Danish Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale Spotlights Humanity’s “Connectedness” with Nature

For further information, please contact:

Mia Heil Rasmussen
DAC Press Officer
+45 4016 3332

Marianne Krogh, art historian and PhD
+45 2172 3661

Marisa Moltke Ingvartsen
Lundgaard & Tranberg Press Officer
+45 3391 0717

Danish Arts Foundation
Anton Bech Jørgensen, Agency for Culture and Palaces
+45 4042 9143
Danish Arts Foundation press contact: +45 4139 3853

Water has always been essential for life. As human beings, we drink water, cross water and fight over water. Water in its many forms connects us to each other and with our surroundings. It is both poetical and political, sometimes tamed and other times uncontrollable. For the Danish contribution to the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, curator Marianne Krogh and architects Lundgaard & Tranberg are creating a sensory space focused on water as a phenomenon. Based on the premise that today’s climate and geopolitical challenges also apply to architecture, the contribution spotlights architecture’s ability to evoke a fundamental “connectedness” between the world’s elements, utilizing spatial effects to call attention to the fact that humanity is an inextricable part of nature.

Every other year, thousands of architecture enthusiasts flock to Venice for the prestigious International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia as the city is transformed into an epicenter for thought-provoking and inspiring architectural projects. Denmark will be there, as always, with a contribution created by Danish Architecture Center in collaboration with Realdania, the Ministry of Culture Denmark, and the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Architecture Grants and Project Funding.

When the Biennale opens its doors in May 2020, the theme will be ​How will we live together? The head curator, Hashim Sarkis, a Lebanese architect and head of the School for Architecture and Planning at MIT, emphasized at the official presentation of the theme that the times call for a new “spatial contract”.

All around world, we are facing geopolitical and climate-related challenges so complex that past experiences are proving inadequate. There is no single solution, but the creativity and courage often found in architecture should be used actively to find fresh solutions to how people can create new, generous and dignified living spaces that bring people closer while embodying a new-found respect for the planet on which we all depend.

Connectedness as a Starting Point

The Danish pavilion, representing one Danish view on how architecture takes a stance on these pressing challenges, is curated by Marianne Krogh, art historian and PhD, in collaboration with Lundgaard & Tranberg as the exhibiting architects.

The pavilion will be a place for immersion, where visitors can take a time out from the tumult of the Biennale for a moment of introspection – in a space where the senses are in focus. Here they will meet a world where we live in closer connectedness to ourselves, each other and our surroundings.

“To overcome the challenges we have created for ourselves in this age, we first and foremost need to look inside ourselves and have the courage to realize that we as human beings are connected to all that is living. We believe that architectural elements can be utilized to promote a sense of connectedness and thereby re-establish the intimate orbit and connections that we as earthlings need to consider ourselves part of. ‘How will we live together?’ is not just about the way in which people interact and live with each other. For us, it is just as much about the relationship with our surroundings, which can help us instill a sense that we belong here on Earth,” says Marianne Krogh.

On a Journey with Water as your Guide

The exhibiting architects Lundgaard & Tranberg worked with the phenomenon of water in designing the pavilion. Water has an immediate poetry about it that has inspired people since the dawn of humanity, and across ages and cultures. At the same time, water is a resource that is under increasing pressure as the impact of humans on the planet grows – drinking water shortages, polluted waterways, rising sea levels and human lives lost in attempts to cross water are just some of the challenges manifested in water.

In the pavilion, visitors will become part of a sensory space where water is experienced in tamed, processed and boundless forms. Lene Tranberg, architect, explains: “The Biennale’s overriding theme, ‘How will we live together?’ has inspired us to focus on the concept of ‘connectedness’. Taking water as the physical element that connects all life on Earth as our point of departure, we’re creating a spatial architectural exhibition where water is experienced in tamed, processed and boundless states. Utilizing water as a phenomenon intensifies the experience of the pavilion’s architecture, while the social interaction that develops among the visitors within the space points to the outside world. The architecture also accentuates water, encouraging us to sense and reflect on our connectedness with others and the world, existentially and culturally.” 

Follow the Process behind the Danish Pavilion

Follow the Danish pavilion on Instagram @connectedness_danishpavilion, where the curator team and the exhibited architects will post regularly about their process, providing some insight into what they are working on and what you can expect to experience at the Danish pavilion next year.

About the Architecture Biennale

The International Architecture of La Biennale di Venezia  takes place every other year in Venice, Italy, and is the largest architecture event in the world. More than 60 nations exhibit in the historic pavilions in the Giardini district, at the Arsenale and all over the city. The Danish pavilion is one of the most popular pavilions at the Biennale – in 2018, attracting more than 145,000 visitors.

The Biennale will run from May 23 through November 26, 2020. Read more about the Danish exhibition and about the Biennale.

The Danish Architecture Center has been appointed by the Ministry of Culture Denmark as commissioner of the official Danish submission to the 17th International Venice Biennale of Architecture. The project is sponsored by Realdania, the Ministry of Culture Denmark, and the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Architecture Grants and Project Funding.