“The 2010 Architecture Biennale should be a reflection on Architecture,” says Director Kayzuyo Sejima of Japanese practice Sanaa, the Architects behind the recent New York Museum, and the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne. “The twenty-first century has just started. Many radical changes are taking place. In such a rapid-changing context, can architecture clarify new values and a new lifestyle for the present? Hopefully, this show will be a chance to experience the manifold possibilities of architecture, as well as account for its plurality of approaches, each one is a different way of living.”
Such manifold possibilities can be found in the Irish entry to the Biennale which examines the work of de Blacam and Meagher and considers how it expresses and confronts the cultural landscape of Ireland. A Culture Ireland initiative in partnership with the Arts Council of Ireland, the exhibition was commissioned by the Irish Architecture Foundation under the directorship of Nathalie Weadick.
The exhibition concept takes the form of a book unbound, containing volumes of drawing and photographic reproductions from the archives, contemporary photography, and readings of the work with commentaries.
of de Blacam and Meagher (2010), Ireland’s entry at Venice Biennale
The exhibition has two obvious viewpoints. The first is the striking paper stacks that dominate the available space. The second view offers a deeper sense of meaning – it encourages the processes of archiving and reconsidering the past, it renders architecture into the provocative – encouraging reading, observation, though, and reaction.
Paradoxes – An Architecture that is both private and global
Now people’s consciousness and lifestyles change rapidly. Relationships are shaped by indirect communication – instant and global. There are paradoxes: Long distance relationships now take place in one’s home. How do we perceive these new experiences in architecture? How do we form new spaces to absorb these needs? How do we install Facebook, Twitter, and Skype into the buildings of the twenty-first century?
Cloudscape (2010) Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects
The intensity of this modern mix of private space and communication technologies has been interpreted in the work Cloudscape by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects.
Cloudshapes (2010), Transolar and Tetsuo Konda Architects
Streams of cascading water in a dark room are captured by strobe lights, where visitors walk up ramps to reach layers of vapors to experience climate changes and real clouds to the timely “Seaswarm” by the MIT Senseable City Lab who erected small robots fitted with conveyor belts made of Neowire mesh that soak up oil. The modern world can create distance and an excess of information. How can we find a balance between what humans can handle and the need to connect?
Private House, Bray (2008) Studio Negri
Such perceptions of new space and extended relationships are the focus for many Irish Architects, including the following work by Studio Negri. This open-planned private house deals with a modern-day puzzle: how do we grapple with the need to intersect nature (finding an optimum view of the landscape), the need to live and feel secure, and also the need to communicate with the myriad of new relationships?
The twentieth century found a need to locate TV’s in corners, so the corners became eroded away. But in this house, the expansive glass corner, where glass would not have normally been in the past, allows the incorporation of the use of computers or telephones along with the maximum visual of the beautiful scenery. Here one senses an expanded space where the glass boundary of the house encourages a less cramped mental space to experience though, and yet simultaneously communicate with someone in Bray, Dublin or Tokyo.
The large open atrium is a meeting point and acts like a piazza in a medieval Italian town – it is the gathering point that filters out into the living spaces. One can accommodate the noisy megalopolis into one’s living space, and yet one can still cope with the multitude of information and dialogue flows.
THE BOY IN A FISH (2010) by Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa Side
A space that provides soothing calm in a noisy world can also be seen in the work THE BOY IN A FISH by Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa Side. Inspired, in part, by artist David Hockney’s etchings of the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Sea-Hare,” “The Boy In A Fish,” a one-person habitat, is an egg-shaped refuge meant to provide comfort.
The team’s aim is to offer hope for a more serene future. This idea also ties into the need to provide a cocoon as was written recently on this website
Seijma, awarded the 2010 prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, surmised that the Biennale is a: “reflection on architecture with multiple points of view rather than a single vision.”
The official website of the BBiennale
Exhibition examining the work of Irish Architects Deblacam and Meagher:
Irish Architecture Foundation:
Information about Japanese architecture firm Sanaa:
Further information about Cloudshapes by Transolar and Kondo Architects: