As we settle in to 2016 and our appetite increases both for maximising what little daylight there is and staying in watching gripping drama, our thoughts naturally turned to a nation that excels at both – Sweden.
Our cover star this month, Monica von Schmalensee, is the CEO of White, the biggest architectural practice in Scandinavia. The firm has some pretty large-scale projects currently on the go – not least a 20-year scheme to relocate an entire town, Kiruna, in the northernmost part of Sweden (visualisation below). She also gave her insights into matters on a more human scale – notably work life balance, something that she admits us Brits could work on.
Continuing the Swedish theme, Elizabeth Choppin, who was at the helm here at onoffice a few years back, gives us the lowdown on how PS Arkitektur made a listed 18th-century customs house in Stockholm’s old town fit for purpose for communications agency Chimney (below). This month’s ontopic sees Note Design Studio’s Cristiano Pigazzini hold forth on the increasingly blurred boundaries between domestic and contract furniture, ahead of several Note-designed launches at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair. Meanwhile our regular columnist Peter Murray – who you’ll now find nearer the front of the magazine – compares the planning approaches of both the UK and Swedish capitals.
Bringing a bit of a Mediterranean contrast is Google’s new Campus Madrid (below). It’s the work of Jump Studios, who also worked on Campus London in 2012; this time it has collaborated with local practice CBRE. The Campus is every bit the youth-orientated megalith you’d expect, with a deft use of textures, artwork and contemporary work settings within a five-storey former factory building.
To coincide with a New Year, we bring you a new column on co-working by long time onoffice contributor Clare Dowdy. This month she weighs up how affordable such spaces really are, and highlights a new entrant to the market, The Brew, which is differentiating itself on its cost effectiveness thanks to some clever planning by Hackney council.
Looking to the future, the Workspace Invaders project – initiated by Håg (a furniture brand that is part of the Scandinavian Business Seating set-up in Clerkenwell) and Open City – gave a group of young people the chance to have their say about what future office designs might look likes. The results ranged from hanging pods for concentrated work to task chairs powered by kinetic energy.
In order to raise energy levels all round, here’s to the mornings getting a little lighter from hereon in.
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Highlights from our February edition, which pays special attention to the latest ideas coming out of Sweden