German Contribution to 13th Architecture Biennale Venice

Enfrentarse con las estructuras arquitectónicas existentes se ha convertido en la tarea más importante que enfrentan los arquitectos en la Alemania de hoy en día. La reducción de personal, la conversión y la renovación de los proyectos a gran escala de la posguerra exigen una re-evaluación completa, no sólo de las propias estructuras, sino también de sus implicancias sociales e históricas, de su energía intrínseca y de los recursos utilizados. Este tema es la contribución de Alemania a la 13° Bienal de Arquitectura de Venecia.

Dealing with existing architectural structures has become the most important task facing architects in Germany today. The downsizing, conversion and refurbishment of postwar projects on a vast scale demand a complete reevaluation not only of the structures themselves but also the social and historical implications of their inbuilt energy and resources.

In terms of energy and formal efficiency, it is often more appropriate to leave as much of the original intact as possible, introducing invisible interventions or none at all. Architects find themselves in the unaccustomed role of interpreting and developing existing buildings, which is diametrically opposed to the iconic authorial tenet that currently prevails in this vocation.

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: the validity of this self-image is called into question when the basics of minimising waste are applied to the field of architecture. The three terms describe a waste hierarchy that gives the highest priority to the most efficient strategies of minimisation: avoidance comes first followed by direct reuse and, in third place, recycling which changes the properties of the material. This same logic may be applied in setting up a new value system to address existing buildings: the fewer changes that are made and the less energy used, the better the process.

Treating built architecture as a material, substantial and formal resource opens up a number of possibilities and approaches. Depending on the depth of the intervention, these range from repair to reorganisation, from extension to complete makeover. The exhibition presents some sixteen strategies that demonstrate the high degree of creative and architectural potential inherent in an affirmative approach to built architecture. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle shows projects and perspectives by architects who take a positive, empowering view of existing structures as an inspiration and motivation for further development.

The General Commissioner of the German contribution to the 2012 Architecture Biennale, architect Muck Petzet, is intensely interested in strategies of transformation in both his professional practice and his teaching. His contribution was selected from over 70 proposals submitted to a competition. Konstantin Grcic is in charge of the exhibition design. Dutch photographer and artist Erica Overmeer will lend her view of the everyday context of architecture. The catalogue, edited by Muck Petzet and Florian Heilmeyer, will be designed by Thomas Mayfried. Project and editorial management will be handled by Sally Below, consultant for cultural affairs, who has already overseen two German contributions in Venice. The contribution is supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS)

More Information > http://www.reduce-reuse-recycle.de/

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