Commissioner: Cardinale Gianfranco Ravasi
Curators: Francesco Dal Co, Micol Forti
Exhibitors: Andrew Berman, Francesco Cellini, Javier Corvalàn, Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores, Norman Foster, Teronobu Fujimori, Sean Godsell, Carla Juacaba, Smiljan Radic, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel
The pavilion of the Holy See at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition is based on a precise model, the “woodland chapel” built in 1920 by the architect Gunnar Asplund in the Cemetery of Stockholm. To help visitors understand this choice, an exhibit space has been set up at the entrance of the pavilion of the Holy See, displaying the drawings and model of Asplund’s chapel. This theme has been proposed to the ten architects invited to build ten chapels, gathered in the wooded area in the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, to form the pavilion of the Holy See, named Vatican chapels. The request addressed to the architects implies an unusual challenge, since the designers had been asked to come to terms with a building that will be isolated and inserted in an utterly abstract natural setting, characterised by its openness to the water of the lagoon. In the forest where the “Asplund pavilion” and the chapels have been located there are no destinations, and the environment is simply a metaphor of the wandering of life.
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