15-06-2020

A giant slide by Carsten Höller for the DAC in Copenhagen

Carsten Höller,

Kontraframe,

Copenhagen, Denmark,

Installation,

Interior Design,

For its post-pandemic reopening, the Danish Architecture Center (DAC) in the BLOX building designed by OMA welcomes visitors with a new permanent installation by the artist Carsten Höller. The new attraction is a 15-metre-high and 40-metre long giant slide that adds a new playful dimension to the exploration of this space.



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A giant slide by Carsten Höller for the DAC in Copenhagen In April 2018, the Danish Architecture Center (DAC) moved to its new home, which plays an exemplary part in the already lively architecture scene of the Danish capital. BLOX (link) - the name of the project designed by OMA - was built under the direction of the architect, Ellen Van Loon and presents as a city in a city, reproducing on a scale of 1:1, the various elements of the urban environment. Now, in time for the reopening of the centre after it was closed in response to the pandemic, it has a new attraction: the just-completed, 15-metre-high DAC Slide, brought into existence thanks to a donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation. It’s a permanent art installation and has the goal of challenging the senses of visitors gliding down the 40-metre-long slide as it twists and turns downwards through four storeys of the centre to give them a completely different experience of the space.
The initiative is part of the Danish Architecture Center’s efforts to appeal to a broader spectrum of visitors and engage with people who do not necessarily know very much about architecture but who are interested in Copenhagen’s development, Danish design and cultural experiences.
The DAC Slide is a site-specific art installation by renowned German-Belgian artist Carsten Höller, who has created similar works in leading museums around the world, including the Tate Modern and the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. 
The impressive work by Höller is the first of its kind in Scandinavia and is a way of giving young and older visitors a rather unique emotion in a space dedicated to art and culture, something that’s just plain fun, “a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind, somewhere between delight and madness”, says the artist. So is it okay for art and architecture to be fun? If you ask Höller, the answer is yes.  However, the piece is also an expression of something the artist has always wondered about: “Why don’t we use slides in architecture as a supplement to stairs, elevators and escalators?” They are fast, safe and energy-savvy...”
As Christine Buhl Andersen, chair of the New Carlsberg Foundation says, “Carsten Höller’s creations merge art and the observer – playfully and unpretentiously. But, in addition to the spontaneous experience, his works give us new perspectives on the world and our routines. Höller and Danish Architecture Center are therefore a perfect match, and it’s already hard to imagine BLOX without DAC Slide”.
It took 21 days to install the giant piece, which is made up of 13 slide sections, 94 plexiglass pieces and 159 screws, which takes you down four storeys from the DAC Exhibition Forum to the lowest level, where the Design Shop is located. Right alongside the stairs, which, of course, you can use if you don’t feel up to taking the fast way down on the DAC Slide.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Carsten Höller for DAC
Location: BLOX, Copenhagen, Denmark
Year: 2020
Images: Kontraframe
Find out more: https://dac.dk/en/exhibitions/dac-slide/

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