The roots of modern architecture are quite traceable to the Chicago World’s Fair in the year 1893. At the time, Daniel Burnham, as head architect, recruited several prominent assistant architects to work to design buildings for the Fair. Young European architects were enraptured by abstract forms stripped of ornament, and modern architecture took root, globally.
Modern architecture in Sweden was prefaced by architects who assumed a rigorous and stark form of Neo-classicism. The Stockholm Exhibition for Industry, Arts and Crafts, in 1930 assisted functionalism to break-through in Sweden, which became the dominant ideology for building. After the Second World War, a massive building project was undertaken to satisfy the housing shortage and to improve standards. In 1965 the government announced the Million Programme — the building of a million new dwellings within ten years. Entire dormitory suburbs were built within a very short time.
Land in many city centres was purchased and replanned in a modern and functional way to make room for offices. The enormous building projects were planned and led by large architects’ offices. Often the quality of buildings and their design were of secondary importance to the delivery of such large numbers of projects.
Finally, the term Postmodern emerged in Sweden, encompassing a variety of different trends, a rich use of which that had not been seen since the National Romantic Style.