1968-1993: National Board of Public Buildings

Lifecycle approach

During the economic boom of the 1960s, there was a huge demand for new public buildings. Radio and TV, airports, the police, the ministries, universities and cultural institutions all needed big new buildings. To meet this demand, the National Board of Public Buildings was restructured in 1968. Its tasks were re stricted only to the provision, construction and management of buildings for the needs of the state. The previously strongly centralised agency was broken down into property districts which would handle management, planning and production at regional level. At the same time, tasks were transferred to other agencies. Listed historical buildings and churches came under the remit of the National Heritage Board. Planning, county architects and building standards formed the core of the newly created National Board of Physical Planning and Building. The restructuring was led by Director-General Sixten Larsson, who was later succeeded by other heavy weight politicians such as Hans Löwbeer and Lars Ag. As before, the managers on the technical side were still architects. The National Board of Public Buildings issued a whole range of advice and instructions, including adopting an architectural philosophy that was ahead of its time in introducing a lifecycle approach to architecture. This development work was crucial to the success of the many largescale projects: Arlanda Airport, Radiohuset, the Garnisonen development, the government buildings in central Stockholm and the many functions relocated away from the capital. In hindsight, it is clear that the National Board of Public Buildings produced some world-class structures during this period, peaking with the Vasa Museum. However, perhaps the greatest successes of the period came in the art of restoration, for example with the new museum for the Royal Armoury, housed in the cellar vaults of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, and the skilled and sensitive restoration of Skokloster Castle.