- 2016 Biennale. Finland pavilion.
The European nations participating in the 15th International Architecture exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia have taken the asylum-seekers theme much to heart, adopting it as their “front” to inform visitors. Germany - an “arrival country” (link) for decades - is exploring the issue, and so is Finland.
In October 2015, the Museum of Finnish Architecture in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), launched an open architectural competition “From Border to Home” seeking solutions to the housing needs of asylum-seekers. Curated by Marc Steinberg, the pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto presents the output selected by the jury: Helsinkikashbah, From Border to School, IMBY – In My Back Yard, Enter the Void, Society Lab, Start with a Roof, We House.
These proposals from Finnish and international firms focus on using existing buildings because although there are no homes available for the new arrivals, 13% of the office space in Helsinki is empty.
The exhibition “From Home to Border” in the Finland Pavilion also comes with collateral events. One of these is taking place this Saturday 23 July, a conversation about “Transforming Europe” and working out how to seize the opportunity for change brought about in this moment in time.
The discussion is moderated by the pavilion curator Marco Steinberg and participants will be: David Basulto, founder and editor-in-chief of ArchDaily; Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London; Rosanne Haggerty, President & Founder of Community Solutions addressing the challenge of homelessness and social marginalization in the US; and Yasser Almaamoun, Syrian architect living in Berlin and assisting the competition jury as an expert external consultant.
A great opportunity to visit the Finland Pavilion and to discuss feasible and sustainable architectural and social solutions to this major social and cultural challenge of our times.
From Border to Home http://frombordertohome.fi/
from 28 May to 27 November 2016 at the Giardini of the Biennale, Venice
Register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-europe-the-opportunity-within-the-european-crisis-tickets-26347838093?utm
Images: Courtesy of MFA, all authors' rights reserved.