Peace, inspiration and an award for Swedish architects

The winner of the Swedish Wood Award 2020 is Ateljé i Södersvik, a studio building that architects, Mr Anders Johansson and Ms Anja Thedenius, designed for themselves in Roslagen, outside Norrtälje.

The winner was celebrated by over 1,000 people when the gala was streamed live from Stockholm in early December.

The architects wanted to push the boundaries, break with convention and incorporate the workspace into the living space. Ecological sustainability was important to them, and wood was just the obvious choice in most places.

The architects created a building that is both a home and a workspace in one. Large windows welcome in nature and light, and it is easy to find both peace and inspiration.

Ateljé was completed in 2018 and offers a studio, a loft, a space beneath the loft and a bathroom. The material has been used everywhere, on every scale, from the structural frame to furniture.

“I like to describe the space as a theatre that can be reconfigured to form different kinds of settings. It was also important to get the right relationship between inside and out. Opening up the oversized doors invites nature into the building,” said Anja.

The jury described the studio as a carefully considered and well-proportioned way of experimenting with space and with wood. “Ateljé i Södersvik provides a genuine encounter with wood, with its simplicity providing a beautiful and multifaceted environment in which to live and work,” it said.

The winners went home with prize money worth US$ 12,000. A total of 130 competition entries were submitted for the award this year.

 “It is vital that we recognise how our lifestyle affects our tomorrow, and how we therefore need to make sustainable choices day in and day out,” said Mr Alexander Nyberg, who is responsible for the Swedish Wood Award at the industry organisation, Swedish Wood.

The award is presented every 4 years to a new work in Sweden that demonstrates outstanding architectural qualities, be it a new building, bridge or other structure that makes full and proper use of wood’s potential.

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