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An Interview with Robin Bruhn

03/18/15

With an eye for swirling staircases and the symmetry of skylines, Stockholm-based creative Robin Bruhn documents his city as any art director would. A natural born photographer, Bruhn’s work has captured the attention of everyone from tech companies to hotel chains, all of whom surely appreciate how the 26 year old can deconstruct architecture into its most valuable parts. Here we talk to Bruhn about the Swedish countryside, his favorite Stockholm creatives right now, and trading in a love for New York City for a fondness for (the much closer) Copenhagen.

What’s your favorite piece of architecture in Stockholm?

There's SO much to choose from. I'm going to have to go with the Stockholm City Library. The central part of the building is a majestic hall shaped like a cylinder surrounded with shelves stacked with books. The hall is almost 80 feet high and is surrounded with windows at the top. The natural light those windows brings to the hall makes that calm and quiet library even more of a peaceful place. I come there often just to take pictures and to experience that wonderful piece of architecture in silence.

Best place and time to shoot Stockholm?

To me, Stockholm is at its prime to shoot when the sun is setting on a spring or a summer evening. When you have that intense multi colored backdrop parts of the city like Old Town, Södermalm or Djurgården really makes you realize what a gem Stockholm is.

What kind of design elements to you tend to like the most?

I enjoy things minimalistic and simple. It seems like such a Swedish thing to say, but there's so many people living here in Sweden and in Scandinavia that can do the most wonderful things with only a few components. No fuzz. Looking at my own work, I tend to want to add a twist to that simplicity with something unexpected or with symmetry.

Tell us a little about the Swedish countryside:

Since Sweden is a really, really long country, the countryside varies depending on where you are and which time you are visiting. Skåne, in the most southern part of Sweden, has a rather open landscape with tons of crops like corn and potato, almost cozy small towns, and a lot of beautiful beaches in the summertime. The more central and northern parts boast a lot of lakes and a lot of forest. If you are into skiing and snowboarding, places like Åre and Sälen are ideal for that in the winter.

Favorite place outside of Stockholm?

If someone would have asked me three years ago, I would have answered New York without any hesitation at all. But nowadays I'm a sucker for Copenhagen--such a beautiful city with really gorgeous architecture, both old and new! The city and the people living there seem so relaxed that you are almost instantly put in that same mindset. Add one of the best beer bars in the world to that mix (Mikkeller & Friends), great shopping, and tons of great museums and it's hard not to love Copenhagen.

Three places someone visiting Stockholm must check out:

Teaterbaren: If you’re looking for Stockholm's best cocktails and best service, my good friend Mathin Lundgren’s got you covered. You absolutely can't miss one of his own signature cocktails!

Love Food Café: Right next to Marie Laveau at Hornsgatan, Södermalm. My favorite place for lunch. Pick your meat (or veggie item!), a slaw, a sauce, and a topping and combine them into your own sandwich. My tip: Pork belly sandwich with apple slaw, hot sauce, and some jalapeños on top. Fries on the side.

Skogskyrkogården Cemetery: One of the most beautiful places I know. A short subway ride from central Stockholm lies Sweden’s biggest cemetery and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. A perfect place to take a peaceful walk and to watch the sun set behind the trees on the meditation hill.

Any Stockholm creatives that you’re excited about right now?

Stockholm is PACKED with talented people. My absolute favorites right now are @locarl, @holynorth, @sralala and @jnskrlsn.

Best food in Stockholm that you can’t get anywhere else:

You simply can't visit Stockholm and not have köttbullar (meatballs). When it comes to köttbullar, I always go to Nybrogatan 38 because they are the best according to me. Meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, lingonberries and a beer to go with that. Bon appetit!

What are you looking forward to now that spring’s coming?

Although Stockholm is beautiful during fall and winter, there's really no comparison to the spring and summer. The city gets reborn and all parks and bars with outdoor seating areas get packed with people. Can't wait for those late warm nights now!

All photos courtesy of @r.bin via Instagram.