Drømmegavlen – Dream Wall, Copenhagen

The Wall of dreams is locates on Gadekærvej in Valby, a suburb of Copenhagen.

The Dream Wall lights up an hour before the sun goes down and continues to shine until the sun rises. During the night, when residents are asleep, the lights are dimmed to twenty percent, and just before the sunrise, the dream wall lights up again to maximum strength until it turns off with the full morning sun.

The Norwegian poet Olaf Bull said that art can make us see our neighbours gable for the first time. He believes that art can make us see the familiar and mundane for the first time or in a new way. It is in this everyday that we find ourselves, and in our home, that we live and dream.

The Dream Wall is a collection of the dreams from the people who live just behind the wall. It is not their night dreams, but the dreams that they have for the future and for the present.

In other words, it is the residents’ inner thoughts, which are visible on the gable’s end wall. In this way, the gable wall is a dream membrane between that which takes place within the housing’s walls, and that which is visible on the exterior of the housing complex.

It was my dream that by collecting residents’ dreams and putting them on the facade, the gable wall would become a part of their reality and hopefully make them proud of the place they live in.

The text wall is made from stenciled aluminium plates, which are then mounted at a distance of 10 centimeters from the wall. During the day, the light plays with the gable wall differently. The sun and shadow bring the gable wall to life giving it a vibrancy that is new every time you look at it. The remaining wall beneath the plates has been painted, so that there is an interaction and contrast between the wall’s original façade and the text plates.

There illumination panels beneath the plates are LED light so that the artwork is lit in an unobtrusive and consistent manner in the evenings and at night. One gets a sense of being welcomed when they come home in the evenings or at night. The work has contributed to the area in many positive ways, and the building has become a place you want to come home to and a place you want to approach, or even spend time in.

It was my intention that when the work is seen from far away, it appears as a mosaic or ornamentation on the facade, and only when you come closer to the facade will you be invited to the reading the stenciled text

My vision is that people in Valby should sit in front of the wall and look up the gable remarking: See, that’s my dream. Or maybe they will read other people’s dreams and marvel and wonder and be inspired.

It was important for me to make a point of collecting dreams from residents. It was done by sending out letters, by showing up at residents’ housing meetings, and by running dream workshops with the children.

By formulating the dreams so that each starts with “I dream of …” (Jeg drømmer om…)  I hope that the dream texts appear as a single, huge statement, so that it is the house itself that speaks or stands like big glowing letters in the night.

Over time, the Dream Wall will gather new meaning. It will become a time capsule and a mental snapshot of the residents in the housing complex from the year 2015. Perhaps the dreams will come true, and others will just come. Some residents mights be relocated, while new ones will move in and begin to dream new dreams.

Working with the Dream Wall has been in a close and fruitful cooperation with Ramboll architects, who have also managed the renovation of the entire building. From Ramboll, I worked closely with the following persons among others: Vladan Paunovic, Katja Waage Pedersen, Lars Jevanord, Sidsel Hodge

Address: Gadekærvej on the gable wall facing Valby open space turned against Valby Station.

Collaboration Partners: Domea, Ramboll, Enemærke & Petersen A / S, Copenhagen and the Danish Arts Foundation

Budget: 920000 -DKK

The Dream Wall font and aesthetic designers: Wrong Studio, Jess Andersen and Andreas Peitersen.

Valby ‘Fortællinger og Områdefornyelsen’ gl. Valby: Ditte Bertolt Døssing

In 2017, I have begun a “mirror project” of an illuminated ‘Wall of Dreams’ from refugees around Europe, asking them the same simple question: “What do you dream about?”

Drømmegavlen – Dream Wall

Public Artwork 2015

Gadekærvej, Valby, København

Download Drømmegavlens poster > (in Danish)

DSC05979 plate detail
Images of the Drømmegavlen >