SPAINLAB, the Spanish Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, is a laboratory of innovation and research curated by architects Anton Garcia-Abril and Debora Mesa from Ensamble Studio. The pavilion's theme encouraged the seven chosen participants to display their unique take on the scientific processes used to balance their design with reality. The pavilion pays respect to the overall Biennale theme of “Common Ground” with seven projects that share a common ground of Spain’s commitment to our time and culture. SPAINLAB can also be accessed as a digital platform, which was designed by architects Daniel Ibanez and Pablo Rey.
Untitled by Sancho-Madridejos Architecture Office(SMAO)
SMAO’s exhibit revolves around the exhaustive efforts taken by their office to bring a design from concept stage to construction. The development of conceptual working models is a pivotal part of this process, and many of SMAO’s models can be found in the exhibit. SMAO’s design process is never linear – it’s shaped by the evolving relationship between theoretical and material elements.
Dream Your City by Ecosistema Urbano
Ecosistema Urbano is an innovative company with a focus on the phenomenon of the city from a point of view based on the mixture of architecture, urbanism, engineering and sociology. In this exhibit they display their new approach to design opportunities, which involves interaction and participation as creative agents. They believe that in the new urban paradigm citizens should be incorporated as active agents.
It’s All About Particles: Elbullifoundation by Cloud9 (Enric Ruiz-Geli)
Cloud9’s exhibit shows how the studio uses particle theory to create all of their projects. Particle theory allows Cloud9’s designs to not distinguish between object and people, building and landscape. They have found that their particle work doesn’t limit their practice to formal development – instead it allows them to use rapid prototyping and numeric control, which gives them the freedom to develop projects organically.
Into the Wall by Menis Arquitectos
This installation actually allows visitors to get inside the formwork of a wall in order to experience Menis Arquitectos’ architectural philosophy of concrete. The wall’s geometry allows for the concrete to set while visitors investigate the masses and voids of its novel construction system. The system was developed by Menis Arquitectos, Foamglas, Lafarge and Shoeck in the Nowa Sala Koncertowa na Jordankach.
Barcelona as a Common Ground by Vicente Guallart
This exciting installation by Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of Barcelona, imagines what the future has in store for the Spanish city. Barcelona has long been seen as a great example of urban ingenuity, and in this exhibit Guallart proposes new paradigm shifts that the city can undertake to keep ensure it evolves sustainably. Barcelona’s two new mantras are:
“Barcelona wants to be a city of productive neighborhoods at a human pace, making up a hyper-connected city of zero emissions.”
“Many slow cities in a smart city.”
Al Aire (BetweenAir) by SelgasCano
SelgasCano’s installation at the Venice Biennale is an investigation into ways that movable agriculture can blend the fields of botany and architecture. The installation is a set of containers that allow plants to grow in small strata of earth or water. Data will be processed during the installation with the goal of learning exciting new ways to gain back terrain for nature.
Universe, Poetical Search and Creativity – by RCR Arquitectes
RCR Arquitectes took the opportunity to showcase their process by applying it to other creative activities. They sought to show that although the details of the process may change, the finished work shares the same signature and a common background in creativity. Many different unique approaches will be used in the project including: watercolors, models, blueprints, and 3D images.