04 December 2012


La Biennale di Architettura di Venezia - Noviembre 2012

[This blogpost is dedicated to Oscar Niemeyer, Brasilian architect designer of UN Building, Brasilia City and countless modernist buildings. Dies at 104 - 2012-12-06 01:29:36.287 GMT]


"Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture.
Presenting six innovative architectural groups, Formations explores unconventional structures and forms of architectural practice, from robotic fabrication to humanitarian causes. In doing so, the exhibition challenges traditional perceptions of the discipline, suggesting a different understanding of architectural practice and exploring the potential for new formations to effect change in a way rarely possible from the confines of conventional professional." 

"The pavilions commissioned over the years by the various nations taking part in the Venice International Art Exhibition are located in the Giardini di Castello and the Sant'Elena area on the other side of the canal. Immersed in nature, these buildings are an anthology of great formal value, having been designed by some of the leading names in 20th-century architecture such as Aalto, Hoffmann, Rietveld, and Scarpa." 

"The Arsenale is the biggest pre-industrial production centre in Venice. The fleets of the Serenissima were built in this complex of docks, workshops, and warehouses. The original nucleus was alongside the Darsena Vecchia and dates from the start of the 13th century. It was initially enlarged at the start of the following century with the construction of the Darsena Nuova, and further changes were made in the 15th century to meet the Republic's merchant and naval shipping requirements. New buildings were added between the Darsena Nuova and the Nuovissima between 1876 and 1909. La Biennale has undertaken numerous works to recover parts of the complex since 1999 in order to adapt these to the new cultural exhibition use of the areas granted in concession by the naval owners." 

CH Herzog and de Meuron: Switzerland
"Elbphilharmonie -- The construction site as common ground of diverging interests. The Elbphilharmonie is an incredible example of a bottom-up democratic project, pervaded by euphoric energy and driven by architectural beauty, cultural-political vision, and civic pride. Yet this energy exhausted itself in the face of exploding building costs and endlessly prolonged construction, culminating in a temporary stop to building in November 2011. This installation presents the project through media reports, large-scale models, films, and diagrams, but does not take a stand. It provides an insight into the extremes that mark the reality of planning and building today."

MEX Chiesa di San Lorenzo: Mexico
"The Collectivity of Cultural Space / Culture under construction. If they were to be examined -- architecture and culture -- some previously abandoned groupings of forms would be brought together to generate multi-disciplinary, hybrid architecture, which transcends architectural practice and carries it towards new terrains in order to orient and situate in space, endure in time, and signify in memory."

Travel sketch by Álvaro Siza Vieira for this event. A narrative of his work in architecture as well as his concept of life. I met with Siza Vieira back in 1996 at this Porto atelier while doing my semester there. He influenced my taste for sketching architecture! 

Guillermo Aranda-Mena©2012


  1. ".. from my perspective, the ultimate task of the architect is to dream. Otherwise nothing happens.”
    Oscar Niemeyer.

    It's wonderful to be able to travel through your dreams.

  2. Anonymous8.12.12

    Hola Dr. GAM

    Great to hear you’re taking full advantage of the European (Swiss) life style, I would expect nothing less from the well travelled king of the seas. Do keep posting photos of your travels, its always nice to see your journey / travels through the lense of a camera.

    We’re well. Preparing for Javier’s and then Julia’s Bdays, in the coming weeks. We have been looking at when / how to return back to FIJI next year, which looks promising at this point.

    Take care and enjoy this chapter of life’s journey.