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

office kersten geers david van severen:
venice architecture biennale 2008:

  • 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

    Moritz Küng, curator of the Belgium pavilion. says:
comments policy
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library