BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016 - NATIONAL PARTICIPATION OF PORTUGAL

Portugal - Biennale Architettura 2016

NEIGHBOURHOOD - Where Alvaro meets Aldo

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | Making of
The Portuguese Pavilion at Campo di Marte, Giudecca

For the 15th International Architecture Exhibition’s challenging theme Portugal presents a “site-specific” pavilion, occupying an urban front in regeneration on the island of Giudecca: Campo di Marte.

In actual fact, the installation of the pavilion on-site triggered the completion of Campo di Marte’s urban project designed by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, thirty years ago.

In 2016, a few months before the opening of the Venice Biennale, Álvaro Siza returned to all the four neighbourhoods presented in this exhibition.

Siza's visits and the neighbours are now depicted in photos and videos, presented on the outside and inside of the Portuguese Pavilion respectively.

These are real everyday life documents, only possible due to the residents’ goodwill, to whom the project team thanks the involvement.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Exhibition
The pavilion exhibits four notable works by Siza, in the field of Social Housing - Campo di Marte (Venice); Schilderswijk (The Hague); Schlesisches Tor (Berlin); and Bairro da Bouça (Porto) - exposing his participatory experience as a peculiar understanding of the European city and citizenship.

Architectural documents were granted by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), one of the main institutional partners, that holds part of the Alvaro Siza Archives.

Álvaro and Aldo were companions in several events: Portugal (1974); Santiago de Compostela (1975); Venice Lido (1976); Bogotá (1982); and in the implementation of the Campo di Marte plan (1985-1997).

Aldo Rossi, Eraldo Consolascio, Bruno Reichlin and Fabio Reinhart exhibited in Caxinas and Porto, for the first time, the remarkable collage La Città Analoga (The Analogous City).

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Exhibition
Campo di Marte, Giudecca, Venice

Siza designed a urban fabric based on the elongated structure of the old cadastral division, layout from the Giudecca Canal to the Lagoon and resuming some architectural archetypes of the island.

Siza learned to identify the typological invariants of the popular housing fabric of inner Giudecca and from which emerged the churches and palaces at the borders of the canal and the lagoon.

Siza opted, in his general plan, for a cohesive urban composition, height uniformity and windows arranged in a constant rhythm along the extensive facades.

This "meta-project" was later interpreted by Aldo Rossi, Carlo Aymonino and Rafael Moneo, invited to design different buildings adjacent to the quarter assigned to Álvaro Siza, in Campo di Marte.

Between 1986 and 2006 only the two Italian architects were able to complete their works. Nowadays, Siza’s project is partially completed and that of Rafael Moneo is at an early stage of study.

In February 2016, visiting different local residents of Campo di Marte, Siza talked, smoked and toasted with them during a lively afternoon of conviviality.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Exhibition
Schlesisches Tor, Berlin, Germany

After visiting Berlin in the late 70s, Siza took part in a competition, responding to the challenge of regenerating a complete quarter in Schlesisches Tor, at the Kreuzberg district.

In Schlesisches Strasse, Alvaro Siza designed a residential building of seven floors, and learning from the surrounding architectural diversity he transformed the corner into a “monumental” point.

The major social and urban changes which took place in the neighbourhoods are shared by many other European cities: processes like immigration, ghettoization, gentrification and touristification.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Exhibition
Schilderwijk, The Hague, The Netherlands

After visiting the neighbourhood and listening to the inhabitants, Siza designed the first construction phase in the district’s south area: the Punt Komma blocks, carried out between 1986 and 1989.

In March 2016 Álvaro Siza returned to Schilderswijk, visiting families who have settled there for the past 25 years, talking and drinking the inevitable Rize tea served by affable Turkish women.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Exhibition
Bouça, Porto, Portugal

In 1975, two elongated buildings were built at Bairro da Bouça, with four floors (2 duplex apartments), with direct entrances from the street or from a high gallery.

For twenty years the neighbourhood was progressively degrading, until the residents’ association, with another housing cooperative, proposed the municipality to complete the project by Álvaro Siza.

In 2016, a decade after the quarter conclusion, Siza visited the area and got inside of the residents’ houses, realizing how they lived in them. There he met again some of the first inhabitants.

Álvaro Siza also knew the outcome of the gentrification process, meeting young architects, designers and artists who became the owners of the houses placed on the market by the housing cooperative.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo | The Opening Event
The opening event of the Portuguese Representation at La Biennale di Venezia 2016 took place on May 25th, at Campo di Marte, Giudecca.

Álvaro Siza arrived at Giudecca by vaporetto, here accompanied by Roberto Cremascoli.

The arrival of the Portuguese architect was one of the high moments of the opening, together with the Prime Minister of Portugal (on the left).

Álvaro Siza introduced the guests and guided them through the exhibition.

La Tavolata gathered the residents of Campo di Marte, as well as Italian and Portuguese artistic and political public figures, journalists and many more, celebrating neighbourhood.

The graffitis on the walls of the construction site show how the population was longing for the completion of the building.

These visual documents were produced by a qualified multidisciplinary team, with the support of the Media partners SIC/Expresso (Portugal).

Credits: Story

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo
Official Portuguese Representation
at the 15th Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2016

Commissioner: Directorate-General for the Arts | Portuguese Republic
Curators: Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli

May 28 - November 27 | Campo di Marte, Giudecca, Venice

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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