Malmö, Schweden, Västra Hamnen, September 2020

Overcome with curiosity in foreign places!

In 2020, the journalist Katharina Riedl, the architect and author Claudia Gerhäusser and the photographer Wolfgang Croce were on the go to capture selected PREFA objects from eight countries for our readers.

In the following blog article, Claudia Gerhäusser shares some of her travel experiences that were especially impressive for her as an architect and did not fit between the book covers of PREFARENZEN 2021.

Larvik, Norway, promenade and harbour, August 2020

Larvik, Norway, promenade and harbour,
August 2020

Being on the go brings surprising insights. When you take a closer look at the Norwegian coast, it’s clear that there are three different types of twilight – astronomical, nautical and civil twilight. The last one of these three got its name because there is supposedly still enough natural light to be able to read a map. That smells like sea travel. Around this time, Larvik is immersed in a deep blue with pink clouds.

Larvik, Norway, Quality Hotel Grand Farris,
August 2020

Larvik, Norway, Quality Hotel Grand Farris, August 2020

You sleep well when you’re in foreign places because you have a sharper view of things, your surroundings and people. Since the nights in Larvik are barely four hours long, I wanted to know what they look like and took a picture of the brief moment of darkness.

Larvik, Norway, on the way to Stavern, August 2020

Larvik, Norway, on the way to Stavern,
August 2020

Blue is one of the colours of the north. On the coast of southern Norway, you can get your free share of the dark blue juniper berries between rocks that reach down to the sea.

Larvik, Norway, Herman Nilson & Sønner A/S,
August 2020

Larvik, Norway, Herman Nilson & Sønner A/S, August 2020

At Rolf Bjarne Linnerud’s tinsmith company, we came across large machines, aluminium on a roll, all kinds of metal plates and these beautiful detailed drawings on the bending and edging machine. Traces of hard, creative work!

Copenhagen, Denmark, Dorte Mandrup A/S, September 2020

Copenhagen, Denmark, Dorte Mandrup A/S,
September 2020

Whoever is familiar with architectural everyday practice knows how many steps are necessary until a draft is almost complete. Therefore, we just had to take a look at the shelf at Dorte Mandrup A/S in Copenhagen. It’s stunning and at the same time calming to see how the architects’ concentrated energy is conserved in numerous small and colourful working models.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to look around. Malmö was already planned and waiting for us on the other side of the Öresund. The two cities Copenhagen and Malmö may be Scandinavian when it comes to weather and atmosphere, but there are differences at every corner. Whether Malmö is really Copenhagen’s grubby sister, as some say?

Malmö, Sweden, Turning Torso,
September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Turning Torso, September 2020

Quite the contrary! For a long time, Malmö was an industrial city that was shaped by shipyards and factories. With the necessary humour and a great deal of self-confidence, Malmö built the Turning Torso in 2006. Was it intended as a lighthouse or a middle finger? In any case, you see it from every corner of the city and certainly also from the other side of the Öresund.

Malmö, Sweden, Västra Hamnen, September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Västra Hamnen,
September 2020

A few metres behind the Turning Torso in Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour), the city on Sweden’s western coast reveals its quality of life in the twilight: a strong breeze, intense light and a striking view to the west.

Malmö, Sweden, Konditori Katarina,
September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Konditori Katarina, September 2020

There’s no trip without food! Malmö’s bakeries are tempting and at Konditori Katarina on the Stortorget, kardemummasnurra, kransbit and kanelsnäcka taste especially good.

Malmö, Sweden, old fish market, September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, old fish market,
September 2020

There’s also an incredible range of liquorice flavours, and the fish tacos at the old fish market are definitely worth it if you don’t have an ocean right around the corner where you live.

Malmö, Sweden, Knut’s Chapel with the flower kiosk Östra Kyrkogården,
September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Knut’s Chapel with the flower kiosk Östra Kyrkogården, September 2020

Two simple, large windows on the north side allow indirect light to flow into the flower kiosk designed by the architect Sigurd Lewerentz, which is located by the Eastern Cemetery, less than 20 minutes away from the train station. Inside, the light is reflected by silver-plated foils and the plants are staged in soft light. One of those architectural icon moments that has its own surprising peculiarities. You should ride a bike back to the inner city. Urban strolling at its best!

Malmö, Sweden, Malmö Open Studios, September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Malmö Open Studios,
September 2020

For the Malmö Open Studios, artists invite the city into their studios. In an old attic, the performer Emie/Eva-Marie Elg took us with her into a world of cyborgs, sounds and posthumanities.

Malmö, Sweden, Slottsträdgården,
September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Slottsträdgården, September 2020

Pehr-Henrik Ling invented Swedish gymnastics in Malmö towards the end of the 18th century. It didn’t take long and all of Europe was doing gymnastics in groups or alone at home, inside and outside – and as you can see, sometimes even in a suit, inspired by his example. Awareness and flexibility of body and soul were the main focus. Ling developed the wall bars you can still find in every sports hall.

Malmö, Sweden, bygge factories, September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, bygge factories,
September 2020

Wow! The small shops in Malmö where you can still buy nails individually and find all kinds of handmade things for your everyday living and building pleasure are called bygge factories.

Malmö, Sweden, Escort Above the Roofs,
September 2020

Malmö, Sweden, Escort Above the Roofs, September 2020

To have a better view of the PREFA objects, it was sometimes necessary to see them from the roof on a neighbouring construction site or get an entire fire brigade team to let you use their rack wagon. We received a lot of support from all sides – it just wouldn’t have worked without it. In Malmö, for instance, Martin and Ibrahim provided detailed information on the history of the industry, the shipyards and Malmö’s plans for the future. And in Kapellen near Antwerp, Dirk opened the LUX cultural centre for us and had something to say about every room, every detail. He knew every light switch!

Nantes, France, New Perspectives, August 2020

Nantes, France, New Perspectives,
August 2020

What is architecture? What could it be? An offer to mankind! On our way to the architectural office DLW in Nantes, we came across wondrous art and architectual installations. For instance, the „Sliding Landscape“ by Tangui ROBERT and TACT Architectes at the Bastion Saint-Pierre is a slide around the outer wall of an old fortification tower. With speed, you slide into a hovering state and many centuries of construction history and affairs pass you by.

Nantes, France, Gazing in Amazement,
August 2020

In September, it was still hot in Nantes, even if François from DLW told us that the weather changes three times a day in this city. The massive falling body of water designed by Stéphane Thidet by the old opera house at Place Graslin still created a good mood and had an almost magical attraction. It is part of Le Voyage à Nantes (VAN), a festival of art in the public space that had a direct impact on us and made us gaze in amazement. It’s pretty cool to see architecture in motion and rooms staged in an unusual way.

Nové Hamry, Czech Republic, September 2020

Nové Hamry, Czech Republic,
September 2020

In foreign places, we do things differently, we escape from everyday life and are more open when we meet people. We are overcome with curiosity, which makes us more attentive, and moments like these are more intense and remain in our memory much longer. Sometimes, you just have to take a closer look. For example, we almost missed the stunning holiday home in Nové Hamry in the midst of trees, red berries and tall grass.

Budapest, Hungary, on the Danube,
July 2020

Budapest, Hungary, on the Danube, July 2020

We made it to Budapest the evening before the interview: Strolling along the Danube and taking a few deep breaths before our next stop, the office of Bánáti + Hartvig Architects.

Budapest, Hungary, memorial plaque for Sára Salkaházi and Vilma Bernovits on the Danube, July 2020

Budapest, Hungary, memorial plaque for Sára Salkaházi and Vilma Bernovits on the Danube,
July 2020

A few minutes for a city where times overlap, a city that almost has everything – including style and strong women. Places have often experienced much more than they can reveal in one moment. It takes the right photo to expose everything that’s colliding here.

Budapest, Hungary,
July 2020

Budapest, Hungary, July 2020

Budapest was created in 1873 out of three cities and is still separated by the Danube into two parts today. The matching flip flops have a sense of humour about it.

Graz, Österreich, Socken Malmö Live, September 2020

Graz, Austria, Malmö Live socks,
September 2020

Good trips end with a souvenir at home. In this case, architecture to go. Whoever is familiar with Malmö’s architectural highlights knows right away what kinds of socks these are.

CLUE

With the PREFARENZEN dialogue platform, PREFA created a forum for the further development of innovative and architecturally sophisticated roof and façade solutions made of aluminium.

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