There is a slight smell of forest in the air in Stockholm’s Hagastaden district, where mass timber high-rises are gradually reaching full height and welcoming their first residents. As part of the neighbourhood’s ongoing evolution, the city has been working with developers to reimagine the formerly industrial street Norra Stationsgatan as a kind of cultural corridor lined with architecturally striking pavilions. Commissioned to lead one of these projects, Stockholm real estate development firm Humlegården Fastigheter set out to create a destination dining spot: Rummel restaurant.
In line with local planning regulations, the developer was given a wedge-shaped site for a building that had to transition from one to two storeys. Humlegården Fastigheter turned to Copenhagen-based architecture studio — and timber specialists — Henning Larsen, who responded with a proposal for a continuous sloping roof. “We wanted to create a very long, narrow space; on one end, low and intimate, and on the other, almost a lofty cathedral,” says Per Ebbe Hansson, the firm’s lead design architect.
The result, a slanted building with a burnt-wood exterior and glulam frame, features floor-to-ceiling glazing that builds to a narrow eight-metre-tall window on the pavilion’s western end. On the eastern side, the proportions are reversed, with a gable width of eight metres and a height equal to the width of the western window.
The gentle downward movement and sideways stretching that emerges from the transition between these two ends creates a space that’s part holy temple, part stranded (but stately) ship. While the pavilion is permanent, Henning Larsen performed a life cycle analysis to make sure that its materials could someday be disassembled and re-used if need be. “We made all the screws visible,” says Hansson. “Even just for maintenance reasons, it makes it easy to access.”
Once plans for the overall structure were in place, Humlegården reached out to Stockholm restaurateurs Christopher Ellertsson and Robin Moderato, who in turn tapped architecture studio Millimeter Arkitekter to create the warm dining ambience that now defines their restaurant, Rummel. “We decided to work a lot with textures and colouring in creative ways, keeping in mind the lack of solid walls,” says interior architect Filip Berglund, pointing to elements finished in red marble, polished brass and padded olive-green leather.
Other features — like lighting brackets mounted to the ceiling beams and server stations placed between the wall columns — highlight the surrounding architecture.
In addition to its spiritual dining room and more blingy bar, Rummel also includes a downstairs area for Stockholm diners craving a more intimate experience. Ellertsson has noticed that returning guests tend to move around the space between visits. “If they sat in the ‘cathedral’ last time, they may want to sit in the bar area next,” he says. In a neighbourhood under transformation — and a building that already anticipates its next life — it’s only natural to want to change it up.
Designed for future disassembly, a glulam pavilion by Henning Larsen offers up a taste of woodland magic.