We’re back from Scandinavia and we’ve got the scoop on the latest modern architecture, design, art, food and culture.

First up, Stockholm… everything from a toothbrush to a museum is conscientiously created with a forward thinking, yet humanistic, design philosophy. Beautiful people, inspiring design, and a pleasant atmosphere. If it weren’t for the outrageous prices and weak U.S. dollar we would have bought a sommarstuga and lived out our days talking funny and fishing for herring.

The Modern List Stockholm (14KB PDF) can be downloaded here: tml-stockholm. In addition to the list we’ve rounded up some of our favorites below.

Vasamuseet by Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson
Although the museum’s shell seems overly complicated the 17th century salvaged ship it houses is spectacular. The museum has been well organized and visitors get a very good idea of the salvaging process and how the ship was originally intended to function. There are incredible views of the ship from the various balconies and special attention has been paid to the lighting design. For more info on the Vasa click here.

[photos by BUILD llc]

Moderna Museet and the Swedish Museum of Architecture by Rafael Moneo
The Museum of Architecture is a large space, filled with highly respectable work. The work of Gert Wingardh was on display when we visited and we’ll have a post on his work in the coming weeks.

[photo by BUILD llc]

A nice dinner can be found at the elegant F12 restaurant in the heart of the city

[photo courtesy of F12]

Gondolen’s spectaclar views are attributed to the former industrial harbor structures, since re-appropriated as a restaurant. The seating is located within the bridge structure – wowy.

[photo by BUILD llc]

If you can’t get reservations at PA&Co stop in for a drink and order dinner at the bar

[photo courtesy of PA&Co]

Dry Lake sells all things cool, be it clothing, bikes or lighting…

[photo by BUILD llc]

Badrums Specialisten is a darn good kitchen and bathroom showroom. They also have a very nice stair that we drooled over.

The Norrmalm neighborhood is full of innovative commercial spaces – typically well integrated with the traditional surroundings. The building below employed a steel sunscreen system.

[photo by BUILD llc]

Office building with transparent stair tower in the Norrmalm neighborhood

Stainless steel clad office building in the Norrmalm neighborhood

A series of long pavilions flank the waterfront housing restaurants, cafés and shops. The structures are ambitious in their use of large glass bay windows.

[photo by BUILD llc]

You studied it back in school, you’ve probably even been there, but a list of modern architecture in Stockholm wouldn’t be complete without Asplund’s Stockholm Public Library. She’s doing well even in the age of digital information.

[photos by BUILD llc]

Don’t tell anyone… but from time to time we take in some traditional sights as well. If the weather’s nice, the hour or so ferry ride out to the Drottningholm Summer Palace is wonderful and it allows views of the Swedish suburban and summer-house lifestyles.

Most impressive is that Swedes have a rule of thumb called “Allemansrätt” or everyman’s right – if you own waterfront property, anyone has the right to access it. Given this philosophy much of the water front is left in its natural state, the housing is pulled back offering views for the inhabitants and waterfront access to everyone… Brilliant.

Moving along through Stockholm’s archipelago makes the exclusive shores of the United States seem shortsighted and foolish.

Like most cities, Stockholm has a shopping mall, but the execution of the mall placement is far more intelligent than most. The Gallerian Shopping Center has been carefully wedged into the alleyways between buildings. Inside, the mall has all the space required for tenants and customers, but outside it is cleverly concealed. Only the entrance points of the mall are visible.

[photo by BUILD llc]

While we were there the Swedes threw a little party – they closed down streets and expected somewhere around fifty-thousand attendees. The reason you ask? It was 08/08/08 – which only happens once. Swedes know how to party.

[photo courtesy of DjMuz blog]

Let us know of any items that should be on our list…