Fehn, Venezia 2020
Erik Langdalen and Mari Lending
Sverre Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion in Venice (1962) is a modern masterpiece in concrete, and widely acknowledged as the most striking architectural structure in Giardini, the Biennale park. Sixty years after its inauguration, the concrete is crumbling. Restoration work is underway, providing a unique opportunity to investigate the history of the pavilion.
This research-based OCCAS seminar will explore every facet of the Nordic Pavilion, from the competition in the late 1950s and the Nordic collaboration, to Fehn’s design, drawings, and the construction work, to the structure’s reception history. In what ways has the structure changed over time and what kind of technological challenges do the slender concrete construction pose? How to restore a modernist monument?
During spring 2019 we will start documenting the cultural, political, technological and architectural history of the pavilion. The seminar will lead to an extensive international publication on one of Sverre Fehn’s most important building, to be launched at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2020.