Denmark’s Architectural Wunderkammer – 15th Venice Architecture Biennale

Place: Venice, Italy
Danish pavilion - 15th Venice Architecture Biennale
Curators: Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss
Commissioner: DAC - Dansk Arkitektur Center / Ministry of Culture Denmark
Photos: see bylines


Danish pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale; photo © Inexhibit, 2016

Art of Many and the Right to Space – The Danish exhibition at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale

Curated by Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss on behalf of the Danish Architecture Center, the contribution of Denmark to the 15th Venice Biennale is a comprehensive survey of today’s Danish architecture.

Entitled “Art of Many and the Right to Space“, the exhibition presents 130 architectural models, or “prototypes”, each representative of one project, divided into 5 thematic areas entitled “Beyond Luxury”, “Designing Life”, “Claiming Space”, “Exit Utopia”, and “Pro Community”.

The models are exhibited in a space that resembles a warehouse, informally placed on racks made with scaffolding tubes and plywood sheets. The visual effect is that of an architectural wunderkammer in which designs by internationally-acclaimed Danish firms – such as BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, 3XN, COBE, C.F. møller, and Henning Larsen Architects – are displayed side by side with those by emerging practices.





“Art of Many and the Right to Space”, installation views. Photos © Inexhibit, 2016

Most projects on show are for social housing, public buildings, and urban spaces, selected by the curators for their capability to represent the relationship between contemporary architecture and people’s social needs.

“There is broad consensus among architects that architecture should serve the people. However, there is not much agreement on how, when and by what means humanistic architecture should be created. We want to present a dynamic snapshot of Danish architecture and urban planning, but we also intend to dig deeper. It is our ambition to explore, dissect and discuss some of the paradoxes and conflicts that come with a new humanism in contemporary architecture,” Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss say.

The projects on view, sorted by theme


Wealth and consumption are fundamentally linked and put a drain on our limited resources. Architecture must redefine luxury to ensure the quality of life in the 21st century.

Almenbolig+ (Nordre Fælledkvarter, Robinielunden, Signalgården, Tømmergården) – ONV & JAJA architects
B&W Student Halls – BCVA Architecture
Beyond Luxury – BESSARDs’ STUDIO
Residential Tower in Antwerp – C.F. Møller Architects in collaboration with Brut Architecture and Urban Design
Brick House – LETH & GORI
Casas Melhoradas – Affordable housing in Maputo – Johan Mottelson & Jørgen Eskemose
Egedalsvænge, Social Housing – WE Architecture
Public Housing Affected by People – AI
Haiyan House – Jakob Knudsen
Harbor Houses – The City in the Building – ADEPT
HSB2023: Social Housing of the Future – C.F. Møller Architects
Lungholm Castle – Arkitektfirmaet Merete Lind Mikkelsen
Orangery – Lenschow & Pihlmann + Mikael Stentröm
Roof House – LETH & GORI
The Place in the World, The Body in Space –  BO FROST architects
The Magoda Project – Jakob Knudsen
UNIONKUL – STACK I and II –  Arcgency
Uptown Nørrebro – Arkitema Architects
Urban Rigger –  Kim Loudrup & BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Very Social Housing –  BESSARDs’ STUDIO & LETH & GORI

Urban Rigger Copenhagen BIG Bjarke Ingels Danish pavilion Biennale Inexhibit

Urban Rigger BIG Bjarke Ingels Group

“Urban Rigger” by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, 2015


Shaping human behavior is in the DNA of architecture. From crowded cities to nursery schools, architects and planners should explore the impact of architecture.

Hinnerup Kollegiet – Residential units for people with autism – Wienberg Architects & Frier Architecture
Urban Hospice – NORD Architects Copenhagen
CEECD – Center for Early Childhood Development – CEBRA
Health Care Centre for Cancer Patients –  NORD Architects Copenhagen
The International Criminal Court – Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Children’s Home of the Future – CEBRA
Halden Prison – Erik Møller Architects & HLM Architects
Hellerup School – Arkitema Architects
Herlev Hospital – Henning Larsen Architects
Hospice Djursland – C.F. Møller Architects
Kids City – NORD Architects Copenhagen & COBE
Martin Buber Building – Jane Havshøj
Moesgaard Museum – Henning Larsen Architects
Munkegård School – Dorthe Mandrup Architects
Maersk Building, the extension of the Panum complex – C. F. Møller Architects
Ningbo Home of Staff – Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
New Correctional Facility in Nuuk – Friis & Moltke
New North Zealand Hospital – Herzog de Meuron + Wilhelm Lauritzen Architects
Oslo Plads – KHR Arkitekter
Psykiatric hospital in Slagelse – Karlsson Arkitekter & VLA
SDU, University of Southern Denmark, Campus Kolding – Henning Larsen Architects
The Scool in the Forrest – RUBOW Arkitekter
Smart School – CEBRA
Natural History Museum of Denmark – Nicolai Bo Andersen
Theatrum Mundi – Nicolai Bo Andersen
VUC Syd – AART architects & ZENI Arkitekter
Ørestad College – 3XN
Ørestad School – KHR Arkitekter


“Art of Many and the Right to Space”, installation views; photo © Inexhibit, 2016


Generous public spaces are not extravagant. Creating space for public life where there is none means putting people first and pursuing the ideal of an open society.

ARC – Amager Resource Centre – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
The City Dune – SEB Bank – SLA
CBS Campus – TRANSFORM & C.F. Møller Architects
Cleaning Facilities Centre – POLYFORM & Karres En Brand
Cycling and Athletics Arena, Odense – Mikkelsen Architects
The Bicycle Snake – DISSING + WEITLING Architecture
Dalarna Media Arena – ADEPT
The Island of the Dead – Jonathan Meldgaard Houser
Dokk1 – schmidt hammer lassen architects
Estonia Academy of Arts – EFFEKT + LETH & GORI
Facade of the Parish Community Centre at Trinitatis Church – Mathilde Petri Architects
Faaborg Habour Bath (URBAN AGENCY, JDS Architects) – URBAN AGENCY, D. Børresen, JDS Architects, CREO
Järva Burial Ground – Kristine Jensens Tegnestue
Cultural Centre ‘Plassen’ – 3XN
Laayoune Competence Centre – URBAN AGENCY, Oualalou+Choi
Nordvest Cultural Centre and Library – TRANSFORM & COBE
Novo Nordisk Nature Park – SLA
Ny Banegårdsgade, Aarhus – TRANSFORM & COBE
New Nørreport Station – COBE & Gottlieb Paludan Architects
Public Private Partnership, Gellerup Nord – Arkitema Architects
Park ‘n ‘play – Nordhavn Parking House – JAJA architects
Red Cross Volunteer House – COBE
Sydhavn School – JJW Arkitekter
11 Sonnesgade – SLETH
Talinn City Hall – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Tønder Town Hall – WE Architecture
Urban Lobby – SLETH
Vinge Station – THIRD NATURE & Henning Larsen Architects

Cultural Center Plassen Norway 3XN Danish pavilion Biennale Inexhibit

Cultural Center Plassen Norway 3XN architects

“Cultural Center Plassen”, Norway, by 3XN Architects


Modernist ideology wanted full control of both society and nature. It failed. Today, new alliances between people, the built environment, and nature are shaping the future.

Bank-Mikkelsens Vej -Vandkunsten Architects
The Mountain – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Enghave Climate Park – THIRD NATURE
Green Lighthouse – Christensen og Co. Architects
Green School Stockholm – 3XN
Grønby Strand – BCVA Architecture
House of Water – THIRD NATURE
Human Habitat – AI
Islev ID – SLETH
Kalvebod Waves (URBAN AGENCY, JDS Architects) – URBAN AGENCY, JDS Architects and D. Børresen
Climate Habour and Climate City – Middelfart Kommune, Middelfart Spildevand, EFFEKT, GHB and ADEPT
Climate Neighbourhood – THIRD NATURE
Kokkedal – Schønherr
Copenhagen Climate Resilient Block – Henning Larsen Architects
Løkkensvej – Schønherr
Public Air Copenhagen – Frans Drewniak & Philippe Rahm
Water Purifying Plant – Toposfære
Skjern Open-Air Swimming Pool – KRADS
Steely Urban Spaces – ERIK BRANDT DAM Architects & SLETH
sØnæs – Møller & Grønborg
The BIG U – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Vinge City – Frederikssund Municipality, EFFEKT & Henning Larsen Architects
Water Shore Habitat – MAP Architects


House of Water Copenhagen Third Nature

“House of Water, Copenhagen, by THIRD NATURE; photo © Inexhibit, 2016


When people organize and demand influence they move the world. The future is powered by strong communities.

AiH – Andelssamfundet i Hjortshøj – Force4 + CUBO
Musicon Urban District – COBE/MVRDV, SNE Architects, Olafur Eliasson & Sebastian Behmann, Bille Arc, Niels Peter Flint, Christensen & Co, Creo arkitekter, Mangor & Nagel, KAB and others
NærHeden Urban District – Arkitema Architects
Children’s Culture House – Dorte Mandrup Architects in collaboration with Nøhr & Sigsgaard
Ceremony Room – Svendborg Architects
Chittagong Public Bath – Anders Peder Larsen
One Model – Tyra Lea Amdisen Dokkedahl, Frida Sophie Vang Petersen, Victor Gammelgaard &Thais Kvejborg Espersen
FBAB Future Sustainable Social Housing – DISSING + WEITLING Architecture
Fjelstervang Outdoor Community Centre – Spektrum Arkitekter
GAME: Streetmekka – EFFEKT
Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre – Henning Larsen Architects
Heteretopias og Roskilde Festival – Jes Vagnby
HOPE – House of Peace – Junya Ishigami & Johnny Svendborg
Hunstad – Anders Abraham & Christina Capetillo
Club Island Vejle – TRANSFORM
Køge Shoreline – Vandkunsten Architects
Langvang Multi Purpose hall – ELKIÆR + EBBESKOV and LETH & GORI aps
Light Pavilion – Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects
Marine Education Centre – NORD Architects Copenhagen
Temporary Urban Spaces – Schønherr
Multi-Purpose Hall ‘Pulsen’ – ELKIÆR + EBBESKOV and LETH & GORI aps
Musholm Multi-Purpose Hall – AART architects
Islamic Community Centre and Mosque in Copenhagen – Henning Larsen Architects
Nøjkjærhus Cultural Centre – LUMO Architects
Prismen – Dorte Mandrup Architects
ReGEN Villages – EFFEKT
Tietgen Residence Hall – Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects
Tingbjerg Culture House – COBE

Musicon cultural district Danish pavilion Biennale Inexhibit

“Musicon Urban District”, by COBE/MVRDV, SNE Architects, Olafur Eliasson & Sebastian Behmann, Bille Arc, Niels Peter Flint, Christensen & Co, Creo arkitekter, Mangor & Nagel, KAB and others; photo © Inexhibit, 2016

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE night view

“Ragnarock museum” by COBE + MVRDV, MUSICON district, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Denmark pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 Inexhibit 03

colorcloudstudio dokk8000

“DOKK8000” by Colorcloudstudio; photo © Inexhibit, 2016

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 – Reporting from the Front – INDEX

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