Manthey Kula. Ode to Osaka Pavilion

IMG_4261The Ode to Osaka Pavilion was
exhibited at the National Museum in Oslo earlier this autumn.
The museum wanted to realize the original piece, which was an un-built competition proposal by the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn for the Osaka World Fair in 1970. Due to his passing in 2009, the Oslo based office Manthey Kula was chosen for the assignment.

I have chosen to write about the pavilion because of two main reasons. The first one is the great spacial experience I felt during the visit. By interacting with and wandering trough the pavilion, the presence of space between the installation and the visitor was strongly enhanced. By giving the room the ability to breathe and dwell, the general impression of the pavilion was in an ever-changing state and therefore always interesting.

IMG_4263As a student originating from the field of Industrial design, this experience was in many ways new to me, which made its overall impression even stronger.

The second reason why I wanted to write about the pavilion is because of the discussion it generates regarding contemporary  pieces built with fragments or origins in an earlier work. Altered by a new exhibiting environment and building process, the original proposal by Sverre Fehn became something different, but nonetheless intriguing. In our time, where copyright lawsuits occur frequently, I became excited by the fact that one is able to use fragments of existing ideas and turning them into something new. By visiting and discussing the Ode to Osaka Pavilion I learned that context, place, building process and interpretation each play their important role within the realization of a work.

IMG_4268 copyBut one question remains unanswered in this report; who is the author of the new pavilion? As I have already mentioned the exhibited installation an the National Museum was merely an altered piece of Sverre Fehn’s original proposal and should
therefore be seen as a tribute, an hommage to his vision, by Manthey Kula.