IT’S OFFICIAL! For the first time, Lebanon will have its official pavilion and will take part in the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 La Biennale di Venezia curated by architect Hala Younes.
“THE PLACE THAT REMAINS”
The architect-curator of the pavillion Hala Younes, Minister of Culture Ghattas Khoury, the Italian Ambassador Massimo Marotti and the president of the Order of Engineers and Architects Jad Tabet held a press conference at the headquarters of the order, to announce that Lebanon will be officially represented at the 16th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition although Lebanese architects had exhibited individually in previous years.
The national pavilion will be nestled at Arsenal, one of the main exhibition venues.
“The theme of the 2018 edition, Freespace, or the art of improving the quality of space not occupied by buildings, is a real challenge for contemporary urban civilization everywhere in the world. ” said The Ambassador of ItalyAfter the press conference I discussed with Hala Youness the importance and the need of the Lebanese Pavilion in this architecture exhibition that she named “The place that remains”; “Our intention is to highlight the role given to open spaces and the landscape, whose conservation and enhancement is a major issue for the quality of life,” she says. The project, which is based on the territorial profile of the watershed of the Beirut River, from Mount Kneissé to Bourj Hammoud, allows to draw up an inventory of fixtures, then to prioritize actions, based on issues and objectives to be achieved. “The exhibition helps to enrich the reflection around these unoccupied spaces, and the potentials that these offer to consider the future of the national territory and its landscape”
“…Because our heritage is not only architectural, but also geographical and natural”
The base of the project is a topographic model of seven meters by two meters representing the watershed of the Beirut River in a giant 3D model. The pavilion will also feature landscapes immortalized by six photographers: Gregory Buchakjian, Catherine Cattaruzza, Gilbert Hage, Houda Kassatly, Ieva Saudargaite and video by Talal Khoury. They were selected by Commissioner Hala Younes and professors from Notre Dame University (NDU), the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Historical clichés from various collections, including those of Apsad, Fouad Debbas, the Oriental Library Photo Library (USJ), the Heinz Gaube Collection (NDU) and aerial images belonging to the Lebanese Army, will be also exposed.
The 16th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale will take place from 26 May to 25 November 2018, under the theme of Freespace – curated by Dublin-based Grafton Architects.