La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura 2016 – Padiglione SVIZZERA

Sestiere Castello, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy

5. Swiss PavilionIncidental Space

Commissioner: Sandi Paucic e Marianne Burki, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Curator: Sandra Oehy. Exhibitors: Christian Kerez.

Venue: Giardini

For the Swiss Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, Swiss architect Christian Kerez created an interactive installation entitled Incidental Space. It is intended as fundamental research in the possibilities of how to think, build and experience architecture differently, with the aim to raise “controversial questions” about how architecture is produced and experienced. The result is a cloud-shaped structure with the maximum possible complexity and infinite interior extension. Visitors are invited to enter the structure and climb its interior.

According to Kerez “What we were looking for here is an openness in terms of meaning; it’s not a symbolic space, it is not a referential space, it allows you to initiate a pure encounter with architecture. In this sense, we were much more interested in raising questions than in giving any statements on architecture.”

As an architectural project, Incidental Space attempts to overcome the contradiction between the enigmatic and the technically; it seeks to tease out a wayward space using a method that insists, as one of its criteria, on the maximum possible complexity. The space results from a deliberate combination of disparate processes. The character of this premise is not aesthetic or creative. Yet at the same time, the space doesn’t emerge by itself, it is not discovered; instead, it is sought out and then developed. By linking digital with manual processes, with the help of a variety of technical tools of translation, a highly detailed architectural space is teased into existence. It is transformed into a space created and formed by the caprices of the incident, where incident is understood in the sense of an “occurrence of an action or situation that is a separate unit of experience,” or as “something dependent on or subordinate to something else of greater or principal importance.” In other words, it becomes an Incidental Space.

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