Interior design Alexander Bladh
Jönköping, Sweden, 2019
ALFA Skogsservice AB is one of the largest forest management companies in Sweden. It has grown at incredible speed since founded in 2011. In 2016, the Dagens Industri newspaper nominated the company as a Gasell företag growth company. Because of its rapid growth, the company needed bigger offices, which would also reflect the corporate culture, and a new workshop. Martela was responsible for the interior design concept and furniture for the new office.

Martela creates the feel of nature in an industrial area

In the industrial area outside Jönköping, there is a misfit among the usual box-like offices. ALFA Skogsservice is known for standing out from the crowd in its business and their headquarters is no exception.

ALFA’s headquarters is built entirely from wood to reflect the company’s expertise in the forest industry. The building is made from glue-laminated timber and various natural materials are used both on the inside and out, including moss and sedum plants on the walls. Outside, the planted pines and shrubs further emphasise what ALFA is all about as a company.

The building is light and comfortable, which gives it a spacious and natural feel, and there are visible wooden beams. “And it smells so good!”, says Ivo Krsek, the Managing Director of ALFA Skogsservice.

“We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before and I believe we did just that. Wood is a durable material that can stand up to the rain and wind. Besides, it looks beautiful and smells wonderful. We used timber from Setra, which is owned by our customers Sveaskog and Mellanskog. In other words, we created a cycle, both with our new and beautiful headquarters and together with our customers,” says Krsek.

Wood as the main ingredient

Wood is the main ingredient in the building; even the doors and stairs, and more, are made from wood. To emphasise the forest theme, ALFA wanted to use living plants outside and inside the building. They also wanted specially made furniture and Martela got the assignment to carry out the interior design for the office building.

“It was a very thoughtful brief and we were very impressed with the drawings of the building. We felt confident in our ability to fulfil ALFA’s wishes regarding the choice of wood materials and the custom-made furniture. All of the furnishings are new because the new offices are significantly larger than the old ones,” says Vidar Hellsaeus, Sales Director at Martela AB.

Martela involved Alexander Bladh, who is a workplace designer, in the discussions with the customer and he came up with the proposal for custom-made furniture and material choices based on ALFA’s wishes.

“We wanted to have a lot of wood and living flowers inside the building and were really excited about using moss as an interior design feature. We have actively excluded everything that is not ecological and no plastic was used, for example,” says Krsek.

Forest theme throughout the interior concept

Martela intensified the forest theme in various ways, not only with the furniture choices but also throughout the interior concept. In addition to living plants, carpets with green tones in the design create the feel of being in the midst of nature.

Furniture from the following Martela product groups are used in the office: Nooa, Sola, Movie, Alku, Spot, Kaari, Scoop, Axia, Big and Frankie. All furniture items are made from oak and the idea is that everything should match ALFA’s company profile and business sector. Environmental concerns were also an important part of the commission.

“ALFA’s environmental profile and Martela’s sustainability philosophy were a good match. Besides, natural materials are good for employee wellbeing,” says Hellsaeus.

Krsek is very satisfied with the outcome and says that the office is very close to what he had envisioned at the start of the project. In fact, the building was nominated for the Stadsbyggnadspriset architectural award in Jönköping in 2018.

“The feedback from both customers and visitors has been hugely positive, and they think that we have a very beautiful building. I am extremely satisfied with our cooperation with Martela – from the concept stage to the result. The building and its interior truly express who we are and what we do,” says Krsek.