Uncertainty, the Spanish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Domingo J. González, Sofía Piñero, Andrzej Gwizdala, Fernando Herrera,

Venice, Italy,

Pavilions, Biennale di Venezia,

Venice Biennale,

The theme chosen by the Spanish Pavilion for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by a team of four young architects selected through a public competition for the first time, might be considered ahead of its times, because uncertainty is a constant at this time in history, as the current pandemic has shown.

  1. Blog
  2. Events
  3. Uncertainty, the Spanish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Uncertainty, the Spanish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia In view of today’s challenges, both the question “How will we live together”, posted by Hashim Sarkis well before the pandemic, and the Spanish curatorial team’s response - Uncertainty - could be considered premonitory signals. A team of architects from the Canary Islands, Sofía Piñero, Domingo J. González, Andrzej Gwizdala and Fernando Herrera, present architecture strictly in relation to other disciplines, because there is a great need to have an impact on society, offering new reflections and suggesting new ways of practicing a profession that has evolved to adapt to all the dimensions and requirements of a continually changing society.
This approach is clearly evident in the projects on display in the pavilion. Apart from this common denominator, the proposals selected are highly various; the Spanish Pavilion presents projects with a focus on the creative process rather than obtaining an iconic result; a process performed in a multidisciplinary way, with the goal of having a positive social impact.
But none of the four young architects, all aged around 30, wants to offer a concrete response to Sarkis’ question; what they do is raise additional questions to come to the certain conclusion that we must build our future together. This is the only way, because architecture has a transverse role to play in the collective search for social wellbeing.
The curators remark in their manifesto that the projects on exhibit become a catalogue of architectural strategies necessary to face the future of living together and everything it implies, in social and environmental terms. All while revealing the possibility of forming a group or a community, despite the uncertainty we have all experienced. 
Uncertainty urges us to open our certainties, by focusing on exploring their limits and showcasing the actions that allow different dimensions of reality to become open, dynamic, and adaptable processual elements. It shows a future in which uncertainty, as a design strategy, has become the primary tool to transform our processes and social models, breaking individualism in favour of coexistence”, explains Team Uncertainty.
These ideas are given concrete form in the exhibition installation. The Spanish Pavilion takes the form of an interactive machine, an uncertain platform in an ongoing process, a place of reflection which, rather than addressing obsolete certainties, invites visitors to participate in the collective statement of questions arising out of the theme of this year’s Biennale: "How will we live together?”
The exhibition is divided into three parts, from the “Cloud” of projects to “Draw”, an open process reflecting the continual transformation of our reality, and the “Together” room, where a mapped audio-visual projection guides us through the sequence of interpretative operations used to select the projects on display in the “Cloud”.
We’re very curious to see the results in the Spanish Pavilion and experience for ourselves how uncertainty forces us to dissolve our established limitations and how architecture, if conceived in an interdisciplinary way, can make a contribution to overcoming this condition. But, as the curators say: “Is uncertainty our only certainty?

Christiane Bürklein

Spanish Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
22 May through 21 November 2021
Commissioner:  Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda
Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) 
Curators: Domingo J. González, Sofía Piñero, Andrzej Gwizdala, Fernando Herrera 
Location: Giardini della Biennale, Venezia
1) SPANISH-PAVILION Project model
2) Pabellón de briks Briks Pavilion - Cuac arquitectura (Tomás García Píriz, F. Javier Castellano Pulido), Sugar Platform (Julien Fajardo, Christophe Beauvez) © Javier Callejas Sevilla
3) Celosía de la memoria Memory laticework Carmen Moreno Álvarez © Fernando Alda
4) Campanas Bells Sebastián Arquitectos (Sergio Sebastián Franco) © Irene Ruiz Bazán
5) A small village. Residence for the elderly in Aldeamayor de San Martín Óscar Miguel Ares Álvarez © Jesús J. Ruiz Alonso
6) Desert City. Nursery for xerophytic species and associated uses GarcíaGermán Arquitectos © Imagen Subliminal
7) OTF: 3D printing architecture IAAC (Alexandre Dubor, Edouard Cabay, Kunaljit Chadha, Mathilde Marengo) (A) OTF 3D printing with industrial robot © IAAC


Stay in touch with the protagonists of architecture, Subscribe to the Floornature Newsletter