VENICE BIENNALE 2012: SHIFTING GROUNDS
HENEGHAN PENG ARCHITECTS IRELAND PAVILIONB
VENICE BIENNALE 2012: SHIFTING GROUNDS - IRELAND PAVILION DESIGN BY HENEGHAN PENG ARCHITECTS
The Irish Pavilion, designed by Heneghan Peng Architects with the support of Arup, and curated byJohn McLaughlin, charts a position for Irish architecture in a global culture where the modes of production of architecture are radically altered. Ireland has developed a national culture of architecture derived from local place as a material construct. They now have to evolve our understanding in the light of the globalized nature of economic processes and architectural production which is largely dependent on internationally networked flows of products and data. They have just begun to represent this situation to themselves and others. How should a global architecture be grounded culturally and philosophically? How does it position itself outside of shared national reference points?
From John McLaughlin:
Heneghan Peng Architects were selected as participants because they work across different continents on a range of diverse projects. Our dialogue led us to discussing the universal languages of projective geometry and number shared by architects and related professionals. In their work the specific embodiment of these geometries is carefully calibrated by the choice of materials and their detailed design. The stone facade of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Antrim takes precise measure of the properties of the volcanic basalt seams from which it is hewn. The extraction of the stone is the subject of wall drawings which record the cutting of basalt to create the façade of the Causeway Centre.
We also identified water as the element which is shared across the different sites. Venice is a perfect place to take measure of this element which suggests links to another site – the Nile Valley. An ancient Egyptian rod for measuring the water level of the Nile inspired the design of a responsive oscillating bench which invites visitors to balance their respective weights. The bench constitutes a shifting ground located in the unstable field of Venice. It is about measurement and calibration of the weight of the body in relation to other bodies; in relation to the site of the installation; and in relation to water. It is located in the Artiglierie section of the Arsenale. Its level is calibrated against the mark of the acqua alta in the adjacent brickwork of the building which marks a horizontal datum in a floating world.
Some photographs taken by © Nico Saieh
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HENEGHAN PENG ARCHITECTS
Heneghan Peng Architects is a design partnership practising architecture, landscape and urban design. The practise was founded by Shih-Fu Peng and Róisín Heneghan in New York in 1999 and in 2001 was relocated to Dublin, Ireland.
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to design and have collaborated with many leading designers and engineers on a range of projects which include larger scale urban masterplans, bridges, landscapes and buildings.
Current projects include the Grand Egyptian Museum, at the Pyramids, the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre, Central Park Bridges at the 2012 London Olympic Park, a Library and School of Architecture at the University of Greenwich in Greenwich, London and a Mittelrheinbruecke in the Rhine Valley.