Each year, two million Mexican residents take part in the Ruta del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s Route) – a 117 kilometer pilgrimage through the mountains range of Jalisco that is centered around the adoration to the Virgin of Talpa. This religious voyage has been taking place since the 17th century and represents the pilgrim’s act of faith carried to penitence. In an effort to provide the route with better conditions, nine architecture firms collaborated to build seven architectural landmarks that provide shelter, services and outlook points for the pilgrims.
ArchDaily is proud to present images from the 2012 Venice Biennale featuring the reconstruction of Anupama Kundoo’s Wall House. The installation is an opportunity for the architect to reassess intial strategies and continue to explore the experiments of the original construction in Auroville, India. The replica was built by Indian craftspeople and Italian builders. The original design for the house aimed to respond to the environment and culture in which it is situated, taking into consideration construction techniques, material applications, and site strategies. The reconstruction, though absent from a landscape, displays spatial innovation and a collaborative use of materials that evokes an excitement about the integration of culture and structural techniques.
The Israeli pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, titled Aircraft Carrier, deals with the dramatic changes in Israeli architecture since 1973, and the American influences that made them possible.
The term “common ground” claims something shared: relationships between people and things. This installation intends to awaken an appropriate sense within the soul of the visitor.
Contemporary Athens is a city of strong contradictions: It is a city whose particular identity was shaped during post-World-War-II reconstruction. A city which has at its disposal an exceptionally talented cadre of young architects, international in orientation, well educated and with a wealth of professional experience. It is, however, the city that was most stricken by the current economic crisis. Currently the Athenian urban space is decomposing and there are increasingly frequent and greater disruptions of the social web. The younger generation of architects benefited from the positive aspects of globalization and today has come face-to-face with the harsh aspect of the global financial crisis, a plummeting standard of living and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design.
These contradictions are shaping a particular dynamic in the city. Conditions are being created in Athens to expand the links between architecture and the city, both during the economic downturn, but also after it has passed; furthermore conditions are being created to bring to the forefront new ways of viewing the role of architecture, removed from the standards of well-being of the previous decade.
The Greek participation presents this idiosyncratic Athenian urbanism within two themes.
Through this installation, Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati explores the ambiguous and complex “common ground” of inspiration and imagination in architecture. Images, selected by architects from around the world, represent the infinitely varied forms of visual material that are collected in their imaginations and subsequently transformed through the creative process.
After a long struggle for independence, Kosovo became a new European country in 2008. Much of it’s urban landscape consists of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Communist era architecture that has been mostly remained untouched by the war. As wealth returns and the economy slowly grows, a new building spur has ignited, covering the city with a sprawl of store fronts, apartments and office buildings.
Text and photographs: Jaakko van ‘t Spijker
As a contribution to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, Noero Architects showcase two powerful works of art in their exhibition Common Ground / Different Worlds to reveal that architects, and artists alike, work to reinterpret, reinvent and transform preexisting ideas and forms. However, Jo Noero, Principle of Noero Architects, believes that the “difference between good and bad work lies in an understanding of that which is shared and common and the ability to transform these ideas into forms and spaces which are both useful and satisfying within the community in which the work is located.”
Jean Nouvel and Mia Hägg presented “Meetings Lines” at the Venice Biennale. For ‘Common Ground’ they decided to show their finalist project for the Slussen Masterplan competition, an ambitious urban design project that seeks to replace much of the degenerated water and transportation infrastructure in the heart of Stockholm. The project proposes three different public spaces, designed as living links for the city, inspired by infrastructure such as the Rialto Bridge in Venice.
The International Jury of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded Cino Zucchi Architetti (CZA) a special mention for their installation, Copycat. Empathy and Envy as Form Makers. Their contribution is based on the notion that “we are all a bit copycats”, understanding that cultures are propagated by following “infectious” processes that combine imitation and innovation. CZA presents a collection of “almost-alike” objects and images with the idea that “similarity” rather than “originality” is where people find common ground.
Venice Biennale 2012: Inhabitable Models / Eric Parry Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Lynch Architects
Inhabitable Models presents the work of three practices -Eric Parry Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Lynch Architects- who find their common ground in an engagement with London, as a city of found fragments. Perhaps uniquely among world cities London exists as a series of largely unplanned, independent, layered fragments which nonetheless come together for a host of legal, political, and economic practicalities. In responding to this conception of London, each practice seeks to resist the temptation of “hallmark” architecture in favor of one which is contextually sensitive and rigorously place-specific. Indeed, the practices’ appreciation of the fragmentary and unplanned applies both to the London that they find, as well as to the London they leave behind.
In a time of rapid physical and digital connections the global phenomenon of tourism becomes more and more of a common activity. Tourism brings people from all over the world on a common ground giving them the opportunity to interact with a locality, places, and people. However, the conventional tourist entertainment character and the lack of local interaction alienate the notion of the common ground in most tourist destinations. Resorts, theme-parks, international hotel chains, global market icons, and city guides turned tourism into a travelling monopoly with global rules that are applicable everywhere. Common ground is at stake!
The Irish Pavilion, designed by heneghan peng architects with the support of Arup, and curated by John McLaughlin, charts a position for Irish architecture in a global culture where the modes of production of architecture are radically altered. Ireland has developed a national culture of architecture derived from local place as a material construct. They now have to evolve our understanding in the light of the globalized nature of economic processes and architectural production which is largely dependent on internationally networked flows of products and data. They have just begun to represent this situation to themselves and others. How should a global architecture be grounded culturally and philosophically? How does it position itself outside of shared national reference points?
Inspired by Pritzker Prize laureate Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s call “to get architecture out of the making and thinking of isolated objects and to show it as an inexorable transformation of nature”, Dublin practice Grafton Architects presents Architecture as New Geography at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The exhibition explores the work of the Brazilian architect in the context of Grafton’s first South American project for a university in Lima, Peru.
Alejandro Aravena, Executive Director of ELEMENTAL, tells us more about The Magnet and The Bomb, their exhibit at the Venice Biennale. You can learn more about the projects presented at this installation: PRES Constitución and Calama PLUS.
Herzog & de Meuron’s exhibition at the Biennale is focused on the architecture of a symbolic project, with a complex history: The Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall on top of a former industry in Hamburg, which also includes a 250 room five-star hotel, and 47 apartments. The project, in a very advanced state, remains halted since last year due to legal issues with the contractor.