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Nordic Light

Modern Scandinavian Architecture

Henry Plummer

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A superbly illustrated history and survey of the use of light in Scandinavian building


The quality of light in Scandinavia has given rise to some of the most important and influential architecture of the modern period. This book celebrates established icons, newly discovered gems and contemporary masterworks that represent the highest expression of Scandinavian design and response to their environment.

Highly refined building techniques combined with the stark contrast between the scarcity of light in winter and the glow of long summer days have provided the context for architectural acts of genius.Just under fifty projects are featured here in detail, ordered according to the way in which different light conditions have imparted particular qualities to the buildings.

Henry Plummer has a uniquely authoritative perspective and his words resonate directly with his own artfully taken images. Books that give a true sense of the magical light that have shaped great buildings are rare: this is a publication to savour.

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'Surveys the imaginative ways designers have engaged with the region's natural light'
Elle Decor

' Beautiful ... a series of stunning photographs complement perfectly Plummer’s illuminating text ... Genuinely inspirational, this book somehow manages to “bottle the magic”. Recommended'
RIAS Quarterly

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 28.0 x 26.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 513

Publication date: 24 February 2014

ISBN: 9780500291375

Contents List

Introduction: Seeking light in the mystical North • 1. Whiteness: The pristine beauty and illuminating power of pure, white volumes • 2. Rhythm: The embodiment of the pulse of nature in vibrating patterns of light • 3. Journey: The galvanizing of space with alluring cues and beacons of light • 4. Carving: The moulding of light into empty yet compelling and unforgettable figures • 5. Forest: The conversion of forest light into vessels and frameworks of wood • 6. Transiency: The drama of expectation and loss in evanescent displays of light • 7. Tranquillity: The peaceful glow and solitude of unadorned things reduced to their essence • 8. Diffusion: The widespread distribution and softened glare of scarce natural light • 9. Darkness: The resonance of dark beginnings and arctic night in shadowy spaces

About the Author

Henry Plummer teaches architectural history and design at the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois. He received his MArch from MIT, studied light-art with György Kepes and was a photographic apprentice to Minor White. He is the author of numerous books on architecture, including The Experience of Architecture and Nordic Light.