Endangered architecture: the work of Bernt Nyberg

Over the past four years Obstructures has been engaged in research on the work of Swedish architect Bernt Nyberg and his relationship with Sigurd Lewerentz culminating in the first exhibition of his work at Skissernas Museum in Lund Sweden. The exhibit consists of two timelines: one that outlines the major work documented in its original state and new photography showing the current state of the work, which in most cases is decaying, demolished or detrimentally altered. Adjacent the timeline is a freestanding installation describing the nature of the work done with Lewerentz.

Nyberg was in his prime when he passed, leaving us with a small quantity of astounding work, conceptually sound from the whole to its parts and consistent in every detail. This type of architecture is a dying breed; raw, authentic, essential. There were few architects like him, and even fewer buildings remain as the countdown to their extinction moves at a pace of fatal acceleration, described as ‘an endangered architecture.’ While Nyberg’s architecture is the focus, a more general theme regarding the dilemma of preserving aging modernist buildings is at the forefront of the work.

The exhibit displays images on translucent film backlit with low-voltage LED lighting. This allows the light level of the gallery to be reduced for the display of archival films. Nyberg produced multiple films of Lewerentz’s work and some of his own. These unedited films are displayed along with a large project of the slow light change on the interior walls at Nyberg’s Funeral Chapel in Höör. Designed to be lightweight and portable, this exhibit is set to travel to various institutions to bring Nyberg’s work to an international audience.

The exhibit and accompanying publication is sponsored by the Skissernas Museum, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation, The Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, The Peter and Birgitta Celsing Foundation, The Dreyers Fund and The Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction.