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Rebeauty

Vandkunsten Architects

The aesthetic of efficiency: the renovation of 1001 atrium houses of Albertslund South.


Shown at the Danish Pavilion at 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2018) "Rebeauty" is the quest for new aesthetic building components made from preused materials.
The video presents the renovation of 1001 atrium houses of Albertslund South built in 1970s: to complete such a task, Vandkunsten Architects proposed a renovation strategy based on a hypothesis of three types of available resources: economy, energy, and culture.

"This low-rise Danish Modernist interpretation of an English Garden City is also a reaction against the high-rise social housing projects of the era scattered across the urban peripheries of Europe" noted Lawrence Davis. "Innovative for the time, the community was initially very popular with its new residents. Designed by architects Faellestegnestuen, it is composed of single floor houses and gardens, the latter intended to supply the new settlement with food." However, time has proven this housing projects to be ecologically inefficient, overly uniform, anonymous and boring.
In 2012 a competition was carried out to find new solutions and new ways to reuse the dismantled buildings of the social housing estate: different proposals were submitted. The Albertslund South renovation started in 2014 and is still in progress and will be completed in 2022.
"Rebeauty" short film explains a new metamorphic system that would renovates the prefabricated units through the use of reused and reusable materials, such as wood flooring, aluminum trim, steel studs, flattened pipes, clay tiles and sliced hollow core concrete slabs, that would not only enhance thermal performance and reduce the projects carbon footprint but also elaborate its tectonic expression.

The Vandkunsten Architects' videos is simple yet straightforward: through the presentation of the Albertslund South's units, it points out the weakness and the possible solutions to its problems. Minimalistic, clean images - symmetric views, still frames - of the residences interlaced with texts, that works as a recap, are presented next to the reusable materials chosen by the firm (shot in studio, an aesthetically pleasing vision that gives a spin to how we think about the "recycled" stuff), to design a new space, more ecologically efficient and aesthetically various.

Responding to the "Freespace" theme for the 2018 Biennale di Venezia, co-directed by Yvonne Farrell and Shelly Mc Namara, this video was created by Vandkunsten Architects under the art direction of Julie Hunæus Reuter, together with the editorial team formed by Anne-Mette Manelius, Asbjørn Staunstrup Lund and Salma Zavari, for the installation Rebeauty, part of the Danish Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2018. Danish Pavilion overall theme is the "Power of Collaborative Innovation".

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Vandkunsten Architects
Mentioned project: Renovation of the Atrium Houses (Gårdhusene) (2014-2022)
Project location: Albertslund South, Copenhagen, Denmark
Art direction and edit: Julie Hunæus Reuter
Editorial team: Anne-Mette Manelius, Asbjørn Staunstrup Lund, Salma Zavari
Still and moving photography of the Albertslund renovation: Julie Hunæus Reuter
Moving images reference the documentary: “Albertslund Syd Gårdhus-typen - En film om montagebyggeri” – by Dirk Brüel (around mid 1960s)

Denmark 2018
Duration: 3'59"