I'm writing this post on a Sunday evening, having just returned from a four-day trip to Stockholm. It was my first visit to the Swedish capital and, as is my wont, I aimed to fill my short time in the city with design-centric museums, galleries, and attractions. In this major center for Scandinavian style, it wasn't difficult. If you've got a jaunt to this fascinating town in your future, read on for three ideas on how to fill your time there.
For Architecture: Moderna Museet
I visited the Moderna Museet on a day when the exhibitions were changing over so entrance was free (score for such an expensive city). I was still able to see most of the permanent collections, including the large room containing—wait for it—scores of architectural models, architect's drawings, and material samples. For someone who works in the building industry, these views into both famous and archetypal Swedish buildings were fascinating.
I particularly enjoyed a table containing models of Swedish public housing from 1920s-2000s, showing how living space—of which there was a shortage in Sweden at the turn of the century—has changed in quality and quantity.
For Interiors: Nordiska Museet
Stockholm's Nordiska Museet is a celebration of Swedish life and culture from the 16th century to the present day.
The fourth floor houses a timeline of Scandinavian furniture design and several room sets from various eras for diorama dorks like me.
But the real fun comes on the main floor, opposite the cafe in the main hall: a full-size, fully-furnished 1940s apartment, complete with balcony, a stocked kitchen, and family photos on the mantle. Think of it as an interactive House Tour, with a side of time-traveling.
For Everything: The Woodland Cemetery
Stockholm's famed Skogskyrkogården is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a green oasis in the middle of the city, but also a stunning example of 20th century architectural and landscape design. Designed by Swedish architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz from 1917-1920, the 100-hectare site features five chapels, a crematorium, and over 100,000 graves (and it's still being used daily).
Despite that, the landscaping is such that you almost don't notice the tombstones at first, instead seeing the trees, gently rolling hills, the sculptures dotted around, and the the Art Deco-influenced buildings. The use of traditional Swedish planting and spatial planning ensures that everywhere you look, a new vista awaits.
I understand that a cemetery might not be everyone's idea of a fun day out (I personally can't get enough of them), but if you're looking for somewhere that combines design, nature, and history, the Woodland Cemetery is a great start.
Have you ever visited Stockholm? What design-related destinations would you suggest?