From Natural Stone to National Romanticism
Paper i proceeding, 2015

In the second half of the 19th century new methods for mining and processing natural stone are developed — parallel to the mechanization of brick production and the emergence of concrete structures. A number of technological innovations, such as the bandsaw (1854) or the use of power machines and explosives (from the 1860s and 1880s on) facilitate the previously laborious mining of hard natural stones. In the Nordic countries Sweden, Norway and Finland this technological progress is accompanied from the mid-19th century on by systematic geological exploration and in the 1880s by large-scale commercial developments. As a result of this enthusiasm for natural stone new types of constructions are developed and – in the course of breaking away from historicism – a new architectural language . In Sweden, this is new architectural language called »material realism«. In Norway and Finland this is the start of a new national architecture, fueled by the struggle for independence and intended as a means to assert the countries’ cultural identity. The goal of this paper is to outline the interaction between geological exploration, technological inventions, the development of new structures as well as the emergence of a new national romantic architecture.

19th Century

History of Technology

History of Architecture

Nordic Countries

Natural Stone


Atli Magnus Seelow

Chalmers, Arkitektur

Jahrestagung des Gesellschaft für Bautechnikgeschichte


Building Futures (2010-2018)






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