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  • 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale

    2016 Venice Architecture Biennale

    The 15th International Architecture Exhibition is under the direction of Alejandro Aravena, a Chilean architect whose firm, Elemental S.A., won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2016. He has stated that, “the 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be about focusing and learning from architectures that are able to escape the status quo. Whether through intelligence, intuition, or both of them at the same time. We would like to present cases that propose and do something. We would like to show that in the permanent debate about the quality of the built environment, there is not only need but also room for action”.

    The president of La Biennale supports Aravena by saying, “this Biennale intends to react once again to the gap between architecture and civil society, which in recent decades has transformed architecture into spectacle on the one hand, yet made it dispensable on the other. Among architects of the new generation, Alejandro Aravena is, in our opinion, the one who can best describe this reality and highlight its vitality.”

    One of the biggest changes to this year’s Biennale is its extension, lasting from May 28- November 27. This is due to its growing popularity and conversation amongst architecture students throughout the world. Some of the big excitement from students has come from contributors such as Peter Zumthor, David Chipperfield, Herzog & de Meuron, Normal Foster, Renzo Paino, Rem Koolhaas, and SANAA. 33 of the Biennale participants are under the age of 40, which is an incredible feat showing the quality and sophistication that exists within youth in contemporary architecture practices and schooling. Themes for the exhibition are geared to promote important global issues, including:

    • Problems related to refugees and migration
    • The changing and evolving role of the home
    • The economic, new methods of construction
    • Construction labor issues
    • The need for low cost housing
    • Recycling & reuse

    These issues are largely dealt with in graduate and undergraduate thesis projects, which could be a factor in the large draw to the millennial generation for this year’s, and recent years,’ Biennales.
    Click here to see the complete list of 2016 Biennale participants.

  • Switzerland Bienale Pavillion Design Lead by Christian Kerez

    Switzerland Bienale Pavillion Design Lead by Christian Kerez

    The Switzerland 2016 Venice Bienale Pavilion, “Incidental Space,” under the direction of Zurich based architect Christian Kerez, is a provocative entry aimed to raise the controversial question of architecture’s role in production and experience. The pavilion’s installation encompasses a grotesque and cloudlike exterior with a gaping and corroded looking interior. The fibre-cement structure has two openings that have visual ambiguity inspired by geological, anatomical, and organic imagery.

    With no direct intention for the piece, it is up to participants to define their own experience and determine the significance of the project.

    As Kerez describes, "What we were looking for here is openness in terms of meaning; it's not a symbolic space, it is not a referential space, it allows you to initiate a pure encounter with architecture."
    The model building began with experimenting with sugar and dust, which led to the final result of a full scale plotted and CNC milled structure. However, the extensive use of 3D modeling software to create the knobby and decrepit forms, did not take precedence over the physical manifestation of the piece. The “return to hand” in this year’s Bienale is a value that has been reinforced by hot ticket participant Peter Zumthor. Primitive in principle and form, “Incidental Space” is a euphoric and stark departure that seeks to challenge and redefine ideas of beauty, production and experience in contemporary practice.

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