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Pavillon de l'Australie à la Biennale de Venise

Our project fully explores the current ambiguity between nature and culture. Nature is today reduced to a set of phenomena fully understood and instrumentalised by man. Computational technologies have allowed us not only to take possession of an immediate natural reality, but also to control its future.

The site’s landscape, its thick vegetation and its future programme – to become an art exhibition site – have led us to think about this phase in the evolution of culture. We have chosen to pay as much attention to the architecture as to its surrounding landscape. The project constitutes a whole in which the boundaries between its different elements have been deliberately blurred. The floor, consisting of paving stones whose densities and geometric organization have been defined in function of precise spatial functions (exhibition spaces, pathways), covers both the exterior and interior spaces of the project.

The pavilion fits upon this apparently free geometry (determined, in reality, by its parametric structure). The monolithic geometry of this architecture, a large rectangle nearly 45 meters long, merely responds to the common demands of exhibition spaces. The modular walls can be arranged according to multiple combinations, thus responding to the different requirements of the exhibitions. The roof of the building was conceived as a wide lightning system. Made of nearly 320 light cannons, this structure is capable of providing the exhibition space with the indirect lighting best suited to the display of artworks. The orientation of each of the cannons has been defined in function of the site’s natural lighting conditions. The variations obtained – all the cannons are different – result from the integration of all the parameters needed to assemble the device (the course of the sun, the positioning of the canon, the structural organizing principle …). The four poles that extend the roof to the floor give the whole of the building the look of an organic structure whose complexity seems capable of replicating the movement of the tree leaves that surround it. Outside the biennale periods, and due to the removal of the dividing walls, this naked structure appears to be a “natural” element of the site.

450 m2
Submitted 2008, Published project
Venice, Italy
Contracting Authority
Di Stasio, Compétition internationale
Project Team
Elias Guenoun & Nicolas Simon