Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz was an architect and a city-planning architect in Lund.
Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz was born in 1909, and she spent her childhood and youth in Kungälv. She was the youngest in a family which consisted of three daughters. Her father, Fredric Cruickshank, was a Scottish immigrant and was active as an industrialist. Her mother, Helga, was a qualified teacher but had not been gainfully employed since she married. Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz was part of the generation which grew up with a background of national romanticism and the classicism of the 1920s, sewing the right seeds for someone who dreamt of becoming an architect. She began her studies in the humanities, reading archaeology, art-history and literary studies. Later she studied architecture at Chalmers tekniska institute (institute of technology) and graduated from that institute in 1931.
Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz moved to Lund in 1937 after suddenly losing her first husband, Lars Hammarskjöld. Two years later, in 1939, she married Anders Reiz, and in 1942 they had a son, Sebastian. Her husband went on to become a docent in astronomy in Copenhagen.
Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz quickly settled into Lund, where she was employed as assistant city-planning architect. Fred Forbat was a close colleague. Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz worked on the first general plan for Lund during the 1932-1942 period. Her first project was Östra småstugeområdet (eastern cottage area) in 1937, intended for ‘less well-off large families’. Initially it was locally known as ‘Negerbyn’ (negro town). The area originally comprised 29 identical whitewashed houses with flat roofs. These cottages, once remotely located in the windswept Scanian plains are today (2017) ringed by swathes of parks and are surrounded by neat gardens, each with a gable roof and newly painted, sometimes with extensions and bearing new facades. The functionalist designs were not always a success and Östra småstugeområdet was not particularly well-received, as evidenced by all the later changes made to it.
Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz found better success in her next project, which was Borgmästaregården. This was a residential area in western Lund which was built during the 1939-1946 period. She took her inspiration from the regional building tradition, which was marked by a pervasive use of bricks in the façade, gable roofs on single-family homes, and pent-roofed terraced houses. They were described as: ‘neat and pleasant, modern but not modernist. […] We have finally moved on from the flat examples – and the town is to be congratulated.’
Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz’s heavy involvement in housing matters is evident. She became secretary of Lund city housing committee in 1937, for example. She never lost touch with ‘her’ houses and their inhabitants, and often wondered whether they had settled in, or whether any improvements could be made. Further, she believed that a female architect had better insight into planning solutions for housing.
The architecture of the era was a guiding light for Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz. This is apparent in her unembellished facades, which were simple in the basic meaning of the word. Modernism, or namely functionalism, can perhaps best be seen in a corner building in the ‘stenstad’ (stone town) north of Clemenstorget. This four-storey building, covered in a light plaster, has window placements which in part follows the requirement of a row of windows but its main distinguishable element is the heavily marked round cornered balconies.
On 4 May 1959 Dag Hammarskjöld opened the International student house which was to house Swedish and foreign students under the same roof. For Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz this project introduced her to the academic side of Lund. The building is an architectural pearl. The site, in red brick, with glass elements, comprises different sections on respectively two and three floors. Most prominent are the two gable-end staircases, entirely made of glass and out of which the white steps beautifully emerge. Laurentiistiftelse studenthem is another student house which should be mentioned here, located at the opposite end of the town. It was built in stages in 1949, 1958, and 1961. Equally well-known are Thulehem’s much-loved retirement residences, built between 1962 and 1966. Like almost all of Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz’s houses, these display a restrained design in which the material – red brick – makes its own statement.
General planning, city planning, residential homes, schools, libraries, and hospitals were just a small part of the type of work that Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz took on. She was never short of projects. She always showed the same respect and interest in her jobs. One of her major efforts involved Staffanstorp, a lively municipality south of Lund. Here she contributed to a refurbishment of the square, including central buildings and village hall. Staffanstorp also ended up being her last contribution to housing, which was the terraced housing of Kyrkbacken and Sunnanvind in 1987.
After she had retired Ingeborg Hammarskjöld-Reiz continued to work as a private architect in Lund, and she carried on doing so until her death in 1994.