Swedish architects highlight wood, technology, and global sustainability goals at the Biennale Architettura 2018

A timeless and renewable raw material meets cutting-edge technology in Swedish wood architecture. The union of architecture, digitalization and wood takes physical form at the Serra dei Giardini in Greenhouse Garden – Reflect Project Connect at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

Serra dei Giardini, located within the Biennale grounds, has become the space for Swedish events during the Architecture Biennale. This public location, which is open to everyone, reinforces the society Sweden represents. A collateral event fills the beautiful greenhouse with Ulrika Karlsson’s exhibit Plots, Prints and Projections. A wooden pavilion, drawn by In Praise of Shadows Arkitektur, will emerge in the quiet greenery of the park. The exhibit and pavilion demonstrate an inclusive work-method – involving a close dialogue between architecture and its production; between knowledge and the desire to innovate; playfulness in both material and technology and process – combined with environmental sustainability.

The greenhouse will be a frame for the exhibit. A symbol of how industrialization impacts architecture – when iron was developed as a building material, buildings could not only grow in scale and height but iron also served to transform walls into glazed window surfaces. At first, iron imitated wood-construction. Today’s swift development within the wood industry includes building ever higher and with new types of processing of the wood material. Today workmanship meets digitally-controlled techniques for production leading the way to a similar shift. In Plots, Prints and Projections, curator Ulrika Karlsson explores in large-scale spatial installations how this will impact architecture and work methods in the field – which ultimately involves asking how our cities will be designed.

The pavilion is a full-scale prototype built using advanced wood technology. And it will form the hub of dialogue, seminars, and workshops during the Biennale Architettura 2018. Its recurring theme is the close link between wood architecture and the global environmental goals in Agenda 2030.

Sweden has high ambitions when it comes to these environmental objectives. And wood, the only construction material that is truly renewable, will play a key role in this. The global construction industry is facing a paradigm shift, where the use of fossil-based materials will not be feasible to the same extent. Sweden’s architects are well-positioned thanks to our proximity to and position in the value chain – from the material resource itself through to industrial processing and research. Our architects become relevant stakeholders in the innovation process.

Greenhouse Garden – Reflect Project Connect demonstrates how architects are preparing for this paradigm shift by studying both material and technology. The quiet art of the greenhouse meets the dynamics of the forestry industry and architecture spans the divide between the physical and the digital.

Link to the programme

For press photos

Greenhouse Garden – Reflect Project Connect is a collaboration between the Swedish Institute (Promoter), Architects Sweden, the wood industry association Swedish Wood, with the support of the construction developer Folkhem and is hosted by Microclima.

Curator for the Plots, Prints and Projections exhibit is Ulrika Karlsson, Landscape architect LAR/MSA, partner at architects Brrum and the design collaborative servo stockholm, and professor at the The Royal Institute of Technology KTH, School of Architecture and University College of Arts in Stockholm. Invited architect firms include: Norell/Rodhe, Space Popular, Krupinski/Krupinska, Nordmark & Nordmark, TAF & Katja Pettersson and Gran. Architects of the pavilion were: Katarina Lundeberg and Fredric Benesch, In Praise of Shadows Arkitektur.