A successful collaboration between art and architecture

Edvin Bylander is an architect at FOJAB arkitekter and has collaborated with artist David Svensson since 2012. Together they have worked on artworks for the Citybanan in Stockholm, the New Karolinska Hospital in Solna and the hospital in Angered. Their first project is Citybanan's Odenplan station, which opened in July.

Edvin and David's collaboration is based on a shared understanding of the relationship between art and architectural expression. Many of David's artworks are in the public space and he identified early on a need to find an architect who could help with drawings and visualizations.

- 'We work very well together and have found a working process that works. Edvin helps to provide an understanding of spatiality and scale," says David Svensson.

The artwork 'Life Line', which adorns the escalator room at Odenplan station in Stockholm, is a 350 square meter light piece inspired by the heartbeat of David's son Isaac.

- For the Citybanan station at Odenplan, I have endeavored to develop an artwork with a clear identity and a tangible presence, in harmony with the station's architectural spatiality and function. The work is based on the pulse of my son Isaac before his birth in the summer of 2012. The luminous lines showing the baby's pulse become a metaphor for life. I see a train station as the pulse of a city and its life, so it also becomes a nice metaphor," David continues.

- It is a unique piece of art and an incredibly exciting project. David had a clear idea of how he wanted to design the artwork. I have then worked on modifying the art in a spatial context, in this case a 400 square meter rock room, says Edvin Bylander.

A challenge with the artwork has been to manage the complexity and make it buildable. Edvin has coordinated with the architect of the city railway, who among other things provided a 3D scan of the entire cavern.

- At FOJAB we have a special competence to deal with this kind of complexity. We work with digital design and based on a 3D model of the room, we do it on a spatial scale. We focus on how it will be realized and relate to the surrounding architecture," says Edvin.

David and Edvin advocate the importance of integrating art and creating a holistic approach to design. They want to work on larger projects together, where art and architecture can be integrated at an early stage. David also emphasizes that art must enter the building process and work as early as possible. Too often the artist only comes into the picture once the building is completed. They both agree on the important role of art in the design of public spaces today.

- We will only see more art integrated with architecture. Public art can help create new and exciting architecture and places you want to stay. The place is given an identity with content and meaning," concludes David.