In Södermalm – a former working-class Stockholm district that was recently dubbed one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods by Vogue – local design and architecture bureau Claesson Koivisto Rune added its own gentrifying touch with Obelisken 29. It’s an update to a decades-old apartment building, now in the final stages of completion.
In a bold move, CKR increased the height of the building by adding 20 new penthouse units – some of them two storeys tall – with terraces and balconies. What’s more, the trio spun the conventional housing floor plan on its head, reversing the layout and placing the bedroom on the lower level; the living room and kitchen take up the second storey. Accessed via an elevator, the light-flooded second floor offers more space. “When you’re tired, you just go downstairs to bed,” says co-founder Ola Rune.
The interiors feature quintessential CKR touches: muted hues are found in the flooring, furnishings, and specially designed door handles, railings, wallpapers, sliding glass doors, and more.
The most thoughtful addition to the building is the new facade. To breathe new life into what was once a long, monolithic block, CKR divided the building into four compartments and gave each its own colour – in a twist on the typical Stockholm palette. Three shades of grey are complemented by a terracotta tone. The bricks were handmade by Danish designer Peterson Tegl, whose extensive knowledge has been passed down through eight generations. At street level, along the full length of the building, and for the added penthouses, the bricks tie the entire project together.
Nina Boccia is the Director of Programs at Design Exchange, Canada’s Design Museum.