Endangered Architecture: The Work of Bernt Nyberg
This ongoing research project seeks to bring the relatively unknown work of Swedish architect Bernt Nyberg to international attention, framed as a tragically perfect case study for the problematic nature of preserving important modern architectural works. His work also sheds new light on Sweden’s master architect Sigurd Lewerentz as Nyberg was the first biographer offering insight into Lewerentz’s design philosophy through recorded interviews and film.
With a relatively small body of work, and death in the architect’s prime, Nyberg’s work was not celebrated during its time and has received little attention over the years. Many of his works have been demolished, detrimentally altered or face an uncertain future.
Endangered Architecture is not solely about the work of Nyberg—but just one example of a problem that our culture continues to face as the modern architecture of this century deteriorates. Hall’s work on Nyberg has resulted in numerous exhibitions, publications and lectures on various topics from objective historical documentation to its relationship to greater contemporary architectural issues. The project’s initial goal was to produce the first exhibition of the architect’s work. First opening at the Skissernas Museum for Process and Public Art in Lund Sweden, the exhibit was subsequently displayed at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark (KADK).
The publication that accompanied the exhibition included a comprehensive overview of Nyberg’s major built work and its current state. As editor, Hall authored the introductory essay and project descriptions and provided new photography and drawings. Invited contributors authored short essays on their relationships with Nyberg, Lewerentz and/ or history and insights on the work to include former collaborators, current historians, architects and theorists to contextualize the work.
The exhibition was made possible through generous support from the Birgitta and Peter Celsing Foundation, The Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, the Dreyer’s Fund and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Matt Hall is Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.