Design Double Take: Stockholm

April 09, 2012

In Stockholm, the waterways lead your eyes into the city center, Gamla Stan. One look at Old Town serves as a snapshot of the architectural DNA that binds all parts of this Swedish city.

The phrase, “the same but different” comes to mind as you get lost in the seemingly endless corridors formed by the tight knit neighborhoods surrounding the city’s core. Classic but not overtly ornate details like the ever-present hanging street lights reinforce the character of the city.

In contrast to the uniformity of the outside architecture, the interiors of Stockholm’s bustling shops, cafes and thrift stores are random and varied. The spaces tend to capture the emotion, heart and life of the beautifully crafted local goods.

As you might expect, contemporary furniture is everywhere! Stockholm provides a maze of design department stores along with thrift and vintage items galore stuffed into showroom spaces and tiny basements alike.

Classic but not overtly ornate details like the ever-present hanging street lights reinforce the character of the city.

But alas, with very limited time in the city, I had to get my fix on local history. I chose to explore The Vasa Museum which houses a salvaged shipwreck from the 1600s. While the focus of this exhibit is the giant meticulously restored vessel, the dioramas and surrounding materials tell a rich story of the sinking and resurrection of the ship and of the human toll of the tragic event. One of the odd exhibits is a display of six facial reconstructions based on the corpses of victim’s found on the ship. Crazy and creepy, but very cool!