The Royal Institute of Art is a minimalist refurbishment located in Stockholm, Sweden, designed by Norell/Rodhe. The Royal Institute of Art lost several ateliers and workshops in a devastating fire in 2016. In the aftermath of the fire, the institute decided to expand locally, utilizing the existing building stock on the island of Skeppsholmen. As a pilot project, Norell/Rodhe was asked to transform the interior of an old navy building into a new home for faculty and students working with photography, multimedia and moving images. The project explores a new pedagogical model developed at the institute, where hierarchies between faculty, workshop staff and students are flattened by gathering them around a disciplinary subject rather based on academic rank.
The building was initially erected as a small single story building in 1732 and has since grown gradually in all directions. The design of the new interior sifts through historical layers of the building, juxtaposing them against each other and against new additions. The program is laid out in a sequence that spans from discursive spaces such as seminar rooms, to spaces for production, such as a film studio, video editing rooms, and a digital dark room. Throughout the project, colored key elements such as the braced timber posts, are complimented with bespoke fittings and furniture with a monolithic materiality: A long table in cast concrete, shelving, cabinets and vitrines in pigmented wood, and a kitchenette in stainless steel. Chairs and stools for seminar rooms and social spaces were reused from the institute’s main building.
Photography by Mikael Olsson