Monday, June 11, 2018

Arsenale: National Pavilions - 16th International Biennale Architecture – 2018 – Italy – Albania – Solvenia – Croatia – Kingdom of Bahrain – Kosovo – Ireland - China

Italian Pavilion - Arcipelago Italia
Curator – Mario Cucinella

The Italian pavilion takes the visitor on a journey through the Arcipelago Italia. The aim is to communicate the spirit of territories that are far from the metropolitan imagination, territories that are the custodians of an inestimable cultural heritage, which show Italy to be in contrast with Europe’s urban structure, a chink in the armor. In projection in the first pavilion at the start of the tour, a docufilm produced by Rai Cinema describes these territories. Eight large books, metaphors for a printed guide, make it possible to explore them, charting as many itineraries along which visitors can discover possible links among a sampling of contemporary architecture, historical villages, excursions, and other initiatives.

Curator Mario Cucinella

Italian Pavilion - Arcipelago Italia

The second pavilion is the result of a polyphonic design process, multi-disciplinary and wide-ranging, coordinated by the curator and his staff and conducted by a collective embracing six emerging architectural firms in collaboration with the local universities and various professional offices of excellence in the study of the locations. In this space, left completely free and available for use, a large table reproduces Arcipelago Italia and the five prototype designs.
Off-Cells – a Work-Place for the Foreste Casentinesi
architectural and landscape models


Albanian Pavilion – Zero Space - From Utopias to Eutopic Tirana
Curator - Elton Koritari
Exhibitor - VARKA Arkitekture -  
Fablab Tirana

Tirana’s Zero Space, where cosmos and chaos are fused with no predetermined contact point, is exposed in this installation through a sensorial experience created by composing elements that aim to include all the senses and guide the visitor in a journey perceiving the free space and true essence of the city. The public is therefore engaged with its sounds, shadows, lack of perception of the verge, but at the same time free to create the space and modify the physical configuration of the pavilion. Intentionally or not, the public becomes not only a spectator but also the protagonist creating a spatial form, growing cognitively into a tourist, or even more a citizen of Tirana. The Albanian pavilion opens its comfortable doors, full of colors, sounds, scents and shades of Tirana, in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.


 The Republic of Slovenia Pavilion – Living with Water
Curator - Matevz Celik Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)
Exhibitors: Ana Abram, Tim Daniel Battelino, Bradley Cantrell, Moa Carlsson, Matt Choot, Nina Granda, Matevz Granda, Ulrika Karlsson, David J Klein, Milos Kosec, Maj Plemenitas, Bika Rebek, Marta Vahtar.

Water is an element essential to life and a distinctive feature of landscape, an indispensable resource that can however also be a source of danger if not managed appropriately. An interactive infinity fountain invites us to reflect on a different approach to managing water, by way of well-informed stakeholders and the necessary, courageous policies. The Pavilion features installations on the relationships between geology, architecture, regions and landscapes from spatial, temporal and operational points of view.

Croatian Pavilion - Cloud Pergola/The Architecture of Hospitality
Curator - Bruno Juricic
 Exhibitors - Alisa Andrasek, Vlatka Horvat, Bruno Juricic,
Maja Kuzmanovic

Cloud Pergola/The Architecture of Hospitality at the Croatian pavilion is conceived as a collaborative site-specific environment, an installation crossing the boundaries of architecture, art, engineering, robotic fabrication and computational models. The exhibition is structured through the interplay of three interventions: Cloud Drawing by Alisa Andrasek in collaboration with Bruno JuricicTo Still the Eye by Vlatka Horvat and Ephemeral Garden by Maja Kuzmanovic. In the cultural context of the Mediterranean, the typology of pergola (a minor architectural element) maps a specific experience. As a simple, elementary, vernacular structure, possessing a vivid spatial gesture inhabiting the space in-between private and public, man-made and natural environment, a natural shadow and shelter from the sun. The installation proposes that the space of hospitality, as experienced under the pergola, is based on the fact that the role of boundaries, either physical or non-physical, is not any more to enclose space, or police its boundaries, but rather to form tissue for osmotic exchange. Furthermore, to recognise the active participation of non-human forces in ‘Events’ and understanding that the agency of space spawns beyond human purposiveness.

Maja Kuzmanovic

The Kingdom of Bahrain – Friday Sermon
Curators: Nora Akawi, Noura Al Sayeh
Exhibitors: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Khyam Allami, Batool Al Shaikh, Matilde Cassani, Jawad Dukhgan, Sarah Faruki, Hasan Hujairi, Giuseppe Ielasi, Maryam Jomairi, Mezna Qato, Sadia Shirazi, Gizem Sivri, Apparata – Nicholas Lobo Brennan and Astrid Smitham

A ritual and space organized by oratory practice, the Friday Sermon has historically played an important role in the shaping of collective life, public opinion and common space for Muslim communities. For believers, it is a regular pulse of collective listening on the social and political conditions of the time. The Friday khutbah takes root in a pre-Islamic Arab tradition of epic poem and speech recitation. This ritual continued during the early days of Islam, gathering people around the mosque and eventually giving shape to planned congregational spaces in Arab cities that would accommodate these gatherings. To this day, the sites of the Friday sermon create a network of public spaces temporarily activated through mass assembly. While they’re not quite sites of debate, they represent the most visible expression of public gathering across the Arab world. Whether as a channel for domination and propaganda or for emancipation and liberation, whether conservative or progressive, the Friday khutbah has the ears of millions of believers around the world. Khutbat Al-Jom’ah/Friday Sermon traces the evolution and apparatus of this ritual of preaching and collective listening in selected cities around the world.
 Shah Mosque – Esfahan – Iran

Nicholas Lobo Brennan, Matilde Cassani, Noura Al Sayeh
Astrid Smitham

Matilde Cassani – Leonardo Gatti
Four unknown types of minibars and their historical significance


The Republic of Kosovo - The City is Everywhere
Curator/Exhibitor - Eliza Hoxha

Everything that the center and the city in general provided for years for everyone, in the period of 1990s for Albanians was dispersed into pieces and shrank into the private houses and locations in the edge areas of the city. A house became a school, a restaurant, a promotion place, an office, an art gallery, a hospital and a home at the same time. This reversal and merge of private and public, of closed and open, inside and outside, intimacy and transparency on one side affected the housing typology and urban fabric in general extending the city further into its margins. The private space opened to the public making the house a metaphor for the city during occupation period. The city became a net of heterotopic spaces parallel to official public spaces and institutions. Every house provided a piece of a mirror of the city. All these could be seen as “places where things found their ground and stability” during a very uncertain, violent and unstable time in Kosovo.

Irish Pavilion – Free Market
Curators: Miriam Delaney, Jo Anne Butler, Laurence Lord, Tara Kennedy, Orla Murphy, Jeffrey Bolhuis

Free Market investigates the potential of the marketplace as a ‘free space’ in Ireland’s rural towns. Small town market places, once the economic and social hubs of rural Ireland, have undergone fundamental changes; contemporary forces of the global and online economy, technological developments and car dependency have seen the market space lose its pivotal position within towns. Free Market provides observations on the rich history and character of these spaces and proposes ways they could be reclaimed as valuable sites of interaction and community. This exhibition is built on the research of the teams, and on the lived experience of these spaces, to re-imagine the shared urban territory of the small town market place. The Irish pavilion at Venice is just one stage of an on-going project of study and proposal; the Free Market exhibition continues to evolve as it will visits Irish market towns in 2019, where it will gather stories, ideas and participants and act a catalyst for change in the way we think about small market towns and plan for their future.

Tara Kennedy, Jeffrey Bolhuis, Orla Murphy, Laurence Lord
Jo Anne Butler


Irish Pavilion – Free Market
Model - Market Square, Athenry with Free Market Pavilion

The People’s Republic of China Pavilion - Building a Future Countryside
Curator: Li Xiangning
Exhibitors: Dong Yugan, Hua Li, Liu Yuyang, Philip F. Yuan, Rural Urban Framework, Zhang Lei, Atelier Archmixing, Atelier Deshaus, Chen Haoru, China New Rural Planning and Design, Dong Gong, Drawing Architecture Studio, Hsieh Ying-Chun, Jin Jiangbo, Li Yikao, Li Xinggang, Seung H-ang, Nishizawa Ryue, Li Zhenyu, Lyu Pinjing, Naturalbuild, O-office Architects, temp architects, Xu Tiantian, Zhang Li, Zhao Yang, Zhu Jingxiang.
Whether in the yellow Loess Plateau or in the water towns south of the Yangtze River, in the vast and abundant land of north-eastern China or in the green and beautiful farmlands of southern China, hundreds and thousands of villages have become sites for industrial development, self-building and cultural creation. These sites are enjoying tremendous opportunities offered by technological innovations in the Internet, logistics business, sharing economy and so on. The development of the countryside in contemporary China is unprecedented in both its scale and its approaches. More importantly, it anticipates a new solution based on China’s unique condition. Building a Future Countryside depicts the countryside of contemporary China through six episodes. With poetical dwelling, local producing, cultural practice, agricultural tourism, community building and future exploring, the exhibition outlines a Freespace for opportunity and anticipates future development. We return to the countryside where Chinese culture originated to recover forgotten values and overlooked possibilities; from there, we will build a future countryside.

 The People’s Republic of China Pavilion 
Building a Future Countryside


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