Greenhouse-like pavilion encloses Danish sand and plants to create “dynamic ecosystem”

Architecture collective Barila has aimed to highlight how architecture should interact with nature with its Dune pavilion at Copenhagen’s Chart Art Fair, which was captured in this video produced as part of the Dezeen x Chart 2022 collaboration.

Called Dune, the structure is one of five temporary pavilions installed in the courtyards of the Charlottenborg mansion as part of the 10th edition of the Chart in Copenhagen.

Created by Barila – an ongoing collaboration between Brøn Studio, GRZA and VLA – the pavilion features a greenhouse-like structure wrapped in a transparent facade.

Architecture collective Barila have designed a greenhouse-like pavilion for Chart Art Fair 2022

The interior has been filled with a mound of sand sourced from Danish sand dunes in a bid to “frame nature and emphasise the difference between the natural and artificial”.

The design team intended for the pavilion to be a piece of bio architecture in itself by planting wildlife with roots that would stabilise the sand to create “its own dynamic ecosystem”.

The design is a conceptual proposal that aims to suggest that architecture should embrace natural environments by drawing attention to the formal composition of soil as a material.

“Rather than mimicking nature, bio architecture, or simply architecture, should allow nature to develop freely, taking advantage of its intrinsic qualities and only in certain circumstances enhancing its performance,” said the designers.

Dune Pavilion by Barila Collective
It is one of five pavilions at the fair

The Dune pavilion was built as part of Chart‘s annual architecture competition that invites students, young architects, designers and artists across the Nordic region to submit design proposals that respond to a new theme each year.

This year the brief was set to the theme of bio architecture, aiming to provoke a discussion surrounding the symbiotic relationship between architecture and nature and exploring how new materials can foster sustainability within the built environment.

“We asked for proposals to explore the relation between building, body and biology, and we got mycelium, fungus, sand and a series of other new ideas,” said Chart director Nanna Hjortenberg. “I’m excited to see them come to life.”

Dune Pavilion by Barila Collective
The structure is filled with a mound of sand sourced from Danish sand dunes

The pavilions were selected by a jury of architects and design specialists including BIG founder Bjarke Ingels, Snøhetta co-founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, speculative designer Pleun van Dijk, curator Maria Foerlev, author Ditte Lysgaard Vind and Johanne Hestvold, who will choose an overall winner at the end of the fair.

During the course of the fair, the pavilions will be used as bars, restaurants and hangout areas.

Pavilions from previous years include a restaurant covered with microgreens and a structure made out of inflatable bags, which responded to the theme of social architecture.

Now in its 10th year, Chart is an annual event comprising exhibitions, talks, performances, music and book fairs, bringing together art enthusiasts, design professionals and collaborators.

The photography is by Joakim Züger / Barsk project.

Chart takes place from 26 to 28 August 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This article was written as part of a partnership with Chart Art Fair. Find out more about our partnership content here.

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