Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Shopping Spree – Part 3

Written by Christopher Alm • April 28th, 2006
Shopping Spree – Part 3


Shopping in Luleå in the northern parts of Sweden was the first indoor shopping mall in Europe. Built in 1955 and designed by the famous architect Ralph Erskine, who wanted to create a mall for people to enjoy and socialize – even with the cold winter climate of northern Sweden. Apparently he got the idea while visiting a outdoor shopping mall in Canada, during the winter.

Shopping had a very modern and futuristic look, often referred to as “brutalism“. Raw, naked concrete pillars, walkways, and catwalks connecting the different levels created this rather characteristic look. At the top of the complex were a car exhibition, a symbol of the promising 1950s. The cars were lifted to the top using lifts from the outside.

The mall was instantly a hit, with soon to be bond-girl Maud Adams posing on various postcards and billboards. Shopping also featured a rather large movie theatre that was modeled after a cave. Unfortunately it was closed in 1988 and has not been open since then.

Above: shopping_lulea-maud-adams

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Anonymous

    Hi Chris, You’ve got a neat blog. I love retro-“swank” style also and you’ve got lots of cool pics of things in Sweden with swanky style. I live in America but have Swedish heritage so I always love to learn and see things from “the home country.” Nice pics you’ve put on your blog here!


  • Chris

    Thanks, always fun to hear comments from my visitors!

  • Vincent Q

    Goddag, skulle det kunna vara möjligt att få använda bilderna på shopping till en musik demo och till min myspace?

  • Chris

    Hej Vincent, jag äger inte upphovsrätten på bilderna så jag kan inte bestämma sånt. Men för min del är det inga problem att du använder dom. Du får dock gärna ge mig en länk eller något liknande från din sida.

  • Carlos Guilherme

    true, true very cool blog… retro les baxter & all.

  • yeah this is a very cool looking mall, nice place to buy gifts for loveones this christmas.

  • pamela

    because i have not exeprience it. i can't say too much but from the look i saw from the photo it look woow! as am woking as a asales lady in one of the stores in dar es salaam Tanzania Mr.Price i would like to be one of the voluteers to one of the stores selling cloths and other thing to invite me for a voluteer job for one month so that i can experience whats inside Ultra Swank.

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