The Croatian Pavilion for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale explores how repurposing architectural elements reshapes the individual’s relationship with space and constructs a new place of encounter. Titled Togetherness / Togetherless, the project curated by Idis Turato is a spatial composition of ready-made elements, which are given new meanings and functions, developing a new perspective on architectural space and enabling a temporary community.
Various elements sourced from the Croatian city of Rijeka are displaced into the context of the pavilion, prescribed new meaning and assembled to create new spatial relationships. The exhibition thus, highlights how any abandoned or r derelict element of the built environment can be examined from a fresh perspective using this method of dislocation and redefinition. The pavilion applies this process to create three essential architectural elements: base, column and roof.
The myriad ready elements, chosen fragments of collapsed industry or deserted military and border infrastructure, clearly inscribe and construct new architectural and building meanings. At the same time, they create a dynamic approach of the community in constant flux and adaptation to the given spatio-temporal context, themselves embodying a possible answer to the curatorial question: “How Will We Live Together?” - Idis Turato
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A concrete guard booth serves as a load-bearing column for the assemblage and as a “room for one”. The pavilion highlight is the roof element, a glass-reinforced polyester structure crafted in a maritime vessel workshop. The placement of the roof plays an essential role in the experience of the exhibition. The structure is suspended at a height that impedes visual contact between people moving along the Arsenal corridor and those under the pavilion roof, playing with ideas of belonging and exclusion. The base of the pavilion comprises various parts of a ship’s hull, which define a perimeter for the ad-hoc community.
The relationship between these elements and the interaction between the assemblage and the visitors enable new spatial definitions. In the case of the Croatian Pavilion, the visitor is an important actor in the exhibition. The fourth element of the project is a green-screen-like enclosure, which suggests a film set atmosphere, defining the pavilion as a performance stage.
The TOGETHERNESS / TOGETHERLESS pavilion is a composition of elements taken from the city in which people reside. A stage has been created where we can confirm our vision of any city tailored according to our preferences. The pavilion is merely a basis for disseminating and manipulating images that will confirm their existence only in relation to other images.- Davor Mišković
As part of the project, the pavilion’s website hosts a specially designed section titled PLAYGROUND, where visitors can create their own collages of elements, thus re-iterating the pavilion’s design intent. The exhibition is the culmination of a series of spatial and artistic research projects that accompanied the Croatian city of Rijeka’s experience as the European Capital of Culture in 2020.
- Commissioner: Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia
- Curator: Idis Turato
- Team of authors: Ida Križaj Leko, Ivan Dorotić, Morana Matković, Davor Mišković, Maša Poljanec, Leo Kirinčić, Jana Horvat, Renato Stanković
- Project Coordination: Nevena Tudor Perković (Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia)
- Project Management and Producers: Morana Matković and Renato Stanković
- Organisation: Association of Architects Rijeka
- Producer (Venice): Diego Carpentiero
- Exhibition Design: Ida Križaj Leko
- Drawings: Ida Križaj Leko, Jana Horvat
- Communication Strategy and PR: Ivan Dorotić
- Creative Direction: Ivan Dorotić, Leo Kirinčić, Maša Poljanec
- Visual Identity and Graphic Design: Leo Kirinčić and Maša Poljanec
- Video Concept and Production: Jana Horvat and Sara Salamon
- Statement and Video Texts: Davor Mišković
- Web Design: Leo Kirinčić and Maša Poljanec
- Web Editor: Ivan Dorotić
- Web Development: Krešimir Pendić
- Photographers: Ivan Dorotić (Bosnic+Dorotic), Hrvoje Franjić, Robert Leš
- Partners: Rijeka 2020 d.o.o., The City of Rijeka, University of Rijeka, DeltaLab – Centre for Urban Transition, Architecture and Urbanism