Keywords Change this


Project timeline

1958 – 1962


Congress & Exhibition

Location Change this


Architect Change this

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Change this

Venice, Italy
by Sverre Fehn Change this
1 of 13

Description Change this

The nordic pavilion on the Biennale campus in Venice resulted from a competition in 1958 and was official opened in 1962. The roof consists of concrete beams one metre high in two direction: each beam is 6 cm thick and together they form a 2-metre high brise soleil. Transparent roof elements are suspended between the uppermost beams. These plastic units impart an oriental, venetian tone to the strict articulation. To preserve the intensity of the light, the entire building was casted in a mixture of white cement, white sand and crushed marble. It is a nordic shadeless light.

The three plane trees inside the 446-squaremetre unsupported space are almost the only vertical elements. The trees intensify, as do the large walls of glass, the impression of being both inside and outside at the same time. In both realms, nature and culture face each other. At a certain distance the beams seem both to collide with and evade the trees. Outside, to the left of the entrance, Fehn has kept the big old plane tree where the enormous main beam divides into a Y. It is the strongest gesture imaginable. The old trees rise out of the earth, stretching through the roof, up into the sky. Upon the earth and under the sky we humans dwell—who Heidegger calls “the mortal ones.” Heidegger often quotes Hölderlin’s words that man “dwells poetically upon the earth.”


  • Anders Wilhelmson, Sverre Fehns arkitektur


Posted by Guest | Monday, December 23rd, 2013 | 00:08am
Nordic pavilion lost its famouse tree: now also the architecture needs to be re-thought:
Posted by Guest | Friday, July 5th, 2013 | 23:12pm

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