New Nordic is an extensive exhibition on Nordic architecture and design at Louisiana, Denmark. The Icelandic architects Studio Granda was invited to design a pavilion in the exhibition.

The pavilion is made from corrugated iron that is standing on Icelandic lava bed. It is painted blue on the outside and red in the inside.

Visitors enter via two 60 cm openings and will inevitably come into contact with the sloping sides of the shells.

The floor is strewn with a carpet of crushed red lava that will crackle and reverberate under the steps of visitors and the metal framework.

Absolutely beautiful work, don’t you think?

We caught up with Steve Christer of Studio Granda for a few questions on the project.


What is your take on the position  of Icelandic architecture within the Nordic context?

Iceland is on the periphery with very few natural building rescources. It shares many cultural roots with the Nordic nations and many materials are imported from Scandinavia but it’s remoteness and relative youth has resulted in a very free aesthetic environment.


How does your work express regional – Icelandic – identity?

We seek to connect our buildings to the place in which they are made and to hopefully give then a sense of everyday obviousness.


Tell me about the making the pavilion – how much lava did you send to Denmark?

5 tons of red lava, including the large lava rock, was sourced from the Grímsnes mine near Selfoss and shipped to Louisiana.

The edges of the corrugated sheet was cut according to a pattern generated by 3D software and when fixed to the baseplate naturally assumed the intended form.


For more on the backgrounds and inspirations, also see the interview taken by Michael Asgaard Anderen of Louisiana with Margrét.

The brief from the museum was to relate to what Nordic identity can be, and to their ideas of the place-specific in architecture.

A little more information on the exhibition from Louisiana:

In recent years Nordic architecture has seen a resurgence with many innovative buildings and urban spaces. Much of the architecture is typified by an interest in the specifically local and regional, and the Louisiana Museum’s exhibition New Nordic. Architecture & Identity shows how physical, cultural and social conditions are incorporated in the architects’ projects. This raises questions about the identity-forming and culture-bearing capacity of architecture, and suggests a rediscovery of Nordic identities.

In June 2012 Louisiana embarks on a new series of exhibitions focusing on architecture, identity and culture. New Nordic Architecture, the first exhibition in the series, investigates how identities and cultures are reflected in contemporary Nordic architecture, and points to the most important tendencies in the five Nordic countries.

The exhibition begins with a broad cultural introduction followed by three themes – place, community and urban space. For many decades the issue of the significance of place has loomed large in Nordic architecture – today as new interpretations with a focus on among other aspects construction traditions and landscape.

A number of installations created specifically for Louisiana’s exhibition of work by Johan Celsing (SE), Jarmund/Vigsnæs (NO), Studio Granda (IS), Lassila Hirvilammi (FI) and Lundgaard & Tranberg (DK) exemplify this.

The exihibition features works by Icelandic designers and architects ARKIS, Arkitema, Basalt Arkitektar, Studio Granda, Ola Steen and Kolbrún Ragnarsdóttir, Ólafur Elíasson, Pálmar Kristmundsson, Fanney Antonsdóttir og Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdóttir and Sruli Recht.



For more works by Studio Granda, take a look at their website here, and for more about the exhibition New Nordic, visit the Louisiana website.



Images courtesy of Studio Granda and Louisiana
Photographers Kim Hansen, Studio Granda team