DAC celebrates women in architecture | The work that has shaped society

The Women in Architecture exhibition was developed in collaboration with the research project from the University of Copenhagen, ‘Women in Danish Architecture 1925-75’ 

The Danish Architecture Centre shines a spotlight on the industry’s most influential females through history in its latest exhibition, Women in Architecture. 

Through a showcase of inspiring projects and installations, thought-provoking questions such as who are the overlooked women in Danish architecture, and how can prominent international architects inspire us to create spaces that improve our quality of life, are addressed. 

The entrance of the exhibition displays images of the Women’s Building (Kvindernes bygning) by Ragna Grubb, the first woman in Danish history to win an architecture competition

According to the DAC, Female architectural achievements and breakthroughs throughout history are less visible in the annals of architecture than their male colleagues, but they have significantly shaped the world we live in today. 

The exhibition has been carefully curated to highlight projects designed by Danish architects including Hanne Kjærholm, Karen Clemmesen, Lene Tranberg, Dorte Mandrup, and others. There are also impressive installations by international architectural studios such as Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Helen & Hard, and Madrid’s Ensamble Studio.  

Helen & Hard’s installation ‘Body & Mind Spa’ is formed from layered arched beams made of off-cuts from wood flooring

Within the Room of One’s Own section, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1929 extended essay, ideas of rest, intimacy, and space are explored. The timber-constructed installation Body & Mind Spa by Helen & Hard recreates at 50% scale a wellness space designed for Serbian artist Marina Abramovic’s summer home. Sustainability is at the heart of the project which uses off-cuts from Danish floor manufacturer Dinesen, and the installation will be repurposed following the exhibition.  

“It is a rarity to find a space that is intended for being present as an individual in the company of others while also being in touch with the world around us,” said Siv Helene Stangeland, co-founder of Helen & Hard Architects. 

Siv Helene Stangeland, co-founder of Helen & Hard

“The design comes together with great care and awareness of the source of materials and how they are made, shaped, and put together. The time spent on the prototype should be evident in the various elements: the pinewood planks that are cleverly joined together, the tree rings in the gnarled oak trunks used for seating, and the thickness of the handmade wool felt,” Siv Helene Stangeland adds.

Diversity and interdisciplinary collaborations featured in the exhibition provide an insight into the contributions architects have and continue to make to the world we live in. The floor is given to numerous contemporary architects, such as Dorte Mandrup, Lene Tranberg, Lene Dammand Lund, Thea Christine Høeg, and Christina Gimenez, asking questions gender issues and equality. 

Visitors are left with the final note of Future Dreams, a space that delves into the experiences of four young female architects who work in the spectrum of urban space, design, buildings, and green transition. 

The Women In Architecture archive was developed in collaboration with the research project from the University of Copenhagen, ‘Women in Danish Architecture 1925-75’, where Jannie Bendsen, Svava Riesto, Henriette Steiner and Liv Løvetand Rahbek have contributed research-based knowledge and curatorial input.

Women in Architecture is on display at the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen until 23rd October 2022. 

The installations provide fascinating and never-before-told stories of women in architecture

Photography by Laura Stamer.

Read about all the exhibitions on the line up at the Danish Architecture Centre.

Don’t miss all of the latest industry news on enki, including our interview with Rosa Rogina to discuss this year’s London Festival of Architecture, its important theme, Act, and diverse programme.

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