The spectacular greenhouse is set within the Ästad Vingård and creates a stimulating interplay between architecture, food and art
Words by Joe Lloyd
Sweden has not yet won the culinary plaudits of its Nordic neighbours. This is perhaps unfair—its major cities all boast strong local restaurant scenes. But it lacks the sort of headline venue, like Copenhagen’s Noma or Oslo’s Maaemo, that draws the eyes of the world.
This might change with the new building for Äng, a zero-waste, one Michelin Star restaurant on Sweden’s west coast. Set within Ästad Vingård, a vineyard specialising in sparkling white wines, Äng seeks to engage all senses and create, in the words of Norm Architects, ‘a stimulating interplay between architecture, food, wine, interiors and art.’
Viewed across rolling meadows, Äng resembles a classic greenhouse, with glass panels and a sloped roof. Closer up, and you can see the twist: the iron structure of the greenhouse is housed inside the glass rather than outside, lending the whole a smooth, prism-like profile. The glass reflects the surrounding nature, which appears to envelop the structure.
The space was designed by the Danish studio Norm Architects, who paid great attention to the sequence of arrival. Visitors enter by passing a herb garden and a lakeside view, before entering through a heavy glass door.
Inside, one passes an open kitchen before entering into a bar and lounge area, where visitors can recline and view the landscapes around them.
The dining room itself is hidden beneath the ground floor, and entered by an internal lift. Guests tour the wine cellar before settling in this hidden space, which is built into a slope and provides further spectacular views.
Norm collaborated with design studio BonniBonne to create products for the interior fit-out. Much of the furniture was designed by Norm and designer Keiji Ashizawa for Karimoku, Japan’s largest wooden furniture maker. The tables and chairs in the upper lounge are made from Japanese oak, with visible knots tying the interior space to nature.
Other touches include Kvadrat panelling, lighting by Copenhagen’s Acker & Co, a wall sculpture by designers Sara Martinsen and newly commissioned wooden and stone pieces by the Norwegian artist Anders Pfeffer Gjengedal (Løvfall). The overall effect is a restrained elegance, bridging Nordic and Japanese aesthetics—and allowing the natural world to shine.
Photography by Jonas Bjerre Poulsen
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