Monday, January 10, 2011

Croatian Floating Pavilio @ Venice Biennale

A group of leading Croatian architects, responsible for the strong presence of Croatian architecture on the international scene in recent years, has accepted a task to design a floating exhibition structure to present Croatian art and architecture at the Venice Biennale. The pavilion structure is based on an existing barge with approximate dimensions of 10 x 20 x 3 meters and is towed by a tug boat.
Instead of working in the usual formats of their practices and presenting speculative projects, they decided to work together on a single proposal and to have it constructed and towed toward its final destination in Venice right away. The pavilion structure is the barge’s cargo, welded from 30 tons of Q385 wire mesh in more than 40 layers of varying contours. As it left the Kraljevica shipyard , the floating pavilion was towed to the port city of Rijeka where it was presented to the public. The steady flow of people has embraced the raw yet delicate structure as if the invitation by Ms.Sejima to meet in architecture has been accepted wholehartedly.
For Croatia, a floating pavilion seems to be an obvious solution. Since 1991, the year of Croatia’s independence and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, a permanent pavilion at the Giardini is no longer an option. As the closest maritime neighbor of Venice, a land of seamen and shipbuilders, Croatia is well positioned to establish a direct link with the city across the bay and the floating pavilion is a straightforward answer to a very simple issue of having an exhibition venue. This time around, on its maiden voyage, the pavilion will in Venice remain only a short while and will by itself be the object of the exhibition. And much more than that, as this intense work meeting of architects Saša Begović, Marko Dabrović, Igor Franić, Tanja Grozdanić, Petar Mišković, Silvije Novak, Veljko Oluić, Helena Paver Njirić, Lea Pelivan, Toma Plejić, Goran Rako, Saša Randić, Idis Turato, Pero Vuković, and Tonči Žarnić, working on the common project and in a close collaboration with the maritime industry, ends in the extraordinary act of architecture.
The Floating Pavilion is a project by the Ministry of culture, Republic of Croatia, led by Mr. Bozo Biskupic, the Minister. Leo Modrčin is the commisioner, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka is the organizer.

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