Anni Renfors is replacing Johny Lindeberg as architect in the West Link Project. During the interview, she reveals that she has been after Johny’s job since 2012, when they met for the first time.
What is your background, and how did you come to be involved in the West Link Project?
I have been working on major projects my whole life. It goes right back to my childhood, supervising the construction of gigantic shacks in the garden, which were so big they really should have had planning permission! This interest developed over the years and led to studying architecture at Lund University. After I graduated, I worked for various companies including consultancies that were involved in various commissions linked to the West Link Project. For the past two and half years, I’ve been an architect at Västtrafik, a job I really love. But I’ve had my eye on Johny’s job since we met for the first time in 2012.
What does your role in the West Link Project involve?
Creating the conditions that ensure the West Link Project’s stations and station surroundings are attractive, safe and functional. They also have to be positive additions to the city and good places to work. This means that I am involved in all stages in order to set the correct level in terms of the design, for example I am part of several working groups linked to the various contractors.
A large proportion of my time is also devoted to the West Link Project’s art. Everything starts out from Kronotopia (LINK), which is the West Link Project’s overall art programme and is being produced in conjunction with the Public Art Agency Sweden. Kronotopia is also the name of the international art competition that invites artists to provide proposals for the design of the various stations. The artists for the station at Centralen and the landscaping at the Olskroken grade-separated junction have already been appointed. The entries that have gone through for the stations at Haga and Korsvägen are being presented at the end of August.
What is the biggest challenge of the West Link Project from your perspective?
Creating an understanding that what we are building now is our cultural heritage. Art and architecture are responsible are a very small proportion of the West Link Project’s budget, but these are the parts that will be the most visible in the future. With engineers, what is generally the case is that they have difficulty with architecture, have a little too much respect and daren't approach the field. But my experience of the collaboration within the West Link Project is that there is a lot of interest and my colleagues do not feel particularly distant. Johny has prepared the ground well.
How will you meet that challenge?
In everything I do. That’s precisely what my job is.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
Difficult question. So far, it’s been fun, even work on budgets and quality control. It is really fun that you are given access to such a large world though the Swedish Transport Administration – and so much expertise. What we are doing is important to society and the world becomes larger when you work in a large organisation.
What do you do to relax?
Read books and go skiing. And of course there are always loads of renovation projects on the go back home in Lerum, where I live with my husband and two children.
Do you talk a lot about the West Link Project in your time off?
Not much now, more so earlier during the planning stage when I was also involved, but in other roles. In any case, there’s no one questioning it, more sharing knowledge with friends who also work with infrastructure.