Pine in spotlight at Venice Architecture Biennale

PRESS RELEASE Swedish pine has pride of place as the industry organisation Swedish Wood, architectural practice In Praise of Shadows and furniture manufacturer Källemo join forces for the Swedish association of architects’ exhibition at the ongoing Architecture Biennale in Venice. As a wood nation, Sweden has plenty to offer at this time when forest resources and wood construction are in sharp focus in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

Pine takes centre stage in Loggia d’Ombra at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Inspired by the classic Swedish dance pavilion, architectural practice In Praise of Shadows worked with Swedish Wood, Folkhem, Martinsons, Moelven and Källemo to create and furnish the exhibition piece.

“70 percent of Sweden is covered in forest, making us a nation of wood. We’re keen to show what can be done with pine and just how good the quality of our wood is. When a furniture company like Källemo chooses to use pine in its designs, it sends a clear message that this material has a place in the finest of rooms. And rightly so, since it is a beautiful wood that can replace many other less eco-friendly materials, in both the furniture industry and interior design,” says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Director of Interior and Design at Swedish Wood.

In Praise of Shadows and Loggia d’Ombra
Part of the Swedish exhibition at the Biennale sits in a park called Serra dei Giardini. The architects from In Praise of Shadows designed the glulam pavilion, called Loggia d’Ombra. They also worked with furniture manufacturer Källemo to create the Loggia furniture, which is made from cast iron and pine. The team at In Praise of Shadows are used to working with wood, having designed several wooden buildings in partnership with Swedish housing developer Folkhem. They also designed the interiors for Aesop’s beauty product stores in Stockholm.

“We wanted the pavilion to sit comfortably in the park, which already has a greenhouse. To make the Swedish connection, we took the classic dance pavilion as our starting point. The furniture in the pavilion was developed to handle the outdoor climate. To give the wood a more Venetian and exclusive look, we decided to treat it with a silver glaze. As a real bonus, Källemo now wants to put the furniture into production,” explains Katarina Lundeberg from In Praise of Shadows.

The Architecture Biennale – an important arena for Swedish architecture in wood
The Venice Architecture Biennale opened on 25 May and runs until 25 November. Since the event is the world’s leading arena for architecture, the Swedish association of architects (Architects Sweden) felt it was important to attend, as a way to promote young and exciting architectural talent with an exploratory approach to building in wood. The Swedish exhibition Greenhouse Garden – Reflect, Project, Connect is rooted in the 2030 Agenda, which sets out the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and in 2018 has a focus on the forest as a resource and wood as a construction material.

“Wood and wooden architecture are part of the digital revolution and a key component of the goal to create a sustainable society. There are huge opportunities to develop wooden architecture and Sweden is at the forefront not only in architecture and research, but also in its capacity to build in wood on a large scale,” says Charlotta Holm Hildebrand, acting chair of Architects Sweden.

The Greenhouse Garden exhibition involved close collaboration with everyone in the chain, including the wood industry, the joiners and the architects. Four of Swedish Wood’s member companies took part in the project: Martinsons, Norra Skogsägarna, Setra Group and Södra.

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