Most of us regard the world's most uninhabitable continent as little more than a frozen wasteland, but a team of leading international architects and artists will challenge that view at this year's Venice Biennial of Architecture. Titled Antarctopia, the Antarctic Pavilion marks the continent's first representation at the annual contemporary art exhibition. Zaha Hadid, Alexey Kozyr, Hugh Broughton and other renowned architects and artists will explore man's relationship with Antarctica by showcasing present and future models of living in the polar continent.
Commissioned by Alexander Ponomarev and curated by Nadim Samman, Antarctopia will offer a glimpse into Antarctica’s unknown wilderness, its provisional architecture, and the surprising culture and community that exists within the continent. As the coldest and windiest place on the earth, Antarctica sustains a population of less than 1,500 during its 7 month long, sunless winter and 4,000 in the summer months. The stations built for scientists and explorers are often minimalist due to the difficulty of importing building materials and the inattention of the architectural community. Stand out stations that will be highlighted include the world’s first modular research station Halley VI by Hugh Broughton Architects and the Arctic Poppy Orangery by Alexy Kozyr.
A long-term project, the Antarctic Pavilion aims to spark architectural debate and change to the existing research stations and spur interest in the continent’s cultural potential. Antarctopia will also be known as a “Transnational Pavilion” since multiple countries lay claim to overlapping parts of the Antarctic. The Pavilion and the Venice Biennial will open on June 7 and run until November 23.
Via Chloe Nelkin
Images via Chloe Nelkin