This article examines the possibility of designing the features of regional identities using archetypes and figures extracted from a distant universe within a dynamic process of dialectic oppositions. Nordic culture, which is divided between knowledge of superior design and the presence of wild nature, has regularly turned to the Mediterranean as a point of reference: the essence of absolute beauty. Its peripheral position permits a particular perspective, while the classical myth, when shifted to the North, undergoes deformations due to the tension with the place. This ‘archaeological gaze’ is rooted in Nordic culture and surfaces in different moments of cultural re-foundation. The aim is to underline the continuity of this attitude in Nordic architectural culture by focusing in particular on the Swedish context. In fact, when one takes a closer look at the Gustavian era, specific artists and architects tend to stand out, such as Carl August Ehrensvärd and Louis Jean Desprez, whose works demonstrate a compositional approach that would be taken up again in the era of modern classicism of the twentieth century. In particular, this study identifies as exemplary the approach expressed in the work of Sigurd Lewerentz. Recognition of this continuity inspires reflections on the idea of architectural composition as an assembly of heterogeneous echoes. It demonstrates the possibility to design works of architecture whose roots are married to absolute values, in an intricate fusion of local and international influences.
Torricelli, C. (2022). Mediterranean Echoes: Understanding Northernness through the South. In Northernness (pp.83-106). Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research.