Monthly Archives: October 2012

biennale and priorities…

…So yes, am here for the architecture biennale, but let’s be honest, am also here for the cicchetti served at Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi – honestly they are that good:

Among the flavour combos – tuna carpaccio with a green pepperade, prawn with artichoke cream and truffle, a salty pistachio cream…get the picture? – all washed down with a campari spritz… now am ready for some arty architecture…

So i head first to the Giardini to check out the International Pavilions. There is thunder and lightening as i duck in and out of these mini nation buildings…always worth it though…

The Project of Campo Marzio / Yale University School of Architecture

Peter Eisenman’ s team examine and re imagine Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 folio collection of etchings, Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Derived from years of fieldwork spent measuring the remains of ancient Roman buildings, these six etchings depict Piranesi’s fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like and represent a landmark in the shift from a traditionalist, antiquarian view of history to the scientific, archaeological view (more).

Field of Walls / Dogma

Part of the same installation, Dogma highlights the difference between urbanism and architecture (urbanism being all about flow and circulation while architecture is about walls and limits). So they interpret Campo Marzio as a paradoxical urbanism made from walls…( makes me think about Rome’s monolithic, utopian but ultimately disastrous  construction of the ’70’s Corviale – a 1 km long apartment complex…that unsurprisingly did not end well…)

Songjilang in China, build 2001

So before i went to Art School, i got a degree in Art History, and one of my main subjects was the Northern European Renaissance…so i still have a soft spot for references to historical triptychs…this installation was designed by Architectural Historians…

The Banality of Good: New Towns, Architects, Money, Politics / Crimson Architectural Historians by Crimson Architectural Historians, which presented a work concerning 6 “new towns” (including Stevenage!) from around the world built between the World War II and the present day.


other posts on Venice Architecture Biennale 2012:

architecture biennale architecture

spaces in between more biennale

islands of LA and other installations

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architecture biennale architecture…

…So i went to the Architecture Biennale of Venice with hight hopes, i generally like it better than the art version it alternates with bi-annually…the next few posts will feature what i saw there. But i want to start with a few more of the national pavilions in the Giardini venue (see previous post). I love these little venues – they don’t really relate much to one another but instead reflect the architecture of their times bouncing between classical – modernist – post modernist… I photographed them in and between sporadic showers of torrential rain:

(recently refurbished) Finnish Pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto in 1956 (one of my favourites!)

Austrian Pavilion designed by Joseph Hoffmann in 1934 – a modernist white cube

Canadian Pavilion designed by Milan-based architecture firm BBPR in 1958

Uruguayan Pavilion – apparently it used to be a warehouse for the biennale and it’s the smallest pavilion – hidden amongst the trees…

South Korean Pavilion designed by Seok Chul Kim and Franco Mancuso in 1995

Israeli Pavilion designed by Zeev Rechter in 1952

Swiss Pavilion designed by Bruno Giacometti in 1952

For more pavilion architecture see my flickr set

oropa in 30 seconds…

There now follows a series of gratuitous shots of the Sanctuary of Oropa dedicated to the famous (round here) Madonna Nera (Black Madonna). It is soooo fantastic in the mist and on a foggy Tuesday morning there is only us there…

Not the Black Madonna but a Black Madonna (you can catch a glimpse of the original one in the film at the bottom of the post:

…and you can buy her too…

Anyway shot some footage of the glorious emptiness – warning the following film includes holy water and nuns praying to a Black Madonna…all in 30 seconds:

transumanza 2012

…i know it’s almost time to leave Biella when the transumanza begins; the twice yearly ritual of moving animals, here mainly cattle, down from the mountain and into the plains for the duration of the extremely harsh winters they have up in the hills around here. The sound of the large bells the cows have around their necks resonates for a good 10 minutes before you actually see any of the livestock and it’s my favourite sound…an announcement of autumn…as heard in the film below.

more UNIDEE in progress…

A lot was going on during our open studio and on top of all my other jobs, coordinating the final open studio of UNIDEE in progress meant i could not be everywhere at the same time…and the photos i snatched every now and then could only tell so much of the story (see previous post), so am publishing some more formal shots taken by Enrico Amici who was the photographer for all the events happening at Cittadellarte during Oct 5:

ALL PHOTOS ON THIS POST BY ENRICO AMICI