Stockholm Library
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Architect Erik Gunnar Asplund
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Location Stockholm, Sweden   map
Date 1918 to 1927   timeline
Building Type library
 Construction System brick exterior, steel and concrete structure
Climate cold temperate
Context urban
Style Pre-Modern, Mannerist
Notes Round central great hall on square plinth, poised on the early edge of Modernism.






Elevation Drawing

Lower Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Upper Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing


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Discussion Stockholm Library Commentary

"Asplund's scheme of a round hall surrounded by staircases has a great deal in common with his Lister Courthouse, completed at the same time. The first sketches for the Public Library, prepared in 1921, depict a domed room. The substitution of a tall cylinder imparted monumental stature to the room and to the exterior of this moderately sized building, at the same time making it possible for light to be admitted through clear-glass windows in the outer walls instead of through the opaque glazing of the roof-lights.

"The maturation process of the Public Library marks an architectural turning point, the more traditional classicism of the early sketches giving way to increasing simplification. The ornamentation was gradually pared down to a few pictorial friezes in bas relief. In the simple, glazed shopfront base completed in 1928, functionalism has already made its entrance."

— Claes Caldenby and Olof Hultin. Asplund. p92.

Sources on Stockholm Library

Claes Caldenby and Olof Hultin. Asplund. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-8478-0678-2. NA1293.A8C3513. p92. interior photo of entry, p96, plate 131. interior photo of main library space, p101, plate 141.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. drawings and diagrams, p22-23. — Updated edition available at

Dan Cruickshank, ed. AJ Masters of Building, Erik Gunnar Asplund. Article by Dan Cruickshank and Kirstin Nielsson. Photographs by Martin Charles. London: The Architect's Journal, 1988. ISBN 1-870308-35-2. NA1293.A8A77. p41-42. exterior photo of east entrance, p44, plate 30.

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. aerial photo, p89. — Available at

Doreen Yarwood. The Architecture of Europe. New York: Hastings House, 1974. ISBN 0-8038-0364-8. LC 73-11105. NA950.Y37. perspective drawing, f977, p545.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Stockholm Library


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