The Empowerment of Aesthetics: Denmark’s Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

© Nico Saieh

Denmark‘s  for the 2014 Venice Biennale focuses on the country’s history as a pioneer in the development of a welfare state, and the role that architecture, in connection with art, literature and science had in creating an aesthetic manifestation of this ’better life for all’. By exploring the output of a range of fields in connection to a wider social movement, Empowerment of Aesthetics comes to a fuller understanding of how modernity affected architecture in .

BIG Unveils Design For “Zootopia” In Denmark

Courtesy of BIG

Danish architects BIG ( Group) have just released ambitious designs for a zoo in Givskud, . It’s a project that provides an intriguing opportunity for, as BIG explains, the creation of a space with “the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors.” The firm has been working for the past two years to make Zootopia what the Danish press is calling “the world’s most advanced zoo.” According to Givskud Zoo‘s director Richard Østerballe, the park’s transformation will benefit greatly from BIG’s fresh approach to design–one that has been characterized by the integration of nature and natural elements into cutting-edge, innovative architecture. 

The project will attempt to “integrate and hide buildings” within the landscape. Upon entering the zoo, visitors can either enter a large central square or climb the “building-landscape,” allowing them to get a general overview of the layout of the park. From this central element, visitors can access different areas of the zoo. A 4km hiking trail connects the different areas (which represent the continents of Africa, America and Asia). 

 The first phase is expected to be completed in 2019 to coincide with the park’s 50th anniversary. 

Read on for more images and BIG’s project statement. 

Junya Ishigami + Associates Win Competition to Design World Peace Pavilion in Copenhagen

Exterior. Image ©

Svendborg Architects and junya.ishigami+associates have won first place in the HOPE foundation’s House of Peace Competition. The competition brief calls for a monumental architectural installation to be built in the city harbor of Copenhagen, one that will endure as a lasting symbolic form devoted to world peace. The firms’ winning entry is a floating, cloud-like structure that seems almost to hover over the harbor’s horizon.

Løgstør Sports Hall / CEBRA

© Mikkel Frost

Architects: CEBRA
Location: 9670 , Denmark
Area: 1400.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Mikkel Frost

Bicycle Snake / DISSING+WEITLING Architecture

Courtesy of DISSING+WEITLING Architecture

Architects: DISSING+WEITLING Architecture
Location: 1560 København V,
Area: 235 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of DISSING+WEITLING Architecture

C.F. Møller Selected to Design Vocational School in Denmark

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

C.F. Møller Architects have won in an invited competition to design a new building for the Herningsholm Vocational School in HerningDenmark. The new building consists of three angular building volumes, brought together under a single sloping roof, which responds to its context among other buildings on the school’s campus by going from three stories on the Southern end to two in the North.

The architects describe the building as being “designed inside-out… as well as outside-in”, with a dual focus on providing optimal learning spaces inside but also on providing learning spaces in the three outside areas defined by the building’s volume.

More on the design after the break

Ecco’s Hotel / DISSING+WEITLING Architecture

© Adam Mørk

Architects: DISSING+WEITLING Architecture
Location: Ecco Alleen 4, Tonder,
Area: 4,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Adam Mørk

The Birds Nest / Primus Arkitekter

Courtesy of

Architects: Primus Arkitekter
Location: Randbølvej 67, Vanløse,
Area: 130 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Primus Arkitekter

Faaborg Harbor Bath / URBAN AGENCY + JDS + Creo arkitekter

Courtesy of Urban Agency

Architects: JDS, URBAN AGENCY, Creo arkitekter
Location: 5600 , Denmark
Area: 20100.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Urban Agency, Mette Krull

Brick House / LETH & GORI

© STAMERS KONTOR

Architects: LETH & GORI
Location: Steensager, Nyborg,
Architect In Charge: Uffe Leth, Karsten Gori
Area: 136 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: STAMERS KONTOR

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Sponsors New Danish Library Award

have been involved in a number of Library designs themselves, including the New Library at the University of Aberdeen. Image © Adam Mørk

The Danish Agency for Culture has unveiled a new award for Library architecture as part of its Model Programme for Public Libraries project, a programme in association with Realdania which aims to generate new ideas about how the design of public libraries can change to meet the changing needs of today’s society.

The award, which will be announced at the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Lyon, France, is sponsored by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and has a prize of DKK 25,000.

More on the award, and how to enter, after the break

The Vibeeng School / Arkitema Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Arkitema Architects
Location: Haslev,
Area: 6,430 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Arkitema Architects

Juulsbjergparken / RAVN Arkitektur

© Adam Mørk

Architects: RAVN Arkitektur
Location: Skrænten, Vejle Ø,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Adam Mørk

Llama / BIG + KILO

Courtesy of BIG

Architects: BIG + KILO
Location: , Denmark
Architects In Charge: Lars Larsen (), Jakob Lange (BIG)
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of BIG

Erik Møller Arkitekter to Modernize Alvar Aalto’s Kunsten

Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Erik Møller Arkitekter has been commissioned to modernize ’s white marble Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. As reported by BDOnline, the £14 million renovation will restore parts of the listed museum, as well as transform the building’s basement into a new 600 square meter space.

Casa Spodsbjerg / Arkitema Architects

© Kontraframe

Architects: Arkitema Architects
Location: 5900 ,
Area: 240.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Kontraframe, Jesper Ray

Trollbeads House / BBP Arkitekter

© Jens Lindhe

Architects: BBP Arkitekter
Location: Toldbodgade 13, København K,
Architect In Charge: Ebbe Wæhrens
Design Team: Lars Rex Christensen, Kathrine Brauer
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jens Lindhe

Venice Biennale 2014: Danish Pavilion to Reintroduce the Power of Aesthetics

Frederiksberg Urban Spaces, photo by Ulrika Wahlmark (2009), Courtesy of SLA

What does butterflies, quantum mechanics, poetry and dirt have to do with architecture? In the Danish pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, you are invited to sense, wonder, be curious and reflect when you meet the smell of dirt, read Niels Bohr’s letter to Einstein, hear the sound of poetry and burry your toes in pine needles. The pavilion reintroduces the forgotten power of aesthetics as the complementary to the rational. It argues that the two together form the foundation for our future decision making.