Study trip to Sweden inspires top UK designers and architects

In June, Swedish Wood hosted a three-day study trip for 15 top UK interior designers and architects to inspire them to use more Swedish pine in their projects. 

The trip, from 13th – 15th, began in Stockholm where visitors were shown examples of modern Swedish wood interiors, including the new Architecture School with its panelled interior and the Dome of Vision. Magnus Silfverhielm of AIX Arkitekter and Elizabeth Hatz, Associate Professor at the Architecture School later talked about the use of wood in Swedish interior design from different perspectives; Birgit Östman of SP discussed fire regulations in Europe.

The delegation also visited a tree nursery and forest in the Karlskoga area followed by an evening seminar with Swedish Wood’s Director of Interior and Design, Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, presenting contemporary Swedish interior design in pine, and Alf Karlsson exploring surface treatments and finishes.

The group also discussed the latest developments in pine panelling products, including different surface and colour treatments, with a representative from the Swedish sawmill industry. The final day provided an opportunity to see state-of-the-art production of finished wood panelling, with a visit to the Moelven planing and painting mill in Säffle.

UK delegates learn more about Swedish wood and its various applications

15 top UK interior designers and architects 

Charlotte Apelgren said, “The UK is our most important export market, and it’s great for us to be able to develop closer ties with some of the country’s most influential designers to explore how to use this natural and renewable materials, Swedish pine, in the widest possible range of trend-setting projects.”

The trip was the second phase in Swedish Wood’s UK Interior Design Project, which started with a seminar Interior Design for Sustainable Living held last December at the Royal Institute of British Architect’s headquarters in London. Its aim was to inspire designers to join a collaboration with Swedish Wood on one or more interior design projects of their own. The companies working on projects with Swedish Wood will receive support, including technical information and advice, help with sourcing products and a financial contribution towards the supply of appropriate timber products. Once the projects are complete, they will be photographed and publicised.

Roddy Langmuir of Cullinan Studio said, “There is a timelessness in the way the Swedish timber producers nurture their forests. It was brilliant to see that wood is so deeply rooted in their culture, that growing, cutting, and fine-finishing has become part of a seamless circular economy.”

Naomi Cleaver, designer and TV presenter, said, “To have the story of timber production in stunning Sweden revealed to us in such vivid detail, was a never-to-be-forgotten experience, from seedling production to timber product application and even an exploration of our emotional relationship with wood. I’ll be using beautiful, sustainable Swedish wood on my projects now with an entirely new kind of energy and vision.”

About the UK 
The UK is Sweden’s largest export market for sawn and planed wood products. In 2015, 2.8 million cubic metres were exported to the UK, accounting for 22% of total Swedish exports of wood. Swedish pine and spruce are leading wood materials in the UK, not only for construction purposes but also interior fixtures and fittings and for outdoor use. Three quarter of the wood exported to the UK is Swedish spruce. The remainder is pine. Around 45% of all coniferous wood imported into the UK comes from Sweden.