established in concepción, a city located in southern chile, pezo von ellrichshausen is an art and architecture studio founded in 2002 by mauricio pezo and sofía von ellrichshausen. for the 15th edition of the venice architecture biennale, the firm occupies the giardini with ‘vara’, a pavilion that comprises ten intersecting cylinders. the structure provides visitors with a labyrinth in which to get lost, creating a poetic journey that — according to the architects — ‘animates an open space by deploying the overlap between artistic installations and landscape architecture.’

 

‘vara’ takes its name from an obsolete unit of linear measure, formerly used in latin america, that equals approximately 33 inches, or 84 centimeters. each of the cylinders forms a diameter of this inexact unit, ranging from two to 11. constructed from steel and cement, the green pavilion seeks to expand the notion of domesticity and public space, a theme of many projects at this year’s biennale.

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image courtesy of pezo von ellrichshausen
main image © designboom

 

 

 

measuring 3,500 square feet (325 square meters), the maze-like network remains open to the elements, an architectural gesture that establishes a play of light and shadow within each differently proportioned zone. immersed within the giardini’s natural setting, the color of the pavilion responds to its immediate environment.

 

although we share alejandro (aravena)’s call to position the practice in a battlefront, as a studio involved both in art and architecture, we are not presenting a technical, social or political report, or the so called ‘real problems”, explains sofía von ellrichshausen. ‘we believe that architecture is a problem in itself, alike any other art. architecture, as a form of knowledge, is fundamentally needed to reinforce our own human values and meaning.’

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the pavilion is located within the biennale’s giardini 
image courtesy of pezo von ellrichshausen 

 

 

 

it is not the first time that pezo von ellrichshausen has experimented with circular forms of construction. last year, an exhibition at české budějovice’s gallery of contemporary art presented a series of drawings and a scale-sized model that documented the studio’s ongoing interest in this theme. the project was an open exploration of the capacity of architectural designs, which are ground down by repeating one figure with a broad range of dimensions. scroll down to see images of the model presented in the czech republic.

 

pezo von ellrichshausen’s previous work includes a mine-like pavilion in denver, colorado and a 200 square meter holiday home in catalonia. for more images, follow designboom on our dedicated instagram account @venice.architecture.biennale.

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
the maze-like network remains open to the elements
image © designboom

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
the interlinking of the volumes results in a labyrinth
image © designboom

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
different apertures give access to the more internal spaces
image © designboom

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
the structure invites users to come in and get lost
image © designboom

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a game of shadows is created throughout the day
image courtesy of pezo von ellrichshausen

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
the design expands the notion of domesticity and public space
image © designboom

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
the architects have sough to create a poetic journey for visitors
image © designboom

pezo von ellrichshausen vara pavilion venice architecture biennale 2016 designboom
‘vara’ takes its name from an obsolete unit of linear measure
image © designboom

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view of the cylinders of the 325 square meter pavilion
image courtesy of pezo von ellrichshausen

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vara study, oil on canvas, 120x120cm (47,2×47,2”), 2016
image courtesy of pezo von ellrichshausen

 

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