daniel libeskind presents sonnets in babylon at venice biennale daniel libeskind presents sonnets in babylon at venice biennale
jun 21, 2014

daniel libeskind presents sonnets in babylon at venice biennale

daniel libeskind presents sonnets in babylon at venice biennale
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

 

 

 

on the occasion of the 14th international architecture exhibition, the venice pavilion hosts ‘sonnets in babylon’ an installation by daniel libeskind that explores the tensions that exist between architecture and drawing. the architect exhibits over 100 handcrafted and unseen drawings, created through a combination of pen and sepia-toned washes of coffee. the series is screen-printed by lasvit, the architectural glass-maker, using a ceramic process on large-scale glass panels and arranged around the pavilion’s curved walls. using state of the art technology, ribbons of aluminum panels fixed with discreet LED lights create a wall of luminance and transparency.

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
the renowned architect exhibits over 100 handcrafted and unseen drawings
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

 

 

 

‘I am always posing lessons for myself, always trying to go further into the nature of architecture,’ says libeskind. ‘in this project, using the particular materiality of the hand-drawn mark, glass, and metal structure, I am exploring the questions of contemporary life and the fundamentals of architecture: is form disappearing into techne or is it a permanent expression of being human?’

 

the individual illustrations portray explosive and ambiguous shapes that evoke favelas, futuristic cities, mechanical parts, and even parts of the human body. libeskind continues these forms throughout the space, layering glass in order to create a continuous landscape.

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
ribbons of aluminum panels fixed with discreet LED lights create a luminous wall
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

 

 

 

visitors approaching the pavilion are first encountered with a 5.5 meter high (18 feet) sculpture of a skewed axis completed in the brown surfacing material dekton. the geometry of the form relates to the development of the axis as fundamental to architectural drawing, with the sculptural ‘X’ serving as a starting point that ‘runs through the sonnets and anchors their exploding and collapsing worlds’. additionally, the pavilion includes a bold geometric chandelier, also designed by libeskind, made up of clear glass ‘cells’, clustered together in a series of puzzle-like triangular patterns.

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
large-scale glass panels are arranged around the pavilion’s curved walls
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

 

 

 

the city of venice is honored to present new work by a theorist and practitioner whose architecture has received substantial international acclaim since his last appearance at la biennale in 1985, when he took that year’s golden lion prize. I look forward to seeing how this latest presentation amplifies the theme of the 14th international architecture exhibition—the ‘fundamentals’ of architecture’, commented professor renzo dubbini, curator of the venice pavilion.

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
libeskind continues ambiguous forms throughout the space, layering glass in order to create a continuous landscape
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

 

 

 


drawing: the forgotten fundamental in architecture
video by spirit of space

 

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
the illustrations portray forms and shapes that evoke favelas, futuristic cities and mechanical parts
photo courtesy of comune di venezia

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
the pavilion includes a bold geometric chandelier, also designed by libeskind
photo by renato greco / courtesy of comune di venezia

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
the design is made up of clear glass ‘cells’, clustered together in a series of puzzle-like triangular patterns
image courtesy of lasvit

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
the ice chandelier was originally presented during milan design week 2014
image courtesy of lasvit

daniel libeskind sonnets of babylon venice architecture biennale designboom
a 5.5 meter tall sculpture of a skewed axis greets the pavilion’s visitors
photo courtesy of comune di venezia

  • It seems to be a very contrived and superficial exhibition. Everything about it, from the irritating lights, to the enlargements on plastic, and the awkward curved presentation, all point to a show that is about dazzle-dazzle and glitz to try to distract from the obvious lack of substance. This pizazz might appeal to unsophisticated punters in Las Vegas, but it has no place in an architecture Biennale.

    JasonD says:
  • the real beauty of a drawing is the evidence of a handcrafted, human touch. Libeskind’s drawings are bad to begin with. But he managed to cheapen the already cruddy effect even further with this over-scaled, bombastic presentation on tacky materials. He really has no sense of proportion or aesthetics.

    Torch66 says:

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