The 2016 edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, entitled Reporting from the Front, was curated by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, recipient of the 2016 Pritzker Prize, and will focus on “sharing with a broader audience, the work of people who are scrutinizing the horizon looking for new fields of action, facing issues like segregation, inequalities, peripheries, pollution,(…) informality (…) and the participation of communities.”
C+S Architects’ participation, entitled eduCARE, will be exhibited in the Corderie of the Arsenale and will revolve around school buildings, a series of unconventionally re-designed nodes of the city of the sprawl.
The installation, Aequilibrium, combines a red passerelle floating in the air on a cork carpet printed with the projects of the schools. Those projects have become one big story of the potentials of these small buildings within cities and the challenges of shaping a society in transition.
Equilibrium is a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. A state of physical balance; A calm state of mind; in chemistry: A state in which a process and its reverse are occurring at equal rates so that no overall change is taking place; in economics: a situation in which supply and demand are matched. Equilibrium is that of the ‘house of cards’, of the tightrope walker, of the proportion of a classical column or of a statue, of the sailing boat travelling not upwind or lee.
The genius factor of this word is the capacity of describing balance through instability; just like the magical city in which we were born, Venice.
We design a structure which finds balance throughout overhanging; alternating from side to side, rebounding tensions and bringing them back to the center in an effort that has the power of simple stability yet looking endless.
We design a suspended structure, wrapping around the historic column of the Corderie dell’Arsenale in Venice. It holds together memory and a new horizon, moving the spectator’s viewpoint, allowing him/her to climb up without slipping, to sit and also lay on a cork carpet.
We design a volume built through a multiplicity of small steel pieces, weld together to generate a self-supporting suspended element without any need of vertical supports. The steel pieces adapt, some of them are visible, others aren’t, but all are fundamental to balance the tensions. Like people, their time, knowledge and skills concur to move to a new possible circular economic model more balanced with our planet. We engage with this energy while designing our schools.
We design a knot. Questioning the conventional processes to designing a school, we tie together all resources at disposal: economic, human, social, energetic; proposing a new, more balanced model to fight inequalities.
We design a toy. Like our schools with their public spaces opened after school hours, spaces are created for interaction and play for the multicultural and multiethnic communities around them.
We design a perpetual path. There is an entrance- the child entering the community through schools and continuing to feed that community perpetually.
We design it red. A coloured node in the grey city of the sprawl.
Title: Aequilibrium – 15Th Architecture Biennale 2016: Reporting From The Front
Location: Corderie dell’Arsenale, Venice, Italy
C+S Architects: Edu-Care
Public Building For Public Good
Architects And Art Directors: Carlo Cappai, Maria Alessandra Segantini
C+S’ Responsible Architects: Matteo Benigna, Diego Collini
C+S’ Collaborators: Matteo Cecchi, Mara Mior, Diana Smiljkovic
Structural And Health And Safety Engineering, Site Supervision: Alessandro Bonaventura, Sandro Favero, Luigi Ranzato, F&M Ingegneria
Construction: Metal Structures: Strutture Metalliche S.R.L., Montaggi Industriali S.R.L. Archetti Rx S.R.L , Studio Fontana
Wood Structures: Luciano Longato & C S.N.C
Cork Floors: Granorte, Portugal
Carlo Cappai e Maria Alessandra Segantini are partners and directors of C+S Architects based in Venice and London.C+S work work on public space, questioning the idea that mono-functional public buildings are not really public.
School buildings are one of their preoccupations.
They have lectured internationally at the MoMA, in many universities worldwide such as Columbia University GSAPP, the MIT in Boston, the Politecnico of Milan, the TU Delft, the UEL in London and Hasselt University in Belgium, among others. They have been visiting professors at the MIT in Boston, at Syracuse University, School of Architecture, New York, at Hasselt University and the UEL in London.
Their works have been published and exhibited internationally and have been awarded with the Special Prize of the Gold Medal of Italian Architecture 2012, the In/Opera Award 2012, the Selection in the European Mies van der Rohe Award 2009 and the Sfide 2009 Prize of the Italian Ministry of Landscape and Environment, the Gold Medal of Italian Architecture for Education in 2006.