Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHAA 34 Spring 2012 Contents PhotographyPeterGuthrie
THE EYE OF THE STRÖM
Swedish architect Magnus Ström (inset) originally moved to the UK in 1998
to study at Por tsmo uth University. After holding sen ior position s at a couple
of practices he decided to go it alone in 2010, setting up shop in the New
Forest – a curious location for a hot young architect on Wallpaper’s 2012
Architect Direc to ry. He has recently completed a stu n n ing house in Suffolk
(pictured above and below), in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (an
area of cou n tryside with significan t lan dscape valu e). The distinguishing
lin ear design referen ces the building form – the ‘ lon g cottage’ – fou n d in the
nearby village. stromarchitect s.com/
What prompted you to set up your practice in the New Forest?
I sometimes ask myself that! After graduation I worked in Dublin, and
I was then asked to join my university tutor at his practice in the New Forest.
This suited me well, with my background and interest in sailing. After eight
years, Lymington had become my home. I do miss the city and what it has
to offer, but London is only one and a half hours away and I am now quoting
for two jobs there. There are both positive and negative sides to being in the
sticks, but as I’m trying to be a niche practice, I don’t think location is essential.
Does your Scandinavian heritage influe nce your work?
Yes – undeniably, there is a ‘Swedishness’ to my work. This is not just about
Scan din avian design , but rather about a way of life. S wedish Fun ction alism
was bo rn ou t of a belief in hu ma nism, tradition , moderation , ha ndcrafted
perfectio n ism, modesty, quietude an d pu rposefuln ess. Co upled with the
dark , co ld winters an d lo ng light su mme rs, the Swedes were searching
for a design style that co mbined simplicity with beauty, hu man ism an d
democratic ideals, whilst con n ecting with n ature.
Describe your aesthetic in three words. Quiet, con tex tu al, mini malist.
How has the curre nt economic downturn impacted on you?
My practice is only two years old and I set up in a recession,
so I think that it hasn’t affected me
hugely. Most of my clien ts are
private individuals who are taking
advan tage of low interest rates,
cheaper hou se prices. It is a go od
time to build a new house!
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