Until August 20, 2020, Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin hosts the exhibition Snøhetta / Arctic Nordic Alpine – In Dialogue With Landscape, featuring architectural projects in vulnerable landscapes, focusing on projects both large and small in specific contexts, assessing their spatial effects on the landscape and discussing them not only in relation to local conditions such as topography or the ecological approach but also in consideration of cultural, social or economic aspects, such as those linked with tourism. The subject of the exhibition is the work of Snøhetta, and particularly a number of pioneering projects such as the Hotel Svart at the foot of the Svartisen glacier , the Arctic World Archive Visitor Centre on Svalbard Island, Under restaurant in Lindesnes or the recent Tungestølen tourist cabin in Luster. These are concrete examples of how architecture can play an active role in mitigating the effects of climate change: a role to be exercised by promoting more sustainable use of nature and natural resources, resorting to innovative solutions in dialogue with landscape.
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, co-founder of Snøhetta, introduced the exhibition by focusing the attention on the fact that while the greatest future challenges for architects are to be found in urban settings, we must not forget that even in less populated areas, human pressure can become stronger and potentially harmful to entire ecosystems. Interest in nature and outlying areas, which has been growing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, has contradictory implications that could, paradoxically, be hazardous to nature, as the desire for authentic experiences in contact with nature represents a risk to the remotest and most fragile places on earth. “ To secure the diverse sustainability offered in these places also in the future, it will in many cases be correct to do nothing”, notes Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, while “for the places already under pressure, it will be vital to provide facilities preventing further destruction. We acknowledge the fact that every new construction changes the existing condition of a place”. Hence the need for architects to interpret the natural context and translate it into architectural form.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Snøhetta will be named AW Architect of the Year 2020, an acknowledgement awarded annually by AW Architektur & Wohnen magazine for the past nine years which has in the past been presented to MVRDV, UNStudio, BIG and Dorte Mandrup. The candidates for the prize are architectural practices which have brought new impetus to the discipline through development of original projects. Jörn Kengelbach, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, explained that Snøhetta’s work has been acknowledged as representing an interdisciplinary approach to architecture in which buildings are designed to be special places, understood as part of their context and the landscape.
Images courtesy of Aedes Architecture Forum and Snøhetta, photo by: © Christian Flatscher (01, 03-05), © Ketil Jacobsen (06-07), © Ivar Kvaal (08-09), © Jan M. Lillebø (15), © Snøhetta/Plompmozes (10-11), © Snøhetta and Plomp (12-15).
Title: Snøhetta / Arctic Nordic Alpine – In Dialogue With Landscape
In cooperation with Zumtobel and AW Architektur & Wohnen
Exhibition: 4 July - 20 August 2020
Venue: Aedes Architecture Forum, Christinenstr. 18-19, 10119 Berlin
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sun-Mon 1-5pm and Sat, 4 July 2020, 1-5pm