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Happy Birthday Gunnar Asplund, Trailblazing Nordic Classicist

Today, September 22, is the 130th birthday of the renowned Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund, better known as simply Gunnar Asplund. Asplund is likely best known for his work on the ocher-hued building he masterminded for the Stockholm Public Library's main branch, completed in 1928. The library is comprised of a rather simple multi-story plinth capped by a frill-free circular volume (that's structure we're talkin', not books), an aesthetic that has come to be associated with the 'Nordic Classicism' architectural movement. Asplund was a pioneer of this look. And he worked all over Sweden, including for the city of Gothenburg's Courthouse extension (a knockout, and a good showcase of Asplund's smarts when it came to finishes and details). The ethereal, UNESCO-listed Skogskyrkogården (or, in English, Woodland Cemetery), back in the Swedish capital, also showcases the best of Asplund, with a chapel that is pure, unadulterated geometric form at its best, with its outsized, overhanging triangle of a roof and its simple colonnaded base. We could wax on forever, but we'll stop here and leave you with a few photos of Asplund's work.

A photo posted by Peter Amby (@peteramby) on

A photo posted by Peter Amby (@peteramby) on

Asplund

A photo posted by Karl Lindman (@karl_lindman) on

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