When Sigurd Lewerentz decided that there are no frames suited for his architecture, he abandoned his practice and devoted ten years of his lives to perfecting and refining the production of windows and doors frames. His is an isolated case, but an example of his effort and devotion is St Peter’s Church in Klippan, which was completed when its architect, Sigurd Lewerentz (1885-1975) was eighty-one. It is the second, and arguably the masterpiece, of a trio of late buildings that began with the commission of St Mark’s Church, Bjorkhagen in 1956 and ended with Lewerentz’s last structures for the Malmo East Cemetery – the Flower Kiosk and the caretaker’s house, in 1969, perfectly illustrating this predicament. The great frames of great paintings are the most public manifestation of our intimate and most profound dependence on frames. No boundaries can exist without their thresholds. It is neither the art of the embalmer nor of the decorator. It does not raise cultural pearls, does not traffic in fakes or emblems, nor would it be content to be a mere feast of ornament. It is intimately related to beauty, the supreme alliance, but beauty is neither its goal nor its sole source of nourishment. It gathers to its narrow present all of the past and the future, human and natural place and space. Nothing can occur at the frame that by its nature is not commensurable with the inside and outside of the place, which is not one with the law of harmony, governing the entire world of things. Against the worst catastrophes of history, seasonal rhythms in a vaster cycle of repetitions and renewals, framing the moment, framing, reflecting and throwing light upon one moment in the immense plot as it unfolds itself through time and space. The frame maker is the one who breaks for us the bonds of habit and custom.
Nothing can preserve its form and measure against the ceaseless flux of our days, as much as the frames by which we create the daily pattern and the rhythms of our lives.
Rarely have we sung the praise of those often-anonymous craftsmen and artisans who, over centuries, have indefatigably furnished us with these features of our architecture that define its temporality, perhaps only equal to the treatment of the substances of the building itself. How else would we be able to acknowledge the difference between the different lights of day, the seasons of the year, our presence and our future absence? What else defines our passage on earth? What is a better introduction to a house if not its portal? Indeed, in some culwwtures, rituals concerning the doorframe are significant and marked in prayers. The miniature of our creations acquires its limits everywhere and always thanks to doorframes and window frames.[end]