Venice Bienale Pavillion

1991

Architects: Kokkinou Maria, Kourkoulas Andreas
Associates: Dimitris Korres, Kostis Panigiris, George Hadzimihalis

The architectural proposition for the Greek pavilion at the Venice Biennale is involved with two basic questions: the temporal structure and periodicity of every festival and the manner in which it can be transformed into a natural space capable of imposing the rhythm which corresponds to the character of the transient.

It is precisely this periodic nature of the festival, in a spatial rhythm, which is critical for the success of the proposal.

Our deeper understanding of the festival rhythm was what led us to dismiss any idea of a building which would be closed down to wait for its time to come into operation every two years, and brought us to the choice of a floor as a permanent element in the Greek pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This will be a floor resting at ground level on the margin and along the side of the canal. The floor will reverse the current spatial rationale of placing ‘objects’ in gardens, which is typical of the spatial organization of the Biennale.

At the edges of the floor will be four metal walls which are held up by two prestressed steel cables. The solution of using prestressing will allow a wooden roof to be supported without the use of pillars. According to requirements, the floor can be used by itself, with the roof, or wooden flooring could be placed on top of the mosaic, or, lastly, wooden lattices could be placed around it to form an enclosed area, an ark or a container.