Erik Gunnar Asplund
In the Stennäs house a particular emphasis is placed on the way of access and the value of the elements in its location, which account for the angle break in its volumes and its relationships with use, scale, orientation and views. With adjustments to the dimensions of the program, the resulting flexibility with regards to functions and its relationship with open spaces, as well as the use of materials, are aspects that help to articulate tradition.
A visitor to the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 might have come away with the impression that a Functionalist summerhouse should be efficient and white, with plenty of south-facing windows. The same visitor might be surprised that Erik Gunnar Asplund defied this formula when he built his own summerhouse on an inlet south of Stockholm at Stennäs in 1938. If Stennäs is seen as a Vitalist creation, the landscape and house are very much a Dionysian phenomenon, following Nietzsche’s formula. Pure Functionalism has been eschewed in favour of a heterogeneous approach where both landscape design and architecture declare mixed origins and where the highest priority is placed on the continuity of landscape and culture. At Stennäs, Asplund contrives to site his house to reinforce the sequence of outcrop garden, court, salt marsh, and inlet. Beginning at the entrance at Stennäs, Asplund uses familiar devices to give clues about how the visitor might respond to the interior.