Arsenale, Sale d’Armi
Vardiya / The Shift
The pavilion of Turkey will be transformed into an informal learning environment. 122 international architecture students from 16 countries will visit the pavilion in weekly ‘shifts’ as active producers of the evolving exhibition content. This staging ground for creative encounter, collaborative production and cultural exchange across borders is however not limited to students. All the workshops, meetings and lectures are open to the visitors of the Architecture Biennale.
The pavilion consists of 12 ‘vessels’, each corresponding to a workshop. Inside the vessels are videos based on the workshop themes. These include very interesting topics such as ‘Architecture as Critical Medium’, ‘Future of Childhood’, ‘Venice: Surface, Geometry, Texture, Colour’ and ‘Redrawing Venice’. As a fan of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa (more info in my post ‘Explore Venice in the steps of Carlo Scarpa’), I am very eager to discover the workshop ‘Taking Scarpa for a Walk’. Each vessel is enclosed by a sailcloth onto which the faces of the participating students are projected. This is a nod to travel as a form of education as well as to the maritime history of the Arsenale (more info in my post ‘The fascinating transformation behind the Arsenale walls’).
The students will participate in 13 workshops, engage in 50 roundtable discussions and hear 6 keynote lectures driven by guest scholars, designers and architects. At the end of their week-long shift, the students’ work be displayed in and on the vessels, contributing to the evolving and unravelling exhibition content. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young creative minds to have their voices and ideas heard at a major contemporary architectural event.
Kerem Piker lives and works in Istanbul. Kerem Piker was born in Ankara in 1978. He received his Barch degree in Architecture in 2001 at Istanbul Technical University and his MSC in Arch degree in 2004 at TU Delft. In 2010, He was selected as one of best 40 architects in Europe under the age of 40 by Chicago Atheneum. In 2011 Kerem Piker founded KPM-Kerem Piker Mimarlık, Architectural Studio. KPM was awarded in several architectural competitions. In 2016, Akyazı Cultural Center designed by KPM received the best project prize in the 15th National Architecture Awards. Since 1998, Kerem Piker has taught in architectural schools as a visiting lecturer and juror, including İstanbul Technical University, Yıldız Technical University, Gebze Institute of Technology, Bilgi University and Abdullah Gül University.
“Architecture is a field that is constantly expanding, transforming and renewing itself. As such, there is a need for environments where architectural knowledge is reproduced, shared and discussed, and the voices of new participants are heard. As the International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most important informal learning arenas in architecture, we prefer to describe the Pavilion of Turkey as a space for meeting, encounter and production rather than merely an exhibition space… We see this exhibition and the preparation process as an opportunity to rethink what a biennial does, for whom, and why it exists in our time.”
Kerem Piker, curator
The pavilion of Turkey is located at the Sale d’Armi at the Arsenale. The original nucleus of the Sale d’Armi dates back to about 1460, when they were used as a deposit for the armaments of the Serenissima Republic, as well for representation during the visits of particularly illustrious guests. Some rooms were in fact decorated with the weapons of the Republic of Venice. This building opened in 2015 after a thorough restoration which lasted 4 years.
If you want to know more about the Architecture Biennale 2018 and the other national participations, you can read my post ‘What to expect from the Architecture Biennale 2018‘ or have a look at this overview page which links to all the articles related to the Biennale. If you want to be informed about new previews of national pavilions being added to the site, you can subscribe to The Venice Insider biweekly newsletter.
(Picture in banner: Robin Hood Gardens, completed 1972, designed by Alison and Peter Smithson © The Victoria and Albert Museum, London)
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