No ordinary building
"No ordinary bloody building" is what the Film Institute's founder, Harry Schein, is reputed to have declared as the inception of the project. And he certainly got his way. The building has hardly left anyone indifferent since it first opened its doors on 18 January 1971.
One might well say that the Film House divides opinion on the aesthetic front: some think that it's one of Stockholm's most beautiful buildings, others that it's a depressing concrete bunker. It was designed by Peter Celsing, the architect whose other Stockholm landmarks include Kulturhuset and Riksbanken.
Celsing's eye on the Swedish Armed Forces
The building was, in fact, controversial even at the planning stage. The headquarters of the Swedish Armed Forces next door opposed Peter Celsing's design with windows looking out onto their building. Having been forced to create a short side without a single window, Celsing instead produced a giant staring eye trained right at the Armed Forces offices.
Symbols in the architecture
The Film House comprises a number of associations with film in the way it is built. The window line of the façade is reminiscent of the perforation on a strip of film. Seen from above, the round indoor stairwells are like rotating film reels, and the reflective lift doors are based on dressing room make-up mirrors. The Film House is an example of an architectural style based on structuralism or brutalism, which stems in turn from functionalism.
Inside the Film House
Several hundred people live and study in the Film House. Large parts of the building are currently let to external companies and organisations with links to film and the arts. The Stockholm University School of Film Studies is also located in the building.
Certain parts of the Film House, such as the library, the restaurant and the cinemas (where Cinemateket holds its evening screenings) are open to the general public.
During 2008, major refurbishment is taking place in the Swedish Film Institute offices to create a modern, open-plan work space.
Building material: cast concrete
Total area: 24,700 m²
Plot area: 6 000 m²
Volume: 112 000 m³
Length: 155 m
Width: 39 m
Height: 15 m
Number of floors: 6
Number of studios: 4
Number of cinemas: 3