BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016 - NATIONAL PARTICIPATION OF BAHRAIN

Kingdom of Bahrain - Biennale Architettura 2016

Places of Production - Aluminium is the Kingdom of Bahrain’s National Participation at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition- La Biennale de Venezia. The pavilion, located at the Arsenale Artiglierie in Venice, was commissioned by Her Excellency Sh. Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities.

Exhibition
The first aluminium smelter in the Gulf region was inaugurated in 1968 in Bahrain and is today the fourth largest single-site smelter in the world. It continues a history of metal trade that finds its roots in the third millennium BC when the Islands were at the crossroads of the regional trade route for copper and tin. The smelter was initiated as an effort to diversify the economy away from its reliance on oil by broadening the industrial infrastructure although incidentally relying heavily on the oil industry and its byproducts. The presence of the smelter, also developed a local economy of aluminium- both formal and informal. Alongside, large locally-based international companies producing typical byproducts of aluminium, smaller workshops have developed with a focus on a smaller-scale production of aluminium. Through an investigation of the gestures in the production processes of aluminium, the installation in the Arsenale, using film, photography and sand-casted aluminium, is an attempt to extract a different potential of the material use.

The installation made out of sand casted aluminium. The real characteristics of the material become visible through the roughness and variety of shades within the matter.

Carbon a leftover of oil refining used for the extraction of aluminia by electrolysis.

Visitors skimming through the reading material.

The standing aluminium structure is accompanied by photos, a video and reading material.

Aluminium window samples and video.

Reading material and carbon blocks photo.

Extensive reading material explaining the conceptual and technical details behind the installation.

Main entrance to the pavilion.

The confining space with the Pavilion of Macedonia.

Cutting of aluminium profiles photo and visitors at the pavilion.

Main entrance of the exhibition.

The floor/structure base made out of sand casted aluminium.

Through an investigation of the gestures in the production processes of aluminium, the installation in the Arsenale is an attempt to extract a different potential of the material use.

The film, Conformation, traces the different steps of production that precede aluminium's application in its distinct forms - it becomes a topography of the production of aluminium.

The film is a study of gestures and movements, those of human beings and machines.

Aluminium frame for a kitchen cabinet at Al Shams Aluminium Factory.
Cutting of Aluminium Profiles at Al Fairooz Aluminium, Salmabad, Bahrain.

Stacking fo aluminium ingots at Alba, Sitra, Bahrain.

Video making
Standardised products of construction such as window frames, cladding panels and others also made their entry into the Island and progressively infiltrated all aspects of the construction process partially disconnecting building from local context. 

Today, aluminium cladding of high-rises and towers, and increasingly in the re-cladding of older facades, is one of the most visible expressions of contemporary architecture in Bahrain.

The aluminium casting process in the Netherlands, 2016.

The pavilion was commissioned by Her Excellency Sh. Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities.

Credits: Story

Commissioner: Sh. Mai Al Khalifa

Curators: Anne Holtrop and Noura Al Sayeh

Photography: Armin Linke and Giulia Bruno

Film: Armin Linke in collaboration with Giulia Bruno, Giuseppe Ielasi and Renato Rinaldi

Installation: Studio Anne Holtrop

Pavilion Installation: Restaura SL, Milan and Ronchetti, Milan

Pavilion Production: Bronsgieterij Kemner, Amsterdam

Structural Engineering: Mario Monotti

Research: Mawane

Graphic design: Jonathan Hares

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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