Snøhetta’s first exhibition in Munich, Germany, titled “Snøhetta Shaping – Interaction” opened on May 14th, 2019 at the Architekturgalerie München (Munich Architecture Gallery). Conceived in two parts, the exhibition offers an intimate investigation of the studio’s design process through three recent works, paired with a cinematic presentation of the studio’s work worldwide that gives a broader view of how their projects are lived in today. Through a diverse selection of material – including sketches, models, films, and imagery – the exhibition explores the international architectural, landscape, interior, product and graphic design firm’s transdisciplinary approach.
The first part of the exhibition – “Shaping” – is located in the gallery spaces in the Munich Kunstareal, the city’s art district, and focuses on three radically different projects that share a specific cultural and geographic context. Since 2012, Snøhetta has partnered with the crystal company Swarovski to create projects for its home base in Wattens, Austria, three of which are showcased here: an atelier for co-creation, a playtower, and an orchard.
The exhibition design conveys Snøhetta’s approach to contextual site adaptation and is tailored to suit the spaces of the Architekturgalerie. Custom-built wooden floors and walls create a continuous, uninterrupted surface that integrates the models on display and offers a novel spatial experience for the visitors. The tilted double floor equalizes the level changes in the gallery rooms and make the museum spaces appear as one coherent space instead of three different rooms – not just visually but also physically.
By reinterpreting familiar typologies or developing new ones altogether, the three Swarovski projects presented here offer an illuminating case study on the studio’s multi-layered response to site. Swarovski Manufaktur is a progressive crystal workshop and incubator for co-creation, rapid prototyping and representation. The unconventional Playtower shapes a contemporary architectural environment for play and exercise on the grounds of Swarovski Crystal Worlds. The Swarovski orchard planted on the premises next to the Crystal Worlds weaves a traditional rural, cultural landscape in with the typology of a public park. Each of these projects are anchored by an intimate local knowledge that further cultivates a sense of place and history in Wattens.
The second part of the exhibition – “Interaction” – is a multi-wall film installation located in the Bunker of the Architekturgalerie München, immersing visitors in a cinematic experience of Snøhetta’s built and envisioned work around the world. Landmark projects featured in the exhibition include the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo; the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York City; Europe’s first underwater restaurant, Under, in Lindesnes, Norway; and the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion, Tverrfjellhytta. Showcasing the interaction between people and places, the films offer an immersive experience of the firm’s work as it is built and lived.
From a close, detailed look at the design process, to a cinematic overview, “Snøhetta Shaping – Interaction” offers many entry points into the studio’s work. The exhibition portrays how the firm employs its transdisciplinary approach across international projects while at the same time paying great attention to the local, cultural and geographical contexts.
The exhibition will run until July 6th at the Architekturgalerie München.