Troldtekt card houses set the stage for biennale

Rising Architecture Week presents architectural events in Aarhus 2017 – European Capital of Culture. In the creative environment at the former railway freight yard Godsbanen, the German architects’ collective Raumlabor sets the scene with an impressive Troldtekt installation.

The installation has been created using Troldtekt acoustic panels, which have been put together like ‘card houses’ up to five metres high. Once the biennale is over, the panels can be reused in building projects, say the architects.

Rising Architecture Week was launched as an international architecture biennale in 2015, and is the main architectural event during Aarhus 2017 – European Capital of Culture. The biennale takes a rethinking look at our society, cities and lives to find answers to how architecture can contribute to addressing some of tomorrow’s challenges.

Events include a conference at Godsbanen, where participants such as Daan Roosegarde (NL), Jan Gehl (DK), Rob Adams (AUS) and John Thackra (UK) share their views and experiences. At Godsbanen, ‘Den Rå Hal’ (the raw hall) will be dressed for the occasion by the German architects’ collective Raumlabor.

Using white Troldtekt acoustic panels, the architects will build card houses up to five metres in height, dividing the hall into three areas: a stage area, a lounge area and an area for workshops. One of Raumlabor’s architects, Francesco Apuzzo, explains the ideas behind the installation:

How would you describe the Troldtekt installation you’ve created?

– The hall at Godsbanen is a large open space, which is dominated by a beautiful wood ceiling construction. The high walls which we are creating with Troldtekt acoustic panels will divide the conference area into smaller sections, through which the conference delegates can move. At the same time, the walls prevent you from seeing the entire conference area all at once.

What is the artistic idea behind the installation?

– We are building the walls entirely from acoustic panels stacked to create various patterns. They are not being cut to shape in any way or screwed together, and therefore the materials will recreate the industrial feel of a production facility.

In a modern factory, people go to great lengths to save time and energy to keep production costs to a minimum, but also to use resources sustainably. We are trying to transfer this approach to this assignment by keeping resource consumption for the temporary architectural installation to a minimum.

The acoustic panels will be temporarily removed from Troldtekt’s warehouse to be deployed in a new and surprising way, but once the conference is over, all the acoustic panels will be used as originally intended.

– By establishing a new environment in an existing building, we create a structure which is independent of the building’s axis and orientation. The new structure is intended to create inviting and comfortable areas for contemplation, where conference participants can concentrate and contribute to the discussions. In this respect, we are particularly happy about the acoustic and indoor climate-friendly properties of the Troldtekt panels.

Rising Architecture Week is all about rethinking and developing solutions to the challenges facing society. What challenges are you trying to address with your Troldtekt installation?

– One of the most important aspects of our profession, especially when working with short-term architecture, is to take a respectful approach to resources and keeping waste to a minimum. We do not see this as a limitation as such, but as a chance to show our respect for good craftsmanship.

The installation for the Rising Architecture Week is an example of how innovative thinking can be applied to different situations and scales. It is very relevant, as any building environment and any activity in our society can be seen as temporary.

Facts about Raumlabor

  • Raumlabor is a Berlin-based architects’ collective which was established in 1999.
  • The architects work with urban design, architectural design, construction, interactive environments and research.
  • Raumlabor focuses, in particular, on public spaces, urban renewal and the borderline between public and private.
  • Read more about Raumlabor 

Architecture in the big cities

This Troldtekt theme page takes you on a virtual trip to look at architecture in Copenhagen, and in Denmark’s second-largest city Aarhus. Enjoy the tour!


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