(Exhibition text in English, referring to a QR code in the exhibition)

Architecture for the Masses

Name: Ingrid Wallberg, married 1. Lilienberg, married 2. Göthlin
Born: 1890 in Halmstad
Died: 1965 in Gothenburg

Passionate about improving living conditions for everyone.

In 1908, Ingrid Wallberg moves to Berlin, where she studies architecture, urban planning and technical drawing. She marries Albert Lilienberg, chief urban planning engineer in Gothenburg. Together, they enter urban design competitions in the Nordic countries and the U.S. Ingrid Wallberg is particularly concerned with improving living conditions for people on a low income and facilitating women’s work in the home – especially in the kitchen. In preparation for the 1923 Gothenburg Exhibition, she works on show flats in the social section of the exhibition.

As a divorcee, Ingrid Wallberg goes to Paris. In 1928, she works for the internationally renowned architect Charles Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier. Back in Gothenburg, she sets up her own business, designing flats, houses, and factory buildings in the new functionalist style. She also runs a garden centre adjacent to her home, the Stora Gårda estate in Gothenburg.

In 1938, she is finally accepted as a member of the Swedish Association of Architects, after having been rejected four times.

A New Profession Fit for Women

Name: Ester Claesson
Born: 1884 in Östervåla, Uppland
Died: 1931 in Stockholm

Pioneer in Swedish landscape architecture and garden design.

At the age of 16, Ester Claesson begins her training to become a landscape architect. Initially, she is a student at Tomarps Gård in Skåne and she continues her education at various architecture firms in Denmark, Austria-Hungary and Germany. Her training is partly funded by the Fredrika Bremer Association, which wants to encourage more women to choose garden-related careers. During her studies, Claesson’s work is recognised in Sweden as well as abroad.

As an independent business owner with an office in Stockholm, Ester Claesson establishes herself as one of Sweden’s most prominent landscape architects. She takes part in the international architectural competition for the design of the Skogskyrkogården cemetery in Stockholm and wins third prize. Claesson takes on projects working on private gardens, cooperative housing associations, and cemeteries, as well as giving lectures and writing articles. She publishes her book Trädgården (The Garden) in 1923.

An Architecture Company All Her Own

Name: Ingeborg Wærn Bugge
Born: 1899 in Oslo
Died: 1991 in Stockholm

One of Sweden’s first female architects, runs her own architecture firm for 45 years.

Ingeborg Wærn Bugge receives special permission to attend the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1919. Wærn Bugge graduates as one of Sweden’s first female qualified architects in 1922. The degree programme in architecture is only formally opened up to women in 1921.

She travels to Italy, Switzerland and Germany for inspiration. In Stockholm, she works at various architecture firms and continues her education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In 1929, Wærn Bugge starts an architecture firm together with Kjerstin Göransson-Ljungman. Several of their clients are women. The collaboration ends in 1936, and Wærn Bugge continues to run the firm on her own.

During her long career, Ingeborg Wærn Bugge participates in several exhibitions, including the Paris Exhibition in 1925 and Fritiden (Leisure time) in Ystad in 1936. She carries out historic building surveys as well as church restorations. But primarily, she designs homes and schools and takes a particular interest in the development of modern, practical kitchens.

HSB – a Federation of Cooperative Housing

As early as during World War I, the various tenants’ associations in Sweden demand improved housing standards. Flats are overcrowded and often poorly equipped. The Rent Increase Act, introduced during the war years, is repealed in 1923 and rents rise drastically. Rents are regulated by supply and demand alone. Mass redundancies and evictions turn financially vulnerable families out on to the street.

HSB, the Swedish Tenant-Owned Cooperative Housing Association, is something new. Housing provided at cost price, managed democratically by the residents themselves. The new homes are fitted with better kitchens and their own bathrooms, and modern communal laundry rooms are provided.

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