Where old crafts meet modern design

The best way to preserve old things is to use them. This is also the mantra for the Hermes II boat conservation project, when the 72-foot Skandfer cutter is to be used, maintained and preserved for future generations.

Another important part of the project is the experience shop Hermes II in Kystens Hus – The Coastal Seafood Centre in Northern Norway, which is located right beside Torghuken, where the boat has its permanent berth.

Tourism Investment The Hermes II tourism concept consists of various excursion options with Hermes II, and a separate design and gift shop in Kystens Hus. The boat was purchased back by the Hermes fishing boat company in the autumn of 2016, after having been owned by the shipowner family from 1952 to 1990. The goal of the repurchase is to preserve this gem of a wooden boat for future generations, and to use it to allow guests to experience true north Norwegian coastal culture and hear about the boat’s history. The Directorate for Cultural Heritage always emphasizes the importance of the principle of “preservation through use”, and any profits from trips with Hermes II and the operation of the shop should exclusively go to the maintenance and refurbishment of the boat.

Hermes 2 shop

Shop and tour centre Daily operation and rental of the boat is carried out by the same team that runs the design and gift shop Hermes II in Kystens Hus. Here, the public can book excursions on the boat, see a hand-picked selection of environmentally friendly local and Scandinavian design products, or simply wander around and experience some of Northern Norway’s coastal and fishing culture.

Traditional craftsmanship Local craft companies were used during both the building of the shop and the refurbishment of the boat. First, the North Norwegian Ship Preservation Centre in Gratangen carried out the hull work on the boat, before building the side of a boat inside the shop – following historically correct principles for building wooden boats such as Hermes II. The side of the boat serves both as an important element in the shop’s interior design and in the narrative of the boat’s history.

Hand-painted décor The shop windows are decorated by Sign-painter Gundersen. He often ventures out into the world with his brushes from his home in Tromsø, where he has carried out numerous fine decorating projects. You are just as likely to see his work on restaurant façades in the global metropolis of Tokyo as on a small shop at the very end of Lofoten. Kristian Gundersen is a great example of artisans who really strive to maintain old crafts.

Modern shop design Traditional craftsmanship meets modern design impulses in shop premises. Here, designer and architect Mads-Emil Garde has taken inspiration from fish crates stacked as if in a fish market, as well as by the woodwork on the helm of Hermes II. The interior of the shop is custom built according to his drawings. The side of the hull, with built-in changing room and storage, was also his idea. His combination of modern and historical features gives the shop a very distinctive, Scandinavian expression.

Stop by and have a look The shop was opened in August 2019, and with diverse design products and unique Hermes II collections in place, the mix of tradition and modernity works really well. Here, designers and craftsmen have ensured that the Hermes II design and gift shop also will give you an exiting experience!

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