Christian Kerez – la Biennale 2016

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 architect Christian Kerez has built an inhabitable structure inside Switzerland’s Biennale pavilion, featuring a cloud-like exterior and a cavernous interior

Zurich-based Kerez created the project, named Incidental Space, for this year’s Swiss entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale to raise “controversial questions” about how architecture is produced and experienced.

Incidental Space, Swiss Pavilion by Christian Kerez at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Oliver Dubuis

Two openings in the craggy fibre-cement form allow visitors to clamber inside the space, which – while completely artificially formed – alludes to structures found in geology and anatomy.

The ambivalent form intentionally leaves the structure open to wide interpretation

Incidental Space, Swiss Pavilion by Christian Kerez at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Oliver Dubuis

“What we were looking for here is an openness in terms of meaning; it’s not a symbolic space, it is not a referential space, it allows you to initiate a pure encounter with architecture,” he said.

“In this sense, we were much more interested in raising questions than in giving any statements on architecture.”

Incidental Space, Swiss Pavilion by Christian Kerez at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Oliver Dubuis

Kerez sees the same significance in the Biennale’s 2016 promotional image, which show a woman standing on a ladder in the middle of a desert. “I would say there this project fits perfectly because it offers this ladder and a new perspective for architecture,” he said.The irregular, knobbly form of Incidental Space originates from a small model built from sugar and dust, and then cast in plaster.

 

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