MUSEUM FOR MILLIONS

2013-05-24

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Cities are now using exciting architecture to woo tourists. Kinnarps checks out a hot trend and meets Björn Ulvaeus who talks about his latest venture – an ABBA museum which is to become one of the world's top-ten greatest music attractions.

Museums have become the great tourist magnets of our era. Millions of visitors are drawn to museums not all the time by what is on display but by their modern architecture. Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museum in Bilbao is perhaps the best instance of what one single building can do for an entire city.
We have noticed that Stockholm hopes to achieve something similar. The mix is apparently completely irresistible: Reach-for-the-sky platform shoes, crazy glittery costumes, one of the world's most famous pop groups and amazing architecture designed by the multiple award-winning Johan Celsing.
It is of course all about the new ABBA museum.
Millions of fans have been waiting eagerly since the first plans for a museum were leaked in 2006.
It was finally time for the official opening on 7 May and Kinnarps was of course there.
The museum is located on the beautiful Djurgården island just outside the city centre, a green area that attracts more than 15 million visitors a year – in Europe only Disneyland in Paris is greater.
“Our goal is to be one the world's top-ten music attractions,” says Björn Ulvaeus, who himself played a very active role in the project, at least once he had overcome his initial doubts.
“It is naturally quite odd to build a museum about yourself. But as the band broke up way back in 1982 it feels so distant and it is more about an extraordinary story saga instead of about us.”
With its Scandinavian pine facade and copper-framed windows, the building sticks out from the older surrounding ones. Besides the museum there is also a restaurant and a first-rate hotel in the building.

Johan Celsing is the architect behind the ABBA museum.

The original song-writing cabin used by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on the island of Viggsö has been erected in the museum.
Photo: Åke E:son Lindman