The City Museum in Stockholm opens April 27, 2019

By on March 6, 2019
Mikael Almehag

The City Museum at Slussen in Stockholm opens again after just over four years of renovation and reconstruction.

When the City Museum opens its doors on April 27, it is a museum that talks about the entire city’s history from the 1520s up to today. There are many new stories, but also those with a high recognition factor – for example, the women who were convicted of witchcraft in the 1670s, the Russian trade in the Ryssgården, the Palace of Makalö and the 1700s pub cultural in Källarstugan – which are put into new perspectives.

The City Museum has been housed in the city’s oldest own building since the 1930s, the so-called Southern Town Hall from the end of the 1600s. Here, all kinds of public activities have taken place through the ages. There have been court, prison, orthodox church, school and municipal laundry room to name just a few of all the uses that the building had. What can be better than having a business that is still open to all Stockholmers and who also portrays the history of the city and the Stockholm people.

– After the museum has been closed for many years, my employees and I look forward to opening this magical house for all Stockholmers, says Sara Claesson, museum director of the City Museum at Slussen and responsible for the activities at the museum. The City Museum tells Stockholm’s history and we want the stories to inspire people to discover the city that the museum is about! We want to help make Stockholm more fun for children and adults as we welcome to explore the city’s history in a playful way, together.

The house is today a building memory so when the City Museum was closed for renovation in January 2015, one of the main thoughts was to carefully open up and highlight the architecture, especially the beautiful stairwell with its many ledges. Another purpose was to make larger parts of the house open and accessible to the visitors. In this way, approximately 1,000 square meters (from 1,750 to 2,700 sq.m.) have been created for larger public space than before.

– The aim has been to create the conditions for a modern, flexible and developable museum activity for the visitor, says Ann-Charlotte Backlund, head of department and city antique and project manager for the City Museum’s part in the renovation and interior design. The refurbishment and interior design has highlighted and developed Stadsmuseet qualities and we have expanded the areas for which are open and accessible to the visitors. The building has always been and will continue to be a central meeting place in Stockholm.

In addition to meeting regulatory requirements regarding accessibility, fire, ventilation and climate, the intention has been to:

The interior shall be based on the building’s premises and maintain a high class in terms of design. In materials, painted surfaces and form, it will enhance the experience of the 1600s building.

The interior design must be functional and support for the business. The premises should be used efficiently and be easy to orientate in.

Interior design, technology and signs will satisfy the visitors’ and the city’s demands for accessibility and security.

The service and operations of the Southern City Hall must be sustainable, both from an environmental and economic point of view.

The facades have been remodeled and the yard has been given a design by the artist Katja Pettersson. Katja’s vision has been to clarify Stockholm as a city by water. The farm has therefore become a roughly pixelated “water mirror” in stone by the City Museum. Katja has, through four iron crosses at the entrances, also wanted to show that the building was right next to what was for centuries the city’s iron wave where bar iron from Bergslagen was weighed for export abroad.

On behalf of the City Museum, Katja Pettersson has made an installation inside the museum, which is based on the collections. The artist has chosen to start from objects in the museum’s collections and compile them in a new way in various installations in the City Museum. They should lead to thoughts about how objects are displayed in magazines, that is, on shelves and apparently higgledy-piggledy, but each object also has its own story to tell.

Three scenographers were chosen for the exhibition, each with their own design language, while playing together. What binds them together is the interior architect’s base chord in the form of color scale

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Södermalm