Lassila Hirvilammi Architects / FIN
Venice like a Dream
It is all rooted in the place and the materials used. The installation created for the Nordic Pavilion in Venice takes on the appearance of a monolithic wooden object of substantial weight. It hovers above the ground as if it were floating, suspended from the ceiling with the weight distributed among several cables. A visible space of tension emerges between the object and the floor, forming a central element in the experience of the piece.
The material and the way it is handled and treated – from the moment of selection to the final molding into an installation, a house, or a structure – is an essential part of our process of working. With a natural sense of warmth, wood as a material provides an opportunity to challenge the limits of our imagination. In the hands of a skilled craftsman, the material becomes a piece of art and its strongest qualities are worked into a tangible object creating the substance that gives rise to an experience.
Inside the outer surface that forms the external shape of the object, an inner space reveals itself, bathing in light filtered through the ceiling beams of the unique Pavilion designed by Sverre Fehn. As light shines through the inner structure, the wood becomes warm and soft in color. The dark outer shell acts as an antithesis of its surrounding environment, elevating the ethereal expression of the Pavilion.
In its materiality, the installation is real and tangible. It is a strong gesture that operates with contrasts. In a similar way, the city of Venice itself is the result of a determined will to build. Only when reflected on the surface of water – like the buildings in Venice – does the installation acquire its dreamlike existence. It becomes something unattainable, a part of the fantastic Venice of the past that is mirrored in its canals.

Photo: Ilari Järvinen

More information about the exhibition and the other models