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sigurd lewerentz, östra kyrkogården, 1916 | by seier+seier
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sigurd lewerentz, östra kyrkogården, 1916

colonnade of trees, eastern cemetery, malmö, 1916-1969.

architect: sigurd lewerentz, 1885-1975.

 

detail of this.

 

if you ever heard the claim that neoclassicism imposed academic forms on living beings, here is the proof. the trees in the eastern cemetery not only grow at right angles, they are grafted together, three branches on each side, to form one unique and highly architectural plant.

 

lewerentz' work with trees as means of architectural expression alone makes a winter visit to the cemetery worth the effort.

 

the compartmented plan of the cemetery in which hedges and trees form discrete and sheltered spaces is not only typical of cemeteries in the region but of landscape planning as such in southern scandinavia which is flat and suffers bitterly cold westerly winds in the autumn and winter.

 

the planning is very different from the woodland cemetery, but that lewerentz was a kind of proto-regionalist should come as no surprise. I recall reading that he worked for theodor fischer when he travelled through germany before setting up his own office. fischer was an early regionalist even if his thinking was based on nationalism and he influenced many of the German modernists, not least hugo häring who was a pupil of his.

 

I so like it when my heroes connect...

 

lewerentz hired the young kay fisker to work as his assistant on this competition, later claiming he had needed someone Danish to draw the beech trees. I am sure that was an internal joke between the two coming giants of Danish and Swedish architecture who remained friends for the length of their careers.

 

the lewerentz set.

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Taken on March 6, 2008