In conversation with Atelier Paul Vaugoyeau
With the recent opening of our new headquarters, we sit down with our long-term friend and collaborator, Paul Vaugoyeau, to discuss the creative process behind the new office. He shares with us how craft and artisanal making are essential to his approach to furniture and architectural design.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and when you first collaborated with ASKET?
I’m a French architectural and furniture designer based in Stockholm. Before I started my studio Atelier Paul Vaugoyeau in 2017, I worked for a Swedish furniture brand, Hem, and I first met August and Jakob and learned about ASKET. We met up for coffee once in a while to catch up, and it was refreshing to hear how the brand was growing from time to time. I am impressed by how much care they put into every part of the process, from sourcing raw materials to milling and sewing. It feels like yesterday when I designed ASKET’s first real showroom and office at Dalagatan in 2018 as my first project.
Can you walk us through the design process of the new office?
When I first walked into ASKET’s new office space, it felt like I was traveling back in time. I was impressed by how well-preserved the building was. The floorplan was constructed in a long rectangle, as you would imagine an old factory would look like. To keep the history of this industrial building, I restored as many architectural elements as possible when I designed the office space. I mainly reused aluminum to exude the charm of an old factory and custom-designed hard oak wooden tables to bring more warmth into the room.
Tell us more about how the oak tables are made.
When I sketch my ideas, I envision how each piece of furniture will serve a purpose in that space. Since the new office space had no rooms or walls, I sketched as many furnishings as possible to map out the meeting rooms, canteen, and focus rooms. With the help of local skilled carpenters, I custom-designed oak tables in different sizes to cater to the team’s needs. Every table is made from Sawn Oak, dried in Näfveqvarn and constructed in Stigtomta, an hour and a half south of Stockholm. Oak is a durable hardwood commonly used in Europe and ages beautifully over time. The carpenters had to create custom handles to carry the tables due to their immense weight and dimensions. They were delivered in parts and mounted on the spot by the skilled team from Stigtomta.
How did you translate ASKET’s ethos into a physical space?
ASKET’s ethos feels very close to how I approach my work. From sketching to selecting material and prototyping, I consider how each piece of furniture will influence how people use the space for the years to come. We reused a lot of furnishings from the previous office for this new office and worked with what we already had. We kept all of the big furniture from the old office (sofas, meeting chairs and desk chairs) while adding some new furniture to fill the much larger, new space. The old old desks and meeting tables were handed down to the new tenant at the old location. Nothing went to waste. Architectural design is not always about how much you renovate the space; it’s also about how you can use your resources in the most effective way.