Interview with Christian Lundwall
In the seventies, Christian Lundwall designed the interiors of around 700 shops and a train. These days, the Swedish interior designer is primarily active in the booming hotel furnishing sector and is fed up with shops anyway.
Standardised Radisson SAS rooms of the future
One of Lundwall’s customers is the Rezidor Hotel Group – Radisson SAS Hotels and Park Inns. Lundwall goes into each project on an individual basis. The challenge in working for a chain lies in the desire to reflect a common bond. For Lundwall and his twelve colleagues the solution is to vary the make-up of the team for each project. The common thread is the client’s conceptional design. For example, Radisson SAS Hotels have standardised room concepts and satellite receptions scattered around the lobby, at which guests are received in a personal setting by a single hotel employee.
Lundwall mainly works in Europe and the Middle East. He has also completed a few projects in Russia, where, like everywhere else, they follow the latest trends. So client specifications and the look of new Russia as well as individual style? According to Lundwall: “Nowadays, big cities in Russia, like those the world over, want to be modern and stylish, international in fact. A look of new Russia actually does not exit. At best, one has the opportunity to add a local touch with some Russian art or other beautiful Russian objects“.
Scandinavian colours in Park Inn Pulkovskaya, St. Petersburg
When asked about the materials he uses there and elsewhere, he points to the basic requirement – the materials must be hard-wearing. Lots of people sit on a sofa in a lobby, something is sure to get spilled on it at some time or other and the use of fire-retardant materials is mandatory.
Only then can one take account of fashion and trends. Lundwall likes material mixes. Leather chairs with beautiful fabric seats, for example.
“Actually I can do what I like. But colours, patterns and fabrics are led by fashion trends, which I also pay attention to. These change on an annual basis. Whether we like it or not, interior design is directly linked to the fashion industry. Some things lose their appeal after a year and then make a comeback a decade later.“
Lundwall describes his work and that of his team thus: “We pretend to be international, but really we are Scandinavian. We have an international design approach with a Scandinavian twist. We use happy colours; we could never furnish a German castle.”
So anyone who gives him a commission needs to ask him or herself: “Am I ready for a little bit of Sweden?”
Photos 1 and 3 © Lundwall Architects
Photo 2 © Rezidor Hotelgruppe