The oldest national pavilion on the Giardini grounds (it opened in 1907) lets its regions Flanders and Wallonia take turns to present at the Architecture Biennale. This year’s contribution comes from the Flanders Architecture Institute with ‘craftsmanship’ as its central theme. The term doesn’t refer to age-old craft, but rather to the exploration of opportunities from building and producing in partnership between designers and makers.
In order to illustrate its vision of craftsmanship, Bravoure will be exhibiting fragments of thirteen representative projects from thirteen Flemish architects. Full-size replicas will be used to demonstrate how scarcity can lead to craftsmanship. A fragment of the project is exhibited as it really is, but as it is cut out of its context, it ultimately gives it a new dimension. The example on the picture shows how the need for acoustic panels and light in a day care centre results in the perception of birds flying through the space.
The team of curators makes a very strong point by selecting work from other architects to be presented at the pavilion, above their own projects. They have taken their role to represent the region very seriously and put this above their own commercial objectives. The battle of architects isn’t fought at the front of Flanders.
“Together with BRAVOURE, we are exploring what craftsmanship can mean during a period of economic scarcity.”
Jan De Vylder, curator
At the exhibition in Venice, the Flanders Architecture Institute will also be presenting a series of publications about architecture from Flanders and Brussels. In addition to the exhibition catalogue, a wide range of relevant books will be shown such as the Flanders Architectural Review n°12, survey publications from De Smet Vermeulen, 51N4E and ‘architecten de vylder vinck taillieu’ and the book ‘Autonomous Architecture in Flanders‘.
Review by The Venice Insider
The Bravoure team didn’t disclose much information prior to the Biennale. Hence, I didn’t really know what to expect from my home country, besides the fact that they would focus on crafts(wo)manship and bring some life size replicas. I was a bit skeptical before entering, but I can honestly say the pavilion positively surprised me. If you come unprepared, I assume that it might be a bit confusing when you enter the oldest pavilion of Giardini, because there is hardly any information available on the projects. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you start to appreciate the beauty of the large images and focus on the replicas, which is the intention of the exhibition. The white ‘peace’ flag on the pavilion, instead of the Belgian flag, is the only link to the ‘Reporting from the Front’ theme. Belgium made it to my list of exhibitions you shouldn’t miss at this Architecture Biennale.
Katia – The Venice Insider
Click here to return to the overview of the other pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 or read my post What to expect from the 2016 Architecture Biennale.
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