caruso st. john + thomas demand at venice biennale 2010
caruso st. john + thomas demand at venice biennale 2010 caruso st. john + thomas demand at venice biennale 2010
sep 15, 2010

caruso st. john + thomas demand at venice biennale 2010

caruso st. john and thomas demand at the 12th international architecture biennale in venice, italy image © designboom

for this year’s la biennale di venezia, german artist thomas demand and london-based practice caruso st. john architects have designed and built a fragment of a full scale mock up of ‘nagelhaus’, a project led by the team that is currently under process in zurich, switzerland. located in escher wyss platz, an important section of the city’s transport infrastructure, ‘nagelhaus’ pays homage to a story affectionately referred to as the ‘stubborn nail’ from chongqing, china.

in 2007, private home owners in chongqing held out against all odds in their small house while developers demolished the grounds and city around them. while the house in china did not last, ‘nagelhaus’ brings back its essence as two modest buildings tucked into a small site under the zurich’s road viaduct. the structures ironically look as if to have been carefully tailored to fit into the precise topography, or as if they were a part of a street that once stood before, appearing as stubborn fragments of the past that refused to be changed by the developing area.

the project as it stands in venice exhibits a similar stubbornness. at the corner of the exhibition space, the structure seems to be gigantic, awkward and disconnected. a pre-existing air duct seamlessly pierces through one side and continues on the other end. the build itself channels a stage set feel, its thin pre-fabricated facade not hiding the fact that the house is hollow and propped up with a simple wooden frame.

exhibition view image © designboom

front view image © designboom

(left) side view (right) interior and hanging lights image © designboom

facade detail image © designboom

exhibited illustration by martin morck image © designboom

rendering of ‘negelhaus’ in zurich, switzerland image courtesy caruso st. john architects

adam caruso and thomas demand interview by hans ulrich obrist at the venice biennale to see more of hans ulrich obrist’s interview series, click here.

  • re the text. could someone translate that into ‘earth speak’ please?

    what?! says:
  • The Projekt is okay. Also for an exhibition. What means: It is not made for the specific situation in Zurich, it can be anywhere. And there is no big place for a small building in Zurich as the visualisation fakes ([url=!/photo.php?pid=31574702&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=150343921665938&id=1396251986]the real situation[/url]). It is a place with cars, tramways and trains under a highway. No place to stay and rest.

    Edi says:
  • You can also learn more about the project via a great discussion The Architecture Foundation held between Adam Caruso and Thomas Demand at Tate Modern last year, [url=]which can be watched online in its entirety here[/url].

    / says:

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