FreeSpace is the title chosen by Yvonne Farrell e Shelley McNamara, curators of 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice that will be open from May 26th to November 25th 2018.
“It is our hope that the word Freespace allows us to burrow into the aspirations, ambitions and generosity of architecture”.
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Following the way dragged by Alejandro Aravena in 2016, the next 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice will be focused on social engagement and on the relationship between architecture and civil society, too.
A problem that can not be ignored, as the president of Biennale Paolo Baratta confirmed, “The divide between architecture and civil society, caused by the latter’s increasing difficulty in expressing its own needs and finding appropriate answers, has led to dramatic urban developments whose main feature is the marked absence of public spaces, or the growth of other areas dominated by indifference in the suburbs and peripheries of our cities.The absence of architecture makes the world poorer and diminishes the level of public welfare, otherwise reached by economic and demographic developments..”
While “Reporting from the Front” was a viewpoint conscious of the impoverished architecture of suburbs, made of scraps, unskilled labour, creativity coming from poverty, the most optimist, generous and feminine look by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will offer us a selection of works that exemplifies essential qualities of architecture.
Because Freespace encourages reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well being and dignity of each citizen of this fragile planet”.
As the curators quote “Freespace describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself. also underlining “In the effort to translate Freespace into the many wonderful languages of the world, we hope that it prises open the ‘gift’ which architectural invention has the potential to contribute with each project. Translation allows us all to map and rename intellectual as well as actual territory. It is our hope that the word Freespace allows us to burrow into the aspirations, ambitions and generosity of architecture”.
The aim of Freespace is to discover an architecture able to generate wellbeing.
As Paolo Baratta confirmed “To rediscover architecture means to renew a strong desire for the quality of the spaces where we live, which are a form of public wealth that needs to be constantly protected, renovated and created. This is the path taken by the next Biennale Architettura.”
And this is also the way taken by Yvonne Farrell e Shelley McNamara, founders of Grafton Architects based in Dublin, who designed and implemented their projects particularly in the school sector, community buildings and institutional HQs, in different parts of the world.
Also in Italy where designed the Bocconi University in Milan, awarded by The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) with the Gold Medal for Architecture.
“We believe that everyone has the right to benefit from architecture.
The role of architecture is to give shelter to our bodies and to lift our spirits. A beautiful wall forming a street edge gives pleasure to the passer-by, even if they never go inside. So too does a glimpse into a courtyard through an archway; or a place to lean against in the shade or a recess which offers protection from the wind and rain.
We are interested in going beyond the visual, emphasizing the role of architecture in the choreography of daily life.
We see the earth as Client. This brings with it long-lasting responsibilities. Architecture is the play of light, sun, shade, moon, air, wind, gravity in ways that reveal the mysteries of the world. All of these resources are free.”.
Their approach, perfectly summarized in this statement, will be declined in the selected projects at Biennale Architecture that will reveal the potentialities and beauty inherent in architecture.
Text by Renata Sias