Arctic Nordic Alpine is dedicated to contemporary architecture in vulnerable landscapes, focussing on the influence interventions could have on regions with extreme climatic conditions. The exhibition presents pioneering projects by the internationally renowned architecture and design firm Snøhetta, including the energy-efficient Hotel Svart in Svartisen, the Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Svalbard Island and the Museum Quarter in Bolzano. These buildings illustrate that architecture can make a significant contribution to the mitigation of climate change by promoting a more sustainable use of nature with innovative strategies and solutions – in dialogue with landscape. Conceived and designed by Snøhetta, also including proposals from students, the exhibition is shown at Aedes in cooperation with Zumtobel Lighting and AW Architektur & Wohnen magazine. On this occasion, Snøhetta is honoured with the prestigious AW Architect of the Year 2020 award.
AW Architect of the Year 2020 for Snøhetta
For the ninth time, AW Architektur & Wohnen is awarding the AW Architect of the Year. With this prize, the editorial staff honours offices that give new impetus to architecture through individual concepts and original design ideas. Previous winners include MVRDV, UNStudio, BIG and Dorte Mandrup. This year, the Norwegian firm Snøhetta “receives the award for its approach to thinking architecture in an interdisciplinary way, designing it as a special meeting place, understanding it as part of the surrounding landscape – and interpreting buildings themselves as landscape“, explains Jörn Kengelbach, editor-in-chief of AW Architektur & Wohnen.
Path of Perspectives, Seegrube in Innsbruck, Austria © Christian Flatscher
Background of the exhibition
As the biggest future challenges for planners and architects are to be found in our cities and urban areas, it might appear less essential to focus on architectural interventions in less populated areas. Snøhetta does, however, foresee more and more human pressure on areas outside of our cities.
To quote Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, co-founder of Snøhetta: “To many, the periphery has become the new centre of interest and nature has become a carrier of meaningfulness. However, as contradictory as this might seem, some remote areas are becoming especially attractive to the ever-increasing desire of people to be part of something authentic. To secure the diverse sustainability offered in these places also in the future, it will in many cases be correct to do nothing. For the places already under pressure, it will be vital to provide facilities preventing further destruction. We acknowledge the fact that every new construction changes the existing condition of a place. With the passion to create, our imagination lets us involve the stories told by nature, translating these stories into architectural form and language.”
Tverrfjellhytta - Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion in Hjerkinn, Dovre, Norway © Diephotodesigner.de OHG 2010 | © Ketil Jacobsen
With the exhibition Arctic Nordic Alpine and the accompanying catalogue, Aedes, in cooperation with Zumtobel Lighting and the Hamburg-based magazine AW Architektur & Wohnen, is contributing once again to the dialogue about sustainable design in natural or rural regions, where communities want to create a prosperous and content living while simultaneously preserving nature. Conceived and designed by Snøhetta, the exhibition examines the diverse spatial effects of both small and large-scale interventions at each specific setting. Local conditions such as topography and ecology are discussed in addition to cultural, social or economic aspects, such as tourism. A large-scale installation made of printed textiles, spectacular models and a video installation provide an inspiring experience for the visitors. Arctic Nordic Alpine not only mediates 20 outstanding realised and planned projects by Snøhetta, it also gives insights into the interdisciplinary working methods of the office. In addition, eight designs by students from the University of Stuttgart, the University of Innsbruck, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and the Oslo Student Initiative 120 Hours are presented.
Under (Underwater Restaurant) in Lindesnes, Norway © Ivar Kvaal
With this exhibition, Aedes Architecture Forum is not only celebrating its 40th anniversary, but also a longstanding partnership with Zumtobel, which celebrates its 70th anniversary. For 25 years, the globally operating Austrian lighting manufacturer and Aedes have been fostering an international and interdisciplinary architectural discourse, maintaining the dialogue on the interdependence of culture and technology in the built context throughout societal changes. Since 2007, the jointly developed, internationally acknowledged Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment results from this mutually beneficial and successful partnership.
The 70th anniversary of Zumtobel also marks another milestone in the fruitful collaboration between the company and renowned architectural firms. The transformation of the Zumtobel Group's headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Dornbirn follows a sustainable design concept by Snøhetta.
Svart (Hotel) in Svartisen, Norway © Snøhetta/Plompmozes | © Snøhetta and Plomp | Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway © Snøhetta and Plomp
Over the past 30 years, Snøhetta has designed some of the world’s most notable public and cultural buildings. Snøhetta kick-started its career in 1989 with the competition-winning entry for the new library of Alexandria, Egypt. This was later followed by the commission for the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in New York City, among many others. Since its inception, the Norwegian architecture and design studio has maintained its original transdisciplinary approach, integrating architecture, landscape, art, interior, graphic and product design into its projects. Operating in six countries and seven cities, including Oslo, New York, San Francisco, Innsbruck, Paris, Hong Kong and Adelaide, the practice currently employs more than 250 staff members of 30 different nations.
Zumtobel Lighting, a company of the Zumtobel Group, is an internationally leading supplier of integral lighting solutions for professional indoor and outdoor applications. For 70 years, Zumtobel has been developing innovative, custom lighting solutions that meet extremely exacting requirements in terms of ergonomics, economic efficiency and environmental compatibility and also deliver aesthetic added value.
AW Architektur & Wohnen
AW Architektur & Wohnen, based in Hamburg is the leading magazine for architecture, design, living, travel and garden in Germany. For more than 63 years, AW Architektur & Wohnen has been active in the cultural discourse promoting high standards in design, interior design and architecture and portraying international masterminds in these fields.
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