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Functionalism

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The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 ushered in the modern, functionalist architecture and interior design in Scandinavian. It was the day of reckoning with the style mixing and decorative style of the time.

The Modernism
The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 ushered in the modern, functionalist architecture and interior design in Scandinavian. It was the day of reckoning with the style mixing and decorative style of the time.
The Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, who was behind the exhibition, inspired a number of architects and designers all over the North. Among these were the Danes, Poul Henningsen and Arne Jacobsen, who were behind several buildings on both sides of the Sound. They both fled to Sweden in 1943.
The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930
The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930

Modernism and Functionalism
The Stockholm exhibition in 1930 marked the entry of the modern, functionalist style in Scandinavia. The exhibition had buildings by Gunnar Asplund, among others, done in white, with supporting concrete constructions and large windows in glass and steel. The focus of the exhibition was everyday needs and it showed many examples of different housing and modern interiors. The inspiration is clear in the Blidah Park in Copenhagen and Arne Jacobsen´s famous Bellavista neighbourhood at Bellevue at Strandvejen north of Copenhagen.
The perhaps most interesting example of early modernism in Sweden, is the concert house in Helsingborg, which was finished in 1932. It was designed by Sven Markelius and is very similar to the students´ house he designed for the technical college in Stockholm in 1930.
The project of the concert house itself is very interesting inasmuch as Markelius´ first proposal was clearly classicist, but eventually the proposal was reworked and ended finally with its present functionalist style with smooth, white plastered walls, large glass fronts to let in the light in the vestibule and semi circled wings with cloakroom and restaurant.
In Hornbæk on the North Zealand Coast you find the first examples of summer cottages in the late-romantic Viking style, but also the fashionable, functionalist seaside hotel from 1935.
Early Functionalism
Early Functionalism
Early Functionalist-inspired Architecture
Early Functionalist-inspired Architecture
The Concert House in Helsingborg
The Concert House in Helsingborg
Arne Jacobsen´s Bellavista
Arne Jacobsen´s Bellavista
Arne Jacobsen´s Bellavista
Arne Jacobsen´s Bellavista
Oversæt
Oversæt
Kronborg Open Air Bath
Kronborg Open Air Bath
Hornbæk Seaside Hotel
Hornbæk Seaside Hotel

Art Nouveau for the Middle Class
While upper classes built white Art Nouveau houses the middle classes built Art Nouveau-styled bungalows. To oppose the acute housing shortage the state established a state housing fond, whose aim it was to create possibilities for cheap funding for the dream of everyman to buy a house with a garden.. This meant that you could buy finished drawings for bungalows at the architect, which in turn reduced the building costs.
The most significant characteristics of the bungalows are the square shape in red or yellow tile and the low pyramid-shaped roof covered with roofing felt, which in the 1930´s was a new and cheap material.
It was a standardized and simplified version of Art Nouveau, a relatively unpretentious house without any architectural refinements.
However, the cheap houses still signalized something modern. For example the bungalows´ windows an Art Nouveau detail, which indicated that the builder employed modern building techniques. The strict and symmetrical facades are more like the facades of classicism than the more free forms of modernism.
In most cases quality materials were used in the wall and wood constructions in connection with the high residential basements and many available room, mean that you often see bungalows in older Danish residential neighbourhoods. In the Elsinore area there are several bungalows in the old Snekkersten.
In Lund an Art Nouveau neighbourhood was established in 1937 with fitted wooden house and type drawn bungalows.
In the course of the 1940´s the interest in the hip roof dampened and they started to build more houses with gable roofs. A contributory factor could be that it was difficult to procure asphalt during the war to the production of roofing felt, which was necessary for the hip roof. The stronger construction of the gable roof could easier carry the heavy roof tiles. Examples of this building style can be seen in the district Eskilsminne in Helsingborg, where they built 60 small Art Nouveau detached houses in the beginning of the 1940´s. Each house is 56 square metres and there is a toilet with a bath in the high basements.
The initiative and the interest for building these small and light houses were part of the Swedish People´s Home Project (folkehjemsprojekt).
Bungalow in Snekkersten
Bungalow in Snekkersten
Art Nouveau in Helsingborg
Art Nouveau in Helsingborg

©  Øresundstid 2009