Birgit Krantz was an architect and professor, and a pioneer in Swedish research on housing and homes.
Birgit Krantz was born in Stockholm but grew up in Gothenburg. She was the daughter of Elsa Hjertén (née Reuterman), a bank employee, and Sven Hjertén, a civil engineer and the half-brother of the artist Sigrid Hjertén. Birgit Krantz was married to the TV producer Lars Krantz in 1954–1975. Together they had three children.
Birgit Krantz studied architecture at the Chalmers technical college where she qualified in 1956. During the years 1962–1968 and 1975–1978 she worked at the State Institute of Building Research (SIB). During these years, Birgit Krantz wrote reports on a number of subjects such as the evaluation of newly built housing areas, among others the much discussed Baronbackarna in Örebro, as well as analyses of contemporary renewal of Swedish towns and villages, housing habits and housing preferences. The reports were based on empirical grounds in the form of statistics, archive materials and interviews.
Between 1968 and 1972, Birgit Krantz worked at the A4 architects’ office in Stockholm. Distinctive for this office were an interest in rational working methods, empirically-grounded analyses and buildings constructed according to structuralist principles, which meant an effort to be flexible in the framework and building elements. The A4 architects’ office was both as regards ideas and concrete planning close to the state building board Byggnadsstyrelsen. This is confirmed by among other things the investigation assignment on the “local supply situation” in Stockholm that Birgit Krantz carried out for the Byggnadsstyrelsen during her time at the A4 office, in 1969–1971. This investigation, the Brunnsvikenutredningen, dealt with land belonging to the crown north of Vasastan and its development possibilities. Various alternatives for long-term development were presented, from “natural park to a low, densely built city by the water.” The results of the investigation were presented and discussed by Birgit Krantz in an article in the professional journal Arkitektur.
Soon after the Brunnsvikenutredningen had been completed, Birgit Krantz left the A4 architects’ office and returned to work in the public sector. In 1972–1976 she worked as a researcher at the Department of building function theory (Institutionen för byggnadsfunktionslära) at the Kungliga Tekniska högskolan (KTH) in Stockholm, and in 1975 she was the chairperson of the recently started ArkitektFörbundet, a professional organisation for architects and physical planners that was dissolved in 2002 in connection with the founding of the organisation Sveriges arkitekter.
From 1978 until her retirement in 1995, Birgit Krantz was a professor at the department of building function theory (Institutionen för byggnadsfunktionslära) at the Lund technical college, where she succeeded Carin Boalt. Birgit Krantz, who was also the chairperson of the architectural research association Nordiska föreningen för arkitekturforskning in 1991–1995, continued after her retirement to be involved in issues of societal construction, among others as the initiative-taker to the group residence Färdknäppen in Stockholm, and a network for research on women’s home environments.
Birgit Krantz died on 8 January 1998.