Introductory text by Tomas Lauri

A jury has unanimously selected the Göteborg design office, Happy, as the best interior design for 2001.
It is an interior design with a distinctly Swedish flavour. Such a position is by no means unproblematical. We live in a global age and consciously upping the provincial can easily result in suggestions of wrong-footed nationalism, of an attitude of ‘We’ versus ‘Them’.
But the real danger with provincialism is when attempts are made to recreate the epic days of yesteryear. This Happy does not do; the design would melt into meaningless if it at any point so much as glanced at pastiche. The contrary is in fact the case, giving rise rather to a sense of solidarity and the humane. It’s more a matter here of learning from history than copying it or reviving old ghosts.
Those responsible – the architects Mattias Lind and Per Bornstein and engineers Lars Zackrisson and Mathias Nilsson – have reestablished a link to Swedish handicraft traditions which got lost somewhere during the Swedish building surge known as the ‘Million Programme’.
When I read the project description for Happy I’m at once struck by the term »non-colour scale«. It sounds like a statement of intent, suited to a hard-working Lutheran conscience and foreign to all forms of false facade. Here, the message is, it’s the elements of architecture which matter: walls, surfaces, openings, light, materials. In the 70s these were what counted; it was then that some of the past century’s most brutal environments emerged from a spirit of radicalism. But Happy is far from being some idealist decoration. One of its strengths is just its relaxed attitude.
Along with Universeum and NK Kids (no. 2 and 3) Happy clearly demonstrates that the best of Swedish interior design of 2001 was concerned with more than just space, cash and IT.
The outcome of the contest reveals that there is still a Swedish tradition to be celebrated.

1. Happy
Sssh! Listen up. When others are out to make a noise for themselves Sweden’s best interior design for 2001 is content to whisper.
Text: Mark Isitt. Photo: Ola Kjelbye and Mikael Olsson.

 
Happy
Address: Kungsgatan 51, Göteborg Architects: White Arkitekter, with Per Bornstein and Mattias Lind together with Lars Zackrisskon and Mathias Nilsson Client: Happy Forsman & Bodenfors through Anders Kornestedt and Yngve Nygren Client’s project leader: Krister Landberg Projektbyrå through Krister Landberg
Area:
750 sq.m. Completed: July 2001
  Men of the year: (from left) Lars Zackrisson, Per Bornstein, Mathias Nilsson and Mattias Lind. Interior of the small rooftop box, a meeting place with views over Kungsgatan and Göteborg.
The large conference room viewed through the smoke-coloured glass doors. The muted colour scheme is maintained throughout the office.  
  View from entrance. The area reserved for group activities is lit by daylight and sited away from the sheltered individual workplaces one step down. The row of columns marks the original outer wall from the days when this was a depart-ment storeroom. The staff kitchen is visible at the back.
Restroom and a row of offices for secluded work. When the frosted sliding doors are open there is an unimpeded view from the small conference room to the studio at the heart of the office.  
  The narrow staircase leading to the rooftop box lit by a roof opening.


2. Universeum

Gert Wingårdh’s interiors are less well known than his buildings, and unfairly so as is demonstrated by Universeum, his most spectacular architectural accomplishment to date.
Text: Crispin Ahlström. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman.

Universeum
Address: Södra vägen 50, Göteborg Architects: Interior – Wingårdh Arkitektkontor, with Gert Wingårdh together with Jacob Sahlqvist and Gunilla Murnieks, along with Foued Hajjam, David Schofield, Johan Eklind, Jannika Wirstad, Anna Höglund, Sara Helder, Björn Nilsson. Building – Wingårdh Arkitektkontor, with Gert Wingårdh together with Tomas Hansen. Graphic design: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor with Jacob Sahlqvist and Susanna Ringnér, together with Inga Alander, Håkan Jernehov, Propaganda Reklambyrå Client: Universeum AB, through Anna Nilson-Ehle Area: 10,700 sq.m. Completed: June 2001
  The glazed rain forest and the entrance beyond. Steep bamboo slopes lead across the artificial rock shelves.
The rubbercovered ticket counter.  
  The café fronting Södra vägen successfully combines a number of non-glamo-rous materials: plastic chairs and tables, fir wall panelling, concrete floors, rubber-covered counter.
The water flow at Universeum begins with rippling mountain streams and ends up among the sharks in the tropical saltwater aquariums.  

3. NK Kids
»Some people are at their best when they do things for the first time,« says Björn Dahlström, designer who here makes his debut as interior architect. Text: Annica Kvint. Bild: Åke E:son Lindman

Address: Hamngatan 18-20, Stockholm Architects: Dahlström Design with Björn Dahlström, together with Jonas Ahnmé and Josefin Hagberg Graphic design: Dahlström Design with Kajsa Hagskog Dahlström Design project leader: Fredrik Axelsson Client: rnb, Retail & Brands, with Ulrica Kejler Client’s project leader: Ytterborn & Fuentes with Jonas Eli Magnusson Area: 150 sq.m. Completed: March -01

 
 
A powerful sense of movement marks the interior: a curving line of cubicles leads into the shop and the organic cashdesk with win-dow behind guides the customer round the corner.
Extra generous typeface and references to comic books – Björn Dahlström’s background as graphic designer and strip cartoonist is apparent both in the dimensional games he plays and in the furnishing  
  – the ends of the clothesracks resemble highly stylised figures.

A baby version of his own BD6 stands in the fitting cubicles.
 

Nominations



Galleri Moroten
Address: Tyska brinken 24, Stockholm
Architect: Hironori Tsukue
Client: Christer Leivo
Area: 25 sq.m.
Completed: November 2000
  Small but effective alterations have succeeded in transforming this former health food shop into a modern art gallery with a 17th century flavour.
Soup
Address: Sveavägen 30, Stockholm
Architects: Per Söderberg Arkitektkontor with Per Söderberg together with Andreas Fornell
Client: Kia Andersson and Maria Wærland
Area: 100 sq.m.
Completed: April 2001
  The limitations imposed by the space have been turned into advantages through skillful handling of materials and lighting.
Snowcrash
Address: Textilvägen 1, Stockholm
Architects: Tham Videgård Hansson Arkitekter with Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård Hansson together with Snowcrash with Ulrika Ljungberg together with Claes Sörstedt and Johan Billberg
Client: Proventus Art & Technology with Andreas Murray
Area: 1,183 sq.m.
Completed: September 2001
  A pleated glass wall separates
workplaces from the enclosed conference rooms at the heart of
the building.
Kitchen, with rubbercovered working surfaces.  
React Action Store
Address: Sturegallerian 13, Stockholm
Architects: SandellSandberg with Thomas Sandell together with Anders Holmberg, Damian Williamson, Tobias Hemmingsson
Client: React Svenska AB
Area: 350 sq.m.
Completed: November 2000
  Concrete, steel and plexiglass – any skateboarder would feel at home here.

Göteborg Concert Hall, ticket office
Address: Götaplatsen, Göteborg
Architects: White design with Olle Anderson together with Ingrid Backman
Client: Göteborg Concert Hall
Area: 100 sq.m.
Completed: September 2001

 
The elegant style of the new ticket
office contributes to the overall
experience.
   
IBM Innovation Center
Address: Vasagatan 11, Stockholm
Architects: Claes Kock Arkitekter with Claes Kock together with Laila Blom, Mia Cullin, Anders Fröse, Rikard Ljung, Sylvia Neiglick, Mats Selin
Client: IBM
Area: 3,200 sq.m.
Completed: September 2001
  Spaceinspired staff dining room,
with quiet conference rooms at
back.
Orrefors design studio
Address: Orrefors
Architects: Per Söderberg Arkitektkontor with Per Söderberg together with Andreas Fornell
Client: Orrefors Kosta Boda AB through Jens Nielsen
Area: 1,000 sq.m.
Completed: February 2001
  The dominating impression is a
playful mingling of materials and
colours, both in exhibition and
office areas.
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