david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale

David Adjaye presents ‘The Kwaeε’ at Venice Architecture Biennale

 

At the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, acclaimed British architect David Adjaye has unveiled a striking triangular pavilion crafted exclusively from timber. Positioned just outside of the Arsenale Central Pavilion, the eye-catching structure is aptly titled ‘The Kwaeε,’ taking its name after the word ‘forest’ in Twi, a dialect of the Akan language spoken by millions of people in southern and central Ghana.

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
David Adjaye’s triangular pavilion stands just outside the Arsenale | image by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia (also head image)

 

 

all-wood pavilion evokes serene forest-like atmosphere

 

‘The Kwaeε’ installation by David Adjaye (find more here) embodies the essence of its namesake through its form and materiality. Crafted entirely from wood, this triangular prism structure incorporates two oculi, creating an interesting visual composition. By seamlessly merging elements of doorways, platforms, assemblies, and windows, the installation forms a harmonious and unified entity. The deliberate distortion of the shape, thoughtfully angled and integrated with its surroundings, generates passages and openings that facilitate a continuous flow of movement and interaction. Moreover, the structure’s vertical black timber slabs produce a captivating interplay of light and shadow, enveloping the space with a serene forest-like atmosphere.

 

Located right outside of the historic Arsenale grounds at the Venice Biennale (find more here), the pavilion stands out as a captivating addition, showcasing the rich diversity of African and African diaspora practitioners. Its external triangular prism structure contrasts with an internally sculpted ovoid chamber reminiscent of a cave. This design allows visitors to gaze at the sky through the oculi while enjoying glimpses of the surrounding canal through the intricately crafted timber interstices. Not only does the installation provide a tranquil space for reflection and respite, but it also serves as a versatile venue for multiple events and gatherings, accommodating diverse needs and purposes.

‘Acting as an inverted sun dial with shadow patterns that track the position of the sun throughout the day, Kwaeε aims to cultivate and renew celestial, human and cultural connections across time.’ shares David Adjaye.

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
the external triangular prism structure contrasts with an internally sculpted ovoid chamber | image by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
crafted entirely from wood, the triangular prism structure incorporates two oculi | image by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

david-adjaye-triangular-timber-pavilion-venice-architecture-biennale-designboom-full-width-01

the eye-catching structure takes its name after the Twi word for ‘forest’

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
the design allows visitors to gaze at the sky through the oculi | image by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
the black timber slabs produce a captivating interplay of light and shadow | image by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

david-adjaye-triangular-timber-pavilion-venice-architecture-biennale-designboom-full-02

the pavilion envelopes visitors in a serene forest-like atmosphere | image © designboom

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
The thoughtfully angled form generates passages and openings that facilitate a continuous flow of movement | image © designboom

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
the installation is designed as a a tranquil space for reflection and interaction | image © designboom

david adjaye shapes kwaeε pavilion as triangular timber prism at venice architecture biennale
the oculi offers glimpses of the surroundings through the intricately crafted timber interstices | image © designboom

 

 

project info: 

 

name: The Kwaeε
architect: David Adjaye | @adjayeassociates
in collaboration with: Xylotek Advanced Timber Structures | @xylotekltd
location: Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 | @labiennale

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