The Added Layer by Nuno Soares at the Venice Biennale 2014
An installation that is part of Macau’s representation
Architect Nuno Soares will be part of Macau’s representation at Fundamentals, this year’s edition of the International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Rem Koolhaas. He will be showing a spatial installation named THE ADDED LAYER, which represents the impact that the widespread phenomenon of appropriation of building façades by use of window cages has on the city’s landscape, and takes it a step further by proposing a new architecture paradigm based on this phenomenon.
The Added Layer is part of the four-fold joint exhibition named “Piazzola della Felicità” (Happiness Forecourt), which is organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macau S.A.R. in cooperation with the Architects Association of Macau.
Exhibition: THE ADDED LAYER by Nuno Soares
Opening: 5 June 2014, 5.30 pm
Address: Campo della Tana, Castello 2126/A (opposite to the Arsenal Pavilion’s main entry, no. 7 on the Collateral Events’s map)
THE ADDED LAYER
// About the Exhibition
MACAU is a densely populated city shaped by a history of coexistence where a recognizable Western matrix of public space and architecture mashes with the East Asian informality patent in the proliferating manifestations of individual appropriation. The use of window cages is so intense and widespread that it has a dramatic impact on the image and operation of the city, creating a diverse and ever-present layer.
THE ADDED LAYER is a spatial installation that reproduces the impact of window cages in Macau’s architecture and urban landscape, and takes it a step further by setting a starting point for a possible future architecture paradigm. The exhibition is divided into three moments: Wall, Doc and Prototype. While Wall and Doc are descriptive, Prototype is prospective.
WALL is a volumetric representation of façades of existing Macau buildings heavily impacted by cages. The formal architecture is represented in white and the informal space defined by the window cages is represented in red. A succession of buildings creates an urban landscape where the pattern of the informal is revealed as an Added Layer.
DOC is a video that documents Macau’s urban landscape – its buildings, the cages –, demonstrates the process of abstraction from reality displayed on the Wall, and delineates a future architecture paradigm that integrates the informal as part of its materialization, visible on the Prototype.
PROTOTYPE is a model for the idea of ‘architecture as structure for appropriation’. It consists of a formal structure – in white – that frames individual informal units – in red. The structure organizes diversity by creating overlapped plots where different architectural units are to be implemented. Here, individuality isn’t limited to the façade only, it expands to the entire house. The result is a pattern of editable individual units, custom made for their users, that creates a dynamic ensemble.
NUNO SOARES is an architect and urban planner based in Macau since 2003, where he develops a contemporary practice based on his research on the Pearl River Delta region and Lusophone space. A visiting professor at the University of Saint Joseph in Macau and at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he is currently writing his PhD thesis on the use of urban space in Macau’s urban phenomenon. He is the founder and director of the Macau-based Center for Architecture and Urban Studies. He was the designer and curator of the Macau Pavilion at the 2013 Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.