About Eric Gunnar Asplund

Eric Gunnar Asplund was born in Stockholm in 1885. He studied at the Technical School and then at the Academy of Art, graduating in 1909. That same year he was presented to an architectural competition for the Swedish Church in Paris, basing its design in architecture traditional country. He also used this approach in two competitions for schools, one in Karlshmn in 1912 and another in Hedemora, 1913. That same year is presented to the competition for the extension of the City of Göteborg, winning the latter.

After a trip to Italy and Greece, on his return to Sweden, Asplund in collaboration with Sigurd Lewerentz, he won another contest for the South Burial Ground (South Cemetery), in a wooded area of Stockholm. His first chapel to the cemetery plant has an Etruscan-Roman temple, but with a steep roof to four covered with wooden shingles that blend with the landscape waters.

Asplund visited the United States to investigate the design of libraries with the aim of setting up a program for a competition in Sweden. His research impressed the Committee of the Municipal Library in Stockholm that was not carried out the contest, inviting him to present his project in 1921, the building was completed in 1928. Its architecture went through a process of ornamental simplification that little by little he approached the schemes of the modern movement. To reach its short rationalist period (1928-1933) his work is strongly influenced by the French neoclassical, Austrian Josef Hoffmann and mainly Bindesboll with Thorwaldsen Museum in Copenhagen (1948).

The Stockholm Exhibition 1930 not only establishes modern architecture in Sweden, but recognizes Asplund as leader of a group of young architects within the Society of Arts and Crafts. Four years later he was commissioned to the expansion of the Town Hall of Göteborg who had won in 1913. In total, Asplund designed 68 projects, of which 32 were built. Among them are an airport, schools, homes, shops, restaurants, and mausoleums. He died on October 20, 1940, in Stockholm.

His works include:

  • Villa Snellman (1917-1918
  • Gothenburg City Hall (1917-1937)
  • Sölvesburg Palace of Justice (1917-1921)
  • Forest Chapel, Stockholm (1918-1920)
  • Stockholm Public Library (1924-1928)
  • Skogskyrkogården Cementery (1914-1940)