GRASSLANDS REPAIR

If on the one hand the cities explore and experiment the collective processes to inhabit the world, generating a sense of community, on the other hand they are characterized by irremediably anthropized places, in continuous stratification and change. Inside the Australian Pavilion - designed by Denton Corker Marshall in 2015 at the Giardini di Castello - of the last Venice Biennale, the installation 'Repair' was born. The micro cosmos recreated by Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright of Baracco + Wright Architects in collaboration with the artist Linda Tegg, responds to the FREESPACE theme of the Biennale, digging under the built, focusing attention on the role that architecture can assume in the future to repair environmental, social and cultural damage.

The life of the installation begins in the southern hemisphere, from which the clods of earth of which it is composed come, continues in the greenhouses of Liguria, where its thick and luxuriant vegetation has grown, and reaches the gardens of the Venice Biennale in the form of a prairie. A team of silent and loving gardeners moves silently through the vegetation.

The grassy expanse, recreated in the pavilion, made up of tens of thousands of species belonging to the western plains of Australia aims to establish a dialogue between architecture and natural elements in danger of extinction.

After nature it is time to move on to the light. The artificial sun "Skylight" is part of the installation's survival process. Industrial led lighting devices are adapted for the purpose. It is dark! Every ten minutes, the pavilion suddenly plunges into total darkness and a huge projection opens onto landscapes of Australian nature and architecture.

"The ground" is the title of the video, a screening that showcases 15 Australian projects capable of revealing the different interpretations of maintenance, aimed at repairing and restoring the built environment.

The selected projects do not represent models but, the curators themselves, define them as signals that open up new prospects for experimentation. This proposal reflects today's intervention strategy on urban naturalization, which is often punctual and isolated.

One could try to concretely attribute this experience to the entire city, through the identification of new forms of collective action that could allow the city to better express its conception of a living organism and an infinite city - a definition that expresses its ability to be continuously adapted to be inhabited over time.

The main characteristic is that of being open to the unexpected, of building future possibilities endlessly. Faced with the enormous challenges of our time - where ecological changes conflict with economies - it is even more urgent to re-signify urban transformations.

These cities - and ultimately all cities - could be regarded as an 'unfinished' perpetual. However, this concept requires a paradigm shift towards the built landscape and its transformations. Places are learning to regenerate by favoring the opening of a new field of research. Planning requires the codification of new tools, capable of coping with this change, thus becoming the most effective device for the path of resistance, beauty, happiness and timeless modification.

Location: Giardini dell'Arsenale, Venice - Australia Pavilion

Commissioner: Janet Holmes à Court AC

Curators: Baracco + Wright Architects, Linda Tegg

Photo: N Marco Santomauro

- mauraMANTELLI -

Grasslands Repair - Australia Pavilion, Gardens © N MARCO SANTOMAURO

Grasslands Repair - Australia Pavilion, Gardens © N MARCO SANTOMAURO

Grasslands Repair - Australia Pavilion, Gardens © N MARCO SANTOMAURO

Grasslands Repair - Australia Pavilion, Gardens © N MARCO SANTOMAURO