By Anastacia Sampson
The Middle Ages lasted about 500 years in the country and are estimated to have ended with the crowning of King Gustav Vasa in 1523. At the beginning of the Middle Age period, generally buildings were constructed of timber (wood).
Then in the 12th century the Romanesque monasteries and churches were built of the stronger material of stone. The buildings of this style have major thick walls, large towers and other distinctive features. Although history shows that a number of castles were built in this style, even far more churches were constructed in that style. The style of Romanesque architecture is characterised by semi-circular arches.
Then it progressed into pointed arches and became known as the Gothic style. This soon became in vogue and brick was often used to form such buildings. Gothic architecture incorporates creative subdivision and structuring of walls, with use of built ornaments and colour contrasts of the bricks and white lime plaster. Buildings of this style are generally characterised as being huge in size yet simple in outer appearance. This style became in fashion again during the 19th century under the term of neo-gothic architecture.
This style of architecture was prevalent from the 15th to 17th century. The Renaissance period of architecture reflected the ancient Greek and Roman culture being bought back into fashion. The focus was on symmetry, proportion, geometry as well as the regularity of parts. There were a variety of castles that were constructed with elements of distinctive Renaissance style.
From the 17th century into the 18th century, architecture evolved into the baroque style. Some of the distinctive features of baroque architecture include:
Churches with broader naves and sometimes oval forms
The fragmentary or incomplete (on purpose) architectural elements
The dramatic use of light
The vast utilization of colour and ornaments
The large-scale ceiling frescoes
The inside of the building generally being a shell for painting, sculpture and stucco
Classicism and empire
This style was in use from the second half of the 18th century to the second half of the 19th century.
During the second half of the 19th century, there was the industrialisation era in Swedish history. This lead to greater need of buildings as well, there are remnants of personal interpreted Gothic and Neo-Renaissance styles in this time of building history.
National romantic style and Jugendstil
Was a period in history when architects drew inspiration from other countries abroad while still retaining some inherent styles of past Swedish architecture. The materials utilized were often brick and wood.
Modern and postmodern
This current period of time since the early 1900s included Neo-classicism. The Million Programme was a government initiative project declared in 1965, which aimed to build a million new homes within ten years. This was a response to the mass population increase after World War II. However the oil crisis in 1973, impeded any further developments of the same patterned architecture. It seems some architects may have been aiming for quantity and quick delivery over unique individualised quality.
Then postmodern developed which incorporated a far higher degree of individualised styles. These include designs known as minimalism, hi-tech, expressionism and neo-functionalism. Taking ecological factors into the picture is also part of the current era of architecture.