Dorte Mandrup

Dorte Mandrup

Where Place Meets Sculpture

Rising from the landscape in a place rich with materiality and history sits architect Dorte Mandrup’s new Wadden Sea Centre. Meet the renowned architect and see a building were “everything comes together.”

“It’s interesting that architecture exists in a strange place between the practical and pragmatic, finances and technique, and yet it needs to have an artistic expression,” Dorte Mandrup says. A work of architecture becomes a question of finding the right aesthetic solution to a local challenge or, in the language of architects: “the synthesis of the parameters you’re working with. When it falls into place, you know it.”

At the Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe, Denmark, the challenge was to unite the new centre’s functions and the very particular landscape in which it is built. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Wadden Sea is a unique natural reserve with a rich wildlife and a specific tradition of low buildings in tile and thatch, a history that the architects wanted to include in the building. Using local, traditional materials and building techniques such as thatch the Wadden Sea Centre has “a different sculptural quality than what you otherwise see in the landscape. It’s a way of developing the tradition,” says Dorte Mandrup. As such, the building becomes an expression of Mandrup’s way of thinking architecture: One must transcend the technical – “there must be an artistic message otherwise it doesn’t matter.”

Dorte Mandrup (b. 1961) is a Danish architect and founder of Copenhagen-based Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter. Her projects include the headquarter of IKEA in Malmö, Sweden, the most environmentally friendly office building in Scandinavia and the Icefjord Centre in the UNESCO-protected area of Ilulissat, Greenland. She also headed the extension of the listed Munkegård School in Gentofte, Denmark, one of modernist architect Arne Jacobsen’s Masterpieces. She is the recipient of multiple awards, among others the 2003 Dreyer Honorary Award, the 2004 Eckersberg Medal and several WAN Awards.

Dorte Mandrup was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at the site of the Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe, Denmark, in September 2016.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Supported by Dreyers Fond

  • Peter Land

    Man Falling

    Meet an artist who uncompromisingly uses himself in his art. Inspired by his own fears and anxieties Peter Land makes disturbingly humorous work, but it was moral qualms that were behind his groundbreaking video of himself dancing naked.

  • Mika Rottenberg

    Girl Power From Another Century

    Meet the truly original video artist Mika Rottenberg! Here she shares the fascinating story behind her take on Orwell's 'Animal Farm' – a work in which a group of women with extremely long hair turn things around – and take fate into their own hands.

  • Vigdis Hjorth

    I am not a Pretty Postcard

    “Writing is the relationship between head, gut and hand.” Vigdis Hjorth is considered one of the strongest voices in contemporary Norwegian literature. She here shares why it is essential for her well-being to be able to express herself in writing.

  • Yona Friedman

    Architecture of Trial and Error

    “Don't forget that very important cities today started by immigration.” Meet the 94-year-old architect behind 'L’Architecture Mobile', Yona Friedman. He here shares the story of how his years as a refugee sparked his desire to make architecture adaptable.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    'Mama Africa' is a Construct

    In this short interview Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito discusses his provocative video work, in which he through three blazing speeches addresses the legacy of the western logic of ownership and debt, not least regarding a construct like ‘Africa’.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    What are You Willing to Die for?

    Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito has been dubbed “the future star of the art world.” He here talks about his invigorating multidisciplinary practice, which investigates universally human characteristics in a teasing, polemic and humorous way.

  • Marina Abramović

    Electricity Passing Through

    For more than 50 years trailblazing performance artist Marina Abramović has used her own body and energy as her main artistic material. In this powerful interview, the artist looks back on her radical practice: “It was like the first woman walking on the moon.”

  • The Story of Marina Abramović & Ulay

    Legendary couple in performance art – Marina Abramović and Ulay – lived together for 12 years and made pioneering work as a duo. In this extraordinary double interview the artists look back on their relationship – from their first meeting in 1975 until now.

  • 11 Artists

    on Photography

    “We are so oversaturated with images, so it’s about one question: Can I hold you - can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?” Watch Catherine Opie, Wim Wenders, Jeff Wall and 8 other artists on the power and potential of photography.

  • Julie Nord

    The Power of Drawing

    “It’s the closest you get to silence – or skin. There’s so little between me as an artist and my material.” Artist Julie Nord here shares her attraction to the "no bullshit" of drawing. Visit her studio and take a peek at how she makes her surreal, fairy tale-like drawings.

  • Nina Saunders

    A Cultural Warrior

    Meet artist Nina Saunders who plays with the familiar by twisting it in surprising ways. She here discusses her humorous yet disturbing work – made from discarded upholstered furniture and stuffed animals – which comments on our world.

  • Erica Jong

    Sexuality and Creativity

    “The urge to create and the urge to copulate are very close.” Watch the iconic feminist writer Erica Jong speak candidly of being fuelled creatively by desire, her experiences as a female writer and what she has come to realize about men.