Stockholm Public Library

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Architect Eric Gunnar Asplund, completed 1928

IMG_0411There was plenty that was impressive about this library – the geometric shapes, the Egyptian temple/Mycenaean entrance, the frieze, the colour (Swedes seem fond of these warm shades) – but it was the interior that was really breathtaking. You go through the enormous portal into a black stucco interior with reliefs from Homer . . . and then the library opens out into an enormous rotunda:

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It’s not the most utilitarian use of the area, I admit, but it’s definitely a statement. This is another Gesamtkunstwerk: Gunnar Asplund designed much of the furniture and fittings. Somehow the vertical spines of the books add to the decoration of the whole. I thought it was wonderful.

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