Today we travelled for a day trip out of Venice by train and bus to the province of Treviso on an architectural hunt for the Brion Cemetery, famed for its work by Carlo Scarpa and also the place of his burial.
Having witnessed the Scarpa work in Venice we were all eager to experience more and were not disappointed. The work was intelligent and sometimes mystifying with doors and gates that blew the mind and kept us intrigued for hours. Despite its title as a cemetery, Scarpa has crafted a peaceful but complex and beautiful delight, worthy of its praise and a highlight of the trip so far.
By the time we were finally able to drag ourselves away, we narrowly missed the bus back to the train station and in true Italian form, the next bus would take over an hour to arrive, essentially putting our hopes of visiting Verona in the afternoon to bed. This allowed us some time to enjoy a traditional gelato from the only open shop in the area and a break away from the harsh heat and humidity. We eventually found our way back to Venice and had an afternoon exploring in smaller groups before eventually coming together for a romantic dinner on the Northern tip of Venice, coined ‘Francisco point’, after its founder and the groups lead comedian, Gianni. As we watched the lightning flourish through the clouds in the distance we laughed through the night eating pizza and drinking wine discussing what tomorrow would bring and our highlights so far.
Today we spent the morning exploring the intriquite and amazing work of Carlo Scarpa at La Fondazione Querini Stampalia A Venezia. The attention to every tiny detail and the quality of the craft meant we spent a lot of time investigating every tiny detail and attempting to capture through photos. Taking photos of his work is like taking photos of a materials board with every angle and material so maticulously thought out and scaled to each other. It’s fair to say this has been a highlight to our trip for some of us.
Afterwards some of us split up and I went back to the Biennale Giardini to see some pavilions I missed and revisit some for some more time. Despite our best efforts to finish the day early and be home in good time, we ended up having to fight through crowds and get dinner for a 10pm return to the hotel which has become the new norm as we entire day out and about soaking it all up.
Today we travelled from our hotel in the North of Venice by vaporetto down to the Giardini for our first taste of La Biennale. We eagerly spent the morning investigating and photographing the amazing exhibitions throughout the main exhibition building. The content varied wildly from awe inspiring and beautifully detailed to the abstract and playful. We wandered around for a couple of hours and it became apparent it would be hard to leave. Before lunch we made our way up to the German pavillion for a talk on Utopia and imagining the future. “Utopia for who and at whose expense” Sitting in the pavillion listening to the speakers was our first taste of the afternoon to come with many provocative ideas being spoken about. After the talk the team decided to have the afternoon to explore and wander the gravel paths to the country pavillions individually and meet back to discuss our findings over dinner. Most pavillions endeavour to exhibit the solutions that architects and young architects are creating to respond to global crises and the micro and macro gestures of solving complex issues particular to their culture and environment. Some countries made political statements and others made no real statement at all. We have all learnt a great deal and taking it all in has been very special. I want to keep the blog relatively text free so I am hoping the photos below help convey the beauty and provocative nature of our experience and the varying pavillions from abstract and provoking to very literal and beautiful. As a group we look forward to sharing a more in depth presentation to our offices upon our return
An even earlier departure from Cannaregio, we again hopped straight onto the nearby vaporetto. After accidentally looping Murano (and all outer islands) thrice (thanks Alex), we finally made it to the Arsenale for second day of exploring the Biennale.
The setting of the Arsenale represents an inspiring juxtaposition – contemporary architectural discourse and exhibition set in a rich historical maritime precinct.
With the Arsenale representing Aravena’s most curated component of the Biennale, the day proceeded to be much more dense than the previous in terms of setting and content. If opinions and positions were not established after walking the Giardini, they were formed here.
…Spritz o’clock (6 o’clock)
We have arrived in Venice to glorious weather and couldn’t resist fighting off the jet lag with some exploring!
The materiality of the historic buildings is breath taking and getting lost amongst the canals and tiny alleyways has taken us to some quieter parts of Venice away from the crowds of tourists. We eventually did dare to go further into touristy parts but as the tiredness kicked in we decided to head back to check-in to the hotel and get some dinner along with some much needed sleep as some of us hadn’t slept through our nearly 48 hours of traveling and exploring!