venice architecture biennale 08: belgian pavilion
sep 14, 2008
venice architecture biennale 08: belgian pavilion


the garden patio of the belgian pavilion blanketed with colorful confetti
image © designboom

the 11th international architecture exhibition, ‘out there: architecture beyond building’ kicked-off this past weekend
in venice. designboom was there to capture the events of the opening weekend, including the reveal of the
belgian pavilion. titled ’1907…after the party’, office kersten geers david van severen (brussels), have created an
architecturally lucid and physically confrontational response to the competition assignment that can be interpreted
in a number of ways. tribute to the historical pavilion which was built in 1907, and exhibits the space in its purest
form as a monument, accessible from all sides, empty and stripped of all ornament or secondary additions.

the urge behind architecture is not to be exhibitued, but to be built and so the exterior intervention of the
belgian pavilion is a seven-metre-high double-walled facade in galvanized steel which does not reveal the
building to the viewer from their initial view from the promenade. this architecture looks solid and filigreed,
giving the feel that a new pavilion is being constructed for what is being exhibited, which is really the existing
belgian pavilion.

between both the added facades, the existing rooms and outdoor patio, there is an emphatic interaction and
inversion between the interior and exterior spaces, which is enhanced by a carpet of confetti which has been
scattered around the site amidst the randomly placed chairs. the monumental enclosure raises not only
topical political, social and ecological issues, but also evokes a sentimental sense that a party is over:
the celebration of the centenary of the belgian pavilion 2007 which never actually took place.

in addition to the exterior intervention, all competition projects are exhibited inside the pavilion including a large
photo print by german artist thomas demand and a photo by french fashion designer hedi slimane which were
used for the pavilion’s campaign but were not on show during the opening.


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


entrance to the belgian pavilion
image © designboom


interior of the belgian pavilion carpeted in confetti
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


competition projects for the belgian pavilion on display
image © designboom


exterior steel cladding of the belgian pavilion
image © designboom


tunnel leading into the belgian pavilion
image © designboom


opening reception of the belgian pavilion
image © designboom


moritz küng, curator of the belgian pavilion
image © designboom


project by office kersten geers david van severen
image © designboom


‘terasse’ by thomas demand (1998)
the photograph was not present during the opening, only captions were on the wall


‘untitled, rock diary’ by hedi slimane (2007)
the photograph was not present during the opening, only captions were on the wall

more
office kersten geers david van severen: http://www.officekgdvs.com
venice architecture biennale 2008: http://www.labiennale.org

  • Rectification:
    The work of Thomas Demand (Terrasse, 1998, 183,5 x 268 cm) was presented in a side space.
    The work of Hedi Slimane (Rock Diary, 2007) was used as campagne image on all printed matters.
    See as well http://www.1907.be

    Moritz Küng, curator of the Belgium pavilion. says:
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