Boxen, the new studio gallery at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm, is a robust machine for fast-changing, experimental exhibitions. It is a generous temporary structure that can be used in its entirety—inside and out, from bottom to top, by both exhibitors and audience—as a tactile, physically engaging experience.
Placed in one of two 19th Century military exercise halls, which were appropriated as cultural venues in the 1960s, Boxen contributes a new element of utilitarian architecture to the constellation of spaces in the museum. A ramp wraps around the gallery, allowing visitors to view the exhibitions from multiple points in space. In this way, people are positioned as an integrated part of the Boxen’s external expression. Specific spatial relationships between the gallery and the surrounding hall appear as the ramp ascends through the space.
Built from a pre-fabricated standard section steel structure, and lined internally with birch plywood and white plasterboard, Boxen is covered by a corrugated steel roof. The primary structure, with columns at regular intervals, make up the main frame of the gallery and is exposed externally. Cantilevering from the primary structure, the ramp begins at the main opening, passing by a viewing platform at a large circular opening, and ending with a balcony that stretches the entire length of the gallery. From this balcony, a concealed stairway allows visitors to re-enter the gallery proper. The roof, lifted from the walls to connect the exhibition space to the surrounding hall, allows natural daylight to enter the main interior space.
Credits: DIFK AS / Florian Kosche, Promostal, Johan Dehlin Dehlin Brattgård, Kieran Long ArkDes, Johannes Brattgård Dehlin Brattgård