The history of Volta

Voltagården is the result of the first and most ambitious industrial project in Ulvsunda’s chequered history

The story of Botell Volta begins in Ulvsunda, whose history originates from a time long before the industrial facades that now dominate the surroundings. People have lived and worked here for more than half a millenia. The first documented inhabitant of Ulvsunda is a man named Björn. He had a runestone erected in the neighboring village of Riksby declaring that he lived in Ulvsunda: “Byki uti Ulvsundi”.

During the 17th century, at the time when Sweden was a major European military power, the area was purchased by field marshal Lennart Torstenson. Having made a fortune in loot during the 30-year war, he sought to invest in the construction of a grand renaissance project. Despite its three rebuilds it is still easy to recognise the mighty Ulvsunda Castle situated deep in the bay.

Ulvsunda becomes industrial park
Most of Ulvsunda stayed the same during the 19th century since industries established outside of the city. Two of the earlier industries were Barnängen’s soap factory and Klara Ljusfabrik. In the beginning of the 20th century, the landowner died and the land was sold to Stockholm stad. Ulvsunda was now planned to become the biggest industrial park of the Nordics with an area of 270 hectare and its own train-line, a steamer port and generator station. Plots were starting to be sold in 1912 and the home electronics company Nya Elektriska Volta was one of the first to buy.

Elektriska Volta
Nya Elektriska Volta is believed to have been founded in 1916. The company’s mission was to, with high efficiency, a mixture of their own and bought patents and an offensive marketing strategy, become Sweden’s natural home electronics distributor. The company built an at the time top modern facility. Included in this complex was Voltagården, a building for the personnel which today is Botell Volta.

The facility was finished in 1916 and among all their products, the vacuum cleaner was by far the most popular one.

The fire
Early on, in 1918, Voltagården was exposed for a big fire and burned to the ground. However, the factory itself made it without any damage and Voltagården was rebuilt immediately. When the war ended in 1919, there was a big shortage of housing in Stockholm and Volta’s solution of this crisis was to let the personnel live in Voltagården.

In 1926, the company was bought by the industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren whom mostly focused on the lucrative vacuum cleaner. Wenner-Gren sold Volta to his own company Eletrolux in 1936 and in conjuction with that, the company moved from Ulvsunda.

Voltagården ended nearly untouched until the 1980’s when it was expanded and got the shape that it has today. The building was put up for sale in 2016 and through that the first thoughts of a botell came to mind to yet again solve a housing crisis.