Photo © Adam Mørk
Photo © Adam Mørk
Photo © Adam Mørk
Photo © Adam Mørk
Photo © Adam Mørk

The Forests of Venice

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Serra dei Giardini, Venice, Italy
Svenska institutet, Folkhem
Ola Kjellander, Lena Viterstedt, Lars Almgren, Linda Schuur, Alessandro Macaluso, Angela Woda, Jakub Jílek, Saki Azodi
Organizer, Client
Organizer, Promoter, Client
Swedish Institute
Jan Åman

Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia


The exhibition investigates Venice´s success as a hybrid between city and nature. As a geographically exposed coastal city, Venice historically demonstrates a unique symbiosis with nature and resources. In a time when climate change and rising sea levels threaten coastal regions worldwide, the origin and strategies of Venice are a key resource for urban solutions.

Venice was founded on 10 million trees by refugees, on sand and reefs. Venice's urban model is based on fluidity and movement, adaptive to the changes of the environment of the lagoon.

Today, people are migrating from Venice. 
Can 10 million new trees be a catalyst for a new urban model? The Forests of Venice proposes new forests and adaptive urban landscapes with trees that can bind vast amounts of carbon and stabilize water levels.


The speculative proposal for expanded Venice is an opportunity to establish new islands and communities with new programs, housing, social contexts and cultural institutions. This urban fabric is blended with parks and forests for new types of production, experiences, increased life-quality and eco-system services, using wood as the main regenerative construction material.

The exhibition consists of two components, an external pavilion made from wood and the research proposals of seven invited Swedish architecture offices.

In dialogue with one of the most public buildings in Venice - the Doge's Palace, the pavilion becomes a kind of forested place of respite resembling a glade in a forest, with filtered light and acoustic presence.

The Forests of Venice extends inside the greenhouse where classical Venetian architectural and urban elements are interpreted and translated into new strategies for our time, using wood as the driving material of investigation.


The Forests of Venice is initiated, organised and produced by Kjellander + Sjöberg together with Folkhem. The exhibition is promoted by the Swedish Institute and curated by Jan Åman. Support was offered by Swedish Wood, Sveaskog and Martinsons.


The exhibition examines the theme of Reporting from the Front through the lens of the architect, exploring the struggle of improving the quality of life worldwide.


Other Projects by Kjellander Sjöberg

Stockholm, Sweden
Faaborg, Denmark
Woodhouse Rosendal
Uppsala, Sweden
Welcome to the Stage!
Stockholm, Sweden