IN THE PARK
Interior design: Indicum Architects
Photography: Jason Strong
Placed in the heart of the Swedish city of Uppsala’s Botanical Gardens is its university, founded in 1477. Now, more than 500 years later, Uppsala University has opened its new building—Segerstedthuset— by architects 3XN and interior designers Indicum. Created from the idea of a house in the park, Segerstedthuset brings feelings of nature into the educational institution, using Muuto designs as key designs throughout.
“The initial brief for Segerstedthuset was to bring the university together into one building, serving both its employees and students,” says Annika Sundås Larsson, Deputy Head of Division at Uppsala University.
“We wanted everyone to feel naturally at home within the spaces that would be at the intersection of a public workplace and an educational institution”.
Uppsala University’s Segerstedthuset is created by Danish architect firm 3XN from an organic approach, striving to bring the warmth of nature into its interiors; an idea that is echoed throughout the building’s structures, colors, materials and furnishings.
“We wanted for Segerstedthuset to be a landmark in Uppsala; something modern with a high level of design and architecture that was long-lasting in its quality and aesthetics, relevant for years to come.”
With its design informed by the location of the university in the heart of Uppsala’s Botanical Gardens, Östberg and her team approached the interiors as if they were creating a house in the park, though bearing the dynamics of an educational institution and workplace in mind: “With Uppsala being the oldest university in Scandinavia, we wanted to bring new perspectives to its institutional legacy while fulfilling the needs of its daily users: Students, teachers and administrative workers.”
“We chose to implement a lot of Muuto designs through furniture and lighting throughout the interiors. The modern as well as organic design language, paired with the color scheme and materials of Muuto designs, were a perfect match for Segerstedthuset. Furthermore, Muuto’s designs present a refined balance between the modern but the timeless – identical to our idea for the interior concept.”
This year’s pop up restaurant ’Sulla Bocca di Tutti’ at the Stockholm Furniture Fair was a merging of Scandinavian and Italian aesthetics, meant to feel like a warm embrace in the coldest month of the year.
Each year, the Stockholm Furniture Fair asks a prominent designer or design team to create their design bar. For the 2017 fair, the choice fell upon the Stockholm-based Note Design Studio.
The name of the restaurant ‘Sulla Bocca di Tutti’ – Italian for ‘On Everybody’s Lips’ – was chosen to complement its Italian menu and to illustrate how the Design Bar often becomes the center of the fair; the go to place where people meet with clients and catch up with their friends and colleagues.
“THE FAIR IS IN FEBRUARY, AND STOCKHOLM IS SUPER COLD - A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT! WE WANTED TO CREATE SOMETHING THAT IS SOFT AND WARM; LIKE A PLACE THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO GO TO.”
Since the Design Bar area was a completely open space, Note Design Studio worked a lot with creating different levels, layers and volume. It was very important that the guests did not feel like they were sitting in an open area. Therefore, small screens and greenery were inserted between the different areas; making the various dining settings more secluded and ‘private’. To add warmth and a feeling of comfort to the space, Note chose to work with warm hues of dusty pink and red, and to combine this with soft, curvy lines and plush furniture to add this 'generous' feeling to the space.
“WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING GENEROUS; GENEROUS IN HOW EVERYTHING WOULD TASTE, BUT ALSO AESTHETICALLY.”
“WE ALWAYS SOMEHOW WORK WITH PINK TONES IN OUR CONCEPTS. I GUESS WE ALL JUST LIKE THE WARM GLOW OF THE COLOR. COLORS CAN BE A NICE WAY OF KEEPING SUCH A BIG AREA TOGETHER AND CAN MAKE IT QUITE OBVIOUS AND CLEAR FROM AFAR.”
Johannes Carlström, co-founder of Note Design Studio, explains how they deliberately did not want to create a 'perfect match' when choosing the color combinations, which were a mix of dusty pinks, terracotta hues, bright reds and darker, more brownish reds.
When looking at the different color swatches, many of the colors even seemed to clash a bit, but when combined all together it somehow became coherent; making the settings look more vibrant and interesting:
“IT IS REALLY TEMPTING TO MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT, BUT THAT DOESN’T REALLY WORK. IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU HAVE A SWEET DRINK, YOU MAY ADD SOME BITTER TO IT AND IT GETS BETTER. YOU NEED A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT POPS OUT. WE AIMED FOR GOOD COMBINATIONS BUT ALSO SOMETHING THAT IS A BIT OFF, AND I THINK THAT MAKES THE WHOLE BETTER.”
Bringing new perspectives to the traditional ways of interacting with clients and co-workers, PwC Australia’s new state-of-the-art offices in Sydney and Melbourne are radically transforming how corporate workspaces can be designed by creating a customer-centric environment of co-creation, community and home-feeling. The project was undertaken in collaboration with interior agency Futurespace, using a wide selection of Muuto designs as key components in the project
For the space, both PwC and Futurespace wanted to raise the bar as to how a company can engage with clients, creating a working environment that feels like home the second you enter it. By having an open and friendly setting, PwC are able to welcome clients into their ‘work home’ in a relaxed and easy fashion. As Peter Konidaris from PwC Melbourne explains, the emphasis was on creating spaces that encourages co-creation and collaboration, moving away from “a transactional mindset to a far more relational approach to how we engage with our clients. Here we can sit with our clients and have a bite to eat, introduce them to other clients and other people in the firm.”
The idea of creating a feeling of home was integral to the selection of furniture for the space—these had to hold an intimate, modern expression while suiting the formal and ergonomic needs of a busy working environment. Here, Muuto designs go hand-in-hand with the surrounding environment, helping to set the vibe and atmosphere for the space while striking the balance of comfort and aesthetic presence required for the project.
Across the whole project, Futurespace worked with different types of furniture for various settings: The use of lounge furniture in the open-area workspaces should encourage collaboration and free conversation. On the other hand, semi-private and private meeting settings begged for more formal designs to set the tone for discussions and problem-solving across the organization. Bringing new perspectives to the traditional ways of interacting with clients and co-workers, PwC Australia’s new state-of-the-art offices in Sydney and Melbourne are radically transforming how corporate workspaces can be designed by creating a customer-centric environment of co-creation, community and home-feeling. The project was undertaken in collaboration with interior agency Futurespace, using a wide selection of Muuto designs as key components in the project.
“There’s nothing else like this in Australia and I don’t think there will be for a long time because it has set a new bar for how organizations interact with their clients.”
Setting out to bring a new perspective to the way hotels look, feel and are lived in, OKKO wanted to create a modern, temporary ‘home’ suitable for both business and leisure. For their latest string of locations, OKKO allied themselves with iconic French designer Patrick Norguet to rethink the feelings of a hotel, using Muuto designs along the way.
Quite unconventionally, Patrick Norguet never received a brief when creating the design for the new OKKO hotels. Instead, it was up to himself to shape the design of the interiors. As Norguet explains:
“Everything started with a strong concept. We decided to remove all the traditional and somewhat outdated elements of the stereotypical hotel and replace them with modern tools in a digital context; wanting to simplify the experience and once again place the guest at the center. At OKKO, there is no check-in or check-out, no room key, and the mini bar has been replaced with an actual bar where you can enjoy drinks or food free of charge whenever it suits you. It all boiled down to a desire for the guests to feel as they would when in their own home.”
“Creating a hotel is first and foremost an act of generosity. Sure, the elements of architecture and interior design play their part, but what is really important is the experience people get when inhabiting the spaces. Interiors are only meaningful when they can impact and enhance the emotions of the people present within them.”
Within each design process, Norguet tries to bring with him a great deal of ‘naivety’—wanting to approach a project without preconceived expectations:
“It enables me to create something unique. In a time where we are bombarded with so many things that look alike, singularity is a key principal to me when designing. This played into OKKO as well, working not to reach a particular atmosphere but instead to create a unique space in which people could relax and feel at ease.”
Exploring our new perspectives on the modern workplace through our new 1400 m2 HQ in the heart of Copenhagen, created to bring the ideas of creativity, collaboration and community into daily worklife.
13 years after our founding, we are proud to introduce our redesigned HQ in the center of Copenhagen. Spanning across a combined 1400m2, the address of the redesigned HQ has been that of Muuto since 2013 when we moved into a single floor in the building. As a natural progression of our continued growth, the new Muuto HQ is now comprised of three floors along with a rooftop terrace, overlooking the Copenhagen skyline.
Speaking on the redesign, Muuto CEO Anders Cleemann says: “We wanted to create something that would serve as a functional workplace to the utmost degree for our employees while communicating the values and ideas of the Muuto universe throughout every single square meter, allowing us to welcome retailers, architects, dealers and press into our world,” and adds: “We wanted to explore the blurring of lines between workplace and showroom with the hospitality atmosphere, emphasizing how our designs across furniture, lighting and accessories are suitable for any workplace context, whether it be canteen areas, stationary desk spaces, conference rooms or flexible work zones.”
On the approach to creating a space that could at once serve as a workplace and flagship of its brand ethos, Marketing Director Line Brockmann Juhl says: “It was integral to us that we embraced the various ways of working that we exercise throughout the workday, providing ourselves with facilities that allow for a multitude of work modes: collaborative sessions, formal meetings and solo work sessions, while embracing the social, informal encounters that happen throughout the day,” and adds: “Combined with these multifunctional requirements were a desire to create a new perspective on the modern workplace, brought together under the values and philosophy of Muuto.”
Throughout the process, we have collaborated with architecture and spatial design agency BRiQ on integrating our ideas of the modern workplace into the redesign. Noting on their approach to the project, BRIQ architect Iben Bach says: “One thing that we paid a lot of emphasis to was the workflows of each team within Muuto; the people working in their design department need the agility to move around easily and test new products while the people in marketing have a lot of collaborative sessions and supply chain spend a lot of time by their desks. Investigating the various flows of each team allowed for the interior design to be informed by the workings and mechanics of each department within Muuto. By creating different zones for the various departments, we’ve striven to foster a sense of belonging within each team.”
Through our collection of furniture, lighting and accessories, the redesign allowed for us to explore the versatility within our collection. Speaking on that, our Design Director Christian Grosen says: “The redesigned HQ has a variety of spatial typologies: desk settings, quiet rooms, showroom areas, conference rooms and informal meeting spaces. We wanted to show how there’s a Muuto design for any of these needs, be it armchairs with a deep comfort and high functionality for longer meetings, informal sofas for impromptu encounters, friendly chairs for a canteen space or work-specific designs to provide added function and comfort throughout the workday,” and adds: “Just as with our designs, we’ve striven for the HQ to be relevant for many years to come in its aesthetic, quality and function.”
As a natural extension of our continued emphasis on wellbeing in design and its A Space for Being collaboration with Google, Reddymade Architecture and Johns Hopkins University for Milan Design Week 2019, the spatial design approach to the redesign has explored the relations between design, space and the workday of our team members, creating atmospheres that facilitate the function of a given workspace.
The activity-based zones are created through Muuto’s designs that serve a functional and aesthetic purpose, in line with the given work type, as well as through the use of color, materials, shapes, tactility and more. This approach to activity-based zones is founded in the belief that our senses activate our intelligence, prompting the creation of spaces that have a purpose that is not only functional but also aesthetic and biological.
An example of this could be a collaborative meeting area. Here, the designs used are playfully modern in their appearance in vibrant colors and used this sentiment throughout the elements of the area, whether it be colors, materials, lighting or architectural structures.
On the contrary, a formal meeting room has been created with designs that are more timeless and elegant, a sentiment that is repeated throughout the elements of the room for an understated and refined atmosphere.