Fabriken Furillen

It is said that five hundred years ago a wildfire swept through the island of Furillen, giving it it’s name. You can believe it. The landscape is vast, dry and mainly flat, except for the looming hills of limestone left as reminders that this place was used as a quarry until the early seventies. The trees look like upright carcases planted in the stony ground. It is savage and desolate. In a beautiful way.

This small Swedish peninsula is where Johan Hellström opened the hotel Fabriken Furillen. A commercial photographer, Hellström used the factory area and the island as the background for numerous photo shoots. In 1999, he purchased all available land on the island, and began the conversion of the factory site. The changes made to the original infrastructure started with the old workers’ canteen, which was transformed into five rooms, then expanded into eighteen through the use of locally sourced materials such as limestone, concrete and hardwood. The hotel is currently expanding by another six rooms in order to provide twenty four in total.

From outside, the building itself is striking. An industrial monolith. In keeping with its surroundings, it is grey. As for the interior? Well, that’s also grey, but, due to the expansive windows and white-washed furniture, the spaces express a sense of calm rather than bleakness.

It’s clear that many agree. The ‘Fotografiska’, an exhibition area in the old wooden engine hall, and ‘The Tunnel’, a dining area that seats up to one hundred and twenty people, accommodate fashion shows by local designers and many other events every year. If you need another reason to go: they keep chickens.


Photography: Johan Hellström

WordsRosemary Munro

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