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Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

Grenada Architecture News - Jul 12, 2021 - 14:15   1938 views

Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

The island of Grenada is participating to the Venice Architecture Biennale for the first time in its history after three consecutive appearances at the Art Biennales in 2015, 2017 and 2019. 

The Grenada's exhibition, titled COethos, explores possibilities and future plans of urban regeneration alongside new possibilities for the future of the city of St. George’s at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Curated by the Babau Bureau collective, the exhibition features a video, the main element of the pavilion, highlighting the building process and thoughts of the Grenadian architect Bryan Bullen, co-founder of the Caribbean office of Co-Operative Architecture (COCOA), in the design and construction of the new Parliament Building.

Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

Accompanying the video, peristyle columns that mimic those around the Parliament building contains text that explores other areas of needed regeneration of Grenada’s architecture, and possibilities for the future of the city of St. George’s.

The architect describes the new Grenada House of Parliament as "a rethink of the urban model of St George’s, the historic capital town of Grenada, unearths strategies for reversing the disintegration of its fabric by rejuvenating its connective tissue and public spaces to support ideals of community, equity, and inclusion." 

Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

"It represents a search for a distinctly regional trajectory in architecture rooted in place, a synthesis of the Caribbean’s cultural and geographical idiosyncrasies, its social and economic imperatives, and ubiquitous environmental concerns." 

"A vision, for re-injecting public life into urban space of the town’s harbor, and realising the Grenada House of Parliament are examined in relation to sustainability, commercial viability, resilience to natural disasters, and changes in the global ecology," Bryan Bullen added.

Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

The new Grenada House of Parliament, completed in 2018, is located in an ideal setting at Mt. Weldale, the building overlooks the town of St George’s, the Carenage and Grand Anse. The building serves for the operation of government business, while also welcoming the public as vital actors in this process. 

Grenada's first participation at Venice Biennale explores possibilities of urban regeneration

Taking its references from the historical town of St. George’s, it has a distinct form and iconic imagery in relation to the town of St. George’s. The new Grenada House of Parliament imbues the intrinsic, symbolic value and emotional appeal for Grenadians and the wider Caribbean diaspora.

The Grenada Pavilion held a virtual opening on May 20, you can watch the architect's and collaborators' presentations in the video below:

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice has opened to the public on 22 May 2021. The exhibition will be on view till 21 November 2021. 

This year’s architecture biennale is themed as "How will we live together?" by the curator Hashim Sarkis, the theme explores a widening context that helps architects to "imagine spaces in which we can generously live together".

We invite our readers to find out WAC's detailed coverage about the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale on our Italy page

Exhibition facts

Commissioner: Dr. Susan Mains BEM, former Minister of Culture, Senator the Honourable Norland Cox

Architect: Bryan Bullen

Collaborators: Irina Kostka, Michael Julien, Sharon Bidasee, and Dr. Angus Friday

All images courtesy of Grenada Pavilion.

> via Grenada Pavilion