Curator Aaron Betsky commissioned us to develop the overall visual identity and scenography for the 380-metre-long Corderie of the 11th Architecture Biennale. The theme of the biennale was Out There: Architecture Beyond Building. According to Betsky, architecture is not only about icons and buildings, but also about spaces and organizing inter-human connections. This resulted in a series of graphic interventions in the public domain.
inspiration Located at the Venice harbour the Corderie once housed rope makers who made shipping rope. Twenty architects presented their work in the Corderie during the biennale and we were challenged to design a setting that would unify its overall theme of Architecture Beyond Building.
We picked a typically Venetian house façade together with the globe as the basis of our design. We placed the house on the globe – this house-bulb form had both a decorative and building element, plus it was adaptable as a two- and three-dimensional form. As we wanted to maintain openness in the exhibition space we therefore decided to link the twenty presentations through three-dimensional sculptures, typographic walls that guided visitors through the exhibition space.
how it got done Within the graphic design, we used the pattern of these house-bulbs by changing the internal and external color. The outlines of each bulb were visible and yet the building element and overall connection became clear as well. Five thousand three-dimensional house-bulbs were made. Using these bulbs, we built signage structures, walls, floating structures and sculptures throughout town. When viewed from different angles the sculptures generated a beautiful and unexpected pattern, accentuated by the combination of the black and white bulbs. The bulbs were later reused and recycled.
client profile Mostra di Architettura di Venezia, the architecture section of the Venice Biennale was established in 1980, although architecture had been a part of the art biennale since 1968. As well as addressing the academic side of architecture, the Biennale provides an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase new projects which are exhibited in different pavilions and feature different themes.