The Museum of Finnish Architecture has chosen Lassila-Hirvilammi Architects to represent contemporary Finnish architecture at the fifth Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. Anssi Lassila and Teemu Hirvilammi will be premiering their installation Re-Creation in Shenzhen from December 6, 2013 until February 26, 2014.
Opening in December, the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale is Asia’s premier architectural event, and also one of growing international importance. Participants this year include OMA Kunsthal from Rotterdam, Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo from Rome (MAXXI), the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) from London, the MIT Museum from Cambridge and Droog Design from Amsterdam.
During the 2013–2014 biennale – themed “Urban Border” – a glass factory under threat of demolition in the Shekou industrial precinct will be transformed into a culture complex and events venue called the Value Factory. The repurposing of an abandoned industrial building marks a wholly new way of thinking in China, and one that will hopefully become anchored in urban planning worldwide. The Value Factory takes a bold stand for cultural preservation and tradition as part of contemporary architecture.
The biennale’s curator and creative director is Ole Bouman, an internationally recognized curator, lecturer, writer and former Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI). Juulia Kauste will represent the Museum of Finnish Architecture as an invited content partner. Lassila-Hirvilammi Architects was the only Nordic architectural practice invited to join an international committee of experts planning the content of the Shenzhen Biennale. The chosen architects were given the task of coming up with new ideas for the repurposing of the glassworks.
Based on a concept by Anssi Lassila, Re-Creation is a spatial exploration of originality and copyability. What, in its most reductive form, does the concept of space represent in two different cultures? How does an original idea adapt to local conditions when relocated to a new cultural context?
The installation consists of three parts. First the architects designed two spaces that were built as local projects in Finland and China. The two widely diverging sculptural spaces are to be exhibited in the Biennale’s Silo building. The Museum of Finnish Architecture will stage a separate exhibit at the biennale featuring a video and photographic exhibition of the process through which the spruce log and bamboo constructions took shape. A workshop related to the themes of the installation will be held in January in cooperation with the Finnish Centre for Architecture.
Lassila Hirvilammi Architects is an architectural practice with a wide-ranging portfolio and a mission is to create functionally, technically and economically sustainable architecture of high aesthetic quality that is respectfully adapted to local conditions. Lassila Hirvilammi Architects are the designers of landmark projects including Kärsämäki Shingle Church (2004) and Kuokkala Church (2010) in Jyväskylä. Their work has attracted international acclaim in the New Nordic – architecture & identity exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and the MFA’s Light Houses exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale.
Re-Creation is a collaboration between Anssi Lassila, Teemu Hirvilammi and a team of assistants. The Finnish part of the installation was constructed by master carpenter Kari Virtanen (Nikari Oy) and his assistants Mikko Merz, Jussi Nordberg and Laura Mattila. The Chinese part will be completed later in collaboration with a Chinese partner. Tuomo Tammenpää, Pekka Turunen and Ville Tanttu will document the installations. The project is a co-production with the Finnish Centre for Architecture. The exhibition is supported by the Kone Foundation and the Alfred Kordelin Foundation.
Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture