Cloud, by Matthias Schuler and Tetsuo Kondo
When coming to Venice, the first impression of the 2010 Architecture Biennale is pretty straightforward: “People meet in Architecture” is written above the Ponte degli Scalzi, next to the train station: in the typeface Helvetica. 2008, the Venice Biennale has been a vain and loud spectacle for long-serving architecture’s stars, this year however the exhibition is cautious. Instead of fancy architecture dreams, Kazuyo Sejima - the director of the Biennale - presents architecture’s essence : “The 2010 Architecture Biennale should be a reflection on architecture”, she said.
Work-Place, by Studio MumbaiThe exhibition in the Arsenale and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni is a collection of multiple points of view rather than a single orientation. Each participant shows his/her position towards the interaction of social, natural and human environments. Each installation is a real architectural contribution which people can experience.
Matthias Schuler and Tetsuo Kondo, for example, have proposed a real scale cloud which forces people into a new reading of space simply because its edges are ephemeral. Studio Mumbai, on the contrary, shows a ‘Work-Place’ where ideas are explored through the production of large scale mock-ups, models, material studies and drawings. They present a ‘building-evolution’ through a process of collective dialogues and the sharing of knowledge.
Dutch pavilion , vacant.nlEven most of the national contributions in the pavilions of the Giardini fit perfectly into Sejima’s leitmotif: Japan gave tribute to the impact of metabolism and showed models and movies about the continuously changing neighborhood and the city.
The Dutch pavilion provokes a reflection upon void real estate in cities and called for the intelligent reuse of temporarily vacant buildings around the world.
Bahrain presented temporary forms of architecture which reclaim the sea as a form of public space: it is an exceptionally humble yet compelling response to ‘People meet in architecture’.
Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, ChileThe Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 neither exhibits exclusively speculative design visions nor glossy computer imagery. It is an exhibition detached from the worn out term ‘starchitecture’. It relates more to a humanly concept of architecture: craftsmanship, drawing, poetry, human relations and sometimes just beauty. The best Venice Architecture Biennale I have seen.