Ragnar Östberg. Genius loci e memorie urbane Stockholms Stadshuset - Nämndhuset e villa Geber (ENG) Ragnar Östberg. Genius loci and urban memories Stockholms Stadshuset-Nämndhuset and villa Geber

The research aims to investigate one of the controversial chapters in architecture, far from the linear evolution of the internationally nascent "Neues Bauen", that is Swedish National Romanticism through the experience of the leading exponent, Ragnar Östberg (1866-1945). This study is not simply a revision to the overseas reception of the movement, but rather from a comparative analysis between two case-studies to deduce those elements that make architecture an urban fact in which the community can identify. The archipelago of Stockholm and its process of "renovatio urbis" at the turn of the twentieth century were the backdrop for two projects. Moreover, it is fair to say that many fellow of National Romanticism considered the locus of desire, Sweden, was simultaneously vast (“native land”) and intimate (“home”). In the specific case of the dissertation the two projects embrace two dimensions of living: the urban framework of the municipal centre and the domestic framework of the partially isolated villa. Therefore, the purpose of the research is to embark on a voyage of discovery approaching two instances of Östberg’s artwork through a twofold critical interpretation: "genius loci" and "urban memories". The chapters attempt to demonstrate how the two projects inevitably oscillate between seeking the spirit of the place and harking back to urban forms of tradition. The investigation leads us to penetrate Östberg’s repertoire of urban memories, as amassed from travel and study, and trace analogies of composition with other architectures in Swedish and even more European traditions. The two analyzed buildings are placed on opposite sides of developing Stockholm: the first on the outermost portion of the Kungsholmen peninsula and the second along the banks of the Djurgård canal. Although, they are clearly different-scale projects, they also reveal a partially similar approach to composition. The Stockholm City Hall, including its nearby never-to-be realized part, the Commission Building, and villa Geber can be seen as significant examples of Östberg’s design process: how from the "imagination passive" studies and selects references to "imagination active" As a matter of fact, he manages to assemble and combine all his inputs in a personal idiom embodying a markedly Swedish character.

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