Elma was realized in collaboration with artist/sculptress Lies-Marie Hoffmann and the In Praise of Shadows team was formed by Fredric Benesch, Katarina Lundeberg, Alva Hult and Vicki Lundgaard.In Praise of Shadows Architecture / SWE
www.inpraiseofshadows.se/
 
Elma
 
Elma is cut out of an elm tree that during the past 103 years grew in the Royal National Park in Stockholm. As one of the last standing elm trees in Europe of this age it was infected by Dutch elm disease, and had to be taken down this year.
 
The wood was worked fresh and brought into this new locality. Now new cracks will emerge in response to the Venetian humidity, and caresses of visitors will varnish Elma’s aging surface.
 
As the Nordic Pavilion once was shaped in relation to the trees on site, Elma is a homáge in reverse, drawing its geometry from the Pavilion itself. The wooden piece, no longer growing, is turned horizontally, exposing its wooden heart. By chainsaw and hand tools, Elma was transformed into an architectonic piece – “a light house” – that has gained its form from an interpretation of the geometry of Sverre Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion.
 
Sverre Fehn created an architectonic structure to eliminate shadows. Elma confronts the Pavilion with new surfaces, polished and raw, cut in different angles with variations in tactility giving back some shadows and light reflections.
 
In section the cut angles originate from the height and plan of the beams dimensioned to eliminate direct sunlight and from the angle of the beams that surrounds the biggest tree in the outer corner of the Pavilion. In plan Elma is a projection of the free space in-between the two layers of beams.
 
In the encounter between our conceptual ideas and the intense qualities of the chosen piece of wood a new reality emerges. Surfaces were polished to expose the material and butterfly joints were inserted to hold it together. Key figures of our thinking are carved into the surface.

Elma was realized in collaboration with artist/sculptress Lies-Marie Hoffmann and the In Praise of Shadows team was formed by Fredric Benesch, Katarina Lundeberg, Alva Hult and Vicki Lundgaard.
 

Photo: Ilari Järvinen

More information about the exhibition and the other models