venice architecture biennale 2021 insights: video spotlight on the UAE pavilion
 

venice architecture biennale 2021 insights: video spotlight on the UAE pavilion

as part of designboom’s coverage of the venice architecture biennale, which has now been postponed until 2021, we’re taking a look at some of the contributions from the biennale’s national participants, and how they are responding to the theme: how will we live together?. in the video at the top of this page we take a closer look at the united arab emirates’ exhibition, which explores how the country’s salt flats are inspiring renewable building materials. although the opening of the biennale has been pushed back, the curators of the pavilion — wael al awar and kenichi teramoto — have provided us with an update on their research so far.

 

wetland lab virtual 3-D studio tour, national pavilion UAE – la biennale di venezia. developed in partnership with alserkal avenue for the alserkal.online platform, a homegrown, collective response to our ‘new normal’

 

 

the UAE is home to one of the largest natural salt flats in the world, the sabkhas. here, the crystallization of salt serves a blueprint for a viable alternative to portland cement, the production of which accounts for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. the national pavilion UAE’s curators, wael al awar and kenichi teramoto, have partnered with teams at new york university – abu dhabi, the american university of sharjah, and the university of tokyo (UTokyo) to explore an alternative building material inspired by the sabkha ecosystem.

 

wael al awar, curator of the UAE national pavilion, introduces the project

 

 

the results of their ongoing quest for a renewable building material are currently on display at alserkal avenue. known as the ‘wetland lab’, the space can be toured digitally via alserkal’s website, which is offering 360° views of its exhibitions during the pandemic. the pavilion’s curators will continue their research over the next year, before an architectural prototype is presented at the biennale in may 2021.

 

stay tuned as we continue to explore the current state of the exhibitions of the national pavilions, ahead of the rescheduled venice architecture biennale in 2021.

 

kenichi teramoto, curator of the UAE pavilion, expands on the exhibition

UAE's venice architecture biennale pavilion proposes equivalent of cement from crystalized salt image by dina al khatib courtesy of waiwai

UAE's 2020 venice biennale pavilion proposes equivalent of cement from crystalized salt image by dina al khatib courtesy of waiwai

 

wael al awar explains what’s on view at alserkal avenue

UAE's 2020 venice biennale pavilion proposes equivalent of cement from crystalized salt image by dina al khatib courtesy of waiwai

UAE's 2020 venice biennale pavilion proposes equivalent of cement from crystalized salt image by sahil abdul latheef courtesy of waiwai

 

wael al awar’s advice to architects and designers during lockdown

 

 

project info:

 

name: wetland – UAE national pavilion venice architecture biennale

curators: wael al awar and kenichi teramoto 

commissioned by: salama bint hamdan al nahyan foundation

supported by: ministry of culture and knowledge development

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