Eurotopie, the selected project by the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles in collaboration with Wallonie-Bruxelles International for the belgian representation in the Belgian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, is a project for Europe.
Brussels is where Europe has, for several decades, been taking place. Beyond a shared space, the existence of the European Quarter in Brussels is a survival requirement both for Europe and for Brussels. Although the European Quarter can be considered as the spatial expression of the European political system, it is, for reasons such as history, morphology, finance and security, impervious to citizen empowerment. By accepting the role of hostess of the common venture called Europe, Brussels has de facto accepted the responsibility for its spatial anchorage. Eurotopie therefore offers to create the European Quarter’s lacking civic space within the Belgian Pavilion itself, and thus to entice visitors to ponder, discuss, debate and, ultimately, to commit to constructing Europe.
On January 2019, Eurotopie has been selected beyond more than 350 applications in the context of the Call for ideas of the Future Architecture platform. Eurotopie is the only belgian applicant selected. The project will be presented in Ljubljana in February 2019.
During the exhibition (26 May - 25 November 2018), Eurotopie generates some events, in Venice, but also in Brussels.
During the opening week, the Belgian Pavllion hosted these events:
Thursday 24 May*
Friday 25 May* in presence of Ministers Alda Greoli and Rudy Demotte
Saturday 26 May
Sunday 27 May:
* restricted access to preview passes (public opening of the Biennale on the 26th May)
Moreover, the Belgium was present in Venice while these events:
For the 2018 edition, curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have called for national curators to consider their contributions as Freespace. They define Freespace as spaces which testify to the generosity and humanity which are at the roots of architectural practice.
NEWS! Ghent-based firm architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, comprising belgian architects to jan de vylder, inge vinck, jo taillieu, was awarded by the international jury of the 2018 venice architecture biennale the silver lion as promising young participant for a project that ‘possesses a confidence thanks to which slowness and waiting allow architecture to be open to future activation’.
“Unless, the experiment. Merely from the perspective of what is there, and looking for what is still possible. Without defining the programme or expectation as such. Except for the expectation that the usual ideas might take a turn – might result in a Wendung.”
The exhibition ‘UNLESS EVER PEOPLE / CARITAS FOR FREESPACE’ in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini shows the CARITAS project by architecten de vylder vinck taillieu. This project was realized in a remarkable collaboration with commissioner KARUS, who was heavily involved in the process, and with the guidance of BAVO, an independent research office focused on the political aspects of art, architecture and spatial planning.
BC believes that, in order to have a positive impact on our society, architects need to intervene beyond the narrow definition of the professional who designs and controls the execution of buildings. Hence, BC ventures into material production, contracting, storytelling, knowledge transfer, community organization, which influence their design approach.
BC architects & studies has been selected by the main curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia 2018 to participate at the exhibition Freespace. The scenography at l’Arsenale shows four projects as acts of building, displaying artefacts that were used for the construction, namely tools, machines and formworks. The book is structured around a collection of stories that take these artefacts as points of departure.
The exibition is accompanied by a book, designed as both a self-standing proposition and a complement to the participation of the exhibition in Venice. This book is the result of the work that Pauline Lefebvre (FNRS post-doctoral fellow) conducted at, with and about BC architects & studies. She researched their practice as part of her broader inquiry about architects’ increased involvement into construction (and) materials as a renewed form of political engagement in architecture. From the first fieldtrips for the design of a library in Burundi to involving over 150 workshop participants in the construction of a public building in Belgium, the stories compiled in this book tell how BC architects & studies engage in acts of building.
Just as the architecture of Marie-José Van Hee invokes slowness, and offers spaces to calm down and step back from the hustle and bustle of contemporary society, we would like to offer a place in which to rest and contemplate whilst visiting the biennale of architecture. We have created a corner with two bed-banks (literally: bed-benches or daybeds), furniture with a specific structural design, drawn by Van Hee. These objects were first developed in 1997 for the architect’s own house, and updated exactly 20 years later to be accessible for a wider public.
Contemplating the curator’s manifesto, working with natural light in the venue of the Arsenale, Van Hee asked the internationally acclaimed Belgian artist Dirk Braeckman - who represented Belgium at the 2017 Venice art biennale - to capture her freespace par excellence, her own house in Ghent. His photos hang in the semi-darkness as a counterpoint to the south-facing window.
Two custom made books showing photos and ‘black drawings’ are presented on reused lecterns, designed by Marie-José Van Hee in 1993. The content offers a small excerpt of the light, space and proportions that have formed the (un)built oeuvre of the architect over the last four decades, working together with clients and colleagues, builders, artisans and artists. One light bulb hangs in the space, reminiscent of those in her freespace in Ghent.
Out of the darkness, a new project is born.
The illustrator Eva Le roi (Bruxelles) is an artist involved in the architecture and urbanism fields. She works with architecture and urbanism offices and institutions and her work is
regularly presented in Venice (Biennales architettura 2010-Luxembourg pavilion, 2014-Monditalia, 2018). This year, she is taking part in the exhibition of Japan Pavillion’s curated by a team lead by Momoyo Kaijima, with Laurent Stalder and Yu Iseki. Her work will be presented beyond 40 exhibitors ranging from university design studios, architectural offices to contemporary artistic practices from all over the world from the last twenty years.
CENTRAL (Brussels) is a young (2015) office. Recently, this young practice has distinguished itself by different winning projects in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia demonstrating the interest of the office for a multiscalar and systemic approach of architecture, city and territory. This year it will be strongly present in Venice. First, throughout a round table session in the cycle of conferences 'Coming of age' (Università Iuav di Venezia) the 24 may at 19h30. Second, with their winning projet 'Europa', as an answer to the international call launched by the three neighbouring pavilions of Spain, Holland and Belgium to invest their shared outdoor space. This installation 'Europa' will be unveiled on the 26th May at 12 AM in front of the 3 pavilions.
Founded in 2004 by the architect Pierre Hebbelinck, the Fourre-Tout Editions (Liège) shave today a 25 books catalogue. Each book aim to develop a communication and cultural presence tool, as an efficient venue to lead architecture in the cultural field. In 2014, Fourre-tout is teaming wirth the Centre for Central European Architecture (CCEA, Prague) to prolong in a book the discussions related to the exhibition “Lifting the Curtain · Central European Architectural Networks” in la Sala Tiziano de l’Officina delle Zatterre during the14th Biennale of Venice. Result of a 4 years work, Lifting the Curtain (304 pages, FR/GB) proposes an unpublished view on the development and the role of networks in architecture in these oriental part of Europe, twenty-five years after the iron curtain fell. The book will be presented in the belgian Pavilion on the 24th May à 2 PM in the context of a literary café 'Network' with the presence of his major protagonists.