In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Jack Self—co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—reveals how the frontline of architecture in Britain today is not just a housing crisis, but "a crisis of the home." In provocatively presenting "the banal," Self reveals why the British participation at the 2016 Venice Biennale proposes five new models for domestic life, each curated through time of domestic occupancy, alongside how it seeks to address the ways in which we might live in the future.
The work consists of a three kilometer walkway wrapped in 100,000 square meters of yellow cloth, which is supported by a floating dock system composed of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. These elements naturally undulate with the movement of the waves at Lake Iseo, which is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice. The floating yellow roads extend from the pedestrian streets of Sulzano, connecting the islands of San Paolo and Monte Isola.
The Floating Piers is the first large-scale work of Christo for more than a decade after making The Gates in 2005 with Jeanne-Claude, who passed away four years later. Due to the importance of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work and the inspiration they have given to many architects, we wanted to investigate the process of building this spectacular project, which makes the dream of walking on water a reality.
Works of India is an archive of drawings, sketches, artefacts, models, tools and pictures collected and made during two and a half years of life and work. The collection arises as necessity to document the relation between human, natural and built landscape to portray a frame for a way of life in India.
The selected material articulates in six environments which reflects upon the relation between man and nature, god and matter, a certain sacrality which is embedded during the act of creation and a sort of deep rooted understanding in the way of making and building.
On May 28, Beirut-based firm 109 Architectes unveiled Notes on a Tree at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture. The interactive installation is part of the GAA Foundation’s annual “Time – Space – Existence” exhibition and commemorates Lebanon’s lost public spaces.
Notes on a Tree tackles the role of the architect in countries like Lebanon, where developers often dictate urban planning. The firm uses its own projects as examples of successes and disappointments in preserving public space, which is symbolized by specific trees. Some trees were saved and some were lost, but each one represents a community’s history and collective memory.
Contested Fronts: Pavilion of Cyprus at the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture Reveals Commoning Practices for Conflict Transformation
“Contested Fronts” is an exploration of architecture’s role for commoning practices in ethnically and socially contested spaces. It focuses on the agencies of architecture’s ad-hoc technologies that contribute into conflict transformation by advocating reconciliation processes to go hand in hand with urban reconstruction processes. “Contested Fronts” introduces three levels of frontiers’ investigation where architecture claims an active role: geopolitical, disciplinary and everyday urban politics’ frontiers. To do so, it concentrates on the agencies of ad-hoc technology’s materiality and use that encourage the emergence of collectives, with their members coming from areas across divides. Ad-hoc technology has to do with means of spatial engagement, of cartographic representation and of visual communication. It assists tactful organization of physical spaces and of events.
Voyage Le Corbusier, by Jacob Brillhart, collects for the first time a compendium of sketchbook drawings and watercolors of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret—a young student who would go onto become the singularly influential modernist architect, Le Corbusier. Between 1907 and 1911, he traveled throughout Europe and the Mediterranean carrying an array of drawing supplies and documenting all that he saw: classical ruins, details of interiors, vibrant landscapes, and the people and objects that populated them.
Le Corbusier was a deeply radical progressive architect, a futurist who was equally and fundamentally rooted in history and tradition. He was intensely curious, constantly traveling, drawing, painting, and writing, all in the pursuit of becoming a better designer. As a result, he found intellectual ways to connect his historical foundations with what he learned from his contemporaries. He grew from drawing nature to copying fourteenth-century Italian painting to leading the Purist movement that greatly influenced French painting and architecture in the early 1920s. All the while, he was making connections between nature, art, culture, and architecture that eventually gave him a foundation for thinking about design.
“They are projects that cannot be bought, cannot be owned, cannot be possess, to be kept; they are projects in total freedom. Nobody can own this, because if you own something, it’s not free.” -Christo
In this latest video from NOWNESS, Bulgarian artist Christo explains the fleeting nature of his most recent work, The Floating Piers, a floating dock system wrapped in yellow fabric that connects the towns of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio to the island of San Paolo in Italy’s Lake Iseo. First conceived by Christo alongside his late wife and creative partner Jeanne-Claude in 1970, The Floating Piers is in the midst of its 16 day run, lasting until July 3rd. After the conclusion of the exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled, leaving its site precisely the way it was found.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) 170-meter-tall Generali Tower has topped out at 44 stories in Milan, Italy. The Generali Tower, along with two other towers, forms the centerpiece for the CityLife masterplan to revitalize the old site of Milan’s International Fair, which closed in 2005.
Through the redevelopment, which began in 2004, the site will be open “to year-round public use, with the inclusion of new civic spaces, public parks, and residential buildings, in addition to shopping areas and corporate offices, all with direct transport connections via the Tre Torri station on the line 5 of the city’s metro system.”
In the latest edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, Chiara Rimella reports from the Veneto in northern Italy for a report on the best at the 15th International Architecture Biennale – La Biennale di Venezia. Covering Aravena's central exhibitions, Reporting From the Front, and the designers and curators of the 61 national pavilions, the show seeks to understand how architecture can tackle some of the pressing social and political concerns of our time.
Beginning this week, and lasting for only sixteen days, visitors to the Italian Lake Iseo can "walk on water." The Floating Piers is the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, based on an idea first conceived in 1970. Built using 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, the installation—which sits just above water level—undulates with the movement of the lake.
According to Italian news source, Leggo, two people were "seriously injured" and the installation was "evacuated" on its opening day due to the quantity of visitors and inclement weather conditions.
Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale.
In a short film exploring some of the National Participations at this year's Venice Biennale, Monocle Films take a considered look at how different countries have responded to the Biennale theme, Reporting From the Front in both explicit and more indirect ways. Visiting the Austrian Pavilion, the Nordic Pavilion, the Turkish Pavilion, the British Pavilion, the Irish Pavilion, the Australian Pavilion and the Romanian Pavilion, the film studies what discourses are being waged in the compressed geo-political world of the Giardini di Biennale.
Milan studio Piuarch unveiled their design for the new Latteria Sociale Valtellina cooperative dairy in the Italian Alps. The competition, commissioned by the Latteria, sought to renovate the old building and expand it to include a sales outlet, restaurant, conference room and small museum. Piuarch's winning design builds on the economic and historic context of the area and surrounding landscape.
As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
Britain is suffering from a terrible housing crisis – one that is an incredibly predictable outcome of decades of neoliberal economic policy. The Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has become well-known for building “half a house” – only completing core infrastructure in social housing, then encouraging residents to finish the other half with their own money over time. In effect, the first generation get a significantly cheaper home, but once the house has been doubled it could be sold at market rate. The discount, and profit, only applies to the original owners.
The city of Venice has been caught in a tug of war between progress and traditionalism for many years, and particularly since the construction of a railroad viaduct in 1846 linked the island city to the Italian mainland for the first time in its history. Over a century later, the Venetian government commissioned Louis Kahn to design a new Palazzo dei Congressi for the city; his proposal, while paying respect to the histories of both the Republic of Venice and a unified Italy, could not escape similar controversy.
LocationSestiere di S. Marco, 5339, 30124 Venezia, Italy
PartnersRem Koolhaas, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli
Project ArchitectsFrancesco Moncada, Silvia Sandor
"Scrutinizing the horizon and looking for a new perspective" is what Alejandro Aravena has encouraged in the 2016 Venice Biennale, Reporting From the Front. "[He] has staged one of the most socially charged Biennales," Gillian Dobias reports, by "exploring the different ways that design can add value." In this, the first of two film reportages from the Biennale, Monocle talks to Aravena about his hopes for stimulating the debate on improving quality of life in the built environment, and tour the Central Pavilion and the Arsenale to uncover what's on show.
There is an enormous intensity of information, knowledge and ideas on display at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting From the Front. With all the Executive Editors and Editors-in-Chief of ArchDaily's platforms in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese in Venice for the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—plus co-founder David Basulto and European Editor-at-Large James Taylor-Foster, who curated this year's Nordic Pavilion—we've pooled together twelve of our initial favourite exhibitions and must-see shows.
LocationPadua, Province of Padua, Italy
Architect in ChargeStudioPietropoli