Light Houses:
On the Nordic Common Ground
13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Nordic Pavilion
29 August – 25 November, 2012
The exhibition celebrates the jubilee of the Nordic Pavilion designed fifty years ago by the Pritzker Prize winning architect Sverre Fehn. Thirty-two architects born after 1962, the year the pavilion was designed – eleven from Finland and Sweden, and ten from Norway – have been invited to create a model of a conceptual “house” that reflects their personal philosophy of architecture. The exhibition also highlights topical social and environmental themes, looking at the sobering economic constraints and diminishing environmental resources that challenge architects all over the world in their efforts to achieve maximum quality in their designs.
Contemporary Nordic architectural culture offers both exemplary approaches and significant constructed works addressing these most challenging circumstances of our time. 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.
The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is Sverre Fehn’s distilled, elegant version of a Nordic “house” – a design evoking 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.
Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
TYIN tegnestue Architects
Nordmark & Nordmark
Sanaksenaho Architects
Fantastic Norway
Ala Architects
Marge Arkitekter
Lundén Österlund Wikar
In Praise of Shadows Architecture
Verstas Architects
Space Group
JKMM Architects
manthey kula
Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects
General Architecture
Reiulf Ramstad Architects
Avanto Architects
petra gipp arkitektur
Elding Oscarson
K2S Architects
Arkitektstudio Widjedal Racki
Anttinen Oiva Architects
Brendeland & Kristoffersen architects
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects
Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter
Lassila Hirvilammi Architects
Rintala Eggertsson Architects NOR
Mostra In italiano

DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS The Swedish Museum of Architecture and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design (Norway)
PEDESTAL DESIGN Juhani Pallasmaa
SUPPORTERS The exhibition is supported by 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.