For the 17th international architecture exhibition – la biennale di Venezia 2021, Denmark is creating a water cyclic system that connects people with each other and with nature. The national pavilion, titled “Con-nect-ed-ness”, is curated by Marianne Krogh and Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, and will be on display from May 22nd to November 21st, 2021.
Marianne Krogh, a Danish curator, editor, and art historian, has joined forces with Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, a firm rooted in Nordic architecture with a focus on humanism, simplification, and craftsmanship. The exhibition uses architecture as an art form, evoking a sense of connection between people and Earth's natural resources, and uses Venice's water as its main element.
We believe that, through our senses, we can begin to understand ourselves in a larger context. This is the first step toward taking responsibility, both in our approach to the planet and to each other. -- Marianne Krogh
The exhibition tackles the question of "How can we (re)create a new, meaningful relationship with the world as a place where we recognize the fundamental condition that we are connected – not just with each other, but with all living beings?" The curator integrated the two existing pavilions with the installation, allowing the water pipes and collection tanks to remain visible. In the pavilion’s large hall, floor-to-ceiling textiles were added to create a sense of contrast with the raw structure. As for the flooring, the curator used material from a former gymnasium, and transformed them into a floating platform. Lemon Verbena trees were also planted in the pavilion to absorb the circulating water. Walking through the exhibition, visitors become a part of the cyclic system, following the same route that the water is taking.
Since water is the key element of the pavilion, it is displayed in different settings to illustrate the experience. For instance, the ongoing water cyclic system shapes up the visitors' sensory experience, whereas other parts of the pavilion will be flooded to illustrate water's powerful and uncontrollable characteristics. Certain connected rooms will have water flowing in, becoming part of the total experience, and then leaving through different ways such as ground absorption, evaporation, and photosynthesis. The pavilion will be accompanied by the English-language anthology, Connectedness – an Incomplete Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, edited by the curator and published by Strandberg Publishing.
As architects, we try to provide answers to how people can live together. We work on the precondition that architecture always stands in relation to nature. In the pavilion, we have sought to make a cyclic system visible, which helps us begin to understand ourselves as part of something bigger. In the best-case scenario, the exhibition can help to make clear that we are all connected and live in reciprocity. -- Lene Tranberg, co-founding partner and architect at Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects.
- Organizer: Ministry of Culture Denmark
- Commissioner: Danish Architecture Center
- Curator: Marianne Krogh
- Architecture: Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects
- Sponsors: Realdania, the Ministry of Culture Denmark, and the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Architecture Grants and Project Funding.
Marianne Krogh is a Danish curator, editor and, art historian. She holds an MA in Art History from Aarhus University and a Ph.D. from Aarhus School of Architecture. Founded in Copenhagen in 1985 by the architects Boje Lundgaard and Lene Tranberg, Lundgaard & Tranberg is a team of architects, constructors, and academics who contribute to a sustainably built environment. It is considered as one of Denmark’s most respected award-winning architecture firms, with projects across Denmark and Nordic countries.