Frida Rosenberg " The Construction of Construction, the Possibility of Steel Building in Swedish Postwar Environment" (Final seminar 24 Febr 2017)
Time: Fri 2017-02-24 14.00 - 16.00
Location: School of Architecture KTH, Osquars backe 5, level 6, Kollegierummet
By introducing structural steel in the 1960s Sweden, the Wenner-Gren Center signaled the advent of new assembling technologies in the building industry that would change the structure and practice of material use in Swedish postwar environment. The revival of steel, as a material for the frame construction in tall office structures speeding up the building process, and slimming overall material use, simultaneously precipitated major shifts in the managerial structure of building construction and the levitation towards American building culture. As a result, the Wenner-Gren Center emerged as a significant imagination during construction but soon after completion lost its halo in the urban landscape of Stockholm—much due to the “bad taste” of the financial difficulties that surrounded the building complex.
Through a single but examined as a complex study case—the Wenner-Gren Center established a monument over interdisciplinary scientific research through a corporative relationship between the industry and the state—the dissertation traces the imagination, economy, construction and scaffolding of the building industry in order to realize this unusual project driven by formal maneuvers, and examines the transformation of Swedish industries in a Sweden-American borderland. In chapters treating associations, informal relationships, architecture, design, material use and development, film, exhibitions and photography, the dissertation offers significant reappraisal of Stockholm’s postwar modernist architecture. Concluding with the appearance of composite material use for construction of the provisional parliamentary building of 1971—the theater of the Kulturhuset, which through steel columns and hollow core floor elements indicated coming contemporary building methods—the dissertation offers an historical account of the integral role of steel in Swedish architecture. By consulting both social conditions and technical development arguing for how a material can trace technological change the dissertation displays a deeper understanding of what constitutes an architectural project.
Assistant Professor Michael Osman, UCLA
Michael Osman is an architectural historian and assistant professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. Osman's work relates the infrastructure that undergirds the process of modernization to the historiography of modernist architecture. He has published in Log, Perspecta and Cabinet as well as in Governing by Design (2012). He is a founding member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative.
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