architectural design [lecture 7]

mar 17 09

when i think ‘danish architecture,’ it’s a little hard for me to pinpoint an exact image that is supposed to pop up in my mind.

things that swirl around in a spiral but don’t ever manifest itself as a single, underlined, BAM! mental picture:

-SAS Radisson

-Town Hall in Radhuspladsen

-VM housing by B.I.G. in Orestad

-ARoS art museum in aarhus

-jorn utzon center, with big sails

-various urban infill projects

-the black diamond

-or henning larsen’s controversial hulk of an opera house

-vernacular architecture [half-timbering, straw roof, etc.]

does this mean that danish architecture, as a whole, has been unsuccessful in projecting a clear, distinct image to the world?  while danish furniture design has definitely made a visible impact on the world, how come danish architecture is not perceived in the same global light?  in a world of branded city, branded design firms, branded culture, does Denmark need to improve its architectural branding?

i think that Kay Fisker gives a very elegant response to this question:

on the concept of “Functional Tradition”:  “[Danish architecture] isnt’ pretentious and flamboyant as in the latin countries, Monumentality is not a goal in itself. we strive after an architecture that serves people, which conforms to nature and isn’t intrusive, on the contrary; tries to be anonymous.”


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