|The house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of Mankind…|
Louisiana’s architecture exhibition LIVING, the last in the series “Frontiers of Architecture,” investigates the concept of home and new modes of life through architectural and sociocultural looks at the world today. The coupling of architecture with humanist disciplines, like anthropology and sociology, provides the undercurrent of the exhibition – the expansion of our ideas about what architecture is, and where its frontiers lie. Film, video, photography, drawings, models and installations, as well as interviews with artists and architects, visualize this diversity.
WAM architecten envisions the Inntel hotel in Amsterdam as a temporary home, alluding to that transience with the stack of houses. Visually speaking the structure is built up from a varied stacking of almost seventy individual little houses, executed in four shades of the traditional green of the Zaan region.
Living has three overarching themes: The Dream, Cell/Network and Homeland. Separate installations, each rounded off with a “case story,” form part of the themes.
The Dream is related to a child’s first experience of architecture pointing to a return to the childlike perception of “home” as one of the most elementary needs. This theme is introduced with a presentation of the annual festival Burning Man, where all kinds of people meet to live and live out their dreams for a brief period.
Homeland works with the two concepts housing and homing. The house means the physical dwelling, while the home applies to the habits, rituals and patterns in our lifestyle that make our dwelling a home.
The theme Cell/Network deals with the way the individual today links up with other people, how ways of dwelling and living reflect the individual and the many complex social contexts in which we humans are involved.
The huts are grouped as a herd: while each is sited towards a view of the mountains (and away from the other structures), their proximity unites them. They evoke Thoreau’s simple cabin in the woods; the structures take second place to nature.
Four installations embodies the themes of the exhibition. As an introduction Belgian artist Arne Quinze has created an outdoor installation, My Home My House My Stilt House, a metaphor for the exhibition which on one hand involves the central anthropological concepts of the exhibition and on the other reflects the first theme, The Dream.
With their new multi-story building in Manhattan in New York, West 57 the Danish Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) presents its proposal for new ways of linking dwelling with people. West 57 can be described as a hybrid between the European tenement block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise.
The “case stories” relate to special places where social or political factors create a basis for ways of thinking about “home” and architecture.
Roma, architecture and identity, deals with the Roma people and their highly varied living conditions, and how they express their cultural identity and status by building “clan palaces” in Romania and Moldova.
Hong Kong is a vibrant city chock-full of people – so much so that the quality of life for those at the bottom tier is atrocious. Up to 18 strangers live in a tiny 625 square foot flat with just one toilet to share.
The exhibition catalogue Frontiers of Architecture III-IV – LIVING includes a preface by the director of the Louisiana Museum, Poul Erik Tøjner, and the curator of the exhibition, Kjeld Kjeldsen, as well as several articles related to the themes in the exhibition.