The Kronäng School, which opened earlier this autumn, has interiors designed by Cedervall Arkitekter. The refectory and study landscapes are furnished with Gärsnäs’s Akustik chair. The school is among the most modern in the Stockholm region and educates 500 students in the culture school and grades 7 to 9.
Interior architects Agnese Blaubarde, Amalia Marin and Anna Gathu told us how the design came about.
Cedervall Arkitekter is a specialist in school environments and we, along with teachers and students, have focused on creating good conditions for developing knowledge, well-being and unified camaraderie. We believe in the importance of being proud of your surroundings and have chosen to create a lovely school that satisfies various people’s needs through shifting possibilities. Increasingly, school environments need to offer individually suited variation. Therefore, we deliberately divided the school into different zones, with larger classrooms and smaller group rooms, which through the furnishing creates obliging spaces within the room.
What are the main features of the interior design?
In simple terms, it is based on an open-plan solution with a common longitudinal axis that is given rhythm by various activity-based islands. We were inspired by the surrounding geography and bore in mind that Vaxholm is also an island and chose the colours yellow, red and blue, as well as green which is in the area’s cartography. On the central staircase, you see all the floors at once and the various colours which derive from the fields and water in the nearby natural landscape. LLP Arkitektkontor, who designed the building, indicated the colours for the surface layers. Even though that was our starting point, we deliberately reduced the strength and intensity, which is why the furniture has a toned-down colour scale while the fixed interiors have stronger colours. By discarding any form of pattern and placing textile matting in the classrooms, we have also taken care to create a peaceful and harmonic atmosphere.
For a school, what are the most important criteria to get right?
It’s a privilege to work with schools because they are places that lay the foundation for the future. In our work as interior architects, we can contribute to this growth and integrate new pedagogics through the manner of furnishing. In today’s classroom, it is desirable to have varied furnishing that creates the possibility to sit low, high and comfortably. That’s why you find a recurring topography of chairs, stools and sofas in all classrooms.
Åke Axelsson, who lives on Vaxholm, designed the Akustik chair, which is a visible component of the interiors; what were your reasons for choosing this particular model?
Akustik was chosen for many reasons. Partly it is reassuring to choose a model that has been around for a while but still feels just as current.
Akustik is made of wood, which gives a softer feeling while also contributing to good acoustics. Since there is a lot of wear and tear in a refectory it requires furniture that can cope with being used every day. Additionally, Akustik is sound absorbing with an absorbent screen under the seat. The more chairs in the room, the better the effect and since there are many chairs in a refectory it is really practical. Akustik is also graphical in its expression and available in any colour. We also decided to give the chair, which in itself is both light and stackable, a functionality where it can be hung up which facilitates cleaning and maintenance.
Akustik, designed by Åke Axelsson for Gärsnäs, is one of his many popular models. Its main feature is a sound-absorbent material under the seat and is available as a chair, armchair and barstool. In 2015, the Akustik series was awarded “best in test” when the Technical Research Institute of Sweden conducted a comprehensive examination that showed how Akustik significantly improved the sound environment.