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GERDA WEGENER Until 8 January

Gerda Wegener, In the Summer Heat (Lili), 1924. Photo: Morten Pors

Located just outside Copenhagen

Scan Magazine  |  Contents

Contents COVER FEATURE 16 Emma Ångström – Sweden’s New Thriller Queen Her first novel was nominated for Nöjesguiden’s Stockholm Award and her second inspired by the hidden spaces of a multi-residence house she was designing during her time as a drawing architect. Scan Magazine caught up with novelist Emma Ångström, who divides her time between one of Sweden’s leading architecture offices and various writing-friendly spots, about exploring human motivations and designing away society’s problems.

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Stay Warm – and Stylish This month’s Fashion Diary helps you stay cool while keeping warm, while Danish brand Joha shows how to keep that temperature steady in the autumnal weather. We also list some key interior features to help you stay in touch with some retro vibes – as well as the nature outside.

SPECIAL FEATURES 20 All About Architecture Scan Magazine’s Eirik Elvevold went to find out about ‘starchitecture’ and whether the Nordic architecture legends are holding us back from innovative greatness or inspiring future stars to create better work. We also spoke to the World Architecture Festival about the challenges of the housing market and the current stars of Scandinavia.


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87 Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden From Sweden’s tallest building, providing sustainable accommodation for urbanites, to nature exploration centres and work places that promote happiness, Swedish architects are leading the way for a greener, more connected society, making forefathers such as modernist Gunnar Asplund proud.

104 Nordic Architecture Special – Finland Finnish architecture is about more than Alvar Aalto’s heritage. Scan Magazine spoke to two firms behind Finland’s ‘healthy’ architecture with a human touch to find out what makes them tick.

107 Top Norwegian Culinary Experiences From traditional smalahove to award-winning fusion cuisine, Norway boasts more unforgettable culinary experiences than it gets credit for. Now that Christmas is only around the corner, why not explore forward-thinking Norwegian cuisine traditions with a real ‘julebord’ Christmas buffet?

BUSINESS 113 Taking Your Time While our keynote columnist ponders how perceptions of time vary between nations, we sent a reporter to Boen Manor to find out if time really does stand still when you discover the right remote retreat and conferencing venue.

Nordic Architecture Special – Norway Known for dramatic landscapes and extreme weather conditions, Norway provides more than a minor challenge for architects. Yet the Norwegian firms are not lacking in skills nor in ideas and ambitions, and recent impressive creations include everything from a church built on a slope to the now renowned Barcode project in Oslo.


celebrated firms in the Nordics and landscape architecture pioneers alike. Scan Magazine spoke to some of the trailblazing firms, including WAF nominees Arkitema and PLH Arkitekter.

Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark A frontrunner in Scandinavian architecture for many years, Denmark boasts some of the most

CULTURE 133 Say it in Swedish – or a Song This month’s culture section introduces a new Scan Magazine columnist, Joakim Andersson of the Swedish learning site Say It in Swedish, who will share some inside information about the Swedes, their habits and their language. Over in Norway, celebrated singer Moddi says it in song with a stunning, thought-provoking album unveiling 12 previously banned songs.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 6 Fashion Diary | 10 We Love This | 114 Conference of the Month | 117 Restaurants of the Month 120 Hotel of the Month | 122 Attractions of the Month | 129 Experience of the Month 130 Wellness Experience of the Month | 132 Humour

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  3

Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, Our annual architecture special is always a bit of a highlight. Architects are a particular breed: visionaries, often bold, not seldom with a strong sense of social justice. Countless are the architects who have told me this month that they believe that architecture can have a huge impact on our lives, contributing not only to increased happiness but also to new living patterns and behaviours that benefit us all, the environment included. And, of course, the sustainability angle is one that runs through this entire issue as an integral backbone. At the World Architecture Festival, this year’s theme puts a spotlight on the housing issue at a time of huge change. People are flocking to the cities to enjoy the buzzy urban life, but many governments are struggling to keep up and there is talk of housing bubbles all over again. At the same time, people from other parts of the world who are fleeing war and political destruction are relying on us to provide the infrastructure needed for a world of solidarity. From the northern parts of Lapland to the continental border of Denmark down south, the inspiring architects featured in this issue have more than a thing or two to say about what kind of society we might – and should – expect in the future.

This week’s cover star, novelist Emma Ångström, who has been dubbed Sweden’s next thriller queen, describes herself as half emotionalist and half structure freak. While lauded for her writing, and an experienced writer at that, it is the exploration of power structures and human behaviour that really drives her. That way, she is similar to activist, musician and philosophy student Moddi, the interview with whom you will find in the culture section. About his new album, Unsongs, which presents interpretations of 12 previously censored songs, he says: “It’s been a project based on curiosity, not voices that I necessarily agree with – I just think they deserve to be heard.” All these creatives have a common urge to make the world a better place, using art and imagination as a facilitator. It may be getting dark outside, but I am feeling inspired. And the future looks bright.

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… It is officially autumn. Time to cover up! Fortunately, the days when wearing outdoor clothing was equivalent to putting aside your sense of fashion are long gone. These durable and functional pieces ensure that you do not have to compromise with style when heading off on an outdoor adventure. By Charlotte van Hek | Press photos

Luhta excels in combining functionality with style. This Paulina jacket with technical materials will have your back in every possible (weather) circumstance. And with its perfect fit and cute hood, you would almost want to wear it inside. Luhta jacket, £169

Beanies have evolved from being just protective gear to being the finishing touch for almost every outfit. A cute pom-pom version can make any look just that bit more interesting: from gym outfit to lazy Sunday gear to even a casual suit. Vero Moda beanie, £10

The right comfy sweatshirt easily rivals any fitted blouse. Instead of going for a simple sweatshirt, opt for one with a lively colour or bold phrase to add a bit of personality to your look, like this cheeky one from Wood Wood. Wood Wood sweatshirt, £110

The classic Chelsea boot, yet a bit more exciting. Coming in a rich palette of colours, this Dora boot is the perfect sassy partner for rainy days, outdoor (or indoor) parties, and all-day hiking. Swims rain boots, £65

6 | Issue 93 | October 2016

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

No matter what time of year it is, a sturdy and waterproof jacket is one of the most unmissable items in a Scandinavian wardrobe. This jacket from outdoor clothing guru Luhta will be your ideal autumn partner: it will keep you warm, is made to show off, and will grow old with you. Luhta jacket, £229

The Stockholm-based brand Sandqvist combines durability and functionality with unmatched Scandinavian design. This functional blue beauty will turn heads everywhere, while gladly keeping all your belongings safe. Both for him and for her. Sandqvist back pack, approx. £150

Comfortable and fashionable? Check! These durable trousers with handy pockets work for everyday use as well as on a camping trip where you still want to look your best. Fjällräven outdoor trousers, £110

Remember when you used to put your functional hiking boots in the darkest corners of your closet? No more! You can keep this pair on after mushroom picking in the forest, and proudly take them with you to the warmer indoors. Won Hundred boots, £300

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  7

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Street Style

Nordic Humans of Barcelona Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski hits the streets of Barcelona to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in Spain. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski |

Christina Tamm Danish payroll manager

Olle Helkimo Swedish DJ and team leader at an international company

“I dress in a skater style. My sneakers are by adidas, my jeans are by Brandy Melville, the top is from Caledonia and the jacket is from Freaky Nation. Some of my tattoos are by my friend Andrea. You can find her on Instagram: @luzayam_handpoking”


“Every Saturday before going out, my DJ partner and I play a mix of good music at Café Schilling on Carrer Ferran. My style is rock ‘n’ roll. Today my jeans are by Nudie, the T-shirt is vintage from Malmö, the shoes are by Converse and the jacket is from April77.”

Christina Tamm

Olle Helkimo

Cecilia Räf Swedish hair salon owner and hairdresser (

Cecilia Räf

8 | Issue 93 | October 2016

“My style today is typical ‘50s. My shoes and jeans are vintage from Carrer de Riera Baixa in Barcelona, and my jacket is from Humana Vintage. The style of my make-up, hair, music and salon are inspired by the ‘40s and ‘50s. At my salon I also sell vintage clothes.”

Now opening. Let there be light. S N W. S E • P H O T O G R A P H Y : B L A K E R O B I N S

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… Just like with fashion, furniture designers will always gain inspiration from the past and marry it with modern details and influences. Save your favourite items, whether clothing or furniture, for 30 years and it will almost definitely come back into fashion. Give your home a throw-back allure, because this October it is retro o’clock. By Charlotte van Hek | Press photos

Peace and love were the cornerstones of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This poster by illustrator Børge Bredenbekk will look fabulous above any bed, couch or chest of drawers. And, of no less importance, every sale of this poster supports cancer research. Available in three sizes, starting from approx. £25 Magnetic frame, starting from approx. £32

Experts in timeless cleanness. Originally, Finn Juhl designed this sofa for Baker Furniture Inc. in the USA in 1951. The sculptural forms are inspired by modern free art and would effortlessly fit into any ‘50s or ‘60s living room. Baker Sofa by Finn Juhl, from £9,616 via

Is it a seat? Is it a drawer? It is both! This bench drawer perfectly mixes stylish Scandinavian design with a vintage touch. Its deep drawer is ideal for an entrance hall to store sunglasses, gloves and keys. Functional plus retro chic? Yes, please. Londress bench drawer, £275 via

10 | Issue 93 | October 2016

A vintage-allure lamp with a traditional shape fused with a very modern touch, this Leimu table lamp has been inspired by the combination of glass and concrete in modern architecture. Whether modern or retro, this lamp will do on any table. Magnus Pettersen lamp, £549 Via

Designtorget means iconic Swedish design. This small and handy portable speaker has a surprisingly big sound for its size, and is destined to be taken everywhere with you. The speakers are finished with leather details and silver buttons – because even listening to music can happen in style. Designtorget speakers, approx. £213





Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Joha

The baaa-st winter wear Freezing in the street, sweating on the tube; shivering when getting on your bike, steaming ten minutes later. Dressing for winter can be difficult, especially when you are constantly changing between the freezing cold outside and warm, humid indoor environments. But family-owned Danish underwear producer Joha offers an affordable, sustainable and comfortable solution. Wrap yourself and your little ones up in a 100 per cent natural, moisture-absorbing set of soft wool underwear that protects from both the cold and the heat. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Joha

Wool underwear might not sound like an area of great innovation. Still, Joha, Scandinavia’s largest producer of underwear for babies, children and youngsters, has many firsts under its belt. It was the first company in the world to manufacture machine washable wool clothes for babies, and the first baby underwear producer to be approved for the EU Ecolabel ‘flower’ label. Today, Joha also produces a large collection 12 | Issue 93 | October 2016

of female wool underwear and the Johansen series for men. Joha was founded by current CEO and administrative director Michael Frølund Johansen’s grandparents in 1963. Today the brand, which is headquartered in Sunds near Herning in Jutland, is sold in approximately 900 shops in the Nordic countries as well as Germany, Iceland, Belgium, Holland, Russia and,

more recently, Japan. The success can, says CEO Johansen, be attributed to the continued adherence to his grandfather’s meticulous and qualityorientated approach. “My granddad was a qualified tailor, and we have maintained his approach to tailored clothing up until today. We devote a great effort to ensuring that the things that leave our production unit are of a very high quality. When my granddad started the company, nothing left without having gone through his personal quality control. Today it’s on a different scale; it’s not possible for one man to quality control everything, but we still ensure that nothing leaves without having been through a rigorous quality check.” All Joha’s products, which include wool, cotton and silk underwear and nightwear,

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Joha

are produced at the brand’s own factory in Ukraine, which employs more than 350 people.

Sleep like baby 35 years ago, Joha began producing wool underwear for babies. Though home-knitted wool had been a favoured fabric for centuries, especially in the cold north, the company was the first to manufacture a product that was machine-washable and durable. Since then, the company has developed several variations of the product, including silk and cotton combinations. Joha’s 100 per cent wool products are available in several variations and designs – from the very thin fabric ideal for use in summer to the thick, warm and cosy fabric perfect for winter. Johansen explains: “A lot of people know that wool is great for keeping the body warm and maintain a stable temperature when it is cold, but actually it is just as good at keeping the heat away from the body.”

fantastic product for babies to sleep in because it keeps their bodies at a constant temperature and absorbs any moisture, preventing them from getting damp and cold,” explains Johansen.

A fabric for softies Not everybody associates wool with a soft and luxurious material. Some might have less than fond memories of their granny’s rigid home-knitted sweaters and itchy winter socks. But Joha’s wool products, made from soft merino wool sourced from New Zealand, are a different story. All products carry the Woolmark quality mark and in 2000 Joha was, as the first baby underwear brand, approved for the EU flower label. “All our products, both

cotton and wool, have the EU flower label. It’s a symbol that testifies to the fact that there are no harmful substances in our products, but also that the product has been through an environmentally harmless production. It means that we have to be extra careful when we source our yarn, and it makes things a little bit more complicated, but we like to run a principled business,” stresses Johansen. Furthermore, all Joha’s wool is sourced from mulesing-free sheep and the collection also includes an organic series. For more information please visit:

Another quality unique to wool is its ability to absorb moisture. Because of the many small air pockets contained in the fabric’s fibres, it can absorb up to 40 per cent of its own weight. In comparison, cotton only absorbs approximately eight per cent of its own weight. “Wool is a

Joha was founded by the grandparents of Michael Frølund Johansen. Today he runs the firm with his wife Kristine Frølund Johansen.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  13

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Let There Be Light

Bring in the light Let There Be Light manufactures sleek doors, windows and sliding glass doors for the modern home – made in Sweden and designed to complement elegant architectural expressions, and to bring in as much natural light as possible. By Malin Norman | Photos: Let There Be Light

Newly launched Swedish brand Let There Be Light provides tailor-made doors, windows and sliding glass door solutions for the premium architectural segment, born out of creative design ideas and produced by skilled craftsmen. 14 | Issue 93 | October 2016

Recently acquired by a group of four private owners, the company has an existing staff base of 18 people at the production site outside Växjö in Småland. The owners bring extensive industry experience in developing sophisticated

solutions, and with the new venture they want to offer what they see as missing in the current marketplace. While major players emphasise mainstream production and high volumes, Let There Be Light does the opposite. Product manager Anders Ekström explains the intention with the brand’s high-end products: “Our ambition is ultimately to help architects let more natural light into the buildings. We want

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Let There Be Light

to strengthen the architectural expression without encroaching on the design.” Let There Be Light has also introduced its own architecture studio concept, which can be described as a room for creative thinking. Operating somewhere between interior and exterior, the team works closely with architects to find the right combination of form, colour and material to suit the overall design and functionality of the building.

And there was light Genuine craftsmanship forms the base for new designs, with a combination of wood and other materials in the production and innovative technology for smart homes of the future. Let There Be Light certainly challenges mainstream offerings with its focus on individuality, flexibility and quality. The

style is subtle and elegant, minimalistic in its expression and in harmony with the overall design, giving the impression of more space. Nextus is the first door developed by the team, originating from the word ‘next’ and signifying connection and context. It comes in a Scandinavian contemporary style, showing simple lines and effortless elegance with a combination of wood, metal, glass and laminate. With its wide frame, the door has room for an electronic lock and integrated technology for surveillance with code lock, alarm, speakers and camera. It can also be equipped with lighting fixtures and a variety of different options for handles. The brand’s range of exclusive sliding glass doors can be placed almost

anywhere and can even be utilised as a supporting structure in open-planned spaces, giving the architects greater freedom. The glass sections come with advanced slide and lift functionality for smooth opening and closing, and can be adapted with features such as sun protection, dimmer and electric power. Similarly, the tailor-made windows can be easily matched to architectural designs and feature elegant handles and hidden fittings. In addition to its production site, Let There Be Light will open a combined showroom and office on Hornsbruksgatan 19 in Stockholm in January.

For more information please visit:

The combined showroom and office will open on Hornsbruksgatan 19, Stockholm, in January.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  15

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Emma Ångström

16  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Emma Ångström

Emma Ångström: Sweden’s new thriller queen With a background in journalism and architecture, Swedish up-and-coming author Emma Ångström is not too bothered about conventions and prestige, having once spent a year live tweeting the lives of two of her main characters. What matters to her is real exploration of human behaviour, motivations and power structures – something her two novels to date are perfect examples of. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Anna-Lena Ahlström

It is like something out of The Bridge: layers of cello and indiscernible cries with heavy reverb. Linnea Olsson’s The Ocean is beautifully melancholic but invokes an urgent sense that something terrible is about to happen. “I always have a playlist specially adapted to whatever writing project I’m currently working on; it helps with getting back into the mood of the book. Music is perfect for setting the atmosphere,” says Emma Ångström, whose current playlist includes Olsson’s track. Ångström works four days a week as head of communications at ETTELVA Arkitekter and spends every Wednesday writing. “It’s perfect,” she says. “If the writing day had been a Monday or a Friday it would’ve been difficult not to see it as a long weekend. In the middle of the week you’re already in the flow of work, then it’s just to keep going. But when I’m working on new projects and not editing I prefer to take a longer chunk of time off so I don’t lose the story – then I might take leave for a while or write throughout the holidays.”

From journalism to occultism Ångström grew up in Västerås in Sweden and has dabbled in all sorts: from journalism and lighting design to songwriting and architecture. The writing has always been central, she says. “Architecture came into the picture

when I realised you have to have a ‘real job’ to survive, and as an architect you get to combine the artistic and the rational,” she explains. “I’m 50 per cent emotionalist and 50 per cent structure freak, so I thought it’d be ideal. When I was little I used to draw floorplans of my room and once drew an overview of the holiday village where my mother worked – pretty strange behaviour for a six-yearold, now that I look back.” Another interest from her childhood that has remained intact is that of occultism and voodoo. “I had a dictionary about supernatural phenomena as a girl,” she says. “It’s in tatters!” Now the author has passed on her fascination to one of the main characters of her most recent novel, Mannen Mellan Väggarna (The Man in the Wall), in which nine-yearold Alva, who moves to an apartment block in Stockholm, owns a similar encyclopaedia. Unbeknown to the tenants of the building, it also houses a man, W, who has spent his entire life doubling up walls to create aisles with secret hatches into the apartments in order to sneak in for food and company at night. One day, Alva and W meet, and their lives change forever. The novel has been filed in the occult thriller category. “I’m not interested in

writing books for the reader to figure out who the murderer is,” Ångström says. “I want to explore human motivations, write exciting, driven stories that also reveal something more, about relationships, vulnerability, loneliness, shifts in power, societal structures and grief – difficult things that can be made more easily accessible and possible to explore through literature.”

Mannen Mellan Väggarna is to a degree inspired by architecture in a literal sense; Ångström had the idea for the book while working as an architect and drawing a multi-residence house. “I started thinking about all the hidden spaces in an ordinary house – vents, inspection hatches and so on – and it made me wonder what could hide in there without us knowing about it,” she explains. “I’ve always been interested in secret rooms and doors and paths – and I find it fascinating that we live so close to our neighbours without really knowing much about each other, that just on the other side of the wall a whole different life is unfolding.” Ångström’s debut novel, Och Allt Är Förvridet (And Everything is Distorted) is a relationship-meets-suspense novel that was nominated for Nöjesguiden’s Stockholm award and listed as Book of the Month by both Kupé and Elle. While one of the story’s main characters spends much of his time studying the life of his ex-girlfriend through the blinds from the bushes outside, architecture is demoted to the periphery here. The book subtly deals with themes of jealousy and loneliness, mind games and Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  17

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Emma Ångström

destructiveness, raising more than a few questions about the world we live in and what is seen as acceptable behaviour. “I was very happy when an acquaintance who had read the book said, ‘but this is a feminist book!’. Yes, it is.”

Exploring human behaviour While the suspense element has remained throughout the two novels, it is perhaps the urge to explain the world and human behaviour that runs as the most obvious common denominator. From start to finish, this is indeed the most interesting theme from a reader’s point of view. It is a theme that echoes beyond her writing work and a hint, perhaps, to her wider motivations. “I’m convinced that a place and a room can have a huge impact on us in a number of ways: how we feel, how we behave in our everyday lives, how we work socially and how societal structures come about,” she says of her fascination with architecture. “If we can plan cities and districts in a conscious way, I am certain that we can design away a lot of the problems we see in society today and increase the quality of life for all of us.” 18  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Yet leaving the actual drawing work of the architect behind is not something she thinks twice about. Having worked as an architect for just under two years upon qualifying, she felt that a combination of her interests in writing and architecture would serve her better; she is a communicator first and foremost. “In my role in the office I am responsible for external and internal communications: I write newsletters and press releases, arrange events and seminars, manage social media and the website, present projects, coordinate visualisations and work with branding,” she explains. “It’s a reasonably new role within architecture firms in Sweden, but more and more firms realise the importance of this type of work, which is great.” Her next book, another occult thriller, will hopefully hit the shelves in 2017. It is set in a Swedish summer idyll and is, she thinks, a tad more melancholic than Mannen Mellan Väggarna – unsurprisingly so, at least to anyone who has given her current playlist a listen. One paper recently dubbed her “the new detective noir queen”, something she

shrugs off. “A bit odd, seeing as I don’t write detective noir,” she teases. “But I don’t really care much about prestige that way. My goal has always been to be able to keep up the writing. As long as I can do that, I’m happy.”

Emma Ångström is an author, journalist and architect from Västerås, now based in Stockholm. Her novel Mannen Mellan Väggarna (The Man in the Wall) is out now on Piratförlaget. All international queries are handled by Stockholm Noir Agency, who also manage the film/TV rights. In addition to her two novels, Emma Ångström has also published two pieces of non-fiction: Ljussätt Ditt Hem, on ICA Förlag, 2010; and Kvarnholmen – En Unik Historia, on Kuab, 2013. For more information, please visit:

This is my house! Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus (Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre) is a creative cultural centre for children and their adults. This is a place where curious children can play, get up to mischief, climb and discover a world full os exciting things.

Slussgatan 1, Gothenburg, Sweden

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Nordic Starchitecture

The Utzon Center was Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s last building. Utzon is most famous for having designed the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Visit Denmark.

What will happen to the Nordic starchitect? Architectural superstars, often called ‘starchitects’, might be a foregone phenomenon, but some Nordic masters still loom large. Are their legacies, combined with Nordic consensus culture, holding back young architects from reaching their full potential? Or has ‘starchitecture’ already been outdated by youthful idealism and new forms of collaboration, leaving cooperative Nordics primed for the future? By Eirik Elvevold

When world famous architect Zaha Hadid died earlier this year, several journalists seized the moment to proclaim the ‘death of starchitecture’. This was not the first time the end of the era of architectural superstars had been predicted. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, budgets for spectacular buildings with experimental form had taken a hit. Naturally, people started questioning if times had changed forever. 20  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

But what about Nordic starchitects? Are they also a dying breed? Judging by this year’s Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, most of them might already be dead. The curators of the pavilion, David Basulto and James Taylor-Foster, question whether the legacy of classic Nordic starchitects such as Sverre Fehn, Alvar Aalto, Sigurd Lewerentz and Jørn Utzon is restraining younger generations. Have they become

more like haunting ghosts than inspiring forefathers?

Be careful not to copy According to Professor Philip Tidwell at Aalto University’s Department of Architecture, the Nordic heritage can influence young architects both ways. “We have to be careful. A community of likeminded architects sharing the same historical perspective can be a strength for the Nordic region. But when does it become introverted close-mindedness?” Tidwell asks. The most important thing, in Tidwell’s opinion, is to actively interrogate old works through a modern lens. “Going back to a great work of architecture is

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Nordic Starchitecture

like re-reading your favourite childhood book as an adult. You won’t see it the same way, but you’ll discover new things and realise that it’s still great literature. We have to remind our students that being inspired by work and mimicking it is not the same thing. Alvar Aalto, I’m certain, would be horrified if we confuse the two,” says Tidwell.

Held back by Nordic values? Tidwell was born in the US, but has been living and working in Finland for much of the last 15 years. He suggests that Nordic values might hold back potential superstars. “Here in the north, one learns not to stick out too much. That often leads to a search for ‘correct’ solutions or ways of building, as opposed to challenging ones. Those methods become accepted, and they usually don’t change until they The idea of the singular genius designing buildings all alone seems outdated. Photo: Bethany Legg.

Mari Hvattum, Professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, is crystal clear that architecture is teamwork – even if you are famous. Photo: The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

are exhausted completely. This affects our systems of higher education as well, where competition has a mostly negative connotation, but the best work arises when students can push each other, challenge ideas and generally learn from one another in a mutually beneficial way,” Tidwell says. Yet, the professor thinks Nordic values have some clear benefits for young architects. “The public competition system opens many doors for young offices. Recently, one of our students won a competition for a public school while still completing his thesis, and the building will be constructed in a few years. That would simply never happen in the United States, for instance, and I doubt in many other places either. Here in the Nordics, we know that the best

ideas in any given office don’t necessarily come from the names above the door. It’s a great cultural condition, if the model of the singular genius has become outdated,” says Tidwell.

Architecture is not a one-woman show Mari Hvattum, professor of architectural history and theory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, agrees that the concept of the genius starchitect is outdated. Hvattum does not consider famous architects a problem per se, but thinks the media paints a distorted picture of the field by focusing too much on persona. “Architecture is truly about teamwork, and buildings are the result of cooperation between various fields and forces: law, economy, bureaucracy, regulations,

How will new forms of work change the buildings and environments in which we live? Photo: Alejandro Escamilla.

Philip Tidwell, Professor at Aalto University in Helsinki, thinks there can be a fine line between a tight-knit Nordic architectural community and introverted closemindedness. Photo: Philip Tidwell.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Nordic Starchitecture

craftsmen, consultants, engineers, user groups. It’s a misconception that a building can be designed by one person alone. That also goes for stars like Zaha Hadid. Luckily, young architects nowadays are more interested in this teamwork than in star status. Most of them are idealists with a strong social commitment,” says Hvattum.

Working together to win One of those young architects is Anastasia Laki. She has studied at Aalto University in Helsinki, but has since moved to Oslo where she is currently working for a firm doing social housing. This month, Laki is travelling to Italy for the Venice Biennale. “It will be interesting to see the Nordic Pavilion; it seems to be controversial this year. In Finland you can still feel the touch of Aalto in some contemporary architecture – it’s classic and still popular among students. I

would say the legacy affects you, but it’s almost like the weather. It’s just there in the background,” says Laki. Laki agrees that most young architects now dream of working together for social impact, more than to become stars. “We don’t just want to impress with a crazy shape, but act on another level for social sustainability. In the Nordic countries, there’s a lot of public investment and a developed public competition system. Graduates, who learn to work together in school, can quite easily establish a small office and participate. If one office lacks specific expertise, they pull in another young office or specialists to win,” Laki explains.

Dedication is a personal choice Laki, who was born in Russia, can relate to some of Tidwell’s thoughts on Nordic values and culture. While studying in

Finland, she experienced a student environment with lower ambitions in general and teachers who gave less critique in comparison with teachers at other schools and international students. “You need some criticism to improve, but people from the Nordics are good at avoiding conflict. Students don’t have to create something incredible and unique, but rather just good enough. There are both pros and cons for the study process, but it definitely reflects the organisation of society,” says Laki. Despite being open about some of Nordic culture’s challenges, Laki makes it clear that she is a big fan. “If you want to be dedicated, you can still work a lot and try to make it big, but no one can force employees to break their backs in the office. That’s what I love about the Nordic model: it becomes a personal choice.”

Top of page: The Norwegian Glacier Museum, dedicated to the knowledge about glaciers and climate, was designed by Sverre Fehn. Photo: CH – Visit Norway. Left: Alvar Aalto’s house. Photo: VisitFinland/Juho Kuva. Right: The Nordic countries are known for their consensus culture. It might prepare young Nordic architects for a more cooperative future, but will it hold back the best talent and their designs from standing out from the crowd? Photo: Oliver Wendel.

22  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016


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Contact +45 3527 1520

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  World Architecture Festival

Juvelen by Utopia Architects.

World Architecture Festival and the future of housing As more than 2,000 world-leading architects and designers head to Berlin for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) this November, what can the northern European capital teach the world about housing at a critical time in history? Furthermore, which Scandinavian professionals will help shape the debate? By Linnea Dunne | Photos: World Architecture Festival

Now in its ninth edition, WAF is bigger and better than ever. Or at least the influx in submissions from across the globe has been significant, and the move to Berlin has meant a huge interest from German as well as British firms. After four years in Singapore, the world’s biggest annual architecture event this year presents a conference on the theme of ‘Housing for Everyone’, debating how demographics and global urbanisation are forcing change in the way we think 24  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

about housing, not least in regards to the urgent refugee crisis. “It’ll be very interesting to take a leaf out of Berlin to see how the city can show the world how to house future city residents,” says Gloria Roberts of Caro Communications. “The whole housing conversation is highly relevant at the moment, not just in Berlin. And it’s also quite revealing that the entire festival had to move on from the initial plan of using

an old disused airport for the show, as the government decided to use it to house refugees.” In a session entitled ‘Architect as instigator’, Lars Krückeberg, founding partner of GRAFT, and Juergen Mayer, founder of J. Mayer H., will explore the issues of housing and immigration and how architects can drive social change. “Before the beginning of the refugee migration crisis in 2015, Berlin was already gaining over 40,000 net inhabitants per annum,” says Krückeberg. “Additionally, asylum claims have reached a historic high in Germany with 442,000 first applications in just one year. Housing is therefore a crucial issue for architects across the country.”

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  World Architecture Festival

As part of the WAF competition element, hopeful firms from across architectural disciplines submit their creations for consideration. The shortlisted entries compete for various category prizes during the first two days of the festival, and the category winners present to super juries on the final day for a chance to take home the prestigious titles of World Landscape, Future Project and Completed Building of the Year Awards.

SHORTLISTED SCANDINAVIAN FIRMS – OUR PICKS: Utopia Architects (SE) Juvelen This new landmark by Uppsala train station has been voted the most appreciated new building in the Swedish city and aims to be one of the most sustainable office buildings in Scandinavia. Due for completion in 2018, it will be six storeys high and cover about 10,000 square metres. Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter ApS (DK) Skjern River Pump Stations This project is a conversion of three pump stations originally constructed in the late 1960s with underground water chambers, large halls and storage rooms. The rebuilding and extension of the overground parts of the three stations DEG 42 by A-lab. Photo: Ivan Brodey

includes exhibition spaces, indoor and outdoor viewpoints, and event spaces, mostly made of wood but reiterating the dimensions and rhythm of the original concrete pump stations. The project exemplifies how the transformation of ‘the negative heritage’ can fill the purpose of mediating between a repressed past and contemporary life. Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor AB (SE) Nötkärnan An extension of a private health clinic at a refugee centre for Somalian refugees at Bergsjön in Gothenburg, Nötkärnan utilises the Somalian idea of paradise with four walls of dense vegetation, like a rainforest, surrounding the glass building. A juxtaposition of screened glass of different patterns in the walls create the illusion of movement, with a flag of colours shifting in the wind. A-lab (NO) DEG 42 By combining traditional materials with expressive architecture in an innovative manner, the new Romsdalsmuseet building has been fully integrated into its surroundings while still maintaining very unique characteristics. The region’s folk culture and the area’s characteristic landscape are united through the building’s

expressive form, which illustrates the museum’s relationship with the Romsdal region’s exceptional scenery. Arkitema Architects (DK) Nærheden Aiming to see to the demand for new, high-quality residential areas close to the buzzing urban area of Copenhagen, this new housing programme in Hedehusene marries urban and sub-urban qualities on 63 hectares. This is a low-dense but green cluster structure utilising the varied local landscape characteristics, allowing for shared facilities and gardens, ‘stay and play’ streets, car-free clusters and community houses. WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL AND INSIDE WORLD FESTIVAL OF INTERIORS When? 16-18 November. Where? Franz Ahrens’ former bus depot, Berlin, Germany. Who? 2,000+ leading architects from all over the world. Organised by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.

For more information, please visit:

Nærheden by Arkitema Architects.

At World Architecture Festival.

Skjern River Pump Stations by Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter ApS.

Nötkärnan by Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  25

You don’t need a big occasion to enjoy Jarlsberg®, the quality cheese from Norway. Its unique taste makes every moment special. Enjoy the autumn evenings with friends and loved ones with your favourite snack on the table. Did you know that the world famous Jarlsberg® cheese is celebrating 60 years in 2016? To find out more, visit: You’ll also find inspiration and some exciting recipes.

Visit us at SIAL Paris, 16 - 20 October 2016. We are in the dairy section, stand 7 B 138









Top left: Courtesy of Oslo Architecture Triennale. Photo: Sverre Jarild. Below left: For the airport, a collection of automatic devices aim to personalise travellers’ airport experience by offering karaoke while your flight is delayed, the possibility to send yourself a personal message to welcome you outside custom clearance or a dispenser to make use of confiscated liquids. Image view of the In Residence exhibition at the National Museum – Architecture. Courtesy of Oslo Architecture Triennale. Photo: Istvan Virag. Right: Installation overview from the On Residence exhibition at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. Courtesy of Oslo Architecture Triennale. Photo: Istvan Virag.

The ways we stay in transit Have you ever been bored by an airport’s monotonous surroundings? Or frustrated that you had to give up a recently purchased bottle of an alcoholic beverage, hand lotion or this season’s Extra Virgin olive oil at the security checkpoint? With their countless rules and routines, airports are among ten generic sites across the world coming under scrutiny at this year’s Oslo Architecture Triennale (OAT), After Belonging. By Oslo Architecture Triennale

OAT is the Nordic region’s biggest architecture festival, and one of the world’s main arenas for discussion and dissemination of architectural and urban challenges. Each edition addresses a global topic that has local relevance. The Triennale, which takes place every third year in Oslo, is open until 27 November this year. Through two main exhibitions and an extended ten-week programme, this year’s festival tackles issues related to contemporary migration and explores how our surroundings affect our sense of belonging and identity in a world where millions of people are in transit. International ex-

Belonging looks at ten specific sites that are considered to have a significant impact on people in various forms of transit – voluntary or involuntary. It also presents a series of suggestions for how architects and planners can work in the sites in question.

perts, architects, city planners and politicians are invited to discuss how to shape our homes, cities and society in order to accommodate an increasingly global population in a good way.

Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, After Belonging: A Triennale In Residence, On Residence and the Ways We Stay in Transit.

The Triennale’s two exhibitions, In Residence and On Residence, can be seen in Oslo at the National Museum – Architecture and at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture until 27 November.

Curated by: Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio G. Galán, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrete Llopis and Marina Otero Verzier.

In addition to looking at how belonging and identity are connected to and affected by our surroundings, After

Open from 8 September to 27 November.

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Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  27

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

View across the Barcode district.

The Wedge.

Architecture for democracy The latest addition to Oslo’s iconic Barcode skyline, a quirky wedge-shaped office building, has been constructed and tailor-made for a new generation of young entrepreneurs and creative start-ups. The creators behind The Wedge, awardwinning architecture firm A-Lab, want to dedicate Oslo’s skyline to the small actors. By Ingvild Vetrhus | Photos: Ivan Brodey, Oslo S Utvikling

“Nordic architecture is based on the idea of democracy,” founding partner of A-Lab, Geir Haaversen, explains. Stressing that they want to deliver more “architecture for the people”, he is proud to see that The Wedge is one of a handful innovative buildings that could soon claim the prestigious title Office Building of the Year. “I feel that the architect’s role has been lost for some time. As architects, we often forget to observe the needs of society,” Haaversen says. “Which is why we have made it our duty to create socially engaging architecture for the benefit of the people.” The judges at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Berlin seem to agree. By shortlisting The Wedge for the internationally highly recognised prize, 28  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

they help to put office spaces designed for future generations and young entrepreneurs on the architectural map. By fighting vanity with innovation, Haaversen explains, A-Lab wanted to focus on a simple design. He stresses that they wanted to shed light on small start-ups that prefer to gather all staff in one space, rather than expanding on the Barcode area’s tradition of housing and showcasing large commercial corporations. A panoramic view and a cafeteria based on the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ enshrine the redbricked building’s central location and architecture based on Scandinavian democratic values. Inspired by the Meatpacking District of New York, another striking characteristic of The Wedge is the narrowness of the

building, constructed on a site that measures between only ten and 30 feet in width. Keen on promoting innovative solutions for society, A-Lab became one of the actors to transform and boost the old Oslo borough of Tøyen. “Architecture has consequences for society as a whole,” Haaversen insists. “Buildings might exist for 100 years, so we think it is important to focus on social sustainability.” A-lab has received several international architectural awards, for both residential and commercial buildings. “The Wedge illustrates how the last building that completes the Barcode district also represents the beginning of a new Oslo. The interaction between small-scale start-ups and the large commercial industry will be crucial for the capital’s success in the future,” Haaversen concludes.

For more information, please visit:


Dram m e nsve ie n 1 3 0 , i n n g an g A 5 0277 O s lo , N o r wa y

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

By participating with a building in the Barcode project, MAD has helped transform central Oslo into a sustainable waterfront city and put Norway on the architectural map. Photo: Tomasz Majewski

Are you satisfied with a mediocre city? MAD’s architects have already transformed Norwegian cities through an uncompromising approach to sustainability and liveability. Now they are taking their vision abroad to prepare your city for the future. By Eirik Elvevold

“80 per cent of new buildings are mediocre. The remaining 20 per cent are either awesome or terrible, so people notice them and discuss them, but they don’t notice all the mediocracy popping up around them. That’s the real threat to any modern city,” argues MAD’s passionate CEO, Nicolai Riise. Ever since Riise established MAD together with two other partners in 1997, the architecture firm has fought mediocracy by leaving an increasingly evident mark of quality on Norwegian architecture. In Oslo, Europe’s fastest growing capital in terms of population, MAD has been involved in developing most – if not all – of the most eye-catching areas, including Bjørvika, Tjuvholmen, Sørenga and Nydalen. 30  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

“MAD has played a key part in putting Oslo and Norway on the architectural map, especially through our contribution to the Barcode project. We’re now eager to take our fearless vision out into the world through the new endeavour MAD Global. I think there’s an extreme demand for our approach to sustainability,” Riise says confidently.

Sustainable or nothing at all Many CEOs like to talk about the environment, but Riise is not kidding around. Together with his team, he consistently makes choices to minimise MAD’s carbon footprint, even if that means declining lucrative offers. The approach has left more than one potential client feeling disappointed and slightly dizzy, but it is the source of MAD’s reputation

as an innovative office pushing the world in the right direction. Buildings such as the DigiPlex Data centre in Fetsund right outside Oslo are paving the way for a new sustainable era in Norwegian industry. “We would rather starve than do terrible projects. People don’t realise how climate change will affect our society. In 20 years, we might experience a full stop, where we’re basically told to close down buildings or forbidden to use certain materials. MAD is on the right side of history, which is why we’re a natural choice for projects like the new Oslo Bus Terminal. Our clean reputation generates the necessary trust,” Riise says.

Living for the liveable city MAD’s architecture is not only making Norwegian cities more striking and sustainable. It is making them more liveable too. According to Riise, multi-use buildings and accessible spaces such as the current project Media City Bergen are

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

essential if you want a prosperous city where people actually enjoy living. “The ground floor is crucial to liveability. An area with only apartments is dead during the day, and an area with only office buildings is dead at night. You need apartments, offices, stores, cafés, culture spots and schools – places where people can meet face to face in their daily lives. It makes perfect sense both socially and economically to avoid putting a garbage room at street level,” Riise says.

Exporting the Norwegian approach MAD comes across as an unapologetic company that dares to stay true to some of democratic Scandinavia’s finest values. Like all architects, members of the MAD team dream about designing beautiful buildings, but they are convinced that it

is possible to combine beauty and public service. Aesthetics and functionality are not treated as mutually exclusive, but rather as part of the same goal. “In Norway, we develop our cities by increasing the density while simultaneously adapting urban spaces to pedestrians and cyclists. We preserve history while looking to the future. We distribute our wealth. Minorities are not hidden away in a corner. Why shouldn’t the world learn from us?” Riise asks. The CEO talks about the future with a contagious positivity, convinced that MAD’s combination of openness and madness will lead to international success. “We are a little bit mad, and it’s supposed to be noticed. It creates excitement about quality architecture. We’ve also learned that it’s better to

cooperate and share than to protect ourselves and hide information. Projects become way better when we invite others to join our efforts,” Riise concludes. FIVE MAD FACTS: - Norwegian architecture firm established in 1997 by the three partners Kurt Singstad, Trond Elverum and Nicolai Riise. - Deeply involved in Oslo’s architectural renaissance. - Offices in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger. - Going international through MAD Global. - Most of the 42 employees are coowners in the firm.

For more information, please visit:

Barcode bicycle stands. Photo: Tomasz Majewski

Photo: Tomasz Majewski

CEO, partner and architect Nicolai Riise has made a conscious choice to keep MAD away from unsustainable projects – even if they pay off. He thinks a clean reputation will be important when MAD now goes global. Photo:

MAD’s Barcode creation up close. Photo: Jiri Havran

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  31

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

A place to call your own Many of us have that one special place in the world that pulls on deep feelings of belonging and identity. What is it about reclusive sites that seem to be so appealing to Norwegians, and how can such a place be approached to reach its potential? In architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s project for a summer house addition, patience and respect are key as tradition meets modern, small meets large, and the need for comfort meets the desire to experience nature at its most raw and beautiful.

on a vast plot facing the rough sea, was not quite big enough and needed an extension. Hølmebakk’s team had several challenges with the small project, from working with a frail old house to accessing the remote site with materials and how to consider historical heritage values.

By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk AS

“We’ve specialised in architectural tailoring in different forms and often work with demanding projects on complicated sites. We are inspired by and adapt our project ideas to the client, nature and topography. For instance, we’re good at building without using explosives or taking down trees,” says Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, architect and general manager of the Norwegian architecture firm carrying his name. Hølmebakk established his own Oslo office in 1992, after studying and teaching architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). In the late ‘90s, the office became involved in designing and developing the National Tourist Routes of Norway, but never stopped focusing on smaller, private projects. 32  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

“The National Tourist Routes is a spectacular project with dramatic sites – it has really become iconic and has reached out to many people, but in the private projects people let us into their personal dreams. There are always plenty of feelings involved when a client picks us to design something, which can sometimes be quite intimate. Maybe they’ve grown up on the land or have high hopes of living out their ambitions there. Regardless, they have a deep desire for everything to be perfect,” says Hølmebakk.

Going the extra mile One of Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s latest projects was completed in the municipality of Flakstad in the world famous Lofoten archipelago. An old house of the north Norwegian style, ‘Nordlandshus’, located

“From the beginning, it was clear that the elements of this task were quite basic – almost primitive: a 25-square-metresmall, warm and protected interior in a

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

jects, which turned out really well. During the first two years, the wood turns grey from the weather. Together with the aluminium window profiles and sink plates on the roof, the house attains a greyscale finish all over, which is easy to maintain,” says Hølmebakk.

Mixed generations – better ideas Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s small office employs several young architects. Hølmebakk has hired promising candidates from across Scandinavia, with the majority educated at AHO, to complement the more experienced employees. That is a conscious choice. “Many of our projects are very appealing to newly graduated architects because they are quite similar to school assignments at AHO. My employees can really immerse themselves in a project over time and be all-rounders, just like they did in school. Young architects are often very dedicated and bring a lot of intensity to the table,” Hølmebakk affirms. “Despite working on very specialised projects, since we are such a small office, we all become generalists who do a little bit of everything.”

The shared academic background also makes for interesting discussions at work – something former teacher Hølmebakk appreciates. “I’ve been lucky in attracting so much bright youth. There are so many ways of being talented in this field: you can be amazing at maths or be a purely visual thinker – that’s what creates so many interesting architectural discussions, which further generates great ideas and solutions for specific projects.”

For more information, please visit:

large and climatically harsh landscape. And the site really was huge. Sea, mountains, wind and wilderness from all sides made it a hard place to build. You either had to walk for one hour or go by boat over the strait. Many materials had to be flown in by helicopter,” Hølmebakk explains. “Another challenge was preserving the old house in the design and construction process. We were, for instance, involved in a healthy dialogue with the cultural heritage authorities.” In the end, untreated spruce was used to shield the house from wind and rain. “We had already used spruce on other proIssue 93  |  October 2016  |  33

Left: In a proposal for the area next to the Norway Trade Fairs in Lillestrøm, Vindveggen Arkitekter designed a green lid on top of the highway that would solve a multitude of pressing issues. The plan prioritised more parking space, better noise reduction and easier access to the river Nitelva. Right: Vindveggen Arkitekter’s apartment project Haneborgåsen Panorama in Lørenskog offers proximity to Oslo, the region’s most modern hospital, several shopping centres and soon the world’s biggest indoor skiing hall.

Vindveggen – the all-rounders from Akershus The Norwegian county of Akershus, circumventing the capital of Oslo, is growing at a tremendous speed. That means high demand for all types of buildings, from houses and apartment buildings to schools and sustainable parking solutions. Vindveggen Arkitekter, based in the city of Lillestrøm, has specialised in designing all of it. By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Vindveggen Arkitekter

“Vindveggen’s main strength is the ability to step into other people’s shoes – most of our architects can do a lot,” says CEO and architect Martin Glomnes. Born and raised in Akershus, Glomnes has seen the county’s transformation up close. “Oslo Airport at Gardermoen, especially, has changed a lot. Suddenly, the region east of Oslo became way more central. There is now an extreme demand for housing, and we’ve never had more to do.” As the real estate market in Oslo keeps boiling like never before, more and more people are looking to the surrounding areas for attractive options. The trend is evident from the public interest in Vindveggen Arkitekter’s new apartment project, Haneborgåsen Panorama in Lørenskog. Even though the 160 apartments will not 34  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

be ready until 2018, several hundred potential buyers have already been in contact with developer Haneborgåsen Utvikling. “The apartments will have an amazing view towards Oslo in the west. You’ll live close to a modern hospital, large shopping centres and soon the world’s biggest indoor skiing hall, developed by Selvaag,” Glomnes explains.

Staying green when business is booming When competing companies face a hot market, it is often easy to throw sustainability aside. CEO Glomnes is convinced, however, that things are moving in the right direction and praises the common effort from Norway’s public and private sectors.

“Vindveggen is among the offices actively trying to adapt their designs to the environment. As an example, we made an interesting proposal for the area next to Norway Trade Fairs in our home city of Lillestrøm. We designed a green lid on top of the highway, which would include much-needed space for parking and housing, shield the local population from the traffic noise and give people better access to the river Nitelva,” says Glomnes. Also in the use of materials, Glomnes has seen a positive development. Solid wood, for instance, has become an increasingly popular alternative to concrete. Vindveggen Arkitekter is now working on an internal database, supported by the Research Council of Norway, which will make it easier to choose green on a daily basis. “The system is quite simple, but very important. It will help us navigate in the jungle of materials,” says Glomnes. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Left: Skåresletta is a residential area consisting of apartments and kindergartens. Right: English-inspired housing at Ris skolevei 13-15.

Recycled materials, sustainable success 20 years of viable excellence have put Felix Arkitekter at the forefront of the Nordic architecture scene. The core belief behind the firm is thorough societal interpretation, which shines through in all aspects of Felix Arkitekter’s projects. By Pernille Johnsen | Photos: Felix Arkitekter

Felix Arkitekter is a prominent player within the field of restoring and preserving older buildings and using recycled materials for new projects. In 2007 the firm won an award for a project in Pilestredet Park, called Gjenbrukshuset, due to the incorporation of the materials from an old wing at the national hospital, Rikshospitalet. Felix Arkitekter is adamant that the preservation of buildings leads to less environmental damage and that rehabilitating structures into modern use adds value to the communities who live in symbiosis with the architecture around them. Currently, Felix Arkitekter has three projects in the final phase of being built. Hasleveien 10 is a combined housing and shopping mall complex, which embodies

the pathos of Felix Arkitekter perfectly: establishing a new structure along with preservation and rehabilitation of an existing building, ultimately creating a wholesome building in sync with its surroundings. Another project in the works is Skårersletta, a large residential area in Lørenskog, which will constitute 160 apartments in high-rise buildings and other apartment blocks as well as a kindergarten.

Staying relevant Sustainable and socially conscious architecture is only possible when there is an innate understanding of different interests and needs within a community. Felix Arkitekter has two decades of experience of implementing research, knowledge and expertise into a shared interpretation of what the structure

should add to the community on a micro as well as macro level. The firm has 15 staff and places particular emphasis on not becoming too large a company. In order to stay relevant and avoid anonymity, it is important that every coworker feels a strong sense of ownership towards the projects. The firm has a multidisciplinary approach to meeting the demands of clients; aside from architects, they also have a sociologist on board concerned with urban planning. The way housing and property address and include people directly is the main motivation of Felix Vidal, founding partner, for continuing to stay in such a competitive industry. It is by no means a nine-to-five job. “It is a lifestyle that requires passion and tenacity,” he explains – and his colleagues share his ambition to create structures that enhance the community and society at large. For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  35

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Profilbygget, with its characteristic shape, is highly visible from the passing traffic. A three-storey office hovers over a gas station serving as the building’s anchor. Photo: Espen Grønli

Staying in the lead of Norwegian architecture What is next for SJ Arkitekter? The versatile and well-connected office has already played an important role in shaping the modern Oslo you see today, but strives to stay ahead through a cooperative spirit both inside and outside the office. By strengthening their win-win agreement with world-renowned Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, SJ Arkitekter is hoping to gain a competitive advantage at home. By Eirik Elvevold

If you have ever visited Oslo, you have definitely laid eyes on a building designed by SJ Arkitekter. The Norwegian capital, which has received a significant architectural makeover in the last decade, simply would not look the same without them. Most famous is perhaps their building in the Barcode project, the now recognisable row of high-rise buildings facing the Oslo fjord together with the Oslo Opera House, housing Norwegian mutual insurance company KLP. 36  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

inception grown to a diverse staff of 25. Together, they are trying to remain among the leading architecture firms in Norway. “We’re extremely versatile and have a really solid network here in Norway, but the market is constantly changing. I think the Oslo market for commercial buildings, for instance, is quite saturated, but the city is crying out for new apartments. We’re on track to remain at the top, but it’s essential to keep investing in architectural competency, new solutions and a healthy balance sheet,” says Jacobsen.

“It’s been truly fantastic to be part of Barcode. We have all become prouder, not only of the KLP building, but of our own office in general. The project has transformed Bjørvika and put us on the architectural map,” says founder and partner Svein Jacobsen, who started the company together with Gunnar Solheim in 1997.

Facing the future with complementary cooperation

SJ Arkitekter still bears Jacobsen and Solheim’s initials, but has since its

Staying open to cooperation is another way of greeting the future of architecture. Jacobsen highlights the importance

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

of knowing your strengths while simultaneously filling the gaps of your weaknesses by working with others. This philosophy applies both inside and outside the office. “A great building is never created by a one-man band. All our employees are responsible for coming up with ideas and contributing to the result. We organise a lot of workshops for every new assignment, where everything goes on the table,” Jacobsen explains. SJ Arkitekter also has a mutually beneficial cooperation agreement with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Originally established in Denmark, the award-winning firm is currently designing high-profile architecture across the globe from its offices in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Shanghai and London. The collaboration first started in 2015 but is growing even stronger as Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Danish office is sending some of its employees to permanently work in Oslo. “It’s a win-win situation for the both of us. SJ Arkitekter is not amazing at competitions, while Schmidt Hammer Lassen is winning prestigious competitions all over the world. Yet they’re miles off having our Norwegian network, so we function as their implementation office and local expertise. In short, we learn a lot from each other, and we’ve already won some competitions together here in Norway,” says Jacobsen.

piece of architecture that reflects the Norwegian values of transparency. The oak courtrooms still glow through the façade like pieces of jewellery. It’s not often we challenge conventions, but no one has complained and no one has been shot,” says Jacobsen. The Borgarting Court of Appeal symbolises the close relationship between architecture and society, a connection SJ Arkitekter takes very seriously. Through its commitment to sustainability and charity, the company

gives back for having the privilege of shaping people’s everyday lives. “Designing big buildings is a serious thing. We manage large values, and the result will stand there for many years, so architecture is not a private matter – it’s a public matter. We have to be aware of that responsibility and give something in return,” Jacobsen concludes. For more information, please visit:

Inside Profilbygget. Photo: Espen Grønli

Below left: Borgarting Court of Appeal’s glass façade has become symbolic of Norwegian openness and transparency. Photo: Anna Nowogrodzka. Below right: SJ Arkitekter’s building for the Barcode Project, now home to mutual insurance company KLP, has put the office, Oslo and Norway on the architectural world map. Photo: Jiri Havran

Bringing values into building When modern architecture changes cities, debate is often a natural result. The Barcode project, for example, was not without controversy – especially before its construction. Luckily, fears of a city closed off by an impenetrable wall of buildings proved to be massively exaggerated and popular support has since sky-rocketed. In another one of SJ Arkitekter’s well-known Oslo projects, the Borgarting Court of Appeal, controversy was of the opposite character – people feared too much openness. “We gave the court a glass façade so that the public can see the judges in black robes directly from the street. It was controversial, but a beautiful Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  37

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Affordable architect-drawn homes ‘Affordable’ and ‘architect-drawn’ are two terms that typically do not go together. In fact, they tend to be mutually exclusive – but that was until Kvalbein Arkitektur entered the scene. Since its inception in 2010, the company has created stylish design homes at budget-friendly prices all over Norway. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Kvalbein Arkitektur

The Bergen-based architecture firm has become the go-to company for averageincome families who wish to live in unusual and special homes. Together with his business partner, owner Philip Kvalbein Hauge is living the dream of creating sophisticated homes for everyone. “Our aim is to create houses that are cheaper than flats of a similar size,” he says. “People tend to think that architect-drawn homes are terribly expensive, but that does not have to be the case. The way we work makes it perfectly possible for people with average salaries and lives to live in an architectdrawn home.” But how? Kvalbein Hauge says that by stripping the house down to what is actually necessary, the costs are 38  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

considerably reduced. “It is far more demanding to create liveable and beautiful houses on small budgets than bigger housing projects with millions in the bank. We constantly have to think of innovative and not least sustainable solutions and materials, and by keeping it simple the prices stay low.” Characteristic of their houses is a focus on wood, an underrated material in modern architecture. “I am a carpenter first and foremost, and I love how adaptable wood is,” Kvalbein Hauge says. He describes their style as “sober roughness”, a term that fits perfectly with old Scandinavian traditions. “We draw houses based on our customers’ usage, rather than expecting people to adapt their behavior to the house,” he says.

Kvalbein Arkitektur is located in Bergen but takes on projects all over Norway. They are currently also looking beyond the borders of their home country, guided by Kvalbein Hague’s dream of building in Japan. “We have our hands busy in Norway, but we are always looking to expand our knowledge of culture, history and architecture through what we do,” he says.

For more information and inspiration, please visit:

More than your regular architecture firm Impressive buildings with innovative use of materials as well as energy efficient and sustainable solutions. Have you heard it all before? Touché - meet OSLO WORKS, an architecture firm offering this and a little extra.

ue chain. Ideally we should all share our competence and that way make each other better,” the architect continues.

By Helene Toftner | Photos: OSLO WORKS

While the educational side is close to their hearts, they are first and foremost an architecture firm creating interesting buildings. “We want to do more than finish a project and move on to the next,” architect and co-founder Stenseth says, and Bakken adds: “Every participant could be an expert in using the project as a tool for better understanding and pushing the industry forward, and we hope that by learning and sharing knowledge that is exactly what everyone in the industry, be it an engineer, carpenter or project manager, will feel.”

An architect’s social mission is to add value through good design of buildings and physical environments. “These projects gather highly competent people, be it clients, users, local communities and the design team, sometimes for several years, to some of the nation’s largest collaborative efforts. OSLO WORKS wants to focus on a parallel ambition exploiting the potential of increase in competence that the project itself represents. Every person involved should become inspired and enriched through this,” says architect and co-founder Siri Bakken. After decades working for large architecture firms, Siri Bakken and Gudmund Stenseth decided to follow their dreams and open their own firm earlier this year. With extensive experience from working on some of Norway’s largest construction

projects, they could finally dedicate time to what lies behind the end result, namely the process itself. “On each project, people from many different backgrounds and occupations come together. Our approach is that by sharing and learning from each other, as well as focusing on bringing innovation elements to the table, together we can lift the performance and productivity across the entire construction business. We will be better architects just as the engineers can be better engineers,” Bakken says. The keyword is indeed ‘learning’, and the firm has dived into some of the most challenging areas of the industry. “We are working with research hubs, such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, to detect and improve the factors that could influence the whole val-

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Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  39

Nydalsveien 32B. Photo: SAAHA/DOF/LALA/GETHER

Unique combinations of people equal unique architectural results Research by big consultancies shows that diversity is good for profitability. We are tempted to apply the same to great architecture. Together, people with different backgrounds, experiences and ideas are likely to create better results. With this in mind, the architecture firm SAAHA has won many a competition and their works are easily visible in city spheres ranging from Oslo to Sarajevo. By Helene Toftner | Photos: SAAHA

Most people and businesses today agree that diversity of people and experiences is a good thing, yet old habits can be hard to change and many stick to their old ways. One firm that has fully embraced the new standard of diversity and difference is SAAHA. The architecture firm is inherently international, with offices in Oslo and Sarajevo along with projects all over Europe, and actively works to maintain a diverse work force both inside the firm’s 40  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

four walls and among its partners. “The world is constantly changing and needs innovative solutions. We firmly believe that the best way of achieving this is by having a unique mix of people,” says co-founder and architect Adnan Harambasic. “We bring in the best people from around the world when we need to. We believe it’s the way forward, creating small dynamic environments that work together across projects and borders, as well as disciplines.”

This is why most of their projects are based on collaboration with landscape architects, engineers and sustainability and energy experts from the start.

‘Back to the future’ gets a new meaning Together with his business partner Thor Olav Solbjør, Harambasic started the company three years ago as a result of reaching the final in a few large international competitions, and winning several competitions in Norway, with a specific focus on sustainability. Since the very beginning, the firm has worked on a wide variety of projects, from urban planning for the new government quarters in Oslo, another collaboration project – this time with Dutch architects MVRDV and Oslo-based LALA, a group of young

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landscape architects – to a proposal for the largest office building in wood as well as smaller infrastructural projects. “The largest part of our work, however, revolves around city development projects, with a focus on larger office and residential projects,” Solbjør says and mentions the Nydalsveien 32 project. Situated in the north of Oslo, an industrial turned residential part of the city, the task was to redevelop the historical industrial buildings for office and residential use. “A typical sign of our time is to preserve the old and redevelop it for new usage. This is a very interesting approach but also more demanding than starting from scratch,” Solbjør says, and Harambasic adds: “It’s almost a bit ‘back to the future’, where we have to interpret and bring the old qualities into the new. We work to incorporate history into the needs of the time.” Another sign of our time is the focus on energy efficiency. Nydalsveien 32B

is a near zero-energy building, and Harambasic argues that most buildings in the future will be energy efficient, thus allowing for more interesting architectural solutions. “In time, energy efficiency will be taken for granted, and we can focus on the different possibilities this gives us. For example, in this specific project we can make a winter garden without it drawing on energy supplies. It is very exciting times ahead.”

Adding something good This takes us to another important point for SAAHA, namely social responsibility. Sustainability must be the word of the decade, and SAAHA brings it to a more local level, specifically to give something back to the communities they work with. “The important thing is to always remember that people are going to use the buildings and spaces we create. They must be adapted to their needs and make a good contribution to their lives,” Harambasic says.

It is apparent that both Solbjør and Harambasic are truly passionate about the international aspect, as well as how an international approach can contribute locally in creating great places for people to spend their time. The passion is equally present when talking about specific materials, and there is no doubt about their favourite. “Wood. We use wood as much as possible,” Solbjør says. In fact, they are so fond of the material that they have designed a building in Stavanger solely based on it. The Finansparken project, a collaboration with Helen & Hard architects, kicked off in September. This seven-storey office building is being constructed entirely without steel as a fastening means. “It is a unique design, where wood is used instead of steel,” says Solbjør.

For more information and to contact SAAHA, please visit:

Finansparken in Stavanger. Photo: SAAHA/Helen Hard

Nydalsveien 32B. Photo: SAAHA/DOF/LALA/GETHER

HARVEST Nordic Build Challenge. Photo: SAAHA/DOF/Gether

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway Langfoss Servicesenter.

Sauda Nye Folkets Hus (Sauda Community House).

Karmsund Panorama, 13 apartments by the seaside in Haugesund.

Summer house in Haugesund.

An architectural intermediary In between Norwegian mountains and the sublime Åkrafjord of Haugesund, OPUS Architects have adopted the significant task of creating an innovative picnic area by one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, Langfoss. By Ingvild Vetrhus | Photos: OPUS | ARCHITETCTS

“The greater the challenge, the larger the limitation, the richer the solution,” says CEO Atle Strønstad. He explains that what was initially viewed as major issues related to limitations of space on the project site, have ultimately become the core foundation of the geometrical entirety of the restoration of Langfoss’ outdated facilities. By converting the roof of the kiosk into a picnic area, the architects of OPUS aim to create an unforgettable scenic experience by providing a spectacular view. Authenticity and sustainability are enshrined through the use of local wood from a nearby sawmill, Langfoss-sagen. Focusing on personal mobility, the design of the picnic area is shaped and developed based on the growing demand for universal design, which has been integrated as a vital part of the architecture. By using ac42  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

cessibility as design, everyone from wheelchair users to families with baby buggies can easily access all picnic facilities. “We think it is important that our architecture works as an intermediary between the public interest and the wishes and demands of our clients,” Strønstad explains. The architecture firm’s vision of social responsibility is also reflected in their new project, the historically valued Folkets Hus. Located in the industrial town of Sauda, the buildings of Folkets Hus were constructed in 1931 on initiative of the town’s working class. Dubbed ‘the stave church of the working class’ by famous political scientist Frank Aarebrot, the buildings have been an important meeting place for the town’s industrial workers through time. The importance of preserving the characteristic buildings is significant, and OPUS, together with

RATIO Architects, plans to extend the grounds with an additional construction to ensure future engagements and utility of the existing monuments. “We need modern facilities to meet future necessities,” says Strønstad. The expertise of OPUS’s dedicated architects ranges from working with buildings of cultural importance and hospital projects, to secondary schools, private cabins and homes, as well as large business parks for the oil and gas sector. The architecture firm is located in the heart of Haugesund, centrally placed between Bergen and Stavanger. Villa by the seaside in Haugesund.

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Left: Munkerud Primary School, which houses 840 pupils. Photo: Tove Lauluten. Right: Fernanda Nissen Primary School, which houses 840 pupils. Photo: Tove Lauluten

Pioneering architecture yields pathways in dementia treatment Planforum Arkitekter celebrated 20 years as a prominent contributor to Norwegian architecture last year. They implement a sense of fun and community into daily work places to foster creativity. Their main focus is on structures contributing to society at large, whether it be schools, healthcare centres or sports facilities. By Pernille Johnsen

Over the last two years, Planforum Arkitekter have been creating a village for people with dementia. It is based on a pilot project in Holland at Hogeweyk. The Norwegian equivalent is located at Dønskiveien 39-47, 20 minutes outside Oslo. “Planforum have developed the draft for the project and conceptualised it into a detailed sketch scheme,’’ explains Ingeborg Lieth Årøe, partner and architect at the firm. This village will enable patients suffering from dementia to maintain ownership of their own lives and routines, by having the freedom to walk around the village unsupervised. Research shows that people diagnosed with the disease are then able to remain in the early onset stage and stay healthier for an extended period of time. This will

have positive societal effects and provide the opportunity to redistribute some of the resources allocated for traditional care to this futuristic concept.

Creating local meeting places The concept of having fun at work materialises in Planforum Arkitekter’s projects as the team focuses on creating tailor-made and pleasant workplaces customised to suit each unique environment. Schools assume a greater role in this regard as they often turn into meeting places for communities, which is of paramount importance when deciding on materials and layout. Planforum Arkitekter have adopted a flat, Scandinavian office culture with a strong sense of community and equality among

the architects – and this is reflected in the schemes they produce. The team develops their skills and staff through trips abroad and events as well as attending courses while submitting work for competitions. During 2016, two schools were finalised in the greater Oslo area: Fernanda Nissen Skole and Munkerud Skole, both housing 840 pupils. The plan for 2017 and 2018 is for the creation of two additional schools, namely Ytre Enebakk Skole and Hebekk Skole, both in the surrounding Oslo area.

Dønskiveien 39-47, a pioneering structure for patients suffering from dementia. Photo: Planforum Arkitekter.

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Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  43

Oslo Airport will be able to accommodate upwards of 35 million travellers a year.

Nordic — Office of Architecture’s signature flow aids travellers and patients worldwide One of the largest architectural practices in Scandinavia, Nordic — Office of Architecture always places people at the heart of everything they do. Whether the task at hand is an airport in Oslo or a psychiatric institution in Trondheim, part of their company DNA is to implement a bullet-proof methodology to meet every client’s needs. By Pernille Johnsen | Photos: Nordic — Office of Architecture

In large-scale projects, such as hospitals and airports, it is easy to view the building as a logistical machine that simply moves people through a multitude of check-points. This is the opposite of what Nordic aims to do; they construct buildings where the patient, air traveller or pupil is consistently in focus and the structure is built to accommodate their needs. One example is St. Olavs Hospital, 44  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

where the effortless flow necessary for the patient’s recovery is a built-in feature at the Mobility Centre. Also present at St. Olavs Hospital is the Knowledge Centre, a joint venture between the hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which hosts treatment rooms, a library and study rooms to name a few. This is a new approach in Norwegian healthcare and

acts as an example of how constructing and developing something differently is a welcomed change.

Identify, understand and solve – a method of merit In order to deliver such large projects, Nordic has adopted a method that aids the practice in solving assignments of all sizes. First, the team identifies the essence of the task, where aspects such as topography, history and sustainability are analysed and accounted for. What is the client actually asking for? When the essence of the project is established, a range of viewpoints and scenarios for various concepts are developed using

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sketches, illustrations and 3D-printed models. At this point, everyone involved should be able to visually imagine the project. John Arne Bjerknes, partner and design director at Nordic, emphasises how important it is to map out several ways of solving a task and not jump to the first and most obvious conclusion. This is a key feature in the quality-conscious culture Nordic has fostered.

Expertise across generations Nordic has been specialising in the planning and designing of complex structures for years and has acquired substantial expertise in-house. Still, the practice is proactive and brings in external personnel when necessary to get the project just right. Nordic — Office of Architecture is a firm with around 140 employees, mostly based in Oslo but also in offices in Copenhagen and London. There is noticeable diversity A sketch of the expanded Bergen Airport.

among the employees as the firm consciously hires recent graduates and architects with just a few years of experience and deems it essential to nurture new talent. Bjerknes explains that it is just as important to spot talent and potential as heavy expertise, as this leads to a multi-generational office with an array of different knowledge pools.

the expansion of Istanbul New Airport. Additionally, a new terminal at Bergen Airport, Flesland, and an accompanying airport hotel will open in the summer of 2017. Finally, three schools are about to be completed, as well as a psychiatric institution in Trondheim and a nursing home in Asker, alongside a number of smaller projects.

Straightforward airports come to fruition The impressive portfolio of current projects by Nordic includes the expansion of Oslo Airport, which will be finalised in April 2017. Upon completion, the airport will accommodate a total of 35 million passengers, where the core principle of placing the passenger at the centre and providing an innate, simple way to get an overview of where to go, is very much present and creates that signature flow evident in Nordic’s architecture. Previously, Nordic was a key player in

St. Olavs Hospital, where the intriguing Mobility Centre is located.

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The new and improved Oslo Airport will open in 2017.

A sketch of the new Bergen Airport Hotel 5.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Tustna Ladestasjon – the charging station in the fjords.

Creating buildings that go hand in hand with the surroundings Sometimes the best architecture is that which goes with its surroundings like peas in a pod, creating a sense of compatibility and completeness. With this at heart, the architects at Arkitekturfabrikken have made their mark. Focusing on residential buildings, including houses, apartment blocks and cabins, the projects are all viewed in their greater context, whether located in the woods or in town. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Arkitekturfabrikken

In 2012, four eager architects set up the Trondheim-based architecture firm Arkitekturfabrikken, directly translating as ‘the architecture factory’. Their ambition was simple: to always take on projects that would challenge them. “We are incredibly humbled by the landscape and history surrounding each project, which we aim to incorporate into the buildings while also trying to foresee the future and how to best meet the time to come. Thus every single project is, and 46  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

has to be, approached in different ways,” says partner Jens Bjørnstad.

‘Hytta i skogkanten’ – the cabin that connects At the core of the firm’s approach is their belief that the individual project is part of a much bigger project, being the neighbourhood or geographical specifications. One of these projects was named ‘Hytta’, a cabin situated far into the forest in northern Sweden. Being

one of the firm’s first projects, it is not only an interesting example but obviously one close to their hearts. “The cabin is located in the woods far from civilisation, with a small lake as its closest neighbour. We placed the cabin just where the forest opens up towards the lake, like a safe zone surrounding the building as well as creating an open place for socialising,” Bjørnstad says. “When you walk through the cabin it gives the same feeling as walking outside along the path out from the forest and towards the lake.”

Creating a resting place – Tustna Ladestasjon This approach has won them several commissions and some rather groundbreaking projects, including what was named Tustna Ladestasjon, translating as

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‘Tustna charging station’. At a time when Tesla is taking over the world, you would be excused for thinking it is about an automobile charging station, but it is in fact a recreational place beautifully located on an island in the fjord region. “Similarly to a charging station, it is for people to gather strength. With stunning scenery and a relaxing atmosphere, this is where people come to escape everyday stress,” Bjørnstad says. “Our task was to design a hotel-like community of small individual units that would provide a sense of privacy, yet felt connected by a restaurant and common areas.” As you may already have figured out, the firm may be focusing on residential projects but they vary greatly. True to their initial vision of constantly challenging themselves, they are keen to take on new areas of the industry. “We are working quite a bit with cultural institutions, where we work on the design layout ahead of exhibitions for, among others, Ringve Music Museum,” Bjørnstad says. Another big-shot cultural institution they have been involved with is the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, which houses three of the bestpreserved Viking ships in the world. “We came third in an open international competition to build an extension to the

museum. Sadly, we won’t be able to build it but we are incredibly proud and look forward to working on these sorts of projects in the future.”

For more information and to contact Arkitekturfabrikken, please visit:

Top right: The people behind Arkitekturfabrikken. Left: Part of a residential home in Trondheim. Photo: Frode Vigtil. Middle: Atelier at Stokkøya. Photo: Edvine Larssen. Illustration: Arkitekturfabrikken. Right: Hytta i skogkanten – the cabin in the forest.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  47

Left: Underneath Bøler Church’s elevated, luminous church hall, HBA Arkitekter made room for a kindergarten and youth club. Photo: Laila Meyrick. Top right: Light is a fundamental element in HBA Arkitekter’s winning design for Bøler Church, just as it is in Christianity. Photo: Laila Meyrick. Below right: In spite of a challenging property with dipping terrain, HBA Arkitekter managed to place all of Bøler Church’s main functions on the same level. The elevated church hall, ground level congregation hall and dug-in chapel form a line through the building, starting with light and ending in darkness, which represents all phases of life. Photo: Henrik Lande Andersen

Architecture for life, death and childhood dreams For more than 15 years, HBA Arkitekter has designed diverse architecture, always staying true to a clear modernistic ethos. With works ranging from the spiritual Bøler Church to the DIY treehouse prototype Playwood, the Norwegian architects have left their fingerprints on some of life’s most sacred spaces, all while keeping in touch with their inner child. By Eirik Elvevold

“We try to cultivate a modernistic aesthetic while maintaining high functional quality,” says Jostein Bjørndal, architect and CEO at HBA Arkitekter. Together with co-founder Helge Hansen, he kicked off the new millennium by opening an architecture office, then named Hansen/Bjørndal Arkitekter. Today, the Oslo-based firm can look back at projects of all sizes, with mid-sized and 48  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

large culture buildings and apartment complexes being their expertise. Together with around 50 other architects, HBA Arkitekter works out of the same building as the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Competitions, however, are what keep the office up to date. “Competitions are important because we can do in-depth projects that we are

guiding ourselves. Every competition has specific rules, but we’re free to work within them. Those creative challenges keep us going,” says Bjørndal.

Bøler Church – from darkness to light In 2004, HBA Arkitekter won an international competition for a new church at Bøler, a suburb just southeast of Oslo. The starting point of the competition was a demanding property between a busy road and a small forest. Bøler Church, completed in 2011, now stretches from north-east to south-west across the dipping terrain. In its winning design, HBA Arkitekter still managed to keep all the main functions of the church on the same level.

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“We elevated the church hall on a plateau, with the congregation hall on ground level and the chapel dug into the ground. Together they form a line through the church building, starting with light and ending in darkness, representing all phases of life. The contrast between life and death was a guiding principle from the beginning, and we were lucky to be able to work with both the superficial and the spiritual in that way,” says Bjørndal. The sunlight seeps through the elevated façade and the rows of large windows trailing the building. The view of the forest in the west is welcomed into the church, while a side wing to the east provides shelter from the noise of passing cars and subways. Furthermore, HBA Arkitekter has taken advantage of the terrain to make room for a youth club and kindergarten underneath the elevated church hall. “Bøler Church has both dignity and practicality. The rituals of life and death are treated with respect, but we can never forget that we live our lives in between those extremes,” says Bjørndal. “I feel like we managed to do both. I’ve visited

the church several times, and it’s a very special feeling.”

Treehouse in 1-2-3 The HBA staff can also be light hearted. As a side business, they have developed the modular DIY treehouse Playwood, which can be assembled and disassembled with basic tools in a couple of days – without ever harming the tree. According to Bjørndal, Playwood has so far generated enthusiasm from children, parents and grandparents alike. “When we first showed the Playwood prototype at Hyttemessen, a large cabin conference at Hellerudsletta right outside Oslo, the reactions where fantastic. Among hundreds of quite normal-looking Norwegian cabins, our treehouse put a smile on many faces, both old and young. That was fun to watch,” says Bjørndal. The architects have already installed one treehouse outside Spåtind Sport Hotel, giving children and families a fun outdoor option. Playwood’s modules can be combined and adapted to make very different dreams come true. For instance, the spherical treehouse can function as a hunting cabin or a tiny house down on

the ground. HBA Arkitekter is currently working on the next prototype while looking for reliable business partners to secure Playwood’s future. “We’ve shown that we can plan and build large houses, but also create something more fun like Playwood,” says Bjørndal. “We have ambitions of making many different types and models in the future, but we need some reliable partners to help us take the idea one step further.” PLAYWOOD FACTS AND FIGURES: - Modular treehouse that is easy to assemble and disassemble. - 3.5 metres in diameter, six to seven square metres. - Seating capacity: four. - Sleeping capacity: two (extra room with bunk bed). - Consists of 12 modules in plywood coated with Epoxy. - Can be assembled in a few days by two to three people.

For more information, please visit: and

Left: Tjuvholmen, located on a small peninsula sticking out into the Oslo Fjord, is currently among Oslo’s most modern and sought after neighbourhoods. HBA Arkitekter’s building Tjuvholmen house 72 consists of 52 apartments and a commercial space on the ground floor. The building’s timeless architecture and solid materials make it an attraction in the area. Photo: Henrik Lande Andersen. Right: Playwood makes it possible to assemble and install the treehouse of your dreams in a couple of days. You only need basic tools. The modular treehouse can also serve as a portable hunting cabin or a gazebo in the garden – the possibilities seem endless. Photo: HBA/Playwood

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway


Creating homes that reflect your identity Everything we wear, eat or drink reflects our individual identity. So why should the place we live not do the same? Arkitektkontoret STAV has embraced personalised homes and taken the term to a new level. While individual houses usually reflect the taste of the owner, the architecture firm has also made it possible in regards to blocks of flats – meaning that the days of rows of identical-looking buildings are numbered.

Thus you are unlikely to be able to point to a building and say it’s ‘typical us’. If anything, our trademark is that every building and project is different,” Eftestøl says.

By Helene Toftner | Photos: Arkitektkontoret STAV

You may be asking yourself how this is possible when working with blocks of flats, a type of project they work with extensively. “Our goal is for every architect at the firm to work on a private project per year, where they get close to the individual user and understand their needs, concerns and usability requirements. This is terribly helpful knowledge to bring into bigger professional projects, where the individual flat owners have very little say during the process,” Eftestøl explains. “By implementing these lessons we

Many an architecture firm claims to put the person or user first, but few take it to the same level as Arkitektkontoret STAV. Be it a block of flats or individual houses, the firm always attempts to incorporate the owners’ personalities along with the geographical characteristics into the building projects. “Every individual has different needs, determined by personality, physical ability, interests or other. Our aim is to make every single 50  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

home reflect its owner,” says partner Evy Eftestøl.

Every project has its own stamp Eftestøl runs the Stavanger-based architecture firm together with partner Henning Bøe. They work predominantly with residential buildings and cabins, all places where the owner is meant to feel at home. “Because we focus on each individual, no project is the same.

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can identify with the names we would otherwise just meet on paper more easily.”

When the framework is already laid out Their approach has won the firm numerous competition contracts, but perhaps more impressively they are able to bring forward the approach also in projects where the framework is already laid out. “Much of our work is through property developers, where the framework is usually laid out before we get involved. It is obviously more challenging to leave our marks and bring forward our way of doing things when regulations and plans are already confirmed,” Eftestøl says. “But it works, and even a large block of flats will have individual solutions.” One excellent example of this is the project Aase Gård, a residential development of Colin Arshers

two individual houses and several semidetached houses and flats. “In order to create an individual feel to the properties we used different roofs, and while we mainly used the same materials we used them in different ways so that the façades are experienced differently, although you will get the feeling that they all belong together,” Eftestøl says.

Going back to the roots While the individual’s personality is important, so is the building’s geographical location. Thus going back to its roots is more than appropriate, looking back at how the vegetation used to be along with its historical use. “One example of this is the project Sørbøhagane B09, some terraced houses just outside Stavanger. The area is rather rural and used to be covered by forest. Thus we found inspiration in trees, using wood as the main material as well

as creating open spaces to symbolise open fields in the middle of the forest,” Eftestøl says and continues: “We used the identity of the place and brought back its historical appearance.” The firm mainly works in and around Stavanger, with some projects in Bergen and one in Ethiopia. While the former are either private or through property developers, the latter is a development project where the firm is transforming a hotel into a medical centre. “It is a very rewarding project to work on, and we apply the same approach there, which is also a learning experience for us as the geography and culture are completely different to where we normally work,” Eftestøl ends. For more information, please visit:

Aase Gård

Villa Frøland

Villa Wilhemsen

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Mjøstårnet, which will be the world’s tallest structure built entirely out of wood.

The authority on excellent architecture Voll Arkitekter, established in the 1970s in Trondheim, has been run by Sigbjørn Berstad since 1998. The location allows the firm to work on projects all over Norway and, while remaining an authority on developing zoning plans, their portfolio is full to the brim with private sector projects including the design and erection of apartment buildings, shopping centres, hotels and large industrial structures. By Pernille Johnsen | Photos: Voll Arkitekter

Voll Arkitketer has 23 employees, and Berstad explains that Trondheim is a great place to recruit from as it is a talent pool both within the architecture scene and in terms of engineers and carpenters. This has been crucial to the success story behind Voll Arkitekter; 52  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

effective partnerships with everyone involved from start to finish.

Zoning plans galore One third of the employees at Voll Arkitekter work with zoning plans. Presently, the largest one in terms of

square metres is Grilstad Marina. A large landfill just outside the city of Trondheim, the landfill itself is larger than the city centre and includes everything from a harbour for small boats to apartment complexes and commercial buildings. The zoning plan was completed in 2013 after a 12-year-long process. During the planning process, Voll Arkitekter also designed two of the site’s commercial buildings. Berstad and the team currently have between ten and 15 zoning plans in the works across Norway. Additionally, the team was recently commissioned to

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

construct its first building outside of Norway. In collaboration with Hent, Voll Arkitekter is due to construct a private research facility in Lund, Sweden. The collaboration with Hent has already resulted in contracts for several large building complexes in Norway. Aker Solutions’ head offices at Fornebu and Stavanger, over 100,000 square metres in total, are just a couple of the projects completed so far.

Urban planning Voll Arkitekter operates in the cross section between finance, architecture and project development, similar to a full service consultancy, and the core belief is to make each project as economically viable for the client as possible. Mjøstårnet is one interesting endeavour managed by Voll Arkitekter, where the plan is for the structure to be the world’s tallest building built entirely out of wood. Approximately 18 storeys high, the structure will contain office space, a hotel and a residential area, and is a joint effort between Voll Arkitekter and several construction companies.

panoramic views over Trondheim. The structure is one of the most energy sparse in the world and includes a hotel with conference facilities and three floors of offices, clocking in at a total of 31,000 square metres. Last year the firm won another competition, this time in Bodø, to construct a combined apartment building and hotel that will act as a new monument for Bodø. According to the zoning plan, the

structure will rise 17 storeys high and will consist of 150 hotel rooms and apartments. Urban and regional planning are important parts of Voll Arkitekter’s company DNA, and the firm works closely with counties and municipalities to create topographically accurate architecture in line with a place-specific identity. For more information, please visit:

Below: The location at Fornebu for Aker Solutions’ head offices. Bottom left: Scandic Lerkendal, one of the largest conference facilities in the Nordics. Bottom right: Grilstad Marina – a 12-year-long process.

Another noteworthy structure designed and realised by Voll Arkitekter is Scandic Lerkendal, one of the largest hotels and conference facilitators in the Nordic region. It is also the tallest building in Norway outside of Oslo and boasts

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

The design of Bavaria Stavanger’s car dealership campus captures the contrast of the brands. Photo: Bavaria.

Pinpointing professional diversity In a modern world where the social consequences of construction have become increasingly important, the architects at AROS are always seeking new methods of integrating economic, environmental and social aspects in every project they encounter. But balancing the needs of the client with the demands of society can be tricky. By promoting professional diversity, the Sandnes-based architects have come up with a sustainable solution.

ensure a high level of quality in every aspect of construction. AROS can therefore provide complete architectural competence, including the development of zoning guidelines, master planning, landscape design and interior design.

By Ingvild Vetrhus

The importance of customised design

Architecture for climate challenges

“All too often we see that the idealism of vendors’ maintenance-free products does not meet the realities of our wet and windy climate, resulting in costly repairs for the client. We aim to avoid this,” Vatne explains. Although the architecture firm is open to new construction materials, they are critical of untested and undocumented product solutions.

The harsh climate of coastal Norway sets no limitations for the architects. Located in the centre of the West’s wet and windy meteorology, the firm has extensive experience of developing solutions to rough weather conditions.

The firm, which is made up of several design disciplines, covers a large area of architectural expertise. Architects, landscape architects, interior architects and engineers all work together to

“Robust solutions to maximise the lifespan of construction is a means of safeguarding the needs of future generations,” says CEO Odd Magne Vatne. The Norwegian firm has a strong tradition of providing sustainable architecture for clients in both the public and the private sectors.

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In addition to ensuring watertight constructions, Vatne stresses the importance of meeting their unique clientele’s needs. The firm’s broad portfolio of projects ranges from nurseries and schools

Malmheim. Illustration: Render AS.

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to commercial buildings and large-scale multiple-family housing projects, and showcases the diverse experience the architects at AROS are bringing to the many sectors within the world of architecture. The art of understanding and designing flexibility for each individual client is reflected in their commission of Bavaria Stavanger’s car dealership campus. “Bavaria’s new venue consists of a clear juxtaposition of two strong brands. Each brand has its own architectural language, in terms of both form and colour,” Vatne explains. To illustrate the differences between the brands, BMW’s design incorporates the brand’s ‘driving gallery’, a two-lane road set within the confines of planer white walls and expansive glass. “An experience is created that brings all focus to the automobiles and the road,” Vatne explains. In contrast, MINI’s brand is situated in a characteristic black box,

located in an industrialised urban venue. MINI’s black walls illuminate each automobile to resemble the leading parts of a theatrical play. “The whole quarter is designed with a focus on different brands, architecture and simple logistics, to create a groundbreaking experience for customers. Customers are encouraged to drive directly into the building to create an obstacle-free car service and shopping experience, all under one roof,” says Vatne. “Bavaria Stavanger boasts one of the largest facilities of its kind, both in Norway and in Europe.”

Team building as a method of efficiency Meeting the demands of every customer can be challenging when the needs of society at large are added to the equation. The clientele, ranging from professional builders and property developers to public municipalities and municipal enterprises, all have a number

of special requests for consideration. “Construction companies have different preferences regarding how project material is produced, and we customise drawings to their desires and ways of building,” Vatne says. To solve the complex issues of sustainability and client focus, AROS combines the valuable experience and competence of its senior architects while empowering a new generation of creative architects. Some of the architects at AROS have been colleagues for as long as 35 years and have developed into an experienced and coordinated team. Vatne emphasises that these are vital factors when safeguarding the needs of society as a whole, and adds: “We want to give something back to society in terms of aesthetics, public space and sustainability.” For more information, please visit:

ForaForm 2015. Photo: Jason Strong

Photo: Bavaria.

Fantoft. Illustration: Fantoft media.

Photo: Bavaria.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Left: Landskapsfabrikken’s universally designed walkway, whose colours are inspired by the mountain landscape around Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen, plays a central part in the climate park Klimapark 2469. Photo: Landskapsfabrikken. Right: In the Barcode project’s eastern corner, Landskapsfabrikken has designed an urban space, a kindergarten playground and both private and community rooftop gardens. Photo: Kristina B. Holmblad

The art of reading the landscape Imagine driving along the coast, bicycling through the city or playing with your children on a day when everything just seems to fit. The Norwegian architecture office Landskapsfabrikken, run by partners and landscape architects Inge Dahlman and Andreas Nypan, is making those moments a reality. By reading the landscape, the office has created an award-winning road while preventing avalanches and helped pull Norwegian cities in the right direction. By Eirik Elvevold

The Norwegian landscape has great variation. Majestic mountains, vast plains, deep forests and modern cities all play their part in making the country look stunning. While many of us might see the landscape merely as a background to life, and once in a while worthy of a photo, Landskapsfabrikken’s four architects work relentlessly to improve it. “We spend a lot of time reading landscapes and surroundings to understand their context and discover all their possibilities,” says landscape architect, partner and CEO Andreas Nypan. The firm, the name of which means ‘the landscape factory’, has worked on widely different landscapes all over the country for more than a decade. The vision, however, has remained the same. 56  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

“We want the world to be a better place when we’re finished. The landscape can be an exposed coastal road or high-rise buildings in downtown Oslo. Regardless of the specific problem, we break it down, analyse the pieces and design a solution with architectural ambition,” says Nypan, who works out of Oslo with two other landscape architects and an urban designer. Together, they have already made the Norwegian capital better. The Barcode project’s eastern quarter is more green and liveable, the Medieval Park’s history is preserved even further and the city is a tad more bicycle-friendly. In the competition OsloVelo, arranged by the public-private programme Futurebuilt, Landskapsfabrikken’s design – which

prioritised bicycles in flow streets and slow streets – was bought alongside 18 other contributions. Outside the capital, the four Scandinavian architects have worked on projects such as Klimapark 2469, a climate park next to Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen; a revitalisation of Stavanger’s central square and bay; and several works for the iconic National Tourist Routes. In 2014, Landskapsfabrikken’s avalanche prevention at Skjarvelandet in northern Norway was awarded the title of Norway’s most beautiful road. “At Skjarvelandet, we aligned the avalanche prevention with the topography for an optimal driving experience. The National Tourist Routes are full of good landscape architecture. All the stops are dramatic in their own way – none of them are copy-paste,” says Nypan.

For more information, please visit:

Left: Gothenburg Central Station, finished in 2004, sees 40,000 daily passengers. Right: Tjuvholmen, sketched and completed with a snowball lantern as inspiration.

Architecture needs empathy Arkitektkontoret Kari Nissen Brodtkorb AS was established in 1985 and is run by its namesake, one of the most acclaimed architects in Norway. The history of a site and location-specific features provide the premise for how the firm addresses each client’s design requests. By Pernille Johnsen | Photos: Nina Nissen Brodtkorb

Designing a town, or even parts of a town, revolves as much around the interaction of spaces as it does around any single building. It is in the very same interaction between space and surroundings, the interior and the exterior, that Kari Nissen Brodtkorb and her team create their signature architecture. “Each piece of land is different and every project we take on fortifies our ambition to seize the spirit of a location, reinforce the qualities of the surroundings and unite function with form which, when we succeed, results in architecture of quality,” Brodtkorb explains. Having a human emotion as a guidepost for architecture may be unusual, but it

serves as the foundation for Brodtkorb’s firm. “There should be a human element in every architectural decision we make, which includes choice of materials, details, colours – in short, everything,” Brodtkorb continues. We are living in an era that requires a benevolent type of architectural style – and it is precisely architecture like Brodtkorb’s that positions empathy and human emotion within a societal context. Spaces that are carefully thought out carry visible signs of thoughtfulness and creative care. The firm’s strong presence positions it in a wide range of architectural endeavours, but sea

and coastline-specific commissions have been particularly prominent. Brodtkorb’s firm designed several dock transformations along the Norwegian coastline, including at Aker Brygge, Lysaker Brygge, Fornebu and Rolfsbukta and an interesting structure in Stavern, erected in the water. The firm was awarded Norway’s highest distinction for the project Stranden at Aker Brygge, which is placed on the Cultural Heritage Management Office’s yellow list of structures worthy of preservation. Among other awards, Brodtkorb’s firm has received Statens Byggeskikkpris, Bergen Bys Arkitekturpris and Stadsbyggnadspriset of the city of Malmö. Kari Nissen Brodtkorb was also awarded Anders Jahre’s Cultural Award in 2014.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  57

Informal zone for collaboration and conversation at Deloitte, Oslo. Photo: Ketil Jacobsen.

Creating an office: meeting present day as well as future needs Presently, workspaces are created for current as well as future employees. As interior architects, IARK take this into account in their mission to design workspaces that meet the needs of a rapidly changing work environment. By Pernille Johnsen

Partner and manager at IARK, Elisabeth Paus, explains that the new generation’s entry into the workforce includes new assessments that influence organisations to take a different direction. The freedom of choice, speed and twoway communication as well as network and further education are central pieces of terminology for the millennial generation, which is used for disruption and multitasking.

A meeting place With current technology and constant availability, we are able to execute work 58  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

wherever and whenever. Work is no longer an eight-hour stint at one location and employees are no longer chained to a certain desk. Instead, it revolves around executing a task, which we can do at the airport, the local coffee shop, from home or from a hotel room. Work is something you can do without needing a specific place. If we can work from practically everywhere, do we even need an office? “I believe an office’s most important task is to act as a meeting place, a space for interaction with colleagues, and thus

create a platform for organisational development. The workspace’s primary function moves from square metres to points of contact. Therefore, it is important to create office environments that reinforce this belief,” Paus explains.

Design that follows function The workspace of tomorrow will solve every issue in unity and across departments. Employees will work more closely across cultures, education, gender and age, and we will commute from one collaborative project to the next. The starting point must be what employees in the 21st century actually do: speak on the phone, attend meetings, work independently or in a community regarding shared projects. This is how environments for different needs ought to be created. The result

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

is often a combination of, for example, workspaces in an open-plan office, quiet pods for independent work, meeting rooms of different sizes and comfortable couch areas. The workspace should mirror modern work forms, which are highly technological, dynamic and changeable. They should provide a sense of joy while framing community and the dissemination of knowledge. Modern office spaces revolve around creating differentiated solutions that suit each workspace, each task and each employee – put simply, design based on function and task rather than person and position. The need for personal workspaces is reduced, while the need for a number of flexible, functional and creative environments that support different activities increase. This will have a huge impact on our working conditions; instead of personal workspaces where all activities should be executed, we need

the environment adapted for different tasks and activities.

Necessary foundation For businesses to succeed, the focus must not only be placed on the product, space or room, but also with particular emphasis on the process. IARK contributes to increased efficiency, profitability and employee engagement through the creation of spaces that support the business’s guiding target and work processes. These features differ from company to company, which will lead to each project being carried out differently. IARK has worked on some of the most pioneering projects in Norway, including for Lundin in Sandvika and Deloitte in Bjørvika. The firm’s culture, targets, vision and working process are as different as what each firm produces, which leads to IARK’s interpretation of the various

projects being totally different. Creating the workspaces of tomorrow has one common objective: in order to succeed, the changes must be implemented along with the management team so that they appear as role models in their own process of change. The office should be common ground for the business’s most important resource: their employees. Therefore, it is quintessential to include the employees when these types of workspaces are created. Humans are governed by habits and taught practises. This sense of habit and assurance must be accounted for by including the employees in every facet of the design process. This will yield the best result for the employees when they are granted agency of their own office.

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The amphitheatre structure is used for Lundin’s company-wide meetings.

Central meeting place on each floor at Aftenposten in Oslo. Photo: Arne N Schram, INVISO.

Informal zone in the work area at Santander in Lysaker. Internal meeting room and free seating work area in the background. Photo: Stine Østby.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  59

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway

Dokkhuset, façade towards the river.

Munkegata 30/40: circular flats and infill.

Dokkhuset and the park.

Architecture that conserves and renews from Skibnes Arkitekter “The art of architecture in a 1,000-year-old city is to renew while taking care of the city’s historical heritage,” argues Svein Skibnes of Skibnes Arkitekter.

trends, we managed to breathe new life into Byhaven,” Skibnes says.

By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Matthias Herzog – VISUALIS

Their projects make it clear that Skibnes Arkitekter has a major advantage over its competitors in Trondheim, namely in their ability to sense what the city and its history is all about. They preserve it but also adapt to the present and prepare for the future with modern comforts. “Having added value by conserving the historical heritage of our city for more than 30 years, our goal is to continue to renew it in the same spirit for many more years to come,” Skibnes concludes.

His company was formed in 1984 and is situated in Norway’s third-largest city, Trondheim, which indeed is over a thousand years old. Norway was christened following the Battle of Stiklestad nearby and the city is also home to Trebyen, an area known for its 19th century wooden houses, and the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world, Nidarosdomen. Today Skibnes himself boasts more than 40 years of professional experience. Having won a number of awards for their caring design, Skibnes Arkitekter published a book in 2014 covering 60 projects in Trondheim to celebrate the firm’s 30th anniversary.

shipbuilding company into a culture house hosting a range of events,” Skibnes explains. Dokkhuset also contains a concert hall, offices, a stage, restaurant and bar, and a rooftop terrace. A surrounding park was designed, too.

The company’s focus was always on Trondheim, and several projects illustrate their commitment to the city’s culture and heritage in their design. “At Dokkhuset, for example, we transformed the former pumping house for dry docks of a former

Byhaven was another transformational project: an old hypermarket building transformed into a modern shopping centre consisting of 50 retail outlets alongside 11 flats on top of the building. “By appreciating local history and modern

Munkegata 30/40 in Trondheim used to be an old office building. “Having been awarded the project to transform the property into a building of retail outlets on the ground floor and 42 flats, we did so by conserving the exteriors with modern and comfortable flats on the inside,” says Skibnes. Today a post office, bank and cafés can be found at the address.

Byhaven with the new flats.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  61


m he


ia ec

Left: Arkitema Architects has designed a new psychiatric clinic, Esbjerg Psychiatric, that has enabled doctors and staff to reduce the physical restriction of patients by almost 70 per cent and medication by 60 per cent. Photo: Niels Nygaard. Right: Lendager Architects has created a single-family home with 100 per cent up-cycled materials, reducing the carbon footprint by 85 per cent compared to a typical single-family home. Photo: Jesper Ray.

The impact of good architectural design goes far beyond aesthetics Danish architecture is renowned for its elegant and conscious methods of design that can both benefit and improve on society. By Peter Andreas Sattrup, Danish Association of Architectural Firms

It is attractive, sure. But what are the real effects of architecture on social, environmental and economic principles? How does it create value? Speaking of which, what defines value?

The powerful effects of architecture – the Danish cases To better understand these questions, the Danish Association of Architectural Firms asked both architects and clients to nominate projects that have proven to be beneficial. It was not an easy job – cases and research have been identified and collected during the last year from a variety of sources. The effects turned out to be surprisingly powerful, demonstrating that architectur62  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

al design generates value across the social, environmental and economic dimensions for clients, users and societies. The impact of good architectural design goes far beyond aesthetics and improves life in many ways.

a very basic point of view, a question of understanding the needs of people and designing buildings and urban environments that improve the quality of life with the available social, environmental and economic resources. A new school and urban venue – VUC Syd – created by AART architects attracts 40 per cent more students and stimulates a 70 per cent increase in the number of students who continue their education after exam completion. Photo: Adam Mørk.

As always, we should remember that value is not inherent. Great architectural design enables people to live or work under improved conditions. Healthy, functional and inspiring environments are assets to us all.

The value of architectural design Architecture addresses the fundamental need for a healthy environment in which people thrive. The creation of value through architectural design is, from

Please have a look for yourself at

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

Israels Plads.

COAST Studio.

Nørreport Station.

Rock Museum Roskilde.

The city is our living room Krøyers Plads, Nørreport Station, Nordhavn and Israels Plads. In no time at all, Dan Stubbergaard, co-founder of the architecture firm COBE, has put his unmistakable stamp on Copenhagen with a series of notable projects. In the Our Urban Living Room exhibition, COBE invites visitors to experience the city as an extended living room in which the boundaries between private and public spaces are erased. By Danish Architecture Centre | Photos: Rasmus Hjortshøj

A birthday party on Israels Plads, a workspace in the local library or an afternoon in the sun on Queen Louise’s Bridge; as far as the architecture firm COBE is concerned, the city is our new living room. Increasingly, we shift our everyday activities out into it and we feel at home there. As part of the exhibition Our Urban Living Room, visitors will step into some of COBE’s most significant projects in Copenhagen. This includes Kids’ City Christianshavn, the biggest daycare centre and youth club in Denmark,

designed as a small, child-sized town with the likes of a fire station, town hall and restaurant. You can also admire your reflection in the beautiful gold façade of the new rock music museum in Roskilde and step out onto a balcony from The Silo in Nordhavn. During the run of the exhibition, you are invited to visit COBE on Paper Island where you can continue your experience at the DAC exhibition. This will represent a bridge between DAC, COBE and what it is all about – the physical projects in the city.

Nørreport Station.


Our Urban Living Room opens on Culture Night on 14 October 2016 and runs until 5 January 2017. Admission: DKK 60. The exhibition will be presented at both the Danish Architecture Centre, Strandgade 27B, 1401 Copenhagen K, and at COBE, Trangravsvej 6, 1436 Copenhagen K.

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Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  63

A new definition of urban living Copenhagen, like all other major cities, is currently going through fundamental changes. Not only is the capital growing; its residents also have increasingly different expectations of what life in the city should entail. Thus the architects of today face a range of new challenges. This is especially true for firms, which, like Årstiderne Arkitekter, create the living, working and shopping spaces and environments that define the everyday lives of millions of urbanites. By Signe Hansen | Photo: Årstiderne Arkitekter

Founded in Silkeborg in 1985, Årstiderne Arkitekter is currently Denmark’s thirdlargest architecture firm. Perhaps surprisingly, the firm has not reached this status by creating grand cultural monuments or prestigious public institutions but rather through the dedication to and perfection of everyday buildings such as 64  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

offices, homes and shops. Mikkel Westfall, partner at Årstiderne Arkitekter’s Copenhagen office, explains: “The new urbanisation, which is today a global phenomenon, means that our main job as architects has changed significantly. When I was a student, about 20 years ago, it was all about grand domiciles, cultural institutions and

great monuments. Urbanisation and the fact that so many people live, work, and spend their free time in the city have changed the way we work. Today, we have a much more holistic approach. We still design buildings and homes but, at the same time, we are designing the elements of the city. It’s about thinking in 360 degrees, taking both the inside and the outside, the city space and the context, into consideration.” Årstiderne Arkitekter is currently working on a series of projects reshaping and transforming historic buildings in the centre of Copenhagen, building new neighbourhoods in the capital’s

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

old industrial sites and, through this work, shaping and facilitating the everchanging urban space.

Being an urbanite To many Copenhageners, being an urbanite is an essential part of their identity. Young and old have become attached to the city in a notably different way than previous generations. The same goes for families who do no longer inevitably wish to swap the pulsating city life for provincial bliss. Neither do they consider their work in the city an evil to be suffered before they can go back home. They want to enjoy all aspects of their life in the city, whether it is work, family or free time. As a consequence, more and better family homes are required, as are better workspaces and a city centre that is continuously revived and reinvigorated. “Today, this is our main job. Whether it’s in Copenhagen or in smaller towns such as Køge, we are working to facilitate the urban life people are seeking. In some places, like in Køge, this has meant creating a whole new area,” says Westfall and adds: “But whether it’s just restructuring a single building or creating a whole new neighbourhood, we always approach projects within the context that we are working in. We ensure that the architecture and the functionality of the building contribute to the urban environment it’s part of. The building is

Life and history were key words in Årstiderne Arkitekter’s transformation of the old Irma headquarters. The building today houses a string of small companies, restaurants, cafés and apartments, a mixture of functions that has brought new vivacity to the Nørrebro area.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

Left: Årstiderne Arkitekter is working to transform Copenhagen’s old post office into a new, vibrant office and shopping environment in Copenhagen’s historic city centre. Right: When building in new residential areas, Årstiderne Arkitekter’s main goals are to facilitate a strong, lively and diverse community. The firm does this by providing a broad variety of accommodation categories and utilising the space between private and public.

never an isolated project, but is always regarded as a part of its surroundings.” To meet all these needs, Årstiderne Arkitekter has special teams of landscape and space-planning architects, ensuring that the buildings they are commissioned to create fulfil their purpose in, between and around their urban setting.

Restructuring to revive Among the projects destined to significantly impact on Copenhagen’s urban environment is the restructuring of the historic post office in Købmagergade, one of Copenhagen’s busiest pedestrian shopping streets. In its heyday 50 years ago, the 16,000-square-metre building was the workplace of 750 people. But when the post office finally closed two years ago, only 50 people worked there and the historic building, parts of which date back to 1728, was largely closed off to the public. However, when the building reopens in 2017, it will once again be buzzing with life as Årstiderne Arkitekter is creating workspaces for around 800 people and opening up the historic block to the public. “It changes the city when you bring in more people and knit together separated parts, and that’s what it takes to ensure that the central areas do not lose their vibrancy. The same thing happened when we opened up Irma’s old headquarter, another block that used to house hundreds of employees. Today it 66  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

is happening again, and it has completely changed the surrounding milieu. Coffee bars are shooting up and the building’s ground floor, which houses a number of cafés and restaurants, opens up onto the pedestrian paths, blurring the borders between the building and the city,” explains Westfall. The restructured Irma block is also the home of Årstiderne Arkitekter’s Copenhagen office and its 70 employees.

Facilitating new ways of living Through its work to restructure existing buildings with respect for both the past and the future, Årstiderne Arkitekter has gathered extensive experience and insight into the importance of adaptability and versatility. Therefore, it is also an inherent part of the firm’s work process to ensure that new buildings do not only accommodate a mixture of uses but are also adaptable to be reshaped in the future. “When you work with the creation of entirely new residential areas, like we do in Nordhavn, Sydhavn and Ørestad, we as architects have to ensure that every individual building fulfils its role in the new community we are facilitating in collaboration with the municipality and investors. It’s about working within the space that exists between the urban and the private and making sure that we create a feeling of closeness and community rather than isolation,” says

Westfall and rounds off. “That’s what characterises urban life – it’s a complex ever-changing mixture of present and future communities and functions.” FACTS ABOUT ÅRSTIDERNE ARKITEKTER: Årstiderne Arkitekter was founded by Per Laustsen in 1985. Årstiderne Arkitekter employs approximately 300 people, 70 of whom work in the Copenhagen office. The company undertakes more than 600 projects every year. Årstiderne Arkitekter works closely with developers and project managers and always has a designated contact person on each project. The company specialises in minimising risks and creating the greatest possible value for clients and users by basing projects on experience and knowledge and including past, present and future considerations and costs in project plans. Thanks to the firm’s scale and expertise, Årstiderne Arkitekter can move very quickly when it comes to, for instance, technical due diligence reports, idea presentation and investor potentials.

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Solid as granite and sustainable Steenberg Architects is taking the green ethos of Bornholm into the process of building new holiday homes on the Danish island known for sunny days, stunning nature and much more. By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: Steenberg Architects

“Bornholm, you my wonderful holiday island!” So goes a popular Danish showtune from the 1950s. Today, that is still true for many. But now, the ‘sunny island’ has extra badges to wear proudly. World-class gastronomy, exciting arts and crafts and cutting-edge sustainability projects are just some of them.

Bornholm’s local experts Steenberg Architects is Bornholm’s local architecture firm. It has already projected a number of new and sustainable summer houses for entrepreneurs excited by Bornholm’s charms and possibilities. This spans from small houses for private use to rental houses and individualised luxury class houses. The architects handle all aspects of the planning and building projects but are open to include clients whenever they wish. “We can handle sketches, idea development, projection, contacts with authorities and contractors. Of course, we have a set of values that we like to put into a design process. But the clients’ wishes and budgets are paramount, and we work around that. It’s a dialogue, really, to the extent that our clients wish to be

involved,” says Anna Gotha, designer at Steenberg. The approach falls in line with Bornholm’s recent reinvention as Denmark’s ‘green island’, which is formally organised under the ‘Bright Green Island’ project. This initiative is backed by local businesses and authorities in a bid to create a “completely green and sustainable island community which leads the way in showing that the future belongs to those who invent it”. “One of our strengths is that we know this island so well. We believe that a summer house here must fit in with island life and nature. So we pick locally sourced materials like granite, sandstone and wood to work with on the design side. Plus, we take this into account when building on the intricate soil,” Gotha explains.

Nature rules Indeed, Steenberg has played a central part in establishing Bornholm as a green island. For instance, the company worked on Green Solution House – a hotel and conference centre built solely from materials that are either fully recyclable or biodegradable.

When visiting Bornholm, many will probably realise why the islanders have committed themselves to taking care of and incorporating nature while working in buildings designed for modern purposes. The island is characterised by white sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, marshland, forests and dramatic cliff formations. Popularly speaking, Bornholm comprises all of Scandinavia’s nature within just 600 square kilometres.

HOUSE OWNERSHIP RULES The law in Denmark stipulates that non-Danish residents cannot own a house Denmark. This means all summer houses in Denmark must be owned by people spending the majority of the year there. However, many summer house owners rent to foreign travellers – and this market is freely accessible.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  67

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

Transforming discarded shipping containers into compact miniature houses, Vandkunsten Architects and developer Cph Containers have created an alternative way of living in the city.

Can old concrete and discarded containers solve Copenhagen’s housing shortage? Copenhagen is one of the world’s ten most expensive cities to live in and a shortage of affordable small homes is one of the issues pushing up living costs in the Danish capital. Transforming discarded shipping containers into compact but attractive miniature houses, the Copenhagen-based architecture firm Vandkunsten Architects is proposing a sustainable and innovative solution facilitating a new kind of city life – affordable, flexible and with simple, distinct luxuries. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Mads Frederik

Environmental and social sustainability have always been at the heart of Vandkunsten Architects’ work. Hence, it is perhaps unsurprising that two of the 68  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

firm’s most recent projects see existing constructions reused and transformed into housing that challenges restrictive social norms for what a home is. The

first project has turned features from a worn-down military building into distinct aesthetic qualities of a new student housing complex while the second experiments with preconceptions of living spaces in small, portable and attractive container homes. Describing the projects, Søren Nielsen, who has been partner in the firm since 2008, says: “The projects demonstrate a classic Vandkunsten approach – we fall in love with the constant, the existing, the living, the worn, and we choose minimal alterations and

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

materials, which creates the frames for good living spaces and, at the same time, expresses the story of the building.”

A home that has travelled the world Based on the ‘simple living’ philosophy, this summer Vandkunsten Architects launched CPH Shelter, a test project in which old shipping containers are transformed into affordable, sustainable and flexible homes. Insulated with timber and wooden fibres, the inside of the containers, which have sailed the world

seas for decades before being discarded, presents a warm and distinctively Nordic environment. Using the containers in this fashion is, says Nielsen, a way of demonstrating a new way of living. “The project is a reaction to the current conception that you either have to be very rich or work very hard to find a place to live in Copenhagen. We want to prove that you can create a quality living space in very few square metres. It’s an alternative on the housing market, which is smaller and makes it possible

for people who can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a two-bedroom flat to still live in Copenhagen. It might be ideal for someone who works a lot and doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a bed and a shower, a student or someone who likes to travel a lot.” While small and distinctly different to most other housing, the containers are remarkably well-appointed and practical. The flats are all furnished with built-in storage, daybeds and absolutely

Photo: Mads Frederik

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

no wasted space. At the same time, qualities such as rooftop terraces and warm and noticeably pleasant living environments afford them a touch of luxury. Furthermore, the houses can be disassembled in two hours, loaded onto a truck and transported wherever – much like a houseboat on land.

Historic, arty and sustainable In the new Margretheholm neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Vandkunsten Architects has transformed Konstabelskolen, an old worn-down military school, into 85 historic, arty and sustainable youth flats. The project won the RENOVER award in 2016. When explaining its choice, the organisation behind the award pointed to the aesthetic prominence of old building elements, which it described as “sensuous, titillating and reckless with an artistic quality like a painting of Asger Jorn”. One of the striking features of the design is the exposed old concrete walls, which with patterns created through years of wear and tear have an undeniable artistic quality to them. “In Margretheholm, where we have developed a lot of new houses, it’s a great quality to have a historic building that links back to the area’s military past. Besides, Konstabelskolen has exceptional qualities: the old military building’s rawness and history and the distinct materials, which are super decorative and cool – the students love it too,” Nielsen says, adding: “Most of Konstabelskolen has been insulated both on the inside and the outside – it’s an old building with a new layer added to it. But we have exposed some of the original elements worthy of preservation and let them play a role in the new building. For instance, the new windows in the building are larger than the old ones, so you can see a frame of the old bricks through them. That way you feel in contact with the old building at all times.”

Socially and environmentally sustainable When talking sustainability within the architectural world, many firms focus mainly on energy usage, insulation and natural energy resources. But the reuse of 70  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Top: Vandkunsten Architects’ transformation of an old military school won the RENOVER award in 2016. The project was developed and founded by PKA and Sjælsø Management. Middle and bottom: To bring the users into daily contact with the area’s history, the new windows in Konstabelskolen are larger than the old ones, exposing the original brick wall.

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

building materials is another area where huge resources, both economic and environmental, can be saved. What many do not consider is that reusing materials also saves energy, as the energy used to produce, say, the discarded shipping containers can now be utilised for a decade or two more. “We have always been focusing on sustainability, but we started talking and thinking more and more about it since the middle of the ‘90s. Since then, we have built numerous demonstrational projects featuring different kinds of new sustainability measures. What we find really interesting is the possibility of using the methods of sustainability to enrich the architectonical and functional identity of the building,” says Nielsen. But even when it comes to creating sustainable buildings, it is never done by selling out on Vandkunsten Architects’ other core value, the social space. The two are both at the heart of the company, stresses Nielsen. In fact, he says, they complement each other in factual as well as inexplicable ways. “The materials provide a unique history and ambiance to buildings, which means that although they are both affordable and sustainable they provide an exceptional social space.” He finishes: “I believe that dressing down our buildings, using raw and truthful materials, makes people dress drown and become less formal. But of course that’s one of the things about architecture that I can’t actually prove.”

Above and below: Exposed original elements in the new student housing brings an artistic quality to the building. Photos: Melissa Ørnstrup

AT A GLANCE: Vandkunsten Architects’ office is located in Krudtløbsvej, 1439 Copenhagen.
 The office was founded in 1970 and is regarded as one of the country’s leading socially and environmentally engaged businesses. Employing approximately 70 architects, Vandkunsten Architects specialises in city planning, residential buildings, cultural institutions, renovation and landscaping all over Scandinavia and northern Europe.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  71

Main image: With its spiral plan, Bellahøjen in Copenhagen creates a strong community feeling and ensures a socially sustainable neighbourhood with a mixture of private terraced houses and subsidised apartments. Top and middle right: The Loop in Værebroparken is a small-scale intervention that aims to create a relaxed and informal meeting place for the local residents of the socially strained housing project in Gladsaxe. It consists of a simple metal band. Low budget yet very aesthetic, it is designed as a playful path offering a variation of activities. Photos: Peter Nørby. Bottom right: Kvarterspladsen, designed by Holscher Nordberg, will be a new social gathering place at the harbour front in Copenhagen, offering new possibilities for kayaks, rowing boats, swimming and more.

Building strong communities Numerous new housing developments are shooting up in previously undeveloped and industrial areas of Copenhagen. Holscher Nordberg Architecture and Planning is one of the firms shaping these areas. Scan Magazine talks to partner Nils Holscher about the importance of creating a social, sustainable urban environment, blurring the edge between private and public and enabling people to meet and connect. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Holscher Nordberg / Vismo

At the heart of Holscher Nordberg is an insistence on continuously challenging the many preconceived borders in urban development. In a rapidly changing city landscape such as Copenhagen’s, this is particularly important as a lack of well-connected social spaces might lead residents in new areas to feel disconnected and isolated, according to Holscher. “Good urban spaces, living spaces and social spaces are at the core of all our solutions. It’s the best investment a developer can make as well – to create something that will have the functionality and longevity that good space relations 72  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

and materials provide. It’s about adding value for the users and a connection to the place – it’s not just about creating a cool building; it has to connect to the surroundings, giving something back. Otherwise it won’t have a lasting value.” He adds: “Social sustainability is our responsibility as architects, and that’s fundamental to us. What we aim for are simple and subtle solutions. We believe that what makes an urban space or a building relevant is when the aesthetics are based on the conceptual idea of the project – that’s what creates beautiful, long-lasting solutions.”

For the last ten years Holscher Nordberg has, led by Nils Holscher and co-name partner Mikkel Nordberg, implemented this philosophy all over the centre and outskirts of Copenhagen. Working with the firm’s 42 dedicated co-workers, they strive to shape the city to accommodate the needs of the rapidly growing number of families and singles who want a new kind of urban life.

Spiralling people together Among Holscher Nordberg’s recent projects is a new living quarter in Bellahøjen, a Greater Copenhagen neighbourhood with its own distinct character and challenges. The project, which includes a combination of private terraced houses and subsidised flats, is constructed in a spiral shape rising from two stories at its lowest to seven stories at its highest. The spiral creates a borderless and interconnected urban

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

space and, together with a string of private, public and semi-public green spaces, this creates a number of natural ways for people to meet and be together.

as a playful path offering a variation of activities and a physical as well as mental bridge between the different users of the area.

“Our starting point is to create a variety of interknitted urban spaces, enclosed dense environments and more open spaces,” says Holscher. “It’s our goal to bring people together in some areas and give them space to be private in other areas. People have to be able to make their own choice as to how much they want to engage with their local community, but we create the conditions and possibilities for meeting and connecting.”

It is about creating an environment that will affect people’s lives every day, and that is something to be taking very seriously, stresses Holscher. “You might ask, why is social sustainability so important? The answer is simply that it makes a development a nicer and better place to live and be. The closeness you create with your neighbours means that you can feel comfortable sending your

Another project that makes use of semi-public spaces to bring together residents of housing developments is the new Arenakvarteret in Ørestad, where Holscher Nordberg has created 84 terraced houses. The development combines five different types of housing units of varying heights and typologies as well as different edge zones, where the private sphere of the houses intertwines with the public sphere. “It is our responsibility to create a mixed and varied area with different social class and housing units that appeal to different age groups,” Holscher explains. The space will also soon include three ninestorey apartment buildings, which have been commissioned as an extension after the highly popular development sold out. The high-rise buildings will feature communal roof terraces with conservatories on top to give residents an unconventional shared social space.

children out to play, and that you can enjoy your social spaces, and that is incredibly important for a community to survive.” He concludes: “We are very dedicated to creating strong social dynamics, and that’s something that starts right here in our own studio. We have a really dynamic working environment – how could we be preaching social sustainability if we weren’t leading the way in our own firm?” For more information, please visit:

Below: Arenakvarteret in Ørestad combines different typologies, such as townhouses and apartment towers, to create a mixed area that caters to different social classes and age groups. Bottom: Arenakvarteret in Ørestad focuses on creating dense, varied, and meaningful urban spaces with a mix of public and semi-public areas where the residents can meet and interact.

Social sustainability starts at home Even though features such as shared terraces, protruding or transparent façades, smaller divisions, and dense, varied and meaningful urban spaces are essential to Holscher Nordberg, every single project is adapted to the specific area and its future users. One very pertinent example of this is the recently opened Loop, a playful ‘loop walkway’ located in the Værebro Park, an old housing estate suffering from high crime rates and a declining number of inhabitants. The low-budget yet aesthetic structure is designed Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  73

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

Vibenshus School.

School of change – an architectural triumph despite reform and urban density The Danish school system is adjusting to new demands on the actual school buildings. Families flock to settle in big cities such as Copenhagen. NOVA5 Architects’ award-winning work combines physical activity and better learning in spaces under pressure. By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: NOVA5 Architects

A longer school day, more PE and physical activity, better and more inclusive learning environments – these are some of the initiatives agreed upon by the Danish government in the 2014 reform of the primary and lower secondary school system. For NOVA5, specialists in homes and education facilities, the challenge was to transform old and outdated buildings already lacking in space to accommodate 74  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

more pupils and facilitate the new and different school day. That, and dealing with scepticism from teachers, pupils and parents. “The idea is that you can combine physical and traditional class activities. You don’t just do maths sitting down and then go and play outside. It’s all done in a behaviour-changing way by taking the notion that learning and exercise can happen everywhere and anytime

into planning the space and designing the furniture. A lot of the schools in Denmark are not fully equipped to deal with this challenge, which does require new thinking and buildings that will be durable,” says Jennifer Dahm Petersen, architect and associate partner at NOVA5.

Commotion and contemplation Among the projects is Vibenshus School in Copenhagen’s Østerbro area. Nominated as Danish School Building of the Year in 2016 and winner of the English BUILD Award 2016, the school has received praise for being adapted to the needs and requirements attached to the modern-day school. Apart from new ways of structuring lessons, the school reform aims to bring together children

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

of different abilities and prerequisites. At the same time, there should be room for pupils to be alone and opportunities for optimising the scarce space available. This gave NOVA5 a fresh challenge. “Schools nowadays must be filled with both a lot of hustle and bustle and time for deeper, more focused attention. For children that are not that outgoing, the new, more constant levels of physical activity can be quite stressful, so they need spaces within that environment where they can have moments of solitude,” explains Petersen. One of the solutions turned out to be a simple but unexpected modification of the façades – a move that won NOVA5 the prize as Transformation Architects of the Year and Best Nordic Sustainable Transformation Project. “Instead of using traditional windows we designed deep bay windows, which then become added space and value. This way, a window is not just a window but a small room. These could be used as a sort of refuge that pupils can use without actually leaving the space where all the action is.”

All in one NOVA5 places special emphasis on creating buildings that are environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. The

Langelinie School.

stated ambition is to superoptimise. “The advantage of facilities being used, in principle, 24 hours a day, is that the building never just stands there without anything going on. Imagine the opposite where a city would have a school, an after-school centre and an evening sports centre for adults. That’s three buildings running, consuming energy, whereas we believe you could have it all in one,” explains partner Thomas Dahl. While the school reform has brought invention and innovative thinking, it has also received criticism from teachers and parents finding it difficult to adapt. NOVA5 also faced opposition, but has responded to it.

Winning the doubters over “We almost always experience scepticism when we roll out our ideas,” admits Petersen. “It is imperative that our ideas are convincing and meaningful. We are extremely good at interpreting the school reform in favour of the school users. In fact, we get positive feedback from schools praising an end product they couldn’t have dreamt up in the first place. We work from visualisations, sketches and 3D presentations from a very early stage, which works to our advantage. People get on board with ideas a lot quicker if they can envisage what you want to achieve.”

Apart from winning doubters over in Denmark, Nova5’s work has sparked interest abroad, as increasing urbanisation, changing school policies and accommodating new family patterns and new ways of living prove universal themes. The company is currently designing a new school in Norway as well as working on housing projects in the UK and Germany.

FACTS ABOUT NOVA5 ARCHITECTS: - Nova5 Architects is an acknowledged architecture firm in Denmark with more than 20 years’ experience of creating buildings for learning and living. - Nova5 designs and manages educational projects as well as both private and public residential and commercial projects. - Nova5 has recently opened an office in London. - Nova5 uses the newest digital software available, and they gladly provide 3D models, mock-ups and maquettes to better communicate their vision and understand their client’s needs. Danish address: Æbeløgade 4, 2. sal, DK2100 Copenhagen Ø UK address: 1a Cobham Mews, London NW1 9SB

For more information, please visit:

Langelinie School.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  75

The percentage of people leaving the strained Rosenhøj housing estate fell after Arkitema’s changes were implemented.

Architecture inspired by people A study of the human benefits gained in several projects by the Danish architecture firm Arkitema Architects shows that architecture can make a significant difference; it can improve the lives of the people it is inspired by. Among the remarkable results is a 70 per cent reduction in the number of physical restrictions at a psychiatric department designed by the firm.

housing, urban, commercial, educational and health institutions. Among its most famous projects is Copenhagen’s newest and most popular neighbourhood, Sluseholmen.

By Signe Hansen | Photos: Arkitema

Safer and happier

When architecture can change and improve people’s lives, it is not just because of the aesthetic value it adds. No, architecture is about much more than attractive façades, stresses partner Jørgen Bach. “Our starting point is always ‘people in architecture’. Humans are at the centre 76  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

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 has created a string of projects including

With a 70 per cent reduction in the number of physical restrictions and a 61 per cent reduction in the use of tranquilisers, the numbers speak their own language at Esbjerg Psychiatry. Furthermore, interviews show that, thanks to the new architectonical context, both patients and carers feel safer and happier in their

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

everyday life and work. Essentially, the new design has opened up the whole building using glass walls to separate units, creating transparency, increasing freedom and lessening the feeling of isolation for patients on the closed wards. Anne-Grethe Borch Lauridsen, department supervisor, explains: “Now, the closed-ward patients can access the courtyard area on their own 24 hours a day as the staff can still keep an eye on them from the staff room. Our staff is much more visible as there is so much glass, and we also experience that this is something that makes the patients feel safer and calmer.” Other new features include more green areas, more visibility to these areas and a new sports hall with increased activity offers.

Part of my identity Those who have visited Sluseholmen in Copenhagen might be surprised to realise that the entire neighbourhood is just seven years old. A mix of children, young people, dog owners, and new families strolling, swimming and chatting outside all add to the feel of a buzzing, wellestablished local community. “With more

than 1,000 apartments, and canals, courtyards and bulwarks, this project is a prime example of how it is possible to create a new urban development that feels liveable and natural,” explains Bach, adding: “With Sluseholmen we made great effort to ensure the human scale of everything in the mix of interaction possibilities and to create the experiences that ensure variation like, for example, the stairs leading down to the canals or the small wooden jetties.” Once again, the research done by Arkitema backs up the ideals as statistics show that living close to nature and water increases people’s quality of life. A living example of this is Jørgen Koch, a 36-year-old water sports enthusiast who has been living in Sluseholmen since 2011. Every morning, he goes for a swim in the canals, which he can enter directly from his flat. He has also designed his own extended terrace, a motorised jetty, where he can enjoy his morning coffee in a sunny spot on the water. “This area is amazing for someone like me. I feel that living here is a very unique thing. It’s become an integrated part of who I am.” However, it is not just new, striking neighbourhood projects such as Sluseholmen that can bring changes to people’s lives.

On a much smaller scale, residents of the run-down housing estate Rosenhøj gained a renewed feeling of trust and safety in their neighbourhood after some changes were implemented by Arkitema. Entrances to the block were moved to encourage meetings between neighbours and new playgrounds and green areas were created, all of which resulted in the percentage of people leaving the area falling. “What we want to do is literally bring architecture down to earth, and create living and breathing spaces for living and breathing people. That’s why we always say that people in architecture is what it’s all about,” Bach rounds off.

FACTS ABOUT ARKITEMA ARCHITECTS: Arkitema Architects was founded in Aarhus in 1969 (then named Arkitektgruppen Aarhus). Arkitema Architects employs approximately 500 people in offices in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Stockholm, Malmö and Oslo. Daylight, open spaces and clear lines play a significant role in Arkitema’s work, as does the focus on sustainability and nature. Arkitema is a full-service firm specialised in the areas of living, working, health, learning and urban.

For more information, please visit:

Anne-Grethe Borch Lauridsen, department supervisor at Esbjerg Psychiatry, says that the changes implemented by Arkitema ‘make the patients feel safer and calmer’.

‘I feel that living here is a very unique thing. It’s become an integrated part of who I am,’ says Jørgen Koch, resident in Sluseholmen.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  77

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

The 50,000-square-metre Niels Bohr Building will be the daily place of work and study for approximately 3,000 students and researchers. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

When designing a research building, nothing is set in stone Designing research institutions is the ultimate challenge for architects. Not only does it require highly technological solutions; absorption, human interaction, and knowledge sharing also have to be facilitated. Ultimately, the task is much like piecing together a 1,000-piece jigsaw to reveal the building’s image and expression. Two partners from Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, the firm behind the University of Copenhagen’s new Niels Bohr Building, talk to Scan Magazine about why these projects are also some of the most rewarding within their field. By Signe Hansen

Thomas Scheel is in the midst of the construction process of the Niels Bohr Building. The 50,000-square-metre multidimensional development has cemented his belief that what is essential to a project’s success is the architect’s ability to work within the framework of an outlined proposal to create the flexibility fundamental to a research centre. “What we’ve experienced with this kind of 78  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

project is that, as the world of science is constantly evolving, new requirements arise during the design process even after the construction has begun. That’s something that tests the strength of the structure, which in the end has to provide the frame for a myriad of wishes and requirements. It’s been a priority for us to foster the competences it takes to be able to do that,” he stresses.

Partner Thomas West Jensen, who recently finished the Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, agrees. Before the commission, the client did not request a traditional proposal but rather a definition of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects’ competences within collaboration, user functionality and dialogue-led project management. “We find this approach very interesting because those competences not only add value – they are essential; it’s through them that we qualify our design and reach a more detailed understanding of requirements before we actually put the pen to the paper,” says Jensen.

Knowledge sharing When it opens in 2017, the Niels Bohr Building, which has been designed in

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

collaboration with Christensen & Co Arkitekter, will house the departments of physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and didactics. Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects’ design aims to stimulate informal meetings and interdisciplinary cooperation between the many departments while simultaneously enabling well-defined academic identity and absorption. “The university’s focus on knowledge sharing between different departments was absolutely essential to our proposal. That’s one of the reasons they wanted a more flexible building, a place where the various sciences could meet and cooperate despite the fieldspecific requirements with regards to technology and safety in laboratories,” explains Scheel and adds: “From experience we know that many ideas originate by the coffee machine and especially in the meeting between different fields. Ensuring that the architecture can generate that kind of borderless community, which supports that, is tremendously interesting for us as architects because it challenges the physical frames.”

Apart from research and educational laboratories, the new 50,000-squaremetre building will also comprise teaching facilities, offices, a canteen, and meeting and conference rooms.

Challenges build character When Jensen and his team designed the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (CFB) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), limited space was one of the main challenges. Besides, as the first of its kind, the privately funded research centre was constructed as part of the existing DTU campus, creating some specific requirements. The developer’s wish was to connect and open up not just the different units within the building, but also the centre as a whole to the rest of the university. Therefore, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects’ designed an open environment with visibility and openness between laboratories and offices instead of separating the two, as it is conventionally done. Jensen, who headed up the project, explains: “Because of the limited space we had to build upwards, and that also meant that

we had to create a vertically connecting space throughout the building. Creating an active heart in the building and bringing people together across fields and across floors was the focal point – and we then connected that space to the rest of the university. In a way, the challenges were what most significantly defined the design of the building.” Scheel agrees that rather than being the starting point, the building’s aesthetic expression is the result of, and frame for, the thousands of requirements they as architects have to fulfil. “Our job is to understand and solve the conflicts that arise between the distinctive wishes and requirements of different user groups and make sure that the solutions are technically and financially plausible,” he says and rounds off: “That’s the essential role of architects: to piece together the puzzle and create the architecture on the base of that. We find that extremely interesting – when architecture becomes a tool to solve complex problems, we are at the very core of our subject, which is much more than creating an eyecatching façade.”

VLA IN BRIEF: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects is a full-service firm of 90 architects that works with development and planning, architecture and design. The firm was founded in 1922 by the leading modernist architect Vilhelm Theodor Lauritzen. Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects is located in Nordhavn, Copenhagen.

Top left: The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter. Top right: A coffee spot in the Niels Bohr Building. Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter/CCO. Below: The Niels Bohr Building from above. Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  79

By leading the pupils to the many different activities and providing informal places to hang out and be together, VEGA’s 450-metre loop has proved remarkably successful in getting even the most difficult groups, including socially challenged children, to move outside and engage in activities in one way or another.

Drawing people together Enticing people to get outside, meet and move is what VEGA Landskab is all about. Whether working in busy Moscow or peaceful Northern Jutland, the core ambition of the firm’s two founders is the same: to transform the landscape that surrounds us into engaging social spaces that draw children and adults out and together. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Simon Jeppesen

Anne Dorthe Vestergaard and Anne Galmar, the founders of VEGA, have spent a decade exploring the myriad of possibilities within the field of landscaping. Since meeting each other at Aarhus School of Architecture in the late ‘90s, their shared interest in the relationship between buildings, people and landscapes has resulted in a string of distinctive projects. “In the big cities 80  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

away from their mobile phones, the sofa and computer screens. A good outdoor space is for everybody, it’s inclusive and designed for people to meet and connect in informal settings.”

To Russia with love we aim to get more people out and on their feet; we want to make walking to get around an everyday pleasure, perhaps even entice people to take a little detour around a nice green area and in that way add a little extra to their day,” explains Vestergaard. “The same goes for the schools: we want all of the pupils, even the most difficult groups, the tweens and the couch potatoes, to get up and outside,

VEGA’s approach has not just struck a chord with city planners in Denmark but also, despite the obvious differences, in Moscow. Having noticed the firm’s landscape design for the Smart School in Irkutsk, Moscow’s local planning office, STRELKA, asked VEGA to contribute with three different projects in the extensive, prestigious city renewal scheme ‘My Streets Moscow’. The scheme will see

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

several lanes of the city’s surrounding 12lane orbital road turned into recreational areas and parks. “The way it is at the moment, the city is very much designed to accommodate cars, but what has been forgotten is that as soon as people leave their cars, they become pedestrians,” says Galmar. Vestergaard adds: “We have a lot of things that we take for granted in Denmark but which are very different in a place like Moscow. But no matter where we work, we look at the particular setting and how we can build on to that to turn it into an asset to the people in that specific location. Of course, we like to make beautiful designs, but we don’t just do something for the design; we do it to make a difference for the people who use it. The features we use are tools to realise that. For instance, we have created a noise-reducing natural mound

with a little garden behind for people to find a moment of peace. It’s about creating little pockets that make the urban life more visible and make walking a positive experience.”

Exceeding expectations Noise was not the problem at Skørping School in Northern Jutland. The challenge was to get the pupils outside to enjoy the peace and use the surrounding forest. VEGA’s solution was a complete restructuring of the school’s outdoor areas and the innovative and inclusive activity park has attracted children, youngsters and families from all over the local region. The activities, which include ball courts, a tree-top hut, social swings, a spider web, a skateboarding hub and much more, are connected by a 450-metre wood bridge that loops its

way from the school entrance into the surrounding forest. One of the main goals with the project was to draw out all of the school’s social groups, and that has been achieved to an extent that surprises even the architects themselves. “It’s been completely overwhelming to see how much more the kids get out and move about. We’ve received emails from the deputy and she’s just ecstatic; she’s telling us how she can see kids playing and running everywhere from her office. It’s made a massive difference,” says Vestergaard and rounds off: “But it’s not just the school children – at the weekend local families and skateboarders come to the area and use the loop and the area as well. It’s a very generous project in the way that it was always the school’s intention that it should become an asset to the whole of the local community.” FACTS ABOUT VEGA LANDSKAB: VEGA Landskab has departments in Aarhus (headed by Anne Dorthe Vestergaard) and Copenhagen (headed by Anne Galmar). VEGA Landskab employs eight architects and support staff.

For more information, please visit:

Photo: VEGA Landskab

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  81

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

New Forensic Psychiatry Sct. Hans Location: Roskilde, Denmark Competition win in 2013 – inauguration 2018 20,000 square metres RUBOW arkitekter in collaboration with KHR Arkitekter, Oluf Jørgensen A/S, Spangenberg & Madsen, WSP UK Ltd, Opland Landskabsarkitekter

Identifying the architectural potential RUBOW architects is a competition-winning practice with a strategy to exploit potential in the brief, in the context, in the group of users, and in the sustainable design – and the firm has the capacity to build it too. It counts 70 people working at a newly refurbished studio in the very heart of Copenhagen. By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: RUBOW arkitekter

With a special focus on health, assisted living facilities, education and public housing, the core practice at RUBOW arkitekter is ‘Architecture in a (Danish) Welfare Society’ and has been for 30 years. The office is now looking to offer its field of expertise to the neighbouring Scandinavian market as well. Scan Magazine spoke to leading design architect and partner at RUBOW arkitekter, Susanne Hansen, about what drives the studio in a very competitive business. “It’s all about focusing on the lifeblood,” Hansen says without a second of a doubt, describing how she and her colleagues approach a project. “Our work is targeted to meet and exceed the expectations of our clients. In general, we identify the potential of a given project with a strong focus on sustainability and the human needs to create a viable environment,” says Hansen.

Complexity of the brief and the human angle Designing a Forensic Psychiatry Hospital implies a contradiction within the brief: 82  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

natural materials, connects common facilities with strong architectural identity,” Hansen says and adds: “Instead of focusing on the entire building, we focus on the lifeblood of it. That’s where the quality comes from.”

patients are locked up during their stay, making it a place of both captivity and healing. “The terrain of the plot at Sct. Hans is magnificent, and it was obvious for us to work with nature’s healing effect. By using the descending terrain as a natural boundary in the disposition, the team made it possible for all bedrooms to overlook the surrounding landscape. In order for that to happen, we had to look at each bedroom individually. That was the lifeblood of this project,” Hansen explains. Designing welfare institutions is designing architecture that cares for people. RUBOW arkitekter won the competition to design a new hospital for the treatment of eating disorders with a basic design strategy for ‘Healing Architecture’. “To ensure the experience of a welcoming and attractive treatment environment, we proposed a strong, warm interior design to help inner flow and wayfinding. An architectural spine in close connection to the surrounding landscape, clad in warm

Architectonic wayfinding at the 5,600-squaremetre-large hospital for eating disorders, a competition win in 2014 with inauguration due autumn 2017. RUBOW arkitekter in collaboration with Wessberg A/S Rådgivende ingeniører and Bang og Linnet Landskab.

For more information, please visit:

The lost shield

– stimulating curiosity through architecture How do you build an experience and knowledge centre next to one of the most wellpreserved Viking sites in Scandinavia? PLH Arkitekter came up with the idea to merge past and present in a contemporary aesthetic – an idea that has already won them a nomination at the World Architecture Festival Awards.

here and are able to get up onto the roof, and maybe be told that they are standing on a giant shield, I believe they will be more interested in what’s inside the building as well,” says Mølbak.

By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: PLH & ALL

During the Viking Age, Trelleborg near Slagelse in Denmark was one of the biggest Viking fortresses. When it was decided that the site needed an experience and knowledge centre to tell the story of the fortress, PLH Arkitekter had to be creative in their approach. “We couldn’t just build the centre underground, because the client wanted a visible building that would be an attraction in itself. The entire location has a circular shape, and when we found out that Denmark’s only preserved Viking shield was discovered here, we decided to also shape the building in the form of this circular shield. As a visitor you can walk up onto the shield and gain a fantastic view of the surroundings – a viewpoint

where you, due to the height, are able to see the fascinating circular geometry in all its grandness,” says Søren Mølbak, partner and architect at PLH.

Merging past and present The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020, but it has already received recognition outside of Denmark. The experience and knowledge centre has been nominated at the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards in Berlin in the category of future culture buildings. “When we design buildings, we aim to make the building a part of the story. We want to arouse people’s curiosity through the architecture. If a school class comes

Inside the visitor centre, an authentic Viking atmosphere is recreated with a gripping audio-visual universe of exhibition spaces, the crackling from the fireplace in the café, the tarred timber exterior cladding and Viking sails decorating the façades. “To strengthen the experience, we have made it relatively dark inside the building, because that’s how it would have been inside Viking houses. But you’re never in doubt that you’re in a new building, due to the modern design – yet you’ll always get the atmosphere of the Viking age,” says Mølbak. For more information, please visit:

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The design for Kronen turns the challenges associated with building on top of an existing shopping centre into unique qualities.

Simple solutions for complex needs When designing urban spaces, plans and buildings for people, architects are inevitably expected to meet a host of complex needs, dreams and challenges. That does not automatically call for complex solutions, however. Copenhagen-based architecture firm SANGBERG Architects specialises in creating simple, robust and generous frames that allow people to develop and shape their own life. By Signe Hansen | Photos: SANGBERG Architects

Based on more than ten years of experience, SANGBERG Architects focuses on creating buildings, urban spaces and urban plans that facilitate everyday life while at the same time being adaptable to future needs. The approach is based on the conviction that architecture should facilitate but not dictate the way of life for the inhabitants, explains founder and partner Jonas Sangberg: “The world 84  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

is not a static place, and it’s important for us as architects to remember that when we create a structure that we want to last for many years. We need to create flexible settings for people to develop and shape their lives in – it’s not about us creating a piece of art, deciding what kind of colour people’s windows should be or how many rooms they should have. Our goal is to create generous and simple settings that allow

for flexibility in everyday life, now and in the future.” He adds: “That doesn’t mean that we don’t design, but for us it’s important to distinguish between the things we should do and the things that are better left for the users to define. It’s the robustness that comes through flexibility that is extremely important.” SANGBERG Architects was formed by Sangberg (former partner in Polyform) this year, as a result of the division of Polyform. Hence all mentioned projects have been developed in cooperation with Polyform and WERK Arkitekter.

Simple and sustainable SANGBERG Architects’ key to creating flexible and robust designs is an evidence-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

based, holistic approach to sustainability. The company works with sustainability as a design tool and uses analysis of wind, microclimate, topography and other factors at each site to develop design solutions. This might sound complicated, but the result is simple and easily accessible as the features are not added to structures but rather an inherent part of them. “I wanted to create a firm where sustainable design was an essential part of our practice. It’s about more than just adding a green roof to a building and thinking that you’ve saved the world. It’s about showing that if you incorporate sustainability at the very start of the design process, you can get very far without it becoming overly technical or complicated,” says Sangberg.

a remarkable residential development in Vanløse. Placed on top of an existing shopping centre next to the metro station, the project comprises a long list of challenges and possibilities that SANGBERG Architects turned into an eye-catching design for 158 urban homes in a self-contained, car-free, sustainable city part 12 metres above the ground. “This project was a bit of an exercise in how to transform the need to build on top of a shopping centre into something positive. We were inspired by the kind of Italian mountain village perched on the cliffs with narrow maze-like streets, small spaces and no cars,” explains Sangberg.

Combining a variety of building typologies, the development is based on a socially and financially sustainable design. As with the firm’s other projects, environmental sustainability is thought into the design, as wood, a carbon positive building material, composes the main part of Kronen’s structure. SANGBERG Architects consists of a multidisciplinary team of 25 architects, landscape architects, engineers and construction architects. For more information, please visit:

One project to which SANGBERG Architects has applied those ideas is the design of a new residential compound in Østre Havn, Aalborg. The area will comprise 95 homes in a 6,900-squaremetre development. To achieve the highest possible advantage of natural daylight, the building varies from four to 13 storeys and windows differ in size and placing to draw the greatest advantage of the sunlight.

Built for people SANGBERG Architects not only designs buildings for urban spaces but also bridges the gap between building architecture and urban planning. In Nordhavn, the firm has been part of the team creating the masterplan for the area’s new developments. The plan focuses on urban spaces and the existing character of the area while building onto recreational areas, blending residential and commercial developments and strengthening local identity. “We create buildings on the basis of good understanding of urban contexts that we gain in our work with masterplans and urban spaces. That is why our buildings are always designed to fit into an urban setting, with an awareness of transitions and correlations that makes the place come alive,” says Sangberg. The correlation to surroundings and context is also distinctively evident in Kronen,

Simple but powerful design tools have been used to maximise the influx of daylight in all 95 new homes in Østre Havn, Aalborg.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Denmark

Park and Play - aerial. Photo: JAJA Architects

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse – prism. In collaboration with BESSARDs’ STUDIO. Photo: Hampus Per Berndtson

Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST -

Driven by curiosity JAJA Architects are based in Copenhagen. Their unique, creative solutions make them thrive under each challenge and enjoy going the extra mile. By Susan Hansen

“We are driven by curiosity – being able to constantly challenge conventional ideas of what is achievable by doing something in a different and better way,” says Jan Y. Tanaka, founding partner and architect at JAJA Architects. “We aim to add value where it is unexpected, in a way that creates an element of surprise.” The firm’s portfolio includes projects as diverse as a masterplan transforming Ålesund’s harbour front, to a swimming hall extension in Roskilde, a museum in Nyborg, 400 housing units in Copenhagen and an innovation centre in Taastrup. Their latest project is Park’N’Play, Konditaget Lüders, in Copenhagen. “Our task was to rethink a parking house and make it an integral part of the city,” Tanaka explains. “It was a challenging starting point to transform something not originally created for people and turn 86  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

it into something that would become an attractive public space for the city.” JAJA dealt amazingly well with the challenge. Today, a month after opening, the site has become a popular public space for the people of Copenhagen who seek the thrill of being above the city skyline. At the other end of the spectrum, where JAJA’s playful approach unfolds, is the hidden potential seen in the transformation of Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. A harsh coastal environment meant that the lighthouse was out of service and became inaccessible for decades, and moving sand dunes destroyed most of it, leaving the tower isolated. The constant coastal erosion means that the tower is likely to succumb to the forces of nature within the next two to 15 years.

“We introduced a new staircase, which also doubles up as a gigantic kaleidoscope inside the existing lighthouse. Previously a machine sending light out to the seafarers, we reinterpreted its historic function by reverting its use to instead cascade light directly into the lighthouse,” says Tanaka. “Combined with a wind-powered prism on top of the kaleidoscope, visitors will hopefully experience the correlation between the story of the lighthouse and the immense natural forces of the Danish west coast. This is perhaps comparable to being inside a gigantic wind-powered disco ball.” The future is looking bright for JAJA, and several new projects are currently in progress. “For us it is about continuously exploring the potential of architecture, to make it better for the individual client as well as society in general and its surroundings.”

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Charlotta Holm Hildebrand. Photo courtesy of Architects Sweden.

Lindéngruppen - Beckers’ art collection, by Petra Gipp Arkitektur. Photo: Jens Markus Lindhe

Utopia Arkitekter’s design at Hornsbruksgatan in Stockholm. Photo: Utopia Arkitekter

Into the woods with Swedish architects Nature occupies a special place in Swedish society and in the hearts of the Swedes. The love is so profound we even instituted our first national park as early as 1909. Being a country where nature and woods abound, Swedish architecture has a long and honourable tradition of designing for and building with wood. By Charlotta Holm Hildebrand, architect and executive director industry at Architects Sweden

There are numerous examples of exquisite architecture with woods and trees as inspiration, from the treelike pillars in Asplund’s world-famous Woodland Chapel to the distinctive design of contemporary housing architecture or the very specific phenomena of the Swedish ’Naturum’. ’Naturum’ are visitor information centres where you can learn more about the geology, flora, fauna and cultural heritage of the local area where it is situated, with the architecture being part of the experience. When flying across Sweden, one can hardly see the cities due to all the trees.

Accordingly, everyday buildings have always been made of wood as Swedish architecture and timber in all shapes and forms go hand in hand. The softness of the material, the tactility and the loveliest of scents from oak, maple and ash give the Swedes plenty of beautifully pure everyday objects. All children learn how to shape, form and design with tradition and innovation from a young age. Current innovation ensures a modern timber industry, allowing construction of new scales in addition to the traditional, smaller houses found everywhere. Swedish architecture firms are

commissioned to design apartment blocks with several storeys, even highrises, solely out of wood as it reduces the carbon footprint and shortens construction times, not to mention the low emissions and the wonderful look and feel of wooden buildings. Architects are responding to this challenge by designing rich urban sites where the playful look of wood contributes to creating environments that are synonymous with life. With wood you can build tall and rational housing where the building material itself provides a human scale. Building on tradition, wood is taking us into a promising future. Why not join us on our journey?

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Tellus TWRs – a brand new solution by Wingårdhs By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Wingårdhs

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

The statistics speak for themselves. We live alone or in pairs – that is true for more than two-thirds of Sweden’s population. “There simply aren’t enough small flats being built,” says Gert Wingårdh, founder and architect at one of Sweden’s boldest and most highly regarded architecture firms, Wingårdhs. It makes environmental sense to build where public transport is well developed. High-rise buildings optimise the use of land and can benefit from existing infrastructure. “Our goal is to design the first great-value high-rise building,” Wingårdh declares. With a simple shape and a design that is rational and production-matched in every sense, a proper high-rise build with strong finances is to see the light of day. Tellus TWRs are two buildings towering amazingly high above the ground, at 236 metres and 177 metres respectively, equating to 78 and 58 floors. Compare this to Turning Torso, Sweden’s currently tallest building, at 191 metres and just 54 floors. Between them, the two new complexes will offer 1,250 apartments right beside the new transit station at Telefonplan in southern Stockholm, a point where bus routes and underground train lines connect, just ten minutes from Stockholm Central Station. The area has a history as industrial grounds and was formerly the home of the Ericsson headquarters. Konstfack, the renowned university college of arts, is situated here today and the district is quickly becoming a cultural and creative hotspot. The flats come in two sizes and two sizes only: a studio flat of 32 square metres and a one-bed flat of around 50 square metres. The forms of tenure will be varied to suit a range of occupants. “You can buy or rent,

or invest in a ‘bostadsrätt’, the Scandinavian shared-ownership model,” Wingårdh explains. “The service around the shared entrance will be exceptional. Some apartments will come fully equipped in terms of interiors to increase the value for customers. Functionalities that are otherwise difficult and expensive to incorporate have been built in and are available from the get-go!” Tellus TRWs, dubbed by the pioneering architect himself as “a major step towards more dense construction”, is an SSM project due for completion in 2021. Initially planned as one skyscraper, then extended to two towers, the project will become a landmark of what has been dubbed Stockholm Creative District and will boast incredible light transmission qualities as well as unmatched views. Both towers will feature roof terraces with pools, and one will get a restaurant and skybar. “We want to show that it’s possible to build really tall buildings in Sweden at a really reasonable cost,” says the architect. The current plan is for one big piece of glass to make out the entire wall of the smaller apartments, creating the illusion of the buildings being lower than they really are. “Tellus TWRs, 1,200 apartments at an existing underground station – this really is to make the most of the current infrastructure and create homes where it’s at its most ecological and sustainable.”

Photo: Jacob Karström

FACTS ABOUT WINGÅRDHS: - Wingårdhs architecture firm has 170 employees: 100 in Gothenburg, 50 in Stockholm and 20 in Malmö. - The firm designs everything from small private homes to the largest of shopping centres (including Mall of Scandinavia and Emporia), office blocks and public buildings (such as Universeum). - They work with new builds, renovation projects and add-ons (for example Nationalmuseum and Liljevalchs). - Sustainability is one of the firm’s areas of expertise (Wingårdhs won the Green Building Award in 2015) and believes in long-term societal development. - “We celebrate diversity,” boasts the founder.

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Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  89

The urban development Nya Hovås in Gothenburg.

The voice of architecture Stockholm-based architecture firm Utopia Arkitekter has no humble ambition. The mission statement is clear since the beginning: to create a better society. CEO Emma Jonsteg raises awareness of current challenges such as climate change, housing shortage and immigration – and is now considered the most powerful voice in Swedish architecture. By Malin Norman | Photos: Utopia Arkitekter

Set up in 2008 by Emma Jonsteg and Mattias Litström, Utopia’s goal is to increase positive values and social sustainability through a long-term approach and high-quality architectural designs – not only for homes and offices but also in landscapes and urban developments. This is made possible through a close dialogue with stakeholders, careful analysis of requirements and the use of experts from a wide range of fields, and ultimately by adding architectural value to the sites. “Our projects raise some important questions,” says co-founder and CEO 90  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Jonsteg. “In our proposed designs, we provide architectural solutions such as integrated sustainability and use of public green spaces, as well as an added local and contemporary touch. By doing so, we can also help to strengthen the identity of the area.”

Trio in originality Utopia’s innovative ideas receive plenty of attention. Shimmering like a diamond, new project Juvelen (‘The Jewel’) is Utopia’s winning proposal for a new landmark building in Uppsala. The project has been developed in cooperation with Skanska with the goal to create the

most sustainable office building in the Nordic countries, energy self-sufficient thanks to solar cells and wind power. In addition to its long-term environmental objectives, Juvelen will also function as an exciting meeting place and an eyecatching, sparkling entrance to the city. The 10,000-square-metre building is due for completion in 2018. Another gem is Hornsbruksgatan in the Södermalm borough of Stockholm, a new housing development on assignment by Veidekke Bostad. The proposed plan includes three buildings, consisting of both apartments and town houses. The roof of the two and three-level red brick buildings will house an extension of the nearby public park, creating a truly unique solution not only by Stockholm standard but also internationally. Söderkåkar is another exciting new housing project, this on assignment by

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Folkhem. Also located in Södermalm in Stockholm, the proposal is a tribute to the area’s cultural heritage and traditional small wooden houses. While inspired by the look and feel of the vernacular architecture, Söderkåkar offers three modern wooden buildings, individually and site-specifically designed to accommodate to a sustainable modern way of life, with room for public functions such as cafés, restaurants, shops and a nursery school.

A world of urban design

change, globalisation, housing shortage and immigration, the role of architecture is becoming increasingly important. We confront those issues head on and provide innovative solutions, based on the specific needs and opportunities of each location. Our goal is ultimately to create sustainable and affordable projects that people can relate to and fall in love with.” Utopia Arkitekter has landed four projects on the shortlist of this year’s World Architecture Festival. Two of them are in the residential category and include

the aforementioned Hornsbruksgatan as well as the high-profile residential project called Bolindersplan on Kungsholmen in Stockholm. The other two projects are the Juvelen office building in Uppsala and an urban development called Nya Hovås in Gothenburg. The awards ceremony, which is considered the world championship in architecture, takes place in Berlin on 16-18 November. For more information, please visit:

Jonsteg is one of the strongest ambassadors for Swedish architecture and city planning and widely celebrated for her work, most recently named one of the most powerful cultural personalities in Sweden by the news magazine Fokus. Described as fast, brave and colourful, she is praised for pushing for an updated approach to urban design with a strong focus on ecologic, financial and social sustainability combined with cutting-edge design. Jonsteg’s never-ending energy for raising the industry profile through podcasts, columns and networks has resulted in her being named the most powerful person in Swedish architecture and design this year by the periodical RUM. “Recently, architecture and urban development have received a lot more attention in Sweden,” Jonsteg explains. “With current challenges such as climate

The new development with apartments and town houses on Hornsbruksgatan in Stockholm also incorporates an extension of the nearby public park.

Left: Juvelen is a proposed energy self-sufficient landmark building in Uppsala, which has been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Middle: The residential project Bolindersplan on Kungsholmen in Stockholm. Right: Söderkåkar is a new housing project with modern wooden buildings on Södermalm in Stockholm, a tribute to the area’s cultural heritage.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Villa Saturnus, Limited Edition.

20 years of life-affirming architecture

– now aiming to revolutionise the work space From the most technologically intensive private home in Sweden to an awardwinning zero-energy villa, Sweden’s lowest u-value windows, and the first Svanen eco-certification for an architectural firm ever, Pål Ross has countless impressive firsts under his belt. But of course, this is what drives him: an urge to question everything with the aim of designing life-affirming houses that make people happy. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Design Pål Ross, Photographer Mikael Damkier

“We celebrated with pomp and circumstance!” exclaims the architect and founder of Ross Architecture & Design when asked about the firm’s 20th anniversary. “It’s quite unusual for architecture firms to be celebrating jubilees this way, but then again we’ve always done things our own way. Over the past 20 years we have added a dimension that wasn’t previously there and completely turned architecture 92  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

on its head with a philosophy about habitats that has raised more than a few eyebrows.”

Organic flows and optimised square metres Ross sure has shaken things up, but his principles are not shaky in the slightest. His creations are a far cry from the square homes most people are used to, instead respecting the natural flow of life and

steering clear of straight lines. “Square houses are illogical,” he says. “Nothing in nature is square, and we don’t move in squares.” Affordable and good are not mutually exclusive, he insists, explaining that a highly streamlined construction process cuts the labour costs when building a house, leaving room in the budget for far better materials. In addition, Ross is certain that size does not matter: “I’ve questioned this obsession with architecture being measured in square metres. You buy a house and the first thing people ask is how big it is. It’s like if you say you’re married and people would ask how many kilogrammes your husband weighs,” Ross explains. “The shape and design of

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

a place can completely change people’s experience of it; the flow of movement creates contexts; the way light flows into the rooms adds another dimension. As for square metres, they are so often wasted on unnecessary, boring spaces – we remove the need for hallways to give you more for your money. Perhaps instead of that long corridor you’d like a spa section?”

Revolutionising the office space 300 realised residential projects later, Ross is broadening his horizons. “We’ve got so many happy customers, but of course the problem is that our houses are forever, so once we’ve delivered on a client’s wishes they never have to come back!” he laughs. But health and happiness go a long way not just at home but also in the work place, and indeed Ross Architecture & Design’s first office environment pitch was so well received that it is now set to be used as a blueprint to demonstrate the immense potential of a work space. “We only had two weeks to create a proposal, but in the end it was not just twice as good but probably 17 times better than the existing proposal!” Ross says about the 20th floor of the iconic Wenner-Gren Center. Doing away with corridors, the proposal is unmistakably Ross with an organic flow and a perfectly utilised space. The client’s

goal was to become a more attractive employer, and in the end what they got was a stunning design with clever hints to the company’s love of golf, along with space for more employees. Everything from lighting to the natural soundscape has been carefully considered. “Where does the light fall, and what are the reverberation times like? Natural light, acoustics and material choices – you mightn’t think of these things as important when designing a work space, but for me it goes without saying,” says the architect. “It’s all about creating a life-affirming environment that makes you feel that bit better, that bit happier. You want happy, healthy staff so you need to consider things like how they’re going to feel in work during those long, dark months every winter. People spend a lot of time at work.”

costs less in the longer term,” Ross explains about the collaboration between the two brands. “Tesla’s new air filter is so effective that it doesn’t just purify its own air but also its surroundings. In addition to the savings I make every time I charge up my Tesla battery at home, it’s a great feeling to know that my car doesn’t contribute to air pollution.” From the motorways to the office buildings and right into your home, Ross is all about increased health and happiness in a beautiful, sustainable way. He has shown beyond a doubt that he could do it to the residential sector. Who knows what might happen when big business gets a dose of Ross’s ingenuity. For more information, please visit:

A better, sustainable product in the long term Alongside live music and a red carpet, Ross Architecture & Design’s 20th anniversary celebration featured car manufacturer Tesla, whose innovative and environmentally conscious design has revolutionised the auto-motive industry just like Ross has trailblazed his way through the architecture scene. “Our audience understands that a higher initial cost is worth it in order to get a better, more sustainable product that lasts and

Avobe left: Ross Architecture & Design’s own COO Jan Öström (left) and owner and CEO, Pål Ross himself (middle), alongside investor Joakim Holgersson of Nordic Corporate Finance AB, at the 20th anniversary celebrations. Above right: Car manufacturer and designer Tesla, with whom Ross Architecture & Design has a partnership, also made a much appreciated appearance at the jubilee celebrations. Below right: Villa NK, Exclusive Design.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Dockland’s exterior is dressed in zinc plates and wood laminate, relating to the industrial epoch. The metal’s toughness is well balanced with the warmer feeling of the wood.

Industrial loft living in Dockland Based on shifting human requirements, Nyréns creates environments with high demands on functionality, finances and sustainability. Distinctive to its designs are the use of materials and care for light and colours, creating a mix of simplicity and beauty. Its most recent example is Dockland, offering a new type of loft living on a historic shipbuilding site. By Malin Norman | Photos: Åke E:son Lindman/Nyréns Arkitektkontor

Established in 1948 by Carl Nyrén, known as the master of light, Nyréns Arkitektkontor is now one of Sweden’s biggest architecture firms with 120 staff in Stockholm and Malmö. Since 1983, a majority of its employees are also shareholders. The architects, interior designers, landscape architects, master planners and building antiquarians work closely together to develop valuable archi94  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

tecture and environments for the future. With a mission to enrich and strengthen humanist values in the surroundings, each design is born from a functional idea based on the client’s dreams and requirements and also the characteristics of that specific room, building and city. Assignments span from smaller houses to larger building projects and complex

historic and urban environments. In addition to its original focus on architecture, Nyréns Arkitektkontor designs interiors for public spaces such as educational and cultural institutions as well as healthcare, retail and private buildings. Other areas of expertise include landscape architecture and city planning, with a constant focus on how surroundings impact people. Proof of its successful concept is for instance the Siena Prize, awarded in 2012 by the Swedish Association of Architecture for the creation of Hornsbergs Strandpark in Stockholm. For the third time in ten years, Nyréns has received this prominent landscape award for its contemporary designs.

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Characteristics of the existing welding hall inspired a new type of loft living, with the large windows at the centre of the planning and creative design.

Transformed welding hall In 1998, Nyréns won a competition organised by HSB for Finnboda Varv. HSB had acquired the old shipbuilding area Finnboda, by the sea entrance to Stockholm, with the aim of creating a new hub with 12,000 square metres of office space and around 800 attractive apartments as well as other functions. Architect Dag Cavallius is responsible for the plan and several of the buildings for housing, offices and business premises. Dockland is the latest development in Finnboda Varv, with 40 new apartments introduced in the welding hall from the 1940s, which is located in the middle of the old shipbuilding site. The special characteristics of the existing building, such as the large windows and the old slipway for launching vessels, have posed particular challenges but also

stimulated surprising solutions. Inspired by the industrial environment, the building now houses a new type of loft living with a ceiling height of five metres. The courtyard also stands out with its intimacy and tightness, as if sliced from the building itself with fronts dressed in zinc plate and laminate wood to create a mix of industrial roughness and natural warmth. The conversion of the old welding hall into contemporary housing is an example of how valuable buildings can be transformed into new modern functions while maintaining the cultural history and keeping their character. The area’s protected buildings and workshops, dating back to the 1870s, have certainly provided an irresistible challenge for Cavallius and his team.

“This project is very close to my heart,” he explains. “A place with old structures has its own charm, and it’s exciting to be able to introduce new elements that fit well with the existing environment.”

Nyréns-esque humanist values Perhaps Cavallius’ approach is what makes Dockland particularly Nyrénsesque: “I’m convinced that there is a direct connection between architectural design and people’s sense of wellbeing. Our ambition in all projects is to create beautiful and functional environments to bring about happiness. What we develop needs to be practical and attractive in the long term, and beauty is an important function in its own right.” For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  95

Bryggeriet restaurant lies in the heart of Bergen, on the 3rd floor of the beautiful building Zachariasbryggen, which is located right on the harbour by the fish marked. Here you will enjoy breathtaking view of the harbour and the famous Bryggen, while dining. We also have our very own Micro Brewery in the restaurant, and many of our dishes are made with our beer. "Autumn is really the best time for special food on the west coast of Norway", says Masterchef Daniel Rouge Madsen, founder of the Norwegian luxury brand DRM of Norway and mentor to restaurant Bryggeriet in Bergen. DRM of Norway has its mainoffice in Stavanger, but the Norwegian TV masterchef flies to Bryggeriet in Bergen once a week to motivate the chefs and uphold the systems and quality standards made by the microbrewery&restaurant , Bryggeriet. "Its nice to see that the brewery have just as much passion to beer as we have to food, for then will the possibilities be endless" says Daniel with a big smile. The menu at Bryggeriet this year will reflect the season, by using spices, citrus, game,seafood,root vegetables and lamb. In Bergen we have Strilalamb, that feeds on the islands west of Bergen witch makes it unik in taste and is not to fatty. Game captures the essence of the Norwegian wilderness, so they will have glazed Moose cooked to perfection.Norwegian seafood has a unique advantage due to its cold,clean sea with strong currents. This makes seafood grow slowly and develop valuable flavour qualities. This is proved when they make cod and herring made into culinary delights inspired by Norwegian food culture. Torget 2 I 5014 Bergen I Norway

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

The Arts Campus with the sculpture Skin 4 by artist Mehmet Ali Uysal in the foreground. Photo: Johan Gunséus.

Educating the architects of tomorrow Umeå School of Architecture is part of Umeå University, located at the Arts Campus, an innovative and creative environment for architecture, arts and design. By Ellinor Thunberg

“Umeå School of Architecture is characterised by a vision to work in both local and global contexts. We are located in the north of Sweden, in a rural and relatively sparsely populated region, at a time of extensive globalisation,” says Ana Betancour, rector at UMA, Umeå School of Architecture. The teachers come from within the region as well as from other parts of the world, something that opens possibilities for a broad and diverse perspective. The aim is to educate future architects who can work for social change towards a sustainable society, departing from an ethical approach to the profession. “In our present time, it is paramount for the role of the architect in our society to relate to issues of climate change, increased global mobility and migration away from war and violence. Knowing that we are consuming the Earth’s natural resources at a time of profound economic

crisis is of great importance for our perspective. We want to educate architects who are characterised in their profession by a social responsibility towards the world they operate in,” Betancour says.

New master’s programme in architecture and urban design As of this autumn, a new master’s programme is up and running at Umeå School of Architecture. It replaces the two former master’s programmes and will offer a broader approach, but building upon the earlier themes and theory. “The changes are made to promote diversity, flexibility, a larger and broader range of fields of knowledge, international collaboration, and other models of studio teaching,” the rector explains. The new five-year master’s programme in architecture and urban design is held in English and leads to a Master of Architecture. It is also possible to study towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in architecture

after three years, followed by an optional two years to get the Master of Fine Arts in architecture. The location on the art campus creates the perfect environment to encourage development in technology, sustainability and arts. “New students can expect an inspiring environment and a welcoming approach and atmosphere, and the school has very nice new facilities,” says Betancour. “Every student gets his or her own work space, much like an architecture office, and at the same time a lot of the education revolves around experimental group work.” Students at Umeå School of Architecture. Photo: Elin Berge.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  97

Left: Atop the arcade in Arenastaden is a 45,000-square-metre office building, all of which makes up Telia’s head offices. The façades boast desk-to-ceiling-height glass and the view is nothing short of magnificent. Top right: A former car park and office building was torn to the ground to make room for the three buildings that now house fashion giant H&M’s head offices as well as an arcade with shops and cafés. Photo: Åke Eson Lindman. Below right: As part of Stockholm’s new Hagastaden district, Reflex Arkitekter are working on a 16-storey building with a restaurant, conferencing facilities, offices and a hotel with 222 rooms.

Royal warrant architects for Sweden’s biggest brands With a knack for everything from conversion projects to contemporary new builds, and an expertise in reflecting client brands’ distinctive values, Reflex Arkitekter offers pioneering architecture and financial sense in one. The firm’s portfolio boasts everything from huge office complexes and residential blocks to laboratory spaces and music studios. In the eyes of the big property owners, they are so reliable they have achieved royal warrant status.

always be one step ahead and provide solutions that work also from a financial point of view. We want to work with pioneering, world-class architecture, and then making the numbers add up is crucial.”

By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Reflex Arkitekter

Among current conversion projects is the much-anticipated Urban Escape block in central Stockholm, for which Reflex Arkitekter will contribute with two segments: T31 and T29. The former is a complex renovation and extension project of an old office building, where a metallic shell in a warm copper shade will be the firm’s response to the task of using the façade to blend the existing floors with a new three-storey add-on, ready in 2017. Due for completion a couple of years later, the latter involves the modernisation of the corner of the block, facing the Sergels torg square, and providing a visual symbol for the entire project. Existing floors will be

Their first project was CityCronan, a huge block in central Stockholm refurbished and remodelled into a modern, stylish quarter of offices, retail units and penthouse apartments with striking views across the city. The project bagged the ROT prize as well as Skanska’s Environmental Prize and was nominated as Redevelopment of the Year in 2003. It went on to give Skanska its largest ever single-property profit when it was sold.

Helping clients do good business Reflex Arkitekter was founded in 1999, and the firm has enjoyed a clear and 98  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

convincing path ever since. CityCronan set the bar high in more ways than one: conversion and upgrading projects have become one of the firm’s areas of expertise, and an insistence on financial savvy is always part and parcel of the deal. “We help our clients do good business; we have a clear vision for the architecture but are also sharp when it comes to the finances,” says Marco Testa, one of eight partners. Partner and founder Johan Linnros adds: “There’s this idea of architects as clueless in regards to the money side of things, but that’s a huge misconception. We have to

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

fully refurbished and two new floors will be added.

Reflecting the client’s brand But the firm is esteemed not only in regards to conversion projects, but also new builds including innovative contemporary architecture such as the Hagaplan Elite Hotel, the Skyline landmark in Gothenburg and Vista Hotel on Åland. In terms of commercial projects, and large office complexes in particular, Reflex Arkitekter have become so highly regarded amongst the big property owners that they are almost seen as royal warrants to many brands. One example is fashion giant H&M, whose head offices in central Stockholm were completed in 2008. The firm’s radical proposal was to tear down the former car park and office building to make space for three brand new buildings: one light and one dark stone building and a black infill building of metal and glass. “We reflect the client’s brand – and we work with some really strong brands,” Testa asserts. Indeed, with clients ranging from respected music production houses to government offices, Reflex Arkitekter has a portfolio that speaks louder than words.

Above: The Vista Spa and Resort hotel is situated in a quarry on the island of Åland. The shiny prisms of the façade allow the building to change character along with the shifting surroundings and a silo has been converted into a pool. Below: Riverside is a waterfront hotel in Gothenburg, boasting a simple shape with a smooth façade and a gable protruding above the Göta Älv harbour basins as a glistening eye towards the city. Photo: Kasper Dudzik

Having an unusually large quota of interior architects on the team is one part of the firm’s recipe for success, as is a dedicated firm partner to manage each project. At the heart of it all is dialogue, and plenty of it. “Like most firms, we start by analysing the client’s needs and brainstorm ideas in working groups, but then we try to involve the client from early on in the process by inviting them to workshops and so on. This enables us to find that feeling the client is after and develop consensus and a shared view,” Linnros explains. “Of course as part of this, we like sharing our expertise and knowledge in order to get to create interesting façades that stand out while being clever and easy to construct. At the end of the day it’s all about trust; the entrepreneurs and property owners know that we can pull this off.” For more information, please visit:

Left: A new 30-storey office building with construction due to start in 2017 is being developed for Platzer in Gothenburg’s Gårda district. The elliptical building, with its 28,000 square metres of service and office space, has the potential to become the area’s new landmark. Right: Urban Escape T29, one of five buildings for the block, will provide a visual symbol for the entire project, facing Stockholm’s famous Sergels torg square. Illustration: Reflex and Walk The Room

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  99

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Stupet. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

Architecture as artistic expression Petra Gipp Arkitektur is a studio driven by the ambition for a thoughtful relationship with the client’s requirements and the nature of a place. With in-depth spatial design, technical problem solving and highly conscious material choices, Petra Gipp Arkitektur creates architecture with sculptural volumes that speak for themselves. By Linnea Dunne

“I studied architecture in Denmark where it’s part of the art academy as opposed to a technical institution, as is the case in Sweden,” says Petra Gipp, architect and founder of Petra Gipp Arkitektur. “I want to work with architecture as an artistic 100  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

expression. My aim is to lift architecture to a dialogue about expression and context.”

‘Clients who value architecture’ The studio was founded in 2009 and today has ten employees working across a

wide range of projects including cultural buildings, transformation projects and residential buildings. A quick glance at the studio’s portfolio is enough to reveal that there are a great deal of clients from within the arts and culture sector. “My decision is to work with clients who are interested in architecture,” Petra asserts. “They don’t need to share my views and opinions, but if they value architecture something interesting will happen in the discussion around what

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

they want – then whether it’s square or circular is less important. In our work as a studio, we aim to establish an indepth dialogue with our clients and partners. It’s through dialogue, in the meeting of people, that the foundation for our work with architecture is created. She describes the style of the studio as “sculptural, in tune with the materials”.

“We work consciously with volume and materials, carving out that spatiality,” Petra says. “It’s hard to put into words but becomes instantly clear when you encounter the architecture in a real, physical way – then the volumes speak for themselves.” PETRA GIPP ARKITEKTUR IN BRIEF:

‘Occupy nature with humility’

Petra Gipp Arkitektur was founded in 2009.

Stadshagen residential build and the Stupet refugium are characterised by solid wood and concrete respectively. The former resides where the city meets nature, the building itself representing the shift through two distinctive parts. The choice of material was based on the client’s decision to only build in wood, something that will drastically reduce the carbon dioxide emissions. With stunning views across the Stockholm waters, equally sized large windows give the volumes a rhythmic calm.

This year, Petra Gipp is part of the prestigious Kasper Salin Award jury for the second time.

“To occupy nature with humility and leave nature as untouched as possible was a fundamental position,” says Petra about Stupet, which yet again marries inhabited architecture with untamed nature in a building utilising floods of light, a castin-place concrete staircase, and a flow through the volume all the way down to the water. Material choices that indicate a respect for the environment and historical context are a constant through the firm’s portfolio, along with that stunningly sculptural, artistic expression.

Stadshagen. Photo: Petra Gipp Arkitektur

Petra Gipp Arkitektur has won a number of awards, including WAN Future Project Residential Award 2015, the Swedish Association of Architects Award Östergötland 2014, and Concrete Architect of the Year 2012.

For more information, please visit:

Petra Gipp. Photo: Camilla Lindqvist

Stupet. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  101

Christmas Fair 2016 thursday 17 nov 11am - 8pm saturday 19 nov 11am - 7pm sunday 20 nov 12noon - 5pm Swedish food and handicrafts for sale Gingerbread, homebaked bread, delicatessen, glass ware, home made glögg, textiles, food & sweets, hot dogs, ärtsoppa & punch, candles & christmas cards

Pop-Up Café in the Church hall with homebaked cakes & sandwiches Entrance fee £2, children under 12 years free Notice that buggies are not allowed in the Church due to fire regulations.

6 Harcourt Street, London W1H 4AG

photo: kajsa kax

Svenska kyrkans / The Swedish Church

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Sweden

Interior at Bonnier News Lounge. Photo: Joachim Lundgren

Winning proposal Södra Värtan incorporates 50 apartments in the harbour area.

SEB Arenastaden has room for 4,000 employees and integrated public spaces.

The making of cities Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter creates our cities – cleverly connecting streets and buildings, people and culture, then and now. The more complex a task is, the better for the creative minds.

around 50 apartments in the harbour area with particular requirements for sustainable factors such as energy, light, mobility index and noise levels.

By Malin Norman | Photos: Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter

Established firm Alessandro Ripellino Arkitekter in Stockholm works with city planning, buildings and interiors, from detailed proposals through to completed structures. The team has vast experience in developing architecture that is part of everyday city life. Originating from Rosenbergs Arkitekter, the company is now named after its Italian CEO and founder Alessandro Ripellino. He completed the architecture degree at Università di Roma La Sapienza, came to Stockholm as researcher in sustainable city planning at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, in 1983 and became an associate at the architecture firm in 1992.

Creating a common story The innovative buildings and public spaces are born from a mix of rationalism and Scandinavian modernism. They have plenty of character and connection to the location, in line with the develop-

ment trend of contemporary cities and with a sustainability focus – made to last. Ripellino means that the architectural expressions of buildings and the character of a place unite through their complex relationships. “It’s interesting to see how the urban relationships change over time. We like to tell the story about a construction and its surroundings and people.” An exciting example is Liljeholmskajen 6 in Stockholm, on assignment by JM. The urban waterfront block with a 25-storey tower also features a restaurant on the top floor with magnificent views of the city and Lake Mälaren. The new headquarters for SEB in Arenastaden is another interesting venture, spanning over four blocks and with room for around 4,000 employees as well as incorporated public spaces. There are many examples of housing projects, one of which is Södra Värtan. The team won a competition for its idea of integrating

Widely celebrated for their innovative look, functionality and use of materials, the designs are regularly covered in Swedish and international media and many ideas have been awarded prominent prizes such as the International Galvanizing Awards and Stockholm Building of the Year. Projects from 1993 to 2013 are also documented in the book Alessandro Ripellino, Inga Varg, Rosenbergs Arkitekter, published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing in 2014.

CEO and founder Alessandro Ripellino.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  103






Flexible living house design in Helsinki.

Flexible building in a changing world For Karin Krokfors, architecture is all about creating durable, humane and sustainable designs. She founded Karin Krokfors Architects in 1995 and has not looked back since. From public and residential architecture to urban design, spatial installations and renovation projects, the firm wants to be at the forefront of a new kind of flexible architecture. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Karin Krokfors Architects

“Flexibility is of paramount importance to architecture as it allows a building to have long-term use and be enjoyed through generations,” Krokfors says. However, she stresses that flexibility does not mean dull or neutral design. “Flexibility and a strong identity are not mutually exclusive; they can support each other,” she points out. The overarching theme in the firm’s designs is sustainability. “On a global

scale, we’re living beyond our means. And with depleting natural resources, we need to be mindful of how much we waste – which is something that we incorporate into our designs by ensuring that our buildings will stand the test of time,” Krokfors says. As well as a number of international competition entries, Karin Krokfors Architects received an honourable mention in the

Urban design international ideas competition of Helsinki South Harbour.

104  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Helsinki South Harbour competition for one of their designs. They are about to embark on a large-scale apartment project and are currently involved in a number of landscape structures and small residential building designs.

‘Healthy’ building “When it comes to materials, we favour sustainable materials with a long lifespan that also age beautifully,” says Krokfors. The firm is at the forefront of innovation: for example, the Kellokas co-housing, situated in the historical old town of Helsinki, is self-sufficient in every way. “Kellokas gets its own energy supply for heating through earth heat and solar collectors, for example. We wanted to build a ‘healthy’ building:

Scan Magazine | Mini Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Finland

it has large windows overlooking a sea inlet, and the buildings have been constructed using ‘breathing’ air bricks to provide better ventilation.” Kellokas is also very flexible when it comes to its use of space: the buildings consist of individually owned units, which can be combined into larger dwellings, or divided into separate small flats or workspaces. Krokfors believes that there will be an increasing need for flexible living solutions in the future. “The architect’s role in society is changing. With a growing and ageing population, we need to ensure that we’re designing durable buildings that allow for multiple uses of space. In the past, architects used to define how a living space was occupied – but nowadays there’s an increasing need to allow the inhabitants to define for themselves how they want to use the space,” Krokfors explains. “However, this in no way erases the architect’s role or importance. Architects create the means for people to be creative with their space.”

Designs through the eyes of the residents The firm’s projects also include a number of housing schemes for people with special needs, such as for those within the autism spectrum disorder. “The developed solutions take into consideration the special needs and ways people with autism perceive the space. We placed special focus on Interior of Kellokas housing in Old town in Helsinki. Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

Tapiola Leimuniitty Park in Espoo. Bridge and installation design.

allowing for sheltered, safe spaces,” Krokfors states. Yet again, the flexibility of the space allows for the variation of the housing space to suit the different needs of inhabitants at the same time. “It’s extremely important for us to try to empathise with the inhabitants in all of our designs. The residents set the parameters for how the space should look and feel,” Krokfors explains. “For us, the design concept, choice of materials and careful detailing are all essential to quality and architectural integrity. We always take the approach that serves the client first and foremost.” The same applies for their urban designs: the place making set the parameters for urban space, which flexible buildings can enliven through their multi-usable characteristics. “Through imaginative

use of new design, and utilising the existing space, we can bring in new perspectives,” Krokfors says. Karin Krokfors Architects also partake in a wider discourse on architecture through writing for various publications, including international architectural journals, as well as documentaries, exhibitions and presentations. “It’s very important for us to be involved in research and media projects to enable further understanding and to engage with the world around us,” the founder says. “I think it’s crucial for architects to join in on wider conversations about society, and to bring their own ideas into the mix.” For more information, please visit:

Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

Tapiola Leimuniitty Park in Espoo. Bridge with bench.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  105

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Finland

Owners Sanni Seppälä (left) and Milka Tulinen (right).

Helsinki City Museum features some of Kakadu’s unique designs: from an ‘80s-style conference room where the cabinets have been inspired by an old TV format, to old doors used in the museum’s shop and grass stools in the lounge area.

Creating atmospheric spaces From offices to meeting and business spaces – and, most recently, a project with a museum in Helsinki – no job is too ambitious for Kakadu. Armed with plenty of expertise and bucket loads of enthusiasm, the company is set to create functional spaces to suit every client’s needs. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Tulinen & Partners

Ten years ago, Sanni Seppälä and Milka Tulinen set up Kakadu, an interior architecture company. Since then, the company’s extensive portfolio has included offices, meeting spaces and business spaces to name a few. “Working with each project is a unique puzzle, where the first piece is assessing the functionality needs for the space in question, along with any additional client needs,” says Seppälä. “We believe in all-round co-operation with our clients and we work closely with them on each project.” Kakadu’s most recent project involved designing the public spaces and signage for the new Helsinki City Museum, opened in May this year, which showcases everyday life in Helsinki 106  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

in the past and present. The museum has been nominated as New European Museum of the Year in the Leading Culture Destinations Awards. From fixtures in the museum shop that use old doors from buildings in Helsinki, to detailed illustrations in the ceiling of the customer toilets to depict the idiosyncrasies of neighbourhoods in Helsinki, Kakadu specialises in unique design features to support the special requirements of a space. “The museum was a slightly different project to our usual repertoire. The museum’s aim was to attract 200,000 visitors in its first year. That amount has already been passed, less than five months since opening, which means

their goal of a new kind of accessible public space has been achieved,” Tulinen explains. “We always aim to create spaces that people can interact with – and spaces that ooze positive vibes,” she says. Kakadu also try to create an atmosphere that reflects the purpose of the space in question through different materials, colours and furniture choices for example. They can make even a compact room feel more spacious. Seppälä adds: “We use durable, good-quality materials that look stylish but are also timeless.” Tulinen concludes: “For us, design is all about answering to our clients’ needs, and that is why we work closely with our customers. The rest follows – and our passion for design shines through in our work.” For more information, please visit:


Unveiling one of Oslo’s best kept secrets The saying goes that secrets are best shared. As such, behold one of Oslo’s best foodie secrets: KjellToresMat. In a backyard of a residential area in Oslo, the venue welcomes ambassadors, business leaders and locals alike. By Helene Toftner | Photos: KjellToresMat

KjellToresMat (meaning KjellTore’s Food) was born out of a desire to serve up something personal by three of Norway’s most experienced chefs: Kjell Arne Johnsæter, Tore Belgum and Tore Namstad. Together they came up with a concept offering far more than just a good meal, with the guests taking centre stage during the cooking. “When people come through these doors, they are taken straight to the kitchen,” says chef and co-owner Tore Namstad.

A dedicated menu is created for each day depending on season and available produce. “The menu usually includes meat, shellfish and fish topped off with pudding,” Namstad says. The cooking classes are open to groups of six to 46 people, but the venue can also host groups that prefer set tables. Many a baptism, confirmation and wedding has taken place within these walls.

“The feedback is that we offer something far more personable than just a regular restaurant,” Namstad explains. “While the food is obviously the most important thing, we add that little extra touch by having the chefs out with the guests and being completely reserved for the party.” The three chefs also run three restaurants in Oslo, in addition to a catering service for the selective kind.

For more information, please visit:

In the kitchen, they are handed an obligatory glass of bubbly along with an apron and a knife. “We can take groups of up to 46 people, and we teach them to cook the finest meals and obviously enjoy the flavours at the end,” Namstad says. “It has proven an excellent place for companies to come together. Once you have an apron around your waist, no one cares whether you are the director or an intern, which creates a very relaxed and positive environment.” Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  107

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Top Norwegian Culinary Experiences Niru Kumra, founder of MasalaMagic.

Cooking courses, corporate events, catering and food ranges with an Indian twist “My vision is to make Indian food as famous in Norway as pizza and pasta,” says Niru Kumra, founder of MasalaMagic.

culture and the lesser-known Indian wine production,” she says.

By Stian Sangvig | Photos: MasalaMagic

Following years of hard work and a determination to succeed, MasalaMagic has grown into a diverse family business with authentic food series in Norwegian food stores. Chutneys, pastes, papadums and more are now produced in India based on Kumra’s recipes.

Kumra started out in a school kitchen holding cooking classes for some friends. Word spread quickly, and the seed for what was to grow into a family business was sown. Kumra arrived in Norway with her parents and siblings when she was only eight years old. “I developed a passion for food as my mum taught me how to prepare the best food the traditional way,” she explains. She even dreamed of food at night. “The idea of setting up my own business came from meeting a dreams psychologist, who encouraged me to take my dreams seriously,” she continues. Equipped with a degree in business and project management, she realised her dream in 2003. Her husband and children now also form part of the company. Cooking courses are popular amongst corporate clients and individuals. 108  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

“Participants are learning from scratch how to chop, make, decorate and eat these meals the Indian way,” Kumra says, explaining how the evening is full of talk and information about India, Indian food, spices and a gorgeous meal. On Kumra’s blog, adventurous fusion recipes such as Tandoori Spaghetti can also be found. “As the world grows smaller, I want to show how the best of cultures can merge on a plate,” she says. Offerings for corporate clients include team-building events, theme evenings and business meetings, where colleagues can bond over fine Indian food. Almost 9,000 people have learned about the magic of Indian cooking from the entrepreneur. Catering is also available. Customer requests encouraged MasalaMagic to branch out and organise culinary trips to India. “On 2-14 November, we go to southern India with Kerala backwaters, enjoy food, the

For more information, please visit: Also check out Niru Kumra’s blog:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Top Norwegian Culinary Experiences

Mediterranean immersion Ginos Mat & Vinreiseklubb is a family-owned Norwegian business run by Gino Valente and his daughters Gina and Marisa, specialising in complete immersion in the Italian way of life.

It is a key component to successful Italian cooking and catering, while bringing the characteristic taste and feel of Italy to you.

By Pernille Johnsen | Photos: Ginos Mat & Vinreiseklubb

The goal is for visitors to step out of Norway and feel at one with the Italian lifestyle – be it through catering for a wedding or conference, attending a cooking class or wine tasting, or a celebration of any sort for companies and families. Gino and his team can welcome you in Oslo at Pilestredet Park or at their houses in Italy, spanning from Vasanello to Penna and the surrounding area of Orte. The houses are available to let independently, or on half or full-board basis with Marisa, a personal trainer, facilitating a nutrition and exercise holiday at La Famiglia, a beautiful home run by the third daughter, Stephanie. Gino’s team puts the client at the centre regardless of budget, while providing traditional Italian hospitality. When booking

an event, the team will map out what is important to you and the occasion, whether that be wine, food or a combination in order to successfully tailor the event to meet your expectations. Any successful event relies on communication and planning in advance, and luckily Ginos Mat & Vinreiseklubb has decades of experience to artfully execute just that.

Olive oil done right An online store is opening at the end of November profiling the items Gino has used in his cooking for decades, most prominently an olive oil that is grown and blended at the family farm. Marisa explains that the texture of the olive oil should be rounded and present, without dominating the other flavours.

The Valente family crest, representing decades of Italian craftsmanship.

For more information, please visit:

Norway’s best Christmas party It is no small claim that Sundvolden Hotel presents, but with its modern take on Christmas food with sushi platters and rock bands in place of traditional sausages and karaoke, perhaps it is no surprise that this has been dubbed Norway’s best Christmas party. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Sundvolden Hotel

Sundvolden Hotel dates back to 1648, and thus has a long tradition of hosting guests. Fast-forward 368 years and the place is still offering excellent accommodation, not least a Christmas party to write home about. In fact, they claim to host Norway’s best Christmas party, and with dedicated sushi chefs operating the kitchen, and big Norwegian bands such as Staut and Return playing, in addition to overall excellent organising, they seem to be the perfect place for companies wishing to spice up their Christmas parties. “Because we are a family-run hotel with years of experience, we can easily adapt to trends,” says owner and manager Cecilie Laeskogen. “Over the past few years we have seen that companies often 110  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

need professional content to legitimise the party, which we can easily arrange. Equally, the days of heavy Christmas food of pork belly and sausages are on a break, and we offer fresh sushi as well as crispy duck.” She adds: “But we do also make traditional food for those who so prefer.”

host companies of 400 people as well as those of just 20. We want to be a place for everyone,” Laeskogen says. “After one call to us, they have sorted their Christmas party. We arrange everything from transport and food to accommodation and meeting facilities.” Sundvolden Hotel is located 35 minutes from Oslo, and around one hour from Oslo Airport.

With a foodie focus, one would think that the party was a done deal – but not at Sundvolden Hotel. Over the years they have invited some of the biggest musical names in Norway to play at the parties. “It is meant to be an entertaining experience, and long gone are the days of home-made party hats and tricks,” Laeskogen says. The hotel has 272 rooms and caters to big and small companies. “We

For more information and booking, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Norwegian Christmas Dinners

When the snow arrives at Stokkøya. Photo: Roar Svenning.

Where nature leaves you in a festive spirit Some places are simply too magical to explain. Stokkøya Sjøsenter is one such place, beautifully located by the seaside with the northern lights, stars and fields as its closest neighbours. The nature combined with excellent food is what attracts people here for their Christmas parties.

The northern lights over Strandbaren. Photo: Arve Svenning.

By Helene Toftner

Stokkøya Sjøsenter is typically a popular summer venue, and as such it has remained somewhat of a winter secret. But just imagine a wander on the beach under the magical northern lights before heading into Strandbaren for dinner, and you will see why this is a go-to place regardless of the season. “The light is simply stunning, whether you are lucky to see the dancing lights or simply the clear winter colours. Others absolutely love the winter storms that sometimes hit the shores,” says owner and manager Torild Langklopp. With the perfect natural backdrop, Stokkøya Sjøsenter has become a popular venue for Christmas parties. An innovative take on the traditional party presents a menu with lamb, game and seasonal seafood. “We don’t serve pork belly,

Stokkøya Sjøsenter is located about an hour west of Trondheim and is best reached by car.

but if companies have specific requests we are happy to accommodate these,” Langklopp says. Along with good food is good entertainment; and whether it is Monica Heldal in October or Motorpsykkel closer to Christmas, the venue has something for most during the weekends coming up to the holiday season. “It is a varied programme of artists, so we recommend people to have a look to find their favourites,” the owner recommends. The Christmas parties are hosted in the iconic Strandbaren, which takes up to 70 people, and the newly built events venue Bydgeboksen that can welcome up to 120 guests. With up to 100 beds, the venue is a perfect option for those who simply do not wish to leave. “Nothing beats walking along the beach the day after,” Langklopp smiles.

You will not find traditional pork belly on the menu, but a delicious mix of lamb, steak and various seafood. Photo: Espen Schive.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  111

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Norwegian Christmas Dinners

All you need is låve Looking for a ‘låvely julebord’ this pre-Christmas season? With real felt enthusiasm and a lot of fun, happiness and satisfaction will find its way to the visitors at Kroglia Kulturgård in northern Norway as they enjoy delicious traditional food. By Marte Eide | Photos: Rune Nilsen, county governor of Nordland

Just south of the Arctic Circle, half an hour’s drive from Mo i Rana, lies Kroglia Kulturgård, a farm offering both innovation and tradition. Opened two years ago, the unique premises boasts plenty of details. “We are not at all streamlined but have rather focused on keeping the cowshed and barn as untouched as possible in order for visitors to get a real feel for what this place used to be,” says manager Eldbjørg Synnøve Fagerjord. With a background in journalism, she enjoys puns and wordplay and jokes by using the word ‘låve’ (barn) instead of love. “There is also an irresistible wordplay in Kulturgård, playing on the previous use of the premises for cow farming,” she points out. With its lovely smells and atmosphere, a traditional ‘julebord’ or Christmas party

is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. “We emphasise locally produced, unpretentious and traditional food so that everyone can leave the table satisfied,” says Fagerjord. In addition to food that has travelled a short distance, Kroglia Kulturgård focuses a great deal on the different activities. “This is also a place for cultural experiences in the traditional sense,” says Fagerjord. With activities such as bondefest, Olympic games and yoga, and peace and låve, the visitors at Kroglia Kulturgård will share fun moments and leave with very fond memories. For more information, please visit:

The biggest Christmas party around At Storefjell Resort Hotel they like things big – from the size of the hotel with its 550 beds, to the longest cold buffet table in Norway and the bands they invite to entertain at their Christmas parties every year. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Storefjell Resort Hotel

The hotel is located in the heart of Norway, between Oslo and Bergen far into the mountains, creating the perfect backdrop for a Christmas party. It is no surprise then that the hotel is one of the most popular venues during the holiday season. “Food is crucial at any Christmas party, and we have maxed it out with Norway’s longest buffet table full of classics like pork belly and lamb,” says hotel host Andreas Nibstad. While the food is one attraction, the entertainment is another. Every year the hotel attracts big Norwegian artists such as Hellbillies and Postgirobygget. “We have live bands playing every weekend, as well as a piano bar and a nightclub with DJs,” Nibstad says. 112  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

For those managing to leave the dance floor in time to get up in the morning, Storefjell Resort Hotel offers fantastic ski slopes on their doorstep. The hotel is located in idyllic Gol, a mountain village three and a half hours from either Bergen or Oslo, and is easily reached by train or car. Worth noting is also that the hotel is the biggest venue for conferences and events in the mountain region.

For more information and to book, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Business  |  Keynote

Scan Business Keynote 113 | Conference of the Month 114 | Business Calendar 116




It’s about time By Steve Flinders

Lying immobile for an hour while having my knee scanned the other day gave me time to reflect on how relative and varying our perceptions of time are. In international business communication, there are at least three aspects of time difference to be aware of. 1. Punctuality. When does your nine o’clock meeting actually start? At nine, or is it ten, 20 or more minutes later? I know that if I have a business appointment in Norway I need to be sitting in front of my prospect by nine sharp at the latest, whereas in France it is good enough to be reporting to reception by then. 2. Single task or multi-task. In monochronic cultures, people focus on one thing at a time; in polychronic cultures, they are happy to perform several tasks at the same time. Stereotypically, the Swede fumes when the Italian takes calls and writes emails during the business meeting. But the Italian will tell them that responding to a client is just as important as the meeting. You can decide for yourself whether the claim that men are monochronic and women are polychronic is true or not. 3. Temporal orientation. One of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s six dimensions of cul-

ture is about how far a culture is focused on the past, the present or the future. UK Brexiteers are divided between free marketers looking to the future and protectionists looking to the past. If you come from a forward-looking culture, you may need to work on your understanding of the mindset of a business partner from a traditional culture for whom the past is very important. In all three areas, we need to be aware of potential difference, to surface problems and to negotiate a mutually

agreed process. This is the essence of intercultural communication. Now I had better send this off to my editor; it is a couple of days late.

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

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  113

The main building at Boen Manor was finished in 1813 and preserved as early as 1923.

Conference of the Month, Norway

Boen Manor – southern Norway’s elegant and enchanting secret Only minutes after leaving Kristiansand Airport, you will find yourself surrounded by grand broad-leaved trees and wild salmon at the classic Boen Manor. The southern Norwegian jewel was once a mingling ground for royalty and noblemen, but now attracts companies, wedding parties and gourmet lovers from near and far. By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Boen gård

Are you currently wondering where to arrange that upcoming business conference? Maybe you are planning your wedding, that once-in-a-lifetime day that simply has to be perfect? Regardless, Boen Manor will take your breath away. Located at Tveit a few miles inland from the southern coast of Norway, only eight minutes away from Kjevik Airport in Kristiansand, the recently refurbished manor house is a hidden gem that can 114  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

main building. These natural riches have been the foundation of Boen since the very beginning. As early as 1520, the king rented out the estate to state officials in return for ten tonnes of processed salmon.

New life in classical surroundings leave even the well-travelled Norwegian feeling baffled and amazed. Once the property of the king, Boen estate dates back as far as the 16th century. Looking at the nature surrounding the manor, it is quite obvious why the king had his eyes on the land. The Topdal River, brimming with wild salmon, runs through a beautiful broad-leaved forest before passing right by the white painted

In the following centuries, Boen estate developed into a cultural hotspot for both the national and the international elite. Today, however, everyone is welcome. The buildings, originally constructed in the architectural style known as Southern Norwegian Classicism between 1808 and 1813, have been restored, resulting in a unique blend of rich history and renewed energy. Johan Olsen, one of three owners who are all grandchildren of a shipbroker

Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month  |  Norway

and timber merchant who bought Boen in 1939, is delighted to see that all the hard work has borne fruit and filled the estate with life once again. “It’s a lovely feeling to see the manor buzzing with life. It was empty and dark for five years, but it really deserves to be used as much as possible. The main building itself, preserved since 1923, has been restored to resemble the starting point of 1813, while the furniture and interior reflect over 200 years of history. We have also created two historical and quaint yet modern apartments in the wings, both with two double bedrooms and kitchen. Just imagine waking up to the sound of the cascading river and taking an early walk in the beautiful garden,” says Olsen.

Fishing for a stronger team Boen Manor’s tranquil and elegant atmosphere, coupled with great hospitality and the necessary state-ofthe-art technology, has made it a natural choice for companies and corporations. What better setting for discussing the next strategical step, socialising or learning something new to gain that important

competitive edge? You will have the whole manor to yourself and enjoy an experience tailored to your needs – right down to the smallest details. Boen’s passionate employees will, for instance, gladly pick you up at the airport, and if your group is too large for everyone to spend the night in the apartments, they will help you find a suitable option nearby. Better yet, you will have easy access to a 1.2-kilometre stretch of the Topdal River, where salmon fishing has become a popular team-building activity. Formerly awarding British lords with the salmon of their wildest dreams, the river now makes colleagues more tight-knit. “Everyone can now enjoy Boen Manor’s salmon rights. Even the most inexperienced anglers will receive the necessary help from our knowledgeable guides, and we provide all the necessary equipment. Salmon fishing is both fun and challenging – an unbeatable combination for groups,” Olsen enthuses.

A Michelin-worthy meal The kitchen also got a modern makeover in the restoration process, and the staff

working there are far from new in the game. Many of them, including chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen and host Dagfinn Galdal, were brought in from the renowned restaurant MÅLTID in Kristiansand. Up until its recent closing in 2015, MÅLTID was considered among the best restaurants in Scandinavia and mentioned in the Michelin Guide. Luckily, guests can still enjoy the restaurant’s legendary and pure Nordic flavours – now at Boen Manor. “We offer modern Scandinavian cuisine of the highest quality, sourced from our dedicated partners in southern Norway. We produce our own herbs, honey and several apple varieties of which we make juice and marmelade. The menu is seasonal, so autumn equals hunting, fresh lamb and mushrooms, whereas winter brings fish and shellfish. The kitchen strives to stay flexible for conferences and events, and we also welcome guests only for dinner,” says Olsen. For more information, please visit:

Photo: Elisabet Larsen Top left: The staff at Boen Manor, with host Dagfinn Galdal and head chef Nicolay Ellitsgaard Pedersen in the lead, wishes everyone welcome to a unique experience. Bottom left: The Topdal River, running through the Boen estate, is a great place for salmon angling, often offering great catches like this 12-kilogramme specimen.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  115

Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Calendar

Scandinavian Business Calendar Brexit & Global Expansion Summit Following the EU referendum, discussions in the business community have been concerned and multifaceted. The Brexit & Global Expansion Summit will build on the discussions, as it includes a diverse programme with keynotes, exhibitions and multiple track sessions, featuring over 1,000 delegates and more than 120 speakers. It is the world’s leading event on Brexit. Date: 16-18 October, 4pm Venue: Intercontinental Hotel O2, 1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0TW

Nordic Drinks at Radisson Bloomsbury This month’s best Scandinavian business networking will take place at Radisson Bloomsbury at the end of the month. The monthly Nordic Drinks event kicks off with a free drink to the first 50 guests. Bring friends, colleagues, a party spirit and plenty of business cards. Date: 27 October Venue: Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury 2_1_Nordfyns_Museum_Ad_1-4p_NEW_SIZE:Layout

By Thomas Schroers | Photo: DUCC

Street Hotel, 9-13 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QD

Innovation in Action Now in its seventh year, the Innovation in Action symposium will once more map out routes to increasing economic innovation capabilities. Specialists from the field, business developers, R&D managers and innovation leaders will come together for an informative mix of workshops based around methods, tools and strategies and afternoon dialogue. The main theme of the year will be about what happens after the ideation phase. Date: 8-9 November Venue: Skogshem & Wijk, Hustegavägen 1, Lidingö, Stockholm, Sweden

will provide you with exclusive and in-depth insights into the matter. The seminar will be held by experts from Nordea Private Banking and Deloitte. If you are planning to move to another country, this is the perfect chance to understand the challenges involved. Date: 9 November, 6pm-9pm Venue: Nordea Bank AB London Branch, 6th Floor, 5 Aldermanbury Square, London EC2V 7AZ

Tax Seminar: Cross Border Challenges A part of the Financial Focus series, this tax seminar concerned with the financial when moving2_0_Subscribe_Quarter to a different country 1challenges 26/7/12 12:29 Page 1 page ad:Layout 1

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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Page 1

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

Nyhavn has a new kid on the block Few panoramas signify the Danish capital to tourists like the Nyhavn area. In the summer sun the colourful houses serve as the backdrop to the café life under the sunshades and in the autumn afternoon the lights along the serene canal set the stage to the evening outings of the Copenhagen populace and tourists alike. By Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta-Schmidt | Photos: HUMMER

Nestled in the quieter part of the northern side of Nyhavn, in a listed building from the 1700s, sits the new forerunner HUMMER (Danish for ‘lobster’). The concise and frisky name captures the essence of the aspirations and concept of the up-and-coming restaurant, which is not to be pinned down as a traditional fish restaurant. Fish and shellfish make up the proverbial staple diet permeating the menu cards throughout the restaurants of Nyhavn. Yet, undaunted, HUMMER has envisioned the concept of presenting seafood as new and exciting dishes. Needless to say, the bill of fare revolves around the lobster. But a quick look at specialties such as the lobster crisps, the lobster roll on brioche,

spring onion and sorrel, the sardines, heart of palm, parsley and garlic, and desserts including lemon tart and thyme and olive oil sorbet – not to mention the exquisite seafood platter – soon reveals the fact that this is unpresumptuous haute cuisine uncompromising in its quality ingredients. Each season the menu receives a little twist when updated with seasonal side dishes and additions. This autumn, chanterelles and blackberries are en vogue. Bubbly wine is a must when mentioning shellfish, and HUMMER has a surprisingly well-assorted yet somewhat popularly priced wine card. The restaurant takes

special pride in finding the sure as well as the audacious matches for their food. HUMMER caters to a varied clientele – many of whom are regulars. The restaurant draws a crowd from the city during lunch hour and, situated close to the Royal Playhouse, it has also become an obvious stop for tourists. The restaurant has 40 outdoor and indoor seats, each with a beckoning view of Nyhavn. Larger parties may book the unique stuccoadorned patrician apartment atop the restaurant for meetings in the daytime and private dinners in the evening. To owner Marie Rønnebæk-Rørth, one of the biggest traits that HUMMER aims to convey is the easy-going attitude. “The staff is one big family – and we pride ourselves mostly on the atmosphere,” she explains. For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  117

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Doing justice to Justisen Justisen has long been a cultural cornerstone in central Oslo, uniting the city’s diverse demographic under one welcoming roof. Recently saved from extinction, the restaurant is now back with a modern twist, serving Nordic cuisine with surprising international elements. With a warm yard out the back and three different bars waiting upstairs, you will feel right at home – just like generations before you.

hadn’t received love for a little while. We’ve worked closely with the Directorate for Cultural Heritage to preserve the building’s special character.”

By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Justisen

Though it may seem like Justisen has been part of the town forever, Oslo’s culture scene has undoubtedly received a fresh contribution. The food quality, for instance, is at an all-time high. In the renovated restaurant you can eat Norwegian cuisine, mixing the best of Justisen’s past and present. The proper bistro portions have been preserved, now served in a more gourmet-like fashion.

Every city has a list of places that truly define them. In Oslo, Justisen is on that list. Located right next to the city square of Youngstorget, only a few minutes from the Oslo central station, the century-old restaurant and bar has recently reopened. “The new Justisen is a continuation of the rich history here in Møllergata, but it’s also a result of a necessary modernisation. The restaurant has got itself a real facelift. We now offer a funkier version of the hearty Norwegian food with more international contributions. We’ve invested a lot in our 118  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

three bars and new backyard as well,” says Jama Awaleh, partner at Justisen. When the previous owners closed down shop a few years ago, Awaleh could not just sit idly by and watch the legendary hangout, which had served Oslo’s population ever since 1928, dwindle away completely. “I’ve always had a soft spot for these types of institutions. They really are part of the city’s identity and you only realise how much you miss them when they’re gone,” Awaleh says. “It’s been a long process, because the facilities

Hearty Nordic meals

“Justisen will always be warm and authentic, but we’ve taken the food to another level. We strive to use local Norwegian ingredients but often spice it up a bit. On our compact menu you will

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

find dishes like beetroot salad with goat’s cheese, lamb loins with herbs, mashed potatoes and red wine sauce and panfried turbot with butter sauce, fennel and Avruga caviar, all served in decent portions. You get both exciting tastes and a full stomach,” Awaleh explains.

High and low under one ceiling The first Justisen was located close to the courthouse in Møllergata 19, where the Government quarter now stands, naturally then attracting lawyers and bureaucrats and also a wide variety of other guests such as sea men, lumber jacks and war veterans. As a neighbour to Youngstorget, an important centre of power and potent symbol in Norwegian politics, it had to give way to government buildings in the mid-1980s and move down the road to its current location in Møllergata 15, into one of the oldest apartment buildings in downtown Oslo. The capital’s diverse population can still take it outside to mingle in Justisen’s

green back garden after dinner, now under brand new heat lamps. Protected from snow and rain by an electrical roof, the backyard – among Oslo’s biggest – is open all year round. “Justisen reflects Oslo in a great way. The capital has attracted more visitors and become more multi-cultural in the last decades, and Justisen remains a unique arena for everyone to meet over a great meal, catch a Friday night DJ or listen to the regular jazz ensemble on a calm afternoon. It’s a fun combo of high and low society – the type of place where people stick around for generations,” Awaleh says. “To give you an example, our jazz ensemble is led by the grandson of a former regular customer.”

The journey of the night Justisen not only brings different people together, but it also mixes bar concepts to match your changing moods. Three bars, located next to each other on the second floor, invite you on a journey

through a range of atmospheres, styles and drinks. While the main bar serves classical cocktails with a twist in a 1920s prohibition era environment, the rock bar has a focus on ‘80s hits and fast drinks made mostly from brown spirits. The kitchen bar, constructed in former apartments, has the style of a Norwegian home party, where informal, fun drinks are served in different glasses. “Our salons and bars are designed like a journey, where you can be yourself and lose yourself in the historical atmosphere,” says Awaleh. “Many people stay here all night. First, they go from the restaurant to the back garden, before moving through all the bars upstairs. There are plenty of options for the day, evening and night, so you’ll never be bored.”

For more information, please visit:

Although many Oslo citizens have been loyal to Justisen for decades, they can now enjoy a modernised restaurant, a renovated backyard and several charming bars and salons.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  119

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

Every winter, people from across the world travel to Geilo in Norway to experience a traditional Christmas in historical surroundings at Dr. Holms Hotel. As a pleasant bonus, they can treat themselves to a much-needed break in the hotel spa.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

Landing in the mountains More than a century after its opening, Dr. Holms Hotel at Geilo remains a sanctuary of recreation and tradition. If clean Norwegian mountain air and accessible snowcovered nature drew you out of the city, the hotel’s 1,000-square-metre Elemis Spa will tempt you to return time and time again. By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Terje Bjørnsen

Right between Oslo and Bergen, at the foot of two national parks, lies Geilo. The mountain village of only a few thousand inhabitants, ranked among Norway’s top five ski destinations, is blessed with beautiful nature and pure air, two appealing factors that once led lung specialist Dr. Ingebrikt Christian Holm to choose Geilo for his sanatorium. Dr. Holm’s sanatorium later went on to become one of Geilo’s finest hotels, distinguished by membership in the Norwegian organisation Historic Hotels. “Dr. Holms Hotel is not just another boring beige hotel in glass and steel. On the 120  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

outside, it’s a large, monumental, white building. Inside is an institution with a lot of tradition and history in its walls. Some people are overwhelmed by the size of the place, the manorial atmosphere and the large furnaces keeping us warm. It’s a great responsibility to take care of a place like this, and we’re working all day to meet our guests’ expectations,” says director Gro Odden. The hotel was originally constructed in the early 20th century. Back then, patients went to Geilo for a quick recovery, but many did not want to leave their families behind, so they needed somewhere

to sleep. A century later, the grandiose hotel’s historic wing is full of rooms once designed for the newly arrived families. Together with the more streamlined modern wing, built in the 1980s, it can house more than 200 guests, many of them returning to Geilo from Britain, Germany or the Netherlands. Needless to say, comfortable beds are not the only attraction.

Healing in the heights Dr. Holms Hotel is still a place for healing both the body and soul. As a guest, you will have easy and immediate access to hiking paths, the two national parks Hardangervidda and Hallingskarvet, and a wide network of ski slopes and tracks. The hotel also offers a 1,000-squaremetre spa area, designed to bring guests down to earth in the middle of a hectic life. The hotel’s geographic location and huge spaces make it ideal for individuals, couples, groups and businesses seeking

Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

a calm and lofty retreat from Norway’s biggest cities.

burgers, nachos and milkshakes, and a popular pub and disco.

“This summer, we had many guests who pampered themselves with a classic back massage. Elemis Spa offers everything from specific treatments, like a leg massage or a mud bath, to the full spa experience with pools, saunas, Jacuzzis and a gym. The spa has become increasingly popular, especially among couples and businesses that want to escape the city. At Dr. Holms, they can stop being effective for a minute and connect with themselves, their partner or colleague,” says Odden.

Searching for a postcard Christmas

You simply cannot re-energise without something good to eat, so the hotel provides widely different options for the hungry. You will probably eat most of your breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main restaurant, which often organises theme nights with cuisine from countries such as France or Italy, but the hotel also offers a long list of facilities including a library, a wine room, an à la carte restaurant, an American-style bowling diner serving

Secure snow conditions were the reason why one of Norway’s first ski resorts opened in Geilo and are also why the destination has kept growing in popularity among skiers ever since. According to the director, Geilo’s snowcovered landscapes, coupled with Dr. Holms Hotel’s historic atmosphere, also attract foreign visitors seeking a traditional Nordic Christmas. “When you arrive at Geilo in the winter, everything is white. The houses, the forest, the mountains. Only the dark, starry sky above is visible in contrast to the white snow. It’s very exotic,” Odden enthuses. Every autumn, she goes through a multitude of preparations to guarantee a Christmas out of the ordinary. Finding the perfect Christmas trees is always among the hardest tasks. “It’s harder and harder to find a good tree. Many children have never seen or

decorated a real Christmas tree before, so we have to make it special. Many European guests simply love riding the horse sledge decorated with burning torches, eat traditional Norwegian Christmas food like pork ribs and porridge with a hidden almond, and sing Christmas carols around the Christmas tree. We all sing in our own language, since the melody is often the same,” she smiles. A QUICK GUIDE TO DR. HOLMS HOTEL: - 124 rooms. - 1,200-square-metre conference section. - Cooperates with Norwegian State Railways (NSB ) to offer conferencing packages starting on board the train to Geilo. - 1,000-square-metre Elemis Spa. - A range of salons, restaurants and bars, including a Bowl & Dine with six bowling alleys.

For more information, please visit:

Photo: Mona Gundersen

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  121

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Iceland

Ruins near Strandir in the Westfjords, a region rumoured for magic and sorcery.

Attraction of the Month, Iceland

Uncovering Iceland World travellers have turned their eye to Iceland over the last few years and the trend du jour is to visit this volcanic island before it is too late – before mass tourism takes away from its earnest authenticity. Not everyone sees this increase in visitors as a reason to hurry, however, but rather as a chance to introduce the world to Icelandic country charm. By Edda Kentish | Photos: Hey Iceland

At Hey Iceland, innovation is as characteristic of the company culture as lunar landscapes, tongue-twisting volcanoes and enthusiastic sports fans are of Iceland. The company was founded in 1991, but can trace its origins to 1965 when five farms were chosen to rent out rooms to curious explorers who wanted to stay at a farm in the Icelandic countryside on their holiday. This experiment, as it was slated, proved so successful that the five farms booked 330 nights between 122  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

them in their first year, and all guests came from abroad. When the farming industry fell on hard times in the early 1970s, the experiment was no longer a side project for a few farms, but a stable business in its own right with locations all over the country. Now, Hey Iceland is a country-wide network of over 170 hospitality operators that offer accommodation in the broadest

of senses. Everything from humble guesthouses and rustic farm stays to comfortable country hotels is available.

Slow does not mean boring Despite striking the proverbial gold in tourism decades before Iceland appeared on travellers’ horizons, Hey Iceland has maintained a steady, forward-thinking view, taking nothing for granted. Formerly named Icelandic Farm Holidays, a homage to their modest beginnings, Hey Iceland has diversified into experiential travel packages and tailor-made trips for curious travellers in search of unusual experiences outside of Iceland’s capital Reykjavík. They emphasise slow travel – encouraging visitors to take the time to stop and smell the flowers while

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month  |  Iceland

journeying across this North Atlantic haven. Fully aware of the fact that huge chunks of time are not readily available to all, they also specialise in shorter tours in easy-to-reach locations closer to Iceland’s travel hub in the south-west.

The only constant is change Perhaps nowhere in the world is geographical change more evident than in Iceland. An active volcanic island on a tectonic plate boundary, the country is alive with activity. Change is therefore deeply rooted in local culture, and the ability to be flexible and adaptable is a necessity. While this may often require a momentby-moment plan, it also means that responsibility is key to survival. Hey

Winter view of Lake Mývatn, north-east Iceland.

Vestrahorn mountain, south-east Iceland.

Iceland takes that responsibility seriously, helping guests with itineraries and preparation. Moreover, with an active quality control system in place, guests can be sure to find the same standards of service no matter where within the Hey Iceland network they choose to rest their head, and no matter the season.

A desert of possibilities Iceland is sparsely populated, with just over 330,000 inhabitants in a country more than twice the size of Denmark. Always the ones to look for silver linings, Icelanders have managed to transform isolation on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic into a comfortable way of life where the variation in views more than makes up for fewer neighbours.

Hey Iceland knows that when people come to Iceland, they do not come for skyscrapers (there are none), crowds and stable weather. They come for the tranquillity, the expansive views and mountains that reach as far as the eye can see. Despite the nearly two million travellers that visit Iceland each year, finding peace in Iceland is an easy achievement, especially if you take the road less travelled and wind your way through the Icelandic countryside with nothing but time on your hands. Solitude is precious, and Iceland is the place where you will find it.

For more information, please visit:

Morning breaking at the edge of the world.

Your ride home, if you are lucky. Skaftafell National Park.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  123

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Denmark

Western Camp is for cowboys large and small.

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

The good, the bad and the family holiday Holiday huts, quintessential camping and the odd train robbery. Western Camp marries the best of the old west with outdoor family fun. See if you can spot the Clint.

are forced into a special world all the time,” explains Glymov.

By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: Western Camp

The great train robbery

72 per cent cowboy; that is how Nicolaj Glymov describes the make-up of his true personality. From 5 May 2017, when the new season opens, he will be the new man in charge of Western Camp, a camping ground near Rødby on the Danish island of Lolland with an added cowboy and western theme. “I am the new sheriff in town,” laughs Glymov. He is looking forward to welcoming families for the new season and is already receiving bookings. On offer are camping lots for caravans and tents along with modern holiday homes and Western124  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

styled wooden huts. Plus, there is a range of events for the Clint Eastwood in you. The area, which comprises 6.5 hectares, leaves room for avid cowboys and regular holidaymakers alike. As such, there are country music shows on the main quad as well as line dancing and lassothrowing trickeries within easy distance from the dwelling areas, but separated enough if the moment calls for quiet home comforts. “You can take part in the Western-themed activities as much as you like. This is a camping area with added fun, not a theme park where you

He estimates that around five per cent of the camp’s visitors are regulars, who come every year to bring out their inner cowboys and cowgirls. They get up to little self-initiated gimmicks like hijacking the toy train that goes around the area several times a day – Stetson hats, howling and play guns included. “We like that, and it is not something we instruct them to do,” says Glymov. “Kids love it, and many of our guests come here because they want to sample such a special experience.”

Into the great wide open The great wide open of course remains a mainstay of the American spaghetti

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month  |  Denmark

Western. That, along with a settler-like rural atmosphere, is what Western Camp seeks to emulate as an antidote to the strains of modern life. “I am noticing this more and more. Families have little time for each other in a normal week. We seem to spend our lives in crammed offices. So when families come to us, they get to relax, have fun and enjoy some fresh air. That, to me, is what cowboy life is all about,” says Glymov.

I walk the line. Cowbay fan gets in the mood.

With only 400 metres to the sea and surrounded by woodland, Western Camp indeed makes nature experiences convenient. The site’s management, which consists of Nicolaj Glymov and his wife Camilla, wants to maintain a sense of relaxation in a social setting where not just kids but also adults can make new friends. “It is just very down to earth and informal. Yes, we have activities on, and we have extensive Wi-Fi. But we don’t want to overdo it. What we see is that kids run around and play on their own, they go on rides in the moon cars or just play oldfashioned games, all the while the adults relax over a glass of wine and also get to know each other. Sometimes, families need a holiday after the real holiday – that is not what we are about.”

Proper lasso-throwing Western Camp has 150 spaces for caravans and tents along with an extra 350 covered sleeping berths. During the high season, the buffet area at the camp’s centre entertains up to 600 people. In fact, the buffet is a spectacle in itself with a meaty menu befitting chiselled riders of old, complete with barbecue hams, grilled corn and bones to eat by hand.

Living like settlers in wooden huts.

Gather round y’all – it is buffet time.

As for Nicolaj Glymov, the new gunslinger in town, do not be surprised to see him get in amongst the action. “I do know how to throw a lasso and yes, there are appropriate ways to do this,” he says. “I probably knew I was going to make a living out of this when I turned 21 – it was a cowboy-themed birthday party. Need I say more?” For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  125

The Tropical Sauna is ideal for socialising or discussing business. Photo: Glenn Røkeberg.

Attraction of the Month, Norway

The Well – a journey through the history of wellbeing Fifteen minutes south of Oslo, the Norwegian billionaire Stein Erik Hagen has just created the largest spa in northern Europe. At The Well, you can indulge yourself in more than 10,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor baths, saunas and treatments from across the world, now gathered under one roof in the Norwegian forest. By Eirik Elvevold

The Norwegian summer has passed and temperatures are dropping. Luckily, there is a new place of refuge right outside Oslo, where you can truly pamper yourself and find warmth throughout the freezing winter. Norwegian business man and spa enthusiast Stein Erik Hagen has gone all in and created The Well – a giant, luxurious collection of his favourite wellness traditions from around the world. “We’ve created something that’s big and spectacular. Something new and unique 126  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

in Norway, a paradise of experiences, a feel-good haven. It is business, but also a dream and a passion – to set a footprint where no one has tread before,” says Hagen. The self-made billionaire with an outspoken passion for spa culture has already established the spa hotel Resort Farris Bad in Larvik, which instantly struck a chord with the Norwegian population. The Well, however, is something different. Spread out across 10,500 square metres and

three floors, the facilities are unmatched far beyond the Norwegian border. “The Well is easily Europe’s premier day spa. We offer unbridled, affordable luxury to anyone who can appreciate wellness and needs to breathe out after a hectic day. You buy the day pass – and lowering of the pulse is complimentary,” says Hagen.

Taking Nordic spa traditions to the next level Hagen’s inspiration for The Well goes way back. From a young age, he roamed the globe and became fascinated by all the different paths people take to relaxation. Though Norway has its own wellness traditions, mainly consisting of bathing and saunas, Hagen’s travels put him in touch with their historical roots.

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month  |  Norway

“From ancient times, people have built bath houses and sought out warm and mineral-rich springs to improve their health. The Roman Empire spread many traditions to European cities like BadenBaden in Germany, Bath in England and Spa in Belgium, which is where I first picked up on these pleasures,” Hagen explains.

A whole world of wellness

“We’ve made an activity plan that guides you through all the options, so you don’t have to stress about it. We’ll take you on a journey through Moroccan clay mountains, Japanese Zen gardens, freezing Nordic plunge pools, Austrian loft saunas and an Art Deco Department with hundreds of thousands of golden tiles,” Ose explains. “The journey might not be over after your first visit, but you’ll hopefully come back to gradually discover more.”

As you move through The Well, every door opens up to a new and exciting world. You can easily move from traditional Nordic saunas, such as the outdoor Forest Sauna, the steaming Finnish Sauna and

The mellow experiences are organised in a logical sequence to avoid a labyrinth of lost guests. That way, people can use the various spaces to find inner peace or

While most Norwegians may use the spa as a reward for hard work, Hagen discovered how many cultures use it actively in daily life with obvious benefits for body and mind. The Well is his way of spreading the message. “A good spa purifies and provides tranquility, strength and energy. The concept fits well with today’s focus on improving quality of life,” says Hagen.

The Well is located in the middle of the forest just south of Oslo. Photo: Jonas Meek Strømman.

the softer, more visual Northern Light Laconium, to exotic techniques including Turkish Hamam, Moroccan Rhassoul or American Watsu. According to spa manager Anette Ose, who has been working with Hagen since the opening of Resort Farris Bad, it can be hard to experience everything in one day.

The Wellness Pool always stays at 32 degrees. Small booths with vertical nozzles and beds of air tubes make for both standing and horizontal bubble bathing. Photo: Hans Olav Forsang.

FIVE FACTS ABOUT THE WELL: - The Well is Stein Erik Hagen’s newly opened day spa and wellness centre at Kolbotn, just 13 kilometres from Oslo city centre. - With 10,500 square metres over three floors, The Well is the largest spa baths north of Hamburg. - The Well opened on 4 December 2015. - The centre has a staff of 130.

Cover and scrub yourself with organic mud extracted from the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Photo: Glenn Røkeberg.

- The restaurant seats 250 guests and boasts an outdoor serving area for another 100.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  127

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Norway

In the outdoor Japanese Onsen warm spring, always at 38 degrees Celsius, you can lean back and gaze over the treetops. Photo: Colin Eick.

The Wellness Bar is located at the very heart of the Wellness Department. Photo: Colin Eick.

socialise depending on their state of mind. “Some of our members are becoming quite good friends. They share the love of spa and enjoy meeting new people in a calm, phone-free environment outside the hectic city,” says Ose.

Ready for a ‘daycation’? The Well was designed with so-called ‘daycations’ in mind. Its proximity to Oslo, combined with an affordable price level and its very own shuttle bus, makes it ideal for a quick escape from everyday city life, way less stressful and more sustainable than going abroad – plus you can still sleep in your own bed at the end of the day. Go alone, bring a friend or energise 128  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

The Art Deco Department, with its thousands of tiny gold leaf-covered tiles, is a must see. Photo: Hans Olav Forsang.

your business. Who could honestly turn down meeting the boss at The Well?

THE WELL IN NUMBERS: - 17,000 tiled planes.

Recharging your batteries at a spa, however, can leave you mighty hungry and thirsty. In the Wellness Restaurant and Wellness Bar, there are healthy meals and refreshing drinks to fill your stomach and cool you down before the next step of your journey of wellbeing. When The Well puts on a special theme or twist, such as Taste of the Orient or Christmas at The Well, the menu changes accordingly. “This Christmas we’ll bring reindeer onto our menu, but you’ll always be able to enjoy our legendary pizza with a glass of bubbly by the pool,” says Ose.

- The main pool is 30 x 11 metres. - 250,000 litres of water is filtered every hour. - The Jacuzzis self-rinse 18 times every hour. - The Well sports 140 showers and 962 lockers. - 7,000 metres drilled holes for geothermal heating.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Experience of the Month, Denmark

Exploring the past in new ways Culture, nature and architecture all come together at Moesgaard Museum. Located on the outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, it offers an engaging way to experience history, anthropology and ethnography. Here, visitors are in for an unforgettable cultural experience engaging the mind as well as the body. By Susan Hansen | Photos: Moesgaard Museum

Designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen, the museum opened in 2014 and has been a popular cultural destination ever since. Exhibitions on the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Vikings were launched around the time of opening.

games and provides interesting clues as to what life might have been like.

Personalised stories and culture aplenty

Now the launch of a new permanent exhibition about the Stone Age has just taken place. The First Immigrants opened on 8 October this year, with Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, a dedicated supporter of archeology, there to do the honours.

Creating a sense of identification with someone is a key feature at Moesgaard Museum. “Our aim is to create strong experiences that appeal to the senses, making use of interactive displays and lots of scenography,” Jensen explains. “We put emphasis on the ability to empathise with the aspect of being a human of that time.”

“An opportunity to create a different type of exhibition came up,” says Bodil Jensen, head of marketing and communications. “We wanted to engage people and increase any possibility of identifying with our ancestors in Denmark. What type of conditions did they live under and how could we relate it to our times?” The exhibition features a range of objects and

Making use of drama and storytelling is an effective way to engage, she says. “We use narratives and recordings made by actors – make use of personalised stories.” The purpose is to highlight the resourcefulness of the people, how they moved on from being hunters to becoming more settled and commencing the early developments of some of the first villages.

Yet more events are featured in Moesgaard’s busy calendar. Next year, Aarhus will be the European Capital of Culture, and Moesgaard has partnered with the Royal Danish Theatre and will be putting on an open-air production on the roof of the museum. The museum will also launch a new exhibition about medieval times in Denmark. Aesthetics and culture apply to all aspects of the museum. “It’s lovely to work here. The scenery is fantastic and from where I am standing right now, I can see the sea, plus the forest looks beautiful in autumn,” says Jensen. “It is all nature, architecture and culture.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  129

Scan Magazine  |  Wellness Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

The Romulus Spa, which is the only Roman-themed spa in Denmark, offers a uniquely aesthetic and relaxing experience.

Wellness Experience of the Month, Denmark

A (re)treat for body and soul Winter is coming, but fear not: Scan Magazine headed north, and what we found was not a frozen wall but a Roman spa, striking sceneries and the meditative sound of crashing waves. In other words, the perfect cure for the winter blues. Nestled in amid the dunes of the Danish north-west coast, Skallerup Seaside Resort is not just for sunny days. By Maria Louise Hamborg | Photos: Skallerup Seaside Resort

Cycle through the sand dunes, jump in the sea, warm up in a Roman spa, reenergise with a pampering massage, and round off the day with a gourmet dinner before retreating to your stylish holiday home for a nightcap on your private 130  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

balcony with a sea view. A wellness retreat at Skallerup Seaside Resort offers a winning combination of grand natural surroundings, soothing quietude and absolutely delicious spa experiences. Scan Magazine went to try out the resort’s

wellness package, which includes entrance to Romulus, the only Romanthemed spa in Denmark. The spacious spa combines an authentic historic interior with a relaxed atmosphere, secluded areas and striking views of the sea and coastal landscape. The views can be enjoyed both from inside the spa – from its relaxation area as well as the sauna – and from the outdoor hot pool. One popular way of combining natural and manmade luxuries is to take a brisk run to the sea, a quick dip and an even quicker sprint back to the hot pool. Sea

Scan Magazine | Wellness Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

bathing can be enjoyed all year round – group swims (that is a plunge, a squeal, and a frantic run back to the hot pool) are arranged from October onwards. Other ways to explore the distinct landscape, which was shaped during the last Ice Age, include bicycling (mountain bikes and city bikes are available for hire), running and horseback riding on the resort’s sturdy Icelandic horses.

Special treats Inside the Romulus spa you find a number of Roman-style thermal baths, where you can gradually raise your body temperature while simultaneously lowering your stress levels. Amidst the historic mosaics and columns are also a range of more modern inventions such as an absolutely heavenly warm water jet massage, the only fault of which is that you will not be able to spend the rest of your life on it. Luckily, there are plenty other spoils to indulge in. In the spa’s panoramic sauna you can, for instance, enjoy a meditative chakra sauna infusion, an aroma therapeutic experience in which a therapist swivels waves of hot air at participants with a towel. During the experience you are guided through the different chakras (energy points in the body). Each chakra is explored via

different scents and lights while mellow music and guiding words lead you further into the relaxation. At the end of the chakra ritual, the therapist brings you back to reality by calmly running a ladle of cold water up from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. It is an exquisite, life-affirming experience for both body and soul. Included in the wellness packages is also an individual treatment, such as the Roman Energy Treatment – a body scrub and massage. Conducted by a professional and pleasant therapist, the treatment is sure to melt away any remaining tensions. Noticeably, the treatments include a number of special offers for men, such as a classical barber experience and foot treatments.

Relax and explore The location of Skallerup Seaside Resort makes it a convenient base for exploring the many charming towns of Northern Jutland, such as Skagen, the home of the famous Skagen painters, and the beautiful regional capital of Aalborg. Even closer is the popular little fishing hamlet of Lønstrup, south of which is one of the area’s most recognisable sights, Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, a historical landmark today partly buried in sand.

The area is also known for its distinct landscape and long, wide stretches of sandy beaches. However, if you are looking for a swim during the winter months, the resort’s 25-metre indoor swimming pool might be the better option. The pool is just one of a myriad of indoor facilities, which also include a fitness room, a pub and several restaurants and cafés. One of the most popular among wellness visitors is the gourmet restaurant Galleriet. The restaurant serves a two to six-course menu with an optional impeccably matched wine menu – the perfect end to a day spent enjoying life at its fullest. With this luxurious combination of comfort, beauty and indulgence, both body and soul are in for a treat when visiting Skallerup Seaside Resort – no matter the season. Skallerup Seaside Resort is located 50 minutes from Aalborg Airport by car. The resort offers different spa and wellness packages, which include entrance to Romulus, accommodation, treatments, food and more. Prices start at 995DKK per person.

For more information, please visit:

Sauna infusion is an aroma therapeutic experience, which leaves body and soul feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Guests at Skallerup Seaside Resort can choose to stay in stylish holiday apartments with balconies and seaside views or family-sized bungalows.

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  131

Scan Magazine  |  Humour | Columns


By Mette Lisby

Who is sometimes shocked when remembering something in the not too distant past, only to hear someone say: “That was 15 years ago!” What? 15 years! Are you kidding me?! Recently I saw some photos of the lovely Princess Diana and a headline claiming that it has been 19 years since she died. Wait – what? No way! I remember it like it was yesterday, well not literally yesterday, but like ten years ago – 12 tops. It cannot possibly be 19 years ago. I mean... I was a grown-up. I wrote about it. I had my own apartment. I paid bills. It cannot possibly be more than a decade ago. I have not been a grown-up for that long! See, that is what always gets me – as in really gets me – when it is concerning things that occurred many years ago, but I was already an adult when it happened. This leads me to conclude – following hard-hitting, factual logic – that I have been a grown-up for many years. And that hardly seems right. Do not get me wrong, I am fine – okay, that might be pushing it, but I am okay – with remembering things that took place when I

was a child and then learning that it was 30 years ago. However weird it may sound, it does seem at least reasonable – my childhood was admittedly a while back. But this is where I draw the line; ‘memories’ are from your childhood, not from your adult life. Period! Would it not be nice if the only things that took place long ago were your first day in nursery, your first kiss, your first pet – and not stuff that happened after your 20th or, even worse, 30th birthday? Slowly but surely it dawns on me: in a minute (or 30 years from now, but 30 years that will deceptively feel like a minute) I will start to forget things and consider myself lucky when I can actually remember that it was 30 years ago that something happened in my adult life. But for now, ‘ten years ago’ or ‘nine years ago’ sound much more agreeable to me. So to soften the blow, I will have to split time


“It’s a bit… Spartan…” Nick observed, glancing around the chapel. “It’s because we’re Lutheran!” I whispered, trying to remember what that means. A girl stood up and serenaded the bride and groom with 132  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

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

my pashmina, attempting to thrust a tenkrona coin at me (little under £1). “Quick - for the collection!” he hissed, just as we realised the bag was filled with confetti.

By Maria Smedstad “Will people be naked?” Nick, my other half, asked excitedly before attending his first ever Swedish wedding over the weekend. “Of course not!’” was my annoyed reply. In truth, this was only my second ever Swedish wedding and I was not sure exactly what to expect. We arrived at the Swedish chapel wearing British-style wedding clothes, which – to my great relief – appeared to be what Swedes wear to weddings also. With one small exception. I was in sandals, forgetting how ridiculously tall Swedes are. Consequently, I spent most of the day staring up people’s nostrils.

into chunks I can comprehend: for future reference, this year it was nine years since it was ten years ago that Princess Diana died.

“I WAS right though!” he smugly announced as we boarded the plane back home. He was referring to a moment during the pre-wedding barbeque, when we all paused to observe what appeared to be a lone seal gliding past in the fading light, only to discover that this was the bride taking herself for an evening swim, completely – yes, you guessed it – naked. a beautiful song. Upon her finishing, I had to physically tackle Nick to the pew to stop him from applauding when I observed that clapping in church seemed not the done thing (I should point out that I was also crying uncontrollably with emotion at this point). Finally, the deed was done. We filtered out and awaited the lovely newlyweds. A bag was passed around and Nick anxiously tugged on

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

Scan Magazine | Culture | Columns

Scandinavian music Finnish artist Katéa is back with a new single. It is the latest gem to be taken from her debut EP Louder, and I am enormously pleased because she has gone with my favourite song – California Baby. It is an epic anthem of a song – reminiscent of Lana Del Rey before she started shying away from songs with strong melodies and big productions. One listen to it and you will fall into a hazy daydream of noir retro glamour. Just run with it.

By Karl Batterbee

of a lot of sonic skills displayed here in less than a mere three minutes, and it becomes a welcome addition to each artist’s already glittering repertoire.

Margaret Berger is back and she has got herself a brand new single. It is Running With Scissors, and with it the Norwegian electrolegend delivers a splendid synth ballad with a chorus that has a dash of the stinted euphoria about it – which sounds quite phenomenal.

Röyksopp have once again teamed up with their fellow Norwegian synthpop icon Susanne Sundfør, and put out some new music. Never Ever, as you would hope and expect from these two, is absolutely phenomenal. In the (really quite fabulous) words of the chaps themselves: “Prepare to digest the latest flavours from the RYXP kitchen; thick slices of pop drenched in heavy keyboard-gravy, seasoned with ‘80s soul and that signature Röyksopp sound; it’s disco baked beyond recognition.” Fair.

Two almighty Swedish talents have teamed up for collaboration. Dance producer Lucas Nord and soul diva Naomi Pilgrim have released Do About It. It is a genre-defying track that flirts with a handful of different sounds and styles, yet manages to master each and every one of them. There is a hell

Finally, this SNØ chap has arrived onto the scene, and I am very intrigued about him. Hailing from Finland, that is pretty much all I know about him at this stage. What I do know, however, is that his debut single, Sunrise, is a stunner of a Scandi-synth tune. Dark in tone, but with a rousing melody and a vocal that

sounds like it was born to be heard playing on mainstream radio – it is the first you will have heard of him. But I have got the strongest feeling that it certainly will not be the last…

Swedish survival guide: how not to be awkward around Swedes By Joakim Andersson Immersing yourself in another culture is never straight-forward; there is always something that seems a little off. Sweden might feel like a familiar country at first sight as almost all Swedes are proficient in English, they watch British and American TV shows and the nature is similar to, let’s say, Canada’s. ‘Men skenet bedrar’ (‘it is not all as it seems’), as the Swedes would say, so let us talk about a few things to watch out for during your stay in Sweden. This first one has become a classic among the Swedish dos and don’ts: taking off your shoes when entering a home. During the winter season especially, your shoes will be wet and muddy. Why would you want to drag all that into someone’s home? It all boils down to respecting your host, so if you feel the need to wear shoes, just bring a pair of slippers.

Make sure to get in line. Swedes are masters at queueing so, when joining in, be sure to keep a lookout for a ticket machine. It will serve you with a number and once yours is called, it is your turn. In a full club, however, she who waves her money, or rather her credit card, the most energetically will be seen and served. Sweden is actually one of the most cashless societies in the world, so do not expect to be able to use cash everywhere. The ABBA museum does not accept it, nor do the Stockholm buses. Swedes have a reputation for being somewhat rude. However, we are just a reserved lot and like to keep to ourselves. On a bus, you should never take the seat next to another passenger unless absolutely necessary or you risk making a poor Swede feel very uncomfortable. If you ask politely for help, however, it is a different

story entirely. Swedes will then generally open up and show themselves at their most hospitable and helpful.

Joakim Andersson is a Swedish musician, YouTuber, podcaster, and entrepeneur who calls himself an enjoyer of life. He is the founder of Say It In Swedish, which is a podcast, web and mobile app, and YouTube channel that teaches modern Swedish in a fun and easy-going way for free. Check it out at

Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  133

Scan Magazine  |  Culture | Moddi

134  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Scan Magazine | Culture | Moddi


The activist musician come philosopher giving a voice to the silenced Twelve songs, twelve censored messages. Unsongs is the new album from Norwegian singer Moddi, who set out on a mission to unveil the beautiful power of songs from all over the world that were previously banned and silenced. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Jørgen Nordby

“Moddi was an activist before he was a songwriter,” reads the biography about the Norwegian. Yet when Scan Magazine speaks to Pål Moddi Knutsen, he spends an hour insisting that he is neither. The 29-year-old grew up on the island of Senja in northern Norway, right in the midst of the tension between debates around the future of the oil age and the fight for the preservation of the local environment and traditional ways of living, and became a member of Socialist Youth and Young Friends of the Earth early on. “Most of the political songs we were singing were from the ‘30s and ‘40s and had nothing to do with what we were doing, so that’s sort of how my music career started: I wrote a couple of songs that I performed at a meeting and some rallies and gatherings, and I felt that I could do more there as a musician than as a spokesperson,” he explains. Moddi’s debut album, Floriography, was recorded in Iceland and went straight to the Norwegian album top ten when released in 2010, described as an “irrevocably heart-warming and beautifully constructed piece of melancholic folkpop”. That same year, the singer refused nomination for a €100,000 Statoil grant on environmental grounds, and in 2015, he contributed to a compilation album in support of liberal forces within the Norwegian church, with a tribute to Ingrid Bjerkås, the first female priest in service

in Norway. He certainly sounds like a musician and activist.

For the beauty kept away from people The new album, Unsongs, which was released last month on Propeller Recordings, is a collection of 12 previously banned songs from all over the world. Some were simply refused airplay while others were censored by means as brutal as murder. “Where do ideas come from?” Moddi laughs when asked how the album came about. “There was this situation in 2014 where I found myself cancelling a gig in Tel Aviv because I didn’t want to support the Israeli expansion of settlements in the West Bank. I sort of lost all faith in music after that and felt incredibly powerless,” he recalls. “Then Norwegian singer Birgitte Grimstad contacted me to tell me about Eli Geva, an officer who refused to lead his forces into Beirut during the Lebanon war in 1982. Birgitte had a song about him but was told by both the promoter and the ambassador during a tour in Israel not to perform it. The song was deemed too provocative and was never released.” Connecting deeply with the song, Moddi went on a mission to find out what other songs might have been kept from the world. “I ended up with a list of maybe 400 songs that in one way or another had been censored, all suitable for my project. I could have recorded 50 or 100

had I had the time, but the final 12 show how diverse a phenomenon censorship of music is,” he says. “Some of the voices I don’t agree with at all, like there’s this drug ballad from Mexico, and I don’t want to promote drug trafficking in America. Similarly, the opening track is by Chinese Liu Xiaobo who won the Nobel Peace Prize, but he also supported the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and I don’t agree with him in any way. It’s been a project based on curiosity, not voices that I necessarily agree with – I just think they deserve to be heard.” Despite including creations by songwriters as diverse as Pussy Riot from Russia, America’s Billie Holiday and Algerian rebel singer Lounès Matoub, the songs sit together like a beautifully crafted body of work. “That was the really difficult part!” the singer laughs. “I not only translated the lyrics but also the musical language of some of the songs. For some of them, I kept the original melody and arrangement while with others I had to completely rearrange them and give them a new structure to keep the message intact. The music acts like a conveyor.” So Moddi, the musician, acts like a crafts person then? “But I’m not a musician! I don’t read sheet music!” he exclaims, aggressively yet humoured. “I have no education whatsoever – I just got into this for the love of music and the power of good melodies to carry a strong message. It might sound stupid, but this isn’t a political project for me – it’s an aesthetic project. The songs all have one thing in common, and it isn’t that they’re political but that they’re presenting a political topic in a beautiful way. I didn’t go into this as a musician but as a listenIssue 93  |  October 2016  |  135

Scan Magazine  |  Culture | Moddi

er. I wanted to show the world how much beauty is being kept away from people.”

‘Full of inspiration’ In conversation, Moddi quickly starts to come across as a bit of a philosopher – and an eloquent philosopher at that. He chuckles again at the suggestion. “I’m currently doing an MA in philosophy, writing about a steel factory and mapping out drivers of change in the Norwegian steel industry,” he says. “It’s a very nerdy topic.” And a Jack of all trades he is; in addition to the Unsongs work and his university studies, Moddi programmes a festival on his home island of Senja. But the work on the new album was far from that of a release of studio recordings plain and simple. “The album was finished a year ago, but I didn’t want to release it as purely a musical project. I wanted people to get the background information about how these songs were censored,” says Moddi, who ended up spending a year travelling to all the relevant countries to interview the original songwriters and make it into a video documentary project to present alongside the album. “I’m not a musician, because last year I didn’t actually make any music – I was directing and producing videos; I’m just a storyteller.” The philosopher pauses to reflect. “People ask when you discovered your talent, when you decided to be a musician. But I don’t think musician is something you are; it’s something you do. I could quit being a musician every day, but when I found these songs I just woke up feeling like a musician because they inspired me tremendously to do the music and spurred me on to make them available.” What will happen next is not set in stone. “I don’t make plans,” says Moddi. “This album has opened so many doors. I’ve been to countries I barely knew existed. With every song on this album I’ve discovered ten new songs that deserve the same attention, and with every ten there are 100 more. I’m full of inspiration; the Unsongs project is far too important to just release the album and move on and write pop songs again. You can’t make the same album twice, but I think this is a project that’ll last my whole 136  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

life.” Important it may be, and beautiful no doubt – but it brought dangerous elements with it too. “I’ve had to be quite careful with what I’ve said and not said when making the documentary. There are countries on this list that will not be very happy; people are still in prison for having written these songs, and the same governments as those who killed some of the musicians years ago are still in power,” Moddi explains. “But while making this album is perhaps not very safe, I’m a male, white, Norwegian, fairly well-connected musician – a popular musician – so I’m among the least oppressed people on Earth. If anyone on this planet should be singing these songs, then it’s definitely me. The risk I’m taking is absolutely nothing compared to the original singers and songwriters.”

Cover artwork for Moddi’s new album, Unsongs.

Moddi is currently touring throughout Norway, and Unsongs is out now. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar

Highasakite. Press photo

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Sergej Jensen (13 Oct – 30 Dec) The National Gallery of Denmark will present a solo show dedicated to Sergej Jensen for the first time at a Danish museum. In his unconventional approach to painting, Jensen focuses on materials and their aesthetic potential. Therefore, his images often include textiles and even the absence of any paintwork. Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm, Wednesday 11am-8pm. Statens Museum for Kunst, Sølvgade 48-50, DK-1307 København.

Osmo Vänskä conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra (19 Oct) Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä visits London for a concert with the London Philharmonic. The evening will include two works by Jean Sibelius (Karelia Suite

and Symphony No.1 in E minor) and Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto. Apart from Vänskä and the Philharmonic, Simone Lamsma will play the lead violin. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.

MØ (22 Oct) Danish singer/songwriter MØ comes to London for a show at the Roundhouse. Genre defying as she is, she sounds like a unique blend of bedroom beats, soul, punk, electro, R&B and pop. Her debut album No Mythologies To Follow was released in 2014 and a new single, titled Final Song, is out now. 7pm. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH.

By Thomas Schroers

35th Uppsala International Short Film Festival (24-30 Oct) Founded in 1982, the Uppsala International Short Film Festival has become Sweden’s foremost outlet for the short film sector. In the past it has attained national recognition of the Swedish Film Institute, as well as international acclaim. This year the festival will take place at four cinemas and includes some 140 screenings, seminars, exhibitions, concerts and more.

Culture and couture (29 Oct) Part of a series of events that explores Nordic culture from a fashion and textile perspective, this event sponsored by SWEA London will bring two inspirational speakers to the city. In their respective talks, Anna-Karin Jobs Arnberg and Issue 93  |  October 2016  |  137

Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar

Inger Ohlsson will share insights into traditional clothing, history and techniques, which formulate the basis for the modern Nordic style and cultural identity. 13.30pm-16.30pm. The Swedish Church, 6 Harcourt St, London W1H 4AG.

Swedish Nature (Until 31 Dec) Visitors of the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm can experience an exciting exhibition on various aspects of Swedish nature and how it functions. Pine forests, deciduous forests, mountains, marshlands, agricultural landscapes and the coast will all be explored in detail, in a way suitable for the whole family. Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Frescativägen 40, 11418 Stockholm.

Highasakite (1 Nov) The indie pop five-piece from Norway perform their biggest UK headline show to date this November at Heaven in London. 7pm, Under the Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NG.

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen (3 Nov) As part of the UrbanPhotoFest, SirkkaLiisa Konttinen will give the artist’s keynote at the Tate Modern museum. The Finnish photographer has been working in Britain since 1969 and her talk will cover the entire span of her career. 6.30pm-8pm. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG.

Stockholm Film Festival (9-20 Nov) The Stockholm Film Festival was founded in 1990. In its first edition it lasted four days and 45 films were screened. Now the festival runs for 11 days, and around 200 movies from all over the world are presented. One very special item on the agenda for 2016 is a visit by American filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now), who will receive a lifetime achievement award. 138  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

Riiko Sakkinen (12 Nov-18 Mar 2017) A founder of the art movement Turbo Realism, Riiko Sakkinen uses critical irony, provocation and intervention to address sociopolitical and economic issues, arguing that capitalism and the market influence every aspect of our lives. At Bury Sculpture Centre, his exhibition will include Heroes of Capitalism, a series portraying champions of capitalism, and School of Capitalism, which is a classroom installation. Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4:30pm. Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, Moss Street, Bury BL9 0DR

Swedish Christmas Fair (17, 19-20 Nov) This year as every year in November the Swedish Church in London’s Marylebone will put on an atmospheric Christmas Fair for Londoners and homesick Swedes to soak up that festive spirit, enjoy some ‘glögg’, stock up on the Scandinavian Christmas essentials and mingle with other expats. Thurs 11am-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 12-5pm. The Swedish Church, 6 Harcourt St, London W1H 4AG MØ. Photo: RCA Records

Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas. Photo: Sergej Jensen, courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Riiko Sakkinen, The ABC of Capitalism. Photo: Bury Art Museum



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