Sigurd Lewerentz Architect Stockholm, Modern Buildings Sweden, Swedish Design Projects, Woodland Cemetery

Sigurd Lewerentz Architect : Architecture

20th Century Swedish Architecture Practice: Modernist Buildings in Sweden, Europe

27 May 2021

Sigurd Lewerentz Architect Monograph

Major Building by this 20th Century Swedish Architect

Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect Of Death And Life

Major new monograph of Sweden’s most revered architect

Sigurd Lewerentz Architect Of Death And Life

Accompanying exhibition at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, opens 1st October 2021

Published by Park Books, May 2021
Edited by Kieran Long and Johan Örn
Co-edited by Mikael Andersson

Sigurd Lewerentz outside St Mark’s Church, Björkhagen
Sigurd Lewerentz Architect St Mark's Church, Björkhagen
photograph : Pål-Nils Nilsson. Private collection

Thursday 27th of May 2021 – Sweden’s most revered architect Sigurd Lewerentz, regarded as one of the most important and enigmatic figures of modern European architecture, is the subject of a major new monograph, published in May 2021 by Park Books in collaboration with ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design in Stockholm.

This vast new book offers the most comprehensive survey to date of Lewerentz’s achievements, newly researched from original objects and archival material uncovered across Sweden, featuring over 700 pages of photographs, drawings, and sketches with essays by leading experts exploring Lewerentz’s life, work and legacy.

Malmström’s grave / Malmströms grav:
Malmström's grave Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Edited by Kieran Long, Director of ArkDes, and Johan Örn, curator of collections at ArkDes, and co-edited by Mikael Andersson, architectural historian and critic, this landmark book will be a significant moment of reassessment. An accompanying exhibition opening at ArkDes on 1st October 2021, curated by Kieran Long and designed by Caruso St John, will be the first major monographic exhibition of Lewerentz’s work in over 30 years.

Meditation grove Almhöjden, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm:
Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Lewerentz, who was born in Bjärtrå, Ångermanland, in northern Sweden in 1885 and died in Lund 1975, is a mythologised figure in the history of 20th century architecture. Arguably Sweden’s most distinguished modernist, his influence is admired today by a generation of the world’s leading architects.

Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm:
Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm interior
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Architecture devotees from around the world travel to visit his projects, from his late masterpieces St Mark’s Church in Bjorkhagen and St Peter’s Church in Klippan, to Stockholm’s iconic woodland cemetery Skogskyrkogården, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm, Sweden:
Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery
photograph : Åke E:son Lindman

Designed by award-winning graphic designer Malmsten Hellberg, this new book features new photography of all of Lewerentz’s major works by the architect and architectural photographer Johan Dehlin, as well as never-before-seen drawings and plans for buildings, furniture and interiors from Lewerentz’s collection at ArkDes.

Springs Way, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm:
Chapel of Resurrection, The Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Kieran Long, Director of ArkDes and Editor of Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life, said: “This monograph is a long-awaited addition to contemporary architecture publishing. There is no Swedish architect with more influence on contemporary architecture today, or with more passionate advocates across the globe, than Sigurd Lewerentz. His work was ubiquitous in the education of all the best architects I had grown up with in my twenty years of writing about, curating and teaching architecture.”

Cemetery chapel, Kvarnsveden, Sweden:
Cemetery chapel, Kvarnsveden, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Title Information
Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life
Published by Park Books in collaboration with ArkDes
Eds. Kieran Long and Johan Örn. Co-ed. Mikael Andersson
1st edition, 2021

720 pages
23 x 30 cm
ISBN 978-3-03860-232-3

Design: Malmsten Hellberg.

St Mark’s Church, Björkhagen, Sweden – Markuskyrkan:
St Mark's Church, Björkhagen, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

New photos of Lewerentz built work: Johan Dehlin.


Kieran Long has been director of Stockholm’s ArkDes since 2017. Prior to that he established the new Department of Design, Architecture and Digital at the V&A, London.

Johan Örn is an architectural historian and curator of collections at ArkDes.

Mikael Andersson is an architectural historian and critic.

St Mark’s Church, Björkhagen:
Sigurd Lewerentz St Mark's Church, Björkhagen
photo : Johan Dehlin

Sigurd Lewerentz

Sigurd Lewerentz was born in the north of Sweden, in Bjärtrå, Västernorrland County, on 29 July 1885, the son of Gustaf Adolf and Hedvig Matilda Lewerentz. He initially trained as a mechanical engineer and an architect at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and followed his education with apprenticeships in Berlin and Munich.

Markuskyrkan, Björkhagen, Sweden:
Markuskyrkan, Björkhagen building
photograph : Johan Dehlin

When Lewerentz set up an independent practice in Stockholm in 1911, he was joined by his colleague Torsten Stubelius. His first breakthrough came in 1915 when he was awarded first prize in the competition for a new cemetery in Stockholm (The Woodland Cemetery), a proposal created in collaboration with Gunnar Asplund. For the Woodland Cemetery, Lewerentz designed the neoclassical Resurrection Chapel, completed in 1925. A year following his success in the competition of 1915, he won first prize in the competition for a new cemetery in Malmö.

Markuskyrkan, Björkhagen:
Markuskyrkan, Björkhagen, Sweden interior
photo: Johan Dehlin

During the 1930s, while Lewerentz was working on the two cemeteries, he made major contributions to the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 by way of buildings, furniture, and graphic design. Around this time he also realised two major office buildings in Stockholm. He started to design and produce steel windows and other architectural fittings, a side of his practice that gradually absorbed more and more of his time. In the 1940s, he set up his own factory for these purposes in Eskilstuna.

National insurance institute, Stockholm, Sweden:
National insurance institute, Stockholm, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

In the mid 1940s Lewerentz oversaw the completion of the Chapels of St. Knut and St. Gertrud, and the Malmö City Theatre – two projects that he had worked on for many years. His notoriety came with the late churches, however: St. Marks in Björkhagen (1960), and St. Peters in Klippan (1966). When Lewerentz died in Lund in 1975, he was regarded as a legend of Swedish architecture.

Skogskyrkogården, Sweden:
Skogskyrkogården, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

ArkDes, located on the island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm, is Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship. It is housed in a beautiful building by Rafael Moneo and more recently ArkDes´ new studio gallery, called Boxen, designed by Dehlin Brattgård Architects.

Crematorium, Eastern Cemetery, Malmö, Sweden:
Crematorium, Eastern Cemetery, Malmö, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

Park Books
Park Books is a European publishing house for architecture and related fields, and an international platform for architectural book projects. Park Books has been established in 2012 as an affiliate of the renowned art, photography, and architectural publishers Scheidegger & Spiess in Zürich and likewise attaches great importance to the design and material quality of its publications.

Office building for Philips, Stockholm – Axonometric view:
Office building for Philips, Stockholm
image : ArkDes samling / ArkDes collections., Sweden

The books are published predominantly in English and German and thanks to a competent and extensive sales and marketing network, our program is distributed worldwide. The company is independently owned and run by dedicated employees who bring their various strengths and experience to bear on their work.

Östra kyrkogården, Sweden:
Östra kyrkogården, Sweden
photograph : Johan Dehlin

post updated 4 May 2021

Sigurd Lewerentz Architect – Key Projects

Major Building by this 20th Century Swedish Architect

Chapel of the Resurrection, Woodland Cemetery, Enskede, Stockholm, Sweden
Dates built: 1914-34
Architecture competition : 1914
This building design was a collaboration with fellow Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund

Chapel of Resurrection at the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, Sweden:
Chapel of Resurrection at the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm, Sweden, design by Sigurd Lewerentz Architect
photograph : Kalle Söderman,, courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Skogskyrkogården (official name in English: The Woodland Cemetery) is a cemetery located in the Enskededalen district south of central Stockholm, Sweden. Its design reflects the development of architecture from Nordic Classicism to mature functionalism.
Skogskyrkogården came about following an international architecture competition in 1915 for the design of a new cemetery in Enskede in the southern part of Stockholm, Sweden. The entry called “Tallum” by this couple of young Swedish architects was selected.

Sigurd Lewerentz Buildings

St. Mark’s Church, Bjorkhagen
Date built: 1956-60

St. Peter’s Church, Klippan, Sweden
Date built: 1963-66

More Sigurd Lewerentz Architect info online soon

Location: Bjarta, Sweden, north east Europe

Sigurd Lewerentz Architect Practice Information

This celebrated Swedish architect was born in 1885 and died in 1975

Sigurd was born in Bjarta, Sweden. Lewerentz and Asplund are generally recognised as two of the greatest Swedish architects of the 20th Century in Sweden, and came to worldwide attention. Most histories of World Architecture reference them and their collaboration – the Woodland Cemetery. Lewerentz was a Swedish Modernist. He died in Lund, Sweden in 1975.

His most celebrated work is surely Skogskyrkogården in Stockholm. The architects’ use of the natural landscape created an extraordinary environment of tranquil beauty that had a profound influence on cemetery design throughout the world.

Skogskyrkogården – Chapel of Resurrection, Woodland Cemetery, Stockholm, Sweden:
Skogskyrkogården Stockholm Chapel of Resurrection, Woodland Cemetery
photo : Arild Vågen, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The giant dark granite cross at the focus of the vista from the main entrance may have been based on a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, titled “Cross on the Baltic Sea” (1815), however the architects insisted that it was open to non-Christian interpretations.

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photo © Jo¨nko¨ping Bathhouse
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