Thematic Exhibition (2021): Architecture x Infrastructure

The potential synergies between architecture and engineering, new possibilities and challenges

By Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Photosynthetic Iceberg and UFO by Uncertainty Network OfficeSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

While they are essential to the functioning of metropolises, are the infrastructures the missing link to resilience? How can architecture transform infrastructure into an adaptable resource for the city? While leaders in the fields of engineering have often been pioneers in urban resilience, what role can architects play in these processes? Entitled “Architecture X Infrastructure”, the thematic exhibition of the Seoul Biennale 2021 intends to express the potential synergies  between architecture and engineering.

Fabricating Swissness by Architecture Office (Nicole McIntosh, Jonathan Louie)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

This unprecedented partnership opens up perspectives and feeds the possible directions of 21st century urbanization. It considers the management of obsolescence and vulnerability as an exciting opportunity for the regeneration. By questioning the apparent separation of two often distinct territories, the exhibition argues for merger them as a way to produce a resilient, responsible, aesthetic and sustainable response to today’s urban challenges.

A Tale of Three Cities by Thom Mayne (Morphosis)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

A Tale of Three Cities

Thom Mayne and Morphosis propose three new infrastructural typologies that radically toggle between scalar, contextual, and socioeconomic forces that have shaped contemporary China. Each typology—a symbolic marker, a landscape continuum, and a micro dispersal—relates architecture as a newfound system for urban infrastructural growth. We ask the audience to peer into China's future: a future that uses architecture as infrastructure to capture a vastly complex, everchanging, and interconnected world.

CHICAGO: Cooling and Heating Interventions in Chicago Achieved via Geothermal Opportunities by GEOEG + enerdrapeSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

CHICAGO: Cooling and Heating Interventions in Chicago

This project proposes a visionary yet realizable intervention for the resilient future of Chicago, transforming 280km of existing tunnels and extensive built environments that lay beneath the city into renewable energy providers and livable spaces.

The Captain’s House by Vector ArchitectsSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Captain’s House

In this installation, the visitor can go inside the model to experience a new reality framed by its openings and enclosures and real-time vision and sound of the context, virtually transporting themselves to the space inside The Captain's House.

Housing for People by Manuel Cervantes EstudioSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Housing for People

The idea of designing houses for specific family structures (there is a big variety) in specific sites may sound obvious, but the biggest part of the world designs housing projects as economical solutions, not human solutions.

Le KBNN: An Update of Le Corbusier’s Refuge by Office for Holistic Miscellanea (Dana Barale Burdman, Pedro Pitarch)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Le KBNN: An Update of Le Corbusier’s Refuge

Le KBNN is a ready-made that rethinks in our contemporary context Le Corbusier’s Cabanon. It reinterprets the original scheme with updated devices and materials. Its interior explores the different original scenarios through virtual situations of the 21st century.

Structure of a 6×9 Demountable House, 1944 by Galerie Patrick SeguinSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Structure of a 6×9 Demountable House, 1944

The main elements from the metalframe structure of a 6×9 meters demountable house illustrate Jean Prouvé’s constructive philosophy, according to which furniture and buildings alike could be readily dismantled, moved about, and adapted. 

The Basic Services Unit and the Incremental Neighborhood by ElementalSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Basic Services Unit and the Incremental Neighborhood

The Basic Services Unit proposes a prefabricated module that can be built in just 5 weeks and concentrates the sanitation infrastructure and the structure for growth. This allows a family to count with the minimum sanitary needs in 40 days.

Rock Skin: A City-Building Process Towards Ecological Empathy by Studio PararaumSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Rock Skin

By introducing a new agent—the rock-skin that mediates between ‘a fragment of the mountain’ and ‘a building block’—we seek to forge a new relationship between the city (material consumption) and the mountain (natural resources).

Columns to Nowhere by Estúdio Gustavo UtraboSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Columns to Nowhere

All surrounding merges in the reflection established by a floating plate, which also mirrors the rigorous structure, slightly disturbing the primary order. And so, pragmatism and instability meet each other to build mutable and powerful landscapes.

La Casa de Semillas by A+A (Adel Abdessemed, Alain Dlugosz) + Naço (Marcelo Joulia, Mattia Joulia, Juan Miri)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

La Casa de Semillas

The Casa de Semillas (house of the seeds) is an indispensable element of every new community like the one the Ayllu Arariwakuna Project is putting in place. It is what allows these communities to be autonomous. Today the seed production of the world is controlled by few organisms, and its genetic biodiversity is dwindling.or worse, forbidden. It is our responsibility as seed keepers to preserve this biodiversity.

Circa Diem by EPFL × HEAD (Marilyne Andersen, Mark Pauly, Florin Isvoranu, Megan Danell, Javier Fernández-Contreras, Alice Proux)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Circa Diem

By entering a cylindrical space, the visitor gets a sensorial experience of the passing of time through four phases of the 24-hour day—morning, midday, evening and night.

Land of Hope by Studio HartzemaSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Land of Hope

In 1966, Peter Hall highlighted that Holland’s cities have grown so close together that they form one city: Randstad Holland. Indeed, the Randstad, which started as a ring of compact cities around a green heart, has now evolved into an uncontrollable diffuse city. 

Sublimation by Jean Marc Ibos, Myrto Vitart, Dominique Boudet, Ruedi BaurSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Sublimation

Beyond the hallucinatory visions of our modernity, a possibility of redemption emerges here from the suggestive beauty of the images. In an era of excessive standardization and brutal search for profitability, we should aim at a world not only liveable but also desirable.

To Inhabit by Manuel Aires MateusSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

To Inhabit

The quality of inhabiting is related to freedom. The freedom given by the possibility of spatial appropriation, independent from an epoch and with no functional imposition. Architecture is the art of permanence, a constant support, open to life and its evolution. 

Stick, Snap, Stack: Reconfigurable Stacked Lattice System by Jin Young Song (SUNY Buffalo Architecture)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Stick, Snap, Stack: Reconfigurable Stacked Lattice System

Inspired by the traditional wood joinery, the system integrates the simplicity of ‘stacking’ with a ‘snapping’- induced interlocking system for the unique part-to-whole mechanism.

Infrastructure to Create Value by Marc Mimram Architecture and Associates + École d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoire à Marnela- Vallée (Marc Mimram, Clémence Lepelletier, Martin Fougeras Lavergnolle, Lois Tavernier, Florian Larremendy)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Infrastructure to Create Value

The landmark’s shape will allow the creation of an inside and outside space, inviting the visitor to turn around and enter the installation in order to discover the full project while having an architectural experience.

Photosynthetic Iceberg and UFO by Uncertainty Network OfficeSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Photosynthetic Iceberg and UFO

The photosynthetic iceberg represents the spectacular but fragile greenhouse landscape, while the floating UFO, the Unstopping Fabricated Oasis, represents transnational organic food corporations, the ghosts of eco-capitalism. 

Fabricating Swissness by Architecture Office (Nicole McIntosh, Jonathan Louie)Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Fabricating Swissness

And today, the Swiss-themed building code describes typical building elements that evoke certain associations with traditional Swiss building types.

The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge, 2018-2020 by Renzo Piano Building WorkshopSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge, 2018-2020

It was necessary to proceed as fast as possible with the cleverest design able to build a bridge that will last forever. Like a clock, the round table presents the different moments of the process of design and construction that lasted less than 24 months. 

Memorial to the Industrial Revolution by CSK Architects + The Bartlett UCL + ArupSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Memorial to the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was responsible for enormous technological progress, and yet at the same time it has ended in a global ecological crisis. The memorial commemorates the incredible achievements of the late-modern era, but also declares the death of its environmentally destructive linear modes of production and consumption. 

Credits: Story

Find out more information including the theme of the 2021 biennale, and programs on the website of Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. 

Curator: Dominique Perrault
Photos: ⓒ516 Studio

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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