Exterior Colours at Rural Dwellings in Southern Sweden during the 19th Century - To increase knowledge regarding local differentiations
Abstract: Abstract The project’s main objective is to verify the existence of local colours and colour schemes in the exteriors of buildings. The research focused on 19th century dwellings in the rural areas of southern Sweden. The results and furthermore the conclusions are presumed to reveal locally differentiated colours used and to indicate rules governing the way in which the colours were combined during different periods within the delimited time and in various geographical local areas. One point of specific interest concerns the possibility of presenting the original layer of paint, since this could be considered as the choice indicating the expressions of the architectural grammar of the façades at the time when the building was erected. To find out of the colours during the 19th century, certain geographical areas containing adequate building objects had to be chosen. Short interviews with building archaeologists took place to find out of the right geographical areas. The criterion was façades with building materials covered with paint that could be assumed to date from the delimited time. Ten geographical areas were established and, on the strength of findings from the ocular investigations, four geographical areas were selected for further investigation. This final part of the thesis is based on an investigation conducted in local areas in Lister hundred, Blekinge County. The investigations mainly involved studies of archival materials, iconographic materials, short interviews, Scanning Electronic Microscopic analyses, colour steps and microscopic analyses of cross-sections. When co-ordinated, the different sources indicated the presence of local colours and colour schemes. To corroborate the thesis, further research was undertaken. The investigations were therefore intensified within one of the geographical areas identified. In this area more microscopic analyses were performed of cross-sections, partly on new buildings in the areas but also on new structural details of buildings investigated previously. Through this deepened investigation it was possible to make the results more distinct and reliable. To reach a deeper understanding of the context at the time when the buildings were erected, actor network theory was tried out. This made it possible to achieve a wider interpretation of the materials from the other sources and so to draw conclusions with a clearer relation to the situation underlying the decision to paint the dwellings. The results will be used to discern rules for local differentiations, presented as reconstructions of the colour schemes from the local areas within the project’s delimitations. Though the colour schemes will be indicated at the building objects within the project's delimitations, the results will be applicable to new colour schemes for different settlements, both new and historical, and the method of investigating groups of buildings is an approach amenable to generalisation in other areas as well.
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