Creating Creative Space

Creating Creative Space

Creative Space is a place where creative people can meet, exchange ideas and be innovative. It is also a way of impacting The Absolut Company's work with sustainable and innovative solutions. We got the opportunity to help develop the concept of the project, and together we worked on a conceptual design that derived from The Absolut Company's ability to constantly reinvent and renew its brand. The working-hub Creative Space, also developed from the concept of reinventing, remaking and reusing, is a place where knowledge and invention, not money, is hard currency. A creative concept that can help reduce environmental impact, save money and energy, encourage creative thinking and innovative solutions. 

The design process started as an inventory of The Absolut Company's existing resources. At the different production facilities in Åhus we were guided trough the entire production; witnessing the process from grain to the final product inside the iconic bottle. One of the main reasons of our visit was to localize waste products possible to utilize in our design of Creative Space.  This turned out to be a more difficult task than we initially thought, since the production of The Absolut Company was very streamlined and waste products were few and already well taken care of. Nonetheless a few products were found and have been incorporated into Creative Space; cardboard boxes and cardboard tubes (used in the production) are re-used as seating and decoration, caps are re-made as magnets and the iconic bottle is re-invented in different lighting installations.

The layout of Creative Space consists of four 40” containers and a connecting outer landscape, all inspired by the production and the products of Absolut. Our idea was to create different workspaces (inside and around the containers) that enable and inspire different type of tasks. Creative Space consists of the five zones: the BAR, the DISTILLERY, the WORKSHOP, the BOTTLERY and the LANDSCAPE.

The BAR is a room inspired by the end product, a place intended for the casual encounter and relaxation; here one can drink a cup of coffee, meet ones fellow creator or be inspired by the insides of books and magazines.

The design of the DISTILLERY derives from the distillation process characterized by basic cylinder shapes and cleanness. The room is a tabula rasa - where one can brainstorm and where ideas can be distilled.

The BOTTLERY is the zone of efficient working. Inspired by the production processes, conveyer belts and a fast pace; in this room the furniture is mobile and the walls are large whiteboard surfaces for writing and sketching.

The (last indoor room is the) WORKSHOP; a small office/workshop hybrid inspired by the warehouse and the creative processes involving design and prototyping. Here one can create smaller mockups, sew and use the 3D printer and laser cutter. 

The LANDSCAPE surrounding and connecting the containers is built up by pallets from The Absolut Company's production (and will be returned to the warehouse in Åhus at the end of the event). This is a flexible and playful space where larger group activities can take place, where one can play Ping-Pong or just sit in the summer sun for a while. Everywhere surrounded by winter wheat as a reminder of the origin of the process in the soil. 

Working with Creative Space has been an eventful journey where we, within the design principles of The Absolut Company, have been let more or less loose with the conceptual design. That is the kind of creative freedom every architect/designer dreams of, but with it comes also a responsibility. It has been a tight timetable and fast decision-making requires you to have an overall view of all the processes going on simultaneously! 

Creative Space is designed by the architects Charlotte Stuveback & Astrid Skog from Skog & Stuveback

It has been a very interesting collaboration between different professions and we were lucky to have a talented and energetic building/stylist team lead by Åsa Rosén whom was working closely with us for fast implementation of ideas during the last phase of the project. We have tried to put in something extra in every room, a little something that is characteristic for that zone/function, a detail here and there that will hopefully catch your eye. Double-use and efficiency have been keywords.  

We are looking forward to see the space filled up with creators participating in the re-use of the old shipping containers and together push the concepts of reinventing- remaking and reusing further.