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German Pavilion presents "Unbuilding Walls" at Venice Architecture Biennale

Germany - May 16, 2018 - 06:10   3248 views

The German Pavilion has announced details about the exhibition - called "Unbuilding Walls" - at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Curated by GRAFT and Marianne Birthler, the exhibition's special focus will be given to outstanding examples of urban and architectural design that address aspects of division and integration.

Lars Krückeberg, Thomas Willemeit, Marianne Birthler and Wolfram Putz. Image © Pablo Castagnola

Situated at the German Pavilion in Giardini in Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition responds to current debates on nations, protectionism and division. In the German Pavilion, GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will take the parallel as an opportunity to explore the effects of division and the process of healing as a dynamic spatial phenomenon, with reference to “Freespace", this year's theme of the Venice Architecture Biennale. 

Checkpoint Charlie. Image © Friedhelm Denkeler

 "For 28 years, Germany has been united – exactly as long as the Berlin Wall existed (1961–1989). On the occasion of this parallel, GRAFT and Marianne Birthler are curating the exhibition “Unbuilding Walls” at the German Pavilion," stated in a press release.

The Brücke der Einheit to Vacha. Image © Jürgen Ritter

By analyzing architectural projects on the former border strip, the question of what happened on this unprecedented void in the middle of a new capital will be examined. The heterogeneity of the multitude of approaches, typologies, protago- nists, and results show the breadth of architectural debates and solutions.

Taking the experience of the inner-German wall as a starting point, the exhibition will also examine historical as well as current barriers, fences and walls beyond Germany’s specific national perspective. A journalist team is currently travelling to border walls around the world for Unbuilding Walls. This work will be shown at the German Pavilion as well.

Axel-Springer-High-rise. Image © Axel Springer SE

The curators selected approximately 25 architectural projects regarding to the former borders strips, showing that how these urban voids triggered "freespace" in the new capital. Axel-Springer-Campus by OMA, Checkpoint Charlie, the Iron Curtain Trail, Deserted Villages will be among the exemplary projects. 

The press conference, opening and opening celebration of the German Pavilion will take place on May 25, 2018.

The Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 is curated by Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, co-founders of Grafton Architects, their reconstructive theme "Freespace" will reinterrogate "generosity of spirit" and celebrate "architecture's capacity to find additional and unexpected generosity in each project - even within the most private, defensive, exclusive or commercially restricted conditions."

Top image: Axel-Springer-Campus. Image courtesy of OMA

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