Stopping ENERGY LEAKS (infographic)

We are traditionally very concerning about sustainability of or homes here in Scandinavia, and construction of well insulated and energy-sufficient houses was a first priority throughout ages – and it’s not a surprise, because we spend a bigger part of our life in cold seasons. In other hand it’s always good to improve our habitats and to research even more productive and efficient solutions.


This great infographic shows in very easy to perception way the benefits of insulation and teaches us why it’s important.



Prefab Houses: The Scandinavian Pioneers

The popularity of prefab houses is ever rising in the 21st century as people seek to build homes that are more environmentally friendly and also better prepared for the harsh elements that are particularly prevalent in winter.

When it comes to this kind of design and architecture, the Scandinavians have it just right. They keep it simple and easy, unlike other European countries that have tried to tinker with the methods and failed. 

Their history dates back further than you’d think

What may surprise many is just how far back the history of prefabricated housing goes. It isn’t a modern, 20th century innovation that just happened to take off, but rather something that was invented and pioneered by a gentleman called Frederick Blom way back in 1781 in Sweden.

Blom was an architect and a Colonel in the Corps of Naval Engineers. His experience in the military taught him about the need to have accommodation that could be built strongly and made to last but also have the ability to be taken down and moved. He envisioned that a house for a family could also become a series of walls or constructions that could be built quickly and strongly and moved or rebuilt if occasion demanded.

However, instead of purely keeping this notion for military purposes, he began to expand and develop it further for civilians. At first, he designed and made houses for the upwardly mobile members of society, offering them prefabricated walls with doors and window openings built into them and solved the problem of how they would be joined together by using strong iron ties to keep the buildings safe and secure.

These buildings were of course, manufactured from the one material that was in abundance in these climes, wood. Trees had the advantage of being a renewable resource, readily available and in many cases easy to saw and cut into manageable plank sizes to make the designs that Blom created.

Over the next sixty years, a relatively small scale production began with some one hundred and forty of these houses being designed and built and it was something that steadily appeared to catch the attention of people throughout the many Scandinavian countries through the next century. 

Industrialisation takes hold

Of course, during the 1800s the main change that occurred was the mass industrialisation of many different occupations. Inventions such as mechanised sawmills meant that parts for these houses could be produced in a far quicker and much more efficient way. It also meant that because they could be built faster, more could be produced and it was during this century that an small export business began to emerge, with the component parts of these buildings being shipped to places like Canada and North America too.

As trade between the countries took off, it was recognised that there was a need for them to be marketed better and so catalogues were produced that made it possible for people to pick designs for their own individual home.

Into the 20th century

The 20th century threw up two of the world’s deadliest conflicts with World War One from 1914-1918 and World War Two from 1939-1945. These two events led to housing shortages Europe wide and a demand for utilitarian homes that could be built and moved into very quickly as the need arose.

These residences became much more uniform than before, with less scope for personal design choice as was seen in the original buildings created by Blom. Here, the need was simply for good homes that were safe, sturdy and cheap to produce.

As the 20th century moved on, the trend for prefab houses altered yet again and moved more towards a designer aesthetic. Some designers decided to experiment with how the insides of the prefabs were constructed, for instance making moves to conceal pipes and plumbing or constructing buildings that had no need for “ugly” radiators, having a source of heat that was supplied having a heated cavity in the attic which would warm the house through from the ceilings downwards.

The shift also changed from houses being made solely from wood, to other materials too. In some cases, corrugated metal sheeting would be used and in particular in countries like the UK, moulded concrete slabs would be used to create housing on a mass scale.

Insuring Prefabs

If this is an idea that’s inspired you to think about perhaps building your own prefab house, then it’s important to remember the following. Although the building itself will be relatively easy to do, you still need to adhere to proper building regulations with regards to finding an appropriate site. Also make sure that not only the house itself is properly insured, but that you have the right sort of building contents insurance for your new home too. There are quite a few specialist companies that deal with insuring these types of buildings, who can guide you in the right direction making sure you and your new home are safe should the worst happen.




KKA designs a new office building for the steel manufacturer Lecor. The building is situated in Kungälv 10 kilometers north of Gothenburg. Lecor builds advanced steel constructions and of course they like to show their skills in their own building. This combined with the opportunity of creating a landmark building visible for the nearby highway has been the starting points of our design process. Building is planned to commence during 2011.

More [at KKA site](


Ahus seeking CAD services


Akershus University Hospital Announces now a tender competition for the purchase of new CAD services.

Entering into a contract for the purchase of CAD services.

This includes management and operation of [Ahus]( its CAD model of an AutoCAD platform:
• Audit Changes
• Updated PLT files for use in Ahus Technical filing system
• Updated dwg files for use in Plania
• Future needs for the creation of “new” model for the drawings that have not been part of Ahus CAD model


Signage design for public building


Subway lines inspired by London’s underground signage system highlight
a 5000m2 building in Norway − from the facade to over 200 unique door signs.


Signage design for public building

Storehagen Atrium, a 5000 m2 large governmental building, opened it’s doors to the public in September 2010 in Førde, Norway. Constructed by Futurum, the building hosts the national Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet and the regional Cultural Department among other public institutions. After a competition by invitation, Ralston & Bau was chosen to design the signage of the building. The selected signage design is using the simplicity and clarity of the underground signage systems used in London, Paris or New York. The idea was inspired by the fact that Storehagen Atrium will be an important hub in Førde, a city with the desire to become a metropolis.
Characteristic subway lines are used all through the signage system with strong colors and graphical shapes dedicated to each floor and institution. Designed following the principles of Universal design they should make it easy for any user, like persons with visual impairment, to find their way.
The mission included designing the exterior and interior signs, from directions in the public areas to the name labeling on each office door. Each of the 200 doors in the building has an unique design pattern.

Ove Mjåtveit, project leader, says:
“The Tenants Council wished for bespoke signage that embodied forward thinking – as well as expressing the safe and secure values that our institutions represents. We liked Ralston & Bau’s proposition very much and chose therefore them for the assignment. The process to coordinate all signage has been more challenging then expected – but Ralston & Bau have all the time been positive and service minded and not least helped us to drive the project forward. The work is now almost done and I’m both proud and happy of the result!”

**Name:** Storehagen Atrium

**Mission:** Signage Design

**Client:** Sogn og Fjordane fylkeskommune / Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet / Bufetat / Konfliktrådet / Pasient- og brukarombodet / DnB NOR / Sparebank 1 
**Period:** 2010

**Delivery:** concept, signage design, production follow-up

**Production:** FluorLux




Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects have won the Region Skåne’s architecture award for its construction “Strandbaden dance restaurant. The project was honored as the best building in southern Sweden in 2009.

Strandbaden dancing restaurant is a combined restaurant, meeting room and disco located in Falsterbo in Sweden’s southernmost tip. KKA won the 2007 international architectural competition in competition with 80 other proposals to design the building. The building has also been nominated for Sweden’s debut price and The Great Indoors awards.



Design Finland – Finnish Design is looking for contributors!

Design Finland – Finnish Design has been very quiet during the last year. Still we have a steady number of visitors, looking for interesting information and news about design in Finland and Finnish design.

We also have a number of designers and design brands approaching on a weekly basis.Unfortunately we haven't had enough time and resource to use all these great opportunities and share them with our readers.

We have a plan to revise the whole site in the near future. But revising the site is not enough, there needs to be content as well. That's why we need more people who are eager to follow the design scene in Finland and want to write articles, take photos or record videos about the whole thing. 

If you have a passion about Finnish and are willing to spend some of your time with the publication, this may be your opportunity. You choose you specific area of interest from design, fashion, industrial design, graphical design or modern art, just as long as it's related to Finland.

We can offer you a channel for your interests and a worldwide audience, priority access to many exclusive news and events and potential to be part of Finland's design scene.

Interested? Want to talk more? Contact Janne via email at designfinland (at)


Permanent Installation in Måltidets Hus (The House of Food) in Stavanger, Norway


Måltidets Hus is the new 9000 m2 national and international resource centre for food development, host of the Gastronomic Institute and Norwegian chef team. Ralston & Bau was commissioned by Figgjo to make a permanent installation in the reception hall. A central wall that runs three flights high was transformed into a generous, vertical feast table. Combined iconic Figgjo dishes form organic shaped plates and bowls of the table, the wall was covered with an innovative laminated wood material simulating a linen table cloth. The wood was engraved with the shapes of ghost silver ware and glasses, while a classic chair backrest on the wall top completes the illusion of the vertical table. The installation was opened to the public on the 16th of September.


Anders Thingbø, CEO Figgjo thinks: This project has had found it’s own path since it is truly innovative! The reception of the finished result was allround positive…and the final design a surprise to many.
Constance Gaard Kristiansen, product manager Figgjo: I like the vertical table more and more!


Link: [](


"Bråviksskolan" – School of Braviken, in Norrkoping community, Sweden.


Arkitektgruppen GKAK recently completed project “Bråviksskolan” – School of Braviken, in Norrkoping community, Sweden.

“Bråviksskolan is a building for contemporary schooling, for looking into the future, for different educational models, with a purpose of catering to the needs of our children. Playfulness, aiming to abandon archaic values like order and discipline in favour of improvisation and imaginaton. An ambition is to answer the creative abilities of mankind, whether young or old. Teaching will strive to meet new demands and so must the organisation. Though, the children will always be the same… Bråviksskolan aspires to affirm and assert the creative abilities of mankind, whether young or old. Teaching must strive to meet new demands and so must the educational organisation.”


Bråviksskolan in the Lindö district of Norrköping was completed in August 2009. The school is specifically built for children aged six to twelve, and has partly replaced the former Lindöskolan.

Arkitektgruppen GKAK is an architecture office based in Norrkoping and Stockholm, Sweden. Arkitektgruppen GKAK works in the wide field of architecture, planning, interior design in projects for corporate and public clients. Arkitektgruppen GKAK is part of the company group Developing Design Sweden.

Link: [Bråviksskolan](




The 30th of May 2006 the old dance hall in Falsterbo, Sweden, was
destroyed by fire. The dance hall was situated 200 meters from the beach
in a small pine wood grove on the southernmost tip of Sweden. Having been
a famous meeting place for both locals and tourists since the 1930’s the
dance hall was much mourned and it was soon decided that the house should
be rebuilt. The municipality launched an international architecture
competition that draw a record breaking interest from both media and
architects. After careful consideration the jury decided upon Kjellgren
Kaminsky’s proposal “Mirage”.READ MORE