Garden Gate, 2018

Gate and entryway at Uddegården pre-school in the municipality of Kristianstad
Mats Andersson in cooperation with Johan Sandström

Garden Gate   Photo: John Håkansson

The commission:
The task was to create a fence; Garden Gate, with a gate between the school yard and the rest of the walled-in garden The Garden of the Senses for the newly built pre-school. Our solution was a construction in lacquered wrought iron, forming an architectonic element – a framed entryway – which defines the space and its functions and which, in a playful way, transforms the boundary itself into a room.

Description of the place:
Uddegården pre-school was built in 1946, a stone’s throw from the Skånska wool factory, for the children of factory employees. In conjunction with the building of a new pre-school, the school yard was divided into different zones. On the west side, between the end of the school building and the border of the grounds, a garden was planted in order to stimulate all the senses and to provide a calm and quiet area in the school yard. The Garden of the Senses is narrow – 6 x 26 meters – and is mostly surrounded by a brick wall. Its southern short side contains the entrance to the garden and the site of the art work. The garden and the school yard have been designed by landscape architects, Cecilia Parin and Ylva Peterson in association with Tengbom Architects.

Goal and design of Garden Gate:
Our intention was to give the fence and entryway a clear spatial character – on a large as well as small scale – which would relate in a playful way something about the place and contribute to the idea behind The Garden of the Senses. The fence therefore became three-dimensional, suggesting a hedge, and the roof rests on narrow posts that were made to resemble tree trunks, emphasizing the various spaces and passages in and out of the garden. The entire construction also frames and reinforces the deep perspective of the narrow garden, seen from the school yard. The fence consists of 18 connected arched frames in painted wrought iron, varied in height, with diagonal bars, and two rectangular gates. The frames are placed overlapping to create visual effects which – thanks to the different directions and the regularities of the bars within the arches – acquire an organic as well as a textile character. Four groups of metal posts support a sheet metal roof with a rain gutter. The posts have different dimensions and lean slightly in different degrees and in different directions. At the top of each group of posts is an electrical fixture. Rain water from the roof drains down in one of the posts and is collected in a little pond. The gate/entryway becomes an image of nature, a space for children to play in, and an easily accessible protection from the weather.

Garden Gate, detail.



Tower Block, 2014
Public decoration commissioned by Botkyrka Municipality, for new housing in the Sjöterrassen neighbourhood in Fittja.
Architects Kjellander Sjöberg, Funkia Landskapsarkitektur.

Tower Block, 20x32 m.     Photo: John Håkansson

The work, in the form of lines of black ground bricks, depicts a plan at a scale of 1:1, dated 1969, by the architects Jon Höjer and Sture Ljungqvist. The plan represents the flats on one floor of the nearby twelve-storey tower blocks in Värdshusvägen. Both the plan and the tower blocks are turned at an angle of four degrees in relation to the row houses in Sjöterrassen.

I see the pattern on the ground as an overlapping projection or a marker of something that could have existed on the site.

With my work I want to link the old with the new and give people an opportunity to think about changes over time in the view of how people are supposed to live.
Mats Andersson

Fittjaterrassen, the Fittja Terrace, consists of apartments and row houses in a small-scale and varied urban neighbourhood. A public footpath runs diagonally through the area, reinforced by small open places (squares). The diagonal connects Fittja Centre with Fittja Äng and Fittja Gård. Through the diagonal passage Fittjaterrassen takes on a public urban small-scale character that benefits both the residents and the public as a whole.
Extract from the design programme, 3 June 2010, Botkyrka Municipality.

Tower Block, detail.

Fittja, view from the south-east. Buildings mostly constructed 1971–74.


Torna-Hällestad 1:3.5, 2008
Public commission for Torna-Hällestad school, Municipality of Lund, Sweden

West elevation

Torna-Hällestad School was built in or around 1900, during an expansive period in Swedish history. A decline in rural birth rates during the 1960s and 70s was followed by a resurgence of nativity. Larger facilities were now needed, and in 2006 and 2007 the Municipality had the school renovated and enlarged. Walls were removed inside the old building and the rooms allotted new uses. An extension, invisible from the village street, was constructed behind the old building, to which it is linked by a passage, rather resembling a lock gate, in the middle of the volume.

Torna-Hällestad 1:3.5, emanated from this transformation.

I reduced the intended volume of the school building by a ratio of 1 to 3½. An incision along the roof ridge of the central aisle formed a completely level, vertical wall surface. This volume, in the form of a greenhouse, was positioned in the southern part of the school plot.

The purpose of the greenhouse, in addition to enhancing both teaching and play, was to intertwine the transformation of the school – new content in an old shell – with the design of the greenhouse.

Technical data:

Toughened glass and aluminium, brick wall on a precast footing. Temperature-controlled ventilation and manually operated shade curtains. Water and electricity supply connected.

The greenhouse occupies a total of 27 m2, external measurements 11.5 x 3.2 metres. Indoor headroom 2.7 / 2.5 m.

Torna-Hällestad 1:3.5. Greenhouse for public school playground. H 2,7 / 2,5 m, w 11,5 m d 3,2 m. North elevation. Photo Terje Östling


Folding Wall, 2007

Folding Wall, Lunds konsthall

The architecturally painted screen becomes a theatrical prop that can be seen from several perspectives, but always remains the illusion of an illusion. It might be compared with the backdrops in photographers´ studios in the nineteenth century, or with the folding screens which conceales scenes of dressing and undressing.


The Gallery, 2006

The Gallery, Galleri Ping-Pong

In front of the window stands a wooden model; The Gallery. It is a, built to scale – but manipulated, model of the room itself. The character of the gallery, which can be surveyed like a diorama from the street outside, relates to the room of the model. The room of the model itself takes the form of a temporary construction, a construction placed in a fictional, larger room.



Two Stories, 2006

Two Stories 2006, photo, 55 x 32 cm (accompanied with text), Galleri Ping-Pong

Two Stories
Architect Carl August Österman received his education at the Academy of Art in Vienna. He graduated in 1886 and remained in Vienna for another two years before he moved back home to Stockholm. In 1912 he started furnishing the rooms on the second floor of his property in S:t Paulsgatan 12. Through systematic coverage of al the city’s auctions he acquired the thousands of objects in plaster, porcelain and cast iron which in due course would fill every inch of his flat. This precision work kept Österman busy for 26 years, and to the last day of his life.

After inheriting it in 1906, Nils von Höpken let his childhood home slowly fall into decay. He himself had had his own address in central Stockholm since the 1890s. From 1914 the castle remained uninhabited and after 1916 von Höpken was never to visit it again. Between 1917 and 1946 countless disputes about the management of the estate took place between the baron and the authorities. In his many writings to the authorities, von Höpken never cared to address them reverently, rather his tone was condescending and scornful. Von Höpken, who lived a secluded life, only ever once gave a personal interview. On that occasion he expressed his vision of Bogesund as a future National Park (Vecko-Journalen, nr 22, 1931). He wanted to see the estate as a “living Skansen”– complete with staff representing the different geographical regions and dressed in the traditional folk costumes. Von Höpken himself, however, avoided visiting the land and kept up the management and the trials by proxy.

Towards the end of the 30s Gustaf Pettersson moved into one of the rooms on the ground floor of the south wing. Pettersson, who had been the baron’s forest warden since 1918, had a dog, a weapon, and an order not to let anybody in. By this time the decay had gone so far the ceiling had come down in some of the rooms.

Despite the presence of Pettersson, on the 15th October 1938 an antique dealer from Klara, accompanied with two other fellows, were arrested for having sold art and silver from Bogesund. The trio had burgled the castle several times during the autumn of 1937 and spring of 1938. Nonetheless, Von Höpken denied that anything had gone missing and the police was denied permission to enter the premises. The trio could only be persecuted and sentenced when von Höpken’s sister stepped in as the prosecutor.


After prolonged trials about the management of Bogesund the authorities’ final argument for intervening was that Bogesund did not produce enough food to be in the best interest of the provision for the people. Von Höpken’s view was that the holding had been maintained in the best way possible under the circumstances, and that the authorities were only interested in the land so that they could exploit it financially.

Lex Bogesund, the law of compulsive redemption of neglected agricultural property was established on 29th March 1946 (an extension of a law from 30th June 1942).

After a decision taken by the government the day after the implementation of the law, the Bogesund estate (approximately 8,278 acres of land, including a 55 km long stretch of beach, situated 29 km from Stockholm) was confiscated by the state. The purchase sum was set by the expropriating committee to 11 606 103 kronor.

On 11th December 1947 the Bogesund commission (appointed by the department of agriculture) presented a proposal with regard to the future use of the estate. For what was to remain farmland they proposed three different alternatives:

– The land to be let in small units to individual farmers, much like the conditions used to be prior to the state overtaking the land.
– The land to be let to farming cooperatives.
– The state to maintain the land, which would mean a greater opportunity to conduct trials and research. In all of the three suggestions it was implicit the possibility of the land to be used for other purposes (settlement). The castle itself could be used for conferences and the like.

Vattenbyggnadsbyrån on their hand studied a proposal which involved a combination of leisure settlement and agriculture – ”Housewives, industrial workers, groups of school children, congress participants just to name a few, will be able to combine a trip to the capital with the possibility of enjoying the nature and the great outdoors within just a short distance”.

In 1951 the arable land of the northern parts of Bogesund was planted with a trial forest by the Institute of Forest Research. The castle was repaired tolerably in the beginning of the 50s to prevent further damage caused by wind and weather. Only in the 80s was the castle in good enough shape to be opened to the public during the summer season. The plans to build on the land have so far led to nothing. The Lex Bogesund has never been applied apart from in this case.

*** After his death in December 1938, Architect Österman’s home on S:t Paulsgatan was documented by a photographer from the magazine Svenska Hem. Shortly after the collection was dissolved and dispersed.

The dining room, S:t Paulsgatan 12

Pettersson by the gate



Portal, 2004

Portal, 2004, (fully coated) MDF board, h 2,58 cm. Konstfrämjandet, Galleri S:t Gertrud, Malmö. Photo Vegar Moen

Portal consists of two identical baroque portals. Detached from the floor, they hang opposite each other in a corner as if reflecting the other.



Bench, 2004

Bench, 2004, DVD, 2 min 52, loop, installation with two screens

The video Bench is shown on two separate screens and depicts an ordinary situation where a man and a woman are sitting on a park bench. The man is shown on the left screen and the woman on the right. After a short while a brief contact is established between the two images, giving a new significance to the scene.



Teatro del Dongo, 2003

Teatro del Dongo, 2003, 250 x 146 x 106 cm, wood

Teatro del Dongo
The Archbishop´s young coadjutor, Fabricio del Dongo*, is as strongly passionate as the objects of his passion are easily interchangeable. The latest, unattainable subject of his passion, Clélia Crescenzi, is sitting in her box at the principal theatre of Parma to attend a performance by a certain tenor from Milan. Fabricio is also there, in a box opposite that of Clélia´s, looking at her in disguise. In the middle of the performance, Fabricio leaves hastily from the theatre in order to reach his church (where he usually holds his increasingly passionate sermons awaiting for C to attend). On climbing into the pulpit, he notices that the whole of the audience from the principal theatre, which equals the high society of the small town, is now present in his church awaiting another inspired sermon. Only Clélia and the tenor remain alone at the theatre.

*The main character in The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal.

Mensch, 2002

Mensch, 2002, b/w photo, 9 x 11,5 cm

A group of people dressed for picnic find themselves in a harsh environment seemingly clinging to each other.


Untitled, 2002

Untitled, 2002 (UKS, Oslo 2004), h 48 cm, w 198 cm, d 81 cm, wood, glass

The architecturally painted screen becomes a theatrical prop that can be seen from several perspectives, but always remains the illusion of an illusion. It might be compared with the backdrops in photographers´ studios in the nineteenth century, or with the folding screens which conceales scenes of dressing and undressing.


Interior, 2001

Interior 2001, 150 x 101 cm, C-print



Norfolk Island Pine, 2001

Norfolk Island Pine, 2001, DVD, 28 min. looped. Showed on monitor or projected, sound

By means of a subtle interference in an everyday scenario with myself placed in front of my camera, off-centre, this work can be seen as dealing with the topic of nature contra culture, individual and society.

The recording that was made in the Copenhagen Botanical Garden also rises humorous questions regarding the true protagonist of the video, (the artist? the specific species of pine tree pictured to his right in the picture frame?). The slightly bewildered visitors to the botanical garden seem not to be able to tell the difference.



Meeting Félicité, 1999

Meeting Félicité, 1999, h 4 m, w 2.44 m, d 3.92 m. Plywood, MDF-board, glass. UKS gallery, Oslo, 2004

The scene or the event I have in mind is akin to the torpor that makes you a visitor in your own dreams. Despite your being a spectator, and not really knowing how you ended up in this place, all of a sudden you are both a party in and the cause of an encounter. As the silence is absolute and there are no words to be had, the narrative has to be somewhere else, perhaps in the architectural framework. The space and the encounter are, respectively, the physical and the mental condensation of a narrative into a moment.

Part 1:
There’s something stale, oppressive, and rather noxious about the setting; nonetheless, it has a certain lurid attraction. She’s very anxious, very concerned, but may not know what for or what about; it’s been a long time since she got here. She stops halfway down the stairs, fixing me still with her gaze. I remain downstairs, holding back, irresolute.

Part 2:
Point of departure: a short story by Flaubert
An incomplete life, having endured such a wealth of repression that it’s questionable whether it can be called a life any longer, is redeemed at the very last moment. An exceedingly mundane creature metamorphoses into an ecstatic vision, of a spiritual or an erotic nature.

In 1220 Thibaut (born in Troyes about 1201, dead in Pamplona 1253), king of Champagne and Navarre, also known as poet and composer, married Gertrud, daughter of Albert, count of Metz and Dagsbourg. Two years later he repudiated her for reasons of barrenness and consanguinity. In 1239 Thibaut, who was possessed of the true chivalric spirit, responded to the appeal of Pope Gregory IX exhorting Christianity to set out on a crusade to deliver the holy places. The result were disastrous for the crusaders who where routed by the Muslim hordes.



Beröringspunkter, 1998

Beröringspunkter, 1998, 60x44 cm, C-print. ”stArt 98”, Stockholm, frotté magasin nr 1, 1998 cm

A torso of a man with his hand raised, the fingertips gently touching a pane which is only visible through the slight impression it makes on the fingers.