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Buildings - Project

Dalamodernism is a project that aims to characterize modernism's architecture and built environments in Dalarna from the period 1930-1980 through inventory and cultural-historical assessment.

How did modernism relate to Dalarna's traditional building conditions and built environments? What role did the local building condition play during the era?

With support from the County Administrative Board in Dalarna County, we inventory the imprint of modernism in the county's municipalities. The building stock from the time is large and consists of a variety of building types. Functional villas, apartment buildings, town halls, industrial areas, smaller textile workshops, consumption, old people's homes and sports cabins are some examples of buildings that we look for to document in text and pictures.

Together with the municipalities of Gagnef, Leksand, Malung-Sälen, Mora, Orsa, Rättvik, Vansbro and Älvdalen, the building antiquaries at Dalarna's museum have worked to produce advice for new construction, extensions and renovations in Övre Dalarna's sensitive village environments. The councils are intended to provide inspiration to citizens who want to develop the buildings and support the municipalities' building permit administrators.

The purpose is for the councils to ensure that the characterful village environments retain their distinctive character and value, while leaving space for a modern life in them. In the spring of 2018, therefore, the building antiquarians went around the municipalities to explore the characteristics of the various villages, and to look for good examples of well-adapted extensions and new buildings.

In Garsås in Mora, a house from around the turn of the century 1900 has had an extension that is well adapted to the style of the house. Photo: Adam Moll, 2018, Dalarna Museum.

In the autumn of 2020, the second stage of the chip chip inventory was made on churches around the county that started in 2018. During the first part, chip covers were inventoried on 35 churches, from Särna in the north to Folkärna in the south, which resulted in several older, previously unknown roofs from the 1700th and 1800th centuries were found. The second part of the project includes in-depth studies at five of the county's churches; Leksand, Malung, Ore, Orsa and Särna old church. Among other things, a number of chips from each interesting surface will be picked down and sent to Luleå University of Technology (LTU) for analysis of the wood's properties and tar composition.

On the way up to dismantle wood shavings with stamps on Orsa church's north longhouse roof.
Photo: Sanna Svensson, Dalarna Museum.

Plywood as roofing material or wall cladding has a long tradition in Nordic church building. For centuries, in the winter, straight trunks have been selected and felled to then split and chop - and later saw - sawdust out of the blanks. As a building material, they are very complex, with properties that differ depending on, among other things, the type of wood, manufacturing technology, laying technology and base material.

Today, wood shavings are one of the most common covering materials in church environments, on which a large number of maintenance measures are carried out annually. Existing knowledge bases, however, contain gaps regarding existing chip covers, their age and cultural-historical values, and therefore do not constitute a sufficient basis for decisions on maintenance or reorganization. This in turn contributes to the fact that chip coverings of old age, with high knowledge values, risk disappearing.

On behalf of the dioceses of Västerås and Strängnäs, respectively, Dalarnas Museum together with the Cultural Environmental Protection and Construction and Crafts Foundation in Karlskoga AB therefore carry out an inventory of all church facilities with chipboard roofs and / or facades within the counties that the dioceses include. The inventory aims to build up the state of knowledge about the presence of chipboard roofs and facades in church environments. Among other things, manufacturing technology, type of wood, type of surface treatment and size are documented in order to be able to determine the age of the chip covers and draw conclusions about the conditions that have contributed to the life of the covers.

Between May and October 2018, thirty-five church facilities with chipboard covering on roofs and facades in Dalarna were inventoried, from Särna old church in the north to Folkärna church in the south. The results will be reported in a comprehensive report and are intended to serve as a knowledge base for management and maintenance work as well as for permit testing and assessment of the possible cultural-historical values ​​of chipboard cover.

From the left: Enviken's old church, 2018. Särna Old Church, 2018. Stave shavings in pattern laying on the belfry in Leksand, 2018. The bell tower in Säfsnäs, 2018.
Photo: Sanna Svensson, Dalarna's museum

Below is a list of the church facilities in Dalarna that are covered by the project:

Amsberg Chapel
Enviken's old church
Evertsberg Chapel
The folk
The mill wood
Play sand
Chapel of Lumsheden
Ludvika Ulrica
The long cabin
Oxberg Chapel
Baby treasure
Sword Lake
Särna old church
Thursday song
The habit
Åsen's chapel
apple nest

From the autumn of 2018, Dalarna's museum is working to develop a new cultural environment program for Leksand municipality. The work includes field inventories of old village environments, and will continue in several stages starting in the spring of 2019. The work is commissioned by the municipality of Leksand.

Do you have questions or tips on environments that we should visit during the inventory? Send an email to info@dalarnasmuseum.se

From left: Kringbygd farm in Gråda, Leksand, 2018. Farm in Rälta, Leksand. View of farms in Tibble, Leksand. Mas-Olle's old farm, Siljansnäs. Photo: Kristoffer Ärnbäck, Dalarna Museum

Nowhere else in Sweden are there so many preserved log houses from the Middle Ages as in Dalarna. We know that there are more than one hundred - the exact number is unclear. This strangeness was for a long time little attention in Swedish cultural history and building culture as the concentration had been on the time after Gustav Vasa's accession to the throne and the Reformation, the time after 1520.

From left: Threshold from 1303 in Tallhed, Orsa. Härbre from 1298 in Färnäs, Mora, 2015. Tool traces of so-called splintering on the back of a staircase in a shelter from 1313 in an Älvdalsby. The splintering technique was not used after the Great Depression in the middle of the 1300th century. Photo 2015.

In 2015, Dalarna's museum, in collaboration with carpenter Stefan Östberg, started a project about the medieval log houses. The project aims to seek out, determine the location and briefly document over 150 timber buildings from the period before 1600. The work is carried out with a grant from the County Administrative Board.

Härbre from 1298 in Färnäs, Mora. Photo 2015. Photo: Lars Jönses, Dalarna Museum

Our preserved medieval timber buildings are an important contribution to the international architecture. The art of timber has a long tradition and interesting development, from a natural and necessary use of resources to a way of distinguishing identity and pride in the local craft tradition. Despite widespread industrial housing construction around the 1960s, carpenters kept their grip on car luxury!

Dalarnas museum meets the log houses in different types of tasks; through, for example, consultancy, in the inventory of modernism buildings and in knowledge-disseminating projects.


During the summer of 2020 and until the spring of 2021, the Dalarna Museum's building antiquarians Malena Andersson, Adam Moll and Sanna Svensson will inventory the cemeteries in Långshyttan, Stjärnsund and Dala-Husby. The work includes, among other things, a photo inventory of the cemeteries, studies of the church archives and meetings with people with knowledge of local history. The purpose is to delineate cultural-historically valuable features, which are particularly characteristic of the cemetery, the local area and / or the region. To be able to do that, we look, among other things, at the gravediggers' design and location in relation to the church building, corridors and vegetation. Always with the local history as a starting point. The inventory is then intended to function as part of a basis for care and maintenance plans for each cemetery.

Grave care at Husby cemetery.
Photo: Sanna Svensson, Dalarna Museum


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