Bergslagen belonging: an investigation of traditional building techniques in relation to place identity

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Olsson, Sofia
As a constant coming and going of trends could risk fueling a lack of context within contemporary architecture, perhaps using regional architecture as inspiration could enable the creation of something that is rooted in place identity. Through this thesis a traditional building technique of vernacular architecture, more specifically the log timber construction, is investigated in relation to how it can be used within contemporary architectural projects in order to connect to the history of a region. The cultural geographical area of Bergslagen, Sweden, originates from its many accumulated mining industries and the scattered developments of old log timber buildings are still characteristic for the area today. My hometown Sala, situated in a part of this area, is known for its silver mine that used to be the most important resource for extracting silver in Sweden. Its main function today is tourism-related and there is a need for an additional building in the form of a visitor center. Designing a contemporary building to a historically valuable site like this puts emphasis on the ability to connect to the identity of the place, making it a relevant project for res arching the topic of interest. The design process is mainly based on research by design where the log timber construction and its qualities are being investigated through a design proposal. Research for design is also implemented as reference studies on contemporary buildings using the log timber construction are carried out and research is done on vernacular log timber traditions. Critical regionalism functions as a theoretical framework with the ambition of achieving a result that hopefully relates to the context without simply being a nostalgic image. The design focus is put on enhancing the construction through exposing it, making it readable and by doing so exploring its possibilities of functioning as a link between the addition and the already existing buildings.
log timber construction, vernacular architecture, visitor center
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