Casting complex shadows and engulfing visitors in a series of maze-like spaces, the Parasite Pavilion was constructed as part of the Synergy & Symbiosis event at the 2014 Venice Biennale, which showcased the best of the UABB Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale from 2005 to 2014. Based on the Bug Dome pavilion, a similar experiment from Hong Kong 2009, constructed by Weak! Architects as an icon of "illegal architecture," this new pavilion is the product of an intensive five day workshop, with the cooperation of architects and students from Europe, Australia, and China. Read on after the break to learn more about the Pavilion and Workshop.
The Dome offers shade, protection and a moment of escape from the surrounding Absorbing Modernity exhibition, and allows for a tangible experience of the elements of architecture. Various concepts of traditional Chinese design informed the spatial layout of the pavilion. A layer of nonwoven textile provides the structural support, while above it a metal net is utilized to position a series of arches. Locally produced, industrial materials were used, with wires, metal nets, and PVC pipes creating self-sustaining arches that can be easily constructed and taken down after the event.
The overall geometry of the space is dictated by two curves, which simultaneously define the surface edges and interact with the existing structure to create a lively spatial composition. The final element is a ground cover of gravel in various sizes, corresponding to the scale of individual spaces. As visitors progress into the space they experience moments of compression and expansion as the scale of interior spaces progressively increases. The space compresses once again towards the exit and frames the view of Arsenale watchtower on the other side of the canal, with the intent of visually connecting visitors to their surroundings exterior context.
However, perhaps most importantly, as the designers' description explains, “the Dome is an experimentation that goes beyond traditional architectural form and composition to foresee fundamental aspects for Chinese architectural space.”
The Bug Dome Workshop was a collaboration between China's team of curators for the Venice Biennale: Jiang Jun, Director of Urban China Magazine, Pier Alessio Rizzardi, founder of TCA Think Tank, the team of the UABB Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale, Ole Bauman, Du Juan, Ou Ning and Hsieh Ying Chun, and Weak! Architects.
Designer: Pier Alessio Rizzardi
Design Team: Martin Huba, Zhang Hankun
Workshop Team: Muratori Martina, Jocelyn Fu, Regina Kaluzny, Siyin Wang, Lucia Bertaggia, Maria Bertaggia, Hu Yalin, Alessandro Zorzetto, Edoardo Giancola, Ilgin Ezgi Tunc.
In collaboration with: Hsieh Ying Chun | WEAK! Architects
Reference: Cacoon by 弱!建筑 Weak! Architecture in UABB 2009
Curator: Jiang Jun | Urban China Magazine