Architecture as New Geography
by Grafton Architects

| 4 comments
 

Irish studio Grafton Architects have acknowledged the influence of celebrated Brazilian architect Paulo
 Mendes
 da
 Rocha on their work by constructing models of his buildings at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

"When we received the invitation to exhibit, we had just won an architectural competition for a new university in Peru," explained director Yvonne Farrell. "We acknowledged our influences from South America and on this basis we took the opportunity of celebrating the inspirational quality of the work of Mendes da Rocha."

The large papier mache models show details from da Rocha's Serra Dourada football stadium in Brazil, while smaller limestone models show details from the architect's Sao Pedro Church in São Paulo and his urban design project for Montevideo Bay in Uruguay. These are presented alongside others showing Grafton's proposals for the University of Lima and for a School of Economics in Toulouse, France.

The models are surrounded by images of the football stadium, as well as photography depicting landscapes from Machu Picchu and from the Irish island of Skellig Michael.

Grafton Architects were awarded the Silver Lion for most promising practice at the biennale.

See all our coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale »

Photography is by Alice Clancy.

Here's a short description from the exhibition:


Architecture as New Geography

Irish
 practice 
Grafton
 Architects 
used
 the
 invitation
 of 
the 
biennale
 to
 open 
up
 a 
new 
conversation
 with an 
architect 
whose
 work 
they
 had
 long
 admired:
 Pritzker
 Prize
 winner
 Paulo
 Mendes
 da
 Rocha. 
Grafton
 Architects 
recently
 won
 a 
competition 
fo
r a 
university
 in
 Lima,
 Peru,
 and looked
 to 
Mendes 
da 
Rocha’s 
work
 for 
cues 
on
 how
 to
 build 
for
 the
 particular
 climatic
conditions
 of
 this
 place.

After
 a
 dialogue
 with 
the
 Brazilian, 
Grafton
 made
 models
 of
 selected
 works
 focusing
 on 
his
 Serra
 Dourada 
Stadium
 project: 
an 
homage 
that
 becomes 
a 
piece 
of 
design
 research
 for 
the
 idea
 of
 the
 university
 as 
an
 arena
 of
learning,
 working
 with
 Mendes
 da 
Rocha’s
 idea 
of
 architecture 
as 
new 
geography.

This
 exhibition
 demonstrates 
how
openness 
to
 influence
 is 
a 
starting
 point, 
and
 a 
prerequisite
 for
 good
 architecture. 
In 
this
 sense,
this
 room exemplifies 
the
theme 
of
 this 
year’s
 biennale.

  • lupo

    Sorry to say, but I’m pretty sure not all those huge models are in pure stone.
    The bigger ones you see in the room are in styrofoam covered in some sort of plaster. Beautiful installation anyhow!

    • http://twitter.com/Dezeen @Dezeen

      Hi lupo,

      Thanks for pointing that out, that was our mistake. The smaller models are stone and the larger models are papier mache. We’ve amended the story to reflect those changes.

      Amy/Dezeen

      • lupo

        De nada. Papier mache! that’s what it was! Anyhow thank YOU guys for the great work at Dezeen. My one and only homepage.

  • fergus naughton

    Well done Grafton Architects. It looks great. Also well done to Alice – the photos of it are really nicely taken.