Architecture of Necessity An international triennial for sustainable community building


Architecture of Necessity
An international triennial for sustainable community building

During the autumn of 2009, Virserum Art Museum launched the international manifesto on the Architecture of Necessity.
143 entries from 28 countries were submitted for the 2010 exhibition, 42 of which went on display. Now the Architecture of Necessity is set to become an international triennial for sustainable community building.

What can be submitted?
Entries can be buildings or city and community planning projects of all sizes. Submissions have to fall within the scope of the manifesto Architecture of Necessity. Entries are accepted from professionally active individuals or legal persons such as building contractors, architectural bureaus, local government, construction firms or other companies. The submitted projects must be dated between 2010 and 2013, but do not have to be realised.

How should the entries be presented?
Entries should be presented on four A3 pages, landscape format, in one PDF document. Maximum file size 20MB. The submitted material must include a short text in english describing the project in relation to the Architecture of Necessity. The text should be in12p Helvetica Neue Light and contain no more than 2,800 characters. Site plan, plans, sections, construction details and perspectives/photographs should be enclosed.
Every entry must be submitted only once, via email. This email should contain:
Complete contact details of the participant (name, telephone number, mobile phone number, postal address and current email address), as well as the motto of the entry.
The project should be attached to the email as a single PDF document. The pdf should be named after the motto. The motto should aswell be clearly stated in the presentation text. The presentation itself shall not include name, address, company name, branding or logo.
Please submit entries to:

Entries should be submitted to Virserum Art Museum no later than 15 February 2013. Entrants chosen for inclusion in the exhibition will be notified no later than 28 March 2013. Successful participants are then required to supply high-resolution material as instructed by Virserum Art Museum. Ajury will select three to five winners. Winners will be notified within a reasonable time prior to WOOD SUMMIT SMALAND, 26 to 27 June 2013, where they will be expected to present their entries.
Taking part in the first selection process is free of charge. Entrants who are chosen for the exhibition will be required to pay a €25O service charge per chosen project. The service charge is payable to Virserum Art Museum no later than 15 April 2013.

The winners will be announced during WOOD SUMMIT SMALAND, 26 to 27 June 2013. Entrants whose projects are chosen for presentation at the summit will be reimbursed with €1200, plus travel expenses to Virserum and WOOD SUMMIT SMALAND, as well as accommodation for one person.

Jury and exhibition
An international jury will be responsible for the selection of entries and the winners. Thejury will be led by Claes Caldenby, professor of architectural theory and history at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The remainingjury members will be announced at a later date. The exhibition will be held at Virserum Art Museum between 5 May and 15 September, 2013, as part of WOOD 2013.

For more information, please contact: Maria Thyberg, Project Secretary, +46 (0)49 53 15 64,



Architecture responds to the most basic needs of human beings. It provides both protection from the elements of nature as well as spaces for passion and play. Architecture marks the threshold between nature and culture – it is humankind‘s foothold in the world. Architecture is the story of human lives and the development of society, of economic, social and cultural relationships.

In the media-controlled globalised society, architecture is increasingly becoming an implement for competition and the desirability of locations. Architecture becomes icons whose aim is to cause sensation. Poor city planning and property speculation result in social divisions, longjourneys and waste of resources. Human construction and habitation are key causes of environmental decay and climate change. The problems are global, as is the financial crisis that has plunged the world into recession.

Architecture is today facing challenges of a magnitude that modernism faced at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The thinking human being sees the necessity in taking these challenges seriously. Globalisation offers new solutions, just as the Architecture of Necessity creates new possibilities.

Architecture of Necessity is:


Architecture of Necessity requires insight and professional knowledge. It reflects human needs, both immediate and distant.
lt considers all the dimensions and consequences of architecture, even those that are not always apparent. The future of architecture lie in its constraints.

Architecture of Necessity is properly planned, considerately executed and meticulously evaluated. The planning pays attention to experience, it answers human needs, it embeds the building into its environment and the function into the building. Attention to detail and choice of material provides a proximity for users and allows for the inclusion of those involved. The evaluation generates knowledge of the continued life of the building and of future projects. Reflection ensures a long-term economy.

Architecture of Necessity avoids short-term solutions. Its premise is recycling, it strives to reduce transport and takes advantage of renewable resources. The Architecture of Necessity is long term and renewable. Materials are best recycled where they already exist in a building. Architecture must economise with resources and energy and show consideration for people.

Architecture of Necessity counteracts social and global divisions. It prevents segregation and slums by stimulating participation and development in suburbs and favelas. It defends architecture as the right of everybody and the architectural experience as a free utility. Society shall provide the space for both the everyday and the extraordinary experiences of human life for everybody.

Architecture of Necessity invites change and dialogue. It is open to rich and complex cultural traditions and narratives and is the physical embodiment of the democratic society. A building or a city is not something to be completed, it is something to be developed. The architecture that is open to change and participation will be loved and it will have a long life.

wood 2013 virserum art museum 5 may – 8 december


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