Artipelag is a new international venue for art, good food, events and activities – beautifully set on Värmdö in the Stockholm Archipelago, just 20 minutes from the city centre, the building overlooks the beautiful Baggen bay.


The art gallery Artipelag is a piece of architecture that is integrated in the landscape in such a way that it feels like it is growing out of the cliff it's standing on. To get here you go on a winding road edged by large oak trees, through the meadows and woods to arrive at a view of the windswept dwarf pines.


Artipelag epitomises the sensitivity to context and location in Johan Nyrén’s architecture. He immediately found the tone and sentiment of the landscape which convinced the client Björn Jakobson of the concept. In the first analysis made by Nyrén, you can see a sketch that shows the concept’s alignment with the surrounding nature.


The building twists around the mountain, follows the topography and takes advantage of the magnificent view. Nyrén has then taken this into the very details and materials with traces of bedrock inside the restaurant, with wane boards in the facade and a green roof.


The holistic approach and final result shows that the initial concept has proved robust and sustainable even though the work process with a few compromises in the details has been far from ideal. The project is founded on a donation by Björn Jakobson, founder and owner of Baby Björn.


As Jakobson wished to integrate the memories of his previous visits to beautiful places around the world with his love of the archipelago and his interest in art, he hatched the idea of ​​a venue for art, culture and design based in the archipelago. In Artipelag nature and culture are interwoven into a wholesome experience for visitors from both near and far.


As Nyrén has written in explaining the concept: "The building has an organic form, growing out of its conditions on site, and the tarred wooden facades and roof covered with moss and sedum plants. The natural and rough is meant to contrast with the sleek glass walls, designed using modern technology.


A basic idea has been to provide a sequence of spatial experiences, both exterior and interior and get them to work together in a unity that will be Hålludden's hallmark.” The first phase covers about 10,000 sq.m. including a ”black box”, conference rooms, studio, shop, restaurant and cafe.


The black box is central to the project and can be used for events, concerts and film and sound recordings. The many options of use and function make the facility usable all year around. An extension to the existing facility is planned to also include hotel and staff accommodation.


The dramatic room in the north-west is typical of the building idea. A small rift was discovered when the bedrock was uncovered by the blast. Instead of removing the bedrock, the programme expanded to incorporate it into the design. The floor of the room consists of bedrock with glass in the facade facing down towards the bay, shining between the trees.





Location: Hålludden, Värmdö, Sweden

Lead designer: Johan Nyrén

Project architect: Lukas Thiel

Executive architects: Dubravka Vujadinovic, Karin Lundberg, Karin Gärdenäs, Johan Hammar, Judit Erkkonen

Project Team: Staffan Hillberg, Peter Karlsson, Viktor Kjellberg, Måns Kärnekull, Karin Nyrén, Fabian Pyk, Oscar Pyk, Haldur Rohtla, Ebba Sjödahl, Gunilla Stenberg, Carolina Wikström, Mårten Ubbe

Interior design: Helene Amundsen, Olle Gustafsson, Ruxandra Petrineanu, Pierre Sindre

Landscape Design: Bengt Isling, Daniel Ericsson,

Structural engineer: Thomas Furuvik

Mechanical engineer: Mattias Kinhult

Electrical engineer: Lars Abrahamson

Acoustics: Lennart Nilsson

Area: 10,400 m2

Year: 2012

Client: Artipelag
Photographs: Charlie Bennet, Jean-Baptiste Beranger