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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Place-Making Strategies in Multicultural Swedish Cemeteries

Wingren, Carola


This paper deals with place-making strategies and meaning-making functions in relation to Swedish cemetery design during the last 100 years. The main subjects for the studies are ‘O¨stra kyrkoga˚rden' -a cemetery designed by Sigurd Lewerentz in 1916 and ‘Ja¨rva begravningsplats' -a Swedish cemetery for which an architecture competition was held in 2010. The paper deals with aspects such as: the landscape architect's intentions and idiom; the role and power of the landscape (both natural and man-made); and the ways in which all these elements interrelate with the multicultural society around them. The findings presented include a comparison between place-making strategies and the space given to individual expressions and multicultural aspects. The article looks at questions such as: what qualities do landscape designers put into funeral landscapes to frame bereavement and loss, and how do these qualities correspond to societal changes and landscape design history? How do architects relate to landscape as nature, architecture and ‘oeuvre d'art', and at the same time to individuals' use of the cemetery as a place for memory and meaning- making? And how do they relate to the fact that death becomes an area for negotiation between different cultural, religious and individual opinions or needs? The findings highlight certain tendencies in place-making strategies, and the study also frames new questions for further investigation.

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2013, volume: 18, number: 2, pages: 151-172

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