A House to Die In

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Institute of Contemporary Arts
A House to Die In

The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH
United Kingdom
September 25th, 2012 - November 18th, 2012
Opening: September 25th, 2012 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

+44 (0)20 7930 0493
Tue-Sun11-11; We are closed Mondays, except for fig-2 openings which will take place in the ICA studio every Monday from 6-8pm throughout 2015. Please access the Studio via the ramp entrance from Carlton House Terrace.


Bjarne Melgaard: A House to Die In is the result of a close collaboration between Bjarne Melgaard and award winning architectural firm Snøhetta. Since 2011, Melgaard and Snøhetta have exchanged architectural dawings, models and documents as they work towards the realisation of a purpose built house, where Melgaard will live and work, scheduled to be built in 2014 in Oslo, Norway.

For his exhibition in the ICA Upper and Lower Galleries, Melgaard presents a 1:1 facade of the proposed building, alongside models and drawings that form part of a wider body of research.

The collaborative process between Melgaard and Snøhetta is a positive struggle in which both parties are constantly challenged, notably in Snøhetta's interpretation of Melgaard’s two-dimensional and analogue drawings through three-dimensional digital renderings of the objects. Various processes of mathematical abstraction have led to multiple stages of representation of the original information, namely Melgaard’s vision of a house ‘to die in’, a project outside their comfort zone. Snøhetta’s focus is primarily architectural; whilst Melgaard’s foremost fear is to end up inhabiting the territory of ‘pure architecture’. In this process Snøhetta seek a new approach to constructing built forms.

At the same time there is a fine balance between thinking and simply producing in this process, as the aim is to maintain the inherent quality and identity of Melgaard’s work in the end result. The works in the Upper Galleries will further examine the relationship between mental health and production, displaying a body of works developed in partnership between Melgaard and a group of schizophrenic artists who have responded directly to the artist’s existing works.

The house is commissioned by the Selvaag family and Sealbay AS.  

Exhibition supported by The Henry Moore Foundation

Henry Moore

Additional support from

With thanks to Guido Baudach