Winners of «Open City» returned from Venice

05 December 2018

10 students-participants of Open City conference, who were picked out by jury of educational formats, received trip to Venice Biennale as a prize. They had a busy programme, which included visiting Biennale pavilions, excursion to Contemporary Art Museums and tour around the city.

10 students, chosen by expert jury following the results of participation in the educational formats of the conference Open City – work of workshops, defense of course papers and thesis before Archcouncil and Portfolio Review, visited Venice Architecture Biennale. With a Russian guide they had a chance to see the most spectacular solutions; on the territory of Giardini they strolled through the national pavilions, looked at how blobs-clouds react to changes of climate in the Nordic Pavilion, came up to the roof of the empty British Pavilion, which literally responded the theme of the Biennale FreeSpace, assessed work dealing with scale in the Swiss Pavilion, - winner of Golden Lion. Students also attended the Central Pavilion with the scale models of Peter Tsumthor and extensive plans on reconstruction of Manhattan by Bjarke Ingels, and also best examples of Early Modernism and ways to fight urban partisanship in Chinese megacities. They also visited the Russian Pavilion, comparing concept and presentation with other countries’ experience.

Acquaintance with Biennale continued on San Giorgio Island, where this year the Vatican made an exhibition for the first time. 10 chapels of various shapes by 10 architects inspired by one Stockholm chapel by architect Asplund of the beginning of the 20th century had been built here. Chamber buildings of various forms and materials among monastery gardens and fog of autumn Venice set for meditative mood.

For the development of the theme of architecture, the group visited Renzo Piano exhibition in the building of former sea warehouse, where architectural characters were literally created by light and air, and the day ended up at Punta della Dogana Museum with the exhibition of radical contemporary art. At the same time students estimated the exhibition space itself – delicate work of Tadao Ando with the architectural monument.

Discovering contemporary art continued at Palazzo Franchetti, where wonderful exhibition of iconic group of designers Memphis took place. At the same place in the courtyard one of large-scale works by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei Gilded Cage was on display.

To better explore the city, its structure, the guys walked along the major squares and streets with a Russian guide. They looked at high and low tide at St. Mark’s Square, learned what were houses built of and on which foundations, assessed the extent of vanity of doges and noble citizens at different times. It ended up with a Vaporetto trip through Grand Canal, which is overlooked with the facades of major Venice palazzos.

Trips to major international events with attendance of interesting architectural projects become a tradition of Open City. Let’s remind that the previous year 10 most active students of the conference visited St. Petersburg’s Cultural Forum, this year’s winners received as a prize trip to Venice Biennale, which became possible due to support of partners of Open City, developer’s companies INGRAD, Capital Group and Leader Invest.

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