18-05-2018

Heritage as FREESPACE at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Gianluca Giordano, Eugene Keogh,

Venice, Italy,

Biennale di Venezia,

Event, Venice Biennale,

“Heritage as Ultimate Freespace” is just one of the many events at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia and the 2012 Pritzker prize winner, Wang Shu is sitting on the panel.



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Heritage as FREESPACE at the Venice Architecture Biennale “Heritage as Ultimate Freespace” is just one of the many events at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia and the 2012 Pritzker prize winner, Wang Shu is sitting on the panel.


The themes of “heritage” are of great relevance in current architecture debate and at Livegreenblog we've been closely following developments in this area. From Oslo, through Birmingham to Naples, our architectural heritage - particularly from the 20th century - is going through a unique moment, and is often under threat.
The city of Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage site that symbolises this, and the discussion during the preview of the Architecture Biennale asks the million-dollar question “Do World Heritage Sites matter in the 21st century?” And if “heritage” were the real free space?
The discussion will taking place during Venice Architecture Biennale previews at UNESCO - Venezia. It will be chaired by Prof. Alan Penn, Dean of Faculty, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and will address the following issues: How does a city like Venice preserve its UNESCO World Heritage status and, at the same time, evolve into a thriving contemporary working community, not just for tourists but for its own inhabitants? Are there similarities between Venice and other cities in the world in terms of the challenges and opportunities afforded by their World Heritage status? Do historic cities engender collective well-being?  What makes for good conservation without commodifying heritage into something sterile?  And more, how do you assess the value of heritage? An often contentious issue, perhaps less so for older sites but more urgent for places seeking approval. This is the case in Ivrea, the site of the famous Olivetti factory and an example of enlightened architectural interventions. The UNESCO Committee is considering Ivrea's application as an "industrial city of the 20th century" at the end of the month. Lastly, how does Venice ’s heritage lend itself to being a Freespace in the context of the 2018 Biennale?
The panel will be discussing all these questions, and one of the stand-out members is Wang Shu, Architect and Founder of Amateur Architecture Studio (China) with partner and wife Lu Wenyu. He was made Pritzker Prize Laureate in 2012 on the back of a body of work that presents a contemporary approach acknowledging the rich tradition of Chinese architecture Other panel members include Francesco Bandarin (UNESCO, IUAV), Marino Folin (IUAV), Tanvir Hasan (Architect and Deputy Chairman of Donald Insall Associates, London) and Eric Parry (Architect and Founder of Eric Parry Architects, London).

Christiane Bürklein

Discussion: “Heritage as Ultimate Freespace”
as part of the preview of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Images: Gianluca Giordano (Ivrea) - Eugene Keogh (Birmingham) - Vulcanica Architettura (Naples) - Oslo 

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