CHART Architecture, an offshoot of the Copenhagen based art fair, has announced the finalists for its pavilion competition. Inspired by the theme ‘materiality’, the challenge was to rethink how materials could be used in different or new ways to build a sustainable future.

The international jury (including Wallpaper* design editor Rosa Bertoli) sorted through 54 proposals of experimental approaches submitted by a wide range of inter-disciplinary practitioners across the Nordic region. The five creative finalists selected approach topics such as consumerism, recycling and biology through their maverick and playful designs that combine materials such as foam, latex and salt crystals in unexpected ways.

SALARIA PAVILION, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Cristina Román Díaz and Frederik Bo Bojesen
Salaria Pavilion, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Cristina Román Díaz and Frederik Bo Bojesen

Each design challenges how we perceive materials, and asks how we could rethink what we already know about a material to allow it to be used in a new way. ‘Sultan’ repurposes the materials of an IKEA mattress, and in its new formation the mattress is totally unrecognisable. ‘Rock Paper CNC’ takes recycled paper to make it look like stone, and in the ‘Cell pavilion’ latex cells come alive mimicking the shape of a living organism.

The aim of the competition is to provide a space for young architects think outside the box – and build into the real world: ‘At most art schools, one works with their art form in 1:1, at the film school, the visual arts school, the theatre school, and the design school, it is simply at the core of the learning process. At architecture schools, on the other hand, students do not have the opportunity to work with materials at such a scale, and as a newly graduated architect, few students get to work with projects that are particularly experimental,’ says David Zahle, partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and chair of the CHART Architecture jury.

Cell pavilion, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Josefine Rita Vain Hansen and Marie Louise Thorning

Cell pavilion, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Josefine Rita Vain Hansen and Marie Louise Thorning

More than just an experimental installation, the pavilions have a serious responsibility – they will be hosting CHART’s bars and restaurants during the fair (which runs 30 August – 1 September). A few other functions were squeezed in too – the ‘Salaria Pavilion’ hopes to draw attention to the importance of salt and ‘Snug as a bug in a rug’ seeks to provide a comfortable place for visitors to rest their weary art-fair-fatigued legs. Aesthetically, the finalists are all distinct, and a visit to the Charlottenborg courtyards is promised to be a fun-filled affair of experimental architecture. And – if your don’t catch them there – CHART is collaborating with the Copenhagen Architecture Festival so the pavilions will be shown again in 2020. §

SULTAN, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Anne Bea Høgh Mikkelsen, Katrine Kretzschmar Nielsen, Klara Lyshøj and Josefine Østergaard Kallehave
Sultan, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Anne Bea Høgh Mikkelsen, Katrine Kretzschmar Nielsen, Klara Lyshøj and Josefine Østergaard Kallehave
Rock PAPER CNC, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Oskar Koliander, Diana Smiljkovic and Gustav Kjær Vad Nielsen

Rock Paper CNC, CHART Architecture finalist 2019 by Oskar Koliander, Diana Smiljkovic and Gustav Kjær Vad Nielsen