“A building that should address our own fragility.”
Meet the renowned Danish architect Dorte Mandrup and her latest signature building right by the Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland – one of the places in the world where climate change is most visible.
“The Icefjord Centre is created in wood to be as sustainable as possible but also to create a contrast to the millions of years of the bedrock. It’s a small building with great symbolic meaning.”
“It’s a building from a different era”, reflects Dorte Mandrup. “The Greenlandic bedrock is one of the oldest in the world. The Icefjord Centre soars like a boomerang or a snowy owl over the landscape. We created a place with overhangs towards the west and east, so you can find shelter in the arctic landscape. It creates its own landscape, its own place as a roof that becomes a hill or a public space or a gate between the town of Ilulissat and the vast landscape.”
Studies in sculpture, ceramics, and medicine have influenced Dorte Mandrup’s approach to architecture, which has always been ‘hands-on’. Shape and form constitute her company’s ethos – to create aesthetically pleasing spaces, are contextually relevant, and invite people to engage.
Dorte Mandrup graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, in 1991. Eight years later, she founded her Copenhagen-based studio, where she continues to be Creative Director. As a humanist with a distinct nonconformist outlook, Dorte Mandrup is well known for her commitment to the development of the architectural practice and her frequent participation in public debates. She has won numerous awards – the latest of which are: Member of the RIBA Honours Committee 2021, Architect of the Year at ICONIC Awards 2021, Visiting Professor at Mendrisio Accademia di Architettura, Switzerland, AZ Awards 2020 for Environmental Leadership, Canada, Kunstpreis Berlin by the Academy of Arts, Chairwoman of the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award 2019. In 2018 the Icefjord Centre was part of the curated international exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia.
Dorte Mandrup was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at her studio in the spring of 2021.
Camera and edit by Simon Weyhe
Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner & Simon Wehye
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling. Denne video er supported by Dreyersfond og Realdania.