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Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Italy Architecture News - May 20, 2021 - 13:02   2739 views

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Norwegian architects Helen & Hard, supported by a curatorial team from National Museum of Norway, has installed a full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project in the Nordic Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale which opens on May 22 in Venice, Italy

The exhibition, themed as What We Share. A model for cohousing, is curated by the National Museum of Norway and explores a framework for designing and building communities based on participation and sharing.

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Selected by the Nordic Pavilion commissioners thanks to innovative work in the field of cohousing, Helen & Hard have cooperated with residents of the practice’s award-winning cohousing project Vindmøllebakken in Stavanger, Norway. 

At Vindmøllebakken the residents have relatively small but fully equipped apartments, several shared facilities and spaces, and a vibrant local democracy. 

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

In the exhibition What we share, residents have been challenged to develop an even more radical version of co-housing: Which functions or social situations could they move out of their apartments and share with other residents?.

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

"Being both architects and inhabitants of a cohousing community has made us aware of the potential that this housing model can offer in terms of tackling some of the societal and environmental challenges we face today," said partners and creative directors of Helen & Hard Siv Helene Stangeland and Reinhard Kropf.

"In Venice we want to explore this potential and demonstrate how the interplay between inhabitants and agencies involved can create an adaptable architecture."

"There is an urgent need in the housing sector to explore new models of communal living. In the past year, questions about our ways of living, and how they closely relate to issues such as loneliness, social encounters and community, have become even more acute," said senior curator Martin Braathen of the National Museum of Norway.

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

The Nordic Pavilion is filled with a concrete example of a prototype cohousing project made of wood

The Nordic cohousing model combines owner-occupancy and individual living units with shared facilities and communal participation. The model was developed from the late 1960s onward and has since spread around the world.

The exhibition "What we share" is installed on this co-housing model. The model is not a utopian vision, but a real proposal for building apartments, communal spaces and semi-private sharing zones in commercial housing projects. 

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

The project implements an innovative open-source solid timber construction system that can easily be produced locally and is suitable for self-building.

Visitors to the Pavilion in Venice will be able to walk through and explore a cross-section of a prototype cohousing project that will include communal and semi-private areas brought to life through scenographies made by film director Pål Jackman and scenographer Nina Bjerch-Andresen. 

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Initiating a conversation about the social and political aspects of co-living, the exhibition also presents a commissioned video by artist Anna Ihle, who is a resident of Vindmøllebakken.

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

A comprehensive presentation of the project, with resident interviews, videos and documentation, as well as other background material, can also be found to view online at this website.

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

Helen & Hard installs full-scale section of a solid wood co-housing project inside Nordic Pavilion

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice will open to the public on 22 May 2021. The exhibition will be on view till 21 November 2021. 

This year’s architecture biennale is themed as How will we live together? by the curator Hashim Sarkis, the theme explores a widening context that helps architects to "imagine spaces in which we can generously live together".

All images courtesy of Chiara Masiero Sgrinzatto and Luca Nicolò Vascon, courtesy of the National Museum of Norway.

> via Nordic Pavilion