Art Escapes: Artipelag

The art offerings of the Nordics are well established: from the capitals’ gleaming national galleries to the scrappier artist-run spaces in less polished neighborhoods. But travel away from the established centers, and you will stumble upon some of the region’s most visually arresting art sites. In each of the following three art spaces – the Steilneset Memorial in Norway, Artipelag in the Stockholm archipelago and Copenhagen’s Cisternerne – a unique alchemy fuses the space with the unique landscape in which it sits. Together they yield something magical.

Surrounded by dense pine trees on Värmdö, more of 20,000 islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago, Artipelag is inextricably stitched to its environment, a concept playfully reflected by its name: a fusion of “art” and “archipelago.” The museum is perched on a cliff overlooking Baggen’s Bay. Designed by the late Swedish architect Johan Nyrén to melt into the surrounding landscape, the sloping grey concrete of the building’s façade – with a moss and sedum plant-covered roof – opens up to reveal an interior of beveled planks of pitch pine walls and plenty of natural light.

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