The many windows make the upper floor of the Swedish house wonderfully bright. The hillside location allows a view of the city of Gothenburg. Bornstein points downwards: “And over there is my architecture office. Just a three-minute walk. There’s nothing more practical!” The kitchen, dining room and living room merge into an open cosiness, the honey-coloured wood adds warmth to the rooms.
Bornstein’s house is a stark contrast to the very clean, straightforward and almost hypermodern Polestar building, which the architect designed in 2018. The clever room layout of his home conceals the fact that each floor offers “only” 64 square metres of living space. “I didn’t want to build a prestige object, but a home. A place where you feel comfortable and that doesn’t cause such high heating costs. Because the winters are cold here,” explains the Swede. That’s why natural materials like pine wood and the compact construction method were so important to him.
He deliberately kept the bedrooms small because the family spends most of their time in the kitchen-living room. Would he do everything the same way again if he had to start from scratch? “Almost,” he admits, “I would probably put in more doors. I underestimated puberty a bit,” laughs the family man.
Bornstein says it was an honour to design the headquarters for Volvo’s Polestar subsidiary, as he comes from an absolute Volvo family. “Not exactly atypical in Sweden,” he laughs again. As an engineer, his father always brought home the latest models and his mother was one of the very first female employees ever: “She had a four-digit personnel number, that doesn’t even exist today,” he says. Of course, the architect also drives a Volvo himself and especially likes the latest models. “Thomas Ingenlath does an excellent job. He makes the cars desirable again and makes us Swedes incredibly proud,” he says, praising the work of Volvo’s chief designer.