Laurits Nymand Svendsen


Works for Kolbøtten

Insect hotels. A sturdy, climbable structure of 11 large insect hotels.

Many insects thrive in composting materials like leaves, branches etc. – things that are often removed from gardens or parks. Insect hotels are filled with materials like these to provide habitat for many different insect species

Collaboration with artist Malte Klagenberg.

For this commission for the day care institution Kolbøtten in Aarhus, DK, Malte Klagenberg and I made a series of 8 permanent, functional sculptures.

The sculptures are installed in Kolbøtten’s playground, which is also open to the public outside of Kolbøtten’s opening hours.

Each sculpture is intended to encourage active play, e.g. by being climbable or by serving as points of interest in the small landscape of the playground.

Most of the sculptures also have a theme that relates to biology. For example, one sculpture is a group of several large insect hotels – boxes filled with things that insects like to live in (bark, moss, branches etc.). This is meant to offer the children and pedagogues at Kolbøtten several playing and learning activities like choosing and finding materials and observing insects.

To make the sculptures stand out visually, they are all based on hexagonal shapes. This also has a practical dimension, as several hexagons put together provides a very stable structure.

The eight sculptures are:

-A climbable structure of 11 insect hotels.

-A bird hotel with 8 nesting boxes.

-A telescope for watching birds on a bird feeder.

-2 mini biomes, or sealed off ecosystems.

-A climbable structure of 6 planter boxes.

-A bench with a fruit tree at its center.

-An upright frame with a hook for attaching hanging objects.

Bird hotel with eight nesting boxes. Many birds prefer to nest in the holes of dead trees. In cities, where dead trees are rare, nesting boxes can be a compensation. These nesting boxes were made to suit several social bird species. Here, several families of sparrows have moved in

2 mini biomes, or sealed off ecosystems

The biomes can be opened, so children and pedagogues at Kolbøtten can change their contents

6 climbable planter boxes, here seen immediately after completion (top right) and after 1/2 year (during a very, very dry summer)

Steel frame with hook for attachable objects. Here, a large prism is hanging from the hook. Other objects can be used for different kinds of play

Bench for sitting in a circle (or hexagon). Once the tree in the middle grows larger, this becomes a spot for shade in the playground