Though architectural history is replete with bricks, stones, and steel, there is no rule that states that architecture must be ‘solid’. Sverre Fehn, one of the most prominent architects of postwar Norway, regularly made use of heavy materials like concrete and stone masonry in his projects . In this way, his proposal for the Nordic Pavilion at the Osaka World Expo in 1970 could be seen as an atypical exploration of a more delicate structure. Representing a very different aspect of ‘Modernity’ than his usual work, Fehn’s “breathing balloon” pavilion stands not only in contradiction to Fehn’s design canon, but to that of traditional architecture as a whole. Born in Norway in 1924, Sverre Fehn described himself to have “...[come] of age in the shadow of Modernism.” He, along with several other contemporary Scandinavian architects, formed the Progressive Architects Group Oslo Norway (PAGON), a regional branch of the International Congress of Modern Architecture. PAGON, while based in the universal ideals of Modernism, specifically sought the expression of particular regions and times through materials. Fehn himself gained international acclaim for his work in exhibition pavilions, notably the Norwegian Pavilion at the World Exhibition at Brussels in 1958 and the Nordic Pavilion for the Venice Biennale of 1962. It therefore comes as no surprise that he would again submit a proposal in 1968 for the Osaka World Expo of 1970.
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