chapter  10
18 Pages

Mediterranean Resonances in the Work of Erik Gunnar Asplund: Tradition, Color, and Surface

Erik Gunnar Asplund was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 22, 1885, and lived there until his death on October 20, 1940. In 1905 he began his architectural studies at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and in 1910, when it seemed clear that the next step in his education was to attend the National Academy of Fine Arts, he and a number of fellow students decided instead to set up their own free academy. This academy would be called the Klara Skola. Citing displeasure with the program and faculty offered at the National Academy, they approached four of the most prominent Swedish architects of the time – Erik Bergman, Ivar Tengbom, Carl Westman, and Ragnar Ostberg – to become their tutors.2 These were architects who were already heavily influenced by a radical shift in Swedish architectural discourse, toward a more romantic nationalist paradigm. According to Luca Ortelli, the Klara Skola was “a sort of liberal institution which drew on the greatest exponents of that tendency for its teachers.”3