At the 17th International Architecture Biennale 2021, the Danish Pavilion wants to focus on people’s connection, through its installation called ‘Con-nect-ed-ness.’ Created by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects and curator Marianne Krogh, the exhibition aims to answer this year’s biennale theme, ‘How will we live together?’ by creating a cyclic water system, collected locally in Venice, and evoking a sense of connection between visitors and the Earth’s element.
With water as the core element, the exhibition seeks to render the invisible visible, through running pipes throughout the installation and water collection tanks located outside. By making these cyclic systems visible, the exhibit engages human senses as one begins to understand we are part of something bigger. The exposed pipes zig zag throughout the installation, guiding the visitors.
“In the pavilion, we seek to make the circulation of water visible as a way of demonstrating how everything is connected. This visibility is a step on the path to an immediate sensory experience, which can help us see our own place in the greater whole. To sense that we too are Nature,” explains Lene Tranberg, co-founding partner and architect at Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects.
Once inside the closed loop, water system is continuously shaping the sensory experience of the visitors. Water used in the installation is the rainwater collected locally and its fluctuation shapes the look and feel of the exhibition continuously. Visitors walk through a recycled floor from a former gymnasium which has been transformed into a giant floating platform and follow a narrow wooden ramp to explore further. Parts of the pavilion, at some times, are flooded to illustrate that water is, at once, life-giving, poetic and powerful. The exhibit features connected rooms where the water flows in, heightening the exhibition and sensory experience.
Visitors are led through by water on the floor to a white cubic room, featuring a large suspended white sheet, which collects the leakage of the pipe above. The white sheet collects water until it is saturated, which causes it to drip its contents into the water channel below, signifying the cyclic flow of water.
“We are living in a time where we clearly experience the climate-related consequences of people having divided the world into separate units for centuries, without understanding that our actions have consequences many thousands of miles away; for better and for worse, with the current pandemic as a disturbing example. The aim of the Danish Pavilion is to create a space for a new experience of cohesion; where, with their own bodies, visitors can feel the connectedness between us all,” says Marianne Krogh, curator of the Danish Pavilion.
The exhibition hopes to recreate a new meaningful relationship with the world as a basis for sustainable future for all and illustrates by linking the pavilion’s installation directly to the planet’s own cyclic system.
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia runs from May 22 through November 21, 2021.
The exhibition at the Danish Pavilion is accompanied by the English-language anthology, Connectedness – an Incomplete Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, edited by Marianne Krogh and published by Strandberg Publishing. The anthology was released on August 29, 2020, and can be purchased from select physical and online vendors, including Amazon. The curator and exhibiting architects can be followed on the Instagram profile @connectedness danishpavilion.
Lundgaard & Tranberg was founded in Copenhagen in 1985 by the architects Boje Lundgaard and Lene Tranberg. Since then, the firm has made its name as one of Denmark’s most respected and award-winning architecture firms.
The firm works with the development and realization of architecture in the form of buildings, urban and landscape planning and product design. We work with both new buildings and renovation projects. In each and every project, we aim to create visionary, site-specific and sensuous architecture that makes a positive contribution to people’s lives and to the community at large. We are rooted in the Nordic architecture tradition with humanism, simplification and craftsmanship as core values.