Illulissat Isfjordscenter. Rendered by: MIR

Step into the world’s irreplaceable landscapes in Copenhagen

Press release

21 February 2019

More Information

Press responsible in DAC
Rikke Brams
+45 3047 3019

Press photos

Download press photos from cases of the exhibition here. 

Press photos of the exhibition itself are available from March 21.

This spring architect Dorte Mandrup and Danish Architecture Center (DAC) will transform DAC’s biggest gallery into a dreamy, sensual, and tangible landscape. The exhibition Irreplaceable Landscapes opens on March 22 and explores four of Mandrup’s works, all of which convey the central stories and fragile landscapes of the Wadden Sea and Greenland.

The ice is melting in Greenland, and the water level is rising in the Wadden Sea. These fragile landscapes are threatened by climate change and building in these conditions is not easy. How does the landscapes shape the architecture?

This and much more the audience will learn by visiting Irreplaceable Landscapesfeaturing Mandrup’s trilogy of Wadden Sea centres across Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the Illulissat Icefjord Center in Greenland.In the exhibition, the audience will walk into large installations and experience the fragile nature and architecture of these particular places on their own body.  

All four projects can be explored through large installations and VR films, where you fly beyond the icecap and the Wadden Sea, see the projects being built, hear the birds sing and the glacier crack and feel the prickly straws under your feet.

“Dorte Mandrup is Denmark’s forthcoming star on the international architecture scene. With her unique idiom and aesthetics, she sets the agenda for a new global architecture. Her poetic work is about what is bigger and much older than us humans. Dorte Mandrup gathers the sky, the sea and the horizon in one point, where architecture and nature go together,”says Kent Martinussen, CEO of Danish Architecture Center.

Irreplaceable Landscapes – by Dorte Mandrup

March 22 – May 26 2019

Danish Architecture Center, Bryghuspladsen 10, Copenhagen.
Monday-Sunday 10 am – 6 pm, Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
Entrance: 110 DKK, Free for everyone under 26 years

Trilogy of Wadden Sea Centres across borders

The UNESCO-protected Wadden Sea is the world’s largest cohesive tidal area, and an important destination for the 10-12 million migratory birds passing by each year. Dorte Mandrup is in the very special position that she has been given the task of creating Wadden Sea centres in Denmark, Holland and Germany, all of which must convey the magnificent Wadden Sea, which extends over the three countries.

Vadehavscentret by Ribe. Photo by: Adam Mørk

Discover the Wadden Sea in Copenhagen

DAC brings a piece of the Wadden Sea Center in Ribe to Copenhagen in an exhibition where the audience can move around on a huge thatched roof overlooking the sea with the sound of the birds in the background. The thatched craft plays a major role in this Wadden Sea Center, where not only roofs, but also facades, are covered with straws, which makes the building blend in with the marsh landscape around it. The Wadden Sea Centres in the Netherlands and Germany consist of completely different materials, because here the architecture must speak to an industrial harbour and a bunker from World War II.

“When you place a building in a landscape, you must evoke that particular thing in that particular place, so that the location and shape of the building emphasizes the drama of the magnificent nature. A responsibility follows, when you work in landscapes designated as World Heritage, but also an opportunity to convey a unique cultural history through the architecture, that enhances the understanding and experience of the place’s character. The three sea centres are all located in the same UNESCO protected Wadden Sea, but since we work with very different cultural-historical layers, they each become an interpretation – and thus the design very different. That is precisely what we want with the exhibition at Danish Architecture Center to give visitors an insight into,”explains Dorte Mandrup.

A snow owl in flight

It is extra challenging to build in Greenland, as the architecture must undergo special weather conditions. Ilulissat Icefjord Center is located 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, and the boomerang-shaped building in wood is shaped after the wind and the snow. The building is poetically described as “a snow owl’s flight through the landscape”.

In Danish Architecture Center, the audience get a taste of the spectacular and dramatic Greenlandic landscape through a comprehensive total installation with both projections, sound and an abstract model of the Icefjord Center, which has previously been shown at the Venice Biennale in 2018.

Celebrating 20 year of Dorte Mandrup

The exhibition in Danish Architecture Center is also a celebration of Dorte Mandrup’s 20th anniversary for her architecture studio named after her.


Irreplacable Landscapesis presented by Danish Architecture Center in association with Dorte Mandrup. Realdania supports the exhibition.