The Australian Exhibition at the 2014 International Architecture Biennale
Since the permanent Australian pavilion for the Biennale in the Giardini Publicca is being rebuilt, Australia made certain to participate in this year’s architecture exhibition by creating a temporary pavilion – the “Cloud Space” – across the Rio dei Giardini on the Sant’Elena portion of the grounds. Befitting the grassy open space that is the forecourt for a relatively sternly modernist array of virtually identical structures housing the exhibitions of a number of nations (with the exception of the parentheses-like Austrian and Greek pavilions to the north and south, and the Brazilian pavilion smashed into the middle of the space), Australia was granted permission to create a light and airy tension structure with red canopy material for the temporary site.
The twenty-two projects exhibited in the “cloud space” are “parables of the virtual” Why “virtual”? The projects are represented by twenty-two metal stands. Upon downloading the exhibition application to any Android device and focusing on the image that appears, the pre-existing site and a superimposed three-dimensional image model of a project materializes and can be manipulated to provide an animated tour of each the site and project.
“Eleven historical projects chart Australian architecture to 1988, the bicentenary of European settlement and the moment of ‘Deconstructivist Architecture”. Another eleven projects reflect an unruly heterogeneity condensed into the last 25 years. In an era of maximal globalization, where there is no shared canon, there are parables of anarchy – very Australian ones.”
The parables of anarchy have been extended throughout the City of Venice. Android “radar” could be utilized to locate each of twenty-three full scale models sited around Venice in order to contrast the impact of modern architecture – Australian and otherwise – set in an historical place.
The projects are grouped into three categories:
- Not yet built (in costruzione).
- Not going to be built (non realizzato).
- Was never built (mai realizzato).
A fascinating virtual presentation in an ephemeral setting!
You may have missed the Biennale. Even if you are in Australia, you may have missed many of the historical projects or the presentations of the in costruzione, non realizzato and mai realizzato one.
Fret not! Virtual reality grants you the ability to enjoy Augmented Australia in its literal entirety on-line at http://wp.architecture.com.au/venicebiennale/australian-exhibition/ .