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JOY, Today – A few minutes in Stockholm

By David Brussat, Architecture Here and There

This eight-minute tourism video of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is part of an excellent series of such films produced by Expedia, the booking agency. For some reason, modernists seem infatuated by Stockholm, even though very little modern architecture appears, at least in this video – not even the famous Stockholm Public Library (see the bottom photo below), designed by Gunnar Asplund and opened in 1928. Most of its classical embellishment was stripped off during its design, beginning in 1922.

An intermittent 30 seconds or so feature obligatory scenes of more recent and inferior works of modern architecture, but by far the bulk of this excellent video focuses in on the city’s lovely traditional architecture. A sort of charming grandiosity, if it may be so described, seems the leitmotif of Stockholm, where, however, narrow lanes bend in from the past, charming without grandiosity. It may be that there is more modernism here than indicated by this video – which merely suggests that its producers followed a tradition of keeping such buildings off center stage so as not to generate trip cancellations. After all, postcards almost never depict modernist buildings, why should travel videos? Enjoy!

My freelance writing and editing on architecture and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call (401) 351-0457 https://architecturehereandthere.com/