Exhibition & Catalogue: Reconstructing the Stockholm Exhibition 1930 (Stockholm, 11 June – 21 August 2016)

Reconstructing the Stockholm Exhibition 1930. Stockholmsutställningen 1930 Rekonstruerad
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm
The Stockholm Exhibition 1930 of Arts and Crafts and Home Industries (›Stockholmsutställningen 1930 av konstindustri, konsthantverk och hemslöjd‹) was organized by Svenska Slöjdföreningen (›Swedish Arts and Crafts Society‹), managed by its director, Gregor Paulsson, and designed to a large extent by Gunnar Asplund.
It marked the breakthrough of Modernism in Sweden and the beginning of a golden age of Swedish architecture that attracted growing attention, also internationally.
After the exhibition summer everything was demolished and documentation of the exhibition through drawings and photos is sketchy.
Architecture students at Chalmers University of Technology have undertaken the detective work to reconstruct with great precision the main buildings as models in 1:50 scale.
Konstakademien. Kungliga Akademien för de fria konsterna. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Fredsgatan 12 / Jakobsgatan 27 C, Stockholm.
Open TuesdayFriday 11–17, SaturdaySunday 12–16.
The exhibition is on display until August 21.
Book: Reconstructing the Stockholm Exhibition 1930. Stockholmsutställningen 1930 Rekonstruerad
The Stockholm Exhibition 1930 of Arts and Crafts and Home Industries (›Stockholmsutställningen 1930 av konstindustri, konsthantverk och hemslöjd‹) and the manifesto Acceptera, published the following year by the exhibition organizers, mark the breakthrough of Modern Architecture in Sweden as well as in other Nordic countries. The exhibition is organised by Svenska Slöjdföreningen (›Swedish Arts and Crafts Society‹), managed by its director, the art historian Gregor Paulsson, and designed to a large extent by Gunnar Asplund. Paulsson conceives the exhibition as a comprehensive and future-oriented display programme encompassing the three themes of »Architectural and Construction Details«, »Streets and Gardens, Transport« and »Household Objects«. Asplund designs a complementary display aimed at »beauty and festivity«.
The Stockholm Exhibition is a phenomenal success and attracts more than four million visitors, including 25 000 foreign guests, making it at that time the most popular Swedish exhibition ever held.
Despite its enormous success the architecture of the Stockholm Exhibition has been studied surprisingly little in detail and its buildings are astonishingly poorly documented.
In order to reconstruct the architecture of the Stockholm Exhibition, rediscover its qualities and bring it to life, in 2014 and 2015 master’s students of Chalmers Department of Architecture undertook to reconstruct the pavilions in the form of models as part of the course »Nordic Architecture«.
The reconstruction of the pavilions led to a series of discoveries testifying to an architectural quality that cannot be discerned from pictures or drawings, but is documented here. Through the construction of the models of the pavilions of the Stockholm Exhibition, the quality of an architecture, which for over 80 years nobody had seen, could be at least in its essence reconstructed and re-experienced — an architecture which proved to be so important for the culture of modernity in the Nordic countries.
Atli Magnus Seelow: »Reconstructing the Stockholm Exhibition 1930. Stockholmsutställningen 1930 Rekonstruerad«,
Arkitektur Förlag, Stockholm 2016,
272 pages, text english and swedish, ISBN 9789186050948

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