Unfinished Curated by Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns. Project winner of the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. For a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.
Spain is one of the countries where the practice of architecture has been most affected by the economic crisis. There are few places on earth where such large numbers of buildings were built in such a short period of time. The lack of reflection over whether these projects were necessary or valid resulted in the subsequent abandonment of many buildings when their completion or maintenance was discovered not to be economically viable. Their appearance throughout Spanish territories has generated a collection of unfinished buildings where the factor of time was eliminated from the formula for making architecture. Using photography as a filter to portray this reality, the Pavilion’s central space represents the optimistic view of those who have fought back against this recent past,understanding these inherited constructions as an opportunity.
The ¨Unfinished¨ exhibition, presented in the Spanish pavilion at the Biennale, seeks to direct attention to processes more than results in an attempt to discover design strategies generated by an optimistic view of the constructed environment. The exhibition gathers examples of architecture produced during the past few years, born out of renunciation and economy of means, designed to evolve and adapt to future necessities and trusting in the beauty conferred by the passage of time. These projects have understood the lessons of the recent past and consider architecture to be something unfinished, in a constant state of evolution and truly in the service of humanity. The current moment of uncertainty in our profession makes its consideration here especially relevant.
The Spanish Pavilion was awarded a Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale, featuring a new type of architecture that emerged in the country after the financial crisis.
Under the title “Unfinished”, the exhibition curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns consists of nearly 67 proposals and 7 photographic series presenting answers to the problems arising in Spain after the housing boom post-crisis. The inherited situation has led to many architectural studies to reflect on the passage of time in architecture and to respond against the excesses of the past.
Exhibition curator Iñaqui Carnicero is an Architect and has served as a visiting Professor at Cornell University. He has been recognised with numerous international awards such as the Design Vanguard Award, AIANY Housing Award, Emerging Architects Award, FAD and COAM Award.
The exhibit is divided into four areas:
Photographic series – highlighting otherwise hidden situations for visitors to reflect on the outcome of Spain’s construction frenzy and the affect of the financial crisis.
Selected Works – Displayed in the side rooms, featuring projects that deal with strategies that architects put into play as a response to these situations. These projects are further catalogued under the titles: Consolidate, Reapropiation, Adaptable, Naked, Perching, Infill, Reassignments, Guides, and Pavements.
Selected entries – Presenting selected projects from an open competition aimed at searching for unpublished projects responding to the proposed theme.
Interviews – Behind the central space and between the side spaces is a continuous projection of interviews, recording comments by renowned architecture personalities on “Unfinished” as well as about Spanish architecture. Speakers include Amale Andraos (Dean at Columbia University), Kenneth Frampton (Full Professor at Columbia University), Sarah Whiting (Dean at Rice University), Andrea Simitch (Associate Professor at Cornell University), Sou Fujimoto (Architect), Barry Bergdol (Ex curator MoMA), Val Warke (Associate Professor at Cornell University), Jorge Silvetti (Full Professor at Harvard GSD), Nader Tehrani (Dean of Cooper Union), Meijeen Yoon (Chair MIT) and Martino Stierli (Chief Curator MoMA )
ARCHITECTEM met with Iñaqui at the vernissage to discuss the exhibition and the challenges contemporary designers face in Spain – below is a condensed version of the conversation
Unfinished seeks to direct attention to processes more than results in an attempt to discover design strategies generated by an optimistic view of the constructed environment. The exhibition gathers examples of architecture produced during the past few years, born out of renunciation and economy of means, designed to evolve and adapt to future necessities and trusting in the beauty conferred by the passage of time. These projects have understood the lessons of the recent past and consider architecture to be something unfinished, in a constant state of evolution and truly in the service of humanity. The current moment of uncertainty in our profession makes its consideration here, especially relevant.
Let’s begin with the concept
IC This year Alejandro Aravena invited curators of all the national pavilions to respond to what we think is the major issue that architecture has been suffering in recent years. For us in Spain, it was very obvious; the problem has to do with the fact that when we benefited from a period of economic wealth, we started building many public and private buildings, without reflecting too much on necessity. After the economic crisis, some of these structures that were under construction remained unfinished, because the clients did not have money and resources to maintain them. What we have in Spain right now is a collection of contemporary buildings, what we call ‘contemporary ruins’, that exist all over and nobody is taking care of. So the idea of the pavilion is on one hand reporting these situations, these unfinished constructions but at the same time giving a positive perspective. By inviting seven photographers in the central space we are showing the work of seven people who have been documenting these ruins and it has a certain beauty of showing things that are meant to be hidden. For us the beauty of the process is the opportunity it leads you to find other tools or strategies that can be used to solve things. On the one hand, we are reporting the situation in the central space, and at the same time we are showing on the sides, solutions.
The catalogue posits “The selected projects show the architects response to the economic and construction crisis over the past years in Spain through virtues that can become strategies or creative speculations which are capable to subvert the past condition into a positive contemporary action.” Do the ‘contemporary ruins’ act as dynamic case studies in the quest for solutions?
IC They became the tool to report this situation. So as solutions to the unfinished projects, the projects on the sides consider the built environment as part of the strategy and reflect on the amount of architecture needed to be produced in order to solve the problem and to activate these abandoned constructions.
The strategies thus proposed are specific to the local context; can they be universally applied?
IC I think it can be universally applied, I mean this problem of incomplete and unfinished construction or this idea of reflecting on the factor of time in architecture is relevant for us, its very contemporary for us, but we can find it in other countries, other contexts and I think it’s a critical global issue. It brings attention to the fact that we have to be aware of the resources we have and to balance the amount of resources we put on the table to solve problems. Actually I think it is an opportunity.
Being an active academic, are these issues of reassignment, adaptability and re-appropriation a focus in the studios you teach?
IC Defiantly. At Cornell these past three years, these have been the major topics we have been working on in the studios as well. I like to always put students under constraints. Certain constraints are often given by the site, by the political situations, and sometimes defined by the history of a place. By reducing the amount of elements students can use, they are forced to improve their creativity.
In the prevailing economic and political environment do you anticipate architects bearing increasing responsibility to provide solutions for unfinished and existing projects?
IC In Spain it’s happening, because of the lack of investment for new buildings many offices are inventing this new strategy; adding to or removing from things that already exist, sometimes thinking about the evolution of a building by proposing solutions but then also thinking about what will happen in another 20 years. So this a new way of thinking about design in Spain, that I think could be extended to other countries.
Will this global movement affect the way we define star architects or style specific architectural design?
IC Of course, 8 years ago in the model we had, the masters were star architects defining their own brand. They were fighting to restore an old language and then going on to define what they thought was their unique language. Now these proposals are more related to offices, where young architects are less interested in defining their own brand and more in using the tools they learn in school in order to produce and improve living conditions by measuring the amount of new architecture they need to produce. I think the identity of the architect is still there, if you see these 55 projects you can see very different approach. And they identify very different interests. I’m not saying that the architect, the creativity of the architect is not present anymore. It’s an opportunity to be more creative with less tools. I’m very positive about the near future and this shift, I think, is going to improve things.
The exhibition at the Venice Biennale will remain open up till 27 November 2016.
Curador del Pabellón español en la 15° Bienal de Venecia se presentará en nuestra escuela.
Escuela Arquitectura UC
Actividad: Charla Fecha: Agosto 16 Lugar: Auditorio FADEU
Charla de Iñaqui Carnicero
En el contexto del área de Patrimonio de nuestra Facultad, los programas de Magíster en Patrimonio Cultural y el Diplomado en Patrimonio Cultural, tienen el agrado de presentar el próximo martes 16 de agosto al destacado arquitecto español Iñaqui Carnicero, curador del Pabellón Español en la última Bienal de Venecia, propuesta galardonada con el León de Oro. Carnicero dictará una clase pública sobre su experiencia en proyectos de rehabilitación e intervención en edificios patrimoniales así cómo de otros proyectos desarrollados en el último tiempo en su oficina.
IÑAQUI CARNICERO / Arquitecto (1998) y Doctor en Arquitectura (2015) por Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Activo tanto en el campo académico y una práctica profesional, Iñaqui Carnicero es profesor en la Universidad de Cornell tras haber sido profesor asociado de diseño en la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid desde el año 2000. Carnicero ha ganado varios concursos y completado muchos proyectos. Entre los más recientes se encuentra la restauración de una torre árabe, el proyecto de viviendas en Vallecas y el Hangar 16 Matadero en Madrid. Su obra ha recibido muchos premios incluyendo el premio FAD y el premio COAM. A su vez, es socio fundador de la oficina de arquitectura RICA (Madrid-New York) y es el curador del pabellón de España para la bienal de Venecia 2016 a través del cual obtuvo el León de Oro al mejor pabellón nacional.
Fecha_ Martes 16 de agosto de 2016. 18.30 hrs.
Lugar_ Auditorio FADEU, Campus Lo Contador. El Comendador 1916, Providencia
La ministra de Fomento, Ana Pastor, y el decano del Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid, José Mª Ezquiaga, tienen el placer de invitarte al acto, que con motivo de la concesión del León de Oro al Pabellón español en la XV Bienal de Arquitectura de Venecia, tendrá lugar en la sede colegial con la presencia, entre otras autoridades e instituciones colaboradoras, de los comisarios del Pabellón de España, Iñaqui Carnicero y Carlos Quintáns y el coordinador general de Bienales, Francisco Mangado.
KTH, what an amazing School that brings international jurors to review the work that professors and students have been doing during the semester. A great honor being part of it with very insightful people like Carlos Arroyo,Lesley Lokko, Sam Jacob, Liza Fior, Dagur Eggertsson, Lorena del Rio,Anders Johansson, Karolina Keyzer, Malin Zimm, Mia Hägg, Andrea Simitchand Katarina Bonnevier
The 2016 Venice Biennale is off to a positive start with the announcement of the National Participation winners during opening inauguration this past Saturday. Throughout the Biennale grounds, 63 countries are showcasing their unique architectural responses to the 2016 theme “Reporting from the Front”. After evaluations, the 2016 jury — which includes President of the Jury Hashim Sarkis (Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA) — decided which countries had the most outstanding exhibits.
Spain scored the Golden Lion for Best National Participation with “Unfinished”. This year’s top winners also include Japan, Peru, Gabinete de Arquitectura, NLÉ, and Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.
Read on for a little more about the winning participants.
Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Spain – “Unfinished” Commissioner: Iñaqui Carnicero + Carlos Quintans Curator: Carnicero + Quintans Exhibitor: Contemporary Spanish Architecture
The jury selected Spain’s “Unfinished” for being “a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.”
Special Mention: Japan – “en : art of nexus” Commissioner: The Japan Foundation Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana Exhibitors: Seiichi Hishikawa, mnm (Mio Tsuneyama), Osamu Nishida+Erika Nakagawa(Osamu Nishida, Erika Nakagawa, Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma, Yuri Naruse), Naka Architects’ Studio (Toshiharu Naka, Yuri Uno), Nousaku Architects (Fuminori Nousaku, Junpei Nousaku), miCo. (Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara), Levi Architecture (Jun Nakagawa), Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (Shingo Masuda, Katsuhisa Otsubo), Koji Aoki Architects (Koji Aoki), 403architecture [dajiba] (Takuma Tsuji, Takeshi Hashimoto, Toru Yada), BUS (Satoru Ito, Kosuke Bando, Issei Suma), dot architects (Toshikatsu Ienari, Takeshi Shakushiro, Wataru Doi).
Japan received a Special Mention for “bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting.”
Special Mention: Peru – “Our Amazon Frontline” Commissioner: José Orrego Curators: Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse Exhibitors: Elizabeth Añaños; Sebastián Cillóniz; Claudia Flores; Jose Luis Villanueva; Militza Carrillo, Gino Fernández; Miguel Chávez, Alvaro Echevarría, Alfonso Orbegoso; Karel van Oordt, Daizuke Izumi, Alejandro Torero; Carlos Tamayo; Luis Miguel Hadzich
Peru received a Special Mention for “bringing architecture to a remote corner of the world, making it both a venue for learning as well as a means for preserving the culture of the Amazon.”
Golden Lion for Best National Participation – SPAIN
Spain has been awarded the Golden Lion for best pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, for the exhibition ‘Unfinished’ ; Gabinete de Arquitectura has been awarded the prize for best exhibition.
The Spanish Pavilion was curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero, co-founder of Rica Studio, and Carlos Quintáns.
Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2016:
The international Jury of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia composed of Hashim Sarkis (President of the Jury, Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA) has decided to confer the awards as follows:
The international Jury of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia has conferred the awards last Saturday May 28th 2016 at the Biennale headquarters, Ca’ Giustinian.
The Jury was composed of Hashim Sarkis (President of the Jury, Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA).
The Spanish Pavilion curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns
You can see below all the winners and the Special mentions. The five members of Jury of awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Unfinished in the Pavilion of Spain (Giardini) ‘for a concisely curated selection of emerging architects, whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints’.
Pavilion of Japan, curated by Yoshiyuki Yamana
Two National Participations received Special Mentions: en: art of nexus in the Pavilion of Japan (Giardini) ‘for bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting’; and Our Amazon Frontline in the Pavilion of Peru (Arsenale) ‘for bringing architecture to a remote corner of the world, making it both a venue for learning as well as a means for preserving the culture of the Amazon’.
Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ, The Netherlands) was awarded the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant‘for a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education’.
The floating wood-framed school that he built in Venice (Gaggiandre, Arsenale), referring to his Makoko Floating School (Nigeria, 2013), will be dismantled after the exhibition and shipped to Nigeria.
Floating School in Venice by NLÉ
Silver Lion for a promising young participant to NLÉ(Kunlé Adeyemi – Waterfront) ‘for a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education’.
Breaking the siege by Gabinete de Arquitectura
Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the 15th Exhibition REPORTING FROM THE FRONT to Gabinete de Arquitectura (Solano Benítez; Gloria Cabral; Solanito Benítez – Paraguay) ‘for harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities’ in the Breaking the siege project.
Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Italy) was awarded a Special Mention as a Participant for ‘her perseverance in using the rigours of her discipline to elevate the everyday into timeless works of architecture’ in Her small-scale work in Sicily Onore perduto (Central Pavilion, Giardini).
Onore perduto by Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo
The Board of Directors of the Venice Biennale awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Brazil) on the recommendation Alejandro Aravena, director of the 15th International Art Exhibition.