Nancy and Linda are back from Venice and are on cloud nine about their experience at the Biennale. In earlier posts we shared their impressions of the American Pavilion of this citywide event (which happened to win a Special Mention Award). Today’s post focuses on other countries’ contributions. Enjoy!
The U.S. pavilion was so large and impressive, one could easily spend a day or two there, but we were determined to take in as much of the Biennale as possible. Hopefully these photos will convey the variety of projects on display, showcasing the world’s achievements in urban design, landscape architecture, and the like.
Angola: Angola’s first entry into the Biennale focused on Giant Reed, Arundo dona,x to remediate the unsanitary conditions that rapid urbanism is causing to water resources in the Capital, Luanda.
Bahrain: We loved these very simple stools – light, portable and even kind of comfortable.
Canada: Our friendly neighbor to the north used lengths of lumber in different configurations to express ‘Migrating Landscapes’. Architects from across Canada situated their projects within these lumber landscapes.
Denmark exhibit featuring Greenland: Air + Port – Denmark looks to the climatic changes happening in Greenland as a harbinger of the future creating a more connective transportation system, causing new opportunities for mining minerals, and the necessity of new housing types.
Hong Kong: This extremely dense city explored growing planting in all kinds of moveable and non- traditional places, such as bus stops, roofs.
Hungary: The first image is a close up of the remarkable tiles that decorated this building. Inside were hundreds of small models made by architects, architecture students and children. All were white, and all given the same amount of space, a 21cm X 21 cm cube. The ingenuity and variety was fantastic.
India: Indian architect Anupama Kundoo recreated a house in Auroville, India. The House was built in situ by Indian and Venetian craftsmen. The vaulted roofs were particularly interesting, made from tile, wine bottles and our favorite, plastic cups.
Ireland: The Irish exhibit invited people to sit on weighted benches that shifted as people sat on them. The exhibit, titled “Shifting Ground” by Dublin architects Heneghan Peng referred to the globalization of architectural practice.
Japan: This exhibit explored rebuilding the town of Rikuzentakata devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. A panoramic photograph of the destroyed city covered the wall. Architect Toyo Ito led the team in showing timber structures to win the Golden Lion for 2012.
Latvia: We came upon this charming installation, “Inner Freedom,” in the Campo San Zaccaria. It references Freedom Street in the Latvian city of Riga, which is noted for frame construction and nooks to gather in.
Netherlands: This was a really cool moving screen that ran on tracks along the ceiling and reconfigured the room to a different shape every five minutes. The idea is to focus on re-imagining existing architecture, rather than creating new.
Poland: Starkly white, and a bit Socialist-looking from the outside, inside the open space explored the idea of sound in architecture. Moving around the “empty” room with a slanted floor, all kinds of sounds piped in from other areas of the biennale, became audible in different places. This exhibit, along with Russia, and the US won a ‘Special Mention’ award.