The Venice Architecture Biennale is an exhibition providing an overview about the current situation of architecture around the world. This year for the 16th edition, curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara chose the topic of FREESPACE. Over 71 national participants joined from all over the world to present their interpretation of the topic. At the Biennale participants attempt to make architecture understandable and desirable not only for professionals but also for the public. The Architecture Biennale gives examples, motives and topics for thoughts and discussions and provides a place for a free dialog and new activities.
SVIZZERA 240/ Switzerland
This years Biennale winners Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg and Ani Vihervaara invite the visitor in an unusual “House tour” within the Swiss pavilion.
The pavillion draws attention to an architecture hidden in the domestic interiors of contemporary housing. Well known interiors of empty rental flats which usually consist of a volume of 240 cm in height, white walls and parquet flooring are descaled, alienated and differently interpreted.
The “House tour” invites the observer to a journey not through the real home but rather through descaled, exaggerated images of apartments. Where the scale of a daily objects provides the different appreciation of the well known places.
The honorable mentioned “Island” created by Caruso St. Jones Architects and the Artist Marcus Taylor deals with themes of abandonment, isolation, emptiness, reconstruction and current political situation.
“Island” is an interpretation of Alejandro de la Sota “make as much nothing as possible”, where the emptiness delivers opportunity for discussion and new meaning.
The project consists of two parts:
One, the abandoned pavilion, empty, filled only with traces of the previous use and memories. The empty place invites the visitor for reflection and a new interpretation. Through the whole period of the Biennale students and creatives will interpret the empty pavilion with their own ideas and projects.
The second, The platform, is an open air terrace, reminding of an italian piazza, built on the top of the old pavillion. In the middle of the terrasse the roof of the old pavillion can be seen, reminding of the floating island. The terrasse is open to the public for various activities.
HOLY SEE/ Vatican
The Holy See pavilion invites the visitor to a journey through eleven “Vatican Chapels” built on the St. Giorgio island in Venice.
The church built by the architect Gunnar Asplund the cemetery of Stockholm was taken as a main concept for the Vatican pavilion and presented for the first time on this Architecture Biennale.
Various architects were encouraged to interpret the concept of the chapel in their own creative architectural language. Each chapel is unique and creates a different atmosphere through the variety of the shapes, material and the light constellations.
Text and picutres by Alexandra Polyakova