So Danish! is the first permanent gallery at Danish Architecture Center to showcase the history of Danish architecture from the Viking Age to the present day. Architecture has always played a central role in our society, everyday lives and quality of life – and it influences our intellectual pursuits, cultural understanding and common future. So Danish! invites you to discover the full story of Danish architecture in one visit. The exhibition opens on March 24, 2023.
So Danish! features some of the most visionary architects and momentous architecture in Danish history. Visitors can see iconic masterpieces and lesser-known buildings that have created the Denmark we know today. Get a close-up look at world-class design and functionality. Experience the impacts of architecture on your own body. Discover architecture at various scales, from object, room and building to urban space, infrastructure and landscape architecture. And gain insight into how a new generation of architects is helping to shape the sustainable society of the future.
Early to Present Day Architecture
Diving into thirteen different points in Danish architectural history, the exhibition conveys a wealth of stories about early architecture, wartime architecture such as Viking fortresses, welfare architecture, cities for people, radical design, bicycle culture, climate-centric architecture, and much more.
So Danish! showcases Danish architectural history from the Viking Age to today with a focus on how architecture has shaped the great societal narrative and our everyday lives. Visitors will gain insight into how today’s architects are standing on the shoulders of the generations of architects that came before them. The exhibition also takes in-depth looks into selected periods, architects and projects.
Architects seek to shape our world. But some ideas and designs are more radical than others. This strong tradition comes in part from the Danish understanding of architecture as an art form with a responsibility to improve the quality of life of the masses. This view dates back to the 1754 founding of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, which included a school of architecture.
The exhibition presents examples of world-class Danish design by internationally renowned architects. Guests can also experience an installation that shows Arne Jacobsen’s total design for the SAS Royal Hotel, learn more about Susanne Ussing’s and Carsten Hoff’s building principles from Thylejren (Thy Camp), and get the full story of how Jørn Utzon’s famous roof for the Sydney Opera House came to be.
Through immersive film experiences, the exhibition invites visitors into six selected buildings based on drone film footage that impacts the body as much as the mind – giving guests a visceral experience of what it is like to stand in the middle of Grundtvig Church, hover above the Icefjord Centre in Greenland, or look out from the top of the Forest Tower. Throughout the exhibition, audio guides allow you to listen to stories about Danish architecture and the buildings that create the framework for our lives.
Towards a new sustainable society
So Danish! explores how architects today are building a society on the planet’s terms. But sustainability is a complex challenge. The exhibition features examples of how younger and more established Danish architectural firms are working to create a new sustainable and regenerative society. By discovering more about new materials and aesthetic, functional and artistic trends, guests gain insight into the new generations’ efforts to create the buildings, urban spaces and homes of tomorrow.
The exhibition opens on March 24, 2023 in Danish Architecture Center’s Golden Gallery.
So Danish! Was developed by Danish Architecture Center.
The exhibition is sponsored by the philanthropic association Realdania, the A.P. Moller Foundation, New Carlsberg Foundation and the Dreyer Foundation.
About Danish Architecture Center
Danish Architecture Center is an international cultural attraction that creates engag-ing events and sparks debate about architecture and design. Here, you can experience exhibitions, tours, events, shop designer products and enjoy spectacular views of the city from the café’s large rooftop terraces.
DAC is a public-private partnership between the association Realdania and the Danish government, represented by the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs , the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens.
Special thanks to all our partners who contributed to the exhibition:
Aarhus Teater – Arnejacobsen.com – Astrid Maria B. Rasmussen – Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard – Atelier Terra Incognita – Benjamin Hesselholdt – BIOSIS – Carl Hansen & søn – Carsten Hoff – C.F. Møller – Royal Danish Art Library – Dissing+Weitling – EFFEKT – Eva Ørum – Fritz Hansen – Helgi Toftegaard – Henning Larsen – House of Finn Juhl – Jan Gehl – Jespersen Nødtvedt – Kristine Virén – Kvadrat – Museum of Copenhagen – Lendager – Louis Poulsen – Lundgaard & Tranberg – Muuto – National Museum of Denmark – OS Arkitekter – Petersen Tegl – Pihlmann Architects – Radisson Collection Royal Hotel – Rundetaarn – SAGA Space Architects – Schmidt Ham-mer Lassen – SLA – Agency for Culture and Palaces – Takt – Tulinius Lind – Utzon Center – Vola
About So Danish!
- Copenhagen has been named the 2023 World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO and UIA. The increased international attention directed toward Copenhagen as the World Capital of Architecture is expected to attract more international visitors with an interest in architecture and design. The So Danish! exhibition is a good starting point for gaining insight into what Danish architecture is, what makes it special, and where we are heading.
- The exhibition opens on March 24 and is Danish Architecture Center’s first permanent exhibition on Danish architecture.
- The exhibition includes photos, text, audio narrations, film, VR, installations, objects and material samples.
- The curators have divided the exhibition into four zones: an architectural historical overview, radical design, feel the architecture, and architecture of the future.
- Objects on display in the “architectural history overview” zone include: mod-els and plaster works found in the attics of Christiansborg Palace; historical models from the Royal Danish Art Library that are rarely exhibited, including models by Arne Jacobsen, Jørn Utzon and Johan Otto von Spreckelsen; and Poul Henningsen’s iconic Tivoli Lamp, designed according to the core tenet of Functionalism – form follows function – so that Tivoli could stay open despite blackouts to protect Copenhagen during World War II.
- In the “architecture of the future” zone, visitors can explore contemporary examples of how architects are finding alternatives to concrete, such as the world’s tallest wooden building in Switzerland designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen. Also on display are projects to transform existing buildings rather than building new architecture, such as Pihlmann Architects’ project on Tho-ravej in Copenhagen’s Northwest district – and architects who are planning cities and housing areas on nature’s terms, such as SLA and Henning Larsen’s plan for the Downview district in Toronto, the largest urban development project in North America.
- The exhibition will be regularly re-curated to spotlight new examples.