Venice Architecture Biennale Exhibition, Gustafson Porter Pavilion Images, Italy
Venice Biennale Gustafson Porter Landscape Installation
Italian 2008 Landscape Installation design by Gustafson Porter
23 Sep 2008
Venice Biennale Landscape
‘Towards Paradise’ by Gustafson Porter (UK) and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (US) has proved one of the major highlights at this year’s Venice Biennale. Visitors flocked to the Arsenale to experience the project’s ‘clouds’, suspended above the garden by helium balloons.
Photographs: Grant Smith
Designers Kathryn Gustafson, Neil Porter & Mary Bowman:
29 Aug 2008
Venice Biennale Landscape Installation in Italy
Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol design the first major landscape installation at the Venice Biennale
Entitled Towards Paradise, the landscape installation will be sited at the end of the Arsenale at the 2008 Venice Biennale, within the overgrown grounds of the former Church of the Virgins, a Benedictine nunnery that was destroyed in the late 1800s. Gustafson Porter (London) and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Seattle) were commissioned by Biennale Director Aaron Betsky to create the installation, as part of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition – to be held from 14 September to 23 November 2008.
This is the first time that the architecture Biennale will feature a major landscape installation.
Entitled “Out There: Architecture Beyond Building,” the premise for the 2008 Biennale is that “…architecture is not building… (it) is something else.”
Neil Porter, Director of Gustafson Porter, states, “Landscape architecture is a greatly neglected subject from a curatorial point of view, so we are hugely excited by the opportunity of engaging with visitors at the Biennale. The architecture of buildings and landscapes are clearly intrinsically linked and it is crucial that we work to uplift and enhance the built environment around us.”
“In his brief for the landscape installation, Betsky quoted Voltaire’s Candide, ‘Il faut cultiver notre jardin’, meaning ‘to cultivate one’s garden’, or to tend to one’s affairs. Towards Paradise is conceived as a contemporary allegory in the broadest sense. It will take the visitor on a journey through earthly dilemmas, evoking what has been lost and what can be gained.
Telling a story of past, present and future, the garden is composed of two main spaces linked by pathways cleared from the overgrowth of the abandoned garden. In ‘Nourishment’ one finds sustenance for body and soul. A clearing that has been carved from the bramble leads to ‘Enlightenment’ where a sculpted landform offers space for reflection, commemoration, conversation, contemplation and dreams of Paradise.
Design Statement from Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
We design to express a concept subtly, without imposing it. The story of the landscape is emotive and intuitive, intended to be felt more than understood. Similar to the way we emotionally experience a work of art, individuals discover meaning through the intangible and ephemeral qualities of a landscape.
When a place has intuitive meaning, it becomes valued and timeless.
In modern culture, the human senses receive a formidable amount of information each day. Many people are experiencing a sensory overload. As a response to these conditions, our work is designed to be calming, expansive, and accessible. We often seek to create serene spaces in which people may pause and reflect.
Gustafson Porter (London) and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Seattle)
Venice Architecture Biennale Landscape Installation
Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol invited to participate in 2008 Venice Biennale
Gustafson Porter (London) and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Seattle) have been commissioned by Biennale Director Aaron Betsky to create a landscape installation as part of this year’s Biennale in Venice, the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, to be held from 14 September to 23 November 2008. This is the first time that the architecture Biennale will feature a major landscape installation.
Entitled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, the premise for the 2008 Biennale is that “…. architecture is not building … (it) is something else. More generally, architecture is a way of representing, shaping and perhaps even offering critical alternatives to the human-made environment. In fact, buildings are not enough.”
The architectural landscape installation by Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s (GP / GGN), entitled Towards Paradise, will be sited at the end of the Arsenale, within the overgrown grounds of the former Church of the Virgins, a Benedictine nunnery that was destroyed in the late 1800s.
Betsky’s brief, ‘Il faut cultiver notre jardin,’ is a quote from Voltaire’s Candide and Towards Paradise is a multi-faceted response, indicating the ways in which the human race engages, or fails to engage, in husbanding natural resources: are we diligent or dilatory? Are we committed or corrupted? Inspired by Gian Battista Tiepolo’s giant allegorical painting ‘The Plague of the Serpent’ in the Accademia art gallery in Venice, where the image of the serpent becomes a metaphor for voyage, discovery and self knowledge, Towards Paradise is conceived as a contemporary allegory in the broadest sense.
Towards Paradise will take the visitor on a journey through earthly dilemmas, passing from life to death and ‘towards paradise’. Evoking a past, present and future, the garden is composed of five main spaces, with places for reflection, commemoration, conversation, contemplation and enlightenment.
Venice Biennale Landscape images / information from Gustafson Porter
Location: Venice, Italy, southern Europe
Contemporary Architecture in Venice
photo : Neale Smith Photography
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Dune Formations Installation : images by Zaha Hadid
Comments / photos for the Venice Biennale Landscape Installation 2008 page welcome
Website: La Biennale di Venezia