With the usual good mix of short reviews of exhibitions; notes about new products or relaunches and photo essays of a fascinating selection of the houses and apartments - here all the homes of design professionals - there is a sub heading .... so this is the 'romkvaliteter' or room quality issue of Nytt Rom.
In his preface, the editor Hans Petter Smeby explains why there is this focus for this issue …..
“Interior magazines and articles on the topic are often dominated by furnishing and elegant styling, while the qualities of the room itself are often ignored. It is a challenge in a two-dimensional medium to describe an overall quality. If you describe the room’s own quality, as a place, as a three-dimensional whole, you may discover new qualities and inspiration. A room can have interesting building details in floors, walls and ceilings that are dominating. Reason for originality can also be colouring of surfaces, or interesting furniture, or special lighting, as well as stunning views to the horizon or out at pine trees in the wood.”
So not about what you might expect in a magazine about Scandinavian design - not simply about the high quality of Scandinavian design but, much more interesting, about the character and quality of spaces in which we set the design ... how well-designed furniture and objects are often difficult to judge objectively from a photograph taken in a carefully-styled studio set and really should not be seen in isolation because everything we buy, particularly furniture, has to function in a real space and occupy a real place ... so this is less about the object and more about context.
There is a brief assessment of the new DAC (Danish Architecture Centre) on the harbour in Copenhagen and photographs of their first big exhibition - Welcome Home.
Longer profiles of the homes of people working in design include this month the Oslo home of Gitte Witt and Filip Loebbert; the apartment of Marie Graunbøl in Enghave Plads in Vesterbro in Copenhagen and the homes of Jeppe Christensen of Reform and Common Seating and of Hannah Trickett in Ørestaden in Copenhagen.
What is common to all these interiors is a general feeling of clean open space, most still with white walls, with careful placing of classic design pieces along with more unusual and more personal pieces of pottery or items brought back from travels. Photographs were taken from further back so cornices and floors are shown giving at least some sense of the height and scale of the spaces and the inclusion of windows is interesting, in part because this shows how important light is and how important it is to consider how light changes through the day illuminating and then throwing into shadow parts of a room and of course it is fascinating to see that most Scandinavian homes are a curtain-free zone. What clearly is important, to make it all work, is the designers eye for choosing and mixing and placing.
The dining room in the apartment of Jeppe Christensen is great with a deep blue wall - that distinct deep blue slightly softer and greyer than French navy - is this the St Paul blue from Frama - with a bench against it with a strong orange colour for seating on one side of the white table and then arranged around the other sides a collection of classic chairs with a Thonet bentwood arm chair in black; an Arne Jacobsen Grand Prix in black; an Eames wire chair; a Workshop Chair by Cecile Manz and a Standard Chair by Jean Prouvé and again in black. Above the table is a bold but ultra-simple white pendant lamp although not the usual light from Louis Poulsen or Le Klint or even a Sinus by Piet Hein but a pendant designed by Gino Sarfatti. Clearly the skill is to imitate a good conversation … know what to quote to show you know what you are talking about, mix things up by combining very different things and then throw in something unexpected.
There is an alternative to plain walls …there are photographs of the display rooms at Skagerak - out on the north side of Kastellet in Copenhagen - with some of the rooms painted with designs by All The Way to Paris and an amazing photograph, towards the end, of furniture from Hay shown in the Palazzo Clerisi in a room lined with ornate gilded panelling and mirrors.
Along with a lot more there is a photo review of the new restaurant on the Silo building overlooking the north harbour in Copenhagen and a photograph of the recently re launched NOMA in their new home in Copenhagen.
As you begin to think that some of these ideas might be do-able, Nytt Rom throws in three buildings that are really beyond the dreams of most - a house on a Danish beach by Norm; a house in a steep-sided wooded valley by Stiv Kulig and a house by Think Architects that clings to an outcrop of rock against a mountain backdrop ... design set in the space of stunning landscapes.