The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia decided to participate twice to the 2016 Architecture Biennale. Besides the ‘standard’ exhibition at the Giardini pavilion, the country also organizes a series of discussions and events in the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi.
The Swiss pavilion is intended as fundamental research and will critically interrogate the daily conditions of architecture. The aim is to investigate the possibilities — technically, as much as in our imagination — of how to think, build and experience architecture differently. Although, technologically speaking, more is possible today than ever before, architectural freedom has been greatly limited by a monumental level of regulation. Architecture also demands intensive exchange between research and architectural practice, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration among architects, engineers, art experts and specialists in digital production. The task of architects must therefore be to provide food for thought and to set themselves new frontiers that change the notions of and about architecture.
Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi
The Salon Suisse in the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi will offer a space for reflection on this common sense in architecture. At a series of discussions and events, Swiss and foreign architects, researchers, and crafts(wo)men from diﬀerent countries and disciplines will share their experience and perspective on the theme of architecture for all. The question asked is how contemporary architecture can help bridging the expanding wealth gap between the rich and poor through the means of reflecting on fundamental ideas such “tradition as modernity”, “small is beautiful” and “reuse”, and how adapted guidelines for architecture in the 21st century can be created.
“This year’s Salon Suisse “Wake up! A path towards better architecture” intends to offer an opportunity to rethink the aim of the architecture nowadays. Crisis, overpopulation, exodus, and poverty are issues to be urgently addressed. The ball is in the hands of the architects, designers, creators, lobbies, construction firms, entrepreneurs. But also in the hands of the public who wants to be actively involved in the designing of the environment it’s living in. Let’s rediscover! Let’s build! Let’s dig! Let’s reduce! These shall be the themes discussed together with Swiss and international guests!”
Leïla el-Wakil, salonnière
Review by The Venice Insider
When you enter the Swiss pavilion at Giardini, you stumble upon one huge, white, amorphous object in the middle of the room. As such, it is beautiful and it inspires to take pictures from different angles to capture the contrasting lights. The goal of the pavilion was to present fundamental research by critically interrogating the daily conditions of architecture. Hence, I think I missed a clue (or a few) along the way, as I expected architectural related books, drawings or models. The Swiss participation is also organizing a series of events in the Salon Suisse, but there weren’t any planned while I was in Venice. Maybe attending these discussions could have given me more insight into the overall context of this exhibition.
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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