ABSTRACT FOR “III SYMPOSIUM OF SAHN: THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF SWEDISH ARCHITECTURE.”
“AN ARCHITECT, A BOOK, A HISTORIAN. Ragnar Östberg and Elias Cornell”
The paper explores the experiences and the ways in which two Swedish personalities such as the architect Ragnar Östberg (1866-1945) and the Teacher of architecture-art at Chalmers Tekniska Högskolan (Göteborg) Elias Cornell (1916-2008) articulated and asserted their firm belief in reflecting on the past in building an architectural vocabulary proper to the locus, the time and specific requirements. The paper proposed aims to analyze their books and forceful statements showing the incisiveness of their thoughts and appreciating the importance of their legacy, not only on the Swedish scene. Any researcher wishing to explore the Swedish panorama should devote time to their thoughts and lectures.
The peak of their metaphorical encounter comes with the monograph that Elias Cornell dedicates to the Stockholm Stadshuset architect, entitled Ragnar Östberg svensk arkitekt (1965). Until now this has been the last word on Östberg’s evolving idiom. Yet this valuable study has not been accessible to everyone: it is still not available to the English-speaking readership.
As happened in the past when art philanthropists chose their favourite artist, so the Swedish historian apparently sought the architect who was on the closest wavelength to himself. In the monograph on Ragnar Östberg there seems to be an identification when Cornell writes that Östberg’s “importance lay rather in his discarding 19th century cosmopolitanism by simplifying building to accord with national and handicraft conditions as well as in his work as an eminent – and accordingly disputed – architectural writer and educator”. 1
1 Claes Caldenby, Historians as critics in Swedish architecture from the 1920s to the 1970s, in Quo vadis architectura? Architectural tendencies in the late 1930s, 1940s and the early 1950s, Nils Erik Wickberg Lectures, Helsinki 2005, page 92
Chiara Monterumisi (Bologna , Italy 1986) graduated in Architecture at Faculty “Aldo Rossi”, University of Bologna in 2011, with a thesis in archaeology and museography: “Archaeological Area of Classe (Ravenna): memory and identity of a buried place”.
In 2009, she won the first place in the design competition ”7th Premio Piranesi Prix de Rome” at the Villa Adriana archaeological site in Tivoli (Rome). She was awarded with a scholarship for the Itinerant Master in Architecture, Archaeology, Museum design and innovative management of archaeological sites at “Adrianea Academy of Architecture and Archeology” (Rome). http://www.accademiaadrianea.net/adrianea_en.html
Thanks to this master she took part in many workshops in Italy, Spain and Greece.
In the autumn of 2011 she has been admitted to the School of Doctorate studies in Architecture at the University of Bologna. The three years research aim is to analyze the person and architectural idiom of one of the most important Swedish architects: Ragnar Östberg. The provisional title of her PhD thesis is “Ragnar Östberg: Genius Loci and Urban memories. Stockholm Stadshuset-Nämndhus and villa Geber”. http://www.da.unibo.it/it/ricerca/tesi-attualmente-in-corso. She is followed by Prof. Gino Malacarne (University of Bologna) and Prof. Luca Ortelli (École Polytecnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in quality of her PhD thesis supervisors.
On 11th October 2012 she took part in the “International Seminar Architects’ travels. Swedish-Italian connections in the tradition of the Grand Tour (1830-1950) “ hosted at the Institute of Italian Culture ‘CM Lerici’ in Stockholm. The title of the paper presented was “Använd dina ögon. Ragnar Östberg’s Italian travel. february 1897- march 1898”
Since 2011, she is also teaching assistant of the second Architectural Design studio at Department of Architecture.