Following up on their 2010 pavilion called VacantNL the Netherlands has presented a dynamic re-thinking of disused space called Re-Set, New Wings for Architecture at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012. Curated by Ole Bouman, who heads the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the Dutch pavilion relies on tall shimmering curtains that glide along mechanical rails to completely re-invent a cavernous hall every five minutes.
The Dutch pavilion draws attention to a new set of conditions under which modern architects are working. No longer blessed with wide swaths of empty land or large budgets, designers instead have to work within the constraints of an already-built landscape. This is a particular concern in Holland, where hundreds of buildings remain disused.
So, instead of building anew at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Netherlands commissioned Petra Blaisse to design tall, shimmering pink and silver curtains that are constantly shifting in order to demonstrate a creative and tactile approach to re-imagining space.
In addition to taking an independent approach to the biennale, the Netherlands appears to be critiquing the event itself, as it allows entire buildings (including the Dutch pavilion) to lay fallow for nine months of every year when that space could be adapted to some kind of other meaningful re-use.
Photos by Rob ‘t Hart, Flickr