Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture is an award winning architecture firm based in Göteborg, Sweden co-founded by Fredrik Kjellgren and Joakim Kaminsky. The firm deals with architecture in its broadest meaning. It executes varied assignments right from drawing board to completion in a vast range encompassing furniture and city planning and everything else in between.
The firm believes in creating functional and sustainable architecture with a sincere dimension using every challenge as a creative catalyst.
With the well-being of the environment as their North star KKA strives to put people, their needs and the context uppermost in all the projects undertaken by them.
The objectives that they strive to achieve with each project are simple. With their individualistic approach tailor made for each of their clients they strive to not only enhance the client’s profile but also see to it that a maximum of space is created such which is harmonious to both comfortable living and the preservation of ecology.
We at Home Review were keen to unravel the strands that form the DNA of this firm’s work; here is their ‘mantra’ figured out through six questions.
How would you classify the architecture you practise?
I don’t think we can really classify our style. Every project has its own story. It starts with a demand for change within a context. From this point of departure we narrate the process in collaboration with the client. In the end we aim to create functional and sustainable architecture with a poetic dimension.
Do you believe in moulding the client’s requirements to your taste or is it the other way around?
It all begins with people’s endeavour for better living. It’s in the very encounters with our clients that Kjellgren Kaminsky’s creative processes really start.
KKA always believes in putting people and their specific needs in focus before the start of any work. Because we believe architecture exists for people and not the other way around.
How important a part does the environment or surroundings of your project’s location play in the concept?
We all share the need to be known by the context in which we live. Kjellgren Kaminsky believes in collecting inspiration from the unique history and soul of each new environment. This research and our client’s specific need form the base on which rests the entire design plan.
We try to adhere to it throughout the process not losing sight of it right up to the final completion.
Is there any upcoming project that you are excited to be a part of?
There is a project which is very dear to our hearts and that is to be a part of creating for Stockholm, the capital of Sweden which has already been named as Europe’s greenest capital in 2010, an ecological footprint equal to its own size.
Our proposal is a result of work, discussions and researches made within the Super Sustainable Think Tank. Stockholm already has one of the world’s most ambitions environmental programs. Reaching its goal of becoming fossil fuel free by 2050 means taking one of the largest challenges to date – to become a sustainable city!
In order to get there, we believe Stockholm must utilise one of its main resources – that is water. With 14% of its area being water and boasting slightly more than 160 km of waterfronts and quays, Stockholm truly is a city of water.
Are you satisfied in the way architecture is heading worldwide?
We believe that all projects start with a need for change. Architecture ideally should find solutions for these needs, the known ones and the ones that are discovered during the process; functional, rational and emotional needs and at the same time keeping the environment well in mind.
Architecture the world over is sometimes driven by other fundamentals like budgets, timelines and a commercial outlook, aping other architecture and above all giving more importance to facades rather than core values of sustainability. It hurts us to see meaningless and hollow architecture.
At KKA we take needs into account and try to create a strong link between people and architecture. We believe in architecture that satisfies both the needs of the people and the planet.
Do you believe that water-fronted houses could be an answer to cope with and probably moderate climate change? Do you see an application of this in your very own city Stockholm?
We do strongly believe in the sense behind water-fronted houses. It is a very valid proposition especially for a city like Stockholm, which has a substantial area covered under water; this sort of architecture would be perfect for it.
Today’s urban planners, engineers and architects face diverse challenges that hit different parts of the world in various ways. To ensure a stable and safe built environment, we must prepare for a number of scenarios to come, all in the mind frame of sustainable, ecological and smart designing.
We believe that a sense of community should not be sacrificed for a central location of living spaces. The overall project for Stockholm will include all sizes of housing suited for diverse budgets. To better integrate water into the design, many of these houses could be equipped with a boat garage at its “ground” floor.
Sustainable transportation is a key element of our proposal for water-fronted houses. Our roads would be designed for electric vehicles, and boat traffic would driven by bio-fuel obtained from algae.
The entire floating district will acts as a bridge between existing city zones, creating a more fluid urban landscape. Floating bridges at different scales will provide possibilities for many modes of transportation, especially foot traffic and cycling. In all cases, connection to Stockholm’s water bodies will not only be preserved, but strengthened, bringing people closer to the water than ever before.