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Restaurant Visit: Past Present at Kafe Magasinet in Sweden

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Restaurant Visit: Past Present at Kafe Magasinet in Sweden

March 21, 2017

In 2013, Swedish restauranteurs Avenyfamiljen sought to transform a historic auction house in Gothenburg, Sweden, into a multipurpose public space. But the much-loved building, which was designed by Carl Fahlström, former city architect of Gothenburg, enjoyed protected status. Thus it was crucial to preserve as much of the classic brick structure as possible.

To accomplish this marriage of old and new, the firm turned to architect Axel Robach, who was tasked with transforming the oldest part of the building into Káfe Magasinet. To maintain the architectural integrity of the space while at the same time honoring its industrial past, Robach chose a minimal approach. “The concept of the interior design was to keep it original, use the soul of the room and its humble character” to create a modern space.

Photography by Henrik Lindén, except where noted.

almost like an archaeological ruin, the existing concrete floor and walls were  9
Above: Almost like an archaeological ruin, the existing concrete floor and walls were kept and left raw, maintaining the textured traces of the building’s former structures and wiring.
to open up the space to the adjacent courtyards at each end, robach replaced la 10
Above: To open up the space to the adjacent courtyards at each end, Robach replaced large wooden doors with warm, copper-frame glass doors.
the bar and seating, which follow the &#8\2\20;mirrored symmetry&#8\2\2 11
Above: The bar and seating, which follow the “mirrored symmetry” of the space, are illuminated by industrial lighting, which, in turn complement the original pillars, now painted black.
patterns on the wall left by traces of removed electrical take the place of art. 12
Above: Patterns on the wall left by traces of removed electrical take the place of art.
&#8\2\20;untreated plywood, fiberboard, and black steel are recurrent mater 13
Above: “Untreated plywood, fiberboard, and black steel are recurrent materials in the interior, a material choice that goes in line with the raw, informal characteristic of the space,” Robach writes. Photograph by Christoffer Falk.
in keeping with the industrial feel, furnishings in the dining area are similar 14
Above: In keeping with the industrial feel, furnishings in the dining area are similarly raw and utilitarian. Much of the surfaces are unfinished, which “allows the guests to leave their own traces of use.” Photograph by Christoffer Falk.
open early morning until late evening, kafe magasinet serves coffee, tea, pastr 15
Above: Open early morning until late evening, Kafe Magasinet serves coffee, tea, pastries, light fare such as salads and pizzas, as well as in assortment of beer, wine, and cocktails.
the classicist style brick architecture of the original building can be enjoyed 16
Above: The classicist-style brick architecture of the original building can be enjoyed from one of two cobblestone courtyards, one at each end.

Traveling to Sweden? (We’re jealous.) Check out our Travel Guide to Sweden, including these not-to-be-missed spots.

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