110 years have passed since the foundation was laid for the Tengbom we are today. A lot has happened since then of course, but it is a history that we are immensely proud of. Best of all perhaps is that there is a lot to be experienced even today. In the form of architecture.
It all started in 1906, when Ivar Tengbom and Ernst Torulf founded the architect firm Tengbom and Torulf. The success is almost immediate, when Ivar Tengbom wins second prize in a competition for Stockholm’s town hall. The winner was, as we all know, Ragnar Östberg. But Tengbom quickly becomes a name to be reckoned with and completes many prestigious projects such as Borås town hall (1909) and the Högalid church (1911-23). Six years later, Torulf leaves the firm and Tengbom’s solo career takes off.
By the the 1920s, his firm is one of the largest in the country; not surprising given the prestigious projects already in its portfolio such as Stockholm’s concert hall, Enskilda Banken’s head office by Kungsträdgården, Tändstickspalatset and Citypalatset. As an iconic architect – first as a representative of the national romantics movement and then, in the 1920s, as a classicist of the era and a functionalist – Ivar Tengbom also makes a name as a restoration architect, and palace architect at both the Stockholm and Drottningholm Palaces.
When Ivar dies in 1963, his son Anders Tengbom takes over, who has by now worked at the firm since the 1930s. Anders leads the company into its next phase in the 1950s–1970s, with well-known buildings such as Skogshem (1958), the second Hötorgshuset (1960), Svenska Dagbladet house (1961), the Embassy in Moscow (1961) and the Trygg Hansa offices (1976). From 1963 to 2006, Tengbom’s offices are at Kornhamnstorg 6 in the Old Town and from 1970, the ownership alters again when the grandson Svante Tengbom takes over the business. During the coming decade, the number of architects, interior designers and modellers amounts to some 60 people. Important buildings from the era include Canon’s head office (1978), the reconstruction of Rosenbad (1981), Asea Stal (1987), the City terminal (1988) and the Svalan neighbourhood (1990).
Towards the end of the 1980s, the ownership widens again as more members of the Tengbom family join and open offices in towns such as Malmö, Helsingborg and Gothenburg. Examples of buildings and extensions from this era are Länsförsäkringsbolagen (1990), Sagerska Huset (1990), Riga Business School (1995), Tyrén’s office building (1997), Hotel Skansen, Båstad (2001), Canon’s head office (2001), Sickla Quay and Hammarby Gård (2000-2006) and Dockan in Malmö (2005).
Now, several new companies join the Tengbom concern and during the first two decades of the 2000s, the company sees its largest expansion ever, with the number of employees reaching 550, spread over eleven cities in Sweden and Finland. In January 2016, Johanna Frelin is appointed CEO and Tengbom is ranked as the fourth most innovative architecture firm in the world by the business magazine Fast Company. The award is based on cross disciplinary and research based projects concerning the dwellings of the future such as 10 Smarta kvadrat and HSB Living Lab.