The Swedish exhibition The Forests of Venice has been officially selected as a Collateral Event of the15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The initiative brings together some of Sweden’s most prominent architectural practices and highlights wood as a sustainable construction material, while illustrating the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources.
The Forests of Venice is initiated by Kjellander + Sjöberg and Folkhem, who have produced the exhibition together with the support of the Swedish Institute. The curator is Jan Åman. Additional support from Swedish Wood, Sveaskog and Martinsons. The exhibition takes place in a greenhouse built in 1894, located between the two main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia – Giardini and Arsenale.
The point of departure for the exhibition is Venice’s built environment, in a time when climate change and rising sea levels impose similar threats to coastal cities globally. Venice, with its exposed geographical position is a realized utopia where it’s founders had to utilize innovations of their time in order to build a city. The city shows how architecture, urban design and technical innovation have to be in a symbiosis with nature in order to create long term living conditions.
It’s a city built on the foundations of ten million trees, which is a point of departure curator Jan Åman was interested in investigating. In a dialogue with one of the most public buildings in Venice-the Doge’s Palace, Kjellander + Sjöberg is creating an installation in solid timber in the garden adjacent to the greenhouse.
We wanted to create an informal meeting space resembling a glade in a forest; offering beautiful dappled daylight, evoking trees, branches and foliage. By inverting the Doge’s Palace, we investigated our contemporary democratic structures. Simultaneously, we wanted to combine the tactile qualities of wood and its potential as a sustainable construction material with innovation and technology, explains Stefan Sjöberg of Kjellander + Sjöberg architects.
The Forests of Venice extends inside the greenhouse where seven selected architectural practices – Architects without Borders Sweden, Arrhov Frick, Dinell Johansson, Horn.Uggla, In Praise of Shadows, Carmen Izquierdo and Urbio – showcase how classical Venetian architectural and urban elements can be interpreted and translated into new strategies for our time. Once again presenting wood as the main material.
The Forests of Venice exhibition connects to the main theme of the Biennale Archittettura 2016, Reporting from the Front, which explores the role of an architect in the struggle of improving the quality of life worldwide. The Collateral Event The Forests of Venice opens in Venice on the 28th of May and runs until the 18th of September 2016. Source and Images Courtesy of Kjellander + Sjöberg.