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Sigrun Bülow-Hübe collection
The archive represents her residential, commercial, and cultural projects in Sweden (1930-50) and Canada (to 1994), including the Malmö City Theatre, interior and furnishings for the Ottawa City Hall council chamber, and one of 12 model units for Moshe Safdie’s Habitat ’67, as well as documentation of her research awards and press.
Bülow-Hübe was born in Linköping, Sweden. She studied under Kaare Klint at the School of Architecture of Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts) in Copenhagen and spent her vacations as an apprentice in a furniture factory which had never before taken in a woman. Upon graduation she was employed by the office of the Royal Cathedral Architect for Southern Sweden, restoring medieval churches and designing church furniture until a recurrence of childhood tuberculosis sent her to a sanitorium for almost a year.
At the end of 1936 she was hired by Rolf Engstromer who was doing the most important interior architectural work in Sweden. His Jefta Furniture continued to produce her tables, chairs and beds until she moved to Canada in 1950.
In 1950 Bülow-Hübe wrote ""Vi Tänker Bygga"" (We Think To Build), a highly successful book about housing for laymen which explained everything from how to get a loan to completing the most complex plumbing tasks. In the same year she was invited to act as a design consultant for the T. Eaton Company in Montreal (which maintained several buying offices in Europe).
Bülow-Hübe worked at Eaton’s Studio until 1953 when she went into partnership with a small furniture factory to form AKA Furniture Company. AKA specialized in custom built high quality furniture and interior woodwork for both private homes, official buildings and public places including the Main Council Chamber in Ottawa City Hall, for board rooms and executive offices of Air Canada and McGill University, and for public spaces at Place des Arts and McGill. Bülow-Hübe won twelve Canadian National Industrial Design Council Awards between 1955 and 1959. The work was exhibited in many foreign trade shows in the fifties and she received wide international attention, especially in Scandinavia. In the mid 1960's Bülow-Hübe furnished an apartment in Moshe Safdie’s famous Habitat ’67.
Bülow-Hübe was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1973. She retired from the Office of Design in 1977 and reestablished herself as a consultant in Brome, Quebec, where she died in 1994.