In celebration of the Nordic Pavilion’s fiftieth anniversary, thirty-two architects born after the year 1962 have been invited to present a model of a conceptual “house” that reflects their personal philosophy of architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale exhibition “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground”. Eleven architects from Finland and Sweden, along with ten architects from Norway will each respond to the sobering economic constraints and diminishing environmental resources that challenge architects today.
Contemporary Nordic architectural culture offers both exemplary approaches and significant constructed works addressing these challenging circumstances. The classic hallmarks of Nordic architecture – simplified form, frugal use of materials and sensitive treatment of daylight and the natural setting – embody the basic principles of responsible, sustainable architecture.
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The Nordic Pavilion was designed by the Pritzker Prize laureate Sverre Fehn and is described as a “distilled, elegant” version of a Nordic “house”, as it evokes sensations of light, material, structure, space, nature and atmosphere. It embodies what might be called a metaphysical “house of the North”, one of specific primary architectural images, elements and details. The Nordic Pavilion is a physical and metaphorical “common ground” for Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The works have been commissioned specifically for the Venice venue from Nordic architects new and established, urban and rural, less-renowned and widely celebrated. The exhibits are displayed as installations, forming a “chorus” of contemporary Nordic architecture in polyphonic dialogue with Fehn’s iconic Pavilion. The exhibits are mounted on pedestals designed by Professor Juhani Pallasmaa, Fehn’s colleague and personal friend.
Commissioner: Juulia Kauste Deputy Commissioners: The Swedish Museum of Architecture and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (Norway) Curator & Designer: Peter MacKeith Assistant Curator & Designer: Philip Tidwell Pedestal Design: Juhani Pallasmaa Supporters: The Ministry of Education and Culture/Finland, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Norway, The Nordic Culture Fund and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. The exhibition is part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program. Stool 60 provided by Artek for the exhibition.
The “New Forms in Wood” exhibition in the Finnish Pavilion is also produced by the Museum of Finnish Architecture.