Opera Källaren Restaurant, Stockholm

When I was working at the Architect Office of Claesson Koivisto Rune, a most special mission was chosen for us. Usually a smaller group of people work on a project but on this one the whole office was deeply engaged to its task. I was in charge of the lighting fixtures for floors and tables.

Since 1787, the restaurant in Stockholm’s Royal Opera House has been a Swedish institution. Much of the ornately decorated 1895 interior is protected as cultural heritage. The strongest architectural component in the interior is a series of free-standing, giant, angled mirrors, defining the space and separating the passageway from seated guests. The gold-tinted mirrors are laminated with a film that controls the sector of vision, preventing you from seeing your own face clearly reflected. The office also designed a complete range of new furniture, carpets, lighting etc. made by a handful of Italian and Swedish manufacturers.

The veranda was not protected as cultural heritage. The floor was raised to match the dining hall. The windows were cleared, affording a fantastic view of historic central Stockholm beyond. Now with the ambience more akin to a summer veranda, white was chosen, which also contrasts well with the dark blue interior for the big dining room inside.