Former product designer Sten Rasmussen uses his eagle eye for function, form and colour to fill his cosy shop in Kollwitzkiez with the finest Scandinavian design objects. Iconic mid-century lamps, toys and chairs from contemporary and vintage designers are displayed and sold with understated Swedish charm.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a cosier shop than Sten Rasmussen’s store in Prenzlauer Berg — or a shop you’d rather pack up and move into. On the one hand, the charm seems to stem from Sten Rasmussen himself, who greets his customers with a warmth and nonchalance probably best characterised as ‘Swedish.’ And on the other hand, the feeling of well-being you get here is intrinsic to the design of the shop itself, which makes its home in Berlin’s stylish Kollwitzkiez district.
The entrance is ornamented with colourful runners and ‘pocket shelves’ — the classic functional shelf ladders from designer Nils Strinning — climb the walls. From the ceiling hang classic lamps from Danish designer Poul Henningsen and Finnish artist Lisa Johansson-Pape. As you look about the space, your gaze is met by a menagerie of friendly creatures — from the wooden owls of Paul Anker Hansen and the lovebirds and climbing monkeys of Kay Bojesen to a herd of rocking horses.
All the pieces — from the lamps and furniture all the way to the toys — are classic Scandinavian design objects. Most saw their debut between 1950 and 1980 and either have never been out of production or experienced a resurgence of demand in recent years. And they are all available to buy from Sten Rasmussen. As a trained product designer who once made his living from large companies in Düsseldorf and Munich, his eye for form, function, and colour is just part of the job.
In 2006, the attractive rents drew him to Berlin, and his shop opened its doors just a year later. Since then it has been his business to collect pieces of his childhood, and those of many others who grew up in the 1970s, both in Scandinavia and in Germany. But the shop doesn’t feel like a museum — it’s highly contemporary, and its classic objects share the space with new or re-released Scandinavian designs.
Sten Rasmussen is particularly fascinated by the juxtaposition of old and new pieces: The traditional birch baskets, for example, which have enjoyed a centuries-long tradition in Scandinavia, share a common structure with Cecilie Manz’s wicker baskets designed in 2009. In Sten Rasmussen’s shop, traditional crafts and their modern counterparts live side by side.
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
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Rykestr. 31, 10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
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