Auto shows have served as the place for brands to come show off their new products for quite some time. From crazy concept cars, to new technology, or even just the upcoming year’s latest production models, if it didn’t debut at one of the big shows, it hardly mattered at all to the automotive world. In recent years, however, we’ve seen more brands ducking the big shows, where competition is high and holding peoples’ attention can be difficult, in exchange for hosting smaller, more personal events.
Recently, Volvo unveiled what it hopes will be one of its most popular cars of 2019, the new Volvo V60. And Volvo didn’t do it in Frankfurt, Paris, Detroit, New York, or Tokyo; it did it right in the heart of where its cars matter most—the suburbs. More specifically, in one of Sweden’s swanky suburbs, in the driveway of a beautifully designed, newly built, completely modern villa that, as design nerds, we fell in love with the moment we saw it.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, we posted our first thoughts of the re-designed Volvo V60, which you can see here. But in the meantime…
Just a Quiet Street in the Suburbs
There were no real indicators that we were anywhere special. No flashing lights or huge projector screens, and no bustling crowds full of reporters scrambling over one another for the best view. The only thing that gave us any indication we were in the right spot was the old white Volvo wagon parked just outside.
Other than that, it really was just a quiet street in the suburbs outside of bustling Stockholm. All of the houses were large and beautiful (We were told that someone from the famous Swedish pop group ABBA had lived in the house across the street at one point), but the street itself seemed completely ordinary. There were trash and recycling receptacles left curbside at the house next door, and at one point, the owners of that house came home and seemed pretty confused by all the hubbub next door. When we were upstairs, exploring the third floor later in the afternoon, we could see into the window of a neighboring house, where a small group of people were peering down at the crowd of journalists and industry folk below.
And as though the crafty Swedes had somehow found a way to manipulate the weather, it started snowing soon after we arrived, creating the perfect backdrop for the afternoon’s festivities.
Built in 2017 by Eldeing Oscarson, with a careful eye toward melding Tokyo-style design with Swedish suburban living, the house itself is modern and beautiful, and features vertically slated Aluzink aluminum siding mounted on the stone structure, paired elegantly with wood-framed doors and windows made of Siberian Larch.
Inside, the three-story house is absolutely spotless. So spotless, in fact, that each of us was required to put covers on over our shoes before we were allowed to walk inside. It’s set up like a standard art gallery in the basement/first floor, and presently lined with photography prints from Swedish artist Joakim Blomquist, outlining his work in the French Riviera.
The second floor serves as a sort of social area, and did well to accommodate the 70 or so people in attendance when we were there. The clean and modern kitchen comes complete with a standard drip coffee machine, and even featured gluten-free cookies atop the beautiful and large island-style table during our visit. When they said we’d be having a taste of Swedish suburbia, it was easy to see they really meant it.
The rest of the downstairs is constructed with concrete flooring, and a parlor area tucked away in the corner is furnished with minimalistic coffee tables and fauna, and large windows that look out onto the walkway and neighboring homes. The ceilings are exposed raw wood, which contrast beautifully with the white walls and concrete flooring throughout.
From there, a spiral staircase takes guests to the third floor, which is carpeted and is where the owners’ private bedrooms and bathrooms are located. This is the part where things got a little weird. We’re not sure if it’s a Swedish thing or just that we’re just private people, but there was something particularly strange about being able to casually walk through the home’s third-floor bedrooms. It felt like we were peeking in on a part of the world we weren’t meant to see, but then again, that’s really what this whole event was supposed to be about; really experiencing life from the perspective of the kinds of people who’d drive the Volvo V60.
We learned later there’s also a secret rooftop terrace that can only be reached by a foldable attic staircase, but we never got to take in the view. C’est la vie!
The house is owned by Louise and Richard, who live there with their three children. Both are entrepreneurs, Richard being the founder of a handmade bicycle company and Louise being the co-founder of a horse lifestyle product company. Before owning the home, their dream was to create a one-stop-shop that melded gallery culture, private living, and collaborative workspaces together.
That all came to fruition when they decided to purchase the plot from their current neighbor, who had used the property as a massive submerged garage to store his classic car collection.
All told, we like when people think outside the box. When the team from Volvo first contacted us about the joy and beauty of Swedish suburbia, and how they intended on debuting the new Volvo V60 wagon there, we were a little skeptical. And in the end, our skepticism is ultimately what made us decide to head out there and check it out for ourselves. Frankly, we’re glad we did. Check out the photos and have a look for yourselves!