The Company Restaurant Bar Cafe
The small Swedish town of Borås, some 60 kilometers east of Gothenburg, has a long history of textile manufacturing. In fact, the town was incorporated in 1621 expressly for the purpose of providing a marketplace for travelling pedlars - many of whom carried the fabrics, sewing cottons, pins and needles that would become the business of Borås.
By the 19th century, the town was home to several important cotton spinning and weaving factories, and during the 20th century the town was the undisputed centre of the Swedish textile industry.
The textile industry crash in the 1970s caused several decades of decline, but in the early 2000s, there were new signs of life, with Borås College of Textile Science leading the way with Sweden’s leading technical and creative textile education programme. Today, many mills, textile engineers and craftspeople have found new applications for their skill. Borås is once again a centre of the design and fashion industries.
Simonsland is a creative centre located in old factory buildings right by the river Viskan, whose current has powered textile mills for centuries. The centre is home to several textile training and education programmes, as well as the Borås Textile Museum and two business incubators, and comprises teaching and collaboration spaces, conference facilities, student accommodation, and of course, a bar and restaurant - The Company.
The Simonsland bar and restaurant had to serve many different purposes. In addition to being a meeting place for local students, teachers, investors, business people and mentors to meet, work, eat and drink, it also had to be able to function as a “portal” to the area for visitors and curious locals. The place, in addition to being a comfortable and welcoming restaurant and bar, also had to make visible the history, and the vibrant present, of the area so that anyone could get a sense of all the exciting things going on there.
For the design, Stylt Trampoli drew on the rich industrial and innovation heritage of the area. The details of the interior are inspired by factories and mills, and features thread, spools of multi-coloured cotton, buttons and hand-painted illustrations. The space is modern, the furniture is innovative and original, but the materials are classic - wood, concrete, fabric. The playful graphics, created by one of Stylt’s artists, combine black and white drawings with a multi-coloured pattern inspired by fabric dye. In addition to the hand-painted tiling in the restaurant, Stylt created stationery, take-away packaging, a homepage, and staff uniforms to match.
The Company is truly in the business of “Manufacturing Togetherness”, and out of that togetherness, one of Sweden’s most dynamic and innovative regions is being created, out of the ashes of the old.