The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 became a turning point for Swedish architecture. Functionalism was exemplified and became a strong ideal for many Swedish architects. Erik Gunnar Asplund (1885 – 1940) was the leading architect of the exhibition. His early works were Nordic neo-classical, but later his works became signatures of the Nordic functionalism.
The extension to the Gothenburg City Hall is a major functionalist work by Asplund. The competition for the extension to the main building from 1817 was held in 1912, and the building was completed in 1936. Marking the transition from Nordic neo-classicism to functionalism the extension relates to the older part of the city hall sublimely. The interior is a manifestation of Nordic functionalism. The internal walls are boarded with wooden panels. Daylight pours into the main hall from large widows making it light and welcoming. Even the court rooms are tactile with wooden furniture and panels. The curved stairs and balconies transform the daylight and smooth the interior.
The city hall extension is a Gesamtkunstwerk, from the main architectural lines to washbasins, door handles and furniture -everything is designed by Asplund as a manifestation of the Nordic functionalism celebration life, light and change.