Erik Gunnar Asplund : Landscapes and Buildings book cover
1st Edition

Erik Gunnar Asplund
Landscapes and Buildings

ISBN 9780815378228
Published July 5, 2018 by Routledge
194 Pages 141 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, weaving together art, philosophy, history, and literature, this book investigates the landscapes and buildings of Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund. Through critical essays and beautiful illustrations focusing on four projects, the Woodland Cemetery, the Stockholm Public Library, the Stockholm Exhibition and Asplund’s own house at Stennäs, it addresses the topic of buildings accompanied by landscapes.

It proposes that themes related to landscape are central to Asplund’s distinctive work, with these particular sites forming a collection that documents an evolution in his design thinking from 1915 to 1940. The architect himself wrote comparatively little about his design intentions. However, through close reading and analysis of the selected projects as landscapes with architecture, author Malcolm Woollen argues that reflections of the history of Swedish landscape architecture and the intellectual climate in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are evident in his work and help to explain the architect’s intentions.

This book is a must-have for academics, advanced students and researchers in landscape architecture and design who are interested in Nordic Classicism and the works of Erik Gunnar Asplund.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations



I. Introduction

II. The Woodland Cemetery part I: Home, landscape, and death

III. Observatorielunden and Stadsbiblioteket: Intensifying the present

IV. The Stockholm Exhibition 1930: A moving landscape

V. The Woodland Cemetery part II: A home for everyone

VI. Landscape and summerhouse at Stennäs: A Vitalist poem

VII. Conclusion

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Malcolm Woollen is an architect and an Assistant Visiting Professor at Pennsylvania State University, USA.


"Erik Gunnar Asplund was a highly skilled architect and one of very few who seemingly effortlessly managed to bridge classicism and modernism in the early 20th century. Asplund saw architecture as an allkunstwerk where interior, architecture and landscape blended into one. This book covers that fusion of architecture and landscape, which is ultimately important for a full understanding of Asplund as well as for Swedish modernism."

Thorbjörn Andersson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden


"Few modern architects have shown such psychological, emotional and cultural depth in their work as Erik Gunnar Asplund, and few have had such a subtle and poetic sense of the interplay of landscape and architecture. In this new book Malcolm Woollen not only does an important in-depth analysis of 4 of Asplund´s key projects in terms of the relationship between building and landscape but he also effectively puts Asplund´s work in relation to the major philosophical, literary and cultural currents of his time. It is a most valuable contribution."

Stuart Wrede, former director, Dept. of Architecture and Design, MoMa, New York, USA