Arkitektoniska visioner under statligt förmynderskap : En studie av Överintendentsämbetets verksamhet och organisation 1818-1917
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this dissertation has been to paint a more detailed picture of the organization and practice of the Board of Public Buildings during the period 1818-1917, mainly through a close-up study of four consecutive architects working for the Board. Besides analysing the practice followed by the authority and the social structure of which it was a part, the dissertation also deals with aspects of its interaction with executive regional and local clients, and the effect this mutual collaboration had on the final architectural expression. The activities of the Board are in this study interpreted as a reflection of what has always characterized Swedish administration historically, namely, strong central control with a requirement for all-round official inquires and public transparency, guaranteeing the citizens’ demands for codetermination. The study clearly shows that this typically mild exercise of power, which has characterized Swedish administration, also embraced the country’s public architecture. The significance that can be ascribed to the Board as regards the configuration of public architecture was immense. The stylistic ideals initiated by the Board had an enormous impact because of the large number of cases handled, combined with their geographical spread. In this lay the strength of the authority, but its weakness as well: by virtue of its superior position, the architects of the Board could easily point out the direction to be taken by style, but subsequently, when the stylistic ideals had spread downwards to the broad masses, it was difficult to change course. It may thus be noted that the Board as an authority was a leading body and a source of stimulus when riding the crests of the waves, but in the troughs it lagged behind and was even static. Never the less the significance of the Board of Public Works and Buildings for the development of building in Sweden during the nineteenth century can scarcely be overestimated.
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