The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Architects, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.
"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.
Sitting on the northern bank of Venice's Grand Canal is a great house whose ornately carved marble facade only hints at its original splendor. The Palazzo Santa Sofia—or the Ca D’Oro (House of Gold), as it is also known—is one of the most notable examples of late VenetianGothic architecture, which combined the existing threads of Gothic, Moorish, and Byzantine architecture into a unique aesthetic that symbolized the VenetianRepublic’s cosmopolitan mercantile empire. Built to serve as the grand residence of wealthy Venetian businessman and politician Marin Contarini, the palazzo has seen a number of owners and renovations over its lifetime before ultimately coming to serve as a museum for medieval painting and sculpture.
Over a four day period during the New Generations Festival, curators Edouard Cabay (Appareil, ES) and Margherita Del Grosso (MaDGStudio, IT) led an experimental workshop within a shipyard at the Historical Center of Genoa that resulted in a "Bent" installation inspired by navel construction.
"By bending wood into an (in)habitable structure reminiscent of naval craft, a dialogue was created between the medieval urban fabric of Genoa and its tradition as maritime city," says the curators. "Although is still at the heart of the city's economy, its industry has been relegated to the margins of Genoa, generating conflict and ambiguity between the shore and the urban fabric. The workshop provided an occasion to mend this detachment through an architectural installation that, rather than bringing the city towards the sea, brings the marine element back into the urban fabric."
At the beginning of January 2016 the Municipality of Prato, Italy, is launching an open, anonymous, international two-phase design competition for a new 3-hectare urban park in its historical city center. By the end of February, the international jury will select 10 finalist architects who will be invited to conceive a schematic design for the site. In June 2016 the winner will be awarded and commissioned to design the final project for the new Parco Centrale di Prato.
Villa Malaparte, built in 1938 by the Rationalist architect Adalberto Libera in Punta Massullo on the Isle of Capri, is considered to be one of the best examples of Modern Italian architecture. The house, a red structure with inverted pyramid stairs, sits 32 meters over a cliff on the Gulf of Salerno. It is completely isolated from civilization, only accessible by foot or by boat.
The house was commissioned by the Italian writer, Curzio Malaparte whose eccentric character eventually led him to dominate the design process, causing serious conflict with Libera. Malaparte wanted the house to reflect his own personal character and become a place for solitary contemplation and writing. He once said: "Now I live on an island, in an austere and melancholy house, which I built myself on a lonely cliff above the sea. [It is] the image of my desire."