Sculpting Soil - Syd For Solen

Type: Project
By: Djernes & Bell, Davide Ronco
Location: Søndermarken, Copenhagen
Date: June 2022
Published: September 2022
Photography: Davide Ronci, Hampus Berndston
Djernes & Bell architects have designed the structures and pavilions for Syd For Solen. The pavilion designs are inspired by Søndermarken and its important cultural heritage as a romantic garden. Romantic philosophy pondered the connection of humankind to nature via a harmonious co-existence and this was expressed via a new form of naturalistic garden and an appreciation of natural beauty and the sublime. Historical depictions of romantic garden follies in Søndermarken Copenhagen have inspired a new set of follies or pavilions which aim to illustrate interconnectedness and a regenerative material culture by showcasing circular or bio-based local materials and building crafts.
In close collaboration with Humble & Curious creative consultancy, Djernes & Bell invited artists & craftsfolk working within bio-based regenerative fields to communicate the hope that lies within increased sensitivity to material connectedness and bio-ethics.

The primary structures were designed as scaffolding frameworks and were inspired by historic timber-frame constructions. Danish Scaffolding Service, a local scaffolding contractor assisted with the crafting of this utmost circular system - some elements which have been in circulation for over 70 years. This enabled a no-dig build and created the framework for artists and craftsmen to showcase their materials.

Two bars are shaped from the soil of the neighbouring Frederiksberg Gardens by the hands of artist and ceramicist Davide Ronco. A bar of air dried earthen blocks and a bar in adobe invite festival-goers to feel our earthen mineral heritage and closeness to the soil, which essentially contains fragments of history and holds the hopes for future growth. After the festival has ended, the soil will be returned to the gardens and used to nurture new life.

The artists & craftsmen offered educational workshops during the production of the installations, where participants could learn about building with earth, thatching or making bio-textiles, and after that have their work as part of the larger art installations.

After the festival, the earth was returned to the gardeners, the thatch was collected as yealms for re-use, textiles and off-cut furniture stored for use next year and the scaffolding returned to the system.