagine a place where ideas, thoughts and knowledge are tossed around the room to culminate in finished pieces of the highest standard. That is what is happens inside the Norwegian creative studio Losen Studio.

In the beautiful city of Ålesund on the west coast of Norway lies Losen studio. The studio is run by three dedicated designers who inject personality and quality into every project.

Losen studio helps businesses with strategic brand building and visual identity, taking ideas and bringing them to life. It is a small studio with over 30 years of experience in the business. In their collaborations with clients, they dive deep to find the best approach to strengthening their brand. The designers at Losen Studio wear many hats, deploying a robust toolkit

of creative skills to help clients present themselves to the world.

An ocean of opportunities

Building a brand identity requires a lot of planning and there are many factors to consider. Most of Losen Studio’s projects fall under brand-building, re-branding, visual design, content, web design and/or package design. In addition to the visual aspects, a good brand should be aware of their tone of voice, how they present themselves and who they talk to.

All of these areas are important, but overhauling them can feel overwhelming or even unimaginable. Luckily, the designers at Losen Studio will keep your ducks in a row, structuring the elements of the process with transparency and expertise. The three designers work

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Campaign for Fora Form, launch new products. Photo: Sveinung Bräthen Identity, name and brand development. Photo: Kristin Stoylen

closely with each client and function as a natural extension of the client’s team. They look at how the brand can differentiate itself in its market and create a communication strategy that achieves the client’s results.

Losen Studios’ portfolio varies from building a brand from scratch for a local food supplier to running a campaign for a large bank. They work with clients from diverse fields, but who all share a common goal to take their brand to the next level.

From the heart

Guro Synes is a passionate designer with over a decade of experience in the creative field. In 2021, she decided to launch Losen Studio together with her partner and designer Agente Rønning Måseidvag. The studio grew fast; last year, they hired another designer, Ida Bergersen. Together, they account for over thirty years of experience.

Guro knows that creativity needs room to breathe and grow. That is why Losen Studios’ designers dive into new projects wholeheartedly. “It is essential for us to have great relationships with our clients. When we take on a project, we also take on the ups and downs, the challenges, and the triumphs,” Synes says.

Become a stronger brand

Project size has no bearing on the quality of the production. Synes and her team love to connect with all sorts of people and projects, all around the world.

“We work on exciting projects with clients like Nortel, which is a telecommunication company with over 80 employees, and we also work with Brennevinsgrova, a oneman distillery business. Both are equally rewarding,” she says.

Brennevinsgrova is a distillery run by a man called Harald Strømmegjerde, and is located in Sykkylven. He produces whiskey, gin and aquavit, and his work represents true craftsmanship. Losen Studio helped Brennevinsgrova to become a stronger brand by creating a website and label for the popular whisky. “Making a whisky is a long process. We are talking about years of hard work going into one bottle. Knowing this, there is nothing more we want than for him to succeed,” Synes says.

Step into the creative hub

Some brands have a product and need an identity. Others already have an identity but need help refining, launching or enhancing it. Regardless, the team at Losen Studio is able to help. “We love to create good relationships with clients and, of course, to have fun working together,” Synes says. Surrounded by beautiful nature, Losen Studio is growing, and is hiring new designers this year. Step into the creative hub and check out Losen Studios’ Instagram and website to see more.


Facebook: Losen

LinkedIn: Losen

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 81 Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Top Creative Studios in Norway
Campaign for Sparebanken Mere. Photo: Marius Beck Dale Nortel. Marketing, strategy and brand development. Branding whisky and web page. Photo: Kristin Stoylen

Made in Sweden

HÖRBY BRUK was founded in 1920 and today we are the leading manufacturer of wheelbarrows in Sweden. We are also a leading producer of playground equipment for private use in the Nordic region and our presence in other European markets is growing. Many of our products have become well known classics. This is because of the unique combination of long lasting flair for craftsmanship and modern production techniques.

A taste of Asia in the heart of Stockholm Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Are you up for a unique culinary experience that mixes up Japanese and Nordic culture in a dynamic environment? Then Fat Cat Brasserie, a Japanese restaurant with Scandinavian influences, might just be the right place for you.

When you open the door of the Fat Cat Brasserie, you leave the tidy streets of Sweden’s capital city behind to find the lights, colours and design of Japan. Be prepared to enjoy a special food experience, akin to a walk with various stops. Let’s start from here: at the first stop is the bar, where you can order different types of sake, Japanese whiskey or international cocktails, accompanied by small dishes of Japanese cuisine such as okonomiyaki and tempura.

Then, on to the restaurant through a passage – or rather, a food street reminiscent of the back alleys of Tokyo. Here, you can choose from a variety of dishes where sashimi and wagyu are the specialties. Or, if you want a surprise, let the chef choose for you, according to the ‘omakase’ (a Japanese word meaning ‘I leave it up to you’) approach to dining.

Overall, the brasserie offers a varied menu, consisting mostly of meat and

fish-based courses, where the idea of a traditional Asian brasserie meets modern Japanese cuisine – with a touch of the Scandinavian mood.

But the most peculiar aspect of this place is its social attitude. “You come here with your family and friends because you are interested in sharing the food and the experience. Or, maybe, you’re up for a chatty dinner, and want to socialise with your table neighbours,” says the manager of

the Fat Cat Brasserie, Christoffer Backman. To further illustrate the atmosphere of the restaurant, he continues: “We want people to interact over dinner, as is the norm in Asian culture, more so than here in the Nordics.”

This is the philosophy at the restaurant’s heart. If you are looking for a lively place to share a tasty meal in a relaxed environment, the Fat Cat Brasserie is waiting for you. Here, a unique food experience is transformed into an exciting moment to share with others.

Instagram: @fatcatbrasserie

Facebook: fatcatbrasserie

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 83 Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Sweden
The Hamachi served at Fat Cat Brasserie. Photo: Fabian Chamorro Detail of the dining room. The chocolate dessert served at Fat Cat Brasserie. The basserie interior.

Hotel of the Month, Finland

Star Arctic: an oasis in Finland’s far north

The Danish word hygge has become part of everyday language, but the Finns got there first with ‘kotoisa’, meaning ‘feeling cosy and at home’. The Star Arctic Hotel in Finnish Lapland promises just that and much more.

Located in the village of Saariselkä, Lapland, some 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Star Arctic Hotel offers something for all visitors, whether it be getting back to nature, winter sports or simply a wellbeing experience.

Hotel Director Juha Muotka has been at the hotel for some years now, and says that he is practically married to the area. “We offer an amazing, unique location with top-quality services and, of course, personality. This gives our visitors a comprehensive experience of our passion for the healthy, safe and sus-

tainable Lappish lifestyle. We call this ‘Passion For Lapland’,” explains Juha.

Lapland and Saariselkä

Saariselkä is a wilderness preservation area and one of the oldest mountain ranges in Finland. Finland’s second-largest national park, Urho Kekkonen National Park, extends right up to the centre of Saariselkä, so visitors can enjoy real Lappish nature and feel the embrace of true peace and quiet.

In this wild beauty, visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities year-round;

from hiking, fishing and mountain biking in the warmer months, to skiing, snowmobiling and even ice-fishing in the winter. For those looking for more sedate activities, guided nature walks including wild mushroom, berry and herb-picking are among the many activities on offer. The area is also home to numerous northern species and visitors may be lucky enough to spot a golden eagle, moose or even bears.

Marvel at the northern lights

Seeing the aurora borealis shimmering in the night sky is an essential part of a trip to Lapland, and Saariselkä is the perfect place to spot it – and even to learn the secrets of photographing it. The Star Arctic Hotel offers a range of opportunities to marvel at this miracle of nature. One must-visit at the Star Arctic

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Hotel is the unique Aurora Glass Cabin. Above the bed in the cabin is a three-panel glass design that allows guests to lie in bed and gaze up at the night sky.

“Lapland is currently a hot spot and Star Arctic’s unique location and service concept is able to meet this demand. With us, visitors get a comprehensive and high-quality experience. Plus, our package offer is expanding: we offer a northern lights travel package called Passion For Aurora,” says Juha. “A night filled with Lapland’s beautiful northern lights is nothing short of magical, and experiencing such a night in the cabin is an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience,” enthuses Juha.

Up close and personal with huskies and reindeer

Hotel guests can experience an exhilarating husky sleigh-ride in the wilderness led by Siberian huskies. The husky musher guides guests through the Arctic pine forest, allowing them to admire the changing scenery from the comfort of a sleigh. “The feeling of freedom as you breathe in the fresh winter air, leaving paw prints behind on the snowy trails, is a truly wonderful experience,” says Juha.

Another unmissable activity on offer at the destination hotel is the chance to meet their friendly reindeer and learn more about the indigenous Sámi culture during a reindeer experience safari. “The tour begins at our Star Arctic Wilderness Centre, where a reindeer herder shares stories of reindeer herding

and the Sámi culture in Lapland. But the highlight of the tour is a magical sleigh ride through the snowy pine forest,” says Juha. “This tour includes a lunch at the Wilderness Centre consisting of local ingredients, and the opportuniy to feed our reindeer,” he adds.

Kotoisa: a warm feeling

The Star Arctic prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere, warmly embracing all guests and catering for every need. The friendly management team and staff champion locality and sustainability, producing all the services themselves. This enables them to maintain an equisite quality in every service in the Passion For Lapland product packages, including the accommodation and restaurant, as well as transport, equipment and activities.

Juha explains: “The story of Star Arctic begain with the two families’ dream, which they brought to life in Lapland’s finest location at the top of a fell, Kaunispää in Saariselkä. Star Arctic is a family business where everyone is equal. We are also very proud of our success in being environmentally-conscious in all operations.”

Instagram: @stararctic_hotel

Facebook: stararctichotel

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Finland For bookings: +358 44 4194000 Ylämajantie 1, 99830 Saariselkä, Finland

Hotel of the Month, Norway

A traditional Norwegian hotel in authentic, fairytale surroundings

Situated in the picturesque mountain valley of Setesdal, Sølvgarden Hotell is steeped in proud local history and tradition. With its fairytale design and a wide array of experiences to take in nearby, the hotel is the perfect place for a holiday in Southern Norway.

Sølvgarden is located in the scenic village of Rysstad in the heart of Setesdal. With its unique design, Sølvgarden resembles something like a castle from a fairytale. Here, you’ll find over 20 modern rooms as well as a magical Tower Suite for those looking to make the most of the mythical atmosphere. Alongside the hotel accommodation, the family-run business offers a range of charming cabins and a campsite with space for caravans and tents.

From its humble beginnings as a camping destination in 1960, Sølvgarden has now expanded to a sprawling hotel and campsite. Though the site’s history is long, the main hotel was completed relatively recently in 2009, and named Sølvgarden (The

Silver Farm). “Given the beautiful building and our family history with silver, we decided Sølvgarden was the perfect name,” says hotel manager Torfinn Rysstad.

Rich local culture and traditions

Setesdal is known as the Silversmith’s valley due to its longstanding traditions of making silver adornments for the traditional Norwegian folk costume, the

‘bunad’. In fact, the Rysstad family is one of trained silversmiths going back to the 1800s, and Sølvgarden was originally a silversmith’s workshop. Honouring the history of the family and area is a key priority for the Rysstads.

“The old silversmith workshop is still in operation inside the hotel,” says Torfinn. “We produce custom ‘bunadsølv’ (silver accessories worn with the bunad) and jewellery inspired by it, with traditional patterns.” For proudly upholding local traditions, the workshop has been awarded the Olavsrosa, a quality seal that recognises businesses that protect Norwegian cultural heritage. Visitors are welcome to tour the studio to learn more about the culture and traditions of silver-making and about ancient Norwegian design.

Beyond the hotel, there are many opportunities to engage with local culture and history. “I would recommend Setesdals Museum, which hosts many exciting ex-

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Making silver jewellery in Sylvsmia, the old silver workshop inside Sølvgarden Hotell

hibitions and a great section dedicated to folk music,” says Torfinn. “The open-air museum Rygnestadtunet, dating back to 1350, is a really unique experience that can’t be missed.”

The Setesdal region has a long tradition of music and entertainment. In fact, the folk music of Setesdal has been recognised by UNESCO’s World Heritage list and some of Norway’s most well-known folk musicians hail from this area. The traditional music of the region is typically performed using Norway’s national instrument, the Hardanger fiddle, as well as the jaw harp, and is often accompanied by ‘kveing’ (a special form of singing) and dancing in the traditional bunad. At Sølvgarden Hotell, special attention is paid to honouring local culture and keeping music traditions alive. “Twice a week in the summer season, we offer evenings with live folk music at our pub, which is very popular,” says Torfinn.

Sølvgarden also takes pride in maintaining Norway’s culinary traditions. The hotel restaurant offers authentic meals prepared according to the culinary traditions of the area, using the best seasonal ingredients. “Certain traditional dishes have been on our menu for as long as we’ve had an eatery, such as ‘elgkarbonader’ (moose patties), ‘spa’ (traditional soup) and ‘rømmegrøt’ (sour cream porridge),” Torfinn says. “Our mountain trout is hugely popular in the summer, and all our food is sourced as locally as possible.”

An ideal holiday destination year-round Setesdal is known across Norway as a fantastic destination all year round. In the winter, the region offers incredible skiing and snowboarding opportunities, as well as ice climbing, while summer is the perfect time for hiking, cycling, climbing and swimming. “The nature and scenery here is indescribable. Entering the valley with the mountains towering above you is truly spectacular,” says Torfinn, adding that the beautiful nature and landscape of Southern Norway is one of the biggest draws for international travellers.

With a range of exciting activities and outdoor experiences close to Sølvgarden, you don’t have to go far to experience the best of what Norway has to offer. Winter is a very popular time to explore the area, and

skiing enthusiasts will appreciate easy access to two of the country’s best-loved ski areas, Hovden and Brokke. Since the hotel is located along Otra, the longest river in Southern Norway, there are fantastic opportunities for swimming, fishing, paddling and other water-related activities.

Though breathtaking scenery and a wide array of fun outdoor activities is on the doorstep of Sølvgarden, many travellers use Rysstad as a base for exploring the wider region. In fact, you can get to two of Norway’s most famous natural attractions, Pulpit Rock and Kjerag, in less than three hours from Rysstad.

Instagram: @solvgarden

Facebook: solvgarden

Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Norway
SUP Paddleboarding is just one of the many outdoor activities available in the local area. The magical Tower Suite at the top of Sølvgarden Hotell. Traditional folk music and dancing in the Norwegian national costume ‘bunad’.

With Jongunjoki’s 40 rapids – three of which are challenging – the river is ideal for thrill-seekers.

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Photo: Erästely

Experience of the Month, Finland

Discover the top paddling destinations in Finland’s Lakeland

Whether you are looking for a chilled-out canoeing holiday or an adrenalinefuelled trip down white-water rapids, Finland’s North Karelia has got your back. Here are four service providers offering the best of the region’s stunning scenery, culture, nature and famous hospitality.

Located in eastern Finland, North Karelia is well-known for its national parks and beautiful untouched forests and wilderness. North Karelia is home to some of Europe’s oldest bedrock, and the impressive Koli hills are a must-see when visiting the region. This area, part of what is known as the Finnish Lakeland, is home to over 2200 lakes.

The Karelia region has a longstanding tradition of storytelling and singing, and some of the stories featured in Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala, were collected from the province. North Karelia also has its own distinct cuisine. The region is within easy reach from the capital Helsinki, and the area is known for its unique culture and warm hospitality.

Enjoy tranquillity and beautiful nature

Located in Ilomantsi, KoiHu Adventures offers guided and self-guided adventures on canoes and kayaks. Guests can choose one-day paddling adventures or longer overnight trips. “The stunning and peaceful Koitajoki river area, along with its many bog-lands, and the lake Koitere, surrounded by hundreds of uninhabited islands and untouched wilderness, are fantastic places to get a sense of the region’s beauty. The river is very calm and relaxing, which means that the waters are suitable even for beginners,” says KoiHu Adventures’ owner, Päivi Lehtinen.

In addition, visitors also have the option to paddle from Petkeljärvi National Park to Patvinsuo National Park. The rivers

and lakes are right next to hiking routes, giving visitors the option to combine paddling and hiking. “We provide visitors with continuous support throughout their hiking trip, as well as all the equipment they need. For self-guided tours, we give visitors a map and detailed instructions, and arrange transportation to and from their destination,” Lehtinen says.

Instagram: @koihuadventures

Facebook: KoiHu Adventures

Canoeing and kayaking in crystal-clear waters

Located in Kitee, North Karelia, Lakeland Karelia organises guided paddling adven-

tures for visitors on two lakes: Pyhäjärvi and Puruvesi. The tours are suitable for all experience levels and visitors keen to experience something slightly less conventional can try rowing a huge traditional church boat, among other activities.

“Puruvesi is one of the clearest lakes in Finland. In the middle of the deep lake lies a miracle: a fine, sandy shelf that is exposed above the water’s surface when the water is low. It’s a very special place to visit, and standing in the middle of a lake is a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Taina Arvekari, owner of Lakeland Karelia.

There are several atmospheric island destinations on lake Puruvesi, where paddling visitors can stay overnight, and Lakeland Karelia has lakeside cabin accommodation available.

Instagram: @lakelandkarelia

Facebook: Lakeland Karelia

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Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Finland
Lake Koitere with it’s hundreds of islands, sand shores and wilderness has attracted travellers for decades. Photo: KoiHu Adventures

Koli National Park and packraft island-hopping

Clear waters, quiet sandy beaches, untouched forests and numerous campfire spots: these are some of the things that the 22-kilometre stretch of islands in Koli National Park has to offer.

Situated near the national park, Seikkailuyhtiö Vaara provides paddling adventures with views over the impressive forested hills of Koli and the beautiful scenery of lake Pielinen. From the top of Koli, visitors can take in the beautiful panorama, which thousands of people come to photograph each year.

Seikkailuyhtiö Vaara’s tours enable guests to paddle in that landscape, and islandhop between the numerous islands on Pielinen. A true Koli expert, guide Jari takes visitors to his favourite islands in the region using packrafts, which are easy to use and suitable for less experienced paddlers. “Island-hopping and stopping to explore the various islands is a unique experience and a wonderful way to make the most out of North Karelia’s Lakeland and scenery,” says Seikkailuyhtiö Vaara’s owner, Katariina Rantalaiho.

Instagram: @seikkailuyhtio

Facebook: Seikkailuyhtiö Vaara

Adrenaline-fuelled canoe and kayak adventures

Erästely brings visitors on unforgettable adventures along the river Jongunjoki, which boasts some of the best paddling routes in Finland. Amidst stunning scenery and the beautiful wilderness of Eastern Finland, the river flows through the region of Kuhmo and Lieksa in North Karelia.

Paddling here is ideal for the more adventurous traveller. A large part of the route is white water paddling and, with 40 rapids, three of which are challenging, especially during the spring floods,

there are plenty of adrenaline-fuelled challenges to take on.

“Overnight camping is an option and there are numerous lean-to shelters and huts in the region available to visitors who want to have a longer adventure. There are several starting and ending points for a paddling trip on the Jongunjoki, and we are happy to help plan a suitable trip, whatever our guests’ wishes might be,” says Erästely owner, Tappi Kiiskinen.


Facebook: Erästely Canoe & Outdoors

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Seikkailuyhtiö Vaara provides paddling adventures, with scenes over the impressive forested hills of Koli and the beautiful scenery of lake Pielinen. Photo: Pasi Kuronen, Liemi & Linssi Oy Located in Ilomantsi, KoiHu Adventures offers guided and selfguided adventures on canoes and kayaks. Photo: Terhi Ilosaari
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Lakeland Karelia organises guided paddling adventures for all experience levels in Kitee, North Karelia. Photo: Lakeland Karelia

Experience of the Month, Norway

Ready for adventure?

Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser began as a diving business but today has expanded to include kayaking, fishing, trekking, boating and more – all in the beautiful surroundings of Øyane in Lepsøy, Bjørnafjord, just outside of Bergen in Norway.

“We’d like to expand, but right now we’re fully booked from mid-July until the end of September, and we have so much going on!” Hugo Hansen, the manager of Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser, enthuses. Although he has a fulltime job – as do all of his family members and partners –he is radiant and full of energy when he describes the business that he and his wife Britt have been running since 2018, together with their daughter and her husband.

Experience nature

Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser offers a range of outdoor activities. Most are waterrelated, like diving, fishing and kayaking, but they also organise long and shortdistance treks, including daytrips to the nearby Borgafjellet, as well as to other beautiful mountains and sights around the fjord.

The nature in this part of Norway is rich and varied. If you’re lucky you might spot

porpoises breaking the surface of the water while out kayaking. Guests can enjoy the experience on a casual outing, but can also do courses in kayaking and diving: Hansen and his family are certified instructors and have all the necessary equipment on hand.

Most visitors come in groups: businesses come for teambuilding exercises or to simply wind down from work; families come from all over the world for a different type of family bonding; and anniversaries and action-filled birthday celebrations are becoming increasingly popular.

For colleagues and families alike, the beautiful fjord and its surroundings invite

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This is Bjørnafjorden, not the Maldives.

mindfulness and a tuning-in to nature –the perfect antidote to stressful workdays. “We’ve had a large family from the Philippines, and visitors from Greece, England and Eastern Europe – even Hawaii!” Hansen says enthusiastically.

Guests are not only from all over the world, they are also of all ages, too. Regardless of who they are, they are bound to enjoy themselves. “We’ve had 75-yearold women here who were determined never to sit in a kayak. But they gave in and ended up having the time of their lives!” Hansen laughs.

Dive for dinner

No wonder that Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser’s guests enjoy themselves – Hansen and his family offer a truly unique holiday. Not only is the beautiful view of the fjord tucked between towering mountains a memorable sight, but the activities have a twist: you dive for your own dinner.

“We actually fetch fish, mussels and crabs as we dive. When we don’t cook it ourselves, we hand the catch of the day over to the professional chefs at Solstrand Hotel & Spa,” Hansen says, adding that the local waters offer a wide variety of fish and seafood.

Hansen explains that while both diving and kayaking are actually best in the

winter when the water is at its clearest, summer is still the prime time for visiting Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser.

Supported by the local community Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser offers the action and adventure, while collaborations with several local providers complete the experience. The guests, it seems, are not visiting one business, they are visiting an entire local community.

The historical Solstrand Hotel & Bad is an attraction in itself in Bjørnafjord, and this is where guests are likely to stay the night. Right behind Solstrand Hotell is a beautiful golf course and plentiful natural and historical attractions in the area. A visit to Oselvarverkstaden is an

absolute must for those interested in historical boat-building techniques. The wooden workshop has existed for over a thousand years and its boats are famous all over Norway.

Even though Bjørnafjord is a piece of pure nature that seems far removed from civilisation, it’s easy to drive to via a new tunnel. Hansen and his family are happy to help with transport booking, and the journey only takes 20 minutes from Flesland Airport, and 30 minutes from the centre of Bergen.

Instagram: @bjornafjordenopplevelser Facebook: Bjornafjorden

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Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Norway
Hugo Hansen at Bjørnafjorden Opplevelser. Photo: Mette Fagerli Ready for a home-caught meal. Fishing in the sunset.

Experience of the Month, Denmark

Whether you are an experienced marathon runner with thousands of kilometres under your belt, or you are contemplating running your first marathon, HCA Marathon in Odense should be on your list. Not only does HCA Marathon give you a unique running experience in the historic city, but it is also the world’s fastest marathon.

It’s not often you come across a marathon that is ideal for both debutants and experienced runners looking to beat their best running times. HCA Marathon is one of the few marathons that is equally thrilling for newbies as it is for veterans.

“HCA Marathon really is a marathon for everyone. Odense is flat as a pancake, meaning the route is flat, making it suitable for both those looking to beat their personal record and for those who are running their first marathon,” says HCA Marathon director Erik Juhl Mogensen.

But that is not all. With an average finish time of 3 hours, 51 minutes and 22 seconds in 2019, HCA Marathon was the fastest marathon in the world. So, if you are looking to outrun your personal best, this is the perfect marathon to challenge yourself.

A marathon for everyone

If you’re thinking that this all sounds well and good, but a marathon might be a little too far, HCA Marathon offers three other options: a half-marathon; a walking half-marathon; and the option of running only the last ten kilometres of the marathon route. Meanwhile, for the kids, HCA Marathon offers a mini marathon.

“We really wanted to create a marathon that the whole family can join. The marathon truly embraces the Danish concept of hygge. People are happy, there are several drinking and fruit stations on the route, there is music, and people are cheering you on,” says Mogensen.

See Odense through the eyes of H.C.


HCA Marathon is named after the famous Danish fairytale-writer Hans

Christan Andersen, who was born in Odense. The marathon will take you through the historic streets of the writer’s hometown, and you will see everything from the majestic cathedral to the beautiful town hall.

The route will also take you past the new H.C. Andersen House which opened in 2021 and was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. This is a truly spectacular museum that turn your head for just a moment before you race on to beat your personal record.

Instagram: @hcamarathon

Facebook: hcamarathon

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Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month | Denmark
On your mark, get set, go... It’s the world’s fastest marathon!
Andersen’s House. Photo: Bjørn Koch Klausen

Holiday Destination of the Month, Denmark

Visit Langeland: discover a unique





The beautiful island of Langeland is a part of the South Funen archipelago. With 152 kilometres of unspoiled coastline and calm waters, and a wealth of culture and activities to choose from, this hidden gem is an ideal spot for a holiday.

The landscape of Langeland is full of character. The so-called Hat Hills, for example, are unique to the island. A leftover from the ice age, these hat-shaped hills in an otherwise flat landscape are an important part of Langeland’s history and culture. Langeland is located in one of the largest inundated ice age landscapes in the world and, underneath the surrounding waters, a stone age settlement has been discovered on the seafloor.

The island cultivates sustainable tourism, and together with the nearby municipalities of Svendborg, Faaborg-Midtfyn and Ærø, Langeland has recently applied to become a UNESCO Global Geopark. The island’s stunning beaches are a big draw, with facilities for easy access being developed, and a diving tower for the daring souls!

Something for everyone all year round

Besides the different activities you can pursue on and off the water, each

season offers something different and Langeland has a rich culture scene, with a strong tradition for art.

There is the Art Towers, Denmark’s longest-running exhibition open 365 days a year. Then, at Easter, the many local artists open their studio doors to the public. The island is also renowned for its many performing artists who are attracted by the unique light and landscape.

During the summer there are several local events worth experiencing – especially the annual Frikadelle Festival in the city of Lohals. This harbour festival includes a quirky and quintessentially Danish ‘frikadelle’ (traditional Danish meatballs) celebration. The summer is also the best season for sailing around the island – it’s a fantastic way to take in the wild and abundant nature on and off the coast.

In the first weekend of November, as the winter closes in, the island hosts


the event ‘Light in the Darkness’, to celebrate the starry night sky, which is visible with unique brightness and clarity from Langeland. This is marked by a weekend of cultural events.

The waters around the island are shallow and the beaches are sheltered from strong winds. Here, the locals use the sea as their swimming pool and the family-friendly beaches never feel crowded. With so many different things to explore, Langeland is a truly wonderful destination, any time of the year.

Instagram: @langelanddk

Facebook: langelanddanmark

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 95 Scan Magazine | Holiday Destination of the Month | Denmark
Biking through the Hat Hills. Photo: Visit Langeland The ice age landscape - Cliffs by Bagenkop. Photo: Mikkel Jézéquel Photo: Camilla Pihl Magazine

Artist of the Month, Norway

Get lost in colour explosions

There is a reason why a simple painting can fill your body with joy and love: at that moment, you connect with your emotions. Art is an opportunity, an invitation from the artist – artists like Kristine Hasseløy.

Kristine Hasseløy is a Norway-based artist whose hallmarks are the use of layers of paint, textures and the mix between soft, thin colours and strong colour explosions. “As a child, I used to stand upside down on my parents’ sofa and view the world from a different perspective. I pretended the roof was the floor and I could decorate and furnish freely. It was great until the blood was pounding in my head and I had to return to my feet,” Kristine laughs.

The daydreaming did not stop as she grew up. Some four years ago, she left her job in teaching and decided to go fulltime with her art. Today, her paintings can be seen in many homes around the

world. Kristine’s atelier in Drammen is a big space where she can go big and small with her ideas and creations. The space allows her to work on multiple projects at the same time.

Customers come by weekly to check up on how their customised work is developing. During the day, she has zoom-meetings with clients and people she has connected with. New buyers are welcomed by appointment and sometimes Kristine opens up the space for groups to learn and paint.

In the making of a painting, Kristine goes into a state of flow. During those hours,

nothing in the outside world matters. Time and space are not important; it is all about what is happening on the canvas. The artist is creating a window to a moment, a feeling or a place for you to resonate with. Anything can happen in the flow state and the result is what you see on the stretched linen. “I mostly follow my intuition. I like to explore and experiment with different materials and techniques. To be able to forget about what’s going on in this world for a while is a true blessing in this job.” Kristine says.

She tells stories of love. Like the care from a stranger when you need it the most, the smell of the ocean, or a memory. She translates these feelings onto a blank canvas and then she leaves room for your thoughts and interpretation.


Instagram: @k.hasseloy

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Scan Magazine | Artist of the Month | Norway

The powerful Finnish art initiative reclaiming silence

The Silence Project is a celebrated initiative by the Finnish artist Nina Backman, that explores the concept of silence in urban spaces. Now in its tenth year, its experimental events, exhibitions and seminars have made it one of the most radical and relatable contemporary art projects in Europe.

“The Silence Project was initially inspired by Jokamiehenoikeus,” says Backman. Jokamiehenoikeus, or ‘Everyman’s Right’, is the Finnish law protecting the free access to nature and foraging – regardless of private property. “It means everyone has the right to nature and silence,” she explains. “Ten years ago was also when silent retreats became fashionable, and silence became commodified. From my Finnish perspective, it was bizarre.”

Juggling notions of silence as a luxury and silence as a right, Backman began

to explore the idea in art. “Silence is a big part of my identity and my own practice. I think it’s essential if you want to create

artwork. Silence contains the whole spectrum of human experience – from bliss to horror,” she says. It was such a large topic that she decided to set it up as a nonprofit programme, and to invite other artists to collaborate. Today, The Silence Project has blossomed into a varied programme of international exhibitions, seminars and a series of poignant events.

In tandem, Backman has collected stories about how people in different cities experience silence for ten years. “Of course, silence doesn’t really exist –there’s always some form of sound. So we all experience it differently. Interestingly, in cities, many felt that noise is a kind of cocoon – that they are free because they are invisible,” she says. The stories unearthed the highly personal nature of the relationship between si-

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Marja Helander - Dolastallat – To Have a Campfire (2016) Nina Backman - Aino Nature Series (2017)

lence and freedom and, though Backman intended to use them in an app mapping silent spaces in urban centres, they instead fuelled the creation of perhaps the most captivating event in The Silence Project’s portfolio: The Silence Meal.

The Silence Meal

At these unique dinners – which Backman refers to as performances – guests dine in total silence. The Silence Meal was created for artists as a pre-opening for their exhibitions: “To give them an experience in silence while being surrounded by their artwork in the museums or galleries,” says Backman. But due to rampant public curiosity, occasional dinners are now open to everyone. “I’m careful with the venues. This is a special work of performance art,” says Backman.

Despite the simple premise, the event is compelling. “In silence, hierarchies die. Social identifiers that we’re usually attentive to – religion, culture or financial status – become obsolete. Instead, we access this very powerful, ancient and intuitive mode of human communication,” says Backman.

The Silence Meal has garnered a glowing response on the international art scene, but some of Backman’s favourite editions have taken place close to home. “We performed a Silence Meal in Berlin, where people sat all night and went for breakfast in the morning. That would only happen in Berlin!” she recalls. “We’ve performed

it in some of the great Nordic venues like Punkt Ø - Galleri F15, and once at midnight, in a beautiful hall in Flagey in Belgium, to open the Arvo Pärt concert weekend. That was quite magical!”

A Million Trees to Finland

The Silence Project’s latest offshoot is called A Million Trees to Finland. “I wanted to create a forest for the Silence Project, but I didn’t have the land, so I settled on an event in which we would give out free seedlings,” says Backman. Quickly, the event snowballed into a series. “Maybe it was the right timing,” she muses. “Now, we plant trees together with museums, cities and counties. As I see it, we’re creating silent spaces by planting trees, where ideas and creativity can flourish.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Backman has been fielding attempts to politicise A

Million Trees since. “When we started the tree project, almost all the political parties in Finland wanted to be connected to it,” she says. “I declined. But it gave me the idea to host a filmed Silence Meal with the name Silence Politicians, featuring well-known Finnish politicians, as a platform for raising money for a good cause. The idea is in development at the moment.”

In Backman’s hands, ideas are powerful and mobilising, as the ever-growing scope of The Silence Project demonstrates. This year, it was awarded the Most Innovative Social Art Initiative 2023 by the European Enterprise Award. Undoubtedly, Backman is grappling with a concept that taps directly into the environmental and social concerns of our modern age. We can all relate to silence.

Instagram: @silenceproject

Facebook: fi.silenceproject


March 2023 | Issue 152 | 99 Scan Magazine | Culture | The Silence Project
Sigurður Guðmundsson - Self Portrait (1978) The Silence Meal in Flagey, Belgium. Photo: Johan Jacobs Works by Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir & Ólafur Kolbeinn Guðmundsson, Mia Hamari, and Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Photo: Gallen-Kallela Museum The Silence Project has collaborated with the following Nordic and international artists: Backman, Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, Ólafur Kolbeinn Guðmundsson, Sari Palosaari, Lene Berg, Lise Bjørne Linnert, Sigurður Guðmundsson, Mia Hamari, Johan Zetterquist, René Holm, Topi Ruotsalainen, Jalal Sepher, Marja Helander, and Viva Grandlund.

Meet the Icelandic production company on Hollywood’s speed-dial

TRUENORTH is the number one film and television production company in Northern Europe, specialising in the highest quality filming services in spectacular landscapes. Founded in 2003, its portfolio of major international films, landmark TV series and original content has not only made TRUENORTH a household name in Hollywood but has skyrocketed Iceland’s reputation as a film-production hotspot.

“It was when we did Flags of Our Fathers with Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg in 2005 that we became the go-to Nordic production company for Hollywood films,” recalls founder Leifur B. Dagfinnsson. This was not a project for the faint of heart. On set for the military beach invasion scene of Flags were a thousand people, monstrous fleets of ships, helicopters and planes, staging a blistering attack on the volcanic peninsula of Reykjanes. “We were recreating the invasion of Iwo Jima. The scale was huge… we basically staged the only war ever held in Iceland!” laughs Dagfinnsson.

TRUENORTH’s head-spinning work on Flags paved the way for their production of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Oblivion with Tom Cruise, Noah with Russell Crowe, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller, and Thor: The Dark World – all in one year. “That really put Iceland on the map as a filming destination,” says Dagfinnsson.

Scandinavia-wide production

While Iceland attracts film productions with a 25 per cent tax rebate, it’s still no stretch to credit the country’s glowing Hollywood reputation to TRUENORTH. So

much so, that when Norway introduced the same rebate in 2016, Dagfinnsson was called in. “I was approached by one of the country’s finest line producers, who suggested we bring TRUENORTH to Norway,” he says.

Since then, the Icelandic company has filmed over 20 productions on Norwegian soil, including the highest-grossing film of 2021 No Time To Die, Dune, Tenant, Succession and two Mission Impossibles, with a third in the pipeline. Today, TRUENORTH’s newest hubs are in Finland, Sweden, Greenland, the Canary Islands and the Faroes, where the company was behind the spectacular final sequence, and James Bond’s iconic death scene, in No Time To Die

Experts in dramatic landscapes

Iceland is riddled with volcanic craters and rock formations, waterfalls, geysers,

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Hoffellslon, Iceland. Photo: TRUENORTH

rugged black-sand beaches, glaciers and otherworldly lava fields. “The Icelandic landscape can double as many different locations in the world and we are open to solving any challenge,” says Dagfinnsson. “Take filming on top of a glacier in winter. Nobody in their right mind does that, but we’ve done it with George Clooney in a snowstorm at 1,400 metres!”

The list of large-scale production companies in Europe who could pull these types of shoots off is short. “Our expertise is in enabling large crews to film safely in epic locations. In Iceland, you can drive for 20 minutes outside Reykjavik and feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s the accessibility of these huge cinematic expanses that makes Iceland so attractive,” he says.

Protecting that environment is therefore at the top of TRUENORTH’s agenda. The company practices a ‘green filming ideology’ – a commitment to using renewable and sustainable energy in all of its future productions. In practice, this means powering 76,000 square-feet of partially sound-proof stages, offices and sets with clean electric and geothermal energy.

Steering the Nordic film industry TRUENORTH is currently producing the entirety of the HBO series True Detective’s fourth season in Iceland. It’s a ground-breaking project for Iceland and became a springboard for Dagfinnsson

and HBO to urge the government to increase the tax rebate to 35 per cent for certain productions. “That’s the major industry news of the past nine months,” says Dagfinnsson.

Another headline development is TRUENORTH’s new venture into original content. “We are currently developing a film called OUTSIDE with Scott Free Productions, based on the books of our most famous Nordic Noir novelist Ragnar Jónasson. But our crown jewel is the epic saga of Sturlungar. It’s basically The Godfather of the 13th century – a story of family conflict, power, violence and betrayal, spearheaded by a high-profile director, which we hope to announce very soon,” says Dagfinnsson coyly. “We have so much experience, and now we want to put our own creative stamp on what we

produce. It’s an exciting new chapter for TRUENORTH.”

Indeed, after 20 years in the film business across seven countries – not forgetting, adds Dagfinnsson, three Star Wars films –TRUENORTH already has an enviable stamp on both the Hollywood and the Nordic scenes. “I’m very proud of what TRUENORTH has been able to do for Iceland in terms of strengthening its economy, creating jobs and putting it on the industry map,” says Dagfinnsson. “It’s an accolade for everyone on our team who is continually positive and ambitious. When you look at our track record, I cannot name a company in Europe that matches us.”

Instagram: @truenorth_iceland Facebook: truenorth.iceland

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 101 Scan Magazine | Culture | TRUENORTH
On the set of Oblivion Photo: Universal Pictures Clint Eastwood filming the beach invasion scene in Flags of Our Fathers Photo: Warner Bros Iceland’s incredible landscape was the backdrop for Prometheus Photo: 20th Century Fox

Best new Scandi music in March

Swedish singing and songwriting talent

Nea is back with a brand-new tune for us to get into - and get right into it you well and truly should! This isn’t like anything else out there at the moment. On A Lover Like Me she pairs a throw-modesty-tothe-wind lyric about how great a lover she is, with a wonderfully eccentric production that takes ’60s soul sounds and lets them run riot with the music software of today. The end result is a hell of a lot of fun!

She delivered one of the best albums of 2022, Dirt Femme, but she’s not done with us just yet. Tove Lo is back with a new single – Borderline. And in keeping with that recent album of hers, this new tune has plenty of bang under its bonnet too. Tinged with a retro-chic funk, the song actually is a writing collaboration between Tove Lo and global superstar Dua Lipa.

Monthly Illustration


Scandi noir has a lot to answer for. My hometown used to get limited hours of daylight in the winter. We stumbled to and from school through black winter forests, yet I have no particular memory of it being dark. How did we find our way? I’ve no idea. But I don’t recall being afraid. Yes, there was the vague notion that something mythical might appear, like a troll or something, but that was more excitement than dread.

Now it’s a different story. I’m not sure if it’s a natural part of growing up, or maybe it’s all that Scandi Noir, but the blackness of Swedish winter feels different now. Those looming shapes in the gloom among the trees? Perhaps they aren’t kindly elves, perhaps they are creepy murderers?! “It’s the lack of snow,” my sister assures me. “When it’s snowing, it’s actually really bright.” I know what she means, but at the same time, it’s really not very bright at all.

Danish artist Drew Sycamore is back with some sensational new sounds via her latest release In The Club. Said sensations are those of pure, unadulterated, dancefloor euphoria. She’s spliced retro synthpop with modern-day techno-pop and thrown in some ’80 ball-scene bang for good measure. All the ingredients have come together beautifully though, and we’re presented with a fierce floor-filler that’ll stay with us through 2023.

Swedish artist LOVA has got a story to tell on her new song. I Raised Your Boyfriend is a brilliantly cutting ode to the new girlfriend of her ex – the man she helped mold into the apparent catch he is today. As well as lyrical perfection, she’s also got the gorgeous pop melody sorted, backed by a softgrunge production. Clever in composition, simple in delivery – this is a terrific listen.

Maybe I’ve become too English? With fewer trolls about, perhaps all you’re left with are murderers?

In any case, I’d never been so happy to be back in the bright orange glare of busy

Gatwick airport, as I was after my most recent trip to the Swedish countryside. There was a brief moment of darkness when the taxi driver was given my destination and declared: “no idea where that is – I’m from Leeds”. But as with all darkness, you can always find a chink of light if you try hard enough. In this case, it was the comforting glow of his smartphone satnav.

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.

102 | Issue 152 | March 2023 Scan Magazine | Culture | Columns

Scandinavian Culture Calendar

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

Sunok Kang: Haenyeo Photo: Hyung S Kim
Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar

Nicholas Collon & Nicholas Daniel (15 and 16 March)

Finland’s public broadcaster symphony orchestra (FRSO), led by Nicholas Collon, is performing new work for a more unusual instrument: the English horn. The composition, by Finn Outi Tarkiainen (b. 1985), is titled Milky Ways. The name refers to both the galaxy and to the milk fed to newborns by their mothers, and the composition is dedicated to Nicholas Daniel who will also be performing it. The other piece of the night is Brahms’ first Symphony.

Musiikkitalo, Mannerheimintie 13 A, Helsinki

Afternoon of Fauns: Springtime Glimmer (19 March)

Can you hear the sound of spring in the title of this concert? The Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most exciting orchestras of its kind in the Nordics, and this concert is part of their Sunday series. The ensemble will be performing three pieces: Aleksandr

Glazunov’s Prelude and fugue for string quartet, Peter Lieberson’s Piano Quintet and Beethoven’s Sextet in E-flat Major Yliopistonkatu 55, Tampere

Arab Film Days (15 to 19 March)

Arab Film Days, whose first edition was in 2011, focuses solely on films about and from the Arab world. The opening film is a thriller called Boy from Heaven, set in Egypt, and the festival closes with Rebel, which tells a story of radicalisation and foreign fighters in Syria.

Vika kino, Ruseløkkveien 14, Oslo

Martha Wainwright (1 April)

The Canadian singer-songwriter released her memoir last year, and now she is coming to Oslo with Love Will be Reborn, her highly-praised pandemic album released in 2021 and inspired by her divorce some years earlier. The concert location, Kulturkirken Jakob, is cool too. Hausmanns gate 14, Oslo

Bowie by Sukita — From London to Japan (until 13 August)

Did you know that the Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita is behind many of the famous pictures taken of David Bowie? This exhibition showcases 100 of those photos, taken over 40 years of close collaboration between the two creatives. While at Kulturhuset, stay for a meal and a drink or two and admire the views of busy central Stockholm. Kulturhuset, Sergels torg, Stockholm

Laurie Anderson: Looking Into the Mirror Sideways (1 April to 3 September)

Laurie Anderson is not only a visual artist; her avant-garde oeuvre also covers experimental music, writing and filmmaking. In this exciting Moderna Museet exhibition, her most comprehensive solo exhibition in Europe so far, the American artist has taken on the challenge of creating a narrative for a museum space. You’ll get to experience works old and new. Expect reflections “on time and be-

104 | Issue 152 | March 2023 Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar
Musiikkitalo has been Helsinki’s premier concert destination since 2011. Photo: David Jakob

ing, silence and clamour”, Admission is free on Friday evenings.

Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Haenyeo — Women of the Sea (until 1 September)

Elsinore is well worth a day trip out of Copenhagen, and not only for its Shakespearean connections. The Maritime Museum’s latest exhibition explores female Korean free-divers, called Haenyeo, who represent an ancient tradition and lifestyle intertwined with the sea that has been recognised by UNESCO. The 26 portraits of Haenyeo display startling energy, despite the fact that most of the subjects are between 60 and 80 years old.

M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark, Ny Kronborgvej 1, Elsinore

March 2023 | Issue 152 | 105 Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar
Laurie Anderson: Drum Glasses (a.k.a. Head Knock), 1979. Video still. Photo: Laurie Anderson David Bowie: Watch That Man III (1973). Photo: Sukita Santtu-Matias Rouvali is the conductor of the Tampere Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Tero Ahonen

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106 | Issue 152 | March 2023 Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar
Kulturhuset in central Stockholm is always worth a visit. Photo: Stefan Holm

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Articles inside

Scandinavian Culture Calendar

pages 103-106


page 102

Best new Scandi music in March

page 102

Meet the Icelandic production company on Hollywood’s speed-dial

pages 100-101

The powerful Finnish art initiative reclaiming silence

pages 98-99

Artist of the Month, Norway Get lost in colour explosions

page 97


pages 95-96

Experience of the Month, Denmark

pages 94-95

Ready for adventure?

pages 92-93

Experience of the Month, Finland Discover the top paddling destinations in Finland’s Lakeland

pages 89-92

A traditional Norwegian hotel in authentic, fairytale surroundings

pages 86-88

Hotel of the Month, Finland Star Arctic: an oasis in Finland’s far north

pages 84-86

A taste of Asia in the heart of Stockholm Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

page 83

Strengthen your brand with Losen Studio

pages 80-82

Full steam ahead with Ror Kommunikasjonsbyrå

pages 78-79

Bigger is not better

page 77

A sweet second chance to follow the baking dream

page 76

The best salmon is happy, healthy and green

pages 74-75

Salthammer båtbyggeri: Norwegian-born, bred and built

pages 72-73

A playful hub for art and creativity in Helsingborg

page 70

Stories from the Swedish mountains at Härjedalens Fjällmuseum

page 69

A unique museum showcasing the creative process

page 68

Experience the legacy of NK Furniture at Sörmland Museum

page 67

Curious culture for a younger audience

page 66

When Nordiska Museet in Stockholm turns 150, it’s time to celebrate!

page 65

Layered stories told through textiles

page 64

Pioneering wooden architecture, home to bold cultural expression

pages 62-63

500 years of national and royal history in a seminal exhibition

pages 60-61

Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde to display never-before-seen art and fine objects

pages 58-59

Historic battles and present times displayed at naval museum

pages 56-57

Thought-provoking, mind-boggling and wow-factor-guaranteed

pages 54-55

Where Viking myth meets truth

pages 52-53

Mindful enjoyment of Arctic nature

pages 49-51

Experience Lappish nature and the world’s purest air

page 47

Happy dogs and satisfied customers make the ideal husky safari

page 47

A spa experience against an arctic backdrop

pages 46-47

Chase the northern lights on an arctic snow safari

pages 44-45

Bikeland: showcasing cycling in Finland

pages 42-43

Xwander: planning adventures for all in Lapland

pages 40-41

Enjoy authentic Lapland and its nature

page 39

A cultural hub portraying the colourful history of a Finnish port town

page 38

From hip-hop to modern art: Tampere is for the culture-lovers

pages 36-37

Marie Olsson Nylander: the interior designer stirring up a storm

pages 28, 30, 32-34

A summer vacation close to home

pages 26-27

Why beer competitions are important

page 26

Modern professional beauty care in Finland’s oldest city

page 25

Møbelgalleriet Moss: Furniture for timeless Nordic interiors

pages 22-23

Beautiful metal design that goes beyond the surface

pages 20-21

LUONNONBETONI: building an ecofriendly future with natural concrete

pages 18-19

An extraordinary combination of art and craftsmanship

page 16

Quality nuts for the everyday athlete

pages 14-15

Bringing smoothness and flavour to another level

pages 12-13

Stockholm’s timeless beer hall

pages 10-11

We Love This: New Scandinavian yoga labels

pages 8-9

Fashion Diary

pages 6-7

In this issue

pages 4-5

Floral healing!

pages 2-3
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