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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Home at Arsenale in Venice, Italy by Dekleva Gregorič architects

 
June 2nd, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Dekleva Gregorič architects

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) presents the project [Home at Arsenale] in the Pavilion of Slovenia at

the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Commissioner Matevž Čelik, director of MAO, appointed as curators for the presentation in Arsenale the internationally acclaimed architects and educators.

A full-scale spatial structure is generated by a site-specific system of wooden bookshelves that reacts to the given space in Arsenale and home activities in order to be inhabited by the curated books, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

A full-scale spatial structure is generated by a site-specific system of wooden bookshelves that reacts to the given space in Arsenale and home activities in order to be inhabited by the curated books, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

  • Architects: Dekleva Gregorič architects
  • Project: Home at Arsenale
  • Location: Venice, Italy 
  • Project team: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, Silvia Susanna, Lea Kovič, Martina Marčan, Naia Sinde, Vid Zabel
  • Graphic design and visual identity: Ajda Schmidt
  • Technical support: Branko Filipič with Jernej Čopi, Domen Japelj, Filip Kocjančič, Rok Malešič – RPS, Jože Komidar and Miha Šraj – Gredin Les, Matjaž Mavsar – Arcadia, Luka Pavlovčič – Konzola
  • Commissioner: Matevž Čelik
  • Curators: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič
  • Commissioner’s assistant: Nikola Pongrac
  • Curatorial assistant: Silvia Susanna

[Home at Arsenale] is 1:1 spatial structure, a conceptual home, performing as a curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the concepts of home and dwelling, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

[Home at Arsenale] is 1:1 spatial structure, a conceptual home, performing as a curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the concepts of home and dwelling, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič

[Home at Arsenale] responds to Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena’s title Reporting from the Front by addressing the topics of home and dwelling as current critical social and environmental issues. The curators conceived a 1:1 spatial structure, an abstract home performing as a curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the concepts of home and dwelling during the Biennale Architettura 2016 and beyond.  Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič propose:

The curated library [Home at Arsenale] will offer the exhibition visitors the opportunity to study the books during the Biennale Architettura 2016. Ultimately this library-home will relocate to the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, to be continually available for public use, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The curated library [Home at Arsenale] will offer the exhibition visitors the opportunity to study the books during the Biennale Architettura 2016. Ultimately this library-home will relocate to the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, to be continually available for public use, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Since the dawn of civilization, structures for dwelling have constructed the predominant part of our built environment, and have served to fulfil our most basic needs. Yet, they should aim beyond securing mere survival to provide the conditions necessary for a meaningful life.

‘Since the dawn of civilization, structures for dwelling have constructed the predominant part of our built environment, and have served to fulfil our most basic needs. Yet, they should aim beyond securing mere survival to provide the conditions necessary for a meaningful life.

The extremely specific context of the given space in Arsenale informs a full scale inhabitable wooden spatial structure performing as an abstract compact home and a curated library inviting visitors to inhabit and experience it. To extend the participation between the exhibitors and visitors the installation [Home at Arsenale] is hosting during the six months of the exhibition a series of events, such as talks, live interviews or workshops, performed by exhibitors or their invitees, questioning What defines home today? Ultimately, the [Home at Arsenale] is challenging the private/public dichotomy within the dwelling domain and suggests a possible temporary transformation of the private home into a public environment on the exhibition grounds and beyond, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The extremely specific context of the given space in Arsenale informs a full scale inhabitable wooden spatial structure performing as an abstract compact home and a curated library inviting visitors to inhabit and experience it. To extend the participation between the exhibitors and visitors the installation [Home at Arsenale] is hosting during the six months of the exhibition a series of events, such as talks, live interviews or workshops, performed by exhibitors or their invitees, questioning What defines home today? Ultimately, the [Home at Arsenale] is challenging the private/public dichotomy within the dwelling domain and suggests a possible temporary transformation of the private home into a public environment on the exhibition grounds and beyond, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Definitions of home have been continuously questioned and challenged within diverse historical and cultural settings. Today’s information-driven society is characterized by accentuated and proliferated mobility, ranging from seeking permanent relocation to various commuting scenarios. Accordingly, the notion of home requires readdressing. What defines home today, when so many can be almost anywhere and connected to anything, anytime? Despite this growing virtual connectivity the concept of home might still need a tangible spatial or social reality. Our personal experience with moving home provoked the initial question: is home where the library is, or is the library where home is?

Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The project [Home at Arsenale] proposes the concept of home as a public curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the notions of home and dwelling,  within the current critical social and environmental conditions. Challenging the private/public dichotomy within the dwelling domain the project suggests a transformation of the private home into a possible temporary public home environment.

vertical contextual geometry responds to the sunlight entering through Arsenale arch window, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

vertical contextual geometry responds to the sunlight entering through Arsenale arch window, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The installation inhabits and reacts to the given space in Arsenale with a spatial structure containing a curated collection of books and objects of domesticity suggestive of the domestic realm. A 1:1 spatial structure, generated by a site-specific system of wooden bookshelves, performs simultaneously as a curated library and as abstract compact home encouraging visitors to inhabit and experience it.

juxtaposition of material and contextual geometry defines the relationship between the volume and the void, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

juxtaposition of material and contextual geometry defines the relationship between the volume and the void, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Invited architects, artists, critics and curators from various backgrounds are participating with their selection of some 10 books addressing the notions of home and dwelling to share their experience and expertise ‘from their fronts’ in order to build the curated library of collective knowledge for the benefit of exhibition visitors. Additionally, the participants are invited to become temporary residents of [Home at Arsenale] for one hour to one day and to host live events that question what defines home today through interviews, talks or workshops, in order to intensify the interaction with the public. Ultimately the [Home at Arsenale], with around 300 books, will relocate to the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, to be continually available for public use.’

horizontal material geometry respects the linear spatial organization of Arsenale, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

horizontal material geometry respects the linear spatial organization of Arsenale, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The installation [Home at Arsenale] reflects the curators’ approach to thinking and making architecture, underlining its social position, material manifestation and architectural legacy, where the user experience and participation are the central objectives.

The material definition of the installation reflects the historical linking of Venice and Slovenia, since wood from the Karst region was used extensively for the foundations of the city on water. Wood also represents Slovenia’s primary resource and therefore opens up its underused potential as a construction material of domestic spaces. Furthermore, using and presenting the wood in its raw condition highlights its properties and textures.

The raw wood, the constructive material of the installation, is the most representative material resource of Slovenia highlighting its underused potential for constructive material for individual and collective dwelling.  1:1 wooden inhabitable structure made of 15 m3 of wood from Slovenian forests; 402 horizontal boards, 1.724 vertical boards, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The raw wood, the constructive material of the installation, is the most representative material resource of Slovenia highlighting its underused potential for constructive material for individual and collective dwelling. 1:1 wooden inhabitable structure made of 15 m3 of wood from Slovenian forests; 402 horizontal boards, 1.724 vertical boards, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The ‘low-tech and low-res’ approach organizes generic horizontal and vertical bookshelf elements into a complex site-specific spatial system reacting to the material as well as immaterial context and defining all required cavities of the abstract compact home/curated library. The main cavity performs as living/library and is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution. Sunlight, as a metaphor for knowledge, is materialized in the wooden structure with the distribution and orientation of its vertical elements.

The context: The Arsenale arch window as the natural light source informs the spatial distribution of vertical structure , Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The context: The Arsenale arch window as the natural light source informs the spatial distribution of vertical structure , Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The installation references the seminal Patio & Pavilion project (1956) by Alison and Peter Smithson and their statement ‘Patio & Pavilion represents the fundamental necessities of the human habitat… The first necessity is for a piece of the world, the patio; the second necessity is for an enclosed space, the pavilion.‘ The patio of [Home at Arsenale] is furnished with objects of domesticity to serve as the public/private open space in front of the entrance to the pavilion.

A curated library [Home at Arsenale] - the collection of books addressing the notions of home and dwelling composed by invited architects, artists, designers and critics, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

A curated library [Home at Arsenale] – the collection of books addressing the notions of home and dwelling composed by invited architects, artists, designers and critics, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

[Home at Arsenale], a space of knowledge, is open to visitors and participants to be explored, discussed and experienced. The full-scale material installation with its knowledge content emphasizes the enduring capacity of architecture to respond to current social and environmental questions and presents the stage for six-month long exhibition process of research and exploration on the topics of home and dwelling by exhibitors and their invitees. Finally, a forthcoming publication after the Biennale Architettura 2016 will reflect curators’ and exhibitors’ research, statements and questions opening up further polemics and tangible projects relevant for the current role of home.

Tina Gregorič and Aljoša Dekleva, the curators of [Home at Arsenale], Pavilion of Slovenia, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Tina Gregorič and Aljoša Dekleva, the curators of [Home at Arsenale], Pavilion of Slovenia, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Commissioner Matevž Čelik 

Matevž Čelik is an architect and architectural researcher. He is particularly interested in the process of production of space, urban renewal and future developments in the planning profession. He was a co-founder and the longtime editor of Trajekt.org, a web portal that served as the key information point for architecture and design in Slovenia in the early years of the new millenium. Between 2009 and 2011 he was a member of the editoral board of Oris magazine in Zagreb. His book New Architecture in Slovenia was published in 2007 by Springer Wien New York. Since 2010 he has served as the director of the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, where he has established a new museum programme and transformed the Ljubljana Design Bienale (BIO) into one of the most dynamic investigative design events in the world. Since 2015, Matevž Čelik heads the European Future Architecture platform.

The installation references the seminal Patio & Pavilion project (1956) by Alison and Peter Smithson and their statement ‘Patio & Pavilion represents the fundamental necessities of the human habitat… The first necessity is for a piece of the world, the patio; the second necessity is for an enclosed space, the pavilion.‘ The patio of [Home at Arsenale] is furnished with objects of domesticity to serve as the public/private open space in front of the entrance to the pavilion, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The installation references the seminal Patio & Pavilion project (1956) by Alison and Peter Smithson and their statement ‘Patio & Pavilion represents the fundamental necessities of the human habitat… The first necessity is for a piece of the world, the patio; the second necessity is for an enclosed space, the pavilion.‘ The patio of [Home at Arsenale] is furnished with objects of domesticity to serve as the public/private open space in front of the entrance to the pavilion, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Curators Aljoša Dekleva / Tina Gregorič

Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič are architects and the founders of Dekleva Gregorič architects, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Alongside their architectural practice they are intensively involved in reshaping approaches to architectural education. Aljoša Dekleva is Programme Director of Architectural Association Visiting School Slovenia, and was only recently Guest Professor of Architecture at UdeM, Montreal, Canada. Tina Gregorič is Professor of Architecture at TU Wien, Austria. They lecture extensively both in Slovenia and abroad, presenting their practice and their research.

Tina and Aljoša both graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana and later received Master degrees in Architecture with Distinction at the Architectural Association (AA) in London (AADRL 2002), after which they established Dekleva Gregorič architects in 2003. Initially they began with research on topics of user participation and mass-customization of collective housing at the AA in London, and are co-authors of the book Negotiate my boundary!, published by AA Publications and Birkhauser. The book received intense professional attention, related particularly to the social models of sharing and co-habitation. Recently they initiated and led a distinctive design research project on nanotourism, a participatory, locally oriented alternative to the current downsides of conventional tourism. Together with their research team at BIO50 (Biennial of Design, Ljubljana, 2014) they received the biennial’s highest honour – Best Collaboration Award.

The boundary of the cavity is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The boundary of the cavity is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: Contextualizing the volume - reacting to the edge conditions and domestic needs: 3D subtraction is gradually defining all needed cavities (living, entrance, bench) of 1:1 spatial inhabitable structure, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: Contextualizing the volume – reacting to the edge conditions and domestic needs: 3D subtraction is gradually defining all needed cavities (living, entrance, bench) of 1:1 spatial inhabitable structure, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: from generic towards specific: 3D subtraction is gradually defining all needed cavities (living, entrance, bench) of 1:1 spatial inhabitable structure, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: from generic towards specific: 3D subtraction is gradually defining all needed cavities (living, entrance, bench) of 1:1 spatial inhabitable structure, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: from generic towards specific: from the representation of the simple bookshelf to the spatial inhabitable installation. The ‘low-tech and low-res’ approach organizes generic horizontal and vertical bookshelf elements into a complex site-specific spatial system reacting to the material as well as immaterial context and defining all required cavities of the abstract compact home/curated library. The main cavity performs as living/library and is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution. Sunlight, as a metaphor for knowledge, is materialized in the wooden structure with the distribution and orientation of its vertical elements, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Design process: from generic towards specific: from the representation of the simple bookshelf to the spatial inhabitable installation. The ‘low-tech and low-res’ approach organizes generic horizontal and vertical bookshelf elements into a complex site-specific spatial system reacting to the material as well as immaterial context and defining all required cavities of the abstract compact home/curated library. The main cavity performs as living/library and is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution. Sunlight, as a metaphor for knowledge, is materialized in the wooden structure with the distribution and orientation of its vertical elements, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

series of floor plans: interaction of material and contextual geometry gradually define living space of [Home at Arsenale], Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

series of floor plans: interaction of material and contextual geometry gradually define living space of [Home at Arsenale], Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The exhibitors/participants shared experience and expertise from ‘their fronts’ in order to build the curated library of collective knowledge by contributing to the library with their personal selection of 10-20 books addressing the notions of home and dwelling ranging from the historical to contemporary discussions on the topics of home and dwelling; from ‘their front’ – from their country, their region, their city or their specific field of expertise; from them as the authors, editors or mentors to highlight your knowledge and research on the topics of home and dwelling, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

The exhibitors/participants shared experience and expertise from ‘their fronts’ in order to build the curated library of collective knowledge by contributing to the library with their personal selection of 10-20 books addressing the notions of home and dwelling ranging from the historical to contemporary discussions on the topics of home and dwelling; from ‘their front’ – from their country, their region, their city or their specific field of expertise; from them as the authors, editors or mentors to highlight your knowledge and research on the topics of home and dwelling, Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Title page of the give-away booklet with all the book titles of curated library [Home at Arsenale], Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

Title page of the give-away booklet with all the book titles of curated library [Home at Arsenale], Image Courtesy © Dekleva Gregorič architects

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