Challenged Practice: Transformations of Swedish Governmental Building around 1970
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand 30, Open: Papers presented to the 30th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2-5, 2013 / [ed] Alexandra Brown and Andrew Leach, SAHANZ , 2013, 949-959 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Swedish architectural modernism is intimately tied to thedevelopment of the welfare state, where the roles and work ofarchitects largely followed governmental building policies. Thepolitical and economical crisis of the late 1960s and 1970swas particularly devastating for Swedish architecture as theshortcomings of the welfare state were partly blamed on thearchitecture profession. This paper is a study of the NationalBoard of Public Building (KBS)—a Governmental agencyin charge of providing office space for State institutions—and its ambition to rationalise its organisation and buildingconstruction. KBS’ developments during the late 1960sand early 1970s redefined the role of the architect throughquestioning the organisation of the building industry, theprocess of design, and the role of the State in building. In1967, a larger reorganisation of KBS was prompted by theGovernment’s implementation of a new budgeting systemcalled program budgeting, which besides being a financialsteering mechanism also served as a planning system inwhich the strict cost-effectiveness of the agencies programswere measured. KBS’s response to the enforced changesresulted in the launching of an official architectural theory in1968, the so-called “KBS structure philosophy,” that at largewas a pragmatic structuralist approach to building. It wasdeveloped through rigorous investigations during the 1960s andsubsequently realized, in assimilation with program budgeting,with great force and conviction. The analysis suggests thatKBS, and its consultant architects, responded to the State’sdemand to rationalize the process of building which in turn ledto significant changes of the role of the architect, and furtherrestrained architecture’s dependency on rational means-endsdecision-making, favouring economic perspectives of building.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAHANZ , 2013. 949-959 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-126916ISBN: 978-0-9876055-0-4ISBN: 0-9876055-0-XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-126916DiVA: diva2:642570
The 30th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand; Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2-5, 2013
FunderKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationFormas
QC 201406172013-08-222013-08-222014-06-17Bibliographically approved