paris-based architecture studio TVK has been invited to venice architecture biennale 2021 to present ‘the earth is an architecture’ installation, a colorful piece that explores the dynamic relationship between the planet’s history and human architectural activity. conceived as the result of a research that the office initiated in 2015, the project showcases a distinctive form, representing that the earth is an ever-changing assemblage shaped by all the elements — both animate and inanimate — that inhabit it. 

colorful fictitious earth model by TVK to be presented at the venice architecture biennale 2021
la terre est une architecture / the earth is an architecture
all images courtesy of TVK



the title ‘the earth is architecture’ is deliberately ambiguous, connecting the two terms in order to try to consider them together and thus take note of a new state of the world. ‘the earth is no longer the fixed and natural setting of human architecture, but continually formed and transformed by the actions and reactions of those who, living or non-living, animate it. humans are one of the major powers that participate in the vast site of construction common to all material elements and living organisms,’ TVK shares. ‘architecture must be considered from this position of interdependence: it is no longer simply placed on earth, it is the perpetual shaping of the world,’ the team adds. 

colorful fictitious earth model by TVK to be presented at the venice architecture biennale 2021



TVK’s installation differs from traditional architectural models by its monumental dimensions (3.5 x 7 meters) and is made into 5 continents characterized by specific pieces with reference inspired by real places (china, the mediterranean sea, the paris basin, the american continent, the pacific islands, etc). the installation looks to the future of planet earth, by representing a fictional world where the entanglement of infrastructures with the ground is made visible. the architecture of this fictitious earth emerges from this sedimentary complex where rocks, earth, organic residues, and human artefacts intermingle. 

the earth is an architecture presented at venice architecture biennale 2021 3



the fictitious environment of the installation is actually based on a homonymous book, born from TVK’s research and published by spector books. built like an epic, it explores the complex and extraordinary relationships of architecture and planet earth, through the concept of infrastructure understood as a mediation between human projects and earth itself. myths intertwine with history through five continental intrigues where human societies are linked with five earthly powers: sky, sea, materials/soil, living, and energy.



project info:


name: the earth is an architecture
architects: TVK



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom