La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura 2016 – Padiglione GERMANIA

Sestiere Castello, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy

18. German PavilionIn Therapy – Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country

Commissioner: Peter Cachola Schmal, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM). Curator: Oliver Elser, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM). Exhibitor: Something Fantastic.

Venue: Giardini

“Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country” is a response to the fact that over a million refugees arrived in Germany during 2015. The expectations for 2016 are similar. The need for housing is urgent, but just as urgent is the need for new ideas and reliable approaches to integration. The exhibition therefore consists of three parts: the first part surveys physical refugee shelters. The second seeks to define the conditions that must be present in an Arrival City in order to turn refugees into immigrants. The third is the spatial design concept of the German Pavilion, which will make a statement about the contemporary political situation.

1. Launched on 10 March 2016, the website documents some 35 refugee housing projects that have been gathered by DAM through a Call for Projects since October 2015. The spectrum ranges from temporary lightweight structures that house 300 people, whose interiors have been designed by an architect, to low-cost long-term housing projects, not only intended to house refugees. An emphasis has been laid on wooden modular structures.

2. Many of the current refugees and migrants will remain in Germany, as a swift resolution of the war and persecution in their homelands seems unlikely. It is essential that these new citizens are not treated as guests, who can be “sent home” at any moment, they must be given the chance to make Germany into their second home. This is what the title of the exhibition is meant to convey: Making Heimat implies that the stay in Germany will be a permanent one.

3.The Berlin-based team Something Fantastic was responsible for the overall presentation in the German Pavilion. Its three partners Elena Schütz, Julian Schubert and Leo Streich are trained architects. They were chosen by DAM because of their intensive engagement with Arrival Cities, both in their teaching capacity at ETH Zürich and in their work around the world. Their extensive architectural studies of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Addis Abeba and Cairo have been published in book form. Something Fantastic work as architects, exhibition designers, researchers, curators and graphic designers. They created the spatial concept, and designed the exhibition and catalogue.

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