Erik Gunnar Asplund Public Library, Stockholm, Sweden, Elevation of front facade Unknown

  • Not on view

The Stockholm Public Library, designed and built between 1918 and 1927, is Gunnar Asplund's most important work of that period. Its stark Nordic Classicist composition uses the simple geometry of a cylinder intersecting a cubic base. A perimeter zone of reading rooms is housed in rectangular volumes, and the central cylindrical court lined in tiered bookshelves is given over to book storage and lending.

A leading Swedish modernist, Asplund was included in the Museum's 1932 show Modern Architecture: International Exhibition because of the modernist language of the temporary buildings he designed for the 1930 Stockholm Exhibition, but his earlier public buildings for Stockholm, including this library, were allied with the transitional modernism Hitchcock had disparagingly labeled "New Traditionalism" in his 1929 book Modern Architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration.

Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.
Ink on paper
36 x 36 3/4" (91.4 x 93.3 cm)
Gift of Marshall Cogan and purchase
Object number
Architecture and Design

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