Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015

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Scan Magazine | Contents




The Nordic architectural heritage This year’s big architecture and design special got us a tad overexcited, and we decided to try something different. We simply could not think of a better cover for this annual hit than Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair, but this got us thinking about the history of Nordic architecture and the heritage that has inspired the architects interviewed for this issue. How did Nordic architecture become what it is today? Who were the pioneers of the past, and how did they inspire the stars of the present? We decided to find out to provide a backdrop.


Let there be light – and a warm winter There is no better time to get into lighting design than in October. This month’s We Love This is all about bulbs and lamps, as is featured Danish company Pandul, producing and selling some of the most iconic quality Danish design lamps. And speaking of Danish quality, the wool-loving clothing brand Joha knows all about it. Once you get your lighting sorted, find out how to stay warm when you head out.



Spending time with Ane Brun Modern, soulful and intimate, Ane Brun’s new album When I’m Free makes the perfect soundtrack to anything to do with Scandinavian architecture. Scan Magazine spoke to the Norwegian songsmith about the writing process, coping with illness and life on the road. As always, we also made sure to find a few destinations for those looking for a Scandinavian outdoor adventure, and to gear up for the big task at hand we spoke to the programme director of World Architecture Festival, Paul Finch.


Nordic architecture and design Did you know that zero-energy houses are no longer considered cutting edge? The latest state-of-the-art thing is the plus-energy house:

a house that is not only self-sustainable in terms of energy but produces more than it consumes. What else is new in the field of architecture? Wood is making a comeback, and 3D technology is the avant-garde architect’s best friend. Whatever it is on that list of must-do architectural practices, it probably comes from the Nordics. The old meme about Scandinavia as a design utopia might begin to sound like nothing but a platitude, but speaking to representatives of no less than 45 Scandinavian architecture firms, we are certain when we claim that they are at the top of their game. To find out more about contextualisation, a holistic approach, responding to the challenges posed by urbanisation and working to combat the current climate change crisis, read on.

BUSINESS 124 On homes and happiness We are pleased to say that Paul Blackhurst has chosen to dedicate this month’s keynote to the subject of happiness. Apropos to the Kingdom of Bhutan replacing GDP with GNH (gross national happiness) and the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to the UK to bless a new course of free evening classes courtesy of Action for Happiness, he ponders whether happiness is a legitimate topic for government intervention and asks who is responsible for our happiness. In an equally philosophical but far more serious piece, columnist Steve Flinders offers an update on an old story that must not be forgotten.

CULTURE 128 In search of a Swedish community This month’s Culture Section brings a little bit of Sweden to parents in and around London and a little bit of Nordic Noir to those nearer the south of Sweden. For our Scandinavian Everyday Heroes article series, we spoke to Isra Al Kassi, who runs café and community hub LattjoPOP in south London. Over in Malmö, The Bridge enthusiasts gathered to experience the city in the footsteps of the successful series, only to find that it depicts a Malmö that does not exist.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 6 We Love This | 8 Fashion Diary | 117 Attractions of the Month | 120 Hotel of the Month 122 Restaurant of the Month | 125 Conference of the Month | 127 Humour | 133 Culture Calendar

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Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, It is finally October. Finally hibernation time. Cup of tea and a box-set, anyone? But the comfort of your home and that feeling of security did not appear out of nowhere. A great deal of thought went into the look of that fireplace, the placement of the windows and the curving of those cornices. The building materials alone may have been the subject of weeks or even months of debate. In fact, you, the inhabitant of that very house, were probably analysed down to the tiny details such as the type of tea in that cup you are currently cherishing. The Nordic countries have been at the forefront of avant-garde, groundbreaking architecture for decades. Pioneers including Finland’s Alvar Aalto, Sweden’s Gunnar Asplund and Denmark’s Arne Jacobsen went on a journey from Nordic Classicism to fully-fledged Modernism with buildings embodying the social democrat values the Nordic model is so famous for. Even today, Scandinavian star architects such as Bjarke Ingels are involved in some of the most significant architecture projects in the world, and many of the Nordic firms are noted as world leaders in their fields, drawing zero-energy houses, using wood in new, pioneering ways, and contributing to solutions to the big sustainability challenge, not only through the houses they build but also through the way they help shape society. It is finally October, which means it is finally architecture special time. Every year, Scan Magazine’s big architecture theme makes for a busy, exciting time, and every year we are amazed by the ability of

the leading architects of the Nordics to think outside the box, challenge established notions of how things must be done, and keep the bigger picture – including people – in mind at all times. If you thought it was a coincidence that the publishing of our jam-packed architecture issue coincides with hibernation time, you were wrong. This issue also presents a very special interview with Norwegian songsmith Ane Brun, who is currently on tour, and a look at Malmö in the footsteps of The Bridge. And, to take us back down from the highs of planning architecture’s transformation of society for the better, business columnist Steven Flinders gives us a very important reminder: that you should never take the comfort of your home for granted.

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New Royal Edition Live in a work of art

Welcome to Live in a Work of Art! Introducing P책l Ross, award-winning architect from Scandinavia, whose designs are renowned as much for their curves as for their sustainability. With a deep understanding of function and form, and a process rooted in European tradition, P책l's cool, sophisticated design has entranced countless families and admirers for years. Visit us at and tell us which design you like the most! Contact: + 46 8 84 84 82 / Like us on Facebook: Ross arkitektur & design ab

Awarded Sweden's most beautiful villa of 2009 Awarded best newbuilding in J채mtland in 2010 Gold winner at European Property Award 2013 2015 Svanen Nordic Ecolabelling Licence

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Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

We love this... As the nights become longer, indoor lighting becomes essential. We are excited about the new trend in lamp design where lightbulbs are visible. Here are some of our funny and creative picks. By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Press photos

With the hand-blown glass lamps from Danish brand Design By Us, you can keep a bit of colour from the warm summer months with you in a fun yet classy way. Mix and match as you please. Ballroom lamp approx. £176 Ballroom XL lamp approx. £393

With the Skog Furu table lamp from Magnor, designer Caroline Olsson has succeeded in making the forest a part of our living rooms. Approx. £545

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The Manola Ghost table lamp is the Danish brand Herstal’s successful attempt to blend historical and modern design in a tasteful table lamp. It is almost like having a piece of art beside you. Approx. £79

The Manola table lamp from Danish Herstal reminds us of the olden days. With the elegant glass dome it gives a warmth to the surroundings. The bulb can even be replaced with a little plant or other decorative items. Approx. £69

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Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary... October may seem dark and cold, but that does not mean we should dress the same way. Keep some warm basics in your wardrobe to make you look fashionable and then play around with colourful, eye-catching items. October has never been this fun. By Stephanie Brink Harck | Press photos

Why wear a traditional sweater when you can put on this new eyecatching red shirt from Blend? It will be perfect during autumn and winter, making it an ideal investment this month. Shirt 702894 £44.99

It might be getting colder outside, but that is no reason to stay inside. Mads Nørgaard has the perfect winter jacket in a lovely navy colour. Every time you go outside, you will look really sophisticated. Knitted coat chrus navy, approx. £292

Stand out from the crowd and add a personal touch to your everyday outfit with this raw-edge scarf. Not everything during autumn needs to be dark and grey. Paul Smith Raw Edge Scarf £275

This backpack is really functional with a laptop sleeve and internal pockets for your smartphone, wallet and pens. No matter what kind of outfit you wear, this backpack from Mr Porter will always fit in. WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie Kastrup Leathertrimmed quilted tech-canvas backpack £440

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Watch out for the new arrivals from the Swedish brand House of Dagmar. Some of the items are definitely at the top of our wish list this season. Just look at this perfect set: not only will it keep you warm, it will make you look effortlessly stylish too. Daima Knit Jumper £182 Marcie Laquer Trousers £182

Ever wake up having a bad hair day? Do not fret. There is no better reason to hide your messy morning hair than with this fashionable hat. You will most definitely look like a real Scandinavian! Relief knit alonga navy, approx. £44

Why not brighten up the dark mornings with this colourful, yet simple, cardigan? This is an easy way to hold on to the summer feeling during autumn. 2nd Capre £350

Hi-top sneakers are big this season, but try something different with these leather variations of the classic design. They are so soft you will never want to take them off again. Soft 7 Ladies £120

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Scan Magazine | Design | Nordic Humans

Nordic Humans of London Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has once again hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski | Twitter: @suomigirl |

Bodil Blain, Norwegian founder of Cru Kafe ( “My rock ’n’ roll bohemian style suits my busy entrepreneurial way of life. My company, Cru Kafe, produces biodegradable coffee capsules filled with organic coffee. I’m wearing jeans by Acne, a shirt by Lindex, a cape by Thalita and shoes by Maison Martin Margiela.” Daniel Andersson, Swedish model “My style is classic and Nordic. My latest find is a beautiful bracelet by the Stockholm-based brand JH Nocturnal. My belt and shoes are by Filippa K, trousers by J.Lindeberg, shirt by Yves Saint Laurent and bag by Alexander Wang.” Christina Lundberg, Swedish creative director “My style is thrown-on French, effortlessly mixed with rock. My shirt is by Acne, bag by Saint Laurent, skirt from LA and hat by Maison Michel. Today my main accessory is a colleague’s dog, Pixie.”

Bodil Blain

Daniel Andersson

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Christina Lundberg

2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:34 Page 11 Mail: Phone: +45 40580606 Adress: Lahnsgade 67, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark

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Scan Magazine | Design | Pandul

Left: Bubi by Koppel. Top middle: Swing VIP by Gammelgaard. Bottom middle: Ring by Magnussen. Top right: Pendant by Wegner. Bottom right: Opala by Wegner.

Let there be light The Danish specialist workshop Pandul has crafted classic lamps for more than 30 years, protecting the lighting legacy of four of Denmark’s well-known designers: Hans J. Wegner, Jørgen Gammelgaard, Erik Magnussen and Henning Koppel. “’Quality design’ has become a very mainstream, slightly washed-out term used by everyone in the furniture business,” says Claus Juhlin, owner of Pandul, “but there really is something special about the timelessness, durability and simplicity of Danish design classics that speaks to people across the world.” By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Pandul

“Denmark was incredibly lucky to have a surge in groundbreaking young designers around the 1950s,” Juhlin continues. “They revolutionised how we thought about buildings and interiors, and I think it was something that ordinary Danes could take pride in, something like a national movement, which has remained part of our social awareness ever since.” The simple, minimalist expression of the ‘50s and ‘60s is still a great influence on modern Danish design, and the classics from preceding decades have stood the test of time. “Pieces like the 1962 Wegner Pendant lamp have been produced continuously

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ever since, and 35-year-old lamps are still going strong at auction houses,” says Juhlin. “They look as modern and exciting today as they were then, and the sheer quality of their craftsmanship means that they function perfectly generations later. When you invest in one of these lamps, it’s not just a light; it’s a piece of carefully crafted functional art and artisanship.” The lamps are produced entirely in Denmark by the Pandul team. They may have a deceptively simple final expression, but the production process is long and arduous, and Pandul uses more than 70 suppliers for the eight series of lamps they make. “We’re the only ones in the world

with the rights to produce these lamps, and we have to ensure that our modern reincarnations live up to the high standards set by their creators.” As the lamps’ original designers are all deceased, Pandul works closely with their heirs, who must approve any update in colour, textile or metal to suit current tastes, protecting the designers’ original intent. “It’s a great time for good Danish design,” Juhlin says. “The Scandinavian way of approaching design is spreading further and further.” In recent years, Pandul has seen its client base grow to include private individuals as well as hotels, offices and public institutions across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. “People everywhere are adopting the idea that good furniture and lamps should heighten the feel of the room as well as be functional.”

For more information, please visit:

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Winter is coming – and we cannot wait! Two years ago, Joha, the well-loved Danish childrenswear company known for its topquality wool and cotton products, created Joha Women’s Wool. Scan Magazine tested the new collections. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Joha

Wool undergarments may not be the first thing on most women’s wish lists for Christmas. But perhaps it should be, because once you have tried the super soft, warm and surprisingly flattering pieces from Joha, you will regret it every time you venture out without it. Not only are the tops, briefs and t-shirts ridiculously comfortable; the cut is seamlessly elegant and, thanks to a mix of wool and silk, many pieces are just as comfortable on warm as on cold days. Moreover, everything is made according to the same four

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principles that have guided the production since the company’s inception in 1963: quality, practicality, comfort and ethical business conduct. What this means is, amongst other things, that Joha never buys wool from mulesing sheep, always maintains the strictest standards when dying fabrics and uses organic materials as far as possible. “We don’t just care about the welfare and comfort of the people who wear our clothes, but also very much about the animals that

make them. Although we think about it less, the treatment of animals in the clothes industry is just as important as animal welfare is in the food industry,” says Kristine Frølund Johansen, who is, together with her husband Michael, the third generation of Johansens to run Joha. Style and versatility Having worked within the company for years, Kristine and Michael have ensured that the company’s established ethics and business model have been respected and maintained, while at the same time new ideas and innovation have been allowed to flourish. Among the new initiatives are the womenswear collections, the first of which was originally created exclusively for the Joha sales representatives.

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Scan Magazine | Design | Joha

“At first, we actually made the grown-up collection solely for the people selling our childrenswear clothes. We wanted them to know what wearing our wool clothing felt like on their own bodies,” explains Kristine, adding: “Then, we started getting requests from the people who had tried it. They wanted to sell it in their stores and we said, ‘why not, we have a great product’, and so we chose to move forward with it.” Joha Women’s Wool, which is sold in most of Europe and parts of the rest of the world, includes seven collections (six for women and one for men) containing a selection of laced feminine tops, stylish and super comfortable long and short sleeve t-shirts, briefs and socks as well as thermal leggings to keep you warm throughout winter. But wool products are not, as you might think, just for winter: some, like the silk/wool blends, are perfect for warm days. “Wool actually helps regulate your body temperature and transports sweat away from the body. That’s why I always wear our wool/silk top underneath my shirt, because there is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting with a sweaty back. Also, we sell a lot of our products to breastfeeding mothers as wool clothing helps prevent mastitis,” explains Kristine. Warmth and comfort for everyone After five decades in the business, it is no surprise that Joha is still best known for its childrenswear, which is loved by kids of all ages, and indeed their parents. The

Above: Joha is well known for its popular wool and cotton childrenswear, sustainably produced in the finest wool for 50 years.

high quality of Joha’s wool means that their products are so fine and gentle that Joha has become a hugely popular brand, even for premature babies and children with sensitive skin (Joha produces a special sensitive skin range). Besides, all products have the EU Ecolabel, certifying that products are produced in accordance with the strict environmental standards of the EU, and that there are no toxic residues in the finished product. The focus on sustainability is also reflected in Joha’s two other brands, the

childrenswear brand Katvig, producing sustainable childrenswear under the slogan ‘For the love of earth’, and the recently acquired menswear brand, Hammerthor. Under Joha, the company that has produced comfortable and practical underwear for men in natural materials since 1893, is set to launch its new collection in wool and organic cotton next year. The brand already produces one menswear collection. In other words: we may all look forward to this winter snug as bugs in woolly wonders.

FACTS: Joha never buys wool from mulesing sheep (a large part of the world’s wool is produced using mulesing, a method which inflicts severe wounds, pain and discomfort on the sheep and is detested by animal rights campaigners). Most of Joha’s products, including those made of wool, are machine washable and dryable. All of Joha’s products have the EU Ecolabel.

Left and middle: Joha Women’s Wool is a new, stylish and super comfortable collection of wool and wool/silk underwear for women. Right: Joha also produces a collection for men, the Johansen collection.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Ane Brun

Ane Brun: The Norwegian songsmith goes global Ane Brun, adopted by Sweden as a starlet of its thriving music scene, released her sixth studio album last month. When I’m Free perfectly captures her soulful pop sound which, although reminiscent of Kate Bush and the ‘80s, feels utterly modern. Brun joins Scan Magazine as she embarks on an epic European tour to reflect on her career to date and the joy of her latest musical adventure. By Helen Cullen | Main photo: Knotan | Photos: Anna-Lena Ahlström

“This album is a step forward from my previous work,” Brun explains. “It’s more poppy, with a bigger sound, but retains the intimacy and warmth of the last album from 2011.” Brun is famous for having a melancholic tone to her work, and that essence is still present in these songs. “It definitely still has the melancholy, but it feels brighter. I was more playful this time and introduced some new sounds and instruments to the recording.”

on this album and move away from writing about purely personal emotions and experiences. She accomplished this through two stand-out tracks in the collection: You Lit My Fire, discussing Brun’s thoughts on feminism, and Better Than This, a song concerned with climate change. “I thought a lot about how I could discuss these societal and political topics in a poetic way,” she says. “It’s always difficult but I was happy with the results.”

When I’m Free is an eclectic collection of songs that draws upon many musical styles and influences. “I’ve introduced a lot of bass this time, inspired by trip-hop from the '90s,” she says. “There are also some acoustic, earthy songs but I’ve worked more with beats and some electronica elements. I feel this album has a greater spectrum of colours than my work before.”

There is a recurring theme, however, that runs throughout Brun’s work. “Most of my songs talk about change and trans-

formation and finding the balance between independence and loneliness,” Brun explains. “On this album, I feel like I’ve found the balance and know how to be free. I’ve found a new perspective and understand now that life is always moving and you have to learn to cope with what comes along to rock your boat and not allow events to become too dramatic.” Coping with illness In 1998, Brun was diagnosed with lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease with a myriad of symptoms that affects sufferers to various degrees of severity at different times. Brun has suffered two very serious episodes as a consequence of the illness, including one that caused her to cancel a North American tour with Peter Gabriel and convalesce for several months. She has found a new coping mechanism for living with her illness, however, that

The writing process Brun is a prolific songwriter and has approached the writing of her last three albums in a similar manner. “I don’t write music when I’m touring but I collect sketches for songs all the time,” she explains. “I then spend an intensive period in the studio building songs from those sketches for the three months prior to recording.” Brun also co-produced her work for the first time on this album. The singer explains that she wanted to include some songs of a political nature

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Ane Brun’s new album When I’m Free is available now. European Tour Dates 2015

prevents it from overpowering her life and work. “I used to have a constant undercurrent of fear that came from my illness, and it was like a bad friend that I brought with me everywhere who encouraged me to worry and prepare for the worst,” she explains. “I feel that in the last few years I’ve said goodbye to that friend and can deal with life in a much more positive way. I’ve undergone a metamorphosis and my quality of life is so much better now.” Brun is very open about the health issues that she has struggled with. “I think it’s important to talk about it so that other people who may be suffering can see that there is hope and that you can find a way to prevent your illness from controlling you and to find peace with it.”

her career, allowing her to grow a formidable global audience. “It’s very important to me that I strike a good work-life balance, so I limit the tours to three weeks before I have to take a break before the next dates,” she explains. “I think after three weeks the tour starts to feel like your real world and that’s not good. You need to reconnect with home at that point.”

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It is clear, nonetheless, that Brun loves to tour and perform her music to different audiences every night. “I love playing music every night and those two hours of the concert are the most harmonious times in my day,” she explains. “I feel very lucky as I’m so happy in my job. Music allows you to forget everything for a little while and I think it’s quite nice for your brain to have that time of rest.”

Life on the road The European tour that Brun is embarking on to promote the new album consists of three months of live shows across the continent. But the singer is no stranger to the road, having toured consistently throughout

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This time, Brun is performing with a full live band in order to fully capture the sound of the new album. For Ane Brun fans and music lovers everywhere, the tour is definitely one not to be missed.

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The Circus, Helsinki, Finland Teatro Arena, Vilnius, Lithuania Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway Göteborgs Konserthus, Gothenburg, Sweden Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden Konserthuset, Malmö, Sweden USF Verftet, Bergen, Norway Konserthus, Stavanger, Norway Union Scene, Drammen, Norway Byscenen, Trondheim, Norway Botanique, Brussels, Belgium Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands Melkweg The Max, Amsterdam, Netherlands Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Netherlands Mojo Club, Hamburg, Germany Kesselhaus, Berlin, Germany Freiheiz, Munich, Germany L'Alhambra, Paris, France Kaufleuten, Zurich, Switzerland Bierhübeli, Bern, Germany La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France Le Rocher de Palmer, Cenon, France L'Epicerie Moderne, Feyzin, France Islington Assembly Hall, London, U.K. Gorilla, Manchester, U.K. Òran Mór, Glasgow, Scotland Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Food | Restaurant Fridrik V

A masterful taste of Iceland – in London When it comes to Icelandic culinary pleasures, no one does it better than Friðrik V. Centrally located in the lovely city of Reykjavik, this homely restaurant is one of the go-to places for genuine Icelandic tradition and a warm and loving welcome. This October, for one weekend only, the mouthwatering splendour that is Friðrik V is coming to London! By Astrid Eriksson | Photos: Björgvin Hilmasson

Restaurant Friðrik V has made a name for itself working exclusively with Icelandic food and cookery traditions. With a menu made up of the finest in-season products available, this astounding restaurant welcomes people from all over the world to enjoy true Icelandic flavours in a familiar and friendly environment.

If you are not planning a trip to Iceland any time soon, however – fear not. This October the Friðrik V concept is making an exclusive pop-up appearance in central London, where guests are promised first-class Icelandic ingredients as part of a fantastic five-course surprise menu accompanied by specially selected drinks. One thing is certain: you do not want to miss this.

Making Friðrik V stand out are the exquisite tastes from the motherland, offered as part of surprise menus rather than the traditional à la carte. Leaving the decision making to the professionals, diners have to do nothing more than simply lean back and enjoy the phenomenal cuisine, skillfully transformed from the freshest ingredients to pure magic on a plate. In a venue hosted by A_SPACE, Friðrik V invites you to take part in an experience satisfying both taste buds and aesthetics. Combining Friðrik V’s culinary masterpieces with selected art on display ensures a truly special evening.

Friðrik V at A_SPACE 38 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HF October 29, 30 & 31 – 7pm Price: £75 (selected drinks included) For more information and reservations, please visit: or get in touch at

NOTHING BEATS A LIVE EXPERIENCE! Welcome to Clarion Hotel Malmö Live!

• • • • • •

Located in the heart of Malmö 20 Minutes from airport 444 Hotel rooms 24 Conference rooms 3000 Sqm exhibitions space 1500 Congress delgates

A small business meeting, a large congress or a exquisite party. At Clarion Hotel Malmö Live the sky is the limit and our passion is to create new and innovative meetings for our guests! For more information or!

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Scan Magazine | Travel Feature | Basecamp Senja

Basecamp Senja lets you experience the magical wildlife of northern Norway up close in spectacular surroundings. Left and top right photos: Koen Hoekemeijer

Experience Senja, Northern Norway: Spectacular whale safaris and northern lights expeditions Enjoy a wonderful all-inclusive three-day whale and northern lights expedition in Senja, perfect for individual guests looking for an adventure that is out of the ordinary.

This option costs NOK 1,200 per person and runs from the start of November through to January.

By Basecamp Senja and Julie Lindén | Photos: Basecamp Senja

As the herring makes its way into the fjord of outer Senja, the mighty humpback whales and killer whales follow. Basecamp Senja offers three days and nights of exciting experiences in spectacular surroundings, arctic winter light and delicious local food. Here you can head out into the fjord in large, open Zodiac boats, coming as close to the sea and whales as is possible. Stay at the cosy Posthuset Expedition Lodge right by the fjord bank. The expedition includes whale sa-

faris each day, room and board for all days, various lectures and magical northern lights hunts during the evening and night. Transport from Finnsnes to Skaland and back to Finnsnes is included. Basecamp Senja boasts success rates on its whale safaris and northern lights hunts of 100 per cent and 85 per cent respectively. The company also offers a Tromsø whale safari, lasting four to five hours, starting from the city quay.

Facts and details: Phone (+47) 917 09 618 Travel to Senja: to Tromsø to Tromsø or Bardufoss Transport from Tromsø to Finnsnes: Express ferry from Tromsø centre to Finnsnes (1 hour and 15 min), with pick up at Finnsnes. Return with Hurtigruten from Finnsnes to Tromsø. The expedition starts every Tuesday and every Saturday from October through March. Booking: More information about the expedition: Price: NOK 6,500 per person.

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Scan Magazine | Travel Feature | Kemi Tourism

Above: In the magical winter destination of Kemi, visitors can experience the natural wonders of both land and sea. Left: An evening cruise aboard Icebreaker Sampo. Below left: The olokolo pod. Below right: Kemi SnowCastle.

The wonders of snow There is something truly unique about the arctic winter. With endless fields of ice and breathtaking views of the Finnish Lapland, Kemi welcomes visitors to experience the real winter wonderland. It is no wonder this beautiful seaside town near the Arctic Circle is one of Finland’s most popular winter destinations. By Inna Allen | Photos: Kemi Tourism

One of Kemi’s true highlights is the Icebreaker Sampo – the only passenger icebreaker in the world. For nearly 30 years, Sampo has provided exotic experiences for over 200,000 visitors from all over the world. The four-hour cruise lets you marvel at the immense arctic sea from a different perspective and those brave enough can even swim in the icy waters using a special, thermally insulated suit. “We also organise an evening cruise at Sampo, which is a real must for seekers of

the northern lights and stars,” says Titta Vuorinen from Kemi Tourism. “The atmospheric darkness combined with the powerful icebreaking provides an unforgettable experience.” Kemi is also home to the annual SnowCastle extravaganza. Every January, the vast and impressive snow structure rises to grace the town centre, offering wonderful experiences for children and adults alike. Inside the walls of the SnowCastle are the SnowHotel, the SnowRestaurant, the

SnowChapel and Children’s World – all made of pure snow and nothing but snow. The SnowHotel contains three suites, four superior rooms, 12 double/single rooms and two group rooms with five beds. The room temperature is about minus five degrees Celsius, regardless of how cold it gets outside. You can also go to sleep underneath the arctic sky, inside a warm olokolo pod. Designed for nature watching, the olokolo’s see-through structures offer memorable sleeping experiences. “Unless, of course, you can’t help but stay awake in the hope of seeing the northern lights,” Vuorinen laughs. “This season we are also proud to launch our new venue, SnowCastle’s Seaside Lodge,” says Vuorinen. Located by the frozen sea near the castle area, the Seaside Lodge offers wonderful ways to enjoy a Finnish sauna and a hot tub, combined with cosy meals either indoors comfortably by the fireplace, or outdoors in a traditional kota hut.

For more information, please visit:

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The Nordic architectural heritage: a range of art forms for the common good Mention Nordic architecture and most people will picture solid wood structures surrounded by snow, ready to fence off the most extreme of winters and keep its inhabitants warm. Indeed, wood is making a comeback as one of many solutions to the sustainability challenges of today, and Nordic architecture firms are right there at the forefront of such developments. Yet Nordic architectural heritage boasts plenty of insightful developments in addition to a closeness to nature. By Linnea Dunne

Firstly, the political change during the early 1900s that brought with it the Nordic welfare state, resulted in an architecture movement with a heightened awareness of socio-political factors. Secondly, the idea of ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, coined by German philosophical writers in the 1800s and referring to a total work of art that

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makes use of many art forms, was adopted by many of the early Scandinavian greats to make for a holistic approach to architecture and design. The modernist heyday Historians often refer to a defining shift in Nordic architecture from Nordic Classi-

cism to Modernism, when outdated traditions were pushed aside to embrace the rapid growth of modern society. Two of the perhaps most influential Nordic architects of our time were prominent exactly around this shift, namely Finland’s Alvar Aalto, arguably one of the most famous and celebrated Finns ever, and Swede Gunnar Asplund. In fact, the work of Aalto that most clearly epitomises this shift in approach, the Viipuri Library (192735), was hugely influenced by Asplund’s Stockholm Public Library (1924-28). Asplund’s creation has been said to embody the so-called Swedish Grace movement and is a fine example of the stark NeoClassicism of the time, but the Viipuri Li-

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | The Nordic architectural heritage

Left: Gunnar Asplund's celebrated neo-classicist creation, Stockholm Public Library. Photo: VisitSweden/ Simon Paulin. Below left: Stockholm South Woodland Cemetery. Photo: Cecilia Larsson. Above: Alvar Aalto's house. Photos: VisitFinland/Juho Kuva. Below: The Viipuri Library interior. Photo: VisitFinland.

ernist creator: Sven Markelius, whose communal-living residential house in Stockholm is a perfect example of the ‘good design for the many’ attitude that came to define Nordic architecture as the welfare state grew stronger. Controversial Jack of all trades On the other side of Öresund, somewhat of a controversial wildcard was making waves as the most interesting thing to happen in Danish architecture for a long

time. Winning a Danish Architect’s Association competition for House of the Future with the design of a spiral-shaped house featuring windows that rolled down like car windows, Arne Jacobsen quickly became known as an ultra-modern designer, so much so that one paper allegedly wrote that he should be banned from architecture forever. Even his now-celebrated Aarhus City Hall design was initially the cause of controversy as it was not considered grand enough, and the tower that to-

brary, which was submitted as a competition entry as a fully-fledged classical design, changed before its completion to embody Modernism through and through with a clear humanistic approach and natural materials throughout. Asplund, who is also one of the architects behind the Stockholm South Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården), a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is often cited as Sweden’s most important modernist architect and is said to have had a significant impact on the course of Scandinavian architecture. By his side, during the early modernist heyday alongside Aalto, was often another important mod-

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | The Nordic architectural heritage

thing including the selection of fish species for the pond at the now Grade I listed St Catherine’s College at Oxford University, and designing kiosks, tickets and uniforms for his Bellevue Sea Bath (1932). The challenge of urbanisation Fast-forward to today, and leading architects are now talking about how to solve the challenge of urbanisation and densification in the cities. “Our challenge as architects lies in creating attractive cities while working to solve the problems around sustainability, pollution, poor air quality and substandard living environments, all the while working to meet the increasing demand for housing in the major cities,” says Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, founder of Belatchew Architects. If architects are doubling up as environmental engineers, city planners and social workers, is urbanisation the trigger for a modern-day ‘gesamtkunstwerk’?

Above: Arne Jacobsen designs, clockwise from above left: Aarhus City Hall (photo: VisitAarhus); Drop chairs (photo: Ditte Isager); Egg chair (photo: Sus Bojesen Rosenqvist). Below right: Henrik Bull's Paulus Church and the Government Building in Oslo. Photo: VisitOslo/Kai Thon and VisitOslo/Nancy Bundt.

day rises up from the modernist creation was in fact added as an afterthought to please critics of the early sketches. Of course, Jacobsen is today better known for his iconic chair designs, despite the fact that he himself identified primarily as an architect. This was more of a rule than an exception amongst the Nordic greats of this time, along the lines of the ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ approach so cherished by Aalto among others. Few people are aware that Jacobsen’s Egg and Swan chairs were in fact custom-designed for the SAS Royal Hotel, dubbed ‘the world’s first designer hotel’, for which he also designed everything from ashtrays to airport coaches. In Norway, as far back as the late 1800s, Henrik Bull, the architect behind creations such as the Paulus Church at Grünerløkka in Oslo (finished in 1892),

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the Government Building and the National Theatre, spent a good chunk of his time designing furniture and household products and is also the brain behind a number of coin designs for Norges Bank (Bank of Norway). In the case of Aalto, it was his first wife, Aino Aalto, who contributed to these complete works of art with designs including furniture, lamps and glassware. Jacobsen made the all-in-one approach somewhat of a motto, controlling every-

Scandinavia’s most highly regarded architect at present is undoubtedly Bjarke Ingels, who is not only designing buildings but giving lectures throughout the world. With an ethos of analysing everything from the influence of multicultural exchange to global economic flows and communication technologies and a team made up of, in their own words, architects, designers, builders and thinkers, his firm Bjarke Ingels Group (better known as BIG) is most certainly all for the multidisciplinary approach. Among BIG’s current projects is the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and revitalisation of Lower Manhattan, with a design that mirrors its location at the meeting point between two starkly contrasting neighbourhoods, marrying highrise and low-rise, modern and historical.

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | The Nordic architectural heritage

Above: St Catherine's College at Oxford University, designed by Arne Jacobsen, is now Grade I listed. Photos: Egon Gade.

Back home in Denmark, another of the firm’s notable creations, the Danish National Maritime Museum, has won endless awards for a solution noteworthy for the building alone but also perfectly complementing the historical surroundings and neighbouring Culture Yard. The structural, sculptural design locates the museum underground, preserving the nearby dock as an open outdoor display.

getting excited about collectivism and shared values, we may find out soon enough. Yet it is clear from the many great minds of Nordic architecture that have surfaced since the era of Modernism, that this is a culture of pioneers

that will meet any challenge in the years to come. Below and bottom right: BIG’s vision for 2 World Trade Center. Bottom and middle left: BIG’s multiaward winning Danish National Maritime Museum design. All photos and visualisations below: BIG.

Between pragmatism and utopia But there is more to BIG than cultural and contextual awareness and indeed a multidisciplinary approach. Part of its ambition, the firm insists, is to aim for something vaguely between pragmatism and utopia, to “find a freedom to change the surface of our planet”. Looking at the pioneering firms across the Nordic countries today, this is not just a hazy platitude. Arvid Bjerkestrand of En til En Arkitekter insists that humanism and collective considerations are the answer to the challenges posed by urbanisation: “If done right, architecture can bring people closer,” he insists. The design-beyondform mentality of the early modernists is unquestionably still very much present in Nordic architecture. At Norwegian firm Manthey Kula Arkitekter, it is crystal clear: the motto is to materialise ideas in the pursuit of serving a common good. Amongst all the talk of zero-energy houses and solid wood structures for sustainable builds, an idealist sentiment still echoes. But what comes first: architecture or ideology? At a time when Scandinavian governments are moving away from the old social democratic ideals of Markelius’ time while architects are still

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | World Architecture Festival

In the Loop – DARK Architects

Creating a dialogue around architecture The world’s largest architecture event with more than 2,200 architects from over 60 countries travelling to attend, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) is like a passport to the international architecture scene. With three days of talks, seminars and debates, guided architectural tours, pitches and presentations, the festival is an inspirational melting pot that is second to none – and then, of course, there is the awards programme. By Linnea Dunne

Now in its eighth year, WAF started out in Barcelona and moved to Singapore three years ago. “This is an amazing year for Singapore, celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, and it will be intriguing to get perspectives on how it has developed over the period,” says OBE Paul Finch, programme director and co-founder of WAF. This year’s theme, as such, is 50:50, aiming to explore how architecture and urbanism have changed in the last five decades and ponder what the next 50 years may look like. “Our conference programme is something we describe as the ‘Big Conversation’, where the influences on architecture, and the way architecture

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influences individuals and communities, can be discussed in an open, internationIn the Loop – DARK Architects A U-shaped plan developed by DARK Architects Norway in collaboration with ADEPT Architects Denmark was the winning bid in a competition to expand the existing centre of Asker outside Oslo in response to the Norwegian capital’s rapid growth. Bringing together key focal points such as the Asker river park, the big squares and the train station, the In the Loop design covers all aspects from buildings for shops, offices and nurseries to integrated sports areas and nature features. The aim is to give the area a clear identity with a reference to its history while encouraging the locals to engage in lifestyle activities and invite visitors to create a density rarely seen in suburban nodes.

alist context,” says Finch. “Creating dialogue is always important.” A total of over 50 hours of talks, seminars and debates will see speakers including Sir Peter Cook, Liu Thai Ker and Kai-Uwe Bergmann take to the stage. Architects representing practices ranging from global to local will meet to discuss everything from giants of the past to challenges of the future. Charles Jencks will give a

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | World Architecture Festival

Twist – Belatchew Architects A meeting place for those who live and work in Hagastaden, the HagaTwist places great value on a human, sustainable and symbolic interpretation. The lightweight structure is in wood, turning smoothly from one floor to the other, through a wide and inviting multi-functional staircase connecting the main floor with the upper floor and roof terrace in a seamless way. The sculptural building will stand in stark contrast to its surroundings, becoming a landmark of sorts for this thriving area.

Above: Twist – Belatchew Architects Left: OBE Paul Finch, programme director and co-founder of WAF.

keynote speech about the way the future has been perceived over the past five decades, and other highlights include Manuelle Gautrand’s take on the future of Paris and Michael Sorkin’s talk on the future of food and radical approaches to the preservation of ecological sustainability. Unfailingly high quality WAF’s primary ambition is to celebrate great architecture from around the world, and a central part of that aim is the awards programme, offering architects young and old the chance to network with

Naturum Laponia – Wingårdhs

their peers, present their projects and watch other architect practices pitch their work. 350 finalists will be judged live, their projects displayed in the WAF festival gallery. “At WAF, you know you are in competition with architects addressing the same sorts of challenges from different geographies and cultures, and this means that even being shortlisted is an achievement. To win a category is difficult; to win an overall award is exceptionally difficult,” says the programme director. “But everyone

knows that the presentations will be in public and that the juries will be international and as objective as one could hope for.” A host of Nordic architecture firms have been shortlisted for awards this year, representing a tradition where “the quality is unfailingly high” according to Finch, who adds that: “the climatic conditions often result in a striking contrast between manmade structures and natural environments.”

Naturum Laponia – Wingårdhs Celebrated Swedish firm Wingårdh arkitektkontor is nominated in the Culture category for completed projects with its Naturum Laponia, a visitor centre for the Laponia World Heritage Site in Stuor Muorkke in northern Sweden. The seemingly simple, rounded building responds to the extreme, forceful weather conditions by allowing snow trapped in a central courtyard to become the primary attraction of the interior in early spring and layers of snow to become part of the façade as it gathers between the huge blocks of wood stacked in a ring.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Sweden

Architecture Special: Sweden

Taking the temperature of Swedish design and architecture Svensk Form has organised design awards for many years as a vital part of its activities. It gives a good indication of what is happening here and now within Swedish design in its broadest sense. At the top of the agenda are today’s global social, economic and environmental challenges, which is also evident within the award entries. This year, Svensk Form celebrates 170 years as the oldest design promotion society in the world. During its long history, Svensk Form has always been at the forefront of new initiatives and groundbreaking exhibitions, addressing the most acute issues of each time. By Ewa Kumlin, managing director of Svensk Form | Photos: Svensk Form

The national design award Design S includes everything from individual products to system solutions and high-tech innovations. There are categories from craft to service design, from fashion to architecture. For the younger generation there is a special award, Ung Svensk Form (Young Swedish Design), which opens a window to the future and showcases the up-and-coming tendencies within design. Ung Svensk Form has no categories but is open to all forms of experiments, concepts and prototypes.

In the architecture category within Design S, the project BuzzBuilding, an insect city created by Belatchew Lab, was awarded. The design is a lifestyle-changing urban space that unites Stockholm’s inhabitants with nature’s, an excellent way to visualise new architectural concepts: fun, radical and intellectually provoking for urbanities who want to reduce their impact on the climate. Swedish architects are not afraid of being playful with their choice of shape and materials, and sustainability is a priority among all successful design and archi-

tecture firms. The natural surroundings with cold temperatures, woods and rocks make demands on practical awareness, and functionality is key in Swedish design, running beautifully alongside Nordic aesthetics more generally. As for the younger generation, the social and environmental dedication was obvious, as was the return to crafts with natural materials in wood, glass and stone. The textile and fashion section was exceptionally strong in this edition, which is an indication of the successful textile research that has made huge leaps recently in Sweden. For the younger generation, there is no such thing as a clearly Scandinavian or minimalistic style but rather a healthy diversity. “Swedish design today is simply everything created and made in Sweden, where many ideas can be expressed and flourish side by side. What we have in common is the surrounding society, the commitment to an enduring quality of life, the informal and non-hierarchical values and yes, I still have to admit, usually quite a practical approach after all,” managing director at Svensk Form, Ewa Kumlin, explains.

Svensk Form, founded in 1845, is a Swedish design society that works to stimulate the design development and promote Swedish design internationally, including encouraging Swedish designers and architects in every field. The organisation has its own magazine, Form, founded in 1905, which is published in both English and Swedish six times a year since 1905.

Ewa Kumlin, managing director of Svensk Form

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Photo: Shutterstock

For more information, please visit

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Sweden

Above left: Rådhusparken, Umeå. Architect: Ulf Nordfjell, Ramböll. Nominated for the Siena Prize for Best Outdoor Environment 2015. Photo: Malin Grönborg. Above Right: Malmö Live. Architect: Christian Ahlmark, Schmidt Hammer Lassen. Nominated for the Kasper Salin Prize for Best Building of 2015. Photo: Adam Mørk. Bottom right: Tobias Olsson, director of the Swedish Association of Architects. Photo: Peter Phillips.

Good architecture makes all the difference Things are looking up. Architectural expertise is in great demand: order books are more than filled and there is an increasing interest in architecture and design in Sweden today. Architecture firms have a unique opportunity to grow and contribute to good architecture that will stand the test of time.

Winners and nominees are all examples of outstanding architecture, contributing to our shared sustainable habitat. Today, we see plenty of good opportunities for a continued bright development of architecture.

By Tobias Olsson, director of the Swedish Association of Architects

Architecture firms operating at full capacity also bring new challenges. A shortage of skilled personnel is clearly one. We are delighted that Swedish offices are being enriched by architects from other countries, architects not only broadening know-how but also bringing new perspectives and sometimes different expertise. This brings fantastic opportunities to develop new services where associated skillsets can deliver added value to projects. At this point in time, a great deal of new housing needs to be developed in a short space of time. We need to keep in mind that we are not simply building homes, but developing living environments where over one million people are going to live in a sustainable way and want to be happy to

call home. For this, good architecture makes all the difference! In the autumn, the Swedish Association of Architects presents the nominees for this year’s architectural awards. The eight prizes are a showcase of the latest and the best in architecture completed during the past years. This covers everything from construction and housing to outdoor environments and interior products. To assess architecture is both difficult and challenging: for the judging to be fair, the objects must be experienced on site. To only see images disallows dimensions other than the two-dimensional. Therefore, all juries travelled around the country and visited over 100 projects – a unique approach to nominate the best items.

For more information about the Swedish Association of Architects, please visit: and

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Winner of Green Building Award 2015

Kvarteret Tvättstugan, Strandparken Sunbyberg. Photo: Tord-Rikard Söderström

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Sweden

Sixty seconds is all it takes for Swedish forests to grow enough to produce an entire nine-storey residential building. ”We all strive for a sustainable society. As architects, we can help through the decisions we make about what materials to use,” says Gert Wingårdh, founder of Wingårdh Architects.

Facing north, the facade is very open with frosted glass fins absorbing incoming energy. The east side has a double facade with a leasable, glass-enclosed balcony. To the west, the entire facade is covered in blinds of eight randomly organised colours, resulting in modern rug rag inspired protective slats. Facing south is a vertical, commercial green house for the production of local crops that delivers ingredients directly to the in-house restaurant. The building is today home to Sweden’s most modern operating theatres in a fully glazed environment – the workplace of the future, today. Despite advanced tennants, the building consumes no more than 40 kilowatts per square metre per year.

By Sara Svensson | Photos: Wingårdh Architects

”There are very few construction tasks that cannot be solved using wood,” says the architect. The supporting material of the residential building at Hamngatan in Sundbyberg weighs just a third of what the same building made of conventional steel and concrete would. Imagine the impact in terms of saved resources during the transportation of the building to the site. ”Roughly 80 per cent of the emissions produced by a building in its lifetime these days are ascribed to the construction phase, so we as architects can really make a difference there,” says Wingårdh. Strandparken, Hamngatan, Sundbyberg The core of these two nine-storey residential buildings is made exclusively of wood, its walls and floor structures produced at Martinssons in Skellefteå in northern Sweden in controlled and dry factory environments with ideal working conditions. The buildings were then put together under a tent with scaffolding. Everything from the elevator shafts and stairs to the entire supporting structure was made from solid wood and the exterior is covered in wood chips.

NEWS, Krokslätt Factories, Mölndal ”The most sustainable building is of course a building that is never demolished!” Wingårdh asserts. The old Krokslätt cotton mill is still, more than 100 years since its construction, a highly attractive property. This is mainly because of its universal square floorplan, the robust materials and, perhaps most importantly, the generous glazing. NEWS (the North East West South building) is a modern response to the very same challenge. ”A building with 80 per cent glass might seem strange in a sustainable society, but it’s possible,” the architect insists. ”The solution is that each facade has been designed in a unique way depending on its relationship to the sun and the surroundings.”

About Wingårdhs Wingårdhs is an architecture firm with 160 staff. 100 work at the headquarters in Gothenburg, 50 in Stockholm and ten in Malmö. There are 85 house architects, 30 construction engineers, 20 interior designers, five landscape architects, one city planner, ten image makers, three finance officers, five IT consultants and one writer. The average age is 39. Wingårdhs’ motto is to give the client what she did not know she wanted. For more information, please visit:

About Gert Wingårdh Gert Wingårdh has a degree in architecture from Chalmers University of Technology. He also taught there, held a professorship and holds an honourary doctorate from the same institute. Wingårdh has been awarded the Gustaf Dalén medal and more recently appeared offering expert advice on SVT’s Husdrömmar, gaining a huge following. Curiosity, curiosity and a tad more curiosity is his motto.

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Cutting-edge architecture with a twist With a lab dedicated to the most cutting-edge, avant-garde of designs and a solutions-focused approach to architecture, Belatchew Architects are among the rising stars of the sought-after architecture firms in Scandinavia. “Architecture is about so much more than just design,” says founder Rahel Belatchew Lerdell. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Belatchew Architects

Belatchew Architects are not just nominated for a World Architecture Festival (WAF) award. Founder Belatchew Lerdell also sits on one of the juries and will give a talk at the festival. “We’re looking at how we can utilise and recycle structures in cities,” she says about BuzzBuilding, the experimental creation that will make the topic of her talk. “In this case, we’ve looked at roundabouts and how we can do more than just driving around in circles, and we’ve created an insect farm to ex-

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plore what it might be like if Stockholm was self-sustainable in terms of protein.”

The architect goes on to talk about the idea of local produce versus import, and the goal of a city contributing as much as possible by itself. Insects are relevant because plenty of species are dying out, and they are crucial as pollinators in the cities. BuzzBuilding explores ways to attract insects to cities and make them want to stay there. The idea is so out there it almost sounds crazy – but, then again, that is exactly what Belatchew Architects are all about: pondering the challenges of modern-day urban development and coming up with creative solutions, no matter how bizarre. “Design has no intrinsic value in itself,” says Belatchew Lerdell. “Our challenge as architects lies in creating attractive cities

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Sweden

Another Belatchew Lab commission explored the concepts of dialogue and empowerment in architecture to create a shared park for the students at a secondary school in Nacka. The students were asked to participate with ideas and help shape the common area, and the results will be presented in the New Year. Yet another project looked at technology and wind power, designing a city building that doubles up as a wind power plant but without the traditional windmill look, using straws on the façade which sway in the wind to make the building self-sustainable in terms of electricity.

the different areas and opens up for different kinds of socialising and different places to work. The multifunctional staircase works both as a place to sit and as a means of getting up, of course, to a beautiful roof terrace. The location for the wooden pavilion made for a tricky task as it straddles a ramp, resulting in half the building resting on the ground and the other half having legs – a “human, sustainable and symbolic design”, according to Atrium Ljungbergs, who picked Belatchew Architects as winners of the competition for the assignment.

A celebrated twist Next on the agenda is Singapore and WAF, which, Belatchew Lerdell suggests, is a hugely valuable platform in that it acts as a meeting place for ideas from all over the world. How fitting it is that the project that afforded the firm a nomination for Building of the Year in the Commercial Mixed Use category at the festival, is exactly that: a meeting place for ideas and people, and a joining together of two Stockholm neighbourhoods, one old and one new. BuzzBuilding

while working to solve the problems around sustainability, pollution, poor air quality and substandard living environments, all the while working to meet the increasing demand for housing in the major cities.”

“'Twist' is both recreational and creative,” says Belatchew Lerdell. “You can bring your laptop and do some work, or you can book one of the meeting rooms and actually host conferences or meetings.” In the evening the space comes to life as a bar and a restaurant and, through the entire spiralling seven-by-70-metre tower, a staircase, also twisted, that joins together

Affecting change There is something in that statement that sums up Belatchew Architects quite well. “Architecture affects us a lot, whether we want it to or not,” says the architect and CEO. “The structures and environments we create have a fundamental impact on how people behave, so architecture plays a part in any conversation surrounding our living environment.” And, sure enough, the ability to affect change and make things happen is part of why she loves being an architect. “There are very concrete results,” she says. “It’s rewarding work that way.”

For more information, please visit:

Architectural laboratory Demonstrating its commitment to tackling this challenge, Belatchew Architects has an entire department dedicated to truly groundbreaking architectural work. Belatchew Labs explores the challenges of today to create solutions for the future, with results including innovative creations such as BuzzBuilding and a residential project called SwimCity. “Boverket asked us to look at new ways to create homes for young people,” says Belatchew. “Everybody wants to live in the city, but densification is quite controversial. We decided to look at the water instead and use new 3D technology with recycled materials to create housing on the water.”


Rahel Belatchew Lerdell

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The energy-plus building at Brofästet, Norra Djurgårdsstaden.

Going with the flow “Our architecture is less about design and style and more about people,” says Morten Johansson, one half of the duo behind Stockholm-based architecture firm DinellJohansson. “Every construction project is complicated, and there are always loads and loads of people involved. Our philosophy is that if you like each other and enjoy working hard together, then you’ll have a great project. It’s all about dedication.” By Linnea Dunne | Photos: DinellJohansson

Along with the willingness to open up to a complex collaborative process where plenty of people feel that a great deal is at stake, comes a necessity to let go of some degree of control. “It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety around a project turning out pretty and aesthetically perfect just because you’re in the design industry, but we don’t work like that,” says Kalle Dinell, the other half of this architectural equation. “Buildings aren’t works of art. We

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don’t work in isolation, and we just can’t control what comes out; there are so many different desires involved, and the greater context of society as a whole plays a part too. We want to be open to all of these factors and go on a journey with every project.” A go-with-the-flow kind of attitude has followed the firm’s path from day one, when Dinell and Johansson left the studio

where they had been co-workers for around ten years to start their own firm in 2010. “We never really had a vision as such,” they admit. “We’ve sort of allowed the projects to lead the way, focusing on the people involved and having fun with them. Prestigious or not, big or small budget – none of that matters.” A club house of drive and passion Epitomising the architecture firm’s core values perfectly is the World Architecture Festival (WAF) nominated sports club facility, Lidingövallen. What started as an old client’s query about contacts to help get planning permission for a club house for the sports club he chaired, ended up as somewhat of a wildcard project, providing a multi-award winning all-in-one solution

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combining changing rooms, a café and auditorium stands in one building. “In all honesty, most firms would have probably looked at this club house gig and laughed,” says Johansson. “But we saw that there was so much passion and drive there, so many really dedicated people. So we decided to go for it, set the bar high, trust that it would work and just enjoy the ride.” The firm’s proposition was far more ambitious than the sports club could have ever dreamed of, but by tirelessly pumping energy into every part of the project, the firm, together with the club, pulled it off – with a world-class result. “It has to be said: letting go of control makes it all much more hard work,” says Dinell. “When you accept that projects evolve and no building ever ends up looking like that first drawing, you subsequently have to shoulder the responsibility to be agile and ready to respond to any number of changes along the way.” But that journey, the architects insist, is half the fun. “Lidingövallen took us to New York to accept an award, and now we’re off to WAF in Singapore. We just follow the project wherever it will take us and enjoy every part of it. It’s never about prestige for us.” Catalysts for different desires Going with the flow in DinellJohansson speak does not mean lazily following in


other people’s footsteps. Far from it: just look at the drawings for the new apartment complex in Brofästet, Norra Djurgårdsstaden in the Swedish capital. 43 apartments will be housed in two energy-plus buildings, meaning that they generate more energy than they consume. This is a brand new way to build houses, up until recently seen as impossible, and the challenge for the architects has been to consider what life in an energy-plus house might be like and, by extension, what such a build might look like. In Hammarby Sjöstad, also in Stockholm, DinellJohansson is one of seven architecture firms contributing with a building to HG7, a residential quarter of six buildings joined together by a park created by an award-winning landscape architect. Each building has its own look and feel, the

DinellJohansson contribution, Packhuset, featuring an aluminum-covered façade, custom-designed kitchens in graphite black and plenty of carrara marble and brass throughout. “At the end of the day, our work is a lot about trust,” ponders Johansson. “There’s a glorious mix of people out there, whichever project you end up working on. Our office is the same: there’s a wide range of people and backgrounds here. Our philosophy is about embracing that, working as catalysts for all these wills and desires. If we can do that and have fun along the way, we’re not doing too bad.”

For more information, please visit:


Kalle Dinell and Morten Johansson

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BSK’s Arcona Exengo design won Best Looking Office 2014 for its activity-based and flexible workspace considering the needs of the staff.

Inventive designs for contemporary spaces Working environments today are not only about ergonomics, but also focused on creating a sense of belonging, commitment and identity. This is key at BSK Arkitekter, a firm working with activity-based concepts for modern-day circumstances. By Malin Norman | Photos: Per Kristiansen

Established in 1966, architecture firm BSK is based in Stockholm with a growing team of currently 50 people including architects, city planners and interior designers. The architects themselves own half of the company and the other half is part of Arcona, bringing BSK even closer to the real estate and construction industry.

for clients’ workplaces in particular, CEO Stina Ljungkvist says: “It’s exciting to view these environments as something else than just boring traditional offices. They need to be more adapted to our modern times with the increased demand for communication, teamwork and creative meetings.” Activity-based solutions

BSK develops innovative concepts for cities, buildings and interiors. The diverse range of projects includes plans for offices and residential buildings as well as facilities for higher education, healthcare and retail. At the core is an aim to create interesting and dynamic environments to help enhance the brand and grow the business for the client. Talking about the changing requirements

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The team works according to an activitybased method when developing new design ideas for clients in order to make sure that the space is tailored to suit the tasks and ways of working, ultimately to be used as intended. Every concept has to meet modernday requirements for flexibility, creativity and efficiency, and plans often include quiet zones as well as spaces for interaction.

Initially, BSK looks at the workflows and organisational structures of the client. “We want to involve our clients in the projects to understand how the office space can help create business benefits for them,” Ljungkvist elaborates. “We are also curious and want to constantly surprise, to create something new every time based on every unique situation.” Leading design innovation The approach has proved to be popular and BSK has won several awards for its solutions, including the striking concept for the PostNord head office in Stockholm. Here the team used a collaborative approach and analysed the situation and needs of the business before starting with the design, and came up with a strong concept that won the international competition for the building proposal in 2000. Work on the eye-catching glass structure was finished in 2004, and it is now a hallmark for how BSK works.

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Above Left: BSK won an international architecture competition in 2000 for the PostNord head office. Photo: Fabio Galli. Top right: Briab turned to BSK to redesign its office into a creative and efficient working environment. The concept has been nominated for Best Looking Office 2015. Right: BSK was responsible for the redesign of Vasakronan’s office, which came second in Best Looking Office 2013.

Sweden’s leading property company, Vasakronan, also turned to BSK for help with converting its headquarters into a modern workplace suitable for the tasks at hand. It is now considered the foremost activity-based office in the country, a dynamic atmosphere with areas where colleagues and clients can meet, as well as shared spaces and quiet spots for independent work. Ljungkvist ponders the success: “They have more interaction in the office now, which has also resulted in better leadership and profitability.” Winning Best Looking Office The ground-breaking Arcona Exengo design won the award Sweden’s Best Looking Office in 2014, as arranged by the magazine Lokalnytt. Projects are evaluated based on style, working environment and new thinking. BSK’s mix of an activity-based environment with stationary spots was considered a brave and flexible solution. “It’s important that every project gets its own style,” Ljungkvist says. “We created a large living room for staff and clients, which has become the heart of the business, a lounge where everyone is welcome.”

BSK previously won the award for the office of video game developer DICE in 2011, and since then projects for both Vasakronan and Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, have come in second place. The DICE concept had the aim of creating the coolest game developer office in the world, and also to attract more talented people to the team. It was awarded in particular for its modern and flexible idea of mixing old and new, digital innovation with analogue spaces, and for putting staff satisfaction at its core. Designing for future challenges Another recent activity-based project is the interior design for fire and risk engineers, Briab. The design, with its flexible environment where staff can choose the best workplace to support their responsibilities for the day, has revolutionised the business. Briab’s CEO Fredrik Hjort says: “The transition to an activity-based working environment has increased comfort and pride in the office and made it more

efficient, which has also increased our profitability.” The concept is nominated for this year’s Best Looking Office award. Another interesting ongoing development is the Central Station in Stockholm, which dates back to 1872. The challenge is to incorporate modern offices into the building while enhancing the character of the historic environment with its high ceilings, beautiful windows and handcrafted details. “We work with the curator to decide what original features to keep and recreate. This is a fantastic project to work on, mixing old and new, and in an amazing setting.”

Below left: The creative design of the DICE workplace won Best Looking Office 2011. Below right: BSK’s office design for Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, came second in Best Looking Office 2012.

For more information, please visit:

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The new Mölndal town centre will reflect the prosperous town and aims to bring people into the town centre - and not just for shopping.

Drawing on client value In 1988, two former Chalmers University of Technology students decided to dream big and set up an architecture studio. Almost three decades later, they are running one of the biggest architecture firms in the country, characterised by humility, high professional standards and widespread respect – or, if you like, the Krook & Tjäder spirit. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Krook & Tjäder

The Norwegian Design Council did not know just how spot on it was when awarding the Scandic Oslo Airport Hotel and architecture firm Krook & Tjäder the 'Innovation Prize' in 2011, motivating its decision by declaring that the design may “inspire other commercial companies to view design for all as a tool to increase market share and achieve greater profitability.” CEO Mats Bergstrand explains: “We do everything we can to really get to know our

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clients’ business, to act as their sales professionals and truly understand their customers.” As one of Sweden’s largest architecture firms, offering both breadth and niche expertise, Krook & Tjäder brings a warmth to the table and puts the clients' value at the heart of it. The fact that it was a hotel that won the firm the Innovation Prize back then is no coincidence: “We design hotels all over the world,” says owner Stefan Tjäder. “Of

all the things we’re good at, this is our very special niche. We’ve got eight staff working full time on hotels alone, and we spend more than 15,000 hours a year just designing hotels.” It comes as no surprise, considering the time and effort the firm puts into its large and growing portfolio of hotel concepts, that Krook & Tjäder is often rated as one of the world leaders in this niche. Solutions-focused humility Yet breadth remains the firm’s key strength, and just like the Nordic architectural greats of the early to mid-20th century, Krook & Tjäder extends the work of architecture and interior design to include everything from furniture to detailed fittings. Take for example the sleek Pebble pendant, developed to suit restaurant and hotel environments,

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or the Gloria hanger, allowing for garments without hanging loops to be hung without the resulting hanger mark in the neck. A solutions-focused approach is what the owner likes to call it. “It’s all in the detail, yet we don’t get too hung up on them,” Tjäder insists. “Some architects spend ages in the office overworking details that are in fact already good enough. We know that our customers value fast delivery and the courage to simply stop polishing when something’s reached the right, required level. It’s a form of humility that has followed us from day one in 1988 – that and consistent professional standards.” Speaking of professional standards, Krook & Tjäder boasts all the certifications one could dream of, including a number of environmental classification labels as well as ‘Design med omtanke’ (‘Considerate design’), an approach aiming to include all affected parties as early on in the process as possible in order to encourage dialogue around different needs and improve the operations. A whole new town centre One of the big projects keeping the firm busy at the moment is Mölndal town centre, a complete redesign of the entire small town of Mölndal, delivering a shopping centre with 70 shops, 150 apartments, 1,000 parking spaces and pedestrian streets. “Mölndal is quite a prosperous lit-

In addition to hotel concepts aplenty and residential and landscape architecture, Krook & Tjäder offers modern interior and product design.

tle town with around 70,000 inhabitants, high average income and low unemployment, but the town centre doesn’t reflect that at all,” says Tjäder. “But that’s about to change. One single shopping street with a decreasing number of thriving shops will be replaced with a brand new shopping centre divided into a few buildings with two plazas, sort of like a weave of pedestrian streets, and a creative solution to parking with parking lots that are hidden within the mall and on the roof.” In addition, the project aims to bring people into the town centre not just for shopping, but to live there too. Apartments will

be built according to life stages: one block of flats for young people, one building with more traditional owner-resident flats and a nursing home concept, all around the same courtyard. “So you never have to leave Mölndal,” laughs Tjäder. Everything is possible From urban construction and residential housing to landscape and product design, Krook & Tjäder offers expertise and experience in one very promising package. This year, a fifth office opened up in Borås, making a total of around 130 staff across a flat organisational structure with a lot of transparency and a chance for every member of staff to flourish. “There’s no debilitating doctrine about our design principles or what things must look like,” says Bergstrand. If you need a chair, a chair you get. Such is the beauty of solutions-focused design that puts client value first, with knowledge of and experience from a wide range of fields. “Our clients don’t just buy one person and their expertise; they buy the entire organisation, so everything is possible.” Stefan Tjäder (left) and Mats Bergstrand (right)

For more information, please visit:

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Jakobsberg bus terminal by Ahlqvist & Almqvist opened in 2011.

Three decades of added value The architects at Ahlqvist & Almqvist always aim to exceed expectations and add something special to their projects. One example is the residential neighbourhood of Malmudden in Luleå, where future tenants will be able to enjoy a communal sauna and grow vegetables in a shared greenhouse. The firm turns 30 this year, but they have been too busy to celebrate.

A wide scope The office expertise covers areas ranging from infrastructure to urban planning and

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New landmark by the sea

construction projects. Seeing the bigger picture helps when solving problems. “You can’t do urban planning if you don’t have knowledge about the smaller elements and vice versa. If you work on a building it helps to have an understanding and sense of the context,” says the CEO.

Earlier this year, the firm won against some of the largest architecture offices in Sweden in the running for Luleå’s new residential landmark, Malmudden. “We want to create something that has not been found in Luleå to date: residential houses located right by the sea and unique flats with double the ceiling height in the living room, opening for new ways to use the room,” Almqvist explains.

The goal has always been to stay innovative and add something unexpected while finding a lasting solution for the customer. “The problem-solving part of the job is the same, but the tools have changed,”

The social dimension and the idea to create natural meeting places throughout the neighbourhood are important features. The local pre-school could stay open in the evenings and plans are

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Ahlqvist & Almqvist

The Stockholm-based architecture office was founded by Bengt Ahlqvist and opened in 1985. Britt Almqvist, now CEO and principal owner, first came on board as an employee that same year. 30 years later the office is still going strong, but they have not celebrated their anniversary yet. “No, we’ve been too busy, but we might celebrate 31 this spring instead,” says Almqvist.

she says about the modern technology used today, adding that the industry collaboration has in many ways improved.

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Left: Britt Almqvist was part of an international group of architects designing a building with 106 flats in Madrid. Middle: Malmudden is going to be Luleå’s new landmark by the sea. Right: Poznan Business Garden is a sustainable office park in Poland’s fifth largest city.

underway for a greenhouse and communal sauna. “You should feel that you live at Malmudden, not only in your flat,” she says and adds that the hope is to create a sense of “my own place on earth”. The whole area should feel like a shared home. “It should be fun to live here,” she says. The aim is to commence building in 2017, and for Almqvist this is a lot like coming home. “I went to pre-school in this very area when I was a kid,” she smiles. From London to Madrid Ahlqvist & Almqvist always had around 20 per cent of its business abroad, and that has helped in tackling the fluctuations of the market. Almqvist remembers a series of projects that took her to Madrid especially well. “I first did a project, Greenwich Millennium Village, with architect

Ralph Erskine in London. It was for flats by the Thames and we won the pitch. I also won the prestigious Europan 4 prize and thanks to that I was commissioned by the mayor of Madrid to be part of a large project there with 106 flats. It was a lot of fun and architects from nine different countries were involved,” she recalls. Aside from the UK and Spain, successful projects have also been completed in, for example, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and China. One of them is Poznan Business Garden, a project containing 90,000 square metres of office space in Poland’s fifth largest city, Poznan. Ahlqvist & Almqvist was also hired to create a plan for 2,000 units in Portowo, three kilometres from Poznan. A global network Ahlqvist & Almqvist has been the Swedish member of the European architects’ net-

work, Perspective – a global initiative with 12 members and 300 employees – for 20 years now. This means that they can offer their clients local and global knowledge. When asked about the future, Almqvist gives a modest yet positive reply: “I think we will continue to work in several different countries. And perhaps we’ll work more in specialised groups too,” she says, implying that they would like to expand. Who knows? Ahlqvist & Almqvist might not have time to celebrate its 40th anniversary either. But here is hoping that they do take the time to create a party beyond expectations.

For more information, please visit:

Left: Britt Almqvist, CEO at Ahlvist & Almqvist. Right: The urban planning project Telegrafberget in Nacka.

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Utopia came up with the idea to extend the park Högalidsparken to the roof of the building at Hornsbruksgatan in Stockholm.

Saving the world one building at time Utopia wants to do things differently, and they are not afraid to take a stand. The Stockholm-based architecture office is at the forefront of the innovative thinking that is much needed in the industry, according to CEO Emma Jonsteg.

part in creating a somewhat better society. Utopia was started with the simple aim of maximising the number of such opportunities,” Jonsteg says.

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Utopia

Architects are traditionally brought in as doers relatively late in the process, but Utopia works proactively as advisors from an early stage. “We contribute visions as well as overall solutions and strategies on how to create greater value at a place and for a company, the residents and the public,” says Jonsteg. She explains that they spend a great deal of time coming up with the idea behind

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this and the process takes its starting point in site-specific challenges. Standing up for change Being proactive and site-specific was not the only clear vision when Jonsteg and her colleague Mattias Litström founded Utopia in 2008. They also wanted to give something back to society. “Working as an architect means that you, every now and then, get the opportunity to play an active

Creating a better society can also involve taking a stand in global issues, and Utopia was recently the initiator of a campaign in the industry raising funds to help refugees. They started by contributing 50,000 SEK and added another 1,000 SEK for every other architecture firm following in their footsteps. Pioneering in the industry Jonsteg herself is not only the CEO at Utopia, but also a board member of the

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Swedish Association of Architects (Sveriges Arkitekter), the co-host of a building trade podcast, and a frequent debater and writer. So where did it all start for her? “I’m rather stubborn and ambitious with a great commitment to society, and to me it’s a lot about growing and learning new things,” she says. “I became an architect because I think architects have a capacity to see the overall picture and come up with new solutions that are not always the most obvious. We need more innovation in the industry.” Not getting stuck in a rut is important and Jonsteg explains that rules and regulations are not always able to keep up with modern needs. In 2014, Fastighetsägarna Stockholm, NCC and Swedbank picked up on this when they asked young people how they want to live in the future. “A survey showed that 47 per cent of Stockholmians between 18 and 35 want to live with friends. But only three per cent did,” explains Jonsteg. Utopia’s Kombo concept is tailored for flatsharing and aimed at friends who want to live together. This is a cost-effective, sustainable and social way of living and a creative solution to tackling the housing shortage in Stockholm. Proposals have so far been made for Sundbyberg and Stadshagen.

Left: Sharing a flat with friends is both fun and budget friendly. Right: Utopia’s Kombo concept was designed for friends who want to live together.

was to create a close connection between the park behind the buildings and the street in front by adding an extension. Designing peace and quiet Site-specific conditions set a whole different tone in the suburb of Midsommarkransen in southern Stockholm. The proposed design for Trasmattan – a colourful 270-metre tall building – helps to block out noise from nearby traffic. “It’s an example of how a quiet environment creates great value. All flats have a connection to the quiet courtyard and that’s the reason the building looks the way it does,” explains Jonsteg, “and due to noise-cancelling measures the entire

building has to be consistent with the same height all over.” The challenge of making a building interesting without variations in height turned into a creative rag rug-inspired design featuring various colours and angles, hence the name 'Trasmattan' (Swedish for rag rug). “We try to have a humble approach,” says Jonsteg. “What we do affects people to a very large extent, which makes it our duty to contribute to the comfort and wellbeing of everyone living in our buildings.”

For more information, please visit:

Creating a public park on the roof A typical Utopia project is characterised by a site-specific approach, adding something extra to the mix. The location and site always make the starting point and the goal is to create value beyond the building itself. “It’s not just a house with a number of flats; we want to add something,” says the CEO. Utopia came up with an idea to incorporate an existing park in a new building project commissioned by Viedekke Bostad for the neighbourhood of Södermalm. The idea turned into a proposal of 17 terraced houses and 12 flats along Hornsbruksgatan at the south end of the park Högalidsparken. “We had the park continue out on the roof to create a public space,” Jonsteg says and explains that the idea

Top left: Emma Jonsteg and Mattias Litström founded Utopia in 2008. Bottom left: The project Trasmattan took on the challenge to create a quiet and peaceful living environment, despite noise from nearby traffic. Right: Juvelen in Uppsala will be the most sustainable office building in the Nordic countries.

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Creative design by Abelardo Gonzalez Arkitektbyrå, featuring windows, French windows and sliding doors by Hajom.

The perfect harmony between indoors and outdoors Proud craftsmanship and a love of architecture led to the invention of a lift-and-glide sliding door. Today, more than 100 years of tradition and functional design meet modern technology in the small town of Hajom in Västergötland, Sweden. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Hajom

It all started with a handy craftsman named Birger Andersson. He set up Hajom joinery in 1911 and assignments ranged from windows and doors to kitchens –even houses – and followed for generations to come. In 1965, the third generation of the Andersson family came up with a brilliant idea, rarely seen before: the sliding door. “To bring

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light into properties with glazed surfaces is the moving spirit in Hajom. We want to connect the inside with the outside, and that’s what made the company what it is today,” says Mattias Streith, CEO at Hajom. Hajom is located in a small town with the very same name and was among the first

companies to make sliding doors. Today, 50 years later, the production still takes place here and Streith is proud of the heritage. “We’ve been around for a long time and many of our employees have been here for around 50 years. Not many companies can boast such achievements these days,” he says. Hajom loves architecture The company always had a close relationship with the world of architecture and previously created its own house designs from time to time. Or as Streith puts it: “Architecture is in our DNA.”

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to make your life easier in countless ways. You know the feeling when you ask yourself: ‘Did I lock the door?’ The IQ app helps you stay in control of locking and closing doors and windows. On a sunny day, it can automatically activate a shading system to ensure that your home stays cool. It can even help keep an eye on things while you are away. “Look at your smartphone and find out who is on your doorstep, wherever you are,” says Streith, referring to the camera function connected to the doorbell. You can even let the guest in by opening the door from a remote location.

The Step series offers a frameless way to place the sliding door in line with the wall.

Many of the big names on the Swedish architecture scene work with Hajom, its popularity perhaps mostly related to the fact that neither the artistic nor the functional side is compromised. The designled company sees the overall picture. “We work closely with architects to realise their vision, and we create what they want rather than the other way around. Hajom should blend into the design,” says Streith, explaining that the door and window solutions adapt to the client. Proven airtightness and light-as-a-feather functionality, alongside robust and solid materials, make the sliding doors easy to handle.

only a sliding door, it’s a piece of furniture that enhances the whole property.” Tradition meets modern technology One of the smartest inventions yet is IQ, a concept where modern technology is integrated into windows, doors and sliding doors. The system combines the best of two worlds and is run by a smartphone app

The CEO describes Hajom’s solutions as ways to increase the sense of wellbeing among clients. “We are market leaders and really proud of running a company like Hajom,” he says. The majority of business currently takes place within Sweden, but Streith is hoping to change this in the near future and keep expanding abroad. “We want to be the natural choice whenever someone talks about sliding doors,” he says. For more information, please visit:

The next step New concepts were developed over the years, a recent innovation being the seemingly frameless sliding door series, Step. It launched at Stockholm Furniture Fair and is proudly described by Streith as “extremely beautiful”. The series has a stepped-glass exterior, giving it a frameless impression and making it possible to place sliding doors, windows and French doors in line with the façade. “Seen from the outside, the wall looks completely even. It gives the architects a whole new possibility to bring out their design,” he says, adding: “It’s not

Left: Holiday home by Jordens Arkitekter where sliding doors are used to enhance the waterfront location. Top right: The award-winning Villa Astrid, by Wingårdh Arkitekter. Bottom right: Holiday home at Djurö, by Argark Rehnberg-Gelgant Arkitekter.

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Left: Mall of Scandinavia, which will be Sweden’s biggest shopping centre. Top right: Design of the cross-national embassy in Hanoi. Bottom right: BAU’s plans for district Snäckan in central Stockholm.

Long-lasting urban developments As cities are constantly growing, it puts pressure on city planners and architects to develop more sustainable areas and buildings. BAU strives to provide inspiring and longstanding solutions for urban spaces, focused on the location and its people. By Malin Norman | Photos: BAU

Architect and partner Hans Birkholz explains the idea behind BAU’s urbanism concept: “When making new additions to cities, we need to think beyond the building itself and look at the city as a whole. What we build has to fit in with the environment; it should be a bonus for what already exists there and increase the attraction for surrounding businesses.”

Among its many recognised projects is Arenastaden, a new urban development close to Friends Arena in Solna. BAU has worked with the master plan and is heavily involved with the design of Sweden’s biggest shopping centre, the new Mall of Scandinavia, with around 250 shops, restaurants and bars, with a hotel, offices and housing close by. Building for the long term

The bureau has been in the architectural business for 25 years with a team of 70 architects, construction engineers and graphic designers. BAU has developed an expertise in sustainable buildings and not only designs offices, retail spaces and housing, but is also involved in larger city planning projects for existing and new areas, mostly in Stockholm.

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Birkholz emphasises the need for a local focus and speaks of the risk with some popular trends such as branded architecture becoming mainstream, with the same type of buildings by the same architects appearing in cities around the world. “Instead, we look at what is special with the given location to build for the people and the businesses to thrive in and be

able to develop further on that particular spot.” Businesses nowadays are more centred on project groups and interaction, with requirements for more space than before, and Birkholz highlights the importance of building for the long term with a general and flexible base that can handle changes over time. For instance, BAU is involved in the early design stages of a cross-national embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a combined effort to bring together Scandinavian cultures into one building. “This is an exciting project not only because we are sharing resources but also as we are creating a contemporary Scandinavian design to integrate with and work well in this busy urban environment.”

For more information, please visit:

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Stockholm, Sweden



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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

8-House by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in Copenhagen. The 8-House consists of 475 units of various sizes and layouts, designed to meet the needs of people at all stages of life. Photo: BIG

Architecture Special: Denmark

Small country – big architecture Despite the country’s modest size, Denmark has made significant impressions worldwide. Some of the world’s most notable buildings are designed by Danish architects: Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, Johann Otto von Spreckelsen’s Grande Arche de la Défence in Paris, Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall by Henning Larsen Architects, and Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) many iconic buildings around the planet. By Karen Sejr, Danish Association of Architectural Firms

Danish architecture has two defining characteristics. It is human-centred. Danish architects are known for a simple Nordic style, but also for their incorporation of the users of any building. For example, Danish architects consider who the building dwellers or workers might be, how a good indoor environment for a school can be created, and how to produce the right lighting conditions. So people are at the core of Danish architecture, but the same can be said about sustainability. Energy awareness among Danish architects goes back a very long way but has intensified in recent years as the consequences of climate change have

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become more apparent. Denmark has been a laboratory for sustainable urban development for many years. As the Danish sustainability agenda broadens, Danish architecture firms have stood at the

ready to make a significant contribution towards the advancement of sustainability on a global scale.

The Danish Association of Architectural Firms is an industry and trade association that represents the commercial interests of consulting architects.

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Left: Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik by Henning Larsen Architects together with artist Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Lene Espersen. Right: Lene Espersen, CEO of Danish Association of Architectural Firms, has many years’ experience as a high-level politician. Photo: Jørgen True

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

© DISSING + WEITLING architecture. Photo: Susanne Jensen

Architecture and constructions that changed the world © DISSING + WEITLING architecture. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj

During the warm Danish summer, tourists from around the world have been visiting the Snøhetta exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen. The exhibition is a celebration of the playful, holistic design process that Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta is widely known for. By Kristoffer Soelberg, communications advisor at DAC

The follow-up exhibition will be a tribute to the groundbreaking constructions that have changed the world. Did you know that the Great Belt Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Europe? Or that the Bella Sky Hotel in Ørestad, Copenhagen, is more lopsided than the Leaning Tower of Pisa? The exhibition is an acknowledgement of the engineers behind these grand designs. We often pay tribute to our socalled starchitects: Bjarke Ingels, Jørn Utzon, 3XN and all the rest. And of course we will still do that. But Danish engineers actually play a much more important role in the export of Danish construction. The work of engineers encompasses some truly fascinating aspects, because they

are constantly expanding the realm of possibility. How tall can a building be? How far can a bridge stretch? The exhibition focuses on those breakthroughs in the history of Danish construction, which not only tackled the challenges posed by an individual building, but also raised the bar and shifted our perception of what is possible.

About the exhibition Groundbreaking Construction – 100 Danish Breakthroughs that Changed the World is showing from 9 October to 19 December at the Danish Architecture Centre.

About The Danish Architecture Centre The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) is Denmark’s national centre for the development and dissemination of knowledge about architecture, building and urban development. Find us at Strandgade 27B, 1401 3/3 København K, Denmark. Alternatively, visit:

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AART architects have designed the new education centre for VUC Syd in Haderslev, Denmark, with a view to inspiring people with dyslexia to stay in class and complete their studies.

‘We don’t just design buildings – we realise potential’ When AART architects take on a task, it is about much more than just designing a building. First and foremost, it is about realising potential and making a significantly positive impact on the people involved and on society in general. With this philosophy, the architecture firm has designed several innovative buildings throughout Scandinavia. By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Adam Mørk

With offices located in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Oslo, and a wide range of high-profile building projects on the drawing board, AART architects have established themselves as a well-respected and award-winning Scandinavian architectural practice.

ects, but also for society in general,” says Anders Strange, co-owner of and partner at AART architects. He adds: “Identifying potential benefits, shaping them and bringing them to life is at the core of everything we do.” Creating a real impact

“I believe our success is due to the fact that we focus on creating a positive effect not only for the people involved in our proj-

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Over the years, AART architects have designed several residential, educational, cultural and commercial buildings in or-

der to fulfil their vision of making a real impact on people and society from a broader perspective. One of their most recently completed buildings is an education centre in Haderslev, Denmark. By working closely with the school and the teachers, they designed a place that inspires people with dyslexia to stay in class, motivating them to take their final exams. “In the past these people wouldn’t have thought it possible to take that final exam, but because we integrated digital solutions as a natural part of the centre and the architecture, they became motivated and eager to learn and managed to do it. To be able to help, not only by designing

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Left: The new education centre for VUC Syd has no permanent class rooms. Instead, it has been designed as an open, digital educational environment, united by an atrium and a staggered staircase at the heart of the building. Right: In 2014, AART architects completed the first phase of the Waterfront in Stavanger, Norway. Although it is not fully complete yet, it has already been praised as one of the world’s most distinctive residential developments by World Architecture News.

the centre but also building confidence in the people with dyslexia, is what really means something to us,” says Strange.

for the architectural practice to have offices in Denmark and Norway and, soon enough, Sweden as well.

On a par with the education centre in Denmark, AART architects also designed a science centre in Graalum, Norway, where the ambition was to promote science in a part of the country otherwise known for its industrial areas. Since the industrial sector was becoming less and less manual, the workers had to be retrained.

“For us to be able to move freely around Scandinavia without it being too timeconsuming means everything for the way we want to work. It gives us the possibility to broaden our horizon, break down the barriers between the countries and distribute our philosophy about architecture

in modern society to all of Scandinavia,” says Strange. “That leaves us with the opportunity to create a positive impact for even more people, and hopefully thereby we are able to change the way people think about architecture more generally.”

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“We knew we had to design a place that motivated the workers to learn and master new skills. As a way of doing so, we created a CSI room of sorts, where the students were able to see how they could use the education for a specific job in the future,” explains Strange. “This made them realise that there were other options than just becoming a technician in a laboratory. Again, our projects aim to inspire and motivate the people using them. That is what it is all about.” To broaden the horizon Since the foundation of AART architects, Strange and his colleagues have benefited from the fact that air companies, such as SUN-AIR for whom AART architects are designing the new headquarters, offer daily departures to several destinations all around Scandinavia. This makes it possible

Above: AART architects have designed the Culture Yard in Helsingør, Denmark, which transforms an old ship-building yard into a modern cultural centre. The Culture Yard is located right next to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kronborg Castle, which is famous for its role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Photo: Jens Markus Lindhe. Right: In Graalum, Norway, AART architects have designed Inspiria Science Center, where the ambition was to promote science in a part of the country otherwise known for its industrial areas.

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Building communities across Scandinavia When Copenhagen-based Tegnestuen Vandkunsten was founded in 1970, its young architects set out to challenge the often dreary, impersonal style of the era. Ahead of their time, they sought to create sustainable local communities: places that could help real, personable neighbourhoods flourish for generations to come. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Vandkunsten

“Today, like then, we want the inhabitant of 214B to know they’re not just a number, but an important part of a smaller, organic community,” says Flemming Ibsen, senior architect and partner at Vandkunsten. It is a philosophy that they have taken with them to large-scale building projects throughout Scandinavia, most recently in Norway, where they uncovered some interesting differences between the neighbouring nations. “In flat little Denmark, we’d be overjoyed to find a site where the terrain rises by a few metres from one end to the other,” Ibsen’s colleague and fellow partner Jan Albrechtsen explains. “We’d make a de-

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sign feature of such terrain. In Norway, they see it as a minor inconvenience.”

den that there are some really important but subtle differences, from the handling of planning permissions to what homeowners prioritise,” he adds. “In Norway and Sweden especially, it’s vital for Danish architects not to assume that we know how everything’s done, as the cultures can be deceptively similar.” Scandinavian subtleties

It is not just mountain envy, however, that differentiates the two countries. “We’ve learnt through previous work in places like Germany, the Netherlands and Swe-

Both architects emphasise the importance of collaborating with local architecture companies to ensure that the plans and buildings meet local expectations. “On an

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“Well-functioning neighbourhoods are those where residents know their neighbours, where they can meet in common areas and hang out in their gardens,” Albrechtsen elaborates. “Skyscrapers can do that, but people often feel more connected if they’re not too high up and can partake in what’s happening on the ground and in the community.” Hamar kulturhus One of Vandkunsten’s biggest completed Norwegian projects is the House of Culture in Hamar, an hour’s drive north of Oslo. “It was a really exciting project,” Ibsen says. “The local architecture firm, Andersson + Fremming, were invaluable to us, and an absolute pleasure to work with. The brief called for a new cultural and social hub to suit everyone in Hamar, so we created an open space that was elegant but un-elitist.”

This spread: Hamar Kulturhus. Photos: Mads Frederik

individual house level, for example, Norwegians love a good shed – they expect built-in storage rooms,” Ibsen notes, “and in Sweden, you can find houses where all windows face north, whereas Danes crave as much natural light as possible.”

The library, for example, is fronted by glass facing both the outside and other sections of the building to tempt librarygoers to explore the rest of the facilities. “The building belongs to the local residents, and it was always our goal that it should accommodate anything they would want to do with it, including big events, amateur productions or niche hobbies.”

Material culture “We were working on a scale that suited big, bold materials,” Ibsen explains, “so we followed the tradition of leaving surfaces bare to let the high-quality materials speak for themselves. Buildings should be a good experience for all the senses – including touch. People always forget about touch.” >

Hamar kulturhus

There are variations in administrative attitudes too. For at least 20 years, planning blocks of buildings in Denmark has required architects to consider the structures’ compatibility with surrounding areas, including the planning of road systems and common areas. In more rural, isolated regions of Norway, this is only now becoming a priority, opening up an area which Danish architects can help develop.

Assisted by Anderssen + Fremming architects. Inaugurated March 2014. Spans 15,000 square metres, is 130 metres long and 26 metres high. Incorporates 26 cultural institutions, including the municipality library and a cinema, fullscale theatre and concert hall. Nominated for three awards and lauded by Betongtavlen 2014.

Common ground Vandkunsten has a long history of creating thriving, well-integrated neighbourhoods. The key, they say, is to create clusters of smaller, more intimate communities within new residential areas. They usually do so by including the spaces in between buildings in their plans and making lower blocks of flats or houses.

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This page: Bispevika, Oslo.

The building’s interior is dominated by glass, lights and warm, enticing wood contrasted by cool, raw concrete. Similarly, the two main sculpture-like wooden staircases are flanked by smooth black steel banisters, and the furniture is made from a mix of inexpensive textiles and plywood. The theme continues on the exterior of the building, which takes up the entire length

Bispevika, Olso 302 apartments, restaurants and shops. 32,000-metre-squared area located right by Oslo Fjord and the Opera. Designed to tie in the archipelago, the city and the Opera House. Uses Vandkunsten’s philosophy of low-andclose builds to nurture interaction and community.

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of Stortorget and had to be powerful enough to successfully close off the square. “But the building also joins with the red brick, post-war People’s House, so it needed to blend with its surroundings,” Ibsen says. The Danes duly exploited the twometre fall along the square to expose the different storeys behind the warm, open glass façade, while the dark zinc top of the building became another contrasting fea-

ture. “I remember that all the Danes were astonished when we discovered all of Hamar’s outside pavements were heated. Underfloor heating outside? That’s the oil nation for you,” Ibsen chuckles. Norwegian communities “The nature and climate are so dramatic up here,” says Albrechtsen. “Buildings have to both be in balance with and stand

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

on their own against the breathtaking landscapes. Local building traditions can be really helpful in achieving that.” The residential project Tunet in Førde (Vestlandet), saw the creation of 149 new homes collected around a central farm yard, with the buildings constructed in natural wood and stone providing shelter from the wind and leaving space for allotments and play. Meanwhile, in Larvik and Oslo, the team got to pay their respects to the fjords. “Larvik is a lovely little town with a lively harbour. We wanted our Østre Halsen buildings, balconies and promenade to contribute to that environment, while protecting the private life of our residents and opening up the sea to them.” Bispevika in Oslo is one of Vandkunsten’s biggest current projects. “The excellent briefing specified that a percentage of the area had to be made up of fjord-water features, which we’d normally have to convince authorities to include,” Albrechtsen recalls. “Water gives people breathing room. It’s also a great way to give the area a unique social character tied into both the city and the archipelago, and we’re creating blocks of flats which give the most people possible a sea view.” With the iconic Opera completed in 2008 and a new library underway, Bispevika looks set to become one of the most sought-after locations in Oslo. “Of course,

The Tunet project, Førde.

it’s great to be publicly recognised,” Albrechtsen acknowledges, “but no matter the size and location of our builds, our greatest pride and pleasure is seeing projects we planned years ago going strong as living, contributing parts of local communities.”

Awards and accolades Vandkunsten has won more than 60 awards since 1970. They include: 2015: Nykredit’s Sustainability Award (Scandinavia) 2015 (Sep): Køge Harbour nominated for Denmark’s town-planning award 2014: Danish Fine Arts Eckersberg Medal

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2009: The Alvar Aalto Medal (international) 2007: Bostadpriset (Sweden)

Larvik visualization. Photo: Alfa Egendom

Teglværkshavnen, Copenhagen. Photos: Adam Mørk

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‘Landscaping is about feelings, not visions’ From a parking space in western Copenhagen to a barren agricultural plot in Russia, for the two architects behind VEGA Landskab there is no space too small or too big to become an aesthetic, social or biological asset to its surroundings. By Signe Hansen | Main photo: Line Kjær

Guided by an innate understanding of the importance of landscaping in architecture, Anne Dorthe Vestergaard and Anne Galmar have spent a decade exploring the myriad of possibilities within their chosen field. “Our interest in landscaping goes all the way back to when we met each other at Aarhus School of Architecture; we always thought about the surroundings, how to connect the building to the landscape, and that’s what brought us together,” says Galmar who heads up VEGA’s Copenhagen

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office while Vestergaard heads up the office in Aarhus. The two parts of the firm were founded six years ago and, since then, the two friends have focused solely on landscaping in all shapes and sizes. From north Jutland to north Russia One of VEGA’s signature projects is found in the municipality of Rebild. The north Jutland countryside has, perhaps slightly surprisingly, become the home of a new skateboarding hub, the Forest Jump. The

aptly named skate track is part of a landscaping project for Skørping Skole, which borders the large forest of Rold Skov. VEGA’s landscape design aims to blur the borders between the forest and the school. “Even though the forest has always been next to the school, it has been more like a wall around it; our project has been to open the borders, and that’s why we’ve created the skate court right on the edge of the forest,” says Vestergaard and adds: “It’s funny because a lot of people associate the skate milieu with big cities, but actually there is a very dedicated skateboarding community around north Jutland, and people have been coming from all over – as far away as Belgium and Norway – to try the new skate court.”

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark Right, from top to bottom: Despite its small size, the Instant City Life box gives users an instant feeling of being in touch with nature. Photo: Naja Viscor Located at the edge of Rold Skov, VEGA Landskab’s skateboarding course has become a gathering point for skate enthusiasts from near and far. Photo: Henriette Klausen The founders of VEGA Landskab, Anne Dorthe Vestergaard and Anne Galmar, have been passionate about landscaping ever since their first years at Aarhus School of Architecture. Photo: Nana Reimers

The Rebild project led to another school project, the Smart School Meadows, in north Russia. The forthcoming project, which was won in partnership with the Aarhus-based CEBRA Architecture, will incorporate farm animals, playgrounds, vegetable gardens and rainwater lakes into the school area. All is to be created from the beginning as the project is currently set on a 21-hectare former beet field with nothing but weeds on it. “But the task is the same: to invite the rest of the world inside the school and make sure that the borders between the school and its surroundings are challenged,” says Galmar. When it feels right Not all of VEGA’s projects are of that grand a scale, however. In fact, the diversity in size and scale is one of the things which the two architects enjoy about their field. Thus, to prove that achieving a great change does not necessarily rely on scale, the team created the ten-square-metre Instant City Life box. The box, which fits into a regular parking space, is a miniature version of a garden with all that that entails: secluded benches, flowers and vegetables. Despite its small dimensions, the box gives the user an instant feeling of being connected to the earth and nature, and creating that feeling is exactly what it is all about, says Vestergaard: “Our projects are more about feeling than seeing. We want you to feel comfortable and at ease – and there should be a playful element too.” Galmar continues: “Yes, it’s unimportant for us to put a specific signature on the project. It is more about asking the users – the children, workers or inhabitants – what they need, and then work with our tools to make it a better place for them. That’s what it’s about, not what we think might look nice!”

FACTS: Anne Dorthe Vestergaard and Anne Galmar are both graduates of Aarhus School of Architecture, graduating in 1999 and 2000 respectively, and have worked with landscaping ever since. VEGA Landskab has departments in Aarhus (headed up by Anne Dorthe Vestergaard) and Copenhagen (headed up by Anne Galmar). The two departments were originally founded as separate firms, which officially joined in 2013. In 2014 the firm changed name to VEGA Landskab – combining the first letters of the founders’ surnames. In 2013 VEGA Landskab received the Danish Arts Foundation’s one-year working grant. Vega Landskab employs eight architects and support staff.

The Smart School Meadows, north Russia

For more information, please visit:

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Built in 2014, DSV’s global headquarters in Hedehusene, Denmark, houses more than 700 workplaces. Photos: Tomas Bertelsen (left) and Christensen Photography (right).

Improving quality of life through architecture For most people, the office is not usually associated with improving the quality of life. But for Copenhagen-based PLH Arkitekter, that is exactly what architecture is all about: developing environments where people and organisations thrive. By Sanne Wass | Photos: PLH Arkitekter

Whether it is at home, at work, at school, in the city or in the great outdoors, PLH is driven by the goal of improving the quality of people’s lives. “We design for people. Our design is always based on our clients’ values, wishes and needs,” says Søren Mølbak, partner and architect at PLH Arkitekter. The leading Danish architecture practice works with a broad spectrum of commissions, from town planning and transformation to housing and product design. One of PLH’s areas of expertise is office and workplace design, and here too every part of their work is concerned with people’s wellbeing. An important first step,

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Mølbak explains, is to create a workplace that represents the identity of the company and its employees: “It’s essential to understand the company’s identity, because it affects the architecture. We are not just building for the sake of building. Our design is based on the mindset of the company, reflecting its culture and values, showing its personality and telling its story.”

rows of desks and offices are outdated. “People need variation. Human beings are not particularly comfortable with the monotonous, so variation is extremely important. Therefore we work a lot with creating different locations to bring your laptop or meet. You don’t necessarily need to be tied to your desk all day,” he says.

New ways of working

Rethinking the traditional behind-thedesk workday results in elements such as café areas and informal settings to work or have meetings; balconies and terraces to easily get fresh air while having a short chat with your colleagues; and sports facilities to get a break from a sedentary day. “These are small things, but they mean a lot,” suggests Mølbak.

Creating an inspiring and motivating workplace is, according to Mølbak, all about being aware of people’s needs, not least understanding how the culture of work is changing, meaning that endless

With more than 35 years of experience and broad expertise, PLH has conducted office and workplace projects for numerous big companies such as Aller Media,

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Google, Maersk, Nordea and Oticon. Last year, the transport and logistics company DSV moved into their new headquarters, designed by PLH, in Hedehusene west of Copenhagen. The domicile of 13,000 square metres is built across four floors around a huge atrium with reception, conference centre and canteen on the ground floor and workstations in open offices the on other floors. “In the atrium, we created a large café area to work or have meetings. It’s almost like sitting in a town square; it’s a very informal environment. At first, not many people would go and sit there because it was so different from their usual working culture,” says the architect. However, only a few months later, when Mølbak visited DSV, he noticed that things had changed: “When I went there recently the café areas were absolutely packed with people, so it’s really something they have embraced. This shows how architecture can change culture.” Building for the future Another important aspect of creating a quality workplace is a good and healthy indoor climate. In the DSV headquarters much work has centred on ensuring fresh air, good acoustics and plenty of daylight, and many technically advanced elements have been incorporated in this process. For instance, the building has built-in automatic ventilation, for which the facades open four times a day, all year round, flushing the entire building with fresh air.

Top: Harboe Brewery’s new visitor centre in Skælskør, Denmark, is expected to be ready in early 2017. Left: Maersk Drilling offices in Lyngby, Denmark, 2015. Photo: Tomas Bertelsen. Right: K29 offices in Vilnius, Lithuania, 2015. Photo: Paulius Gasiunas.

proven successful. According to Mølbak, it comes down to realising that the world is changing: “We push our clients a bit. We remind them: you are building for the future. Most young people graduating from university today are used to working in a very different way than the older gen-

erations. We have to remember all these things when building.”

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“It’s a very special component, because it’s not just a normal ventilation system. It has a huge psychological impact getting fresh air from outside. It wakes people up,” Mølbak says, adding: “We are always thinking of clever solutions. And that of course entails sustainability. An important part of the quality-of-life approach is to create designs that are in balance not only with people, but also with the environment.” Although much of PLH’s design work contrasts the client companies’ work cultures and their usual way of doing things, many of the innovative initiatives have

Geocenter Møns Klint – a new visitor centre at Møns Klint, Denmark – opened in the summer of 2007 for the 250,000 people that visit the place annually. Photo: Geocenter Møns Klint.

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Above and below: Cph Highline exterior visualisations.

An office fit for the future If you work in an office block, lift your gaze from the magazine in your hands for one moment and think of your place of work. Unless you are based in Silicon Valley or a cool, creative start-up, chances are your place of work is big, straight and uniform, with little personality and less to inspire. This is the unfortunate convention that Holscher Nordberg contest with their highly individual and creativity inducing 26,000square-metre Cph Highline offices, which will look out across the Copenhagen skyline and sport an entire park on the roof. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photo: Holscher Nordberg | Visualisations: Vismo

Holscher Nordberg’s project designer for Cph Highline, Nora Fossum, took a stand against dull, rectangular office blocks. “We were so unbelievably bored with the long, straight bands of identical windows that denote people’s place of work. We wanted a space that people would actively want to work in. So we thought about the kind of office we’d like ourselves, and hit on social, green and individual.” The building’s zig-zag shape and slanting roof, which begins at the eighth floor and ends on the fourth, immediately sets it apart,

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and the windows gradually decrease or increase in size along different floors to create dynamism and excitement. The

team spent ages perfecting the façade and ended up with a golden expanded aluminium surface which changes with the light and as you move about, keeping the building interesting from any angle. “The offices are located in a very visible place just by one of the main roads into the centre, so we wanted the building to give something back to everyone who passes it as well as those who’ll actively use it,” Fossum explains. “We have extensive experience in residential builds

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too, so we brought across our knowledge of how to create a social, communal identity of belonging across all parts of the district, residential as well as commercial.” Inside the building, the communal areas are at the centre of each floor, making it easy to convene for meetings or casual gatherings. Placing individual offices and meeting rooms by the outer walls gives them the full advantage of the differing, surprising layouts and windows that the façade allows. Creating the overview Havneholmen, the area just east of Fisketorvet shopping centre in Copenhagen, has seen some of the city’s biggest changes in recent years. Before 2006, the old industrial site was almost entirely unoccupied, with the exception of a few houseboats. Today, Havneholmen is one of the most attractive new areas of Copenhagen, thanks in part to its excellent shopping facilities, proximity to the centre and enviable water views. It connects to the centre by bus and train and will attain its own metro station in 2023. “We won the competition to draw the district plan for Cirkuspladsen,” Fossum says. “It was Havneholmen’s last big unoccupied site, so we wanted to make something special of it.” Drawing the district plan allowed Holscher Nordberg to set the general tone for both the residential and commercial buildings on site. “We created the area from the idea of a star, where we have the residential blocks directly by the promenade, facing the water, and then the office buildings protruding out the opposite side next to Fisketorvet, with plenty of space between them all and a courtyard at the centre to make sure the area has a communal and natural feel to it.”

Above: Cph Highline interior visualisations.

keen to make a stand-out, aesthetic statement of the area’s main office building. A green and urban space Cph Highline is DGNB-certified due to its sustainable, energy-saving construction and facilities management principles. Its defining feature must be its use of greenery and nature not just around, but inside and even on top of the building. Holscher Nordberg are known for blurring the lines between traditional architectural dichotomies such as inside and out, or residential and commercial. They play with both in Cph Highline, where the office employees become a natural and positive part of the residential area. The ground floor and the foyer connect to the landscape outside, where only glass

divides the two open areas, and shrubbery and water features playfully continue from the outside and in. Most surprisingly, the entire length of the slanting roof is a park, directly accessible from the three upper floors, with peaceful greenery, solar cells and a fantastic view of the city and port. “We took inspiration from old, elevated gardens,” Fossum concludes. “We loved the idea of these amazing places of nature and introspection high up in the skies. What better way to recharge your batteries during a demanding day’s work?”

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The seven-metre narrow seven-floor Stokhusgade Infill.

The company is used to looking at the full picture, from initial concept development and district planning to expert supervision and site management during builds. They have created both commercial and residential properties as well as highly acclaimed individual houses such as the seven-metre narrow seven-floor Stokhusgade Infill. The Havneholmen developments are managed by Swedish construction giant Skanska, who were very

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Left: Sanderumgaard, Odense. Top right: Copenhagen backyards. Right: Stændertorvet Square in Roskilde.

Caring for Denmark’s cultural landscape ”The Danish landscape is characterised by its open fields, hedgerows and groves framed by forests,” says Charlotte Skibsted. “It’s straight-forward, calm and understated. I think that’s how most Danes view their environment, and that’s reflected in all areas of Danish design.” Charlotte Skibsted knows what she is talking about. With two architecture degrees behind her, she set up Skibsted Landscape Architects in the 1970s, and today her multi-award winning company is heavily involved in developing and maintaining Denmark’s outdoor spaces. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Charlotte Skibsted

Skibsted is a professional consultant to institutions such as the Danish National Museum and the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs. “My interest in cultural heritage in landscapes and architecture has always been the backbone of my professional work.” It is an area in which Skibsted and her team excel. “We recently completed an exciting restoration at Sanderumgaard by Odense, one of the most interesting Danish gardens of the romantic period,” Skibsted says. “As a starting point, with these projects, you have to dive into the history to uncover the original visions for the place, such as Rousseau’s back-to-nature philosophy for Sanderum-

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gaard.” One of Skibsted’s other current projects is the ancient Stændertorvet Square in Roskilde, adjacent to the cathedral where Danish monarchs are laid to rest. “Again, we’re designing a very modern, functional space, but with a nod to history in the layout and materials we use.” Parallel to the historical restorations, Skibsted’s team undertakes reinventions of private as well as public urban spaces. The work can be on any scale and may be privately owned or state funded, and the projects range from continuous maintenance to full-scale reimaginings. The top priority is creating environments that are functional and attractive in the 21st century.

“It’s so important to involve owners, residents and the public in the design process,” Skibsted explains. “It’s all about making liveable, creative places that people will want to use.” The team recently won a competition to reinvent a large nature park connecting LEGOLAND to Billund city centre with a concept revolving around the synergy between art, nature and playful learning. Skibsted has kept her team small, which has allowed a continuous high performance and focus on a few selected projects at a time. She has given lectures on Nordic landscape architecture at a variety of universities across the world and has set up a design studio in the south of France focused on private client projects. “My crew and I are diverse, of different generations and have a lot of international influences, but we’re naturally Nordic at heart, keeping it beautiful, simple and functional.” For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Left: The architecture of the new VIA Campus in Aarhus supports different professions and encourages them to meet and work together in new ways. Photo: Niels Nygaard. Top right: The Yogayama Studio in Stockholm is Scandinavia’s largest yoga studio. Photo: Erik Lefvander. Right: The newly opened City Tower is Aarhus’s tallest building, comprising of a hotel with 240 rooms, conference facilities for 1,000 people and office spaces. The tall building to the right of City Tower is the City Hall, another of the city’s high-rise buildings. Photo: Ard Jongsma.

Architecture inspired by people It might not be obvious what Scandinavia’s largest yoga studio, the tallest building in Aarhus and a supportive campus area have in common. The answer is found in their origin. Designed by Danish architecture firm Arkitema Architects, the projects’ designs centre firmly on their future users. By Signe Hansen

Despite having created a heritage of numerous beautiful buildings all over Scandinavia, Arkitema Architects has always shied away from a purely aesthetic focus. Partner Jørgen Bach explains: “Our starting point is always ‘people in architecture’. Humans are at the centre of our work. It’s our company’s heritage and culture: it saturates everything we do; it’s the way we think, the way we are trained, and how all assignments begin.” Since its foundation in 1969, Arkitema Architects has created a string of educational, commercial, housing and health institutions but also numerous new living

quarters. Among the most recent projects is the recently finished campus area in Aarhus. The campus consists of five new buildings in the centre of Aarhus, an area where 5,500 students spend their everyday lives. “On campus students are surrounded by architecture designed to support different professions and encourage them to meet and work together in new ways,” says Bach.

rooms, conference facilities for 1,000 people as well as office spaces. In the meantime, in Stockholm Arkitema Architects has created Yogayama Studio, Scandinavia’s largest yoga studio offering yoga classes in a “calm and inspiring atmosphere”. “No matter if they are there to study, work or attend a yoga class, we want the users to be moved by our architecture,” explains Bach and adds: “We want to give them more than just a roof over their head. We want to create something that speaks to them.”

. Arkitema Architects employs approximately 400 people in offices in Copenhagen,

It is not the only fingerprint Arkitema Architects has left on Aarhus’ developing cityscape. With the creation of City Tower the firm has changed the city’s skyline. The newly opened building, which is Aarhus’ tallest, contains a hotel with 240

Aarhus, Stockholm, Malmö and Oslo.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Design icon Blokken: the cable station is adapted and designed as an anchorage into the landscape. Builder: Cooperation: Rambøll Danmark A/S

Climate, energy and architecture Having an innovative mindset, involving all parties and seeing obstacles as potential. These are among the ingredients in the recipe for success for the Danish architecture firm Møller & Grønborg, where the architects made it their trademark to adapt big technical installations into the landscape. By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Møller & Grønborg A/S

For most people, a high-voltage cable station means an ugly, technical landscape installation. For Møller & Grønborg, it is nothing but a big and interesting challenge to tackle. So when they had to design and develop new electrical cable stations in Denmark, they took a different approach to the task. “What we aimed to do was to develop new design icons and make the technical installations understandable for the people

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who saw them – to visually reveal how the cables are anchored from the air to the ground,” says Niels Kjølhede, architect and partner at Møller & Grønborg. Another interesting project for the architecture firm was the establishment of a new 400-kilovolt transition station that took up the space equivalent of five football fields. “Such big technical installations are difficult to hide in the landscape and it often causes frustration and anger

from the neighbours affected by it and people in general,” says Kjølhede. “Together with citizens, stakeholders and neighbours, Møller & Grønborg created a landscape project on the surrounding areas. This project hides the installation and is in tune with the landscape, which offers new recreational opportunities for the station’s neighbours. Great value was added to the area for the neighbours and the builders from alike. So if you take a look at the station today, you will be surprised because what you see is actually a big recreational area.” A similar approach was taken when Møller & Grønborg designed a treatment plant at sØnæs in Viborg. An increasing demand for climate security and a wish on part of

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Top left: Design Icon Buen: the cable station is placed as an elegant gate motif in an already existing technical landscape. Builder: Cooperation: Rambøll Danmark A/S. Photo: Helene Høyer. Left: Amagerværket, BIO4: new power plant – from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. The installation tells the story of sustainable production of energy. Builder: HOFOR. Cooperation: Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Spiers og Major LLP. Photo/Illustration: Gottlieb Paludan Architects/Møller & Grønborg. Right: Herslev station is a larger technical installation, adapted to the landscape in a natural way. The areas surrounding the station have been developed into a recreational landscape. Builder: Photo: Morten Baker

the citizens of Viborg to have a recreational area, led to the establishment of a climate park. “It is absolutely characteristic of the firm to always look at the project in its context and ask ourselves how we can add value for everyone involved,” says Kjølhede.

tainable biomass, thus the citizens can walk among trees all the way up to the plant and see tree chunks hanging in several layers on the front of the plant. It is a characteristic and strategic element of the treatment of Amagerværket.

Climate and communication

On the roof of the plant, a floating platform designed as an oasis with trees is placed. From there you have a magnificent view of Copenhagen as well as an overview of the entire plant, its production and green transformation.

Møller & Grønborg have more than 50 years of experience of working in many countries around the world. Their main areas of expertise are within urban planning, landscape design, infrastructural planning, design in general and dealing with the many climate changes we are facing at the moment in particular.

“Again, you have to look at each task individually and find the nerve in the project

combined with the right context. Here, our vision was to prove that the transition from coal to sustainable biomass could also be shown visually. The plant is visible for a lot of people in Copenhagen and we wanted to communicate the transition it was undergoing, not only for the people at the plant but for its neighbours as well,” Kjølhede explains. “The task was to make an installation into a recreation area, thereby adding more value for everyone involved. To kill two birds with one stone.” For more information, please visit:

One of the issues the architecture firm had to handle recently was the transformation of Amagerværket, which is a big power plant in Copenhagen. The plant was going through a transition from coal to sustainable biomass and needed it to be shown visually as well. Normally, big technical installations are restricted areas open to the workers only, but in this case the citizens are invited into the plant without compromising the security. Trees are used as a symbol to illustrate the transition from coal to sus-

sØnæs is a three-in-one solution where the environment has been improved; the city has been climate proofed and the citizens have got a blue-green park. The design of sØnæs as a recreational park offers new opportunities for playing and learning. Builder: The municipality of Viborg and Energi Viborg Spildevand. Cooperation: Orbicon. Photos: Carsten Ingemann

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Left: Christiansgade Apartments, built in 2013, located in the centre of Aarhus, Denmark. Photos: Helene Høyer.

The homes on Christiansgade evoke a modern and urban emphasis with simple design, yet at the same time achieving a kinship with the surrounding buildings in proportion and material use. The project was awarded the Aarhus Municipality Architecture Prize in 2013.

‘In the city, you are forced to think outside the box’ Quality materials, daylight and energy efficiency are the key ingredients when the Danish architecture firm Luplau & Poulsen Arkitekter develops inimitable and aesthetic Scandinavian-inspired designs. By Sanne Wass

“Our architecture is particularly Nordicinspired in that we use well-known quality materials,” says Jørn Lyager Poulsen, partner and co-founder of Luplau & Poulsen Arkitekter. “For us, a crucial part of architecture is to create something that doesn’t start to look dull over time.” With more than 25 years of experience in the field, the Aarhus-based architects have an eye for creating beautiful and functional architecture where light and space as well as sustainable quality materials play a major role. These elements

are essential whether it is a big or a small project, commercial buildings or residential houses, and whether in the countryside or in the city. In the centre of Aarhus, Luplau & Poulsen Arkitekter had the challenging task of creating 24 city dwellings on a very small site. Lyager Poulsen explains: “Our project on Christiansgade was a very special task, because we only had two facades to work with. Still, we managed to ensure plenty of daylight and space for each of the homes – even though the area is very small and closed in.”

Villa Albertsen, built in 2007, overlooking Aarhus Bay. Photos: Brahl Fotografi.

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“You always meet big challenges when building in the city because of the limited space, so you are really forced to think creatively and outside the box. It means you often end up with some really interesting architecture, compared to if you had a huge open field to build on,” he says. Zero-energy sustainable housing “We also have a big focus on creating sustainable housing,” says Lyager Poulsen, who believes it is their duty – and a necessity – to create architecture that is environmentally sound. Therefore Luplau & Poulsen Arkitekter designs many socalled zero-energy buildings – buildings that, because of their efficient ventilation system and insulation, have no energy consumption. Lyager Poulsen ends: “We integrate many elements into the projects that make the buildings energy efficient, such as the use of solar panels. And we think about the environment when we choose materials, using materials that can be recycled.”

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Refurbishment at full gallop E+N Arkitektur’s task of creating one of Europe’s top stallion stations required aligning aesthetics with a functional working environment for humans and horses. By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: E+N Arkitektur

Nobody was told to hold their horses as E+N Arkitektur was hired to place Blue Hors stallion station in Randbøll, Denmark, near Vejle, firmly among Europe’s equestrian elite. “The facilities had to compete with the biggest and the best,” says Jesper Back, architect and partner at E+N Arkitektur, about the contract which involved both refurbishing and expansion aspects encompassing a total of 20,000 square metres. Each year, the station receives around 2,000 fillies, and activities had to run smoothly during the entire process. Simultaneously, the architects worked hard to ensure a high standard, for instance by creating makeshift passages for horses passing through. “On this scale, small details can have big consequences. This is horse breeding from the top shelf, so we had to come up with a solution of the

highest order without compromising the wellbeing of the animals,” says Back.

Existing and new With over 50 years of experience specialising in restoration projects and developing new buildings in historical contexts, E+N Arkitektur, formerly known as Exners Tegnestue, encourages a constant dialogue between old and new. Projects where the architects can experiment with new methods and ways to use cultural heritage buildings form the backbone of the office.

Prestigious recognition

Hay houses, barns, stables and breeding facilities were all dealt with based on E+N’s overriding philosophy focused on recognisability, materials and texture. The 2,700-square-metre riding hall is the station’s hub of activity and arena for events and shows seating up to 1,000 spectators. Great efforts were made to create an appealing showground that also helps display the horses’ grace and athleticism. “We have used concrete and a combination of bricks and woodchip, all materials that age beautifully. The room is bathed in sunlight, and we put as low as possible a slant on the ceiling so the horses can take centre stage and an intimate and gripping atmosphere is created in the room.”

In 2014, the Blue Hors project received an honourable mention at the Danish Building Awards. “The horses have a grand new home that shows respect for the animals,” said the jury.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

Above left and bottom right: Many of Copenhagen’s old courtyards have been redesigned and altered to withstand future flooding and use water as a natural energy resource. Top right: Niels Lützen Landscape Architects also apply their rainfall expertise to natural areas.

Let it rain Lützen Landscape Architects are among the pioneers in making sustainable use of rainfall while maintaining aesthetics and enabling people to live and thrive. By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: Niels Lützen Landscape Architects

On the morning of 2 July 2011, thousands of Danes awoke to find their homes in unrecognisable condition. The previous night, the sky’s floodgates had opened in a brief but frenzied storm, leaving streets, basements and front rooms across the nation flooded. Unaccustomed to such fierce weather, only a few Danish builders had thought to make structures to withstand elements on this scale. This changed instantly. “The experience ended up costing millions for home owners and insurance companies. And the municipalities suddenly realised that its citizens must be guarded. Basically, it turned the world of construction on its head,” says Niels Lützen, owner of Copenhagen-based firm Lützen Landscape Architects. Public planning schemes were adjusted to better prepare for future incidents of force

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majeure, especially as long-term forecasts predicted more heavy rainfall due to global warming. All architects had to start thinking differently about the climate’s impact on the structures they help create. Architecture schools introduced specific subjects for it. This all prompted Niels Lützen to revive an old interest of his.

young people, parents, the elderly – it is about everyone living together,” says Lützen. “We want to be close to people and are fascinated by how people live. That is why we are so involved in projects like courtyards in big cities.” Indeed, the company is behind the revitalisation of many of Copenhagen’s old courtyards, with 40 already in the portfolio and another ten in progress, all being built to withstand future flooding and use water as a natural energy resource.

Rain as a blessing “For me, it was a chance to revisit one of my old interests, namely rainfall in architecture, which I published a book on many years ago. This focus is twofold: how to guard buildings against rain, and how to make the most use of it. Heavy rainfall can be a blessing because water can be utilised to provide energy and efficient sewage systems for an entire household,” explains Lützen. The company’s projects mainly revolve around everyday landscapes. “Children,

River flows Away from the cityscapes, Niels Lützen Landscape Architects are applying their rainfall expertise on natural areas. Harrestrup stream just outside Copenhagen is currently being freed of its concrete concealment to merge once again with the surrounding pastures, which function like an old-fashioned reservoir.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Denmark

The new psychiatric hospital in the Zealand region of Denmark was inaugurated in August and opened in October 2015 for about 200 patients and 650 staff.

Healing architecture that puts people first When Karlsson Arkitekter won the competition in 2010 to design a new psychiatric hospital in the Zealand region of Denmark, they had a clear goal: to create a house that supports the patients’ recovery process and helps them return to a normal life again. By Sanne Wass | Photos: Karlsson Arkitekter / VLA. Photographer: Jens Lindhe

Today, a few months after the hospital was formally inaugurated by the Danish Crown Princess and Health Minister, the challenges are of a completely different nature: “Our biggest concern right now is that patients don’t want to leave the hospital again because it’s of such high quality,” smiles Christian Karlsson, architect and founder of Copenhagen-based Karlsson Arkitekter.

many respects, the design breaks with traditional hospital architecture. “What’s special about this house is that its architecture adapts to the patient and reflects the recovery process that he or she is going through. The design is diverse; some rooms are very modest while others are more challenging and eventful, resembling the outside world,” Karlsson explains.

And the project is unique indeed: it is the largest investment in psychiatry in Denmark this century. Moreover, it has been labelled ‘a prestige project we can be proud of’ by Danish national media and, in

Developed in close collaboration with psychiatric professionals, the hospital is built on the idea that patients should feel welcome and recognised as equals with the staff and other patients. “We have worked

a lot with transparency between staff and patients, so it’s very visible what is going on. You always know where to ask for help, and there are always people around you,” Karlsson says. “For the patient, it gives a feeling of being understood and that someone takes care of you. The staff, on the other hand, get better control of what’s going on.” Transparency is encouraged through an extensive use of glass between the different rooms, as well as an open office area for the staff. Other special features include the building’s artistic decorations and the use of pioneering ‘healing’ LED lighting, following the day’s rhythm. And a great deal of attention has been devoted to the public areas: from fitness, sports halls and a swimming pool to small kitchens and beautiful courtyards. For Karlsson, the psychiatric hospital represents Karlsson Arkitekter’s most important value: creating humanist architecture that puts people and their welfare first. “We prioritise people over design,” he concludes. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Architecture Special: Norway

70 years of increasing influence NIL was established 70 years ago, and our members have since then played an increasingly important role. The overarching theme of the 70th anniversary in 2015 has been ‘From private to public space’, which means that our members have moved from mostly working with architectural solutions and decoration in private homes, to today also being responsible for interior architecture in public buildings. Text & photos: Norwegian Organisation of Interior Architects and Furniture Designers (NIL)

This is an exciting journey that says a great deal about how the profession’s influence in society has changed. Today holds great importance, with a measurable effect on logistics and flow in buildings and institutions. International professionals have said that Norway boasts some of the most talented interior architects and furniture designers practising today. Norwegian interior architects present challenging projects representing a broad range of interior architecture and furniture design. NIL is a national NGO organising interior architects and furniture designers who have completed a master’s degree or have ex-

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pertise at this level. Only members of NIL can use MNIL (member of NIL) in their title. MNIL – letters of expertise Each year, NIL publishes a yearbook, Interiør & Møbler (Interior & Furniture), containing around 60 of the best projects the members have been responsible for in the last year, including plans, photographs and descriptions. It offers examples of interior architecture and design of offices, schools, hotels, showrooms, restaurants, shops and housing, in addition to the latest in furniture design. The book also lists all of NIL’s members and can be ordered from the NIL website or purchased at Narvesen kiosks.

Left: Scandinavia's most attractive finance house: DNB's new headquarters in Oslo consists of three buildings, in total 80,000 square metres. The project was completed in 2013 and is the workplace for 4,200 employees and houses conference centre, auditorium, food market, restaurant, reception and representation offices. Project: DNB HQ, Oslo / Zinc AS. Photo: Jiri Havran Middle: Northern Lights: The large roof was painted the same dark colour as the facade. This made the room more intimate, and the big white lamps got a clear contrast. This project focuses on the atmosphere, wellness and protecting the qualities which already exists in the hotel. Project: Scandic Ishavshotell, Tromsø / AS Scenario Interiørarkitekter Mnil. Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds / F64 Right: Entering through Amundsen’s polar landscape: Three-dimensional effect. Integrated lighting required careful coordination between lighting supplier and cabinet maker. Project: Roald Amundsens Gate 6 Oslo / Metropolis Arkitektur & Design AS Photo: Metropolis Arkitektur & Design AS / Cathrine Holst

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Left: Powerhouse Brattøra in Trondheim is a solar-energy producing building. Architects: Snøhetta A/S. Right: Vålandshaugen Kindergarten in Stavanger in winter. Architects: ABACUS A/S. Below: Lislebyhallen is built as a wooden multi-purpose hall in Fredrikstad. Architects: Plus Arkitektur A/S.

Real change for cities of the future When the Norwegian government in 2008 decided to cooperate with the 13 largest cities to develop methods of sustainable city planning through action, it started an overall programme called The Cities of the Future (Framtidens byer). The programme incorporated a wide range of themes such as climate change, energy, transport and land use, and handling of garbage – but it soon became evident that the programme had to involve architects and entrepreneurs to encourage them to build in a sustainable manner. By the National Association of Norwegian Architects

There was already an ongoing programme in the Oslo region called FutureBuilt, but none that could support the rest of the country. Thus, The Cities of the Future was born, and the National Associations of Norwegian Architects was chosen to lead the programme.

all around the country, all based around the ambition to build and develop areas with high architectural standards and cut C02 emissions by 50 per cent within the areas of electricity and thermal energy consumption, building materials, and transport when the buildings are in use.

The aim for both FutureBuilt and The Cities of the Future was to develop pilot projects on a commercial basis. They could attain some financial support, but only to cover documented extras. The Cities of the Future ended in 2014, but FutureBuilt will go on for five more years. By 2014, the initiatives had resulted in more than 60 pilot projects, buildings and area developments

The most interesting observation was perhaps the enthusiasm this created. Entire building sites were engaged to reach the goals. The resulting benefits were plentiful: low-emission concrete was introduced to the market, the price of high-energy efficient windows stabilised, wood started being used in modern office buildings and high-rise student housing, C02 emissions

from building materials started being documented on a large scale, and it is suddenly considered standard to build according to the passive house standard. Additionally, the programme prepared the ground for new legislation, and the National Association of Norwegian Architects is thrilled to have taken part in such an engaging programme that successfully affected change.

For more information, please visit:

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Photo: Trond Jølson

Space to meet face to face When firm partners Odd Klev and Geir Haaversen founded A-lab in 2000, their main goal was to have a fun place to work. Having fun has proved to be a recipe for success, and 15 years and three World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards later, Haaversen sits in the jury of this year’s WAF in Singapore. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: A-lab

“Taking part in events such as WAF is an incredible opportunity for young, midsized firms like us to reach out internationally,” says Klev. A-lab’s presence at WAF and similar events in the past has garnered attention from far-away places such as Asia, Australia and India. “We are always ready for a challenge in new and exciting places,” Klev says. While the company, which started out with a desire to build office buildings for IT companies, has won prestigious Norwegian commercial design projects such as the Statoil headquarters and the head-

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quarters of DNB (one of Norway’s largest banks), it has also adapted to the changing market and taken on residential projects both at home and abroad.

Scandinavian design concepts to India,” he says. Since its first award-winning project in 2001, a shopping centre in downtown Oslo, A-lab has grown quickly in size and now counts 40 architects of nine different nationalities. “It has definitely been a great advantage in the Mumbai project, but also more generally, to have colleagues who did not grow up in Norway and who bring fresh ideas to the table,” Klev says.

Scandinavian with a foreign flair So far, the project furthest away from home was in Mumbai, where the architects designed a development of ten 50storey apartment buildings, a project Klev describes as an interesting challenge. “India and Norway have very different cultures when it comes to design, construction and space, and it has been fun to merge the two and bring some of our

Water-cooler conversation The architects at A-lab put a great deal of thought into how their buildings will bring people together. “Although we live in a digital age, people still need to meet face to face, and we want to create spaces that have a bit of a water-cooler effect, a place where people can meet and exchange information,” says Klev.

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Main image, top and left: Statoil’s headquarters at Fornebu has won A-lab two WAF-awards. Photos: Luis Fonseca (top), Ivan Brodey (left). Middle and right: The Carve, a residential building in Oslo’s new financial district, Barcode. Photos: Ivan Brodey

For Statoil’s headquarters in the outskirts of Oslo, for which A-lab won the Best Concept Award at WAF in 2008 and Best Office Building in 2012, the solution was to create an open square everyone had to pass through to get to their offices. “That way colleagues get the opportunity to update each other in a casual setting, and it creates the opportunity for chance encounters,” Klev explains. But it is not just office buildings that require places to meet; so do residential buildings, and Klev points out that it is important to create spaces where people feel comfortable and safe in even after dark: “You have to create a space where people want to linger.” In The Carve, a residential building in Oslo’s new financial district, Barcode, the firm chose to create a common area by carving out a giant hole through the building’s tenth floor. For Deg42, a new commercial project Deg42

still under development and the final addition to Barcode, the company sought inspiration from New York’s meatpacking district and opted to put meeting rooms in boxes on the façade of the narrow building. Keeping the ground in mind While the architects at A-lab have found a variety of creative ways to create meeting spaces in high places, they also pay careful attention to how their constructions interact with its surroundings on the ground level. “Oslo is a very sprawling city, but as it grows and people have to live together more intensely, it is definitely worth building higher to make better use of the space, yet remain conscious of the ground level. If a building gets too high it may cast too much shadow, and that’s not desirable either,” Klev says. Klev also highlights the importance of adapting development projects to the city

landscape: “Take the Barcode area as an example, it is located right next to Oslo Central Station, Oslo’s busiest transportation hub. In large developments like this, one should definitely take public transport into account to reduce traffic and try to utilise the space in the best way possible both for the environment and for the people living and working in the city.” The new strip of high-rise buildings stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Oslo skyline. With three Barcode buildings to their name, in addition to the ability to boast that they designed both the first and the final building of the strip, the brains behind A-lab have certainly made their mark on their hometown. Now the rest of the world is waiting. For more information, please visit:

The high-rise buildings that make up the Barcode district stand out on the Oslo skyline.

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Photo: Asp Ormåsen

VossVind is a wind tunnel for skydivers who want to improve their fall, incorporating the identity of the area Voss into its design.

Taking it personally There is no such thing as a plain and simple architect. At the Norwegian architecture firm Og Arkitekter, the office is filled with pioneering individuals, who not only devote their professional skills but also their personalities to the creation of a new building. The result is nothing short of dazzling. By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Og Arkitekter

There are 39 creative and hardworking individuals working at Og Arkitekter’s offices in the Norwegian city of Bergen. Every day they work together to create wonderful and comfortable spaces for people to live, work and coexist in. Osmund Olav Lie is the head of the firm and says that although he and his colleagues do have projects in all parts of the country, they are very much a west coast business. “Most of our work is built in and

around Bergen, which means that we are hugely involved in our local area,” he says. The firm has history dating back over half a century and is proud to be a part of each individual project from beginning to end. Over recent years, Og Arkitekter has demonstrated significant skill when it comes to schools, offices and homes, but, as Lie emphasises, there is really no limit to the size or kind of projects that they do.

They also cross into other fields, including interior architecture and planning. Kalfaret Brygghus, with its checkerboard floors and sleek interior, is just one of the projects made possible by this inclusive approach. It is no doubt that the sky is the limit. An inclusive community An unusual amount of community spirit seems to be seeping through the office of this particular firm. Being as many colleagues as they are, it is vital that every member of staff feels that their contribution is important. Decisions are made collectively, and it has happened that Lie has taken 12 of his fellow architects out to view the same piece of land. “It was one of the quickest creative processes I’ve ever been a part of,” he smiles. “By the next morning we had all agreed on where the building should be and what way it should be facing, because we all worked together to find the solution.” Dialogue and open discussion are crucial parts of how this firm works. That applies to clients too. Clients are always welcome into the offices and into an open and

Photo: VossVind

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Photo: Andreas Roksvåg

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Above: The apartment and townhouse complex, Behind Living, was inspired by a family portrait. Below: Kalfaret Brygghus is a good example of the multi-disciplinary approach of Og Arkitekter.

inclusive atmosphere. That way, both architects and clients can get across their thoughts in a friendly and comfortable environment, where every visionary idea or creative ambition can come to light. “Clients always play a part in every stage of the creative process,” Lie explains, insisting that the client’s input is just as important as that of the architects.

colourful frames representing their faces. On the lusciously green hillside the family stands tall overlooking the landscape, housing over 70 families of their own. This spectacular idea was the result of the office working together to create something new, distinctive and fun. “We put so much of ourselves into each project and we believe that is the way to make something really, really good,” Lie says.

A family portrait A great example of the imagination and colour that Og Arkitekter brings into a business is an apartment and townhouse complex called Behind Living. The white, multistorey buildings are located in Rådalslien, just outside Bergen, and were inspired by something as simple as a family portrait. Each individual building is of a different height, as family members often are, and at the top there are glass windows set in

Old and new One of the rarer functional buildings that Og Arkitekter has created over the past couple of years is VossVind, a wind tunnel for skydivers who want to improve their fall. Voss is a small place not too far from Bergen, known for its strong traditions and Norwegian ways. Incorporating the identity of the area into the architecture became one of the

focal points when Og Arkitekter decided to take on the project. The top part of the building is made out of fine Norwegian wood, which will turn grey with time and blend into both the landscape and the local building tradition. The lower part of the building, on the other hand, is dressed in shiny white tiles, a modern contrast to the traditional element above. The two parts represent the inhabitants that have lived in the local area for generations and those that have only just arrived. “Ownership is very important to us when we first start designing a building,” Lie explains. “We want people to feel a connection to their local architecture.” For more information, please visit:

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Various collaborative endeavours Architecture is so much more than just cold, hard materials and neat lines. The Norwegian architecture firm, Various Architects, is proof of that. At the heart of every single one of their projects is the desire to make a positive contribution to the local area, no matter how small the building might be. By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Various Architects

Every architectural venture Various Architects undertakes benefits from close connections with artists and professionals from other disciplines. They call it a collaborative design strategy. This is the reason for the name Various Architects, partner Ibrahim Elhayawan explains. The innovative business was founded in Oslo in

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2008, and this is still where all of its award-winning employees are based. Nevertheless, the young firm’s projects are in no way limited to the Norwegian capital. Over the past few years, Various Architects has drawn buildings across the whole world and won a wide variety of na-

tional and international awards for its innovative and sustainable designs. One of these awards is the prestigious World Architecture Festival Award, and Elhayawan knows for a fact that the diversity of both skillsets and backgrounds is one of the main reasons for the firm’s success. “We are ambitious and never afraid to take on a challenge,” he says. “Our experience is that an abundance of independent ideas makes for the best architecture.” A dramatic performance Every project that Various Architects chooses to take on is completely unique in

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Main image and below right: The mobile performance venue. Above left and top right: Mesterfjell school. Photo: Jiri Havran. Right: Kulturetaten. Photo: Nadia Frantsen

its own way. “Not only do we get to work with a lot of diverse and exciting projects, but we also have the range of expertise and talent necessary to do them justice,” Elhayawan says proudly.

more, the venue needed to be easy to transport and suitable for almost any site. Various Architects met the challenge head on and put together a team that designed a dramatic, inflatable venue that was perfect for this modern theatre production. Using parametric 3D modelling, the team designed a hexagonal outer skin with a theatrical glow, making even the building itself a memorable experience for the audience.

tects’ distinctive signature. On the other side of the world, in Taiwan’s capital Taipei, a performing arts centre is under construction. Elhayawan was the project leader for the design development team, working as consultants for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture. The exciting and prestigious task of designing the 50,000-square-metre theatre finished in 2010 and the building is due to be completed next year.

Modern and sleek

Much closer to home is another project that the innovative firm has been instrumental in creating, namely a brand new

The mobile performance venue is not the only cultural hub bearing Various Archi-

In recent years, the firm has gained much attention both at home and abroad for what has been dubbed their simply iconic mobile performance venue. The 3,900square-metre portable theatre was designed for a five-screen cinematic performance by Arts Alliance, which was set to travel the world with its production, ID – Identity of the Soul. The staging, featuring both films on screens and live performances simultaneously, meant that there were very specific demands on the space it could be performed in. Further-

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Above and below left: Lederne HQ. Photo: Nadia Frantsen. Below middle: Taipei Performing Arts Centre visualisation. Photo: OMA. Below right: Taipei Performing Arts Centre. Photo: Ibrahim Elhayawan

developed headquarters of both Kulturetaten, the city of Oslo’s department of culture, and Lederne, the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives. “Olympiagården used to house one of Oslo’s oldest cinemas, and our designs are bringing back these historical qualities while also adding something modern and contemporary to the site,” Elhayawan says. Giving back primary and secondary school in Larvik, in the southern part of Norway. Today, the finished product of Various Architects’ collaboration with CEBRA and Spinn Arkitekter is in regular use, housing pupils from year one to ten in the modern, new Mesterfjell school building. The most prominent feature of the large, wooden facade must be its shiny windows, placed across all four outer walls, overlooking the city. Other projects that Various Architects are particularly proud of include the renovation of the historical building Olympiagården and the modern designs behind the newly

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There is yet another side to Various Architects’ endeavours that is not immediately obvious. “We want to make a positive contribution, so that there is an element of public benefit incorporated into every

building that we draw,” Elhayawan declares. One example of this type of architectural feature is Lillestrøm’s bicycle hotel. When finishing off their design, the diverse team created a spectacular green roof that connected the building to the nearby train station for easy access. The whole hotel glows at night, making it the ideal spot for anyone to enjoy a quiet moment amongst the green plants overlooking the city’s clear night sky.

For more information, please visit:

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Bottom left: Bispevika. Top left and bottom middle: Visualisations of Nycoveien 2. Right and bottom right: The innovative Stenbråtlia neighbourhood, Mortensrud, eastern Oslo. Photos: Morten Spaberg.

Grounded in excellence Down-to-earth, thorough, collaborative and enthusiastic. These are fundamental attributes that form the basis of Spor Arkitekter’s mission. Citing architecture pioneer Mies van der Rohe, Spor’s general manager Aashild Mariussen explains: “We don’t want to be interesting – we want to be good,” earnestly showing that, more often than not, the firm’s projects achieve both excellence and enthrallment. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Spor Arkitekter

Specialised in residential design and urban planning since 1985, and with a staff of 18, the firm boasts extensive experience of forming and executing architectural concepts. It is not without reason that Spor has earned an established reputation of being trustworthy, makers of good client relationships and, above all, grounded. “We believe that residential architecture is about meeting the demands of the specific client,” says Mariussen, “not flaunting our skills by designing something the contracting party never wanted.” The firm’s earnest, pragmatic approach can be discerned from its long list of practical and affordable housing projects. In addition, the firm has been a pioneer in developing energy efficient homes in Nor-

way, such as the innovative Stenbråtlia neighbourhood, Mortensrud, in eastern Oslo. Here individual air/water heat pumps and roof-mounted thermal solar collectors serve the energy requirements of each so-called passive house. Mariussen is proud that the project has helped define the firm’s eco-friendly profile, explaining that it has led to ‘green projects’ of a different sort. “As one of only two architecture firms in Norway, we’re currently part of a pilot project developing the Eco-Lighthouse® environmental certification for design firms in the architecture and engineering industry.” Nycoveien 2, which was won through a competition, is another one of Spor’s

defining projects. This development, currently in the design phase, shows the importance of combining great design layouts and attractive outdoor spaces, helping the location – Storo – define its urban identity. “This is a transformational area surrounded by several public zones. The challenge was to make use of the already present, known structures and add new structures that would make the area interesting,” says Mariussen. The general manager explains that another first prize competition entry is to be realised in central Oslo’s Bispevika. This project will consist of both residential constructions and urban planning of the waterfront walkway, allowing for exciting edifice designs to be seamlessly integrated with green areas. “It’s a multifaceted project we’re very proud to be taking on,” Mariussen says, smiling. “We’re experiencing a very positive assignment situation, which is also looking great for the times ahead. Many of these are long-term assignments that offer security and time to create a professional, exciting outcome.” For more information, please visit:

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Materialising ideas

Upholding a promise to be as admirably unique as cleverly site-specific – not to mention proudly responsible – architecture firm Manthey Kula has made an unambiguous mark on structural expressions in Norway and abroad. From the functional to the poetic, its project portfolio represents a variety of expressions and a depth of meaning: materialised ideas in their utmost splendour. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Manthey Kula

“I’d say we’re quite expressive – or rather, that we believe in the power of expression,” says Beate Hølmebakk, partner at Manthey Kula. “Bringing ideas to life is what essentially motivates us. We strive to cater to and take responsibility for pragmatic functionality, without ceasing to seek out great designs. We never tire of telling new stories.” Honing beauty – Ode to Osaka However purposeful and attuned to function Manthey Kula’s projects are, an important cornerstone of these developments resides in a heightened and integrated aesthetic value. Representing this notion in its truest form is the installation Ode to Osaka, based on an idea of famous Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. Commissioned by the National Museum – Architecture, the installation channels Fehn’s unbuilt competition proposal of a breathing space for the Osaka World Fair in 1970. In the hands of Manthey Kula, the idea took shape as a structure consisting of an airlock building and an inflated, moving space. The result? A unique experience of room and space that has to be seen – and felt. “We have an enormous respect for Fehn and his projects; we knew we were working with the groundwork of a master. The challenge was to make the project our own while preserving his intentions and ideas, making sure that we livened these in a good way,” says Hølmebakk. Not only is the construct’s conceptual basis unparalleled in the world, but its beauty has also been commended by many a spectator.

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Photo: Paul Warchol

front of the 530-metre long Pålsbufjorden dam, the aesthetics could be played with, resulting in a circular construction emulating the rotation of water through the turbine. “While this type of technical construction needs to meet many demands in terms of sheer solidity, we found a way to let the situation, the location, guide the artistic outcome,” Hølmebakk explains. “The building thus explains its own purpose… also maintaining that quality of the dam as an unbroken manmade line through the landscape.” Site-specificity in Forvik: integration, preservation and creation In some locations, beauty is inherent and Norway boasts scenic grandeur like few other countries. This is a gift and a challenge, as far as Hølmebakk is concerned – one that offers opportunities to perfect skills of both preservation and structural incorporation. “Forvik ferry port illustrates this key interest of ours perfectly: we had to carefully analyse the area and understand the nature and location in order to minimise our footprint. We wanted to utilise the qualities that were intrinsic in the landscape before adding new strengths in the shape of a service building.” The result was a transparent edifice of exposed structures, embodying the idea of two places being connected. In the spirit of Manthey Kula, the old was merged with the new, providing a distinct but subordinate construction.

Additionally, the firm wished to meet, through the restroom, a somewhat more abstract aim: providing a pause from the intense surrounding nature. The distinctive building, consisting of ten to 12millimetre sheets of structural Corten steel welded together on site with glass openings providing a view to the sky, is an excellent example of Manthey Kula’s commitment to exceptionality. Robust constructions – handling and heightening nature That creativity can manifest itself in a variety of ways is apparent through Manthey Kula’s many stout projects. The generator chamber at Pålsbu Hydro Power Station is a magnificent example, as it combines the exploitation of previously unused potential with intriguing aesthetics by utilising the height difference between the existing dam and the lake below to generate power. By placing the chamber as a freestanding building in

Promoting social responsibility – from Norway to Taiwan Whether seamlessly incorporating structures into a landscape or breaking situational boundaries, Manthey Kula attach great importance to challenging themselves. Ahead of Taipei assuming the title of World Design Capital of 2016, the firm was invited to make their mark on a Taiwanese neighbourhood. The tiny, minimalist structure Book Crossing, where locals can meet and exchange used books, perfectly sums up what the firm is all about: materialising ideas in the pursuit of serving a common good. “There is a storyline in everything we do, and we enjoy thinking differently,” Hølmebakk says. “Our mission is contributing to the realisation of great ideas.” For more information, please visit:

Roadside uniqueness in Akkarvik Speaking to another strength of the firm is the ability to create unique structures that combine pragmatism and aesthetics in striking ways. The Akkarvik roadside restroom follows a prior building that was lifted off its footing by the strong Lofoten winds, thus underlining the need for a physically heavy building that would stand the test of weather and time. Photo: Per Berntsen

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Tradition and creativity: Architects shaping Bodø for decades Having finished the construction of the latest addition to the Bodø skyline last year, the Scandic Havet Hotel, Bodø-based architecture firm BOARCH Architects has been influencing the city since 1971 – and has won several awards in the process. By Didrik Ottesen | Photos: BOARCH Architects

Based next to Bodø harbour, the hotel is a monumental 18-storey tower with a facade consisting of glass and aluminium, towering across the city to provide a spectacular panoramic view with the city on one side and the North Sea on the other. Furthermore, the bar and restaurant on the 17th floor provides a sublime spot with a stunning view from all angles, adding a picturesque environment to the dining and drinking experience. The hotel also consists of a low-rise four-storey building, containing the main reception and a restaurant as well as meeting and conference rooms. “When starting on the project, we developed a zoning plan and subsequently decided to create and shape the tower to provide a slimmer expression, which makes it looks lighter, rather than designing a big square block,” says cofounder Per Morten Wik. “As far as the low-rise building is concerned, it is designed to be aligned with the surrounding buildings. This adds further space and increases the capacity, while providing the building with a noticeable expression.” Tradition and new thinking Two of the company’s original founders, Gisle Jakhelln and Per Morten Wik, are still heavily involved with the firm and working full-time as CEO and architect respectively, which has offered both tradition and stability to the company. “Tra-

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dition is vital in terms of taking the local history into consideration on every project. But simultaneously the environment around us, and society in general, is constantly changing and developing, so it’s equally important to think new and stay with the changes,” Jakhelln says. Maximising their vast experience, BOARCH have been involved with a variety of projects ranging from private housing and planning to kindergartens, rehabilitation, museums and hospitals. Notably, BOARCH was the company behind the 15,000-square-metre construction added to the local hospital in Stokmarknes, Nordlandssykehuset Vesterålen, which was completed in 2014. Consisting of mainly aluminium, glass, granite and tile, the complete local hospital contains several medical service functions, including a labour ward and a patient hotel. “The main focus and thought behind the hospital was to make it as patient-friendly as possible, and making it easy for patients to orient themselves and find the desired departments,” says Jakhelln. “When designing a hospital, there are obviously strict functional considerations, so we focused on the human angle and how to improve the general hospital experience.” Working all over northern Norway, with Salten as their main area, BOARCH also

contributed to the defining characteristics of Jakhelln Brygge in Bodø’s harbour area. Completed in 2007, the modern building offers an exceptional view and is the city’s forefront office building, in terms of both location and architecture. Also containing a restaurant, the modern building offers a panoramic view to monitor when Hurtigruta arrives. Despite being an architecture firm primarily, BOARCH, who also designed the bobsleigh facilities for the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, have expanded their team to include a full-time interior architect to add further depth to their services. Having enjoyed a vast spectrum of contracts for over four decades, the company has claimed several awards for its architectural achievements, including Northern Norway Architecture Award in both 1987 and 1992 for its work on Kautokeino’s culture house and Bodø Airport respectively. Furthermore, an international competition in Shinkensiku, Japan, awarded BOARCH for their ideas when working with glass in architecture, and the firm won the European Council Architectural Competition: A Future for the Past of the Rural Heritage with their solution for the protected trade area in Selsøyvik.

Top: Scandic Havet Hotel Bottom: Nordlandssykehuset Vesterålen

For more information, please visit:

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Energy for the future Recycling, sustainable solutions and energy-saving measures have become increasingly prominent in every aspect of life over recent years – and architecture certainly is no exception. For nearly a decade, Skylstad Arkitektur AS has been working to make buildings across Norway even more energy efficient. Where is the firm going next? By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Skylstad Arkitektur AS

“There is no doubt that innovative, energyefficient solutions are what’s asked for these days,” says founder Svein Skylstad. He started Skylstad Arkitektur AS in 2006, and since then the architectural firm has grown a great deal. Today, the office consists of seven employees in Norway’s fourth largest city, Trondheim. Together they take on projects across the nearby regions, focusing on public buildings in general and schools and care homes in particular.

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Skylstad describes his employees as a great team with their own strengths in different fields, often working together when a project allows it. He is proud to say that every building the firm has worked on has been completely unique, which is not always the case when one has been in the business for as long as he has. There is one principle, however, that he and his colleagues apply to every project they take on: to always use as few differ-

ent types of materials as possible. Usually the count is three, namely concrete, glass and wood, but sometimes not even all three. Not only does it give the design a simple, classic look, but it is also a very sustainable way of creating buildings in all shapes and sizes. Environment at heart Even when the firm first started out, Skylstad was eager to look to the future for new innovative ways of working with architecture. The firm is currently looking at the possibility to build a house completely free from emissions, a home that singlehandedly produces all the energy it consumes, a so-called zero emissions building (ZEB). This type of structure has yet to make its way to the large-scale property market. Passive houses, on the other

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hand, have become more and more common as the green demands on the industry have grown ever more persistent. As a former councillor for the ARCPROSPECT International Foundation of Architects & Design Professionals, Skylstad has always been passionate about sustainable architecture. Over the past couple of years, the firm has been responsible for creating two school buildings and one care home, all passive buildings meaning that they are extremely energy efficient and require minimal power for the heating and cooling of spaces. Every architect at the firm is trained in the craft of creating passive houses. “We believe that space-efficient houses are also those that are the most energy efficient,” Skylstad explains. This mindset is not only vital when the firm designs new buildings but also when Skylstad Arkitektur AS rehabilitates old ones. Changing architecture for the better ÅSE combined care home and A&E is one such construction. The 5,000-squaremetre concrete building was built in 1979 in the Norwegian coastal city of Ålesund. After stripping the building down to its core and expanding the cold and inefficient care home by 2,000 square metres, Skylstad and his colleagues, in cooperation with Plot Arkitekter AS, rehabilitated the entire framework to fulfil the requirements of a sustainable and modern passive house. There is no doubt that the lifespan of this particular care home has been prolonged by decades as a result of this crucial work. “It’s very rewarding to work on these kinds of projects because it shows the massive difference you can make to an old struc-

Villa Solem/Kosberg in Ekne has a water-based underfloor heating system and looks as though it was built entirely out of wood.

ture when you set your mind to it,” Skylstad says.

the handling of space, meaning that the energy distribution has been thoroughly considered.

Scandinavian dream Another product of the architecture firm’s innovative attitude is a number of smallscale homes, one being Villa Solem/Kosberg, in Ekne. The structure looks as though it was built entirely out of wood and is undoubtedly modern in its shape and Scandinavian at heart. At 280 square metres, the two-year-old construction is most definitely efficient when it comes to

The spectacular house has a water-based underfloor heating system, which is warmed up by wood-based central heating in the basement. The structure was built by the renowned civil architect Kjell Kosberg, who took a year out from his regular work to complete this particular project together with Skylstad Arkitektur AS. The fact that the firm is a member of the Norwegian Green Building Council, in addition to being certified by Eco-Lighthouse, is evidence of their continuous efforts to uphold a sustainable, green and responsible business both now and in the future.

For more information, please visit:

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Combining flexible and beautiful solutions En til En Arkitekter, translating to One to One Architects, brings flexibility and beauty to the table. Having specialised in smaller projects such as private houses and cabins, they are now translating their expertise into bigger ventures. By Helene Toftner | Photos: En til En Arkitekter

The Bergen-based firm has stunning nature on its doorstep. The architects are also perfectly aware that beautiful surroundings bring extra challenges, fear of landslides and torrential rain to mention a few. Taking this into account, they have specialised in flexible solutions for each and every project and are now ready to take this expertise to the next level. “We analyse every project down to the tiniest detail, adapting our proposal to the

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demograph, usage, weather and specific needs. While our earlier projects have been of a smaller scale, we now see demand for this sort of approach in bigger projects as well,” says senior architect and co-founder Arvid Bjerkestrand excitedly. Bringing back unpredictability Thus the future appears bright for the firm, which wishes to bring back unpredictability. That might not be what one would expect to hear but, as Bjerkestrand

explains, developers have had a tendency to use the same architect firms coming up with the same predictable solutions for too long. The tide is now turning, allowing firms such as En til En Arkitekter to showcase their flexible yet beautiful solutions. “The end result is completely dependent on the client, but flexibility and beauty are consistent features,” Bjerkestrand says and continues: “The main factor, however, is deep analysis of the customer. We spend a lot of time building up an understanding of who will be using the building, for example if the housing project is for young families or elderly people. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution in life in general, and certainly not

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says, explaining how the firm solved it by creating a stunning triangular building that takes advantage of weather conditions and fosters a feeling of intimacy despite being really spacious. “It has gained lots of attention, and for good reason,” he says. Developing a landmark – Ulriken 643 It would be almost inappropriate to talk about En til En Arkitekter without mentioning Ulriken 643, the Bergen landmark located at the top of the city’s highest mountain. Mount Ulriken is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike with a cable car taking visitors all the way to the top, but it was missing that little something extra – like a restaurant with one of the best views imaginable.

Opposite page: Hønsehuset. Above left: Rieber Mohns Vei. Right: Gravdal. Above left and top right photos: Hundven Clements Photography.

when it comes to where you will live or spend a lot of your time.” Changing challenges Norwegian architecture often tends to be about creating private, closed-up spaces such as an individual’s land, garden or view. “This probably has something to do with our culture and surplus of land,” suggests Bjerkestrand. “But as we gather in the cities, the requirement for privacy is challenged. Norway is urbanising, but we need a push in the right direction. Therefore, we focus on humanism and collective considerations in our projects. If done right, architecture can bring people closer. Get to know your neighbour by creating natural meeting points, common houses and wide terraces instead of narrow passageways. A good home is about the right balance between open and closed, the shared and the private, the many and the few.”

tion for the cold.” An excellent example of this flexible envelope is Hønsehuset (The Hen House), a holiday home located in the Bergen archipelago. The client wanted a second home for all-year use, which could house dinner parties for 20 people while also being intimate on occasions with only two people. It needed to be warm during winter and stay cool on hot summer days. “It was like a Kinder egg where the building had lots of functions. In many ways it had all the challenges that characterise a big housing project,” Bjerkestrand

En til En Arkitekter was granted the task to develop a visitor’s area with a viewing platform and dining area, and in 2008 the astonishing result was unveiled. The complex consists of simple buildings and emerges as pure sculptural forms in a wild landscape. The architects kept the style in line with the surrounding nature, blending in perfectly with the colours of the mountain. Today, the cable car and viewing complex is one of Bergen’s main tourist attractions, and there is no doubt that the firm has set its mark on the city for a very long time to come.

For more information, please visit:


The hen house – big challenges for a small house “The Norwegian seasons can get quite extreme, and therefore also the envelope of the house needs to be flexible,” says Bjerkestrand. “Open up in the summer, get shelter from the rain or strong winds, find strength during snowfall and insula-

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Building dreams rooted in tradition As Norway’s first and leading producer of leisure homes, Rindalshytter has a 50-year long history of building dreams – and big dreams, at that. The blueprint behind the vast success? A devotion to creating spectacular homes in even more spectacular sceneries, combining the traditional Norwegian cabin dream with innovation and modernisation. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Inger Marie Grini

“We are, in a way, mainly selling what’s already there,” says general manager of Rindalshytter, Per Ivar Hyldbakk, speaking of the Norwegian nature that makes the backdrop of the company’s constructions. “The nature is very dramatic, and the homes need to fit into that scenery in a seamless manner. It’s also the most Norwegian of settings many of us can imagine – a cabin in glorious nature – so the materials and methods of building need to follow suit.”

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Tradition and innovation since 1964 Delivering a wide range of leisure homes, from traditional Norwegian timber houses to modern holiday homes, Rindalshytter operates with three basic principles: solidity, predictability and security. These principles have been paramount to the company since its inception in 1964, when the Gåsvand family realised their idea of a leisure home enterprise that would stand the test of time.

That Emil Gåsvand, the main founder, still actively contributes to the business is a rare advantage, according to Hyldbakk. “Despite the fact that the company is vastly larger today than in 1964, we have the privilege to observe and learn from an owner who has actively taken part of the whole journey. We’re talking more than 50 years; he is a true inspiration to the entire team, giving us a sense of continuity in what we do.” Local craftsmanship and respect for experience Beyond an inspiring founder, the company’s Nordmøre location is undoubtedly an immense benefit. This area boasts a long tradition of building timber houses, cabins and cottages, further fuelling

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“We are, in a way, mainly selling what’s already there,” says general manager of Rindalshytter, Per Ivar Hyldbakk, speaking of the Norwegian nature that is the backdrop of Rindalshytter’s constructions. Photo left: Rindalshytter

Rindalshytter’s devotion to historical craftsmanship and long-established expressions. Today, the company links old and new in its modern office and production facilities, with separate halls for notching and pre-cut production. A total of 25 staff make daily operations go smoothly, in addition to independent architects and designers who participate in ongoing developments. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for our staff and the independent professionals we work with,” explains Hyldbakk. “Industrial designer Ole Petter Wullum and architect Lisa Asmervik are names and professionals we are proud to be associated with. They bring valuable experience to the company, having worked on a wide spectrum of projects. Employees from the local communities bring

great value through their knowledge of the craft; I mean, we have some people with us who have worked with timber craft for 30 years. You can’t make up that kind of experience – and I think it makes us feel real.” A warm, humble and flexible approach While being Norway’s oldest producer of quality leisure homes undeniably makes for a good reputation, Hyldbakk explains that retaining client relationships requires much more than just decent word of mouth. Flexibility helps, he believes, as does a warm and humble approach. “We’re seeing more and more clients demanding a higher degree of completion: a type of key-in-hand solution. Although we provide cabin designs as part of ready-made collections, we always strive to meet every demand of the client, making

Photo: Rindalshytter

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Rindalshytter brings together long-established expressions and a modern feel, creating your dream leisure home, cabin or cottage. Photo left: Rindalshytter

sure that they end up with their dream leisure home. That requires of us to get to know our clients, their wishes and needs, as well as who they are. Only then can we build them the home of their dreams.” The main idea of Rindalshytter, Hyldbakk says, is to look back in time while keeping a firm eye on the future. While outhouses, boat houses, hay barns and farmhouses provide inspiration and tie the firm to the past, it is the modern, innovative and sleek looks that make up the majority of the

company’s current projects. “We make smashing homes that you dream of living in, but we make them with a lot of care and at a reasonable cost. We will always be fond of the Norwegian nature and cabin culture – thus we will always strive to humbly compliment them, joining together the very best of tradition and innovation,” concludes Hyldbakk.

For more information, please visit:

The collections of Rindalshytter - LYSTHUS is a modern collection of leisure homes with large windows and simple constructions. The houses are seamlessly integrated into their surroundings, comprising of open and light living areas that make you feel at one with nature. - LANGHUS is a series of cabins utilising the historical ‘langhus’ construction shape: a long, narrow shape found as early as the Bronze Age. These cabins can be adapted with various widths, lengths, heights and roof angles, on both the ground and first floor. - SMÅHUS is a system of opportunities: three rooms that can easily be adapted to the topography, vegetation and view of the surroundings. - RETRO is a brand new collection of cabins that draws inspiration from classic, popular cabin constructions. These cabins come in four sizes (30, 50, 70 and 90 square metres), but can be adapted to your individual needs. - TRADISJON is a series of classic models that easily merge with Norwegian landscapes: from historical log and timber houses to clean and simple wooden holiday homes.

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Scenario was established 30 years ago and now works on projects ranging from museums and hotels to private cabins, including the above (clockwise from bottom left) Scandic Tromsø, cabin i Lillehammer and Wärtsilä headquarters.

Creating scenes for their customers to shine No job is too big or too small for interior architecture company Scenario Interiørarkitekter MNIL. Be it the new Munch museum or private cabins, the interior designers transform the customer’s dream into an aesthetically pleasing and functional reality. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Scenario Interiørarkitekter MNIL

As one of Norway’s oldest and largest interior architecture firms, Scenario has lent its hands to many big projects, including Oslo’s new public library, Deichmanske Bibliotek; the Norwegian headquarters for Wärtsilä; and the Scandic Hotel chain. At the core of every project is the creation of different scenes for each and every customer. “Our client is our inspiration, and our task is to create a scene for them to work on and with. It is not only about visual beauty, but also about functionality,” says managing director Linda Steen. Not to follow the trends Steen established the company more than 30 years ago, and much of its success is thanks to her emphasis on finding the right solution for the specific task instead

of following trends. “Far too many follow the latest interior trends rather than thinking about what actually suits and what will last,” she says. This has earned her the role as presenter on the national TV channel TV3’s new interior design series, Superoppusserne (The Super Renovators), due to air in February next year. “It is not just about revamping a house, but about improving people’s quality of life by improving their home,” she says.

main concept will be to create different atmospheres for the different functional areas: the exhibition itself, the different common areas and the restaurant on the top floor overlooking the Oslo skyline,” says Steen.

For more information, please visit:

The new Munch museum While Scenario has plenty of big clients on its books, few, if any, beat the new Munch museum in terms of interest and controversy. When the decision to build a new museum was finally taken, Scenario won the prestigious bid to create the concept for the building due to open in 2018. “The

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Putting people at the centre of architecture As one of Norway’s most renowned architecture companies, DARK Architects has lent its hands to some of the most spectacular buildings in the country. The firm is now on the path to taking over the world, most recently with a nomination at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore for the project In The Loop, a city development project in Asker.

Democratic architecture for buzzing atmospheres

By Helene Toftner

With a multidisciplinary environment of landscape architects, urban planners and interior designers, DARK Architects is able to make the most of each project and has established itself as one of Norway’s most renowned and largest architecture companies since its inception in 1988. The team can look back at some of the most

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eral welfare. I dare argue that architecture is an integrated part of this, as cities and buildings can encourage these exact values,” CEO Øivind Breen says.

interesting projects in Norway in recent times but is now looking beyond the country’s borders. “Norwegian and Scandinavian architects have a lot to offer. The Scandinavian model is celebrated around the world for its high quality of life, democratic values and gen-

At the heart of the company’s philosophy lies what Breen calls democratic architecture, namely creating spaces that invite people to spend time together in and around the buildings, which is crucial not least when working with city development. “A city comes to life through people, so they need to be the centre of attention whichever project we work on,” Breen emphasises.

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Above left and bottom right: Aker ASA's headquarters. Photo: Hufton+Crow. Above right: Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and Ullern College. Photo: Hufton+Crow.

One great example of putting this to practice is their work on Aker ASA’s headquarters in Oslo. Some of the inspiration derives from the company’s offshore industry, making the building a spectacular sight, but the main feature is its inclusive atmosphere. “Most office buildings do their utmost to keep people out. We did the exact opposite by creating public spaces for restaurants, gyms and bars, even the space for an underground station for future development,” Breen explains.

ishing existing green spaces, encouraging a buzzing atmosphere around the buildings alongside energy-saving solutions.

As Europe’s fastest growing city, Oslo is an excellent example of how this is brought to life. One of DARK Architects’ most eminent

Green lungs in an increasingly urban world Sustainability must be the buzzword of our time, and with good reason. For DARK Architects it means relieving the pressure on rapidly growing cities without dimin-

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Above: DNB House, part of The Barcode. Photo: Olaf Kon. Below: In the loop. Illustration: DARK and ADEPT.

projects, The Barcode, sees a row of office buildings facing the waterfront as if it had its own miniature Manhattan skyline. However, while Manhattan’s buildings largely keep people out, one of the focuses when building The Barcode has been to allow people access to the waterfront between the buildings, creating attractive areas between, as well as through, buildings, making a unique city floor. “Our focus is not just on homes, but on neighbourhoods,” says Breen. “The quality we bring to the cityscapes is just as important to our way of thinking as the life inside the buildings.” WAF nominee In The Loop This year, DARK Architects is in the running for a WAF award with the city development project In The Loop. As the name suggests, the unique proposal aims to tie the old part of Asker with its squares, train station and restaurants to the new part, mainly consisting of sports activity offerings. “We designed a loop through

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the centre linking all the main aspects together, including parks, shops, transport links and leisure areas. This way, we avoided the typical divide between old and new,” Breen notes. Another project that may well bring about similar nominations is the work on Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and Ullern College. This project sees two, even three, worlds joining forces in a unique collaboration: research, education and an incubator for start-ups. The idea is that everyone wins; for example, the students at the college can take part in real-time cancer research with access to labs and know-

ledgeable researchers. “It is a fantastic concept, the first of its kind, giving students access to proper research which in turn hopefully will encourage them to follow in similar footsteps,” Breen says, adding: “Our task was to find an architectural solution that would physically bring the different worlds together. Looking at it now, it has been hugely successful, and people are coming from all over the world for inspiration.”

For more information, please visit:

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Top: The garage and the house are connected by a ramp rather than stairs for ease of access. Right: Take a stroll on the roof of Villa Sand Ibenholt.

A dream home for any age Architect and owner of Vindveggen Arkitekter in Norway, Martin Glomnes, describes designing private houses as a chance to fulfil dreams. While working on Villa Sand Ibenholt in Rælingen, just east of Oslo, a family dream really did come true. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Vindveggen Arkitekter

“Located on a natural plot, Villa Sand Ibenholt has been built into a knoll. You can walk from the top of the hillock onto a large roof terrace, and because the house is built with an atrium you can walk around on the roof of the entire house and back,” Glomnes explains. Glomnes points out that Rælingen is not particularly well known for having great sunlight conditions, and the large rooftop along with the atrium is a measure to maximise the access of sun and natural light. “The atrium is private so all the rooms, even the bathroom, have large windows facing it, as well as several doors going into it,” he says. Building into a knoll, concrete and steel were the materials of choice to avoid any damp issues. “It might leave a slightly

larger carbon footprint than wood, but due to the nature of the surroundings a steel and concrete structure was deemed most sustainable on this occasion,” Glomnes says. The architects at Vindveggen always keep the environment and sustainability in mind when they select materials. The firm is currently working on a new database – a project that has received the Norwegian Research Council’s stamp of approval – to make this process more efficient. More than just a house Glomnes says that while it was not on the cards when the Villa Sand Ibenholt project started, the clients were hoping that one of their daughters would one day take over their old house, which remained on the same plot where their new home was built.

Because the clients are mature, the new house was built with all the essentials on one floor, and the house and carport were connected by a concrete ramp. “It is a house they can grow old in,” Glomnes says. As luck would have it, the Sand Ibenholt couple’s dream of growing old surrounded by family came true. While the new house was being planned, one of their daughters fell pregnant and did indeed move into her parents old home on the other side of the hillock. “Today the grandchildren roam freely between the houses and can just run up the small hill and onto the roof of their grandparents’ house. Villa Sand Ibenholt isn’t just a house – it has evolved into a family estate,” Glomnes concludes.

For more information, please visit:

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Behind Oslo’s great change As the landscape architecture firm Gullik Gulliksen AS continues to play a key role in the revamping of Oslo, it deserves credit for contributing to making the city one of the most interesting redevelopment projects in Europe in recent times. Now the firm is ready to take on the world with its groundbreaking and green solutions. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Gullik Gulliksen AS

Gullik Gulliksen Landscape Architects is one of the leading landscape architecture companies in Norway and has lent its hand to numerous big projects since its establishment in 1984, including the development of Tjuvholmen on the seafront in Oslo and the headquarters of Norwegian giant Norske Skog. “Our competence lies in all parts of landscape architecture and aesthetics, and nothing is left to chance. We have a purpose and intention behind every line, every shape and every

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choice of vegetation and materials,” says CEO Heidi Borgersen. Aesthetics and environmental concerns Thus it is hardly surprising that behind the aesthetically beautiful solutions there is also great emphasis on the environment. “Whether we work on the ground, with rooftops or by the waterfront, the environmental concern is always at the heart of it,” Borgersen says and elaborates: “It is important from a protection point of

view, but also for the wellbeing of a space. We wish to create areas people want to spend time in, and to achieve that it is important to use high-quality materials and carefully develop designs that are site specific. As such, environmental concerns and aesthetics go hand in hand.” Countless wins Gullik Gulliksen Landscape Architects has long been known as one of the leaders in its field within Norway, but it also ventures onto the international scene through various competitions. “It provides many exciting opportunities where our creativity is allowed to take centre stage along with high-quality solutions, giving us great experience of challenging, big projects,” Borgersen says.

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Changing Oslo’s waterfront – Tjuvholmen Anyone revisiting Oslo after not being there for at least seven years is up for a surprise. The city’s waterfront has been completely revamped and finally opened up to the public. One of the most interesting projects is Tjuvholmen (the Thief Islet), a former ship yard turned into the flashiest area of town with office buildings, apartments, a top-notch hotel, restaurants, galleries such as the Astrup Fearnley Museum, and even a beach and a viewing tower. “The landscape has played a crucial role in the success of Tjuvholmen as it has become a meeting place for Osloites from all over the city as well as tourists,” says Borgersen. “Since the start of the project, named Icon Complex, we aimed to make the landscape the connector, binding together all the different buildings and users through public areas such as parks, squares, alleys and

Photo: Sigurd Fandango

The firm has won numerous prizes over the years, most recently in September this year for the housing project D36 in collaboration with Element Architects AS. The Architecture Prize, awarded for the first time this year, is highly regarded in the industry as the nomination and voting is done by fellow architects. “It is a special honour to receive this recognition,” Borgersen admits. D36 is indeed worth a closer look as the housing project in Oslo is home to an interesting mix of 21 flats, three bird nesting boxes and, of all things, a shoe shop. The artistic façade consists of eight layers of glass with ceramic prints, while the roof top is a green oasis divided into one communal and several private areas.

Main image and above: As part of the recent redevelopment of Oslo’s waterfront, Tjuvholmen, an old ship yard, has been turned into a flashy combination of offices, flats, restaurants and more. Photos: Nic Lehoux. Below: The suggestion for the new Government Quarter.

canals,” she explains. The different spaces of the Icon Complex are defined by small individualistic interceptions, and the project was performed in cooperation with the architect behind the Astrup Fearnley Museum Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Rebuilding the Government Quarter Gullik Gulliksen Landscape Architects was, alongside Danish super firm BIG, Hjellnes Consult and Atelier Ten, chosen amongst six teams to present a plan for the new Government Quarter in Oslo, the area devastated by the horrific bombing on 22 July 2011. “The rebuilding of this is an important step forward for Norway, both physically and mentally, but it also carries huge symbolic significance,” says Borgersen.

In line with Norway’s response to the atrocities, with focus on more openness and stubbornly persistent democracy, Gullik Gulliksen Landscape Architects suggested making the area into a whole new city space full of parks, recreational areas and other public spaces, with a surrounding ‘mountain chain’ of office spaces where all employees can see each other in what is described as ‘democratic high buildings’. “The buildings are brought back to the people,” explains Borgersen. The project is ongoing, and a decision about the final execution has yet to be made.

For more information, please visit:

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Left: Bør Hill: the back view of the residential area and park. Top middle: Bør Hill: the view from the road of the supermarket. Top right: Havstein cemetery: the tranquility of the Havstein cemetery. Bottom: Sparebank 1: the recreated passageway cutting through the building.

Where buildings and landscapes merge The seeking of harmony and the pursuit of the distinctive symbiotic qualities that occur when landscapes and buildings merge, lie at the heart of Agraff Arkitekter’s award-winning work.

supermarket faces the street for easy access, the houses face the open green space with views of one of Trondheim’s green landmarks, Havstein.

By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Agraff Arkitekter AS

Founded in 2000 in Trondheim, Agraff is unique in its team of architects and landscape architects. The breaking down of traditional disciplinary boundaries and facilitation of dialogue are at the heart of their inspiration and success. “We hope to create new and improved solutions: technically, financially and functionally,” clarifies one of the architects, Johannes Smidt. Agraff has a keen eye for the distinctive qualities that arise when landscapes and buildings draw on each other. The architects work hard to ensure that a project is anchored in the local community, while paying particular attention to how people use the buildings and landscapes that they create. Recent examples of their work represent this mindset. “For the Sparebank 1 MidtNorge project, the new Trondheim head-

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quarters of the bank, it was imperative that the new building fit into the existing cityscape,” Smidt explains. To do so, Agraff constructed an opening through the building to recreate an old passageway. The passage creates a link and meeting place between Trondheim’s main pedestrian street and the square in front of the library, Folkebiblioteket. The firm ensured that the interior of the building reflected the exterior through open access art exhibitions and a preserved church ruin. The interplay of architecture and landscape is further expressed in the housing project Bør Hill. Agraff has designed it so that the roof of a new supermarket is a rolling green landscape that is enclosed by a new neighbourhood. While the

Finally, Agraff’s project, Havstein kirkegård, a new park and cemetery, shows how the landscape and vegetation can create spatial experiences. Given the importance of such a place, Agraff created an area for quiet reflection with spaces for ceremonies, everyday visits, hikes and for solitude. Smidt explains: “The vegetation, the way the walls are shaped, the patterns of the gates and memorials and the shape of the landscape all evoke associations with the previous cultural landscape.” No wonder Agraff recently won Trondheim city’s Architecture Award and was nominated for Project of the Year by the National Association of Norwegian Architects in 2015 alone. For more information, please visit:

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Left and top middle: Svein Lund’s summer house ‘Knapphullet’. Photo: Kim Muller. Middle: Summer house on stilts in Larvik. Photo: Alexander Westberg. Right: Tjuvholmen Kavringen brygge, Oslo. Photo: Lund Hagem.

Creating a Norwegian coastal footprint Since 1990, Lund Hagem Architects has gained recognition for its modern, sitespecific architecture projects. After designing the Norwegian royal couple’s summer cabin, Lund Hagem’s summer houses and seaside homes have set their distinct impression on the coast of Norway. By Maria Lanza Knudsen

Interestingly, the creativity behind Lund Hagem’s projects is linked to what they consider limitations. “We view these limitations as parameters for our projects, such as the client’s demands, building guidelines, the use of green technology and, most importantly, nature’s own distinctive elements that give places everywhere their special character,” explains Kristine Strøm-Gundersen, architect and partner at Lund Hagem. “Our main aim is to identify and emphasise these discoveries and the architectural inspiration is a result of these limitations.” The design of an annex building to founding partner Svein Lund’s summer house exemplifies this approach. The project aimed to use a naturally sheltered area surrounded by boulders and dense vege-

tation. The slanting roof of the house allows its inhabitants to climb it and enjoy the panoramic ocean views, while a concrete bench, extending from the exterior to the interior of the house, completes a sheltered atrium formed by the house and the adjacent cliffs. Up the coast, by Larvik, sits another Lund Hagem summer house perched on the edge of the water. The rough topography of the island site did not naturally lend itself to building, so Lund Hagem created a site on stilts that latches onto the island, creating two levels for the house. The materiality of the exterior, steel columns, wood and glass, blends into the interior to ensure that the house fits harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.

Explaining and enhancing a place Along Oslo’s waterfront lies the Tjuvholmen commercial and residential development where Lund Hagem’s Kavringen brygge lies at the edge towards the fjord. With its varying slanted brick shutters and glass balconies, the apartments face away from the city while optimising their orientation towards the sun and beautiful views of the sea. The overall result is a building displaying variations in transparency and light reflection depending on the angle, weather and time of year. “The one consistency between our projects is in what they strive for: to associate themselves with the place they possess,” says Strøm-Gundersen. “They wish to explain and enhance the experience of being where you are.” It is for this very reason that Lund Hagem’s creations form part of the modern architectural history of the Norwegian waterfront. For more information, please visit:

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Above: Østbanehallen, the former Oslo Central Station. Below: Choice Hotel Foketeatret

Transforming places back to past glories Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør AS offers a fully serviced project from architectural ideas to finished results, with a particular talent for transformational solutions. Whether they are breathing life into old train stations or finding new usage for a former opera house, the firm will always find the optimal solution.

hallen opened to great reviews as an oasis for foodie travellers and locals alike. “We wanted to bring back the grandness of the building, fitted with a modern use,” Aasgaard says.

By Helene Toftner | Photos: Mellbye Arkitektur Interiør AS

The Oslo-based architecture and interior design firm has long been the preferred choice of many when it comes to commercial buildings, hotels and institutions. Its biggest strength lies in the ability to transform even the dullest of projects into something impressive, and this has resulted in high-profile projects such as the revamp of the abandoned Ekeberg Restaurant into the hip and much soughtafter restaurant it is today. And let us not forget Folketeateret, the once respected opera house, which the firm transformed into one of Oslo’s highestrated hotels on TripAdvisor, Choice Hotel Folketeateret. “While we work on a variety of projects and buildings,

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the recurrent factor is transformation. A building can be used in so many exciting ways, and our task is to find the best way,” says partner Camilla Aasgaard. Back to Østbanehallen’s grand past An excellent example of this is the firm’s work on Østbanehallen, the former Oslo Central Station. The once grand train station had decayed tremendously, but in 2014 the new and refurbished Østbane-

The firm drew inspiration from the building’s former use, focusing on the traveller who is looking ahead towards new adventures, by using plenty of light and glass as well as designing the restaurants so that the visitor moves around the room the way a train does on a curved railway. An important aspect of the project was to make Østbanehallen into a destination in its own right, not just a place you pass through. “It was a tremendously interesting project to work on, and I think we succeeded in keeping the atmosphere of a grand old train station intact while giving it a new function,” Aasgaard says. Judging by the recent nomination for the Architecture Prize 2015, she is right indeed.

For more information, please visit:

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Left: Split View Mountain Lodge, direct commission 2011. Completed 2013. Top middle: V-Lodge, direct commission 2011. Completed 2013. Photos: Søren Harder-Nielsen. Middle and right: Community Church Knarvik, competition 2010. Completed 2014. Photos: Hundven-Clements Photography.

A breath of innovative, eclectic and fresh air Committed to contextualising modernity, shaping identity and standing out in an increasingly crowded industry, Reiulf Ramstad Architects (RRA) have made a celebrated name for themselves in Norway and around the globe. With a number of groundbreaking projects to their name, as well as constructions radiating a characteristically Scandinavian style, RRA continues to raise the bar for innovative design and architecture. By Julie Lindén

“We want to be noted as a breath of fresh air,” replies founder and design director Reiulf Ramstad when asked about what distinguishes his multi-award winning firm from others. “Our portfolio spans a wide display of projects, from smaller cabin constructions in the Norwegian countryside to larger, public constructions, such as the recently completed Cultural Centre in Stjørdal. I don’t think we can be sealed off in one category, and that’s how we like to be perceived – with diversity and breadth in mind.” Despite the vast breadth, RRA’s projects display clear common denominators. Contextualisation of each building is, according to Ramstad, one of the most important ones. “We design from the outside

in and back out again. The structure needs to work with its environment whether you’re standing inside it or perceiving its expression from the outside. Thus we always take conditions like light, topography, colours and the changing of the seasons into account at each stage of planning. Design cannot stand alone – context is vital.” In line with this idea, the use of authentic, high-quality and environmentally friendly materials is prevailing in the firm’s developments. These materials also promote RRA’s dedication to merging functionality with aesthetics. “Each building needs to be pragmatically functional – certainly considering the hybridisation of today’s lifestyles – but also preserve its

cultural expression, what is perceived only with the senses.” Having won prizes such as the prestigious Architizer A+ Firm of the Year Award (2015) along with a list of additional accolades (such as Norway’s esteemed A. C. Houens Fonds Diploma), one would excuse the firm’s founder for an air of complacency – but Ramstad is distinctly humble when accounting for his company’s success. “Awards are flattering, inspiring and a perfect occasion to receive feedback from industry colleagues and end users. They also create a worldwide platform for our work, making our projects visible in an international context. However, it’s within the creation – the integration of intriguing constructs into distinctive surroundings – that our passion and mission lies. Good architecture can change lives, help shape the identity of a location, and introduce valuable new solutions. Bringing together people and interesting architectural solutions – that’s what we do.” For more information, please visit:

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Kvitlen. Photo: Pål Christensen

Wide-ranging experience through 25 years Boasting a creative staff of 19, a long history of projects in the public and private sectors as well as a constantly developing portfolio of knowledge and education, Arkitektkontoret Vest possesses a steady foundation for completing any development to perfection. How to get there? “It’s that combination of professional breadth, a mix of talented people and knowledge of the local area that will take you somewhere in this business,” says general manager Åshild Slettebø. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Arkitektkontoret Vest

The Rogaland-based firm, with offices in Sandnes and Bryne, boasts no less than 25 years in the business. During these years they have – together with developers, consultants, engineers and industrial contractors – designed and built public and private constructions with wide-ranging purposes. From elementary schools, kindergartens and health institutions to commercial buildings and apartments, private villas and country homes, Arkitektkontoret Vest has risen

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things like size of the company: we’re not too big, neither are we small. We have two rather closely situated offices, and our staff is of a number that allows for both individual and group thinking. We also stress the importance of mixing ages, backgrounds and types of experience to create an eclectic and diverse team.”

to somewhat of an obvious prominence in regional architecture.

Creating what the client did not know they wanted

“Our breadth of professional knowledge and competence has helped us move forward for a quarter of a decade, which isn’t always such a simple feat in this industry. Still, I believe we strike a much-needed balance where both concrete and immaterial qualities are concerned, something that makes us strong compared to others.” She pauses. “I’m talking about

That the firm takes due care to include and inspire all employees is evident, and it’s a way of thinking that is reflected in client relationships. “It’s of huge importance to us that each client knows exactly what we can create for them. They need to feel ‘met’ in their wishes and concerns, and they need to know that we will fulfil our mission faultlessly and with care for their framework conditions. A bonus is

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creating something the client didn’t know they wanted – that’s when you know you’ve done well as an architect,” she explains. She underlines that Arkitektkontoret Vest is meticulous in making sure that all parties are content with a project before going through with the development. “Absolutely. Integrity is very important to us, and nothing could ever compromise that. Clients, architects, contractors, engineers – we all need to leave the project knowing that we have done our best and haven’t conceded our truthfulness as professionals.” Quality, durability and constant development Great architecture is, however, about more than client relationships. It should suit its location, its purpose and its users – as well as meeting new challenges. “Quality and durability are keywords,” says Slettebø. “Fine architecture needs to stand the test of time, and it needs to embody a strong sense of robustness, showing that it can last forever.” She explains that surroundings also come into play – especially in terms of environmental sustainability. “One needs to, now more than ever, take the surroundings of a develop-

ment site into consideration and map out its qualities. Those qualities need to be cared for, so that they aren’t perished in the modernity that novel architecture often brings.”

ronment to meet client requirements for future solutions. More so than ever, gathering experts at an early stage of planning and coming together on joint solutions is absolutely crucial.”

While trends in the industry do not pass the firm by, Slettebø explains that there is a common consciousness amongst employees to not let tendencies and fads get the upper hand. Instead, usability and classic lines are prioritised to reinforce a sense of high quality. “At the same time, it’s paramount for us to develop as creatives and as a firm so that we remain open to new expressions and new lessons on what good architecture really is,” she adds.

She remains excited and hopeful in the face of current and future projects. Recently, the firm has received positive feedback for its involvement in two mountain lodges (Kvitlen and Jonstøl) owned by Stavanger’s division of DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association. As 2015 has been named the year of outdoor pursuits, Slettebø is excited about the prospect of making the Norwegian cabin experience available to an increasing number of people. “It’s a great development to be part of. The Norwegian tradition of tourism lodges is one we want to make accessible to everyone,” she says. And the future? It looks bright as ever. “We have some large, interesting projects coming up. As a firm we’re constantly optimistic – and remain so until proved otherwise.”

Learning as a priority – and looking to the future As far as lessons go, working along an environmentally friendly line is something Arkitektkontoret Vest made a priority long ago. Yet, Slettebø confirms, acquiring more knowledge on the topic is of great value. “We want to learn even more about how to be environmentally friendly and efficient, and that’s why we constantly develop our expertise in energy and envi-

For more information, please visit:

Creating everything from elementary schools, kindergartens and health institutions to commercial buildings and apartments, private villas and country homes, Arkitektkontoret Vest has risen to somewhat of an obvious prominence in regional architecture.

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Photo: Fredrik Myhre

Photo: Fredrik Myhre

The student homes at Toneheim Folkehøgskole are made of wooden panels, simple concrete and glasswork, and are extremely energy efficient.

When nature sets the tone The most essential component in Nordic architecture is its unique natural surroundings, according to Ola Spangen. He is the head of the Norwegian architecture firm ASAS Arkitektur, a business focusing on honest materials, clear structures and a green mindset as well as a sincere wish to excite.

considered for a structure to even stand up straight, not to mention the measures taken for it to endure the long, cold winters. It requires great skill and excellent materials, and ASAS Arkitektur has access to both.

By Stine Wannebo | Photos: ASAS Arkitektur

The view After 35 years in the field, ASAS Arkitektur has three offices scattered across Norway and over 800 past projects to draw experience from. There is no doubt about the expertise and capability that rests within the team of 12 architects who work at the firm. As CEO, Ola Spangen appreciates that every single one of his employees contributes something different to the team.

Together they handle every project from beginning to end, from the first drawings and explanatory diagrams through to a finished inhabitable structure. “A building should not just complement its surroundings; it should respect it,” Spangen says. In the Nordic climate there is a wide range of elements that need to be carefully The anticipated Foten Café will be facing the sea and is inspired by the tall trees of the environment surrounding the site.

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One of the firm’s most anticipated creations is due to be finished next summer and will be situated at the edge of a beautiful beach just outside the city of Fredrikstad. The structure will be facing the sea, with deep, green woods as a backdrop. The building itself is a café with plenty of room for joyous holiday makers to relax with a refreshing drink, both inside and outside, and

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it will be called Foten Café, because the area is known as Foten or ‘the foot’. The project is the result of a limited competition that ASAS Arkitektur won earlier this year. “We have thought a great deal about the view from the site and how to best incorporate the fantastic surroundings into the café,” Spangen says. When visiting Foten, the architects found inspiration in the tall trees nearby. Walking through the woods towards the beach, the trees become scarce and the view opens up more and more towards the clear blue ocean. “The columns of the café will hopefully reflect this transition from thick woodland to the unobstructed sea,” Spangen explains. In addition, the structure will be positioned with the utmost attention to the terrain in order not to interrupt the view from afar. With the drawings soon to be completed, it is only a matter of time before the wooden walls, the columns and the wide open terrace are all set for real-life visitors. Small but tough The architects at the firm are in no way limited to one particular type of work. From public to private, from grand to compact, they have all tried their hands at a wide range of projects. Fresh eyes, according to Spangen, make one of the best tools when creating something new, and pre-schools are no exception. “We’re great at kindergartens,” he smiles. ASAS Arkitektur has received several award nominations and honourable mentions for their design of this particular type of public buildings. Last month, during Oslo Open House, a festival showcasing outstanding architecture in and around the capital, the long-established firm was represented with its latest kindergarten project. Over the last few years a total of five separate kindergartens have received public attention for their successful designs.

The kindergarten at Solbærtorget is small but tough and lies particularly close to CEO Spangen's heart.

gen says. Again, ASAS Arkitektur has collectively taken a thorough look at the surroundings to find the shape and style best suited for this particular structure. The answer was sharp, simple and fitting: copying the straight lines and the functionalist outlook of the tall buildings nearby. Beautifully green Toneheim Folkehøgskole in Ridabu, near Hamar, exists as a staggering monument to the simple beauty that only honest materials can create. The wooden panels, the simple concrete and the glasswork are all materials clearly visible for what they are – nothing more, nothing less. These homes are also extremely energy efficient, as ASAS Arkitektur used passive-

house technology to ensure that the energy required for heating and cooling is kept to a bare minimum. The architecture is simple, straight and all-comprising, housing 130 music students from the nearby college of music. 13 of the planned buildings and the surrounding green areas were finished last year, creating a perfect example of modern Nordic architecture that will undoubtedly excite and inspire young people for many years to come.

For more information, please visit:

Spangen is immensely proud of all these projects, but one lies a little closer to his heart than the others. At Solbærtorget in Oslo, huddled between several tall functionalist apartment blocks, there is a kindergarten. “It’s small but tough,” Span-

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Office building Lysaker, Oslo, competition draft.

Bringing quality to where your time is spent With a goal to create environments of identity and appeal in your home and workplace, architecture firm Arcasa boasts a true commitment to preserving and heightening essential values of your everyday life. From your household to your office, the visionaries of this firm want you to enjoy life no matter where it takes place – and they have a proven track record of fulfilling their mission. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Arcasa and Blår

“Most of us spend the majority of our time at home and at work, so these are the places we at Arcasa have chosen to focus our efforts on,” says graduate architect and general manager Per Erik Martinussen. “It’s imperative to introduce quality to these spaces, not to mention character and a sense of identity. This in itself will make the time spent there more valuable. To us, bringing meaning to these spaces is what makes our jobs worthwhile.”

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Brilliance from communication to execution Focusing on office and business projects, zoning plans as well as private homes and interior design, one may safely call the firm’s portfolio both wide spanning and impressive. As a near 30-year-old establishment that today runs two subsidiaries, DI AS and Blår AS, Arcasa has built an unquestionable reputation of being as qualitative in their project execution as they are impeccable in their communication with

both staff and clientele. Counting around 50 members of staff altogether, all of whom bring an individual level of experience and range of ideas to the table, the firm shows a dedicated desire to bring about the best of solutions, fuelling their high degree of project completion. “It’s highly important to us to maintain a seamless contact with all our staff, as well as the professionals who help us create and finish each development. Professional real estate companies invest large sums of money and time in our ideas, which makes us reach further and higher. A steady dialogue with the clientele is something we always strive to achieve, mainly because we find it necessary for them to take part in the planning process from the get-go. Bringing stakeholders

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Ascending curves and excitement for times ahead

Residential project Kværnerbyen, Oslo.

into our world of ideas from the start allows us to ensure a mutual understanding of the framework conditions – but also brainstorm our way to new, exciting possibilities,” explains Martinussen. Developing cutting-edge expertise In order to fulfil its ambitious goals, the firm established the subsidiary Blår AS, offering the client a tool of innovative 3D technology that shows a virtual reality of the end result. This is, as Martinussen explains, an immensely useful tool in communicating the development process both externally and internally. “We use it ourselves to reimagine solutions and rethink layouts, but these images take on a grander meaning when we can present them to our developers and clients to clearly display what kind of result we aim to achieve. Animations and interactive models cement that understanding between all the parties involved, eliminating uncertainties that could hinder vital steps in the process.” A smooth development process is, evidently, of immense importance to the firm, which shows in its pinpointed development of several areas of expertise. Subsidiary DI, Design og Interiør (Design and Interiors), is responsible for all interior projects within the Arcasa portfolio and was born from a desire to extend an architectural compre-

hension of space to include the interiors of the firm’s developments. The result? Designs that understand your needs and visions, ensuring timeless qualities that go hand in hand with the remaining construction. “Similarly to our architecture projects, interiors should inspire identity and wellbeing – you should want to be there, work there and exist within the framework of your physical surroundings,” explains Martinussen. He says that the firm emphasises the view of exteriors and interiors as one, challenging the firm to create functional and at the same time aesthetically integrated looks. “We keep a focus on quality, whether we’re addressing lifespan, looks or pragmatic function of the space.”

Regardless of the project, Arcasa’s architects are wholeheartedly dedicated to perfecting their skills and abilities. Thus, the firm’s specialised teams are constantly working with projects highlighting and making use of their expertise, ensuring a steady, ascending curve of immaculately completed developments. Martinussen underlines that the participation in competitions, principally those where the firm has been specially invited to partake, holds great meaning for future projects. “Absolutely. We need to be visible on that type of platform and communicate our ideas to create further interest from the public. Many of our assignments come our way through competitions, and they help us tremendously in developing our concepts – and where we’re headed as a firm in the future.” As far as the foreseeable future is concerned, there are plenty of reasons for Arcasa to be excited. Having contributed as architects to the project Karenslyst Allé 49-53, which won the esteemed Cityprisen 2015 earlier this year, things are looking bright. “We’re nothing but enthusiastic about bringing quality to even more projects where the majority of our time as people is spent,” concludes Martinussen. For more information, please visit:

Shopping centre interiors, competition draft. Photo: Arcasa, DI and Blår.

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Kristiansen & Bernhardt Architects have created a fun and informal environment at the Comfort Hotel RunWay.

A calming, colourful runway oasis Just a stone’s throw away from Norway’s busiest airport, you will find the calming retreat of Comfort Hotel RunWay. Whether you are in need of a convenient and modern conference centre or a place to recharge your batteries before you fly off again, the Kristiansen & Bernhardt Architects AS creation is a playful and inviting oasis.

way. This way you can enjoy the exciting view of planes taking off and landing whether you are sweating on the treadmill or relaxing in the sauna,” says Ellila.

By Celine Normann | Photos: Kristiansen & Bernhardt Architects AS

Broad experience in Nordic design

“Our design is modern yet timeless, calming yet convenient – exactly how we envision a top facilitated airport hotel environment,” says Renate Ellila, managing director at Kristiansen & Bernhardt Architects AS.

of the world’s flags into the design,” says Borgvin-Burgess. Not only is the colourful design visible through the playful façade; it stretches throughout the interior inside. “The colours bring with them a relaxing, inspiring and informal atmosphere, both in the general facilities and in the rooms.”

Unified experience Designing an airport hotel is a privileged task, and the company embraced the challenge with excitement. “We wanted to create a hotel that is urban, eye-catching and different,” says architect Roland Borgvin-Burgess, one of five masterminds from Kristiansen & Bernhardt who worked on the project. “To bring out the hotel’s true colours, quite literally, we found inspiration in the international environment surrounding an airport. From this we created a unified and welcoming atmosphere by incorporating the colours

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Treadmill flight spotting Airports are not necessarily synonymous with cosy and relaxing, but Kristiansen & Bernhardt have found a way to syndicate the two. “The spacious lobby is an imitation of a runway while the rooms are designed to give you a feeling of looking out from inside a plane,” says BorgvinBurgess. And as if these features were not enough, the designers thought of a clever time killer should you feel like a workout. “The gym is located on the hotel’s top floor and has full view of the run-

Comfort Hotel RunWay is a project highly representative of the company’s skills and knowledge, yet Kristiansen & Bernhardt Architects have even more to offer. “We pride ourselves on being a sustainable architecture firm that offers innovative solutions and creative design,” says Ellila. “Our employees have broad knowledge across many sectors, and no project is too small or too big.”

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Norway

Top left: Single-family house at Talgje in south-western Norway, one of RATIO’s passive houses in massive wood. Left: Tangenten community centre in Nesodden houses both teenagers and local politicians on a daily basis. Photo: Jiri Harvan. Right: In the central room of the life sciences centre, students and academics meet in an informal way.

A sustainable place to meet The Oslo-based architecture firm RATIO already has several large commercial and governmental buildings to its name and is currently working on Norway’s largest and most environmentally ambitious university building. But even for private homes, RATIO has been a Norwegian pioneer for sustainability. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: RATIO Arkitekter

Firm partner and general manager Sverre Svendsen explains that the measures the firm takes to build energy-efficient, passive houses with an aim of balancing out the energy usage are similar regardless of the size of the build. “Efficient use of space and a generality to the design are important, in large buildings such as the university’s life sciences centre as well as in medium-sized projects like the community centre in Nesodden and smaller projects. We were the first in Oslo to build a privately owned passive house in 2009,” says Svendsen, adding that while they want to be space efficient they also want to create social meeting places. Svendsen, who headed up the project, describes Tangenten, the community centre in Nesodden, as a particularly interesting challenge since it was set to house the

town hall, a secondary school and a library, each with different passive-house criteria to fulfill. “Nesodden is a community without a specific meeting point, but since its completion, Tangenten and its library have become a place where teenagers, local politicians and locals in general gather,” says Svendsen. While many architecture firms have a distinct style, RATIO instead enters into close dialogue with the users of the building about their specific needs. “It was the users’ decision that the life sciences centre should meet the criteria of the highest BREEAM certification, excellence,” says Marta Eggertsen, architect and BREEAM assessor at RATIO. “We try to include as many passive measures as possible in our designs to avoid

leaving the users with a high-tech building they can’t use efficiently. We also have to put a lot of thought into materials and what chemicals they are made of,” Eggertsen explains. “Another important aspect is to make the rooms versatile so they can address future users’ needs, converting laboratories into offices or the other way around, for instance, as they see fit.” Both Svendsen and Eggertsen highlight the importance of cooperation during the early stages of each project to successfully design a sustainable building at a reasonable cost. “The centre for life sciences is a long-term project. With estimated completion in 2023-2025 everyone involved needs to work together to stay on top of things and try to envision what will be required ten years from now,” Eggertsen concludes.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Finland

The Kamppi Chapel by K2S Architects ltd. Photo: Visit Finland

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Finland

Architecture Special: Finland

The pursuit of equality and vibrant, sustainable design Some five million people have chosen the densely forested ‘northern rim’ of Europe and brisk climate of Finland as their home. Trees dominate the landscape here and, while there are no mountains to speak of, the country abounds with lakes. Cities in Finland are rather small, scattered randomly around the woodland countryside. By Jorma Mukala, editor-in-chief of ARK Finnish Architectural Review

The vast open territory of Lapland comprises of the entire northern section of our elongated country, while our shores are a polymorphic gathering of ornamental islands and archipelagos. Along with its suburbs, the capital city of Helsinki on the southern coast forms the only urban area in Finland with over a million inhabitants. Modern architecture has found a strong foothold in our cold environs. Still in its infancy, Modernism came to Finland in the late 1920s and was immediately and enthusiastically embraced. Practicality, functionality, application of contemporary technology and the pursuit of equality have remained important values in the Finnish architecture community throughout the decades. This continuation of the modernist ethos may well be regarded as one of the hallmarks of contemporary Finnish architecture. There are two important and interesting phenomena in the recent state of Finnish architecture. Firstly, wood as a construction material is making a comeback. From the 1960s onwards, wood was regarded as an old-fashioned material and, according to this technology-bound view, steel, glass and concrete were considered signs of progress and forward thinking. In the 21st century, the goals of ecological and sustainable development have changed the

situation. Thanks to an environmental viewpoint, traditional wood is now a trendy, progressive material. The other interesting phenomenon is the breakthrough of a new generation. During the last five years or so, offices like Ala, Avanto, Anttinen-Oiva, K2S, OOPEAA, Playa and Verstas have brought new views and power to discussions. The freshest and most vibrant Finnish architecture seems to come from these very offices. The Kamppi Chapel (2012) by K2S and the University Library Kaisa (2012) by Anttinen-Oiva, both located in the centre of Helsinki, are good examples. They showcase the atmospheres of the new generation. The small Kamppi Chapel is a sculptural, bowl-shaped wooden space on the edge of a busy square, aiming for minimalist purity. The library, which was tailored to a densely developed urban site, brings unity and a new focal point to the streetscape as well as beautiful interiors and views over the city for its users – dramatic spaces, carefully designed details. Both buildings give a positive identity to the place they are part of.

For more information, please visit:

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Left and top right: KUMU Art Museum of Estonia. Right: Vesilinna water tower. Visualisation: New Layer.

Clean lines and sharp solutions High architectural and technical quality, natural materials, ecological and economic sustainability, and respect for the environment – these features sum up the essential mission of the Finnish architecture practice Vapaavuori Architects. By Inna Allen | Photos: Jussi Tiainen

Covering a full spectrum of architectural design, from residential, commercial and public buildings to restoration and exhibition design, Vapaavuori Architects aims to deliver design excellence and uncompromising quality in every project. The company was established in 1994 after its founder, Pekka Vapaavuori, won an international architecture competition to design the new Art Museum of Estonia (KUMU). The building, which is located in Tallinn, has been awarded many Estonian and international prizes, such as the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award in 2008.

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For every project, the company’s goal is to deliver high-quality design solutions that are durable, flexible, innovative and, most importantly, respect the environment. “We also aim to design buildings that offer a perfect fit for users, be they residents, visitors or employees. Natural materials are always our first choice and, similarly, ecological and economic sustainability is an essential aim of our design solutions,” says Pekka Vapaavuori. Based in Turku, Vapaavuori Architects is a boutique office employing four to ten ar-

chitects at any time, the number varying depending on different projects. “Our practice is small but pretty international – over the years, we have had staff of many nationalities. We feel that this is an excellent way of maintaining a fresh and innovative perspective on design in theory and practice.” From art museum to university campus Some things are worth waiting for. In the case of the aforementioned KUMU Art Museum of Estonia, it took 12 long years for Vapaavuori Architects to see the fruits of their labour. After various delays, the museum was finally opened to the public in 2006. The large building is placed in a 20-metre-high limestone slope, partly underground. A curved wall divides the museum building into two different parts: on

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Finland

Above: Villa Alfredsro

one side are the lobby and the exhibition halls, and on the other side are staff rooms and the conservation facilities. The interior is simple and unassuming, placing the artwork at centre stage.

cushions. In addition to the Logomo Hall, the complex contains a cinema, a theatre hall and several multifunctional auditoriums as well as 9,000 square metres of office space.

One of the company’s largest projects is the industrial conversion design of Logomo – an old machine workshop for the railroads, now transformed into a cultural centre and offices for the creative sector. The heart of the complex, which covers an extensive 27,000 square metres, is the Logomo Hall – a hall that can adapt to whatever size or shape most suitable for the event at hand. From a compact 1,100-seat space it can be transformed into an elongated rectangle accommodating up to 3,500 people. This physical versatility is made possible by a massive seating stand that glides back and forth in the old railway maintenance hall on compressed air

In a more domestic context, one of the company’s recent projects is Villa Alfredsro, a private dwelling located in the Turku region. “This project is a good example of our design ethos,” Vapaavuori says. “We always aim to create buildings that respect the surrounding environment.” The layout of the two-story building is designed so that the stunning sea view can be seen from each room. The living room also enjoys views of the rising pine forest at the back. “We have used copper as the exterior material because it is virtually everlasting and hence an ecological solution. Once patinated, the copper facade blends into the surroundings so well that

the building is hard to spot from a moving vessel despite being very close to the shoreline.” Future projects include Turku’s monumental Vesilinna water tower, which will get a new lease of life in the hands of Vapaavuori Architects when it is converted into premises for the University of Turku. “There is an almost cathedral-like ambiance in the building – the space downstairs boasts 12-metre-high ceilings while the water tanks are situated upstairs, supported by massive pillars. We will aim to carry out the redesign so that the new premises maintain the original character of the water tower,” Vapaavuori enthuses. Below: Logomo

For more information, please visit:

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Elegance and ecology to every extent Tuomo Siitonen Architects is an award-winning architecture office consisting of 15 leading architects and designers. Working on a broad range of projects, from town planning to interior design, the company emphasises elegance and ecology in all its architectural solutions, no matter the scale of the projects. By Mia Halonen & Nia Kajastie | Photos: Tuomo Siitonen Architects

Tuomo Siitonen Architects has over 50 award-winning entries to Finnish and foreign architecture competitions, while Tuomo Siitonen himself has years of industry experience. He spent 15 years working as a professor of architecture at Helsinki University of Technology. The Finnish State Art Prize for Architecture has, exceptionally, been awarded to Siitonen twice.

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While presenting the award, the jury noted: “Tuomo Siitonen’s recent work shows uncompromising professionalism in challenging settings and an admirable ability to revitalise. The renovation of Alko’s [the Finnish alcoholic beverage retail monopoly] plant and headquarters into the Helsinki Court House was a huge undertaking, where the old was transformed into the new, without losing the original spirit of the building. Taking the place of the Salmisaari coal stockpiles, the insurance company Varma’s red-brick office buildings are now a cogent part of the cityscape. The plan for the Helsinki Leppäsuo block opens new perspectives into Finnish housing architecture.”

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Scan Magazine | Architecture Special | Finland

With its impressive portfolio, Tuomo Siitonen Architects is often working on some of the biggest and most demanding projects in Finland. The renovation of Alko’s plant into the Helsinki Court House won the award for Concrete Structure of the Year and was, like the Varma office buildings, the largest project of its kind that year in Finland. Sustainable architecture A recurring theme in Tuomo Siitonen Architects’ work has been the importance of sustainability and the ecological requirements of different-sized projects. “We take into account the unique conditions and potential of each site,” explains Siitonen. “It is important to bear in mind the requirements set by sustainable development. The key elements in our design are the users, the location, the purpose of use, and the human factor, which is more important than ever.” The Modern Wooden Town plan for the west bank of Porvoo river, a winning entry for a competition, is a whole district representative of modern timber building methods, while Aalto Inn, the new research hotel at the Aalto University, was the first LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certified residential building in Europe. Another project emphasising Tuomo Siitonen Architects’ commitment to sustainability is the studio building created for ceramist Karin Widnäs. A real architectural pearl, emphasising Finnish closeness to nature, it was built using only local materials and making the best use of local expertise, renewable natural resources and geothermal energy. The jury for the Finnish State Art Prize for Architecture describes Siitonen’s work as follows: “His architecture is characterised by a confident and clear allocation of masses supported by the choice of simple materials. The complex buildings have been fashioned in a functionally logical and rational way, and are sited in their environment with a protective sense of location. Including details and interiors, the carefully-planned buildings stand for both reason and emotion.”

Arkkitehtitoimisto Tuomo Siitonen Oy Veneentekijäntie 12 FIN-00210 Helsinki

Top: Helsinki Court House – refurbishment of the old alcohol factory. Photo: Jussi Tiainen Bottom: Aalto Inn. Research hotel at Aalto University. Photo: Jussi Tiainen Opposite page: Studio Widnäs. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

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SUBSCRIBE TO SCAN MAGAZINE Sign up to a years subscription and you will receive Scan Magazine through your letterbox each month. The price for 12 issues is £40.00 to UK subscribers. Rest of Europe £75.00 For further information and to subscribe, please visit:

Nordfyns Museum The history of the town of Bogense and North Funen, in words, artifacts, paintings and pictures. Nordfyns Museum Vestergade 16, DK-5400 Bogense, Denmark Phone: +45 6481 1884 E-mail:

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Sweden

Left: Susanne Rydén. Top middle: Abalone Dots. Photo: Lisa Ekelund. Middle: Vindla. Photo: Karl-Johan Hjertstrom.

Attraction of the Month, Sweden

Culture meets nature in Småland It is time again for Smålands kulturfestival – a three-day culture festival set in the scenic Swedish countryside. The last weekend of October is filled to the brim with world-class music, arts and literature. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Smålands Kulturfestival

Smålands kulturfestival takes place in various venues – from factory floors to manor houses – involving cultural institutions, local businesses and tourist trade. Collaborations are key and the glittering lakes and deep forests play an important part too. “Småland offers a sweet combination of nature and culture, and that is why the festival is located here. We capture fascinating local history and add another dimension – at the time of year when we need it the most,” says Susanne Rydén, founder and creative director at Smålands kulturfestival. The region is located around two and a half hours from Malmö in south Sweden, and the fourth edition of the festival will take place in and around Sävsjö, Eksjö, Vetlanda, Älmhult and Växjö.

A good mix The programme includes concerts, shows, talks, food markets and more, and it is a great way to explore the region. “It is a good mix. You can go and enjoy a combination of new experiences, shows and dinner. There is something to suit every age and interest,” says Rydén. One of her own personal favourites is Requiem – a synthesis of art performed three times, in three different locations. The show is built around an innovative mix of classical strings, electric guitar and visual projections made with glass from the Kingdom of Crystal. “You can come here with one interest and leave with two,” the creative director says. This year’s festival also brings the special theme ‘feminism during five centuries’,

presenting a series of talks and concerts. It features participating guests such as literature professor Ebba Witt Brattström, actor Björn Granath and FEMEN’s Jenny Wenhammar. “We want to emphasise female artistry in various forms, today and historically,” says Rydén. Rydén was born in Småland but has worked internationally as a singer for 25 years. She has a bulging contacts book and has planned the programme around existing local settings. The festival is a way to give something back to Småland while at the same time welcoming new visitors: “Our goal is that everyone who comes here should have a wonderful time and feel at home.”

Smålands kulturfestival, 29 Oct–1 Nov 2015.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

Attraction of the Month, Norway

Bringing arctic music to the world The Arctic Philharmonic, the world’s northernmost orchestra, presents something rather exotic with its arctic origins in northern Norway. In addition to its passion for music, the orchestra takes its role as a cultural beacon seriously – both in northern Norway and globally. Their new opera production this autumn, NORA – too late, epitomises this spirit.

the chamber orchestra and the full philharmonic orchestra. “This flexibility gives us a special edge and allows us to perform various styles of music across the whole region,” Peterson adds.

By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra

A cultural beacon in the north Today, the orchestra has become one of northern Norway’s largest and most active cultural institutions. In 2015 alone, the organisation is poised to play 150 concerts in northern Norway and four concerts abroad, at the prestigious concert halls Musikverein in Vienna and Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg.

The Arctic Philharmonic was founded in 2009, which makes it the world’s youngest orchestra. Based in the two Norwegian Arctic cities of Bodø and Tromsø, it has the whole northern region as its home, performing frequently in venues from Mosjøen in the south all the way to Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen in the north. “Its rarity lies in its flexible and innovate structure divided between two cities – an unusual and modern approach that does, of course, present some logistical challenges,” explains Aggie Peterson, the Arc-

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tic Philharmonic’s communications manager. The orchestra produces full-scale opera performances and can alternate between different ensemble formats such as small chamber groups, the sinfonietta,

The Arctic Philharmonic’s roots in northern Norway have played a strong role in shaping the orchestra, its passion and mindset. “The Arctic lies at the core of both the visual and the artistic profile of the Arctic Philharmonic,” Peterson explains.

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

based on Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece A Doll House. First performed on stage in 1879, Ibsen’s tale tells the then scandalous story of Nora who leaves her husband and children to find herself and live her own independent life. The opera, NORA – too late, revisits the iconic character of Nora but in a new story written by Jon Fosse with music by Chinese composer Du Wei. In this version, Nora leaves her family to become an artist and we meet an old Nora reflecting on her life and the choices she made. Local meets global with soloists from around the world: Norwegian Angelica Voje from Tromsø as the elderly Nora, South African Linda Nteleza as the young Nora, and the Chinese star Yao Hung as the middle-aged Nora all perform in this exciting production. Håkan Ekenäs from Sweden plays the role of The Man/Thorvald and Christopher Lemmings from the UK plays the Shadow, a new character that Fosse wrote into the story after a suggestion from Wei. Moreover, the piece is performed in English. The Arctic defines the orchestra’s programming vision, marketing and communications and has instilled in it the importance of being an ambassador abroad for the region and the country as a whole. The orchestra actively seeks out music produced in Norway, specifically music with origins up north.

“For me, Nora is the definition of change: a phoenix that dares to set herself aflame and rise out of the ashes and into some-

thing new,” Angelica Voje explained in a recent interview. “She never ceases to be of relevance.” There are parallels between Nora and the Arctic Philharmonic: both have an ambitious yearning for something new and more, and both have risen out of their ‘doll house’ to see the world. Unlike Nora, the orchestra is committed to bringing the world back to northern Norway by inviting international profiles to its stage. The institution’s key ambitions are to bring more opera to the north, to realise more northern Norwegian projects, and to tour internationally even more. Their motto? ‘Real. Arctic. Passion.’

NORA – too late The opera was first performed at the Tianjin Grand Theatre in China in October 2014. It will see its European debut by the Arctic Philharmonic on 28 October at Stormen Concert Hall in Bodø and subsequently be performed at Tromsø Kulturhus on 30 October and Olavshallen in Trondheim on 3 November.

For more information, please visit:

As a core value, the organisation takes its ambassadorial role seriously. A key objective is to make Norwegian and arctic musical masterpieces renowned for international audiences. Another is to bring home to local audiences lessons and inspiration from international tours. The Arctic Philharmonic believes strongly in its role in promoting northern Norway – businesswise and culturally – thus strengthening the region as a whole. Ibsen’s Nora and the Arctic Philharmonic’s journey The Arctic Philharmonic’s most recent production, NORA – too late, epitomises the innovative, ambitious, local role, yet global outlook, of the institution. The new opera is

Top left: Angelica Voje. Photo: John Paul Bichard. Above: Nora - too late is a new opera revisiting Ibsen's iconic Nora character. Photos: Gunleik Groven

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Iceland

Hotel of the Month, Iceland

All your accommodation needs under one charming roof Offering various kinds of accommodation to suit all budgets, Hotel Framtíd will have all your needs covered during your stay in Djúpivogur. It is well worth heading off the beaten track to explore this delightful fishing village, nestled at the gateway to Iceland’s east fjords, and its spectacular surrounding area.

Indeed, fish and seafood make regular appearances on the menu, in the form of mussels cooked in white wine or grilled langoustine in garlic butter, alongside heartier options such as roast lamb fillet.

By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Siggi Már

Accommodating visitors in a charming house built by a Danish merchant at the start of the 20th century, Hotel Framtíd has long established itself as part of the beautiful landscape of Djúpivogur. The harbour-side setting could not be more ideal for a hotel and campsite, with guests enjoying mountain views from their bedroom windows and ocean sunsets as they tuck into dinner. “It’s quite rare in Iceland to find so many types of accommodation under one roof, but here at Hotel Framtíd, we have it all covered,” says hotel manager Thórir Stefánsson. “We’re like a one-stop shop for all your accommodation needs.” The century-old main building boasts a new

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wing with 18 en-suite double rooms, a large breakfast and meeting room, and eight cosy bedrooms on the upper floor. There is also a campsite, a separate building for sleeping bag accommodation, three self-catering apartments perfect for families and small groups, and four brand new cottages that sleep two to three people each. Serving delicious dishes made from fresh local produce, the hotel restaurant is a sure favourite among tour guides who never fail to bring their hungry daytrippers there to refuel. “We joke that the fish in the harbour are so close that they simply jump out of the water and land directly on our plates,” laughs Stefánsson.

Walking trails lead directly from the hotel down to the sea and along the stunning coastline, which features black-sand beaches and rocky outcrops. Breathtaking views can be found atop Búlastindur mountain, which towers 1,069 metres over the hotel. Boat trips run daily from the harbour to Papey island, which is home to Iceland’s oldest and smallest church along with thousands of puffins and other seabirds. Whether you are looking to expand your knowledge of Icelandic history, absorb yourself in nature or simply get away from it all, Djúpivogur is the place for you.

For more information, please visit:

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Want Sales? Our sales superstars are trained up and waiting in the wings to step up to your business challenge! We have 20 years of experience in the distance selling industry and we provide B2B sales and customer service in the following languages: – Swedish – Danish – Norwegian – Finnish – German – Dutch We supply combined outsourcing services in customer service and telemarketing which have been developed from a unique combination of service and sales rhetoric and technology.

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Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Different but cool Vegan and raw food are the new trends in Oslo, and Funky Fresh Foods is at the forefront of tasty, organic cooking for a sustainable society. By Malin Norman | Photos: Arash Nejad

The Oslo-based company was established by Josefine Andrén and Jenni Mylly in 2009. Both have a background in the restaurant industry and an interest in sustainability and how different foods impact on the environment, people and animals. The business is based around real food and fair living, a new and trendy concept in Norway.

tecture in Oslo. It sells products to health food shops, appears at food and music festivals, and provides catering for company kick-offs, seminars and parties. Many corporate customers want to make a standpoint for health and the environment, and by turning to Funky Fresh Foods they get healthy foods with an environmental focus.

Funky Fresh Foods has 35 enthusiastic staff, a restaurant in Kristiansand and, since a year ago, a popular café at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Archi-

The team has seen an increased curiosity around green foods in Norway. “When we started, not many people knew what organic food meant. A lot has happened in

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the past few years, which is fantastic,” says Andrén. Funky Fresh Foods has done plenty of work in offering clean and nutritious food, but also providing information on and raising awareness of the importance of using sustainable and environmentally friendly produce. Food innovation and cooking together At Funky Fresh Foods, the chefs experiment with tastes to suit the classic preferences while also providing exciting combinations for the more adventurous. For big company events in particular, the food needs to fit many palates. Most of Funky Fresh Foods’ guests are not in fact vegans or vegetarians, but interested in highquality foods and new ways of cooking. All dishes are made from scratch, and

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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

is a role model for Funky Fresh Foods’ efforts in biologically friendly products and sustainability, and the team visited Berlin last summer. However, inspiration for the menu can be found anywhere, as the cofounder explains: “All food cultures have vegan and vegetarian dishes, often found in the countryside with its more rustic cooking.”

Vogue and new cookbook

Co-founder Josefine Andrén, restaurant manager Miriam Jøms and chef Paulius Gasparavicius.

most popular is the milkshake made from plant-based milk and fruits. Also, the sharing tapas menu for two to three people is a big hit.

fresh fruit and vegetables we use here, we need to find new and innovative ways of storing and cooking the foods to get ultimate nutrition and taste,” says Andrén.

“We want eating to be an experience with high-quality, healthy dishes. Our customers are perhaps a bit uncertain at the start, but very satisfied and happy with the fresh and nutritious food they get,” Andrén explains. “Some even say that if this is what vegetarian cooking tastes like, they would have this type of food every day!”

The company is also looking at how to become more responsible on the business side by driving environmentally friendly cars, hiring a firm with organic food deliveries, and using biodegradable packaging. Its efforts have paid off as they are the first Norwegian catering company to get environmentally certified.

Customers can also hire a raw-food chef for groups of up to ten people, with Andrén bringing the menu and ingredients and cooking the dishes together with the group. The participants learn how to enjoy vegan and raw food, and the chef gets ideas for new recipes and cookbooks. “It’s all about cooking together. I get inspiration from these private events, but also from courses, travels and just watching other people cook.”

As one of the world leaders in waste disposal and vegan supermarkets, Germany

This year, Funky Fresh Foods released its second cookbook. The first book of vegan recipes from 2012 has sold out, but the co-founders believe that the market is even more ready now. Both cookbooks show how simple it can be to cook vegan food, including breakfasts, salads, soups, party nibbles and dinners. “This type of food is great for sharing. Vegans are often enthusiastic foodies who really enjoy cooking, sharing dishes and talking about food,” says Andrén. The trendy concept has also been recognised by Vogue, with the area around the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture named one of the hottest spots in Europe. “This is great! We have a great team and now we want to get even better at what we’re doing, create more exciting menus and attend more festivals and events.” For more information, please visit:

Increased demand for clean foods Funky Fresh Foods aims to shed light on how customers can make more sustainable choices with their vegan and vegetarian food, and how to live in more environmentally friendly ways. “We don’t use sugar and only very little salt, otherwise used to preserve foods, so with the high volumes of

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Scan Magazine | Business | Keynote

Scan Business Keynote 124 | Conference of the Month 125 | Business Column 126 | Scandinavian Business Calendar 126




Spread a little happiness By Paul Blackhurst, client director at Mannaz

How happy are you feeling today? How can you measure and improve it? Whose responsibility is your happiness? Is it a legitimate topic for government debate and intervention? Various countries are wrestling with this issue in order to measure the impact of policy decisions. In the UK, the Office for National Statistics is developing measures of wellbeing so that government policies can “be tailored to the things that matter”. However, the pioneer in country happiness thinking is the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan where, since 1971, the country has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress and has measured its prosperity through formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH). GNH is based on sustainable development, reservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and good governance. Clearly these are environmental factors and there is an assumption that they have an impact on personal happiness. Bhutan and the UK are measuring happiness but they are not yet delivering it. The World Happiness Report of 2015 showed that the happiest countries are Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The world happiness report considers the following factors when assessing country

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happiness: GDP per capita, life expectancy, having someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity. These factors include the external factors considered by Bhutan, but also add some personal, internal factors, such as “having someone to count on”. So is your level of happiness dependent on your environment? Would a move to Geneva put a guaranteed smile on your face? Psychological research informs us that our level of personal happiness depends as much, or maybe more, on what is inside us as what is outside. Viktor Frankl said that the last of human freedoms is to “choose one’s attitude” in any given set of circumstances. Perhaps working on happiness from the inside out is also relevant and, for most people, easier to achieve than a change of country. Perhaps this is still a government issue. Back in the UK, on World Peace Day on 21 September 2015, the Dalai Lama gave his blessing to a new course of evening classes, available across the country designed to make participants feel happier. The eight-week course, designed by the Action for Happiness organisation, claims to be scientifically proven to increase life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and social trust. The classes are free and hundreds of people have already volunteered to host the course in locations across the UK.

So governments are beginning to consider how they can create happiness through creating a conducive environment, but also through the education of their citizens in how to manage their emotions. Soon, we may be asked to complete customer satisfaction feedback forms to let the government know how they are doing. Of course, we already do that and we call it a general election. It makes sense for us as individuals to take responsibility for our own feelings and learn what makes us happy (or even happier). So wherever you live and wherever you are travelling to, there you are. Make the most of it and have a nice day!

Paul Blackhurst, client director at Mannaz

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Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Norway

Top left: It is not unusual to spot deer on the historic island of Hankø. Left: Team building is a vital part of conferences on Hankø, and activities range from sports and races to arts and crafts. Right: Hankø Fjordhotell & Spa, which has been operating since 1877.

Conference of the Month, Norway

History, focus and fun all in one place On an island located within close proximity to the city of Oslo lies the beautiful historic Hankø Fjordhotell & Spa, which has an exceptional way of combining business with pleasure. The hotel, which has been operating since 1877, features conference facilities providing its guests with time to gather new energy and focus on what matters most.

its Christmas buffets, and in the summer it features themed nights such as barbecue evenings and seafood buffets. And, if you are lucky, you might be able to spot a deer running around.

By Line Elise Svanevik | Photos: Hankø Fjordhotell & Spa

Merethe says: “Our hotel can provide guests with a different type of conference and is the ideal location for team-building activities ranging from box car racing to arts and crafts. We have something for everyone as it’s all provided in one very compact area – and that’s what sets us apart.”

As one of Norway’s biggest spas with 13 treatment rooms, the hotel provides conference goers with access to a Jacuzzi, a swimming pool and sports facilities. Meeting rooms are spacious and bright with comfortable chairs and modern audio-visual equipment and a capacity of eight to 220 people. But do not be fooled by the modern equipment and Wi-Fi – the island boasts an impressive history dating back to 2000 BC, and the look and feel of the hotel reflects its history. “The hotel was built in 1877 and has a warm atmosphere and feel to it. This is what makes us different to the new and modern hotels,” says sale and marketing director Merethe Thortveit. “But what is

truly exceptional to our offer is that you’ve got everything in one place. You have to travel by ferry to reach us, which means you can focus on what’s important and why you’re here without anyone running off into town.” With a range of activities to choose from, such as indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a football pitch, gym and sports hall, the hotel is keen on making it an inspiring stay. For those who like the outdoors, there is a 60-minute nature trail taking its participants on a task-solving route through the beautiful scenery. Additionally, there are two golf courses located just a short drive away. During the winter, Hankø Fjordhotell & Spa has become a sought-after place for

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Business | Column / Calendar

Update on an old story By Steve Flinders

A Middle Eastern man was lying injured by the side of the road. Several people passed by on the other side but one of them called the local council to complain: “There are too many of these people coming here nowadays, taking our jobs and claiming benefits.” So the government, fearing citizens’ anger, took action: – It built a razor wire fence along the border to stop people coming in. – It put new arrivals in concentration camps called ‘immigration centres’ where the men were humiliated by being forbidden to work and the women were sexually abused. – It called on other governments to impose tighter restrictions on the movements of people across borders. – It said these roadside eyesores showed why European cooperation was unworkable.

Newspapers published articles daily about the threat to national identity that this new danger represented. This man by the roadside could be a terrorist. But the man from the Middle East had seen too much horror at home to be deterred. His brother had sought freedom from fear before him but had drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean in a leaking boat. His sister had died from asphyxiation in a lorry in Austria. His cousin had been caught trying to walk 50 kilometres through a tunnel under the sea to England. Finally a good Samaritan came along the road. She did not cross over. She called for an ambulance and went with him to hospital; she made sure he was attended to and left money so he could find somewhere to stay for the night after being discharged.

Scandinavian Business Calendar

I wonder where the original Samaritan came from. It seems it could have been anywhere around the Eastern Mediterranean – Syria, Palestine or elsewhere. Christ’s original audience would also have been shocked to hear someone saying something nice about the hated Samaritans. Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:; steve-flinders

By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Photo: DUCC

As the leaves fall from the trees and summer is yet again over, we brace ourselves for winter. Fortunately, London has a myriad of exciting events for Scandinavian business enthusiasts to enjoy! Meet Eivind Roald The young business star of SAS, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at SAS Group, is in London to speak about the adventures that led to his success. In his early studies he focused on business strategy and performance development. This proved to be a wise decision. The event will definitely be popular, so booking early is advised. Date: 28 October at 8.30am-10am Venue: Brand Exchange, 3 Birchin Ln, London EC3V 9BW Sustainable Economy Conference In the lead-up to COP21, this conference sees British, Norwegian and other international speakers discuss how busi-

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nesses can gain from sustainable thinking. The Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce is hosting. Date: 14 October, presentation and lunch 9.45am to 6pm, reception from 4.30pm. Venue: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB Nordic Drinks A collaborative effort courtesy of all the Scandinavian Chambers, this month’s cosy networking event will take place at the Danish interior shop BoConcept. The event provides a nice and relaxed way to keep in contact with new and old business acquaintances while surrounded by beautiful furniture. Date: 29 October 6-8pm.

Venue: BoConcept, 158 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1T 7NH

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Scan Magazine | Humour | columns


By Mette Lisby

Who has had a change of heart regarding Facebook’s ‘dislike’ button? At first I welcomed the thought of it. I mean, you can’t ‘like’ everything your friends post. After all, the purpose of Facebook is to expose you to what every single person you ever met in your entire life is doing all the time, so how are you supposed to agree with or like everything everybody posts? But why stop there? What about the ‘I don’t care’ button? The ‘I find this highly irrelevant’ button? The ‘My God, that baby is ugly’ button? Or the ‘For heaven’s sake, stop bragging!’ button? You know the friends who keep updating casually from first-class airport lounges around the world, but never from the places they actually travel to unless it is expensive to be there. As if life is somehow greater because you spend it in an airport lounge. ‘Look! We are in a first-class lounge!’ Yes, well, I am at home, which at any given time I much prefer over any airport lounge. I too can drink all the alcohol I want, and I can avoid looking at ugly carpets. What about the ‘Are you sure about this?’ button? You know when your friends upload

pictures of themselves that they clearly find flattering although they are not? Or the simple but, I’d imagine, highly effective ‘Really????’ button for any picture or statement you find dubious, annoying or mildly stupid. Simplifying to a ‘like’ or ’dislike’ button – that kind of ‘thumbs up’, ‘thumbs down’ attitude towards the world, towards other people, is just not healthy. And going over comments to various Facebook updates, there doesn’t seem to be a lack of opportunity for people to vent their negativity. Or if there is, it doesn’t hold anybody back. On the contrary: negativity thrives very well there. It really doesn’t take a lot of information to really annoy people. So on second thought, if ‘like’ or ’dislike’ are the only options available as far as buttons are concerned, I agree more with the old sentiment: if you’ve got nothing positive to say, then don’t say anything at all. I hereby dislike the ‘dislike’ button.

Rules We Swedes like to think of ourselves as well organised and orderly. We like rules and regulations so much that breaking them seems not only inadvisable but almost impossible as a concept. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than at the passport renewal office at the Swedish embassy in London. The first thing to remember about this highly concentrated bubble of Swedishness is the strict opening hours. There is no point being early – the doors will remain locked until the official time. There is no point in being late, because HA HA, ARE YOU INSANE?! Once the doors open, you are confronted with the obligatory symbol of Swedish civilisation, displayed like a proud effigy in the entrance hall. This of course is a queue ticket dispenser. A Swede without a numbered ticket is like an Englishman without an umbrella in November. Once inside, there are rules to follow. If you do not automatically comprehend what these are, you might be tempted to ask, but then that would involve

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish versions of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

incorrect form of ID. This did not compute with the Swedish consultant. “No!” she told the man. “This couldn’t have happened.” “But it obviously did,” he tried to argue, “… as proved by the fact that I’m standing here.” The consultant looked blankly at him and then did what any quietly panicking Swede would do. She pressed the button for the next number in line, thus making the difficult concept of rule breaking disappear, thanks to the silent display of some orderly numbers on the wall.

human interaction without the relevant ticket, so you probably won’t. When finally your number is called, efficient, unflappable service follows. Unless of course your business is somehow irregular, as happened to a man during my last visit. The man in front of me needed a new passport after he had entered the country using an

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.

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Popping with cinnamon buns and support Isra Al Kassi always knew she wanted to support parents and small-scale start-up entrepreneurs and dreamed of starting her own Swedish café and culture hub in London, but lack of funding meant that reality got in the way. Until one day, she came across an empty shop that was too big only to house her baby clothes business – and decided to jump. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: LattjoPOP

“I came to London from Sweden when I was 18 to study,” says Al Kassi. “Two years later I fell pregnant, and I couldn’t continue with my studies as I simply didn’t have the support, so I got restless and started thinking of setting up my own business.” She brought the idea for a Swedish café and culture hub to The Prince’s Trust, a charity providing practical and financial support to young unemployed people, but it quickly became clear

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that the venture would be far too costly to get off the ground. Al Kassi went for plan b: an online shop called Lattemama, selling imported Swedish baby and children’s clothes. The business got established fairly quickly and did well – but the founder was not as content as perhaps she should have been. “I wanted to see people, and I knew I was actually far better at supporting parents and

small businesses than I was at selling,” she explains. “I was just at my most hesitant about whether or not to continue with Lattemama when I found an empty shop in Streatham that was up for rent,” Al Kassi recalls. “I’d been looking at premises to explore the option of making Lattemama into a bricks-and-mortar shop in addition to the online business, but when I found the shop it was way too big for just a clothes shop. My café and culture hub idea resurfaced, I borrowed some money, did some frankly quite unsuccessful crowdfunding, took everything I had and went for it – and now LattjoPOP has been open for over a year!”

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Scandinavian Everyday Heroes

Al Kassi has lived in Streatham for five years and loves the area. “I feel at home here,” she says. “There’s an incredible sense of connectedness and affinity, and on top of that there are plenty of families here who just don’t have enough childfriendly places to go to, so I was adamant that I wanted the shop to be here.” Moving away from the sales-focused model of the web shop, the Swede wanted the new place to become an all-in-one platform where families could socialise and get support. There is now a café, a playroom, a small boutique space, a library, a creativity room and a garden, and the name plays on a combination of nostalgia and fun. “I wanted to hold onto some part of the name of the web shop, and the word ‘lattjo’, meaning fun and quirky in Swedish, suited the idea of the place being child-friendly bordering on childish. I also vividly remember the TV programme Lattjo Lajban from my childhood, so the word carries that nostalgia for me.” Add the element of offering startups a pop-up space, and the brand name is complete. The Swedish branding was far from an afterthought. Al Kassi missed Swedish influences on her son’s upbringing and felt that London sometimes lacks the social support and warm, family-friendly environments she had experienced back home. A Swedish playgroup now takes place at LattjoPOP every Wednesday, and Swedish classes will kick off very soon. Moreover, LattjoPOP is a one-woman project, so it naturally gets the founder’s own Swedish touch. There has been compromise, however. “When we first launched the menu it was difficult to convince people about the food. We quickly

“As a parent you sometimes just need to get out, but it can be difficult and stressful when you’ve got your kids in tow. Therefore it’s great that there are places like LattjoPOP, where there’s coffee for tired parents and toys for the children.” Sofia, Swedish mother of two, south London

LattjoPOP is a safe environment for children to play and grow.

had to change how we made sandwiches; people just don’t know how to eat open sandwiches here!” she laughs. “Slowly but surely we introduced some Swedish dishes and cakes, but we now have both shortbread and cinnamon buns. It’s enjoyable to watch people’s reactions to jam and cheese sandwiches…” Fans of LattjoPOP have been generous with their support, donating books and toys and helping to paint the place. But the funding opportunities are few and far between. The venture is quite niche, and it is notoriously difficult to get funding for a social enterprise. “We’ve got rent to pay, a retail space, café and playroom to maintain and free activities to run. I’ve been to courses and worked hard to spread the word about LattjoPOP, but there are so many projects out there competing for at-

tention,” says Al Kassi, admitting that it has been a tough year and that she sometimes daydreams of taking on a traditional, well-paid job. “Whenever I am tempted to move on to something else I think of the mothers who come in and just want to chat or need someone to hold their baby while they drink a coffee, or those who have just started a business but don’t know how to create a Facebook event to launch their pop-up with us. I’m here to help them,” she says.

LattjoPOP 544 Streatham High Road London SW16 3QF Open: Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm Have a few quid to spare or some time on your hands? Help the LattjoPOP community hub grow stronger. Visit or email

Which Scandinavian everyday hero do you think we should talk to? Tell us on or @scanmagazine!

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The Öresund Bridge. Photo: Janus Langhorn, VisitSweden.

Malmö in the footsteps of The Bridge The location of cult TV crime series The Bridge is a vibrant, dynamic and forwardlooking multi-cultural city. Experience the southern Swedish pearl by following in the footsteps of Saga Norén. By Andy Lawrence | Photos: Andy Lawrence

Broadcast in 174 countries, The Bridge is one of Scandinavian television's most successful exports. The Danish-Swedish series was an immediate hit when it aired on BBC Four, outperforming both Borgen and The Killing. The second season’s final episode was seen by 1.5 million viewers when screened by the BBC in 2014. Fans eager to discover what happens to Saga Norén (played by Sofia Helin) after the second season’s dramatic finale will

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learn her fate when the BBC Four screens the new season later this autumn. A cosmopolitan, cutting-edge city Commemorating The Bridge’s return to our screens, a number of events and activities are taking place in Malmö that give aficionados an opportunity to visit filming locations, learn about how the series is made and see how the city has been transformed since the programme began.

Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö is the capital of the county of Skåne. Alongside Copenhagen it forms the metropolitan hub of the Öresund Region. A cosmopolitan city undergoing expansion and renewal, previously an industrial district, Malmö is now at the forefront of cuttingedge developments in design. Reinvented as a cultural centre, the city has a vast range of shops and boutiques selling contemporary Swedish clothing and furniture. The success of The Bridge has seen Malmö enjoy an upsurge in popularity as a holiday destination as fans visit the city to inspect locations seen on the screen, enjoy its high-quality eateries, explore the

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Malmö in the Footsteps of The Bridge

city’s art galleries and indulge in retail therapy. The backdrop to The Bridge Fans making a pilgrimage to Malmö will find much to enjoy with The Bridge location tour. Lasting two and a half hours, the tour will satisfy Nordic Noir aficionados. Travelling around the city’s hotspots, its backstreets and deserted industrial plants, a guide reveals behind-the-scenes stories, explains how Malmö has been transformed in recent years and offers insights into Swedish culture. An on-board DVD player screens clips enabling fans to compare locations with their appearance on screen. The tour, naturally, takes in the Öresund Bridge. Providing the backdrop to three seasons of murder, intrigue and international police cooperation, the Öresund Bridge is a symbol of cross-border harmony. Opened in 2000, the bridge, which is just under five miles long, has a deep meaning for Denmark and Sweden. Until 1658, Skåne County was part of Denmark, and in the years between 1521 and 1814 the two nations went to war 27 times. An architectural triumph, the bridge represents close cultural and economic ties between countries that once waged war but have now found a lasting peace.

Malmö has a thriving culture of artistic and retail experiences.

bunker representing cracks in the welfare state. Visitors that peer through will see props and costumes from all three seasons, including the terrifying animal masks and amulets from the second series. The exhibition also includes photographs, video clips, a map of Malmö locations featured in the series, and a large production bible which details the series creators’ key creative choices, offering a revealing insight into the workings behind a hit TV series. Illuminating and engaging, the exhibition provides an exhaustive overview of The Bridge and its place in modern Scandinavian society. With interest in Nordic Noir and Scandinavian culture showing no sign of waning, the forthcoming third season of The

Bridge should see enthusiasm reach new heights. Fans visiting Sweden’s southern capital to inspect scenes of crimes featured in the series will experience a metropolis more vibrant than its small screen counterpart. Picturesque and vital, Malmö’s city centre is a perfect location for a weekend getaway.

For more information about Malmö, please visit: Tickets for the The Bridge bus tour can be booked at: Malmö Museer’s A Non-Existent Malmö exhibition is open until September 2016:

Cracks in the welfare state Viewers wishing to immerse themselves in The Bridge’s crepuscular gloom should visit Malmö Museer’s exhibition of props, costumes and set designs. Running until September 2016, the exhibition is entitled A Non-Existent Malmö. Produced in collaboration with series production company Filmlance, the exhibition focuses on Nordic Noir’s ability to critique the welfare state. As the title reflects, The Bridge represents a Malmö that does not exist. The collection of exhibits invites visitors to consider what The Bridge’s success may say about contemporary Nordic society. Alongside Saga Norén’s costume and mustard-coloured Porsche, the centrepiece of the exhibition is a concrete

Malmö Museer’s exhibition, A Non-Existent Malmö, features props and costumes from The Bridge.

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Music

Scandinavian Music

Critically lauded Danish artist Fallulah has just made a comeback with her first release since 2013. The new single and video Social Club is an intriguing and atmospheric track that doubles up as a bouncy and attitudeladen social commentary, with a wry tone to its vocals. She has been in LA for the past year working with MS MR and the producer behind Lana Del Rey and Marina & The Dia-

Lost for words Einar Haugen’s Norwegian-English Dictionary has long been regarded as the greatest resource for both learners and professionals using English and Norwegian with more than 60,000 entries. The Norwegian dictionary has some wonderful words with definitions that will undoubtedly raise the eyebrows of the outside world. Some relate to the natural world, including ‘fiskevaer’, meaning good weather for fishing, and ‘kram snø’ for snow that is sticky (that is excellent for making snowballs and snowmen). Other words relate to people’s preoccupations and activities. Ever heard of ‘dugnad’ for working together in everyone’s interest without getting paid, or ‘dynke’ for the act of dunking somebody’s face in snow? A number of examples simply reflect humanity. ‘Latterkrampe’ describes convulsive laughter while ‘sjøstygg’ describes

132 | Issue 81 | October 2015

By Karl Batterbee

monds, so the much anticipated new album could see the Dane go stellar. XOV is a relatively new Swedish artist, but it feels like he might well be on the cusp of some major success this month, both domestically and internationally. And that is thanks to the release of his phenomenal new single Don’t Talk To Me. It is a brilliantly produced downbeat number, which turns into a rousing semi-banger just in time for the chorus – and it is a very catchy chorus at that. Don’t Talk To Me is the first single from his debut album, Wild, which is out this month. To warm up for the release, check out his debut EP, Lucifer, which was released earlier in the year. The Well are a five-piece band from the west coast of Norway who have just released a single which is getting a great deal of international blogosphere attention. It is called Sierra and is one of those tracks that is transcendent of genre. It lures the listener in with an ‘80s-esque synth verse, packs an almighty punch with a growling bridge and, wait – yes, there it is – shades of that oh-so fashionable tropical house for its chorus. You

should also check out their previous single, Separate Ways, which came out at the end of last year. Two of Scandinavia’s biggest music acts over the last 12 months have each paired up with a UK equivalent in order to expand their success that little bit further around the globe. Norwegian house producer Kygo has recruited British soul-pop singer Ella Henderson to vocalise his latest single, Here For You. Kygo’s already had a top-ten hit in the UK, but Here For You could well be his first number one. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Zara Larsson is already experiencing a massive spike in popularity around central Europe with her own hits, Uncover and Lush Life, but she has just entered the UK charts for the first time thanks to her collaboration with London producer and artist MNEK. Never Forget You is an epic garage ballad that elevates Zara’s status even higher as Sweden’s hottest pop export right now.

By Adam Jacot de Boinod | Illustration: Markus Koljonen

When learning languages other than our own, we will sometimes come across words that mean very different things from what we are used to. Linguistic experts call these words ‘false cognates’ or faux amis (literally false friends). They could possibly be a source of confusion or, more likely, humour. The word ‘gift’ can beguilingly mean both a poison and married while ‘bare bra’ means 'fine thanks'. Others to excite include ‘egg’ for knife edge; ‘fred’ for peace; ‘hell’ for luck; ‘travel’ meaning busy; ‘gate’ a street; and ‘full’ meaning drunk. someone so ugly that the tide will not come in if they are on the shore (literally sea ugly). A ‘giftekniv’ is a person trying to get two people married, and a ‘tøffelhelt’ is someone who has nothing to say in a marriage or at home (literally a slipper hero). An ‘anestolt’ person is proud of their ancestors.

Adam Jacot de Boinod was a researcher for the BBC television series QI and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and the creator of the iPhone App Tingo, a game involving interesting words. Here he looks at what interests the outside world about the Scandinavian languages.

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Scan Magazine | Culture | calendar

Tallest Man On Earth Photo: Cameron Wittig

Frigg. Photo: Jimmy Träskelin

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

By Sara Schedin

Concerto in D Interval and Sibelius’ Symphony No.5 in E flat. Royal Festival Hall, London, SE1.

The Tallest Man on Earth (Oct) Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Mattson, better known as The Tallest Man on Earth, is touring Europe with his latest album, Dark Bird is Home.

Frigg (14-18 Oct) For a few days this autumn, Finnish folk music band Frigg will go on a UK tour with their joyful mix of Nordic folk and American bluegrass.

Match & Fuse London (15-17 Oct) A Dalston festival which breaks down the barriers between genres and countries alike. It will feature several Nordic acts including Mopo (FI), Leafcutter John + Isabel Sörling (UK/SE) and InterStatic (NO).

Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (21 Oct) An evening of music by Mozart, Schoenberg and Strauss conducted by Finnish Sakari Oramo. Barbican Centre, London, EC2Y.

RichardRocks – a new Swedish rock opera (Until 7 Nov) Inspired by both Shakespeare’s Richard III and Al Pacino’s film Looking for Richard, RichardRocks features 36 original songs, a cast of 28 and Swedish musical theatre star Fred Johanson. The People’s Palace, London, E1.

Erja Lyytinen (Until 18 Oct) Finnish singer/guitarist Erja Lyytinen will be playing her bluesy tunes at various venues across the UK this month.

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra (1 Nov) Finnish Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in Dubugnon’s Caprice for Orchestra, Brahms’ Violin

Susanne Sundfør (Oct/Nov) Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør is heading out on a European tour with her 2015 album, Ten Love Songs.

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Scan Magazine | Culture | calendar

Kalevi Louhivuori who will be performing at Match & Fuse London. Press photo.

Above left: Mopo. Photo:Tero Ahonen. Graphics: Anna Tahkola and Thomas Saikkonen

Craft 2015 (Until 6 Dec) An annual jury-assessed exhibition which presents new works by Norwegian craftspeople. Tue, Wed and Fri 11am-5pm, Thur 11am-7pm, Sat & Sun 12noon-5pm. Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, St. Olavs gate 1, Oslo. Pimiö – Darkroom (Until 31 Jan) This exhibition enables visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating reality of the darkroom. Works by more than 60 photographers, spanning from the 19th century to 2015, demonstrate the changing ideals of photographic printing and the versatility of the techniques used. The magic of the darkroom is very much alive as many young photographers have returned to traditional photography. TueSun 11am-6pm, Wed 11am-8pm. The Finnish Museum of Photography, Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki.

Right: Photo by Jaakko Markkanen, Jean. From the series Suvilahti Tintype (2014). Featured at the Pimiö - Darkroom exhibition

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