The Forests of Venice in Rome

Photo: Adam Mørk, Release: Kjellander + Sjöberg, Stockholm


Wood, forest and urbanity - highlighting Swedish architecture at Casa dell'Architettura in Rome, 26th May 2017

The Swedish exhibition The Forests of Venice has been selected by international press as one of the most interesting projects at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The initiative brings together some of Sweden’s most prominent architectural practices and highlights wood as a sustainable construction material of the future, while illustrating the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources.

The Forests of Venice is initiated by Kjellander Sjöberg and Folkhem, who have produced the exhibition together with the support of the Swedish Institute. The point of departure for the exhibition is Venice’s built environment in a time when climate change and rising sea levels impose similar threats to coastal cities globally.

– Venice, with its exposed geographical position, is a realized utopia where its founders had to utilize innovations of their time in order to build a city. The city shows how architecture, urban design and technical innovation have to be in a symbiosis with nature in order to create long term living conditions. It’s a city built on the foundations of ten million trees, explains Stefan Sjöberg, founding partner of Kjellander Sjöberg architects.

In a dialogue with one of the most public buildings in Venice - the Doge’s Palace, Kjellander Sjöberg created an installation in solid timber, where by inverting the Doge’s Palace, KS investigated our contemporary democratic structures.


– We want to combine the tactile qualities of wood and its potential as a sustainable construction material with innovation and technology. Building in wood is faster, cheaper and has lower impact on the environment. Furthermore wood is the only renewable building material on Earth, differently from other resources that are limited and will no longer be available in the future. With wood we can literally grow new cities for tomorrow, says Sandra Frank at Folkhem, a housing development company using entirely wood.

The Forests of Venice showcases seven selected architectural practices – Architects without Borders Sweden, Arrhov Frick, DinellJohansson, Horn.Uggla, In Praise of Shadows, Carmen Izquierdo and Urbio – interpreting and translating classical Venetian architectural and urban elements into new strategies for our time. Once again presenting wood as the main material.

The Forests of Venice explores the role of an architect in the struggle of improving the quality of life worldwide. The exhibition opens at Casa dell’Architettura in Rome on the 26th of May and runs until the 8th of June 2017. 

Casa dell’Architettura, open Mon-Fri 10-19,



Kulturexpress   ISSN 1862-1996


May 22, 2017