Wood, forest and urbanity – highlighting Swedish architecture in Rome

The Swedish exhibition The Forests of Venice has been selected by international press as one of the most interesting projects at the last 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Now the project is exhibited at Casa dell’Architettura in Rome.

The initiative in Rome is a cooperation between the Swedish Embassy in Rome and the Swedish Institute. It brings together some of Sweden’s most prominent architectural practices and highlights wood as a sustainable construction material of the future, while illustrating the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources.

The Forests of Venice is initiated by Kjellander Sjöberg and Folkhem, who have produced the exhibition together with the support of the Swedish Institute. The point of departure for the exhibition is Venice’s built environment, in a time when climate change and rising sea levels impose similar threats to coastal cities globally.

– Venice, with its exposed geographical position is a realized utopia where it’s founders had to utilize innovations of their time in order to build a city. The city shows how architecture, urban design and technical innovation have to be in a symbiosis with nature in order to create long term living conditions. It’s a city built on the foundations of ten million trees, explains Ola Kjellander, founder of Kjellander Sjöberg architects.

In a dialogue with one of the most public buildings in Venice-the Doge’s Palace, Kjellander jöberg is creating an installation in solid timber, where by inverting the Doge’s Palace, they investigate our contemporary democratic structures.

– We want to combine the tactile qualities of wood and its potential as a sustainable construction material with innovation and technology. Building in wood is faster, cheaper and has lower impact on the environment. Furthermore wood is the only renewable building material on earth, differently from other resources that are limited and will no longer be available in the future. With wood we can literally grow new cities for tomorrow, says Sandra Frank at Folkhem, a housing development company using entirely wood.

The Forests of Venice showcases seven selected architectural practices – Architects without Borders Sweden, Arrhov Frick, DinellJohansson, Horn.Uggla, In Praise of Shadows, Carmen Izquierdo and Urbio – interpreting and translating classical Venetian architectural and urban elements into new strategies for our time. Once again presenting wood as the main material.

The Forests of Venice explores the role of an architect in the struggle of improving the quality of life worldwide. The exhibition opens at Casa dell’Architettura in Rome on the 26th of May and runs until the 8th of June 2017.

For more information please contact Media relations manager Livia Podesta