Project name: SIF House
Place: Stockholm
Architects: Carl Erik H Fogelvik & Hans Birkholz
Commissioned: 1985
Client: Fackföreningen SIF
Product type: Facade slabs, bushammered and polished.
One material. And yet with so many different effects. The choice is not only about using stone, but equally about what the architect wishes to express. It becomes even more exciting to allow - on the same facade - different surfaces to work together.

As you stroll along Olof Palme Street in Stockholm, you will come across the SIF Building of Carl Erik H. Fogelvik and Hans Birkholz. The facade uses Älvdal Quartzite in two shades; one a polished surface contrasted against the other, which is bushammered. The choice of Älvdal Quartzite, says Carl Erik H. Fogelvik, felt natural based on his preference for earthy materials with the ability to function decoratively over the long term in an urban environment.

Carl Erik H. Fogelvik describes himself as an architect with his feet on the ground who is positively inspired by Danish and Medieval European architecture. He has been retired for a number of years, but during his working life was active in the architectural firm FFNS. For many years, he primarily worked internationally in countries such as Peru, Ethiopia, Iran, and Bangladesh in different SIDA-funded aid projects.

In Sweden, Carl Erik H. Fogelvik stands behind, among other things, the residential area Ellagård in Täby, Stockholm, the reconstruction of the Lagern Quarter by Klara Kyrkogård Street in Stockholm, and the Östersund hospital.

For Hans Birkholz, as a newly graduated architect, the SIF Building was one of his first assignments. A project that was directed by Carl Erik H. Fogelvik.

In recent years, Hans Birkholz´s name has been associated with downtown Stockholm, where he has been involved in the redevelopment of Hötorget and Sergelgatan. In his own words, he has attempted to recreate life in those parts of the city. The methods that he has used include glassing-in of the heavily trafficked stretch of Sergelgatan/Sveavägen, repair of the shops in the area, and changing the street atmosphere with the help of lighting, new sitting areas, and expansion of the street´s cobblestone paving on Hörtorget Square in order to create a uniformity across the square.

Hans Birkholz appreciated Älvdal Quartzite because it offered ways to place attractive surfaces of differing character – in this case, bushammered and polished – in contrast to each other.

A city full of diversity and a facade with different tales to tell. Entirely naturally.