I have not always been a big fan of using concrete as an exposed material in architecture. There are so many examples of it looking sad, neglected and dirty. However, every now and again there is a building which renews my faith in concrete. The Nordic Pavilion, at the Venice Biennale, is an example of exactly such a building.
Fehn has created a giant concrete brise soleil using 1 meter tall concrete beams. By making them only 6cm thick each, light is able to pour through into the space below, but glare is reduced considerably. This creates an interesting atmosphere as there is a lot of light, but with nothing direct as such. There is a second layer of beams above the first, running perpendicular. This results in a 2 meter tall structure of thin concrete beams, an impressive piece of design.
Furthermore, the way in which nature is integrated with this design is admirable. The concrete almost seems to separate where the trees grow in order to allow them through. I would love to incorporate this with my own work, however I fear that it would be contradictory to my concept. I am trying to take people outside in to the nature, not bring the nature inside. This is definitely something to bare in mind for future projects though. An inspirational building.