Claesson Koivisto Rune
"What makes us interesting as a team is that we have very different personalities"

When you look around, architecture and design are still separate… but Claesson Koivisto Rune want to bring them back together.

Regardless of our varied backgrounds, we share a very strong drive. Combined, it’s the force that made us what we are today.
Founded in 1995, Claesson Koivisto Rune is a Swedish architectural partnership, founded in Stockholm by Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune. Though starting as an architectural firm, the company has since evolved into an internationally-acclaimed, multi-disciplinary office with an equal emphasis on both architecture and design.

The Claesson Koivisto Rune Design Philosophy, as stated by the founders themselves, is: “Being both designers and architects, we tend to always look at design as a part of a greater spatial context. This multidisciplinary approach is typical for the Scandinavian tradition and adds cross-inspiration to our work on both the small and large scale.”

Bonsai sofa,  designed for Arflex (2016)

As the first Swedish office to have exhibited in the international section at the Venice Architecture Biennale, in 2004, they are also responsible for award-winning projects such as the Tind Prefab house collection for Fiskarhedenvillan, Widlund House on Öland, Örsta Gallery building in Kumla, Sfera Building culture house in Kyoto and Nobis Hotel in Stockholm.

Tind Prefab house collection, Fiskarhedenvillan (2007)
Tind Prefab house collection, Fiskarhedenvillan (2007)

Represented in Sweden, Japan, France, Germany, USA and Uruguay, their architectural language has been called ‘the epitome of the aesthetics of the new millennium’ (Paola Antonelli, Design Curator at MoMA). Projects stretch to all major continents of the world.

Claesson Koivisto Rune have created designs for more than 80 international manufacturing companies, including our Arflex.

We take design seriously, but never forget that we are architects. We approach design from an architectural mindset, not the other way around.
Pieces designed for Arflex include: the 2012 Hollywood and Holly Wood sofas, which are part of a luxurious proportioned sofa collection with an accent from our Scandinavian heritage; the 2014 Claudine Medium and Large sofas, reminiscent of the dress collar known in French as the ”col Claudine”; and the iconic and award winning 2014 Hug Love seat series, which was realized for the 2013 Salone del Mobile.

Other notable designs completed for Arflex are: the 2015 Mangold sofa system, which is inspired by art, architecture and geometry – and designed to be combined in an infinite number of combinations; the 2016 Bonsai seating collection, which is inspired by reflections upon Japanese aesthetics and culture; and, perhaps the most notable among the many, the Jules and Jim chairs, named after the famous French movie by Francois Truffaut.

Jules and Jim chairs, designed for Arflex (2015)

However, the office’s design work is incredibly diverse, spanning from jewellery to toothbrushes to large buildings. Their project categories include buildings, hotels, homes, shops, offices, exhibitions, kitchens, sanitary ware, tableware, glassware, furniture, textiles, tiles, lighting, electronics and candy.

Notably, they were even selected to design and create a trophy for the Swedish TV-prize Kristallen. Catching on to the very name of the award (which translates to crystal) the firm decided to tie their design into Sweden’s long and proud tradition of crystal glass making, designing a prismatic form which physically cleaved light from different wavelengths in defined colours — which served as a subtle, yet sonorous, analogy to Television’s image structure.

Swedish TV-prize, Kristallen, by Claesson Koivisto Rune

Additionally, they implemented the idea of ​​changing the prize’s colour each year, anticipating that recurrent winners would be able to collect and display an aesthetic variation of colours, rather than facsimiles; an impressive consideration which reflects their characteristic innovation and creativity.

To date, Claesson Koivisto Rune have been recognised with many international design awards.

Today, design is an international matter, perhaps more than ever before—this is something that resonates across the globe.
For their work they have received more than 60 awards, including the Designer of the Year and the Best Seating 2014 by Elle Décor Italia, Designer of the Year 2011 and Furniture of the Year 2012 by Elle Deco (Sweden), Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award, German Design Award (Gold and Silver) 2011 by the Federal Republic of Germany, Good Design Award USA, IF Product Design Award, Good Design Award Japan, Design S and the Red Dot Design AwardBest of the Best 2014, making them the first office to hold a Red Dot in five different product categories.

Red Dot Award 2016, for Tri-Star table and Stir armchair

Claesson Koivisto Rune have also written, lectured and taught internationally. A large number of portraits and feature articles have been published by architectural, design and general press including, Abitare, Architecture & Urbanism, Domus, Interni, The New York Times, Surface, Vogue and Wallpaper. To date, twelve books have been published focusing solely on the work of Claesson Koivisto Rune.