Sverre Fehn's Nordic Pavilion in Venice is a masterpiece in postwar architecture.
The youngNorwegian architect won the competition in 1958 and the building was inaugurated in 1962.
Throughsix decades the beloved structure has been mired in phenomenology, poetry and the personalmemory of the select.
When one looks at the archives, a very different story emerges.
In minutedetail, this book presents the history of the origins and making of the Nordic Pavilion, spanningfrom the geopolitical context in an increasingly tense cold war atmosphere, to the aggregates in theconcrete of the audacious roof construction, to the iconic trees, many of which had already diedbefore the second exhibition in 1964. Sverre Fehn, Nordic Pavilion, Venice. Voices from the Archives documents the vast cast involvedin the making of the Nordic Pavilion, spanning from kings, prime ministers, bureaucrats, ambassadors,museum directors, architects and a myriad of artistsâ€™ associations, to Venetian dignitaries, engineers,gardeners, lawyers and plumbers.
The pavilion was conceived and built against a backdrop offriendships and animosities, power play and diplomacy.
The detours and disappointments, successesand failures of the Venice affair make a prism in miniature to understand the mindset and confl ictingambitions of the Nordic countries in the 1950s and 1960s.
Richly illustrated with previously unpublishedimages â€“ among them many photographs taken by Fehn himself â€“ the archival evidence alsosheds new light on one of the great Nordic architects of the recent past.