A conversation with Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent at Frieze London 2021 unpacking his exhibition exploring the dimensions of space within the context of the African diaspora.
Special Project N°3
Floragatan 13 Curated By Acne Studios
Photography by Philippe Chancel
September 2020, Paris, France — A Magazine Curated By presents FLORAGATAN 13 CURATED BY ACNE STUDIOS, an architectural and design survey of the new Acne Studios headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden — an exceptional historical building both restored and transformed as a fashion atelier and corporate office. Known as Floragatan 13 (for its Stockholm address), the edifice was completed in 1972 as the Embassy of the Czech Republic, designed by Jan Bočan from the Czech architect bureau Atelier Beta Prague.
Conceived as a visual essay by acclaimed French photographer Philippe Chancel, this 100-page document delves into the building floor by floor, beginning with the sixth level management offices and descending ten storeys through each crucial component of the design and production ateliers including inspiring communal and private spaces such as creative director Jonny Johansson’s office, the ground floor library, underground canteen and photo studio.
“I’m never really in my office. Just to look at emails. But I have a daybed in there, a really non-designer daybed,” confesses Johansson, whose personal anecdotes can be found throughout. “I have a lot of respect for architects and furniture designers,” said Johansson, musing on the experimental sofa he designed for Acne Studios in 2008 that has been reproduced for Floragatan 13. “In the end I’m happy to crawl back into the fabric corner. That is enough for me.”
From floor to floor, Philippe Chancel’s crisp, exacting digital photography is accompanied by insightful quotes by Acne Studios’ creative director Jonny Johansson, architect Johannes Norlander, the Acne Studios teams and external artistic collaborators, who each reveal the creative processes they applied to create unique works for Floragatan 13. Numerous floors reveal the inner workings of a fashion house, from storage rooms filled with bolts of fabric and hardware to legal offices and meeting rooms, or production and design studios that expose both the artisanal and industrial elements of contemporary fashion today. Others reflect the brand’s image, highlighting bespoke and site-specific design projects by long- time Acne Studios favourites, including a state-of-the-art lighting network designed by Benoit Lalloz, furniture by Max Lamb, archival fabric collages by Daniel Silver, and extruded bronzes by Anton Alvarez. “I immersed myself in Swedish geology for months. Initially desk-based research, and then in-situ research,” says Max Lamb, who recounts stories surrounding his stone furniture project that graces the building’s lobby. “Acne Studios always loved my stonework, but there had never been an appropriate place for it until Floragatan 13.”
Designed by Savvy Studio between Mexico City and NYC, FLORAGATAN 13 CURATED BY ACNE STUDIOS is presented as an embossed envelope in matte grey card designed to mimic the vertical textures of the building’s concrete façade. On a contrasting high-gloss paper inside, layout and font elements include deconstructed floor-by-floor blueprints that reflect a deep study of official typography and archival embassy documents.
FLORAGATAN 13 CURATED BY ACNE STUDIOS features the work of: Alex Knost, Anton Alvarez, Benoit Lalloz, Blå Station, Bruce of Los Angeles, Colin Dodgson, Daniel Silver, Grant Levy Lucero, Gwenllian South, Helmut Lang, Jan Bočan, Max Lamb, Peter Schlesinger, Pierre Chapo, and Viviane Sassen.
In partnership with Acne Studios, this limited-edition print magazine is available immediately for purchase online here and in selected retailers and e-tailers worldwide.
FLORAGATAN 13 CURATED BY ACNE STUDIOS is a dedicated publishing project edited by the A Magazine Curated By team. Previous editions include Nudes Curated By Julien Dossena (2016) in partnership with Paco Rabanne, and Femininities Curated By Natacha Ramsay-Levi (2019) in partnership with Chloé. Departing from the ‘carte blanche’ concept of A Magazine Curated By, this bespoke 96-page document approaches a singular editorial subject related to exhibitions, projects, events, environments and other artistic touchpoints in our international cultural calendar.
Photography: Philippe Chancel
Creative Direction: Dan Thawley
Graphic Design: Rafael Prieto & Camille Chassagne (Savvy Studio)
Managing Editor: Thérèse Boon Falleur
Editor at Large: Blake Abbie
About Floragatan 13
Originally constructed as the Embassy of Czechoslovakia, the concrete building was designed in 1972 by the Czech architect Jan Bočan in the diplomatic district of Stockholm. After the dissolution of the Soviet state, the embassy served the new Czech Republic until 1998 before being divided into corporate and legal offices. In 2016, Acne Studios began work to renovate Floragatan 13 in its entirety, stripping it back to its original state whilst transforming its Brutalist foundations into a harmonious workplace for over two hundred staff.
About Philippe Chancel
Born 1959, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. Lives and works in Paris, France. For over twenty years, Philippe Chancel has been pursuing a photographic experience at the junction between art, documentary and journalism. He was introduced to photography at a young age and studied economics and journalism. His work has been shown at the Barbican Centre, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, C/O Berlin, the Open Eye Society Foundation, New York, the 53rd Venice Biennale, and at the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, among others. His Datazone project, which seeks to bear witness to the disruptions at work on our planet, exhibited and published both in France and abroad, was shown in its entirety for the very first time in 2019 in a major solo exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles.
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