Dutch Pavilion at Venice
Architecture Biennale 2012

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Curtains glide along tracks on the ceiling to constantly reconfigure the space inside the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

Called Re-set: new wings for architecture, the installation is a sequel to the Vacant NL exhibition held on the same spot at the 2010 biennale: where the earlier show sought to highlight the quantity of empty buildings available for reuse, this new intervention hints at the possibilites for transforming existing, underused space.

Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

It was designed by Dutch designer Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside and curated by Ole Bouman, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute.

Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

The curtains are made up of panels with varying levels of opacity, including fine gauze, heavy velvet and shiny metallics.

Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

The Venice Architecture Biennale opens to the public today and continues until 25 November.

Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

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Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

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Dutch pavilion for Venice Architecture Bienalle 2012

Here's some more information from the organisers:


During the upcoming edition of the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, a single visit to the Dutch pavilion will not be enough. Anyone who wants to experience the full potential of an empty building will return. Perhaps more than once. Every five minutes the situation in the pavilion will be totally different, and anyone who stays for a while will witness a visually astounding transformation. With Re-set, new wings for architecture, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse demonstrates that architecture possesses the power to start anew. The exhibition is being curated by Ole Bouman, Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI). The 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice runs from 29 August to 25 November 2012.

An untouched tract of land and a substantial budget were for many years the chief preconditions for fine architecture, but the social issues of this day and age demand different points of departure. Taking advantage of existing potential and the creation of value in places where it seems to be vanishing – the ‘reanimation’ of desolate buildings – is increasingly becoming the architect’s core task.

With Re-set, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse reveals a whole array of possibilities that an existing structure has to offer, taking the given situation as the starting point. With a mobile, tactile intervention, Petra Blaisse gives an impulse to a building that has stood vacant for 40 years – the Dutch Pavilion is in use for just three months of the year – an impulse that still awaits thousands of other Dutch buildings.

Petra Blaisse: ‘We are not going to hang Objets d’Art, exhibit works or stage events. We are responding to the vacant architecture itself. One single mobile object occupies the space for three months and emphasises the building’s unique qualities. This object will flow through the interior, re-configure its organisation and create new rooms along the way. Through relatively simple interventions the experience of light, sound and space will be manipulated so that new perspectives emerge.’

Re-set is the sequel to the Dutch submission to the International Architecture Exhibition in 2010, titled Vacant NL, a presentation by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) and Rietveld Landscape that shed light on the huge amount and enormous potential of disused buildings in the Netherlands. This presentation became a hot topic – in Venice, in the Netherlands, around the world – and one of the many things it spawned is the creation of an MA course on this very subject in the Netherlands.

  • Margreth

    Is this the Dutch approach of wasting expensive fabrics?

  • http://www.valueinteriors.co.uk cheap curtains

    Wow! This is stunning. Taken beyond the art, this shows the true versatility of using fabric curtains to rearrange space and reminds me of the paper panels used in Japanese buildings to divide the space.