Institutions with a richness of design

Freedom of trade, industrialism and civil society created new building challenges. Welfare and state building projects grew dramatically during the second half of the 19th century.

The tasks of the First Surveyor's Office were formalised in 1864. The main focus remained on churches, but the agency was also required to draw up and oversee the nation's new general building code. Of the 10,000 buildings that belonged to the state and the government, the First Surveyor's Office was only responsible for around 200. The Office of the Marshall of the Realm and the County Governors still held responsibility for the royal palaces. The army and naval boards, the prison service, the health service, the National Board of Crown Forests and Lands and all the new bodies for the postal and telegraph services, the railways, hydroelectric power and customs each had their own building departments. Through the highly focused work of Axel Nyström the Elder and Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander on making architecture a genuine profession, architects once again took the lead in the nation's building projects. Helgo Zettervall was the first architect since Adelcrantz to be made First Surveyor in 1882. The state brought in the most gifted architects as consultants to handle its numerous building projects. These included prisons, hospitals, administrative buildings, official residences and cultural institutions such as new university buildings, theatres and museums. Coastal defences were given a major boost with new forts in the archipelagos. A new task for the First Surveyor's Office was to take on the first specific restoration projects, with Kalmar and Gripsholm Castles among the first secular buildings to receive the restoration treatment. The architecture of the late 19th century was varied and technically innovative, with a richness of design.The state took a leading role in this development. New technology was employed with a view to creating architecture full of colour, shape, associations and detail.