The Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi and the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn never met. Still there are surprising similarities between their respective oeuvres. An exhibition at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo, shows how two architects, working in distant corners of the world, promoted the glasshouse as a symbol of mental liberation.
Around the time of World War I, German expressionist architects wrote ardent manifestos about glass structures that would contribute to the moral health of future society. Later architects with links to the so-called international style insisted that homes with glass enhanced the occupant’s experience of the need to contemplate nature.
The exhibition presents Lina Bo Bardi’s glasshouse in Sâo
Paulo, Casa de Vidro (1950-52), inside Sverre Fehn’s glass pavilion (1997-2008). The juxtaposition serves as a starting point for a dialogue between these two architects who never met but shared an interest in the careful integration of their designs into the surrounding landscape. It seems logically consistent that both architects integrated trees into their buildings.
The National Museum of Architecture has also commissioned the Berlin-based artist Veronika Kellndorfer to reflect Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidro in a new installation created especially for Fehn’s glass pavilion. Kellndorfer employs transformed and rasterized photographs of the building which are silkscreened onto huge glass sheets, creating a representation of the house that is at once spectral and painterly. The installation included a sculptural re-enactment of Casa de Vidro’s suspended patio on the scale 1:2.
In the Vault, the exhibition also includes presentations in architectural journals that shed light on Norwegian architects’ reception of influential international models, some of them hitherto little-known drawings of projects that are now considered masterpieces of Norwegian modern architecture.
The Bardi-Fehn exhibition in the Pavilion is on display until 14 May, while the glasshouse exhibition in the Vault will run until 13 August.
The exhibition curator for “Casa de Vidro: Lina Bo Bardi in Dialogue with Sverre Fehn” in the Pavilion is Markus Richter, while the exhibition curators for “The Norwegian Glasshouse” in the vault are Talette Rørvik Simonsen and Markus Richter.
Feature image (on top): Lina Bo Bardi in Casa de Vidro, Sâo Paulo
Source: The National Museum of Architecture, Oslo