Architect: Erik Gunnar Asplund

The wobbly line: Asplund, Johansson and the influence of Tessenow in Sweden 1915–1925

The wobbly line: Asplund, Johansson and the influence of Tessenow in Sweden 1915–1925

By Jan Rydén

There is a drawing in a 1923 issue of the Swedish trade journal Byggmästaren (The Master-Builder). It is part of a presentation of a new three-storey house by the architect Cyrillus Johansson. To illustrate his text the architect has included photos and a drawing of the front elevation and a plan of… Read More

Working with Asplund

Working with Asplund

By Herbert Korn

Asplund’s office was two floors up in an old building in Regeringsgatan, behind the NK department store. There were civil engineers there and Asplund collaborated with them as well. They worked on regional planning. Asplund’s office was a very smart room, a chapel for meditation you might say. It was… Read More

Aalto on Asplund

Aalto on Asplund

By Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto, from an interview for the Swedish newspaper Åbo Underrättelser, May 22, 1930. Reprinted in Göran Schildt, ed., Alvar Aalto: Sketches, trans. Stuart Wrede (London: MIT Press, 1979), 16.

Alternative Histories: Smith and Taylor Architects on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Alternative Histories: Smith and Taylor Architects on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Erik Gunnar Asplund’s 1921 drawing of the gable elevation of Karl Johan School presents a composed, formal, broadly classical and definitely Scandinavian façade. The potential symmetry of the façade is undermined by its off-centre presentation on the sheet, and by its constructed context: the profile of the hipped-roofed building on the left,… Read More

Alternative Histories: Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Alternative Histories: Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Model The cast-epoxy model developed from reflections on Gunnar Asplund’s work of the mid-1930s. The yellowish tone of the epoxy touches on the soft curvatures and almost bodily character of Asplund’s shapes during these years. Some of his shapes are interpreted as sensual membranes that may adjust to the structure,… Read More

Alternative Histories: Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Alternative Histories: Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor on Erik Gunnar Asplund

The model examines and highlights the way in which Asplund worked with interior space. Often the interior and exterior of his buildings show striking dissimilarities. His ability to hide unexpected spaces within unassuming volumes has always inspired us. This beautiful plan drawing of Villa Snellman speaks of this, we think,… Read More

Alternative Histories: Tony Fretton Architects on Erik Gunnar Asplund

Alternative Histories: Tony Fretton Architects on Erik Gunnar Asplund

We recognise modernism as a continuing program to find architecture for the present time, and Asplund’s work as part of its history.  Our project is a thought experiment on the central aspects of architecture’s modernism – social responsibility in combination with freedom to work with current sensibilities. It has proceeded… Read More

The Politics of the Image

The Politics of the Image

By Maria Sheherazade Giudici, Livia Wang, Feifei Zhou, Keranie Theodosiou, Joseph Mercer, Florian Scheucher and Sophie Williams

My course, The Politics of the Image at the Royal College of Art, drew on the Drawing Matter Collection amongst others to explore the construction of images since the Renaissance. This construction has allowed a crafty lie to evolve, be challenged and ultimately influence reality – albeit not always in straightforward ways.… Read More

Erik Gunnar Asplund: the father

Erik Gunnar Asplund: the father

By Nicholas Olsberg

Erik Gunnar Asplund’s son Ingemar told me that their father would pick him and his brother Hans up on Sundays to take them to the summer house. (He was then living with a woman other than their mother.) Father would make a little conversation as they made their way to… Read More

Displaced persons

Displaced persons

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

Architects are extraordinarily reluctant to incorporate into their visual descriptions of buildings any evidence that the real subject their structures serve, and around whose activities they are so carefully formulated, is people. Here’s a look at a few of the moments when this unspoken rule has been broken. DISTANCES: Using… Read More

Simplification

Simplification

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

The first of these short excursions into work on paper looked at how drawings were used to place built forms in their settings. Grounded in traditions of illustration, they were spacious, suggestive and pictorial. Architects draw to many purposes. In Part II, on Simplification, we turn from the arts of… Read More

Landscape situations

Landscape situations

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

Setting it out: making the landscape For Horace Walpole, William Kent was born with a genius to strike out a great system from the twilight of imperfect essays. “He leaped the fence, and saw that all nature was a garden.” With apparent innocence, the sketch Landscape in Wimbledon proposes only… Read More