Josef Frank inspires Anki Linde's installation of Scandinavian modern design at the Swedish Consul's residence in New York.
Jen Renzi -- Interior Design, 6/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
INGER CLAESSON WASTBERG and her husband Olle, the consul general of Sweden, wanted to dedicate the public rooms of their new Manhattan residence to an exhibition of Scandinavian design. Anki Linde helped the Wastbergs orchestrate "a livable interior rather than simply an exhibition, so that people could use and interact with the space." Visitors to the Beaux Arts-style mansion receive a delightful surprise—a comfortable, and eccentric interior that is a refreshing antidote to the expected ambassadorial formality, thanks in large part to the designs of Josef Frank.
The Viennese-born architect and designer, embraced as the father of Scandinavian modernism when he moved to Sweden in 1934, proved to be the perfect link between the Wastberg's native and adopted countries. "Frank stands for a sort of openness," says Linde, "by blending cultural and stylistic influences, from Arts and Crafts to Asian to Shaker." Using numerous Frank pieces in her installation, she created a homage to Scandinavian style and hospitality.
"The dining room, wrapped in a sheer, Scandinavian blonde voile, is tranquil, quiet, and somehow protective from the hard city outside." Admitting to a slight obsession with "Viking motifs," Linde fashioned a rug from four cowhides, covered a bench in horsehair, and added branches to the room's crystal chandelier. In contrast to the dining area's pale glow, the music room is dominated by deep colors and ornate patterns, "inspired by dark winter days in Sweden, when people behave very differently," curling up and burrowing in. The design of the residence likewise influences one's actions, concludes Linde, by putting visitors completely at ease.