Erik Gunnar Asplund
Asplund Library 1927-35
Photo Yngve Andersson This website is a contribution to maybe the most important swedish architect of the 20th century, Erik Gunnar Asplund, born 1885, as well as to his tremendous "opus magnum", Stockholm's City library.
Crayon studies of
interior 2/5 1922-23,
E.G.Asplund Our thesis, according to what we found in several works of Asplund is, that he uses strict geometrical systems to add various platonic solids by an easy symmetric composition scheme. What is remarkable, Asplund combines them with other shapes and geometries like parabolic and hyperbolic solid geometries, as to be seen in his project for the Scandia Cinema (1922-23); but as we found out, his seemingly determined and well composed arrangements are not fixed and over-determined: they are very often thought to be only a starting point for further development; they inherit a certain code, founding basic ‘game-rules’ for mostly just thought and planned, but never built stages of an eternal building process.
Stockholm Exhibition, 1930,
verandah of restaurant "paradise"
photo: Rosenberg Asplund’s buildings, as well-proposed as they seem to be, and as finally arranged they appear, are always containing various spatial situations that can only be read as references to a status beyond.
1930, festival ground,
photo: Yerbury The genius of Asplunds architecture is not only its symmetric compositions and its well proportioned spaces- it’s in his plans, that show that he allows them to grow by only giving them a kind of basic order; that’s the classical organicism of Asplund’s architecture; his buildings are- by their origin – allowed and claimed, thought to grow!
actual view from
the exterior That demonstrates Asplund’s and his son’s hope for a vertical extension. As it became clearly visible that there would be obviously no chance for a vertical growing, they finished building the other extensions, getting closer and closer to the original building. Their continuous dream of a ‘high rise of knowledge’ was dreamt for nothing and without being heard.
panoramic view on the new extended
Stockholm Public Library, anonymous We found this pictures lately on an architectural website and were very much reminded on some sketches Asplund did himself and that we saw during our ‘archival excavations’… CRAZY - Public - Library - THING! We think that this pictures are structurally (especially regarding the blueprints) very close to what Asplund possibly could have done if he would have been allowed to make a skyscraper out of his ‘biblioteken’…but will it be the FIRST PRIZE?
*** All Pictures except anonymous design plans taken from: Gunnar Asplund Architect 1885-1940, ed. Gustav Holmdahl and others, Stockholm, 1950 ***