Opening Halls of Venice Biennale Made of 100 Tons of Waste….From Last Year’s Event

The opening halls of the Venice Biennale 2016 were built with 100 tons of waste material generated by the previous year’s Biennale. These waste materials include 10,000 m2 of plasterboard and 14 km of metal studs. The aim of the construction concept by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena is to raise the issue of waste in the building industry and propose an architectural solution that adds value to existing materials.

The halls are within a 300-metre long building in East Venice that frmerly operated as the ropeworks of a shipyard, but now operate as one of the Biennale’s two main venues. In the first room, the length of the hall features crumpled aluminium, which spectacularly decorates the space with an elaborate fringe. Elsewhere, walls are clad with stacks of plasterboard in different colours and display shelves are integrated within.

According to the architect’s office, the aim of the project is twofold: on the one hand they would like to widen the range of issues to which architecture is expected to respond, adding explicitly to the cultural and artistic dimensions that already belong to their scope – being those that are on the social, political, economical and environmental end of the spectrum. On the other hand, they would like to highlight the fact that architecture is called to respond to more than one dimension at a time, integrating a variety of fields instead of choosing on or the other.

Best known for his work in social housing through the ‘do tank’ Elemental in Chile, Aravena is also notably the recipient of year’s Pritzker Prize!