Gunnar Asplund

Erik Gunnar Asplund (22 September 1885 – 20 October 1940) was a Swedish architect, mostly known as a key representative of Nordic Classicism of the 1920s, and during the last decade of his life as a major proponent of the modernist style which made its breakthrough in Sweden at the Stockholm International Exhibition (1930). Asplund was professor of architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology from 1931. His appointment was marked by a lecture, later published under the title "Our architectonic concept of space."[1]

Gunnar Asplund
Gunnar Asplund
Born22 September 1885
Died20 October 1940 (aged 55)
NationalitySwedish
OccupationArchitect
BuildingsVilla Sturegården, Nyköping, (1913), The Snellman House, Djursholm, (1918), Stockholm (1920) The Listers County Court House, Sölvesborg, (1921), The Skandia Cinema, Stockholm (1923), Stockholm Public Library, (1928),
ProjectsSkogskyrkogården (1914-40), Gothenburg Courthouse Extension (1913-37)

Major works

Among Asplund's most important works is the Stockholm Public Library, constructed between 1924 and 1928, which stands as the prototypical example of the Nordic Classicism and so-called Swedish Grace movement. It was particularly influential on the proposal submitted for the competition for the design of the Viipuri Library in 1927 by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who regarded Asplund as his mentor.[2]

Another important work is the extension of the Gothenburg Courthouse Extension building which Asplund started on 1913 and finished 1937 - it shows his transformation from neo-classical to functionalist architect, a transformation in parallel with other European modernists like Erich Mendelsohn.

Asplund collaborated with architect Sigurd Lewerentz in the design of Skogskyrkogården, a cemetery which is a UNESCO world heritage site, created between 1914 and 1940. They were also the main architects for the temporary Stockholm International Exhibition (1930). Although temporary, the modernist, exposed-glass-and-steel-frame Entry Pavilion at the fair was internationally influential. In fact, it was influential already before its completion, having an influence on the much smaller Turku Fair in Finland, designed by Alvar Aalto and Erik Bryggman, who had travelled to Stockholm to see its construction.[3]

Gunnar Asplund is considered perhaps the most important modernist Swedish architect and has had a major influence on later generations of Swedish and Nordic architects.[4]

Our architectonic concept of space

The lecture "Our architectonic concept of space" was delivered in 1931 on the occasion of Asplund being appointed professor of architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Asplund published few theoretical texts. The lecture was later regarded as an important contribution to the attitudes of Asplund, as well as others of his generation, towards the architectural problems of the time. The lecture has its background in the then well known 2-volume book by German philosopher Oswald Spengler "The decline of the West" (1918 and 1922).[5]

Gallery

Skandiateatern Asplund 1922

1922 sketch by Gunnar Asplund of the interior of the Skandia cinema, Stockholm

Stockholms-stadsbibliotek-2003-04-14

Stockholm Public Library

Gothenburg's city hall

Gothenburg's Courthouse Extension, interior

Skogskyrkogarden WoodChapel1

Skogskyrkogården cemetery

Listers härads tingshus i Sölvesborg - 2

Listers County Court House, Sölvesborg

Notes

  1. ^ Gunnar Asplund, "Our architectonic concept of space", reproduced in "Swedish Grace: Modern classicism in Stockholm", International Architect, No. 8, vol. 1, Iss.8, 1982.
  2. ^ Alvar Aalto Arkkitehti / Architect 1898-1976. Helsinki, Rakennustieto / Alvar Aalto Säätiö, 1998.
  3. ^ Schildt, G. (1984) Alvar Aalto: The Early Years, Otava:Helsinki. ISBN 084780531X.
  4. ^ On Gunnar Asplund at the Swedish National Encyclopediae website (in Swedish, password needed)
  5. ^ Gunnar Asplund, "Our architectonic concept of space", reproduced in "Swedish Grace: Modern classicism in Stockholm", International Architect, No. 8, vol. 1, Iss.8, 1982, pp. 40-41.

External links

1917 in architecture

The year 1917 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

1918 in architecture

The year 1918 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

1928 in architecture

The year 1928 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

1940 in architecture

The year 1940 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

Acceptera

acceptera (1931) is a Swedish modern architecture manifesto written by architects Gunnar Asplund, Wolter Gahn, Sven Markelius, Eskil Sundahl, Uno Åhrén, and art historian Gregor Paulsson. Claiming that Swedish “building-art” (byggnadskonst) has failed to keep pace with the revolutionary social and technological change sweeping Europe in the early 20th century, the authors argue that the production of housing and consumer goods must embrace a functionalist orientation in order to meet the particular cultural and material needs of both modern society and the modern individual. Combining social analysis with an iconoclastic critique of contemporary architecture and handicraft, acceptera ardently calls upon its readers not to shrink back from modernity, but rather to “accept the reality that exists—only in that way have we any prospect of mastering it, taking it in hand, and altering it to create a culture that offers an adaptable tool for life.”The manifesto was written in connection with, and published shortly after, the 1930 Stockholm Exhibition. The exhibition, which was directed in part by Asplund and featured contributions by each of the authors, offered a variety of structures representative of the functionalist and International styles. It took as its slogan the phrase Acceptera!—translatable into English as either the imperative “accept!” or the infinitive “to accept!”

Together, the Stockholm Exhibition and publication of acceptera constitute a definitive moment in the development of Swedish modern architecture and urban planning, both of which would be influenced in the following decades by many of the ideas regarding industrial production, planning, standardization, and functionality promulgated by the manifesto’s authors.

Asplund

Asplund is a Swedish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Arne Asplund (1903–1993), Swedish scientist and inventor

Bo Asplund, Swedish diplomat

Carl-Erik Asplund (born 1923), Swedish speed skater

Gunnar Asplund (1885–1940), Swedish architect

Jennie Asplund, Swedish singer and guitarist in the rock band Sahara Hotnights

Johan Asplund (1937–2018), Swedish sociologist

Johan Asplund (ice hockey) (born 1980), Swedish ice hockey player

Johanna Asplund, Swedish bassist and backing vocalist of pop-rock band Sahara Hotnights

Josefin Asplund, Swedish actress

Karl Asplund (1890–1978), Swedish poet, short story writer, and art historian

Lena Asplund (born 1956), Swedish politician

Lillian Asplund (1906–2006), last American survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic

Djursholm

Djursholm (Swedish pronunciation: [jʉːʂˈhɔlm]) is one of four suburban districts in, and the seat of Danderyd Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden. Djursholm is included in the multi-municipal Stockholm urban area. Djursholm is divided into a number of different areas - Djursholms Ekeby (northwest), Svalnäs (northeast), Ösby (central), Berga (southwest) and Gamla Djursholm ('Old Djursholm', southeast).

Gothenburg city hall

Not to be confused with the nearby Bourse (Gothenburg) which is also sometimes translated to "city hall".

The Gothenburg City Hall (Swedish: Göteborgs rådhus) is located in Gothenburg, western Sweden.

It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style. It was used primarily as a law court until 2010.

The older building was built cirka 1670. The architect was Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. The newer part was finished in 1936 after the design and supervision by architect Gunnar Asplund.

Gunnar

Gunnar is a male first name of Nordic origin (Gunnarr in Old Norse). The name Gunnar means fighter, soldier, and attacker, but mostly is referred to by the Viking saying which means Brave and Bold warrior (gunnr "war" and arr "warrior"). King Gunnar was a prominent king of medieval literature such as the Middle High German epic poem, the Nibelungenlied, where King Gunnar and Queen Brynhildr hold their court at Worms. Gunder is a nordic variant, Günther is the modern German variant, and Gonario is the Italian version. Some people with the name Gunnar include:

Gunnar Andersen

Gunnar Andersen (1890–1968), Norwegian football player and ski jumper

Gunnar Andersen (1909–1988), Norwegian ski jumper

Gunnar Aagaard Andersen (1919–1982), Danish sculptor, painter and designer

Gunnar Reiss-Andersen (1896–1964), Norwegian poet

Gunnar Andersson

Johan Gunnar Andersson (1874–1960), Swedish archaeologist, paleontologist and geologist

Gunnar Andersson (1890–1946), Swedish trade unionist

Gunnar Andersson (Spökis; 1923–1974), Swedish aviator

Gunnar Andersson (footballer) (1928–1969), Swedish football player

Per-Gunnar Andersson

Per-Gunnar Andersson (born 1957), Swedish racing driver

Per-Gunnar Andersson (born 1980), Swedish rally driver

Gunnar Asplund (1885–1940), Swedish architect

Gunnar Bärlund (1911–1982), Finnish boxer

Gunnar Berg

Gunnar Berg (1863–1893), Norwegian painter

Gunnar Berg (1897–1987), American scouting official

Gunnar Berg (1909–1989), Swiss-Danish composer

Gunnar Berg (1923–2007), Norwegian politician

Gunnar Andreas Berg (born 1954), Norwegian musician

Gunnar Berge (born 1940), Norwegian politician

Gunnar Berggren (1908–1983), Swedish boxer

Gunnar Birkerts (1925–2017), Latvian-American architect

Gunnar Björnstrand (1909–1986), Swedish actor

Gunnar Ekelöf (1907–1968), Swedish poet and writer

Gunnar Eklund (1920–2010), Swedish Army lieutenant general

Gunnar Fant (1919–2009), Swedish phonetician

Gunnar Fischer (1910–2011), Swedish cinematographer

Gunnar Friedemann (1909–1943), Estonian chess player

Gunnar Garbo (1924–2016), Norwegian journalist, politician and diplomat

Gunnar Graps (1951–2004), Estonian musician

Gunnar Emil Garfors (1900–1979), Norwegian poet

Gunnar Gehl (born 2001), American singer-songwriter

Gunnar Gren (1920–1991), Swedish football player

Gunnar Hámundarson (10th century), Icelandic chieftain

Gunnar Hansen (born 1947), Icelandic-American actor

Gunnar Heinsohn (born 1943), German anthropologist

Gunnar Hoppe (1914–2005), Swedish Quaternary geologist and geographer

Gunnar Höckert (1910–1940), Finnish runner

Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002), Swedish diplomat and turkologist

Gunnar Jeannette (born 1982), American racing driver

Gunnar Johansen (1906–1991), Danish-American pianist and composer

Gunnar Johansson

Gunnar Johansson (1911–1998), Swedish psychologist

Gunnar Johansson (1919–1998), Swedish canoeist

Gunnar Johansson (1924–2003), Swedish football player

Gunnar Kaasen (1882–1960), Norwegian-American dog musher

Gunnar Kangro (1913–1975), Estonian mathematician

Gunnar Knudsen (1848–1928), Norwegian politician

Gunnar Berg Lampe (1892–1978), Norwegian businessman

Gunnar Larsson

Gunnar Larsson (1908–1996), Swedish politician

Gunnar Larsson (born 1951), Swedish swimmer

Gunnar Larsson (born 1944), Swedish cross-country skier

Gunnar Malmquist (1893–1982), Swedish astronomer

Pål Gunnar Mikkelsplass (born 1961), Norwegian cross country skier

Gunnar Möller (1928–2017), German actor

Gunnar Molton (born 1993), drummer for Texas Hippie Coalition

Gunnar Myrdal (1898–1987), Swedish economist

Gunnar Nelson

Gunnar Nelson (born 1967), American musician

Gunnar Nelson (born 1988), Icelandic martial arts fighter

Gunnar Nielsen

Gunnar Nielsen (1919–2009), Swedish film actor

Gunnar Nielsen (1928–1985), Danish runner

Gunnar Guillermo Nielsen (born 1983), Faroese-Argentine football player

Gunnar Nielsen (born 1986), Faroese football player

Gunnar Nilsson

Gunnar Nilsson (1922–1997), Swedish trade unionist

Gunnar Nilsson (1923–2005), Swedish boxer

Gunnar Nilsson (1948–1978), Swedish racing driver

Gunnar Nordahl (1921–1995), Swedish football player

Gunnar Nordström (1881–1923), Finnish physicist

Gunnar Öquist (born 1941), Swedish biologist

Gunnar Persson (born 1933), Swedish cartoonist

Gunnar Seidenfaden (1908–2001), Danish diplomat and botanist

Ole Gunnar Solskjær (born 1973), Norwegian football player

Gunnar Staalesen (born 1947), Norwegian writer

Gunnar Stansson (born 1986), American screenwriter

Gunnar Stålsett (born 1935), Norwegian theologican and politician

Gunnar Taucher (1886–1941), Finnish architect

Gunnar Thoresen

Gunnar Thoresen (1920–2017), Norwegian football player

Gunnar Thoresen (1921–1972), Norwegian bobsledder

Gunnar Heiðar Þorvaldsson (born 1982), Icelandic football player

Gunnar Uusi (1931–1981), Estonian chess player

Gunnar Widforss (1879–1934), Swedish-American painter

Gustaf Adolfs torg, Gothenburg

Gustaf Adolfs torg ("Gustaf Adolf's square") is a town square located in central Gothenburg, Sweden. It was named Stortorget (the Big Square) until 1854 when a statue of the founding father of Gothenburg, king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was raised. Surrounding the square are the city hall, including the law court extension (by Gunnar Asplund), the bourse, and the main harbour canal of Gothenburg.

Heike Hanada

Heike Hanada (born 1964) is a German architect. Hanada has been working as a free artist and a teacher of architecture since 1999 at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. On 16 November 2007, Hanada's proposal Delphinium won the international architectural competition on the grand expansion of the Stockholm Public Library, one of architect Gunnar Asplund's most important works.

Nordic Classicism

Nordic Classicism was a style of architecture that briefly blossomed in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) between 1910 and 1930.

Until a resurgence of interest for the period during the 1980s (marked by several scholarly studies and public exhibitions), Nordic Classicism was regarded as a mere interlude between two far more well-known architectural movements, National Romanticism, or Jugendstil (often seen as equivalent or parallel to Art Nouveau), and Functionalism (aka Modernism).

Peter Blundell Jones

Peter Blundell Jones (4 January 1949 – 19 August 2016) was a British architect and architectural historian. He trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School, and held academic positions at the University of Cambridge and London South Bank University. He was a professor of architecture at the University of Sheffield from 1994 until his death in 2016.He was a prolific author on architectural history and theory. As well as being a regular contributor to the Architectural Review, he wrote or collaborated on monographs of the work of Erik Gunnar Asplund, Hans Scharoun, Erich Mendelsohn, Hugo Häring and Günter Behnisch.

Jones died on 19 August 2016 at the age of 67.

Sigurd Lewerentz

Sigurd Lewerentz (29 July 1885 in Sandö, Sweden – 29 December 1975 in Lund, Sweden) was an architect, initially trained as a mechanical engineer at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (1905–8). Later he took up an architectural apprenticeship in Germany. He first opened his own office in Stockholm in 1911, and through his association with Gunnar Asplund became involved with the design of cemetery.

Together they made a winning entry for the Stockholm South (Woodland) Cemetery competition of 1914–15. This project was implemented initially by both architects, however, the latter stages were done by Asplund alone. He and Asplund were appointed as the main architects for the Stockholm International Exhibition (1930) but afterwards Lewerentz became disillusioned, Lewerentz turned away from architecture for many years, and from 1940 he ran a factory producing windows and other architectural fittings of his own design.

Sigurd Lewerentz, together with his colleagues Erik Lallerstedt and David Helldén, created between 1933 and 1944 what is regarded of one of the masterpieces of functionalist architecture, Malmö Opera and Music Theatre. The foyer is considered of particular beauty, with its open surfaces and beautiful marble staircases and it is adorned with a number of works of art by artists such as Carl Milles and Isaac Grünewald. He was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal for architecture in 1950.

In the last decade of his life he designed two churches, St. Mark's, Björkhagen, Stockholm (1956) and St. Peter's, Klippan (1963–66), that revived his career in architecture. He continued to work at competition proposals and furniture designs until shortly before his death.

Klippan is a small town in western Sweden, St Peters sits in a suburban setting on the periphery of the town. The orientation of the Church is correct, with the altar standing opposite the west doors. It is square in shape, suggesting a more intimate ritual in the tradition of circonstantes (standing in a circle), which harkens back to early Christianity. This was the religious equivalent of the search for the essential and the primitive, strongly evident in both of Lewerentz's later churches. These characteristics are expressed beautifully in the detailing of the buildings, the choice of materials, the quality of light and the spatial articulation.

Simo Paavilainen

Simo Paavilainen (born 14 June 1944 in Vaasa) is a Finnish architect, and former Dean and Professor of Architecture at Helsinki University of Technology Department of Architecture.

Paavilainen studied architecture at Helsinki University of Technology, qualifying as an architect in 1975. Since 1977 he has run an architects' office in Helsinki together with his wife Käpy Paavilainen, Arkkitehtuuritoimisto Käpy ja Simo Paavilainen Oy. He was appointed Professor of Architecture at Helsinki University of Technology Department of Architecture in 1998, and dean of the school in 2004. He resigned his position in 2010 to return to private practice.

The work of the Paavilainens first came to attention in the early 1980s, at a time when Finnish critics were adamant that Postmodernism was having no significant influence on architecture in Finland, one of the bastions of Modernist architecture. Against this trend the Paavilainens introduced a strain of playfulness, colour and irony into Modernism. While part of the reasons for their style of architecture is certainly derived from following international trends, this also took on a local concern: in attempting to gain academic respectability, the Postmodern theorists, such as Charles Jencks, Michael Graves and Charles Willard Moore, turned their attention to earlier proto-Postmodernism, one of the prime examples being the architecture in the Nordic countries during the 1920s, so-called Nordic Classicism, and in particular the Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. Scholars in the Nordic countries became well aware of the international attention, and the architecture of that period, which had been forgotten in the onslaught of Modernism, was then 'rediscovered', as evident in various books and exhibitions. Simo Paavilainen emerged as one of the key academics in the field; but his interest then spilled over into his own architectural production. In more recent years, however, his architecture has moved back towards more traditional Modernism, though again, in the spirit of the times.

Skogskyrkogården

Skogskyrkogården (pronounced [²skuːɡsɕʏrkʊˌɡoːɖɛn]; Swedish for "The Woodland Cemetery") is a cemetery located in the Enskededalen district south of central Stockholm, Sweden. Its design, by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, reflects the development of architecture from Nordic Classicism to mature functionalism.

Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm Public Library (Swedish: Stockholms stadsbibliotek or Stadsbiblioteket) is a library building in Stockholm, Sweden, designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, and one of the city's most notable structures. The name is today used for both the main library itself as well as the municipal library system of Stockholm.

Sturegarden House

Sturegarden House is a residential house designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund in 1913 in Nyköping in Nyköping municipality, Sweden. The home was built for local bank manager Oscar Wichman.

Sturegarden House is one of Gunnar Asplund’s earliest works, arguably the first completed.

Oscar Wichman describes the project in his autobiographic Krönika (Chronicle): “A southward facing plot permitting an omni-directional view, located at the onset of Rosenkällavägen, caught our interest. The town offered it to us at a price of SEK 2:50 per square meter which included water and drainage drawn to the plot limits. The low price was motivated by the fact that I would be the first one to develop the property, acquired by the town from Rosenkälla estate. By recommendations from professor Ivar Tengbom I was put in contact with architect E G Asplund of Stockholm … He designed our new home and construction commenced at a rapid pace, so that we were able to move into Sturegarden House the Christmas week of 1913, the ground floor still lacking some work.“The free-standing two story house is designed in a neoclassic style. The ground floor has the main entrance, entrance hall and main living and social areas as well as the kitchen with entrance and facilities. The first floor has the rooms for the parents, children, servant’s rooms and appropriate facilities.

The interior, including masonry heaters, built-in cabinets and other woodworking, has been preserved in close to original condition.

This early work by Gunnar Asplund already reflects his renowned sense of detail. Numerous interior details bear his personal mark. He designed a number of original items for the house, including tables, chairs, a sofa, a bookcase and a weather vane

.The district of Södermanland features a number of other works by Gunnar Asplund, including

the Callin estate in Ålberga (1915),

the State Granary in Eskilstuna (1917-1918),

Oxelösund Cemetery (1924-1929),

Oxelösund Chapel (1935-1937).The Wichman family was soon to move to Stockholm, in 1915. Sturegarden House was then acquired by bank manager Lars Otto Hessner and wife Emy.

Around 1950 the house was sold to bank manager Folke Rizell and family. Since 1968 it is owned by dentist Rune Åstrand (deceased) and wife Kristina and family.

Villa Sturegården

Villa Sturegården is arguably the first completed project (1913) by architect Gunnar Asplund.

It is a residential house located in the city of Nyköping, some 100 km south of Stockholm, Sweden.

The home was built for local bank manager Oscar Wichman. Wichman describes the project in his autobiographic Krönika (Chronicle): “A southward facing plot permitting an omni-directional view, located at the onset of Rosenkällavägen, caught our interest. The town offered it to us at a price of SEK 2:50 per square meter which included water and drainage drawn to the plot limits. The low price was motivated by the fact that I would be the first one to develop the property, acquired by the town from Rosenkälla estate. By recommendations from professor Ivar Tengbom I was put in contact with architect E G Asplund of Stockholm … He designed our new home and construction commenced at a rapid pace, so that we were able to move into Sturegarden House the Christmas week of 1913, the ground floor still lacking some work.“

The free-standing two story house is designed in a neoclassic style. The ground floor has the main entrance, entrance hall and main living and social areas as well as the kitchen with entrance and facilities. The first floor has the rooms for the parents, children, servant's rooms and appropriate facilities.

The interior, including masonry heaters, built-in cabinets and other woodworking, has been preserved in close to original condition.

This early work by Gunnar Asplund already reflects his renowned sense of detail. Numerous interior details bear his personal mark. He designed a number of original items for the house, including tables, chairs, a sofa, a bookcase and a weather vane

.

The district of Södermanland features a number of other works by Gunnar Asplund, including

the Callin estate in Ålberga (1915),

the State Granary in Eskilstuna (1917-1918),

Oxelösund Cemetery (1924-1929),

Oxelösund Chapel (1935-1937).The Wichman family was soon to move to Stockholm, in 1915. Sturegarden House was then acquired by bank manager Lars Otto Hessner and wife Emy.

Around 1950 the house was sold to bank manager Folke Rizell and family. Since 1968 it is owned by dentist Rune Åstrand (deceased) and wife Kristina and family.The property has recently been put up for sale.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.