CAIAX: The interior architects with many hats
By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Studio C_Indoor
In the past year and a half, maximising the cosiness and comfiness of our homes has become more important than ever. With that, the nature of interior design is also shifting towards a focus on more functional spaces with softer features. Norwegian company CAIAX is not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to interior architecture. For them, collaboration with architects is the key to creating cohesive spaces that can be likened to pieces of art.
For Linn Aamodt, interior design is all about the details. Her company, CAIAX, was founded in 2014. The company’s extensive repertoire of projects ranges from houses to luxury cabins, offices and restaurants. Despite working across a wide range of projects, CAIAX still manages to inject its own signature into the work. Aamodt describes the firm’s style as “classical, with a hint of rock vibes”.
Interior architects play an important part in complementing the architecture. “Interior architecture involves a lot more than just picking cushions and wallpaper,” Aamodt says. Very early on in the process, she and her team work together with architects. In addition, they work closely with plumbers, electricians and carpenters, and it is clear that CAIAX has refined the art of multitasking. “As interior architects, we have to be able to wear several hats. We need to have the ability to collaborate with all the people involved in each project, and be able to juggle several moving parts,” Aamodt explains.
From having a solid understanding of construction and building practices, the interior architects also make decisions on acoustics, materials, finishes and colours, all the way down to minute details. Interior design is about how spaces are experienced, and how they feel. “Our job is to enhance the way spaces are utilised. We are all about our clients being able to maximise the enjoyment of whatever space we are working on,” says Aamodt. “Sometimes, our clients have a pretty clear picture of what they would like, but they struggle to create a cohesive solution that works throughout. That’s where we come in, and make sure they don’t have to worry about anything.”
It’s all in the details
To a large extent, the design elements indoors are what set the mood and vibe of a place, and that’s why to CAIAX, the minute details make an opportunity to really let their talent shine. One of the firm’s recent projects is Tunheims Lodge, with high-end cabins in Vanylvs Fjord, on the west coast of Norway. The client wanted to create three cabins with three distinct looks: one with a maritime vibe, one with an Argentinian edge, and a third that would be reminiscent of a 19th-century fishing log cabin. “We rose to the challenge immediately,” Aamodt says, clearly proud of the project. “At first, it seemed like it would be difficult to create a cohesive ensemble with quite a mis-matched idea. But I feel we managed to create a final product where all three cabins have a unique feel, yet it all works well together, too.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge, according to Aamodt, was giving slight hints and nudges to the theme for each cabin, but without making it garish or blatantly obvious.
After an initial consultation with a client, CAIAX gets to work with the numerous contractors, while constantly liaising with the architects. “We work closely with our clients throughout the process. Our aim is to create visually pleasing and functional spaces, and to work alongside the architects to do so. At times, it can be difficult for our clients to see the whole picture, so we fine-tune their ideas.”
It is clear that CAIAX’s many years’ experience, as well as the team’s keen eye for details, have allowed them to perfect the art of creating visually pleasing places. Currently, the firm is working on a ski chalet in Hemsedal in Norway. The space is unique – and with eight-metre-high ceilings, there is a lot of room to create something wonderful.
What’s in store for the future of interior architecture? Aamodt sees a shift from bold features and symmetry towards softer, rounder features. “Perhaps it’s a symptom of the softer life many of us are striving for,” she says, laughing.
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