Dedicated to showing photography, Stockholm's new Fotografiska challenges the dominance of other cities' photo institutes in more ways than one. Housed in an Art Nouveau-style industrial building from 1906, Ferdinand Boberg (born in Falun, the exclusive home of Sweden's famous red pigment Falu Red) designed the imposing building. Boberg, one of the period's most prolific architects, created some of the city's most recognizable architecture including Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) and Björns Trägård.
Originally a customs building and now designated as a building of cultural significance, the structure posed more than its fair share of architectural restrictions. Torsten Nobling and Markus Hahn at AIX Architects, handled the 2,500 square-meter gallery space, and Jani Kristofferson and Andreas Ferm from Guise created the shop and bar.
The original brick façade of the building remains intact, while the city funded 250 million kroner worth of redevelopment of the interiors. The resulting sympathetic renovations include a modern, crisp gallery which lets the work do the talking, while a bar and restaurant look set to keep visitors fed and watered. Should visitors tire of looking at the exhibitions, Fotografiska's own panoramic vista (from the north of Södermalm island), is one of the best Stockholm has to offer—offering up a little photographic inspiration in its own right.
In terms of shows, Chief Curator, Ebba de Faire, will stage four major exhibitions a year, kicking off this week with a 190-photograph collection from Annie Leibovitz titled "A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005." See more images from the show in the slideshow below.
In conjunction, Fotografiska will install between 15-20 minor exhibitions each year alongside a program of talks, symposiums and the growing acquisition of the gallery's own permanent collection. It's a fine example of private investment working alongside munincipal funding to further the options for visitors and locals.