Proposal for the British Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

BEYOND MODERNITY.

Visions for the future of London


The British Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 should focus on the current architectural production of London and the potential radical visions that can construct an alternative future development for the city, towards a more inclusive and anthropocentric direction. We propose the transformation of the British Pavilion into a physical and conceptual platform that could generate vital dialogue and productive contemplation for London’s urbanity and the global urban condition at large, by exhibiting advanced research material about the current built environment of the city, as well as exemplary realized projects or visionary paper proposals for its future evolution. We propose the installation of a stage for meetings, events and discussions inside the large central room of the Pavilion, and a continuous flow of movement and knowledge through the other five rooms of the building. The suggested scheme inverts the physical condition of the building by filling the perimeter of each room with exhibits and preserving the void in the center for visitors and audience to encounter and reflect on the content of the exhibition and the overall topic of the Biennale. 



The Rem Koolhaas directed Venice Biennale of 2014 and FAT/Crimson’s 'A Clockwork Jerusalem' British Pavilion explored Britain’s historical course through modernity in the past century and the impact of the welfare state’s rise and fall in the actual production of the built environment. Absorbing such valuable research knowledge, the British Pavilion of 2016 can look forward into the future and dare to discuss the ways that contemporary cities will grow and evolve in our contemporary age of technological revolution and neoliberal financialization of the global economy. 



A deep research and a critical analysis of the reasons that keep constructing frontiers in our western cities would expand Alejandro Aravena’s conception of the Biannale’s topic. London has always been a leading urban paradigm and a fertile context for architectural innovation, as well as political thought and social initiatives in relation to urban development. 



However, the increasing financial momentum of the global economy has been affecting the built environment of London, producing a series of major problematics such as, among others, the severe housing problem, the systematic gentrification of degrading neighborhoods and the Manhattanization of the city center. On the shadow of such developments, architects and the citizens of London have a say and deserve to talk about their daily efforts to become part of the future, to shape and be shaped by the built environment that is in constant transformation. 


A deep research and a critical analysis of the reasons that keep constructing frontiers in our western cities would expand Alejandro Aravena’s conception of the Biannale’s topic. London has always been a leading urban paradigm and a fertile context for architectural innovation, as well as political thought and social initiatives in relation to urban development. However, the increasing financial momentum of the global economy has been affecting the built environment of London, producing a series of major problematics such as, among others, the severe housing problem, the systematic gentrification of degrading neighborhoods and the Manhattanization of the city center. On the shadow of such developments, architects and the citizens of London have a say and deserve to talk about their daily efforts to become part of the future, to shape and be shaped by the built environment that is in constant transformation. 





Following the overall intentions of the Biennale to highlight a sense of vitality, the collective spirit and the added value of architecture into expanding the frontiers and the status quo, the British Pavilion proposes a simple and straight-forward conceptual and formal gesture to introduce the notions of continuity, contemplation and encounter in the fragmented context of the Venice Biennale. 






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