Pavilions to visit at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

This year’s theme for the Venice Architecture Biennale was “Reporting from the front”, inviting each country to share their experiences and troubles in a productive manner. It is rarely that we dedicate architecture to the mistake and errors done, and the initiative is one that will influence future architectural approach.

  1. “Beyond Bending” – ETH Zurich
Courtesy of Iwan Baan

Courtesy of Iwan Baan

Located inside the Corderie dell’Arsenale, is based on the idea that architecture should respect its historical, natural and social heritage. The team, consisting in the engineering firm Ochsendorf, Dejong & Block and the Escobedo Group, appart from the ETH Block Research Group led by Prof. Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele, proposes a new use of traditional craftsmanship.

The work consists in a large range of elements, most notably the huge stone vault, accompanied by vaulted floor systems and a series of “graphical force diagrams”, in order to prove that excess steel can be eliminated through the research of the natural flow of compressive forces in the 3D existence. Therefore, materials such as earth and stone can be reinterpreted for contemporary and future use.

  1. “Unfinished” – Gabinete de Arquitectura – Spain
Courtesy of Gabinete de Arquitectura

Courtesy of Gabinete de Arquitectura

Gabinete de Arquitectura, winners of the Golden Lion award within the Biennale, have envisioned a structure that pays tribute to the architectural existence of the country after the economic crisis.

The pavilion respects the ideology sustained by this year’s director, Alejandro Aravena, famous for the humanitarian and social-solving architecture. The architects have stated that they have “harnessed simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities”.

  1. “Selfie Automaton” – Tiberiu Bucşa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei & Andrei Durloi – Romania
Courtesy of Selfie Automaton Team

Courtesy of Selfie Automaton Team

The exhibition consists in 7 mechanical automata, featuring build marionettes (humans and other creatures). Is it an irony towards the age of the selfie, when we, architects, should rise above the idyllic image everyone is trying to promote of themselves.

The puppets are stripped from their typical existence, their strings being removed and replaced with a mechanism that allows only one repetitive pattern, and visitors will be able to control these mechanisms and create their own show.

  1. “Heroic free shipping” – Stefan Basic, Ana Sulkic & Igor Sjeverac – Serbia
Courtesy of Stefan Basic, Ana Sulkic and Igor Sjeverac

Courtesy of Stefan Basic, Ana Sulkic and Igor Sjeverac

This particular exhibition explores the existence of the young architects within the industry, and the obstacles that must be overcome within the architectural journey. The installation invites visitors to interact with the elements of the pavilion.

The curvilinear walls are the focus element of the exhibition, hinting to the idea of “work”. The is a combination of “typing keyboards, , plug sockets on the ground, and stacks of cover letters”, showcasing the life of the young architect alongside the carrer path chosen.

Courtesy of Stefan Basic, Ana Sulkic and Igor Sjeverac

Courtesy of Stefan Basic, Ana Sulkic and Igor Sjeverac

  1. Australia – Amelia Holliday, Isabelle Toland & Michelle Tabet
Courtesy of Brett Boardman

Courtesy of Brett Boardman

An installation that showcases the municipal pool as a center of the Australian public space, much like the European piazza. Once icon settings for events revolving around Australia’s Indigenous community riots, now pools are starting to get closed due to financial difficulties.

The team have stated, regarding public pools, that “It’s a very key public space in Australian culture, a place where everyone’s equal, everyone’s welcome.”

Bonus: Don’t forget to visit the US Pavilion, where Greg Lynn will be using HoloLens!

 

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