The Box, Lissma

Ralph Erskine 

Between the winter of 1941 and the summer of 1942, Ralph Erskine built a small wooden cabin to use as a permanent residence and professional studio. Born in England in 1914, the architect was the son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister. His education as a Quaker and the influence of Fabian socialism bore upon his conception of humanism from an idealistic viewpoint. Just before the outbreak of World War II, having recently earned his architecture degree at the Polytechnic School of Regent Street in London, he moved to Sweden, attracted as he was to the social character of Swedish functionalism. His words: “In Sweden I found a belief that was more in accordance with early Central European functionalism, which searched for a more human society in the satisfaction of the everyday needs of the family, elderly people, and children. I also found an attitude that was less dogmatic with regard to style, one that translated into a new architecture that lacked nostalgia, but with the heritage of a long tradition based on the practical use of the simple materials of a poor country”... [+]