In 1830 the Academic Society was founded in Lund based on the Anglo-Saxon college system. They wanted to create a home for all students, but also a meeting place for university teachers and former students. Under the slogan coniuncta valent – the united is strong – has in Lund created a social and cultural center with no counterpart at any other Swedish university. AF building, also called ynglingaborgen, is beyond Academic Society also home to several independent student associations.
AF building was completed in 1851 and replaced the AF’s first house Sylwanska gården (“Sylwan’s farm”). The architect named HJ Strömberg later became city architect in Gothenburg. Stromberg was inspired by medieval castles and constructed a house specially adapted to the students’ needs. During 1800, the second half was a series of changes. Gas was installed 1863-1868, and water in 1875. In 1868 the small house housing the restaurant, and Sångsalen (“Song Hall”) was built. Stora Salen (“Great Hall”) in the south came to 1881.
The idea of the AF building was initially that all members could be in the house at the same time. As this was difficult even at the early 1900s the house was expanded to the North in 1911. The architect was Frederick Sundbärg. The new section enabled a larger restaurant and a new entrance. Inspired by the new construction the southern part was renovated during the years 1923-1924. The student nations were given new rooms, and on the second floor of the South, a magazine and reading room was created and known as the Övre Aten (“Upper Athens”).
Prior to Academic Society’s 100 year anniversary Stora Salen (“Great Hall”) was renovated. The restaurant’s former outdoor lounge was incorporated in the building in 1946 after an extension signed Hans Westman.
By then the old “ynglingaborgen” from 1851 was rather outdated and impractical and in 1951 Great Hall and all Small buildings around the courtyard were demolished. Hans Westman created the interior from scratch. The basement halls were added and the ground floor club room was turned into a giant caférum Aten (“Athens”). Great Hall changed its character to a bright and airy room instead of the old oozing knights hall. The concert hall was added with a new stage. Above floors were used as student rooms and student organization offices.
In the 1970s, much of student life moved to the student nations own houses and to the newly built Sparta. But after a few years was awakened public opinion to focus on the old castle in the middle of Lund. In 1980 Stora Salen was renovated. Café Athens had become a bookstore called Akademibokhandeln. The old café Tua was a newsagent kiosk. Although much of the activity came back to the house in the 1980s, it was clear that we needed a new major renovation to save the castle from decay which was done in the 90s.