Timelapse of our Venice Biennale installation in the historic space of Corderie, the former rope-factory.
Our installation, designed in response to the curators’ manifesto, combined common aspects of two compatible projects. The installation played on similarity and difference, getting inside the ideas and outside the form of two quite different designs, made for utterly different waterside locations, and at wildly different scales; a current project in the West of Ireland and a recent competition finalist in China.
At scale 1:2, a civic space, for public gatherings and studio retreat, sited at the end of the pier in Roundstone, Connemara. At scale 1:10, a city of opera, with interlocking foyers, theatres and roof-gardens, located at a bend in the Huangpu river in Shanghai.
The visitor would notice the matching roof-scape of both projects, their sawtooth skylines rising between the columns of the Corderie. A central stair led towards a south-facing window. Climbing up the sunlit passageway, between seemingly similar elements, a viewing point allowed you to look out through the old high window, then a second stair led you down again to divide your direction, eastward, to see into the Shanghai opera house section, or westward, to walk into the volume of the Roundstone gathering hall.
The installation might also be understood in a different sense, full-size at scale 1:1, as a testament to our own experience of whitewashed monastery chapels in Greek mountain landscapes, where built ground is integrated with building form, where east meets west.