Door 11: Sigurd Lewerentz

Photography by © Pål-Nils Nilsson/Private Collection

The impact of architecture is so very often seen over time. This is the case for the Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz, who seems to be more influential today than he was in his own time. This has to do on the one side with a regained interest in his work in general, but also a deeper knowledge about him and his work.

Roddforenings Bathus, Djurgårdsbrunnsviken / Lidovägen, Stockholm 1912 - 1913. Photography by © Archipicture

These aspects were mainly triggered by new books and the exhibition Architect of Death and Life at the ArkDes in Stockholm. He is mainly known as an architect, but also did landscapes, graphic design or industrial design for his own company. Born in 1885, he trained to be a mechanical engineer at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and then went to Germany for an apprenticeship in the field of architecture.

A proposal for a restaurant at Sturegatan, 1930.

He founded his own studio in 1911 in Stockholm, but then for a while joined forces with the architect Gunnar Asplund. Their most known for the Stockholm South, Woodland, Cemetery, called Skogskyrkogården, where the won the competition in 1914–15. Also they were elected to be the main architects for the Stockholm International Exhibition in 1930. Next to the architecture Lewerentz also contributed the graphic design for this event. but this project in general frustrated him, so that he moved away from architecture and focused more on his own company producing windows and other architectural fittings.

 

Riksförsäkringsanstalten, 1932

In 1933 Sigurd Lewerentz won the competition for the Malmö Opera and Music Theatre. The city liked the second and third place as well, so the three architects, Erik Lallerstedt, David Helldén and Sigurd Lewerentz made it together. It brought Lawrentz  Prince Eugen Medal for architecture in 1950.

Blomsterkiosk, 1969. Photography by © Karl-Erik Olsson-Snogeröd

Sigurd Lewerentz is best known for the two churches he designed in the fall of his career, St. Mark's at Björkhagen in Stockholm and St. Peter's at Klippan in Scania. This revived his personal interest in architecture and kept him going until his death in 1975.