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February 10, 2016

Creative Connection #4

Inside the mind of .... Staffan Tollgård

Staffan Tollgård leads an award-winning interior and product design studio in the heart of London’s design district. Over the last ten years, the practice has become internationally known for its work in residential design, most recently appearing in Architectural Digest France’s list of the best 100 designers in the world.  A multi-disciplinary and collaborative studio, the Design Group has extensive experience of new-builds, listed buildings and residences in central London and is currently working on substantial projects in London, Riyadh, Amman and the Algarve.

 

Buildings you love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many buildings to choose from that deciding on one is just not possible. First off, there’s the Guggenheim in New York.  The amazing walk up the central atrium offers an incredible way of viewing art and celebrates the building’s primary function.  It answers the brief, but does it in a very beautiful way.

 

Although I’ve never been, I love how powerfully Falling Water is connected to the landscape.  The water flows through the mountain into the house and out again, not a view but part of the house itself.

 

Sagrada Familia for the sheer jaw-dropping magical fantasy of it.

 

Place des Vosges in Paris. A very satisfying Square that I return to whenever I visit Paris. I am just happy every time I walk through the arches.  It is the epitome of symmetrical beauty at the right scale.

 

Villa Savoye as an idea is also very inspiring to me.  The house as a machine for living is something I return time and time again to in my designs, albeit in a softer way.

   

 

Textures you like and don’t like

 

 

Love: Textured woods and metals.

 

Dislike: Anything too glossy especially if it’s not true to its nature.

 

 

Favourite all time colour scheme

 

 

 

 

Autumn.  We recently visited Biltmore, the largest private residence in America, when the leaves were turning and I was reminded of how much I loved our trip to Japan as we moved through along with the reddening, golden landscape.

 

No one does colour schemes better than nature.

 

 

Trip that most inspired you

 

 

 

 

Japan 2007. We toured the country for 4 weeks, spending time in cities as well as the countryside. I think that Sweden and Japan share a lot of design ground, from the importance of nature and local materials to the primacy of function. We spent a lot of time in Kyoto and I didn’t stop taking notes and sketching.
 

 

Whose personal style you admire

 

 

 

I know he’s fictitious, but I have always admired how stylish Dickie Greenleaf (played by Jude Law) was in the Talented Mr Ripley.  The real-life version would probably be Steve McQueen.  In design terms, I am a huge fan of Lyndon Neri, half of the design powerhouse that is Neri&hu.
 

 

What catches your eye first when you walk into a room

 

Harmony, proportions and function.
 

 

What should people be generous with in a room

 

If you can afford to, let the furniture layouts have space to breathe.
 

 

What’s your favourite environment to create for

 

Living rooms designed for living in. Entertaining, working, hanging out: the living room should be able to do it all.
 

 

If you’re on a tight budget, where can you save money

 

 

 

I find that deciding which architectural features should stand out and which should sit back or blend helps me decide where to spend money.  You can’t have too many stars in the same story.  Some things have to play a supporting role and you can look to save money in these areas.
 

 

Blogs to be inspired by

 

Remodelista, Dering Hall, Monocle, Copperline, Film and Furniture, Chilli and Mint
   

 

What would other people say your favourite saying is

 

Why not?
   

 

To give some context, a brief bio of who you are, recent projects etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Sweden, my personal style is borne out of Asian and Scandinavian functionalism, combined with a strong appreciation of furniture as sculptural art. Over the last ten years I have crystallised my design ethos into a signature principle: the search for the distinctive Red Thread in each project.

 

The Scandinavian notion of the ‘Röda Tråden’ is one used across all creative endeavour and is used to describe the unique creative DNA of a piece of work: the linking or guiding theme, motif or fundamental principle.  For me, this means that within the client, architecture and environment can be found the clues to a distinctive and powerful story that will guide and inform my design of the interiors.  A background in feature film production has reinforced my belief that the power of story-telling is fundamental to today’s notion of and appreciation for authentic luxury.  The history of the buildings in which I work, the shared stories of the design objects I curate and the unique stories of the individuals who live within them weave a powerful (red) web.

 

Two recently completed projects include a resolutely contemporary reworking of a Grade II listed keystone house on a Chelsea Square and the sensitive reimagining of a Grade II listed Neo-Georgian town house on Wilton Place.  Both projects are respectful of the traditional architectural envelope but bring the interiors into the twenty-first century: Chelsea Square with a sharply minimalist, geometric focus while Wilton blurs the edges between old and new with a softer brush.

 

To view some of Staffan Tollgårds’ Award Winning Design, visit: www.tollgard.co.uk

 

 

Staffan Tollgard creative connection collage3

Photo credit: actoroscar.blogspot.com

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