Scandinavian Architecture: The Evolution of Vernacular
All types of art are normally influenced by both the social and the political factors within a geographical region. These social aspects are reflected in the designs of the time and most of the inspiration that the designers get is from history. In Scandinavia, it is easy to define the style as straightforward. The logic behind the simplicity of this was due to the limited resources which emphasized saving and proper utilization (Pile, 335). It is also democratic in the manner that its main intention was to please, the masses. Architects in Scandinavia share an inherent bond with nature and the natural landscape. When studying the geographical locations of these nodes and, therefore, cross referencing their localities to similar cultural conditions a trend is found. It is the intention of this research to research just how the natural landscape is invited into the manmade structures that in most cases humbly penetrate the earth. Starting with early modernist-Scandinavian architects such as Eliel Saarnen and ending with contemporary projects such as BIG's mountain dwellings in Copenhagen, this survey will zoom into what exactly makes up the components of Scandinavian design.
From the old methods of creating art, Scandinavia came into the limelight with a new style. This is modernism. This new culture had the ability to represent the world in an idiosyncratic manner. It was the urbanization and urbanization that brought these changes by creating a chance where both had to be implemented. However, it is the difference in the social life of the different countries within this region that brought the uniqueness of each design. The similarity in the designs was a result of the features of functionality and tradition. This is the reason why after some time this came to become a style that not only was a representation of individual countries but was now a depiction of the whole geographical region (Pile, 335).
It was the traditions that were the unifying factor of the before the 19th century. The practicing of this norm was especially in Norway. It was not until some festivals in 1897 that there was awareness of the Nordic arts movement. Most of success in both festivals was from Sweden. Most of their items that drew favor from the audience were on the basis of changing images of biological organisms into three dimensional vases. The Art Nouveau had the capability to make this art into a unifying factor, but the challenge was in its expensive nature. There are many reasons as to the high demand for this art. The one that stood out most was the weariness with which people had now come to treat the historicism. This dissatisfaction was the reason why most felt that it was necessary for invention of a new style. It was especially Sweden which was behind this ideology which they indicated through their natural but beautiful art. Basically, this movement was an improvement of aesthetical value but had little to do with any technology.
However, there was little penetration of this art to other regions by then. This was later changed by the technological advancements which made the art famous especially through the films. Eliel Saarinen from Finland was the man who changed this situation. He landed in America in 1923 and was behind the major infusion of this art into the international frontier. Less than a decade after his arrival, he was already the director of Cranbrook Academy of Art. His designs by then were majorly complex buildings. Nevertheless, he also designed some furnishings that to most of the Americans were phenomenal. These designs were later to be a help to some students of art in that country. This school was the key factor that helped in the spread of this culture to the international levels. This school was later became the epicenter of all the Scandinavian art in the country. The timing was perfect as it was during the period between the wars which acted as a boost for the school. The growth contributed to some professional architects arising from the school which included his son, Eero Saarinen.
Eric Asplund was another designer who expanded the approach to other countries through his work. It was in 1915 when he was able to get the chance to expand the South Stockholm cemetery. His first design was based on the romanticism. This design was a direct inspiration from a building that he had observed in Denmark. He had visited the building during his honeymoon to this country. This chapel is in the midst of a forest, and it is the shape of a pyramid. The early designs are not clear due to their extreme sketchy manner. However, they still capture the strong base of the building. This is an indication of the intention of Asplund although he later changed the volume of the chapel later.
However, it was Alvar Aalto who brought the most significance to this culture. It was in Finland where he had been able to create more than 200 buildings. This was a considerable boost to his reputation of becoming a prominent architect. In most of his buildings, he had the design in his hand during the process of designing. An example is one of his best designs up-to-date which is the City Library. Aalto, just like the other famous pioneers were all students of the classical education. Thus, he began with the characteristics of Nordic Classism (Goodnow & Haci, 248). This style was the basis for most of his buildings in the early years. This was before his shift towards modernism. Aalto was also spread the ideology through writings which he had come to be famous for in the early days. His change in approach came with an immediate impact on the design of his buildings. An early example was in Viipuri library. However, the humanistic approach was also evident in this work. This was through the soft lights and warm colors that were in the interiors.
His acceptance in the international frontier came as a result of his work after the library. His experiments with wood in the future came with a shift from modernism. His first building with this new approach was the Villa Mairea. This building was intended to be luxurious, but the designer ended up introducing other aspects. These included stylistic influences from many other cultures including modernism. Another of his buildings with this approach was the Saynatsalo town hall. This building is intimate with a strange design. Alto utilized his obsession of wood in this building and by adding bricks and copper. Romanticism is derivable from this building (Bandle et al., 1455). This is a clear indication of the perception that Alto had on his designs. His use of wood in his work is also enhanced in the Aalto summer house.
Modernist Architecture in Scandinavia Since Aalto
However, a lot has change in the recent past in accordance to the design. This is because of the need for the change from furniture to applications. This is because of the need for solutions of the current problems and also need to utilize the available opportunities. The Scandinavian countries did a lot in the maintenance of their designs. This was through the introduction of institutions in which this was taught even after these famous artists were long gone. However, there still an influence of this culture even in the present. This is why it is no surprise that some of the buildings still represent in the Nordic regions display some of the best arts in their buildings (Goodnow & Haci, 248). However, there have been changes in that after Aalto there has been mass production. An example of this is the Mountain dwellings. These were developed by Bjarke Ingels Group. These have been able to…