Naturum Vindelfjällen


County Administrative Board of Västerbotten County


Naturum Vindelfjällen




Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve



Far up in northern Sweden is the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve. It was established in the 1970s and has since become the largest nature reserve in the country. There are two visitor centers, Naturum Hemavan and Naturum Ammarnäs. Visitors come here to learn about the animals, nature, geology, and cultural history of the area.

When Expolgy was commissioned to design the new nature centers, their aim was to attract even more visitors to the fantastic mountain landscape shaped by the inland ice. The two exhibitions are linked, and they conceptually follow a journey along the Vindelälven river and further up the mountain. The content describes there serve's unique flora and fauna, cultural history and provides practical hiking tips. The biggest challenge in this project was to be able to talk about all the magnificent experiences outside while being inside.

In Ammarnäs, the stories are anchored in the river. This helps to keep the thematic zones of the exhibition together. In Hemavan, the content is organized based on a trip up the mountain and, starting from the mountain birch forest, the visitor moves onto the tree line, the bare mountain, and the glacier.

The exhibitions in both Ammarnäs and Hemavan have a common design language, based on abstract representation. This creates a dynamic basis for the interiors that brings them to life without trying to mimic the real shapes and colors of nature. The interiors have angles and slopes in different directions that evoke their regular appearance of the mountain landscape and the winding course of the river through the landscape. The historical artefacts and authentic objects contrast with the abstract scenography and together with large illustrationsform an exciting whole.

The color scheme acts as a guide following the zoning of the exhibition. The choice of colors is inspired by the living and changing expression of nature. During the work on the overall design, great emphasis was placed on the interplay between composition and lighting to try to create living spaces indoors.    

In both Ammarnäs and Hemavan, nature guidance is based on active participation with multiple interactions. There is a slide down a mountain, an opportunity to compare how far the visitor can jump compared to different animals, an interactive digital map table and tactile elements where the visitor can feel the fur of the Arctic fox.

To complement every exhibition, Expology was assigned the responsibility of conceptualizing and creating two sets of outdoor trails with the goal of involving groups of children and their families in nature. In Ammarnäs, the trail winds through a coniferous forest, offering visitors an immersive experience into the world of ants.On the other hand, in Hemavan, the trail meanders through their botanical garden, providing an opportunity for visitors to connect with the captivating life of the Nordic monkshood bumblebee.

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