Catalonia will be taking part in the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale with the project “Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture beyond Architects”. The Minister for Culture, Santi Vila, and the director of the Institut Ramon Llull, Manuel Forcano, have presented the proposal, in which through audio-visual installations the spotlight is shone on seven public architectural interventions, chosen as virtuous examples of architecture that improves the user’s relationship with the urban, social and natural environment. The project’s curators, who will take part in the Biennale’s Collateral Events, are the architects Jaume Prat and Jelena Prokopljević, and the film director Isaki Lacuesta.
Minister Santi Vila pointed out that the government’s commitment to Catalonia’s participation at the Biennale is part of the “global strategy of support for this country’s architecture with the aim of achieving greater recognition, better projection and an opening up of new markets”. According to Vila, “Catalan architecture has won the right to speak at Venice with its own voice”.
The various installations of the project show visitors the way in which architectural space makes it possible for users, while they follow the routines of their everyday lives, to enjoy public spaces as conscious members of society. The project proposes that visitors evaluate the quality of architectural intervention from the human and social points of view. It also includes the a video, filmed over several months, that contains scenes and images of people who interacted with the seven projects. Its aim is to provide an empathic experience that leads observers to analyse and perceive architecture from the perspective of the user in order to define its more profound value.
All the architectural works included in the audio-visual installations are public interventions by Catalan architects during the last ten years. The chosen works are: Environmental recovery of the river Llobregat (2007-2015), in Barcelona, by BATLLE I ROIG Arquitectes (Enric Batlle and Joan Roig); Cross-border Hospital in La Cerdanya (2007-2012), in Puigcerdà, by BRUNT-PINEDA ARQUITECTES, S.L.P (Manuel Brullet Tenas, Alfonso de Luna Colldefors and Albert de Pineda Álvarez); Torre Júlia. Protected housing for the elderly (2004-2011), in Barcelona, by Pau Vidal, Sergi Pons and Ricard Galiana; Atlàntida Theatre (2004-2010), in Vic, by Josep Llinàs, Josep Llobet, Pedro Ayesta and Laia Vives; Saint-Roch car park (2012-2015), by ARCHIKUBIK (Marc Chalamanch, Miquel Lacasta and Carmen Santana); Food Distribution Service Centre-Campclar (SDA) (2014), by NUA Arquitectures (Maria Rius, Arnau Tiñena and Ferran Tiñena); Can Batlló (2011 – under construction), in Barcelona, by the Can Batlló community and LaCol Architects’ Cooperative.
The aim of the project is to stimulate the public’s reaction and give it reasons for reflection. Consequently, the exhibition hopes to involve visitors with a sensory approach to the artistic installation, where a specific case is projected onto different vitreous and translucent surfaces that reflect the complexity of the interactions of people, architecture and society. The public has the dual role of visitor and editor and therefore visitors can walk around the exhibition and produce a definitive edition of it for themselves.
“Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture beyond Architects” will have two special collaborations. The installation will have “Taulacreu”, a table designed by Vora Arquitectura (Pere Buil and Toni Riba), and the “Biennale” chair, a project by architect Joseph Ferrando developed in collaboration with Figueras.
All the architectural projects that are shown at the exhibition were implemented during the toughest period of the economic crisis, when new needs emerged that could only be met with an inclusive architectural strategy highly sensitive to local people and the environment. The projects, in fact, show that architecture responded effectively to specific needs through common features, such as increased social value, new tools that improve people’s interaction with their environment, the optimization of resources, the appreciation of community values and the improvement of the conditions of use. The exhibition also proposes a catalogue that can be downloaded online in order to get a better idea of the concepts behind the project, a webdoc that includes interviews with the creators and the teams that took part in the seven cases, and models and data related to the process of creation and construction: www.aftermath.llull.cat.
The project that the Institut Ramon Llull is presenting was chosen by an independent panel of experts whose president was the architect Carme Pinós, after an open competition. “Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture beyond Architects” is the Institut Ramon Llull’s third participation in the Cultural Events section of the Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Fair, after its fourth participation in the Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition.
The project presents seven public architectural interventions, chosen as virtuous examples because they improve the user’s relationship with the urban, social and natural environment
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