The Louisiana of Sweden


In 2012 a huge stone, wood and concrete building at Hållunden outside Stockholm opened its doors to the public. Artipelag, as the art gallery is called, has become a favorite haunt for as well journalists as Stockholmers  who want an injection of world-class art, good food and unspoilt nature.

In 2000, Björn Jakobson , after many profitable years in Swedish business world,  was struck with the idea of creating a beautiful building for art and cultural experiences somewhere in the Stockholm archipelago. That way he could combine his own deep interest in nature with his wife Lillemor’s background in art and design.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Björn Jacobson

To call Artipelag an art gallery is a far too narrow term because Björn wanted an architecture in tune with nature. When he approached architect Johan Nyrén, the architect sair to Björn,  “I won’t give you Bilbao, but an installation in tune with nature – that I can do.”

The Louisiana of Sweden
Artipelasg, outside Stockholm

The result is a very Nordic-looking creation that almost disappears between the pine trees, only really visible as you approach the cape from the water because of the reflections in the big glass panels.

The Louisiana of Sweden
An architecture in tune with nature

Artipelag toay  is an international venue for art, good food, events and activities – beautifully set on Värmdö in the Stockholm Archipelago, just 20 minutes from the city centre of Stockholm. If one approaches the art gallery from the seaward side, one needs good eyes to make it out. The black-tarred wooden construction blends perfectly into the landscape.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Artipelag is an international venue for art

This summer sees the nature theme evolve with an exciting new exhibition, Score for a Longer conversation by the Norwegian  artist Bård Breivik. Score for a Longer Conversation consists of several vertical, elongated shapes. Though various craft techniques and materials were used to fashion the sculptures, all have the same length.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Score for a longer converdsation, by Norwegian artist Bård Breivik

In a Norwegian context, Breivik is seen as a pioneer in modern sculpture and installation art. He is known for his deliberate choice of materials and keen interest in traditional arts and crafts.

The exhibition runs until 20 August.

The Louisiana of Sweden
The name Artipelag is a combination of Art, Activities, and Archipelago

The name Artipelag is a combination of Art, Activities, and Archipelago. It says a lot about what the center can offer, but it does not tell it all. The intention has been to create a destination of high international quality – with boundary-crossing art exhibits, inspiring activities, and good food.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Location for photos and filming

There is a café for lighter meals and coffee and an upstairs à la carte restaurant, both with sea views and accessible for wheelchairs.

There is ample space at Artipelag – about 32,000 square feet – for a large art hall and a shop with own custom-designed products. The site also boasts its Artbox, an enormous concert – event – and studio locale of 13,000 square feet with accompanying artists’ space.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Artipelag interior

Those who want to see the area from above, can go to the roof terrace of the art gallery where the view of the bay Baggensfjärd and the archipelago is truly impressive.

Artipelag has been dubbed “the Louisiana of Sweden”, and that is no doubt a compliment. The name says it all, really: it is art and activity in the archipelago – all in tune with nature.

The Louisiana of Sweden
Sculpture at Artipelag

How to get there
In summer – especially in fine weather – we recommend the boat that brings you in an hour and a half from central Stockholm to Hålludden.

By car it takes about 20 minutes from central Stockholm. You drive on the road 222 towards Gustavsberg. Parking at the Artipelag is no problem.

Moreover, there are direct buses from Vasagatan (next to the central station) to the Artipelag. Timetables can be found on the Artipelag website.

The Louisiana of Sweden , written by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.