ArkDes is currently closed for refurbishment.
ArkDes holds one of the Europe’s largest architecture collections, which reveals how architects’ visions become the reality that surrounds us.
The museum’s collection consists of over four million drawings, sketches, photographs, letters, models and other objects. They are what remains of the processes, creativity, visions, discussions, people, and inspirations behind Sweden’s built environment. It is a living collection that not only helps us understand and reevaluate history but also brings us closer to the individuals who shaped modern Sweden.
From 1850 to today
ArkDes was established in 1962 and the foundation of its extensive collection was then the photographic and drawing archive of the Swedish Association of Architects. Since then, the collection has steadily grown with donations from architects active from 1850 to the present. Notable architects represented include Gunnar Asplund1, Sigurd Lewerentz2, Susanne Tucker3, Léonie Geisendorf4, Backström & Reinius5, and Ralph Erskine6. From the time before and after the turn of the 20th century, there are objects from the likes of Isak Gustaf Clason, Cyrillus Johansson, and Carl Bergsten. The collection also includes a significant number of photographs from Sweden’s leading architectural photographers, such as Sune Sundahl7.
Rewriting History through the Collection
ArkDes is committed to keeping the collection accessible for research. The museum’s research service and library provides material for those who wish to consult the collection and its stories.
A collection that is accessible to the public and researchers can contribute to a more inclusive architectural history, where previously overlooked buildings and individuals are brought to light. In recent years, efforts have been made to expand the collection with parts of Sweden’s architectural history that have been underrepresented, particularly women’s contributions to the art form and architecture and design of Sami origin. This also includes objects originating from protest movements or engagements around architectural and societal issues, like items acquired from Kvinnors Byggforum (Women’s Building Forum)8, Bo i Gemenskap9, and the work of the architect Abelardo Gonzalez.
The Collection and the Future
Dive deeper into the ArkDes collection: