Skoog Arkitekter was founded in 1989. The firm operates out of Gävle and mainly serves the immediate region, but also carries out assignments elsewhere in Sweden. These assignments encompass residential, commercial, industrial, interior design and other projects.
Having sat in a house from the early 1900s just outside the city centre for 20 years, the firm moved to more suitable premises in a converted industrial building at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. The mouth of the River Gävle can be seen from the windows, as can the waters of Inre Fjärden. The new city district of Gävle Strand is starting to take shape on the other side of the river.
For its largest conference room, the firm has chosen the new PARAFON Step for Grids product line. An innovative solution which neatly fuses function with creativity.
PARAFON Step for Grids
Gävle is a city which is growing. It’s predicted that by 2020, the city will have expanded from today’s 100,000 inhabitants to some 120,000.
As a local firm of architects, Skoog Arkitekter will play an active role in this development. For them, moving to one of the districts in which the municipality has chosen to invest is a given. So says Jenny Karlsson-Lindberg, one of the designers who’s helped shape the new office.
“Choosing to be among the first to move to this part of town shows that we have faith in Gävle’s ambitions for development and growth. As architects, we have great responsibility not only to design new environments, but also to work in them ourselves.”
A mix of industrial minimalism and homeliness
The new premises measure about 430 square metres spread over a single floor. For Skoog Arkitekter, the five-metre ceiling was an important factor in choosing these premises. They’ve made the most of the expanse which was formerly a factory. Smaller rooms have been created from this one large room. The idea is for them to feel like separate units within the immense space.
“It’s a mix of industrial minimalism with visible structures and rusty steel trusses and a homely feeling from the materials, lighting and furnishings. One central concept for the new premises was to vary the building materials and technical solutions.”
“This will be most helpful as we can now show our customers surface and design ideas, for example, in real-life scenarios. By installing PARAFON Step for Grids in our large conference room, we can show a product which offers an innovative solution for creating a traditional suspended ceiling system.”
A ceiling which becomes part of the interior design
Given the opportunity, make the ceiling an important part of the interior design, recommends architect Johan Olsson at Bornstein Lyckefors. Personally, he doesn’t like being restrained by standardised solutions.
“I want the freedom to choose between different materials, colours, shapes and even grid systems without the costs getting way out of hand.”
Through a collaboration with Paroc, Bornstein Lyckefors had the opportunity to combine form and function when they came up with the idea for PARAFON Step, an acoustic concept which enables you to choose both the design and the colour. A combination of different thicknesses and formats results in a dynamic and unique acoustic ceiling.
Designed for suspended ceilings
Andreas Lyckefors at Bornstein Lyckefors says that the conceptual work for the new PARAFON Step for Grids was based on the same approach. The difference is that the new product is designed for suspended ceilings. This makes it versatile enough for most environments.
“We’ve long lacked a versatile product which works seamlessly with standard suspended ceilings while combining good acoustics, good fire resistance and generous design scope. Quite often, we just want to rip out the ceiling. But with Step for Grids, we have the opportunity to create something within the bounds of standard fittings, the budget and our own high expectations for the end result.”
“Step for Grids needs to be experienced in real life”
Colleague Johan Olsson finds it particularly pleasing that an architect firm has chosen to use a Step for Grids ceiling in its own office environment.
“Step for Grids needs to be experienced in real life if you’re to understand its visual impact, to see how the different ceiling panel thicknesses create patterns. And who better to promote the product than architects, especially when they’ve used it for their own suspended ceiling!”
Striking appearance and favourable acoustics
Johan Lingblom at Takringen Akustikbyggen, the company which fitted the ceiling, waxes lyrical when describing Skoog Arkitekter’s new premises.
“You’re greeted by an old, boxy, metallic industrial building located in the Inre Hamnen district of Gävle, next to Gasklockorna Marina and Gävle Shipyard. But once you enter the building, it just wows you. It’s so awesome!”
Akustikbyggen used PARAFON Step for Grids for the ceiling in the architect firm’s largest conference room.
“The Step panels are 18, 34 and 50 millimetres thick. They’re mounted in a narrow 15-millimetre grid system. In this case, equal numbers of the different thicknesses have been fitted in an irregular pattern. The colour chosen by the architect firm is a dark, greyish brown, a bit like cocoa you could say, and both the panels and the grids are the same colour. It’s really breathtaking, especially combined with the custom-made, three-metre long ceiling lamp, which is of a similar hue. It’s a nice place to sit, with views of the river through the panoramic window.”
“The Step ceiling is an A-class sound absorbent. The acoustics are very good and the installation went very smoothly.”