Some more images of Åke on the waters of Stockholm.
In the summer, it’s always nice to go somewhere.
In Stockholm, many of the people leaving the city go out to the archipelago at the edge of the baltic sea.
It is nice there.
Some people go boating (or sailing) and a lot just stay at their summer houses doing (usually not a lot) things like reading and having barbecues at a lawn close to their house. If they are lucky the lawn is also close to the water.
This is very popular. So popular that the prices of these summer houses limit most people from actually experience this local eden. Thus many swedes of middle to lower income travel to places like Tailand with cheep charter flights and hotels.
We wanted to hang out on a lawn, reading and doing barbecues.
But we also wanted to hang out in the city, and we thought that it would be a little bit boring to be in the same place the entire summer.
Lucky for us there is a lot of water in Stockholm. It is, after all, often referred to as “The Venice of the North”.
So we decided to build a floating lawn with a small engine so we could move it around.
Construction starts tomorrow, friday 18:th underneath “Nya Årstabron” at the “Södermalm”-side. Drop by and say hallo if you like. We are nice people and will probably play some music, do some barbecueing and have som beer.
You can download the construction drawings (with cost and weight calculations) if you want to build one yourself. The total cost is around 15000 SEK excluding the engine.
Project by: Markus Wagner, Sara Liberg, Karin Matz, Ludvig Netré, Joel Joannet, Fredrik Andersson, Daniel Johansson, Ola Keijer, Caroline Carlsson, Rutger Sjögrim, Mattias Beckman, Anders Berensson
A small sign produced during the summer of 2009 (as a part of the work “en annan paviljong” by Anna Koch, Weld) for a pavilion in the park Tantolunden, in Stockholm. Telling the story of the pavilions spectacular past.
Referenced by Wikipedia here.
Project by: Fredrik Andersson, Anders Berensson, Daniel Johansson, Joel Jouannet, Sara Liberg, Ola Keijer, Helen Runting, Rutger Sjögrim och Markus Wagner.
Due to the migratory nature of Svensk Standard members, this winter has seen the upstart of a small Svensk Standard branch located in Melbourne, Australia, accompanied by an entry in the Laneway Competition 2010, a public art competition in Melbourne.
While researched and conceptualized by the Melbourne team, the production would be split between Sweden and Australia, creating an intentional glitch, a lost-in-translation-factor where one team was perfectly in tune with the sites, with their physical and cultural context, and the other would be completely clueless.
On January 5th, the following letter was received in Stockholm:
“Dear Ola, Markus, Sara and Rutger,
Tristan and I have been wandering the lanes for weeks now.
At first we were attracted to the dirtiest and the ugliest of them: the lanes that felt like vertical sewers. Tiring of wading through the rubbish, however, we soon turned our attention to the sleaziest lanes which thread through the business district, behind the strip clubs and seedy bars and corporate headquarters and law courts. Eventually, we became dissatisfied with our own journeys and elected to follow others, who – more often than not – never went into the lanes, and when they did, disappeared into the rear doors of what we can only imagine might be workplaces, but which might have been something entirely different.
The mystery, it seems, was always on the other sides of those doors and walls: in the private spaces behind and alongside the lanes. In the buildings. The lanes themselves seemed to hold little mystery of their own: everything seemed so familiar, just a repetition of elements. A basic geometry. The familiar, the recognisable, that which makes the laneways what they are, and in turn Melbourne what it is, had reached a point of saturation.
Perhaps we can only value that which is unknown, foreign, strange. We feel this must be the case.
In order to advance our project further, we therefore send you the unappreciated, banal and everyday artefacts which we collected in our journeys, objects (and, indeed signs) which make up the graphic and material language of the lanes – a language which we (like perhaps millions of other Melbournians) are presently unable to read, in our current state of distracted overexposure. We hope that you might take them and through your own work make them foreign to us again. We would like you to estrange us from them, just as you are estranged from us.
Take one or many, and do what you can. If you need any further information (dimensions, materials, or anything else that may be useful in this task), please do not hesitate to contact us.
With grateful thanks,
Your Colleagues in Melbourne.
Helen and Tristan.“
Thrilled by the sudden removal of contextual restraint, the Stockholm team grabbed their pens and laptops and set out create something thoroughly unnatural.
Four days later the following three concepts, along with a short letter and some rather strange sketches, were sent back to Melbourne:
“Dear Helen and Tristan,
We have worked with the material you sent us and tried to respond to our assignment in an interesting way. We quickly realized that there was no way that we could fully understand these objects whithout their context, what parts they play in the economic and social structures of Melbourne. The objects that we were given all derive from a need and are connected to the local and global programmatic system in the area. Like many European architecture offices working out of context, for example in China, we perform an architectural colonialism by ignoring the objects’ context and functions. Instead we invent a new programmatic system for the objects to work within. Three ideas have been produced for this, concepts that can be used individually or somehow combined:
The Laneway Back Alley Band
The object move mechanically and correspond to the different sounds in the “Laneway Back Alley Funk” which is played through a hidden speaker system. The objects get a new relation to each other, and become parts of a new system that replaces their former programmes.
The Talking Totem Pole
The totems whisper to each other continuously, amuses itself by telling funny stories etc, but whenever someone approaches the alley they hush each other to silence. However, the totem can be aggravated and stressed out by the presence of a crowd, yelling out curses to anyone present. The pole is constructed from the given objects in the catalogue.
The Inanimate Objects Animal Masquerade Parade
Disguising the objects as creatures with costumes, creating a sence of unnaturalness by adding the image of nature. For added estrangement it is also possible to apply this concept to the preceding programmes.
Back in Melbourne the sweded objects were recontextualized and injected back into their original environment as agents of estrangement.
At the 22nd of January the final proposal was handed over to the City of Melbourne.
Through an international collaboration firmly grounded in Melbourne but with roots in Stockholm, Sweden, we wish to reframe an experience of Melbourne’s laneway spaces through the performance of an architecture of estrangement…
Weary of both the dominant modes of working as “foreign architects”and of the dominant elements of architectural discourse addressing “place-making”, we would dearly like to consciously side-step both the ignorant imposition of foreign forms on unfamiliar contexts, andstrategies of “gentrification through glorification” whereby elements of historic urban fabric are scrubbed clean of their present (undesirable) uses in order to introduce foreign programs. Whilst the former mightbe termed the “Bilbao effect” and has been idolised by those interestedin placemarketing via architecture (or simply besotted with Frank O.), the latter presents a more covert way of sanitizing the messy, gritty, difficult areas in cities by creating “buzz”. Through all of work, and this submission, we wish to propose an alternative to this way of working as architects, and a conscious critique of the above.
Perhaps there is a hint of irony in reacting against processes of architectural santization when talking about Melbourne’s laneways, long a city-sized sanitation device in themselves. Despite radical changes to the form and fabric of the city, and as such to the buildings abutting their edges, the laneways have retained their utility as a “backstage” to Melbourne’s streets. A place (once you move away from the lattescented alleys of the south-eastern corner of the city) where garbage bins rest in neat rows, leant upon by piles of cardboard boxes and pyramids formed by used drums of cooking oil. Even the rings of empty bottles circling upturned milkcrates like sharks seem familiar, even somehow necessary within this environment – certainly not a surprise, in any case. It is in this safe, familiar, utilitarian order of “things” that the site of our proposed project lies.
In wandering the laneways – whether they are the sanitized, the overdesigned, the messy, the commercial or the deserted variety – all the mystery seems to be located inside the buildings, in the places that you can’t go, through the back doors with their industrial locks, whilst the laneways themselves dissolve into a predictable repetition of a basic material language (bin, bin, bin, oil drum, boxes) which becomes rapidly oversaturated: after a while, it all somehow fails to register. From a sociological perspective one might pose that objects only become visible to us, only register, when they access controversy – when they are acclaimed as “innovations”, when they are at a distance and thus “foreign”, when they break down, or when they become a “fiction”1. It is this final category that motivates the present proposal, which aims to make the gritty and utilitarian laneway objects a momentary fiction, in order that we might see them again, and as such see the spaces which they define in a new way.“
Project by: Helen Runting, Tristan Main, Ola Keijer, Rutger Sjögrim, Sara Liberg, Markus Wagner.
A photosynth showing the Open Studio and the Beijing Field Office at NO+CH09 three days into production.
This summer a crew from Svensk Standard got invited to participate in the NOTCH09 festival in Beijing, China.
It is a two week long festival exhibiting music, fashion, design and architecture from the Nordic countries as well as from China (NOrdic + CHina = NOTCH). We are participating in the part of the festival called Open Studio. It’s a space on the top floor of one of the buildings used by the festival and conceived as mixing chamber for artists/designers/architect exhibiting at NOTCH.
In this space we have created a small office for ourselves. We call it the Beijing Field Office. It will, for two weeks (we started last weekend and production ends at the 7th of november), conduct research on the city of Beijing, focused on the part of Chang’an Avenue leading west from Tiananmen Square to the 2nd Ring Road.
To help us in these studies we have invited six Chinese nationals, living in Beijing, of different professions, age, sex and backgrounds. They are our clients, our main resource of knowledge. With them we have discussed and created an architectural program, specific to each client. Their opinions, interests and desires. Our clients are subjective, we ask them for THEIR opinions, thus making them unquestionable experts.
As a consequence the research won’t give answers to general questions, concerning lots of people. Instead it provides specific answers to specific questions and people. Making the research narrow but precise.
The six different architectural programs will then be processed into architectural forms and spaces, eventually put together into a single potential building, in the end finding itself a site in proximity to the study site along the west part of Chang’an Avenue.
The project is produced along a ten meters long wall divided into the days of the festival, an architectural almanac. It tells the past of our process and hints at the future.
At this moment we are nearing the end of our research phase and have started to transcribe the interviews made with each client into concepts and sketches for program.
So if you happen to be in Beijing this week, pleas stop by and visit us at The Village North, in Sanlitun.
Sorry about the late notice.
At NOTCH09 Svensk Standard is:
Project funded by IASPIS
Sunday afternoon sunshine, an old industrial area and some red plastic soda cases makes for relaxed conversations in anticipation of the final Architectural Battle showdown. May 2009, Lövholmen, Stockholm.
About a month ago, we were asked by the Cities the magazine people if we could design a small exhibition space for them. They were trying to get accepted into an event held by the European Year of Creativity and needed a proposal for an exhibition space that showed that they meant business.
They got accepted, but sadly there wasn’t any need (or money) for the proposed space.
Now, unbuilt architecture is always a very sad thing, so we thought that if we posted it here perhaps someone else might find some use for it. It’s very low budget, so if you don’t have a lot of money but need an exhibition space, this is what you do:
First, call a supplier of cargo pallets (usually there are some at the outskirts of every major European city). Cargo pallets are interesting because they exist in a constant flow. Either being trafficked around, to or from the recipients of various merchandise, or stacked in some warehouse. In order for the logistics industry to have quick access to pallets there is always a surplus of them and as they deteriorate they get downgraded through a system of different classes based on their quality, being constantly reused. So if you ask a supplier of pallets nicely, he or she might let you borrow some for free as long as you hand them back unspoiled.
Otherwise they can be bought and sold back at a difference of ca 3 euros / pallet and that still makes them pretty cheap.
We’re going to use the pallets as the basic building block for the space. They can be stacked in lots of different ways and what you’ll eventually end up with depends, of course, on what kind of space you need. We wanted large wall areas for projections and printed images, but also some kind of “lounge” feature as well as the flexibility of a simple table and perhaps some folding chairs.
Once you stacked the pallets into a topography that pleases you, strap them together using cargo straps. This fixes the pallets into position and makes the stacks very stable. Do it right and the straps will be almost invisible from the outside.
When the pallets are strapped, the inside needs to be clad with some boards. What kind of material you choose depends once again on the purpose of the topography. Usually some kind of plywood or particle boards will do just fine. Cheaper boards will wear more rapidly so the type you want will depend on how long the topography will be used. The boards are then screwed to the pallets.
You can now paint the space in the color of your choice (or just leave it if you like the look of it). We went with white since it’s neutral and good for projections. We also left the outside naked, with the pallets exposed.
Remember; don’t paint the pallets. This will make them worth less when you sell them back.
Here are the cost estimates for our space:
Euro-pallets x 128 = 400
Plywood/Particleboards = 200
Cargo straps x 10 = 150
Paint (4 cans) + Brushes = 150
Ikea table = 42
Pillows x 30 = 90
+ transports + extra
TOTAL = ca 1500
I was recently told by a friend that there existed a large telephone tower made of steel, (kind of like a square Eiffel tower) in Stockholm during the first half of the 20th century and after a short google run, this is what i found:
Apparently it was built in 1887, at a time when there were about 5500 telephones in Stockholm. Each of these telephones were connected to a wire that would leave the house or apartment suspended on small steel hooks and angles. It would make its way through the narrow streets of 19th century Stockholm eventually ending up in the tower. At the base of the tower, in the building it stood on, was a great hall where rows of telephone operators would connect the incoming signal to whatever outgoing cable the caller asked for. The signal would then leave the great tower, once again passing through the streets and leaping across the roofs, eventually reaching the house of the recipient.
The tower, acting like a full scale diagram, explains perfectly to anybody looking at it, the logic behind the telephone system. Imagine what the internet would look like, illustrated like this. Or how it would sound!
In a complaint sent in to one of the larger news papers at the time, a concerned resident of Stockholm complains about “obehaget af den olidliga musik, som telefontrådar kunna åstadkomma, och många hafva nog lidit af deras nervskakande disharmonier”. (I found this quote on a blog and haven’t been able to validate it, but it is so well put that I decided to post it) In short, it’s about the “nerve wrecking disharmonies” that the wind blowing through the web of cables produced.
By 1913, all the telephone wires in Stockholm had been put underground and the tower was left as a landmark and monument. In the 50’s, sadly, a fire in the building bellow forced it’s demolition and the towers sillhouette in the Stockholm cityscape was, in time, forgotten.
More images and information (in swedish) at the website of the telephone museum of Stockholm.
Proposal by Ludvig Netré and Markus Wagner.
En 20 meter hög pyramidformad limträkonstruktion placeras på en 70×70 meter stort fundament. Programmets olika delar avgränsas genom att placeras i boxar eller genom en 1,2 meter höjdskillnad. Höjdskillnaden ger en topografi där simbassängerna är nedsänkta i förhållande till resten av markplan.
Tre större boxar definierar interiören. En putsad box för omklädning, personal och café. En andra box för vertikal kommunikation har en reflekterande yta av speglar. Den tredje är en högt svävande träbox som innehåller relaxavdelningen.
Takkonstruktionen är en 1,2 meter hög balkrost i limträ, limträ är ett starkt, tåligt och förnyelsebart naturmaterial. De uppemot 7 meter stora mellanrummen fylls med ETFE-kuddar som är fyllda med en konstant luftmängd. De är extremt lätta, starka, återvinningsbara och kan göras olika transparenta beroende på vädersträck.
De vinklade ytorna i taket samt ETFE-kuddarna och boxarna skapar ett rum där ljudet snabbt bryts i sin bana och goda aukustiska förhållanden kan uppnås. Luften förvärms vintertid i kulvertar längs bassängväggarna. Den stiger uppåt, sugs in vid nock och pressas nedåt genom ett schakt till källaren där det avfuktas och värmeväxlas med ny luft. Vid värmetoppar kan badhusets övre delar öppnas och badhuset kylas genom självdrag.
Det framtida hotellet placeras på tomtens norra del, den föreslagna parkeringsplatsen ersätts då av en parkering i hotellets källarplan. Badhusets placering respekterar det befintliga gatumönstret och söker förstärka Nybrovägens urbanitet. Söder om badhuset förslås en park med kullar av schaktmassor som underlag för generösa gräsytor.
A new Centre for Architecture & Design in Stockholm
Small building = Less permanent exhibitions =
Less maintenance costs = More money to temporary exhibitions
In 2002, due to mold infestation, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Stockholm had to close down its recently completed building. This left the institution homeless and as a result one of the most successful and appreciated exhibition campaigns in Sweden was initiated; called “Moderna Museet c/o”. For more than a year the institution would “move in” with other institutions. Lending out its artworks or curating exhibitions in spaces belonging to others, all over Sweden.
An old postal terminal in the heart of Stockholm became the hub of these activities. Here, a smaller building and exhibition meant lower maintenance costs. Therefore they could use their resources to create an intense exhibition program called “Udda veckor”, with new exhibitions
starting every two weeks. Moderna museet was described by the people working there as “intense, lively and a lot of things going on” during this period.
This example will be used as a starting point for the new Centre for Architecture & Design.
The idea is to create a small permanent building accompanied by a large public exhibition/workshop space with low maintenance costs. Thus creating the best possible platform for a centre that often wants to change their content and keep up to date with contemporary issues in architecture and design.
In order to achieve this, the space for temporary exhibitions will be separated from the archives. The archives will remain at Skeppsholmen along with a new design archive (that could be housed in the old space for temporary exhibitions in the architecture museum).
The space for temporary exhibitions, however, will be moved next to the School of Architecture in a different part of the city. This will create a program mix that could nurture both the Centre and the School and expose the school to a wider audience. There would also be a natural presence of students and staff related to the faculty benefiting the Center.
The physical environment of the modern swedish city is controlled by restrictions that we didn’t have a hundred years ago. A vast number of regulations create a framework for the city, which in the end makes it look and function in a homogenous way. This project has the ambition to break some of the “rules” by ignoring some otherwise very dominating building regulations. Thus affecting the visitors and passers by with it’s unusual relation to it’s surroundings rather than with it’s visual qualities as an architectural object.
Could a greater awareness of the impact of design solutions on everyday life be achieved
by deliberately using inconvenient and “bad” solutions for the project?
A common way to get people to react to architecture, is to design a building that impresses with it’s visual qualities. What if the building could be as dramatic in it’s relation to the function of the surroundings? The ambition has been to make a programatic and emotional impact on the passers by, whether they want it or not. The project forces itself on the surroundings, making it hard not to react to, even if you’re not a visitor: A pavement that narrows down to nothing, forcing the passers by to walk around the the building, a narrow alley on the backside, an outside exhibition that appropriates the public and private space in front of the centre.
Introducing inconvenience and estrangement in the urban environment, in front of the building, could be a tool for creating awareness of the built environment around us. Especially in an urban landscape that otherwise is dominated by strict regulations on how the city should be developed, functionally and aesthetically.
Permanent & temporary structures:
The interior consists of a permanent structure which houses the most basic functions, such as storage, WC and services. In the central room other functions such as exhibition, workshop and offices can grow or contract. The space can be re-organized with a temporary structure, scaffolding, which can be mounted to allow extra space when required.
“The urban stage”, a public space administrated by the centre, is a tree dimensional steel framework. An extension of the permanent building where temporary structures, installations, artworks, objects, equipment could be attached.
Plan showing entrance level
Plan showing upper level
Project by Ola Keijer, fall 2008.
The TV! team travels to Hannover and Europes largest fair grounds, to document the exhibition space produced for Telenor.
The CeBit fair in Hannover, is Europe’s largest electronics fair and a strange and chaotic place. At a total of 496 000 square meters of indoor space (roughly the size of 70 full sized soccer fields) it is vast and the 4300 exhibitors form a baffling mass of structures, signs, sounds, displays, suits, ties, businessmen during the week, geeks during the weekend (most people at this place are men) and all kinds of different gizmos and gadgets.
It is a sea of flotsam and jetsam constructed of aluminum frames, printed banners and lcd-screens. A place where everything blends together and nothing really sticks out.
So when asked to design a new exhibition space for Telenor at this years CeBit, we decided to do a solid. A simple black volume, as large as possible, as tall as possible.
It would contrast it’s surroundings by being introvert and mysterious. Glowing blue cracks would slice the volume and visitors would be lured inside simply through the promise of discovery.
Once inside the main interior space of the solid, animations back-projected onto the surfaces inform, friendly exhibition-hosts greets and giant block of LED-lit ice provides spectacle. The volumes separating the interior space of the solid from the outside, contains the auxiliary functions like meeting, lounge and storage rooms.
New magazine “Cities the magazine” kicked of the production of their first issue with a workshop held this monday at gallery Detroit (Roslagsgatan 21, Stockholm).
The magazine will focus on different urban conditions and peculiarities around the world and the staff are constantly looking for new contributors. From the website:
“We don’t want to hand you a tourist guide.
We don’t want to show you the last renderings of the best architects.
We don’t want to provide the latest trends and design concepts.
We don’t want to update you on the current fashion weeks and art openings.
We want to speak about cities.”
So, if you are interested in breaking up the printed intellectual monoculture of Sweden, write a great piece about cities and send it to them or simply visit their website at www.citiesthemagazine.com and get the first issue when it gets released.
When the snow falls heavily on the streets of Stockholm, turning instantly into grey sticky sleet, it is nice to be able to write about some good things that are happening in the city.
Last wednesday the first round of International Architectural Battle was fought at the School of Architecture and some of us from Svensk Standard were lucky enough to be competing. Organized by Joel Jouannet, as a part of his masters thesis, the concept of the battle is simple yet exciting.
There are four teams, one site/task and one hour to produce a material that will be presented during three minutes, then the audience decide who the winner will be.
The battle was fierce and the audience ecstatic. The hall was filled with all kinds of weird energies and the resulting proposals were visionary to say the least. But what was really interesting was all that happened before the projects were presented and the winner was chosen. The architects usually hidden behind a desk or a computer screen became performers and suddenly architecture was all about joy and happiness. Maybe it was because of the beer or maybe it was because there simply is no time to be boring when you only have an hour to produce(/perform).
In the end activities like this are badly needed in Stockholm and it’s great to be reminded that architecture really is about having fun.
Visit the website at http://internationalarchitecturalbattle.blogspot.com
(Oh, by the way, we won)
A manifesto for the new economy.
Not a lot has been happening on Svensk Standard in the last months and for that we apologize. Since we’ve all been full-time practicing architects the last nine months, there hasn’t been much time for updates or independent productions. Global recession, however, is about to change all that and as our employers ask us if it would be possible for us to work part-time to ease the losses (perhaps we’ll even lose our jobs) we reply:
I know, recession is hitting hard on a lot of people right now, it’s no joking matter. It’s been tearing around the financial sector for half a year, the auto industry (Saab, we’ll miss you) is going down and by now it has spread out practically everywhere.
The architectural professions are usually among the first to suffer; when there is no money the first thing to get cancelled are those fancy new headquarters or those cool sofas you were gonna get for your living room. The clients stops calling and the architects get really moody. Because when there is a recession nothing happens.
But that is all wrong. This is when all the great things happen.
No one does anything exiting when the economy is doing well. When all that money is spinning around. We get employed, we get lazy. We go to our different offices and sit down at our desks, turn on the computer, open up outlook and wait for what the day will bring or what kind of interesting project the next phone call will offer.
Aesthetics and thought seem to suffer as well during the boom. When everything is happening super fast no one has time for reflection and great potential is reduced to cheesy one-liners (this one is for you Bjarke). Even worse, those cheesy one-liners seem to the rest of us to be viable solutions. For a moment we actually thought that stacking all those small apartments in cliché shapes of mountains or zigzag ridges were cool. And an entire generation of architecture students (and offices that’ve been around for a while but wants to freshen up their image) will now waste their energy speaking in shallow punch lines instead of searching deep as they should be. And if you were ever to criticize it, some one will say “but what about the boring stuff that you are creating?” or “just because you have a weblog with a punk name doesn’t mean you can debase others who are actually BUILDING their work”.
In general, that seems to be the most frequent argument promoting this kind of architecture – that it got built – especially in Sweden. Since the common stuff that’s produced here is of such poor quality the slightest break in this tedious flow is considered art. And the excuse is always: “Well, at least they’re doing something”. As if the real judge of our work isn’t our own full potential but the laziness of our peers.
We’re all guilty. We got carried away, got fat and lazy. No point in pushing the blame around anymore. The boom is over. But already, great things are happening.
The reason is simple. The obstacle that Paul Virilio once wrote about, the one that would unite the pacified inhabitants of our modern cities in struggle, has been found and it turned out it wasn’t a wall. Not even sloping plane.
We don’t have anything to lose anymore. We’ve hit rock bottom and the only way is up.
And what a sweet ride it will be!
Svensk Standard / Rutger
And so it begins
After much talk and little work the first episode of, soon-to-be epic, nature series “Naturen” finally arrives, fanfares and all… And it soon turns out to be quite eerie.
Filmed and edited by Rutger Sjögrim
Perhaps the greatest architect ever, Sir Ken Adam is little known compared to the images of his work.
Being the creator of the “war-room” scenography from Dr. Stranglove and virtually all James Bond sets from Dr. No up untill the late 70’s (including the pinacle of bond-villain-lairs in “The spy who loved me”) , his work has been and continues to be an awsome resource of inspiration for architectural creation all over the world.
Read an interview at:
and watch the flickr set at: