Sweden is synonymous with timber. From the air you can hardly see the towns for all the trees. Most of the timber goes to sawmills where it is sawn or planed into planks for the construction industry. This is an industry that previously built only on a small scale but which today has its sights fixed on large constructions and mass production.
From an ecological perspective this of course makes sense – timber is both a renewable and a recyclable resource. But also from an architectural point of view judging by the large number of timber projects on architects’ drawing boards.
The most original examples are to be found in small-scale projects – private houses and holiday cottages, modernist interpretations of traditional building techniques. But today even large-scale projects are breaking new ground. Vernacular architecture has been complemented by a more hi-tech approach and several local authorities are making their mark in wood. It is hardly surprising if richly forested districts choose to build most of their major structures in timber, but now the Swedish capital itself is joining the throng. By looking back Swedish architects are leading the way forward.