The first national pavilion that we visited was the Russia pavilion, curated by Sergei Tchoban. The exhibit, designed by SPEECH Techoban / Kuznetsov (Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov, Marina Kuznetskaya, Agniya Sterligova), showcases the Strolkovo Innovation Center, a new development that aims to concentrate intellectual capital around five clusters (IT, Biomed, Energy, Space, Nuclear Tech), with projects by David Chipperfield, SANAA, OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, Stefano Boeri, SPEECH, Valode & Pistre architectes and Mohsen Mostafavi among others (more details about the project itself in a future article).
An interesting project, presented in detail with tons of information, yet invisible inside the space of the pavilion. A series of QR Codes wrap the inside of the Russia pavilion spaces, and all you can sense at first is light and space. At the entrance you are provided with a tablet, and you walk around the pavilion scanning these codes to obtain the information about Strolkovo.
On the lower level, a dark interior is perforated with peep holes that show images of former Soviet Scientific Towns, a legacy from the past that serves as background of the Strolkovo project.
What we liked about this pavilion is the fact that technology is used as a medium, and what prevails is light and space, a particular atmosphere that wraps you in information, in an intangible way.
This pavilion was awarded with a Special Mention at the Biennale, “the ‘i-city’ takes a dialectic approach to Russia’s past, present and future and in the process turns us all into digital spies. The jury was drawn into this magical mystery tour and beguiled by its visual presentation.”
We had the chance to interview Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov, we will post the video later on.More photos by architectural photographer Patricia Parinejad (who will be featured in our next AD Photographers series) and Nico Saieh after the break: