Exhibtion PLACE, Symbiosis between architecture and context - Dorte Mandrup
From the yellow-brown marshes of the Wadden Sea to the breath-taking vast scale of the Arctic and the difficult memories imprinted in the ruins of Anhalter Bahnhof. Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup designs buildings that evokes the distinct narratives of the places from which they derive.
“In a time where we as humans have become a profound force of nature, it is increasingly important that architecture conveys something contextually unique and enhances the understanding and experience of each place. Not only in sensitive landscapes, but also when it comes to the social, cultural, and economic framework” – Dorte Mandrup, founder & creative director.
PLACE explores the unique characters of each site, landscape, and terrain through five extraordinary projects and highlights the connection between context and architecture.
The 5 projects :
- Ilulissat Icefjord Centre, Greenland :
Like the wing of a snowy owl gently touching the bedrock, the building is levitating slightly over the terrain.
Ilulissat Icefjord Centre, Groenland, Dorte Mandrup © Adam Mørk
In the harsh, yet beautiful Arctic landscape, on the edge of the UNESCO-protected Kangia Icefjord, Ilulissat Icefjord Centre blends effortlessly into the vast terrain and offers a unique vantage point from which to experience the breath-taking scenery and comprehend the consequences of climate change on this irreplaceable place 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Like the wing of a snowy owl gently touching the bedrock, the building is levitating slightly over the terrain, creating a dynamic movement where you discover the Icefjord while moving through the centre. It sits lightly on the ancient bedrock and exerts a singularly poetic presence. Quite a small building, it does not seek to compete with the drama of its spectacular surroundings but rather celebrate the magnitude of the landscape. It is an architecture that gracefully shapes a shelter and a habitable place for social interaction within this “superpower of nature”. With free, public access to the rooftop, the Icefjord Centre forms a new communal space – a kind of gateway between the town of Ilulissat and the wilderness beyond.
- The Whale, Norway
The Whale creates an important encounter between humans and whales, combining science, art, culture, and architecture to increase the understanding of whales and the preservation of marine life.
The Whale, Norway © MIR
300 km North of the Arctic Circle, on the tip of the island Andøya, lies Andenes. Surrounded by rugged mountains and the vast sea, the island sits right on the edge of the ocean where the bottom forms a deep-sea-valley. This underwater landscape forms important feeding grounds for migrating whales which makes Andenes one of the best places in the world to see these mythic creatures up close. Inspired by the fact that the terrain above is a continuation of the landscape beneath with only the surface of the water separating the two, The Whale rises like a hill with a cavity underneath – almost as if a giant has made an incision into the crust of the earth and lifted it up. The curved roof is covered in local stones and forms a new, spectacular public space. From here visitors can overlook the archipelago, the mountains, the ocean, and the northern lights dancing across the sky. In synergy with the landscape, The Whale creates an important encounter between humans and whales, combining science, art, culture, and architecture to increase the understanding of whales and the preservation of marine life.
- The Exile Museum, Germany
The walk from the fragment of Anhalter Bahnhof into the museum resembles the movement of those who travelled through the portico, out to the tracks and left for the unknown between 1933 and 1945.
The Exile Museum Berlin, Germany © MIR
By the ruins of the historic railway station Anhalter Bahnhof where thousands of people fled the Nazi regime, the Exile Museum will breathe life to the stories of those driven into exile during the Second World War. Shaped like a softly curved arch, the building embraces and highlights the importance of the remaining fragment of Anhalter Bahnhof, creating a dialogue between past and present. The heavy brick façade is inspired by the enormous piles of yellow bricks that covered the site after the demolition of the remaining station in 1961 – as if the shattered ruins have been transformed into a new building. Inside visitors are met by a dramatic three-storey foyer that rises both horizontally and vertically. The walk from the fragment of Anhalter Bahnhof into the museum resembles the movement of those who travelled through the portico, out to the tracks and left for the unknown between 1933 and 1945. The Exile Museum is addressing a difficult history and creating a place where the understanding of exile is being illuminated. This has maybe never been more pressing in a time where millions of people are forced into exile due to nationalism, religious conflicts, wars, civil strife, or natural disasters.
- The Wadden Sea Centre, Denmark
Through a synergy of nature, art, and architecture it creates awareness of these important UNESCO-protected wetlands and contributes to a sustainable development of the peripheral rural area.
The Wadden Sea Centre, Denmark © Adam Mørk
The Wadden Sea Centre emerges out of the flat, yellow-brown marshland on the coast near Vester Vedsted in Denmark. Through a synergy of nature, art, and architecture it creates awareness of these important UNESCO-protected wetlands and contributes to a sustainable development of the peripheral rural area. The building arises from a landscape characterised by endless horizontal lines, secluded farmhouses, and a relentless western wind. In form and materiality, the architecture conveys both a continuation and an interpretation of the place and the vernacular thatched houses. The reeds have been used for roofing since the Viking Age with an almost unchanged technique. A sculptural adaptation of locally harvested reeds anchors yet simultaneously distinguished the building. The body is stretched and pulled down towards the horizon, drawing the visitor the visitor towards the tactile façade and the entrance to the exhibition – telling the story of the millions of migrating birds stopping at the Wadden Sea to feed and prepare for the straining travel south.
- Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Centre, Germany
The landscape is transformed into organic pools to collect rainwater while offering public gathering space during dry periods.
Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Centre, Germany © MIR
During World War I and World War II the coastal town of Wilhelmshaven acted as an important naval base in Germany. Today, a single, immovable bunker stands as one of the few remnants of the naval history, appearing in an open field as a gigantic rock on the seabed. The bunker forms a natural anchoring point in the landscape. Integrating the heavy structure into the new building has both a practical and aesthetic purpose. It reduces the amount of land and resources needed while sculpturally rejuvenating the wartime relic as foundation for a building, that becomes a shimmering, open lighthouse at night. A glazed façade wraps around the structure, providing a flexible space for exhibitions, events, and archival storage. The landscape is transformed into organic pools to collect rainwater while offering public gathering space during dry periods. With its glazed façade the architecture creates an ever-changing poetic reflection that mirrors the shallow surface of the UNESCO-protected Wadden Sea – becoming a beacon at night, reflecting the rainwater pools, and illuminating the heritage it rests on.
- L’exposition PLACE est présentée par Dorte Mandrup en collaboration avec l’Aedes Architecture Forum à Berlin et le Bicolore – Maison du Danemark à Paris et avec le soutien de Beckett Fonden, Knud Højgaard fonden, Dreyers Fond, Louisiana Channel, Immersive Stories.