Photography: Chiara Masiero Sgrinzatto and Luca Nicolò Vascon, courtesy of the National Museum of Norway
Helen & Hard’s Nordic Pavilion focuses on the future of home life and housing, with an exploration of more ‘experimental’ forms of coliving at the Venice Biennale.
The project, entitled What We Share, is based on the Stavanger studio’s Vindmøllebakken housing complex, which offers ‘socially sustainable living spaces’ designed to reduce loneliness. Homes and gardens are laid out to encourage neighbours to interact with one another, and vast communal spaces offer room for the complex’s inhabitants to dine together.
Helen & Hard worked with the Vindmøllebakken residents to create the pavilion and exhibition – which opens on 20 May, accompanied by a film created by a resident artist from the complex, and a performance from the cohousing choir. Visitors can walk through a cross-section of a prototype co-housing project, which includes communal and private areas designed to feel like actual living spaces.
‘Being both architects and inhabitants of a cohousing community has made us aware of the potential that this housing model can offer in terms of tackling some of the societal and environmental challenges we face today,’ explains Helen & Hard founders Siv Helene Stangeland and Reinhard Kropf. ‘In Venice we want to explore this potential and demonstrate how the interplay between inhabitants and agencies involved can create an adaptable architecture.’