Building with wood has many environmental benefits, and it’s increasingly becoming a mate-rial used in larger building projects. In Praise Of Shadows is an architecture firm that harness-es its qualities to an utmost extent, with a passion for the sustainability and beauty inherent to the material.

Sustainability and interest in wood as a building material were prevalent from day one for Katari-na Lundeberg and Fredric Benesch. Having seen a clear development of the industrial wooden techniques around Europe, they were inspired to take the progress and implement it further in Sweden. The studio was founded 12 years ago with a clear aim: to create beautiful buildings where the aesthetics play in harmony with sustainable choices, increasing wellbeing for inhabit-ants, as well as the nature.

The firm’s project range is intentionally kept broad: the energy that goes into smaller projects cir-cles back into their larger projects. Private houses, housing projects, interior design, exhibitions and public spaces are all on the drawing board. “There are so many benefits of working with wood. Not only is it incredibly beautiful; it’s tactile, constructive, sustainable and can be used as a great substitute for concrete. Circularity is key – we believe in the natural rhythm between the materials and the world they inhabit,” says Benesch.

In Praise of Shadows: Going back to the roots

Le Pavillon hexagonal in Paris. Photo: Agnes Clotis

 
Projects that unite

The studio is part of a greater initiative to bring Swedish wooden design onto an international plat-form. A pavilion proudly residing in the Swedish Institute in Paris is an example of ingenious up-cycled and recycled pieces of wood that have turned into an inspiring room for meetings, made to be deconstructed and used again in another location – a manifestation of creative thinking and collaboration across borders, with the Swedish wood tradition confidently at the centre of atten-tion.

The first Aesop store in Stockholm was decorated with wooden interiors and bestowed with care-fully selected pieces of a 100-year-old locally sourced elm tree, creating a balanced synergy be-tween a modern expression and natural tactility. Having constructed a number of private villas, In Praise Of Shadows is now growing its focus on residential buildings. “More entrepreneurs and builders are open to working with sustainable materials, and there’s a real pioneering spirit be-tween everyone involved; we’re in this together for a better world,” says Lundeberg.

With Klockelund, for the client Folkhem, in Stockholm being one of two residential projects launch-ing next year, it’s clear that the interest in building sustainably is growing increasingly serious. The return of wood is here.

In Praise of Shadows: Going back to the roots

Illustration of Klockelund. Photo: In Praise of Shadows

Web: www.inpraiseofshadows.se
Instagram: @inpraiseofshadowsark

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