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In 1939 Lewerentz wrote a short text on modern cemeteries, a series of notes on landscape: “In fact, one may consider the cemetery a sort of garden of a very special kind because it not only possess the typical characteristics of open spaces, such as trees, shrubs, paths and grassy clearings, but it is first of all a monument suitable as a field of burial. “ Equality, rationality and efficiency are, according to Lewerentz, the basic things to consider when designing a cemetery. Monuments are to be preferred simple, horizontal, harmoniously placed on the grass Work began in 1917 and the formal consecration of the Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården): its first chapel, the Woodland Chapel, was built in 1920 and soon proved to be too small and so the Chapel of Resurrection and a service building was added between 1923 and 1925. Unlike most of its contemporaries, Asplund and Lewerentz’s cemetery design evokes a more primitive imagery. The intervention of footpaths, meandering freely through the woodland, is minimal. Graves are laid out without excessive alignment or regimentation among the natural forest. Such interventions as the architects allowed themselves, such as the reshaping of the two old gravel pits and the layout of the area round the main chapel, are effectively concealed within the virgin forest around them; yet provide a vivid contrast to them. Their sources were not ‘high’ architecture or landscape design but ancient and medieval Nordic burial archetypes. The Woodland Chapel, built from wood with whitewashed walls and a shingled roof, represents both intensification and a formal disciplining of the romantic naturalism of the competition scheme. Its severity reflects Asplund’s increasing interest in classicism and classical composition methods. Each of the chapels has its own enclosed garden, and as a group they take full advantage of the natural landscape.

ecological design  

ecological design