As a professor of architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology, and a designer often cited for his contributions to Nordic Classicism, Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund (September 22 1885 – 20 October 1940) was a notable theorist on the most important architectural challenges of his time, first exemplified by his lecture entitled “Our Architectonic Concept of Space.”
In a world in which the "happy" architectural image feels all-pervasive, the British architect and academic Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin reveals its darker side suggesting why, and how, we might come to celebrate it. You can read Brittain-Catlin's essays on British postmodernism here, and on colorful architecture, here.
"Contemporary buildings celebrate openness, light and free-flowing movement," says the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the March 2017 issue of the Institute’s journal. This is what at my school we call an "announcement", rather than a statement of fact. Indeed, all architects and architecture students hear these words all the time. But are they true? Should they be?
The Nordic nations—Finland, Norway and Sweden—have reached a pivotal point in their collective, and individual, architectural identities. The Grandfathers of the universal Nordic style—including the likes of Sverre Fehn, Peter Celsing, Gunnar Asplund, Sigurd Lewerentz, Alvar Aalto, and Eero Saarinen—provided a foundation upon which architects and designers since have both thrived on and been confined by. The Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—directed by Alejandro Aravena—will be the moment to probe: to discuss, argue, debate and challenge what Nordic architecture really is and, perhaps more importantly, what it could be in years to come.
We're asking for every practice (and individual) across the world who have built work in Finland, Norway and Sweden in the past eight years to submit their project(s) and be part of the largest survey of contemporary Nordic architecture ever compiled.
Update: the Open Call for In Therapy closed on the 24th January 2016.
The City of Stockholm has named Caruso St John, working with Swedish practice Scheiwiller Svensson, as the architects for a renovation of Gunnar Asplund's 1928 Stockholm Public Library. The work will see alterations to the interior spaces of the main building and annex, as well as the three additional "bazaars" built to the west of the original building between 1930 and 1953, however there will be no alterations to the external appearance of the building.
Read on for more about the renovation.
With its simple geometry and classical arrangement, Stockholm’s Public Library is a difficult building to characterize. Designed by noted Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund during the 1920s, the library is the physical manifestation of a transitionary period in both the rationale of its designer and the shifting values of European architecture. The ultimate result is a deceptively complex synthesis of styles presented in a visually straightforward package: the fading influence of Neoclassicism juxtaposed against the emergence of Rationalism.