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After being part of the acclaimed Venice Architecture Biennale, Light Houses – Young Nordic Architecture has been successfully exhibited at Arkitekturmuseet, in Stockholm. The exhibition presents 32 Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish fantastic architectural ideas that bring solutions for the world – targeting social, economic and environmental issues. Each architect received a challenge to create objects that represent their thoughts on what architecture is. To explain a little bit more about the exhibition we invited Stefan Sjöberg and Lena Viterstedt , from Kjellander+Sjöberg architects’ office for an interview. 

They created the amazing Light which represents the unique summer light in Scandinavia. When the winter darkness comes through the season and brings melancholy it’s time to transform the ambient into something lighter, colorful and magical. That is the Light, as a filter that affects perception of objects shape, color and meaning.

How was the invitation to participate in Light Houses?  How important is it to participate in this exhibition?

The Museum of Finnish Architecture invited 30 architects from Sweden, Norway and Finland to create an installation to be exhibited as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale. We were very happy to be asked to contribute to the exhibition, especially as it was in celebration of the Nordic Pavilion’s fiftieth anniversary.

What inspired you to create the piece “Light”?

We wanted our Light House installation to relate to the Nordic Pavilion, in which it would be exhibited. The light, the colors, the views, all have a relation to the pavilion, and the Nordic character.

Was the Light created to represent summer light during the winter as a refuge against the darkness?

It was definitely inspired by that light, which to us is very unique. There is a special quality of light in Scandinavian summer nights that we wanted to communicate. It carries at the same time a cold blue nuance of the sky as well as the warm reddish-orange spectrum from the sun. It can affect one’s perception of objects and events to seemingly shift in shape, color and meaning.

What is the Light style? Modern?

The exhibition was in celebration of the Nordic Pavilion’s fiftieth anniversary. We wanted our installation to be inspired by the same core values as the beautiful pavilion designed by Sverre Fehn in the early 60s. In that sense, we were not looking to create something modern, but rather something that would fit the context of the pavilion. The openings and placements of mirrors were all thought out to show different aspects of the pavilion.

What kind of materials did you use to create the Light?

The most important material in our installation is the light, for which we used mirrors to multiply and extend. In one sense we used all the colors that the light brings, reinforced by an interpretation of the Scandinavian summer night colors. Technically, the structure is a steel plate construction with mirrors attached.

Do you have more products with this concept?

All our projects deal with space and light as fundamental building blocks, whether we design an urban plan or a home for a family.

You have mentioned “making space and leaving space”, but here is the question: How does one space affect another for Kjellander + Sjöberg Architects?

We see architecture as a means to expand the context. To change or bend the existing plot, add or remove programs, activities and definitions. In this way, architecture influences and transforms the context and, vice versa, the context shapes the architecture.

WORDS
NATHALIA ARDUINI

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