Tradition in Nordic architecture
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Iniciativa Digital Politècnica
Rights accessOpen Access
Paradoxically, in the globalized world, contemporary architecture is represented as an illustration of the contemporary rupture between the rigor of structural geometry and the turgid corpulence of imagination. Moreover in times of cultural globalization local specificities dissolve. Nevertheless, there are trends, cultural traits, and influences of critical or intellectual tradition that persist. There are technical resources or habits, particular materials, climate or daylight conditions that give rise to regional identities. It is true that mentalities and cultural references now tend to unify, but these do survive in consciences as points of reference. These experiences speak of the search for a materiality, for an unpolished tactile quality, for an archaic touch that is increasingly out of the reach of architects. The paper discusses the work of Alvar Aalto and Jørn Utzon in relation to Karelian wooden architecture, which represents an outstanding example, in terms of integrating local and universal architectural traditions with contemporary understanding and techniques, to create site-specific architecture. The work of these architects is characterized by an instinctive and profound feeling for the architecture of the ground: the desire to anchor the building to the physical reality and memory of a territory. The awareness of the site and tradition is also combined with the sophistication of detailing. Therefore, the paper is centered in the organic quality of Aalto’s architecture and Utzon’s work, and is related to the sensory richness of the traditional wooden architecture in Karelia. The Scandinavian houses share a mix of constructional rigor with appreciation for tradition, as well as for the background landscape, the woods.
CitationFerrer Forés, J. J. Tradition in Nordic architecture. "Arquitectonics: Mind, Land & Society", Octubre 2012, núm. 24, p. 63-72.