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Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Italy Architecture News - Jun 09, 2023 - 15:52   2483 views

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Studio Sean Canty has created a large-scale installation that is based on the construction of two shed together to highlight the history and values of Black vernacular architecture. 

Named Edgar's Shed, the installation, situated at Giardini, is showcased as part of Force Majeure at the Central Pavilion that makes up one of six shows at the Venice Architecture Biennale. 

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Edgar's Shed is installed to shine spotlight on Black vernacular and is made up of two sheds constructed by Sean Canty's great-grandfather Edgar in Eliott, South California. 

"I called him Bubba. One shed is a home of joy, belonging, and struggle. The other is juke joint filled with smoke, rhythm, and blues," said Sean Canty in his project description.

"The beauty laid bare in Bubba's sheds acknowledges a set of practices entirely foreign and overlooked, stepped in the Black vernacular."

"In these simple forms, quite extraordinary inventions abound."

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © World Architecture Community

The architect aimed to elevate the "values of reuse and care" that are based on the same essence. 

According to the architect, "vernaculars are indeed stepped in these exceptional circumstances. The origins of architecture will forever be a myth."

"For me, these origins are genuine. They will forever signify my roots and my place in the world. In the Black tradition, aspirations of beauty and betterment are entangled in struggle and self-determination," Canty added.

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © World Architecture Community

Canty believes that the installation features "complicated and contradictory impulses", while its function is simple. The installation consists of a series of outdoor rooms for shade and events. 

Made up of "a symbolically over-scaled roof", the functions as the first act of sheltering. Its asymmetry is a backdrop to one side and entry to the other.

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

The architect considered its tectonics carefully and created an installation that is easily demountable and reusable. Its cladding relaxes the precision of the plan and section, occasionally conjoining the wall and roof.

"Its interior can be filled with sound or the quietness of its surroundings. This is Edgar's shed," the architect continued.

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Sean Canty is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He founded Studio Sean Canty in 2017, an architectural practice to bring "novel geometries and materials to enrich the spaces of everyday life—from residential and cultural programs to public space."

Sean Canty worked with Hanif Kara, co-founder and design director of AKT II, Tibuzzi (AKT II), Erich Gruber, Erich Bergmeister of LignoAlp for technical advisors of the structure.

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Studio Sean Canty highlights Black vernacular with Edgar's Shed at Venice Architecture Biennale

Image © World Architecture Community

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 is taking place from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 26 November, 2023 at the Arsenale and Giardini venues in Italy. 

The theme of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale is The Laboratory of the Future curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist Professor Lesley Lokko.

Read more about WAC's coverage about the biennale pavilions on Venice Architecture Biennale 2023. To see more pavilions from this year's biennale, you can also visit WAC's Instagram/Reels for exclusive videos.

All images © Matteo de Mayda, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia - unless otherwise stated. 

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