One of our favourite highlights of the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair was the opportunity to step inside the re-opened Nationalmuseum, which last winter unveiled its new interiors after five years of renovations to the building. In a genius move, the museum took this opportunity to showcase Nordic designers and makers. It commissioned a group led by Matti Klenell, TAF Studio, Carina Seth Andersson and Stina Löfgren, to design what it has literally called A New Collection – some 80 new objects, from seating and lighting to glassware and cutlery – that fill the museum’s spaces and some of which are newly available to purchase.
The restaurant serves up a generous tasting of these collaborations. With its soaring, vaulted ceilings, arched windows and marble columns, the restored 19th-century space offers up a stunning canvas. And the new pieces on display augment the experience.
Among them is a chandelier that hangs above the Glassbar. It is comprised of 10 glass-blown vessels designed by 10 different talents. The piece was created The Glass Factory, a renowned institution in Boda, and was influenced by the work of Monica Backström, an icon of 1960s Swedish design. Backström was invited into the process to provide her expertise in the silvered glass technique (see the video below).
Matti Klenell designed some of the restaurant’s most pragmatic pieces, including the extendable Ateljé tables that are now in the catalogue of Swedish manufacturer Gärsnäs. Inspired by an artist’s worktable, it is used in the dining hall and banquet rooms. “The idea is for Ateljé, just like all the other furniture in the restaurant, to serve for many years and age beautifully,” he explained in an interview with the manufacturer.
In one space given over to a communal table – the 6.5-metre-long Fermettan with its graphic faux-wood print by Studio Krisoffer Sundin and Stina Lofgren – Klenell also designed the Botero chairs along with Peter Andersson Studio. Above the table hangs another suspension fixture made of 10 glass pendants by Klenell along with Carina Seth Andersson, Monica Backström, Gabriella Gustafson and others. Punctuating the space is a three-metre-tall mirror by Jenny Nordberg that looks as if it has aged alongside the museum’s other holdings.
This feeling of the found object is also true of the brass-finish coffee station, which seems to have been in the restaurant all along but is another major collaboration among the designers.
Also prolific in its contributions to the space is TAF Studio, which designed the Atelier chair, produced by Artek; the Satellite suspension lights, made by Ateljé Lyktan; and the quilted Nisch Sofa love seat, made by Fogia.
Carina Seth Andersson created the dappled-glass vessels (produced by Skruf) and Sand tableware (produced by Design House Stockholm) that usher the project’s overall sensibility directly into the details.
In this same vein, the wood carve prints that Stina Löfgren, Marie Dahlstrand, Finn Öhlund, Annalena Pääjärvi Öhlund created for the main bar show how well-appointed the furniture and the interior direction was from start to end.