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Brod/ The Ship/ La nave: a floating pavilion for Croatia at the Venice Biennale

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This is one of the architecture works which no one expected, but suddenly had made a bigger impact in a year full of exhibitions and display of avant.garde architecture (expo Shanghai and the Venice Biennale), when everyone thought that the Heatherwick pavilion at Shanghai was the most interesting piece of architecture 2010 was going to give us, the collaborative work of 14 Croatian architects has landed in front of our favorite display to browse the net and delivered us with a piece of magnificent simple beauty.

The magnificent use of the raw and common materials as also the perfect use of the negative space, makes the Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale the most interesting and remarkable piece of architecture of 2010 and maybe a couple of years.

Based on the idea of Mirage, described at the wikipedia as a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky, the croatian architectural scene has found the best way to show the world what was already in the mouth to mouth of many conversations in the critics loop, that Croatia has a good generation of architects that are the same time team players eager to collaborate among them, and extremely daring and creative.

Instead of working in the usual formats of their practices and presenting speculative projects, they decided to work together on a single proposal and to have it constructed and towed toward its final destination in Venice right away. The use of different kind of resources (economical, industrial, creative resources, etc. of Croatia) makes also this a special pavilion which truly represents a country in a lot of its aspects.

The floating pavilion to present architecture and arts of Croatia at the Venice Biennale is constructed on an existing barge with dimensions of 10M x 20M x 3M.
The pavilion structure is the barge’ cargo, welded from 30 tons of Q385 wire mesh in more than 40 layers of varying contours.

The final volume maps the process of intense interaction between architects working on the common project, their collaboration with the Croatian maritime industry, and the extraordinary act of architecture it produced.

Be sure to watch the video the architects posted on youtube to get the best feeling of what’s the effect and impact of the pavilion in real life.

A project of the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Croatia
Mr. Božo Biškupić, minister
Commissioner: Leo Modrčin
Participating architects: Saša Begović, Marko Dabrović, Igor Franić, Tanja Grozdanić, Petar Mišković, Silvije Novak, Veljko Oluić, Helena Paver Njirić, Lea Pelivan, Toma Plejić, Goran Rako, Saša Randić, Idis Turato, Pero Vuković, Tonči Žarnić
Organizer: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia

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