Slowness dignified: The work of Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects. As the only Finnish participant, Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects were invited to take part in the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Architects Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman are known for their work in humanitarian architecture in, for instance, Senegal, Tanzania and India, and have received extensive international recognition for their work. The architect trio takes their expertise to developing countries through Ukumbi, the NGO they established in 2007.
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects’ work is presented via three projects: The Women’s Centre (Rufisque, Senegal, 2001), The KWIECO Women’s Shelter (Moshi, Tansania, 2015), and Learning Centre for garbage collector children (Cairo, Egypt, 2010, unbuilt). In the exhibition physical elements, as the green gates of the Kwieco Shelter and recycled bottle walls demonstrate the actual buildings. Three videos give a voice to the users of the buildings.
Jenni Reuter, Helena Sandman and Saija Hollmén are discussing the installation and the ideas behind the work during the Biennale opening days:
Voice to the ones who are not heard. Strength to the powerless, condidence to the quiet and to the ones who fear. In the course of time grows beauty, in beauty trust and dignity. Brick by brick, grant by grant – few are the architects where needed the most.” (excerpt)