Architecture / Design
Snøhetta’s Milan Design Week exhibition features trailblazing — realized and planned — works
The exhibition takes place at Politecnico di Milano and explores modern architecture in unexpected places and its relationship to nature.
7 Jun 2022

In connection with Milan Design Week, the exhibition Arctic-Nordic-Alpine – In Dialogue with Landscape comes to the School of Architecture of the Politecnico di Milano. Created by Norwegian architectural- and design firm Snøhetta, it provides insights into the company’s interdisciplinary working methods. 

The exhibition presents trailblazing works from Snøhetta, both realized and planned, that in one way or another are utilizing nature in a sustainable way. What could be seen as the firm’s favourite act, it takes hold of how modern architecture in vulnerable locations impacts the extreme geographic climatic environments. Some of the works that will be on display are the concept design for the energy-efficient Hotel Svart in Svartisen, the Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Svalbard Island, and the Path of Perspectives in Innsbruck. 

With today’s globalization and urbanization, the focus on rural areas might seem paradoxical. However, Snøhetta foresees a future in which these areas will be of bigger general interest.

— 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, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founder of Snøhetta, explains.

During today’s inauguration, Thorsen will give a lecture open to the public, entitled Nature as the Client and looking at both the positive and negative impact architecture has on each specific setting.

Besides 20 different projects from Snøhetta — the firm invited students to participate and the exhibition boasts designs from the University of Stuttgart, the University of Innsbruck, the Oslo School of Architecture, and Design and the Oslo Student Initiative 120 Hours.

Built in a way that makes it possible to travel, the exhibition can be reused and reexperienced in different formats. Prior to today’s opening, it’s been on display at Aedes Architecture Gallery, Berlin in 2020 and at the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery Prague in 2021. At Politecnico di Milano, it will be open until July 27th.