Venice Biennale Pavilion


The Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2009 was conceptualised as a response to the tectonic topography of New Zealand and represents seismic movement with the arrangement of sliding timber panels. The curve through the centre of the structure can be seen as the breaking up of these intersecting horizontal and vetical planes. The vertical slats create a sense of rhythm and play of light as it filters through the interior gallery space, providing a naturally lit environment during the day. The form of the curve is influenced by steam-bent timber furniture and leads visitors through the space and it weaves in and out of the kinetic structure. The sliding wall and roof panels open to reveal a series of vertical timber slats which allows for ventilation through the building, and can be closed at night or in bad weather. As the panels extend they create outdoor areas sheltered from the wind, or shaded spaces from the overhangs. The panels and other construction elements are divided into modules to fit within a shipping container and are then assembled on site. The central curve is also assembled in adjoining parts for transportation. Steel piles sit on top of the ground to raise the building and prevent damage to the surrounding landscape. This opening pavilion also gives reference to the New Zealand bach with its connection to the outdoors, small compact design and framing of views.