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UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

United Arab Emirates Architecture News - Aug 31, 2021 - 13:46   1613 views

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

United Arab Emirates' Wetland pavilion, curated by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto, has won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

The pavilion, themed as Wetland, exhibited at the Arsenale venue, looks into alternative ways of using salt as a renewable source for construction replacing Portland cement in the United Arab Emirates.

Wetland exhibits a large-scale prototype structure created from an innovative, environmentally friendly cement made of recycled industrial waste brine. 

Displaying a salt-based prototype with 2.7m tall and 7m x 5m wide structure on its exterior, it creates a walkable interior space with the size of an average room, 2.5m x 5m. 

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

This year, the winners were selected by a jury, chaired by SANAA co-founder Kazuyo Sejima, composed of Peruvian architect Sandra Barclay, Lebanese architect and filmmaker Lamia Joreige, Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist Professor Lesley Lokko, Italian architect, historian, critic, journalist and curator Luca Molinari. 

The 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Hashim Sarkis, is themed as "How will we live together?", exploring the issues on imagining spaces in which the architects can generously live together by focusing on widening political divides and growing economic inequalities.

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

The jury said for Wetland that Golden Lion for Best National Participation went to United Arab Emirates for "a bold experiment which encourages us to think about the relationship between waste and production at both the local and global scales, and opens to new construction possibilities between craft and high technology."

Besides the UAE's Wetland pavilion, Russia's Open! pavilion, curated by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, and Philippines' Structures of Mutual Support pavilion, curated by Framework Collaborative (GK Enchanted Farm Community, Architects Sudarshan Varsovia Khadka Jr. and Alexander Eriksson Furunes) have won Special Mentions. 

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

"Special Mention as National Participation went to Russia for a sensitive and careful architectural renovation of a historical pavilion at the Giardini that opens it to its immediate surroundings and to the future," said the judges. 

"Special Mention as National Participation went to Philippines for this exemplary community project that creates a rich archive and experience of collaborative construction practices."

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

raumlaborberlin's Instances of Urban Practice. Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the 17th Exhibition went to Berlin-based practice raumlaborberlin's Instances of Urban Practice installation. 

"[It] an inspiring collaborative approach that argues for participation, regeneration and collective responsibility, resulting in two projects that are a model for imaginative civic revitalization," said the judges about Instances of Urban Practice installation.

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST)'s Watermelons, Sardines, Crabs, Sands, and Sediments: Border Ecologies and the Gaza Strip. Image © Francesco Galli, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Silver Lion for "a promising young participant" went to Amsterdam-based Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST)'s Watermelons, Sardines, Crabs, Sands, and Sediments: Border Ecologies and the Gaza Strip installation. 

"[It] a daring proposal that invites us to think about divided histories, agricultural practices, rituals of daily life and the realities of settlement and occupation," the judges said. 

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Cave_bureau's The Anthropocene Museum: Exhibit 3.0 Obsidian Rain installation. Image © Francesco Galli, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

One special mention was awarded Nairobi-based Cave_bureau for its The Anthropocene Museum: Exhibit 3.0 Obsidian Rain installation.

"[The installation] is an imaginative and creative exploration of one of man’s oldest living environments," the judges said about Cave_bureau's installation. 

UAE's Wetland wins Golden Lion for Best National Participation at 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

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

Top image © United Arab Emirates' Wetland, Andrea Avezzù

> via Venice Architecture Biennale