Spirit Museum, wandering, and a bit of ABBA?


Because we love museums, we had to check out the Spirit Museum in Stockholm, a museum of alcohol related artwork and a history of spirits. And of course we had to experience the culture by sampling Sweden’s spirits.

Rocky at Spiritmuseum was the showcase art exhibit; works by Martin Kellerman who drew himself as a dog with a noose around his neck 20 years ago which then quickly became a popular comic strip in Sweden.

The weather thus far on the trip has been chilly with many bouts of rain then sunshine. After leaving the Sprit Museum, the downpour forced us to duck into the ABBA Museum, a homage to the 70’s band who originated in Stockholm, Sweden to wait out the rain in the café.

“Walk In, Dance Out” was their motto.

We could have danced, we could have jived-we could have had the time of our lives-IF they would have played at least one ABBA song during our visit.

BUT we did get sweet band t-shirts!

Artipelag and Riddarholmen Church

Funded through a donation by the creator of the Babybjorn, Bjorn Jakobson, the Artipelag is an art museum and restaurant located in the archipelago of Stockholm, just outside of the city. Here, we dined with friends of Kirsten’s for lunch.

Traditional Swedish techniques were used in the construction of the façade including tar to seal the wood and repel water.

Riddarholmen Church

We ended the day with the Fotografiska, a contemporary photography museum in Stockholm. Current exhibits included Like A Horse and The Same New Pet, a series of photographs exploring the process of cloning pets in South Korea.


Goodbye Helsinki, Hello Stockholm!

By now, we have left Helsinki and arrived in Stockholm, Sweden. Reflecting on my time there, the people of the Criminal Sanctions Agency have been incredibly welcoming and kind in sharing any information I requested or hadn’t even thought of to ask. I learned so much and would like to thank Mr. Kauko Niemela and Ms. Jutta Kannisto for organizing this well rounded tour of prison faciltities as well as meetings and presentations I was able to attend to learn more about the process of design and implementation. Also, all of the governors, wardens, architects, and inmates who took the time to answer my questions-thank you as well.

The Finnish prison system has been very open and honest about their practices, intent, and goals for the future. The architects for the newest model prison being constructed in the near future agreed to send me floor plans and elevations of this design. But I will not be sharing this with you.

On to Stockholm!

We arrived in Stockholm on Midsommar Eve, a major holiday in the Nordic countries. Though there are many tourists here currently, many of the shops and stores will be closed due to the holiday-residents tend to leave the city for the country on this weekend. But since they are on holiday-so am I. My prison tours will resume on Tuesday when I meet with the Swedish Prison and Probation Service in Gothenburg. Until then-I am taking in the beautiful city of Stockholm, it’s architecture, cuisine, and museums.

So far, we have visited the Vasa Museet, a museum for the Vasa, a ship that sank in 1628 on it’s maiden voyage in Stockholm Harbor. She was salvaged and reconstructed in 1961.




In just two days, I will be leaving for Finland, Sweden, and Norway to tour prisons through the opportunity of the John Worthington Ames Scholarship from the Boston Architectural College! I am very excited and honored to visit the Criminal Sanctions Agency in Helsinki where they have extended to myself as well as my colleague Kirsten Soderlund their warmest welcomes and offered us tours, lunch dates, and interviews of their carceral facilities. Following Finland, we will travel to Stockholm, then Gothenburg, Sweden where we will meet with various prison groups including the Kriminalvården, Region Väst, touring several prison facilities. And finally, I will tour Halden Prison in Norway and meet with the warden of the facility. Please stay tuned for our upcoming posts, pictures, and experiences of both the prison systems and the culture/architecture of Finland, Sweden, and Norway.