Scandinavian Pavilion Transforming

The Scandinavian Pavilion was built for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale. Today, the transformation of the pavilion as a shared living space project is on the agenda. Architects Helen & Hard will direct the project, and it is said to be an experimental co-hosting work. Architects aim to create new communities based on sharing based on the question “How will we live together?”

Vindmøllebakken Inspiration

Behind the Scandinavian Pavilion, transformation projects are Norwegian architect Siv Helen Stangeland and Austrian architect Reinhard Kropf. The duo drew inspiration from a similar cooperative housing project in Stavanger, Norway, in their work for Helen & Hard.

The project named Vindmøllebakken hosts a highly interactive community with private, semi-private, and everyday living areas, just like the Scandinavian Pavilion. Working in collaboration with the residents of Vindmøllebakken for the Scandinavian Pavilion, people believe that they chose the duo for the transformation project due to their innovative approach to collective living.

Vindmøllebakken, in the narration of the architects, is a residential alternative that offers residents ‘relatively small but fully equipped apartments, several communal areas and a vibrant local democracy’. The two begin the design by asking potential residents of the Scandinavian Pavilion, “What aspects of their private life do they want to take out of the apartment and share with other residents?” And taking into account the answers. And when they complete the project, they aim for the Scandinavian Paviliolikewise to create an alternative for Venice.

Is There An Alternative To The Housing Problem?

Although people consider the Scandinavian Pavilion as an experimental co-hosting project recently, some have implemented the ‘Scandinavian model’ housing alternatives since the 1970s. According to this model, houses built include common areas and semi-private sharing zones that allow people to interact and form a real community, apart from individual living units.

Today, people think and hope that unifying alternative approaches such as this can solve Venice’s increasing housing problem as in all parts of the world.

People plan to open The Scandinavian Pavilion to visitors on May 22, 2021. At this opening, part of the pavilion will be separate as a prototype, including living spaces. Visitors will explore some of the residents themselves, from private areas to semi-private and shared rooms. In this way, they will truly experience the feeling of living in the Scandinavian Pavilion.

Apart from the small area open to exploration, they will show a video of the artist Anna Ihle living in Vindmøllebakken at the opening. A more detailed digital presentation of the Scandinavian Pavilion will also be available online throughout the exhibition.


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