Hammarby quay in Stockholm is fast becoming an epicentre of local design activity. The former industrial area is being rebranded as an ecological water-side hub – and being colonised by creatives just as quickly. The latest residents are Swedish design firm Massproductions and Wallpaper* Design Award winners Wästberg, who opened their joint showroom, No 51, this week.
The designers share a space on the ground floor of 'Allén', a dark, neomodernist building designed by Johannes Norlander where Massproductions’ utilitarian furniture is complemented by Wästberg’s contemporary lighting.
The two companies are natural bedfellows. 'We both have our own idiosyncratic design languages and couldn't care less about passing fads, so in many respects we are a very good match,' says Magnus Wästberg, founder and CEO of Wästberg.
They might share a modernist aesthetic, but to share a showroom, a similar ethos and approach to client experience is vital. Luckily, both brands also seem to be on the same page. Massproductions' CEO Magnus Elebäck explains, 'The new showroom will be a creative home base, as well as a meeting place where clients can experience our products and ideas first hand.'
To promote this welcome commitment to functionality, the interiors of No 51 remain clean and unfussy. Designed by Stockholm-based architects Guise, the showroom stays true to the area's industrial history. 'You could call it our interpretation of "Modernism 2.0",’ explains Jani Kristofferson, Guise's co-founder. 'We wanted to create a clean space with no superfluous embellishment, honest materials and clarity of function.'
In true modernist fashion, the fundamental components of the building are exposed. Monolithic walls divide the space, which is unified by stark concrete floors and vast panes of glass. This no-frills attitude continues behind the scenes, where the offices are economically furnished entirely with Massproductions' chairs and tables, well-lit by Wästberg's wooden pendant lamps.