Sitting as a solitary diamond in the undulating fields of Ästad Vingård – one of Sweden’s largest vineyards – Restaurang ÄNG is a culinary experience out of the ordinary that engages all senses. The partly underground Michelin-starred restaurant with a spectacular glasshouse entrance in the middle of the lush field is designed by Norm Architects and furnished by Japanese Karimoku to create a stimulating interplay between architecture, food, wine, interiors, and art that makes for a balanced and harmonious 19 course haute-cuisine experience.
The experience of ÄNG starts even before you step inside – walking through the lush meadow with crops and grasses on both sides of the winding pathway leading guests to the sparkling glasshouse that stands as a modern and refined interpretation of a greenhouse turned inside out. Having the iron structure on the inside, it stands like a prism in the middle of the field; Utterly sharp and smooth, mirroring the surroundings.
Closing in on the glass house, a small herb garden out front discloses the local touch and approach to the culinary experience you’re about to have. A protective hedge reveals a limited glimpse of a nearby lake but allows you to maintain focus right where you are.
Seven wooden and stone sculptures with an organic design language are made bespoke by the talented Norwegian artist, Anders Pfeffer Gjengedal (Løvfall). With inspiration from years in the world of ballet, he works with the sense of form in collaboration with architects and designers alike, turning natural wood and stone into sensual and expressive sculptures.
“With the new interior design concept for ÄNG, Karimoku has successfully completed its sixth case study, continuing the collaboration with Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design. With inspiration found in both the unspoiled Nordic nature surrounding the premises of ÄNG and Japanese sensibilities in design aesthetics and craftsmanship, the interior provides a holistic, sensory experience that refines the culinary offering and reflects the identity of the restaurant.”
– Frederik Werner, Norm Architects & Creative Director for Karimoku
As the staff starts to decant local champagne and present astounding appetizers made from homegrown produce that’ll make you sit back and simply enjoy the 4,5 hour long pause from the hustle and bustle of the everyday, the sun is slowly descending beyond the meadow, serving as a calm and ever-changing backdrop to the evening.
Connected by a shared belief in timeless aesthetics and an ambition to create products that meet everyday needs, we set out to create a curated range of products in collaboration with the design studio Bonni Bonne. Based in Norrland, Sweden, the studio was born from a joint passion and fascination for nature, gastronomy, and presence of everyday aesthetics. With an ambition to highlight some of Norrland’s traditions, they present genuine craft and ancient knowledge in new contexts and in a more modern take as they work with the meeting between poetic and timeless aesthetics to create products out of everyday needs. In order to emphasize ÄNG’s strong connection with nature, parts of the curated collection are made from green wood – an ancient wood working method that creates natural silhouettes and raw textures perfect for the atmosphere in the restaurant.
The selected natural materials, such as pure oak for the bespoke furniture items and the elegant stone flooring, have been slightly refined or processed to make them more delicate – just like Head Chef, Filip Gemzel, refines the local ingredients that make up the astounding 19-course tasting menu. When it comes to haute cuisine, it’s all about this interplay between the many elements that make up the experience – from architecture, design and lighting, to taste, smell, and sounds. When all these elements are balanced and well-adjusted that is when everything comes together to create a unique and esteemed experience out of the ordinary.
“The fundamental ambition behind the Michelin-starred Restaurang ÄNG is in many ways in line with Norm Architects’ design philosophy of striking a delicate balance between all the sensory experiences that make up a space to create a harmonious setting, where all elements support one another.”
– Peter Eland, Norm Architects
Integrating thoughtful artworks and sculptures are therefore a vital part of the interior and atmosphere at ÄNG. Having the Danish designer, Sara Martinsen, contribute with bespoke artworks was a seamless cooperation adding warmth and new stimuli to the space. Sara too believes in the beauty of natural responsible materials, in craft and in the power of a strong visual story. She arranges local materials so they become inspiring, and one can experience each of their specific characteristics. She finds her inspiration in the origin; a beautiful material, a specific craft, or the local history of a given location, why she went out in the forest surrounding ÄNG in order to find inspiration for the materials that should later make up the tactile artworks.
As the evening moves along, the guests will be led to a hidden elevator, temporarily ending the bright summer evening, as it slowly escorts you underground and you step out into a dark catacomb-like winecellar with a subdued feeling and sparkling wines of own production as well as high-end French labels.
“With the changing of light, we play on the phenomenon of Chiaroscuro; a technique from visual arts used to represent light and shadow as they define objects in order to achieve a sense of volume. When stepping into the shadows, the vision weakens while the remaining senses intensify. One automatically pays more attention to sounds, smells, tastes and touch and even the intuition and instinct are strengthened. This way, the surprising transition and changing of scenery prepare the guests for the next part of the holistic dinner experience.”
– Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Norm Architects
As the sommelier leads the way through the impressive shelves to pick out the wine for the next part of the dinner, you’ll also catch a glimpse of a quiet and dark lounge setting in the middle of the space, letting on that there is so much more to come.
To emphasize the transitions from one atmosphere to another, the tiles cut like a brick floor, fostering the cave-like feeling of the wine cellar, meets the wooden floor from Danish Dinesen as you step out into the main dining room with floor-to-ceiling views of a natural lake and the rich fauna surrounding it. The setting turns lighter once again and your senses are alert, ready for the next part of the dinner experience.
Inspired by the Japanese Karesansui gardens of raked sand and stone, renowned for their transcendent beauty, we travelled to Växjö to collect the ready-made sculptures of nature from a giant quarry. An important aesthetic principle underlying these dry landscape gardens is yohaku-no-bi, meaning ‘the beauty of blank space’. Having learned from the now deceased legend, Masatoshi Izumi, we too see the raw beauty in stone and have realized how the sculpture is already within – you just have to look for it. Now, the characteristic stone sculptures stand as small interpretations and simulations of the surrounding landscape, welcoming you as you step out from the darkness of the wine cellar and into the main dining room through a giant pivoting wooden door.
In addition to references to Swedish nature and the use of renowned Japanese furniture design, we implemented acoustic walls made of canvas from Kvadrat, chosen in a shade reminiscent of jute sacks in which you place crops and grain. It’s not just a backdrop, but a real experience
Filled with curated sculptures and ceramics by Viki Weiland and Ulla Bang, the shelves in the open kitchen add a personal and warm atmosphere to the striking room – creating a strong coherence between food, art, design and architecture.
Ceramicist, Ulla Bang is known for her beautiful, handbuilt stoneware ceramics. Created using an ancient pottery technique, her works draw inspiration from forms and shapes discovered in everyday life. Her work is organic and free but also precise and detailed as she likes her creations to challenge balance, to be free and unexpected in their form, yet always end with a fine focused and precise top rim.
All Viki Weiland’s designs are wheelthrown and glazed by hand. Her style is simple and natural yet raw with a focus on quality, material and detail. In the beginning, she worked only with shapes that were more stringent but over time she has come to prefer the more curved yet simple shapes. The craft has also been developed, but to her it has always been about creating sustainable and personal products.
As the evening moves on and the color scheme of nature turns even more vibrant, the colors of the selected materials within the restaurant seems to change with it; the oakwood obtains a red tone and the open kitchen in grey stone appears softer.
The evening ends back in the glass house, where the experience comes full circle as the sun has now set and the desserts are being served. ÄNG truly is a venue enabling both guests and staff to explore, learn, eloborate and to create memories.
Norm Architects & Karimoku Case Study
Dinesen / www.dinesen.com
Carpets and soft cell textile:
Kvadrat / www.kvadrat.dk
Kronos / www.kronosceramiche.com
Anker & Co. / www.ankerco.com
Karimoku Case Study / www.karimoku-casestudy.com Keiji Ashizawa / www.keijidesign.com
Artworks & Ceramics
Sara Martinsen / www.saramartinsen.com
Viki Weiland / www.vikiweiland.com
Ulla Bang / @ullabang_ceramics
Løvfall / Anders Pfeffer Gjengedal / www.loevfall.com Bonni Bonne / www.bonnibonne.com
Sitting as a solitary diamond in the undulating fields of Ästad Vingård – one of Sweden’s largest vineyards – Restaurang ÄNG is a culinary experience out of the ordinary that engages all senses. The partly underground Michelin-starred restaurant with a spectacular glasshouse entrance in the middle of the lush field is designed by Norm Architects and furnished by Japanese Karimoku to create a stimulating interplay between architecture, food, wine, interiors, and art that...
- Year 2022
- Work finished in 2022
- Client Ästad Vingård
- Status Completed works
- Type Restaurants / Interior Design