Germany’s contribution to this 12 months’s Venice Architecture Biennale is a large retailer of supplies recovered from final 12 months’s artwork biennale, all set to seek out new makes use of across the metropolis.
Supplies recovered from over 40 installations have been collected and catalogued, prepared for use for repairing and upgrading buildings and public areas throughout Venice.
With the title Open for Maintenance, the exhibition is billed as “an motion framework for a brand new constructing tradition”.
“The important thing phrase is upkeep,” mentioned architect Petter Krag, who’s one in all eight members of the curatorial staff.
“We needed to indicate how, for architects like myself, there are different methods of working with supplies,” he advised Dezeen throughout a tour of the pavilion.
“We are able to develop new methods of reusing supplies for restore work.”
The curatorial staff consists of 4 architects – Krag and Juliane Greb characterize Büro Juliane Greb, whereas Anne Femmer and Florian Summa are from the Leipzig-based apply, Summacumfemmer.
They’re joined by Franziska Gödicke, Christian Hiller, Melissa Makele and Anh-Linh Ngo, who’re editors and contributors for the German structure journal ARCH+.
The German pavilion present consists of a number of parts. These embody the fabric retailer and a workshop the place guests can see a few of these supplies being repurposed.
A brand new entrance ramp improves accessibility into the constructing for staff and people with restricted mobility, whereas a bathroom facility promotes gender equality and waste discount.
Different additions embody a kitchenette and a gathering area, each inviting individuals to return collectively for dialogue. There’s additionally a digital part. The curators labored with a circular-economy-focused organisation, Concular, to digitise the fabric financial institution in order that it may be browsed on-line similar to a retail web site.
All the installations take cues from the Instandbesetzung motion of Nineteen Eighties Berlin, which refers to a apply often called “upkeep squatting”.
This type of activism emerged in the course of the chilly battle, when younger individuals have been transferring to Berlin to keep away from being drafted. Confronted with a housing scarcity, many selected to occupy and renovate empty properties alongside the Berlin Wall.
The curators needed to discover how comparable practices of care is likely to be replicated at the moment.
“As an alternative of doing an exhibition, our concept was to carry the concept of squatting to this pavilion,” says Melissa Makele, who works as an editor at ARCH+.
“Our interventions are meant to make this pavilion into helpful infrastructure, slightly than a spot of nationwide illustration,” she advised Dezeen.
“They permit us to collaborate with activist teams from Germany and Venice on practices of caring, repairing and sustaining.”
Over the six-month length of the biennale, the curators are working with organisations together with Venice-based Assemblea Sociale per la Casa and Munich-based social cooperative Bellevue di Monaco on initiatives throughout town.
One undertaking will assist residents of Casette, a working-class Venice housing property, to renovate their properties, whereas one other will create a structural intervention on the squatted Pandora hospital in Mestre.
Makele mentioned the purpose was to encourage architects to have interaction extra intently with the method of constructing and sustaining.
“There is a very political dimension to it,” mentioned Makele.
“It is not nearly remodelling, however about remodeling the self-discipline of structure. We have to hook up with social actors and have interaction within the processes of spatial manufacturing.”
The German pavilion is one in all 30 nationwide pavilions that may be discovered within the Giardini, one of many two primary venues the place the Venice Structure Biennale takes place.
Final 12 months, in the course of the artwork biennale, the pavilion hosted an set up by artist Maria Eichhorn. The piece noticed elements of the constructing material eliminated, to spotlight how the previous Bavarian pavilion was remodelled in 1938 by the Nazis.
These modifications stay seen in Open for Upkeep, to strengthen the curatorial idea of squatting within the pavilion “as discovered”.
Different nationwide pavilions within the Giardini embody these of the UK, Australia, the Nordic countries and the USA.
Zaha Hadid Architects principal Patrik Schumacher has criticised all of these pavilions as being a part of what he calls an “anti-architectural biennale” the place taking part nations “refuse to indicate the work of their architects”. The German pavilion curators declined to reply.
The Venice Architecture Biennale takes place from 20 Could to 26 November 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for details about the occasion, plus a listing of different structure and design occasions happening around the globe.