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Den klassicistiska vändningen i det tidiga 1900-talets svenska arkitektur: En studie av Liljevalchs konsthall, Kungstornen och Kanslihuset i Stockholm
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, History and Theory of Architecture.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Classist Turn in Swedish Architecture of the early 20th Century : a Study of Liljevalchs, Kungstornen and Kanslihuset in Stockholm (English)
Abstract [en]

The starting point of the thesis consists of a number of statements by prominent representatives of the cultural elite characterising architecture with references to classicism as the modern architecture. In the following years Swedish architecture was dominated by references to classical historical architecture focussing on the ideal of simplicity, which in turn formed a wider conceptual framework of ideas and ideals for architectural creation. The simple reason why the classical historical architecture became something of a role model was that it represented all these new ideals. The main purpose of the thesis is to study how architects made use of the more prominent ideals in the new conceptual framework. A secondary purpose is to describe and analyse the three chosen buildings in detail. A third purpose is to situate these buildings into the broader national context. The buildings under study are Liljevalchs konsthall (Liljevalchs Art Gallery), Kanslihuset (The Government Offices) and Kungstornen (The Towers). They were built at different times between 1910 and 1930. Each building has an obvious connection between the building program and the social changes of the time. In the first chapter the contemporary conceptual framework is presented based on examples from the architectural debate. The most important parts were the opposition to the traditional ideals in combination with the formulating of new ones like simplicity, unity and clarity as well as an orientation towards the historical national architecture and an open attitude towards new techniques. Central to the usage of the basic of elements of the historical architecture was transformation rather than imitation. The common view meant that role models and basic creational elements of the past were regarded as opportunities for new developments. The three following chapters examine the buildings under study. The buildings and their planning processes are described and the application of the historical references and their relations to historical buildings in the environment are analysed in detail. The buildings are further discussed in relation to the broader social trends of the time. The Art Gallery is discussed in view of its connections to the contemporary industrial architecture due to the industrialisation. The analysis of the Government Offices situates the practical and symbolic aspects of the building in the contemporary struggle between the monarchy and the old civil service and the newly established parliamentary democracy. The Towers are discussed in relation to the contemporary discussion of skyscrapers in Europe and in relation to the beginning of commercialism and popular culture.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , iii, 167 p.
Trita-ARK. Akademisk avhandling, ISSN 1402-7461 ; 2012:1
Keyword [en]
Architecture, architectural history, Swedish 20th century architecture, 1920-talet, klassicism, Carl Bergsten, Ivar Callmander, Gustaf Clason, Wolter Gahn, Sven Wallander, Kungstornen, Liljevalchs konsthall, Kanslihuset, Stockholm.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-93540ISBN: 978-91-7501-265-0OAI: diva2:516915
Public defence
2012-05-08, E2, Lindstedsvägen 3, Entrepl, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)

QC 20120424

Available from: 2012-04-24 Created: 2012-04-20 Last updated: 2013-05-08Bibliographically approved

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