Venice Biennale 2014: New Zealand Focuses First Entry on Pacific-Style Architecture

New Zealand has appointed Auckland architect David Mitchell to serve as creative director and lead the country’s first participation at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Bridging from Rem Koolhaas' theme, "Fundamentals", Mitchell plans to exhibit New Zealand’s tradition of pacific-style architecture and light timber construction through a series of models.

“We’re going to show off some of the most unsung architecture in the world, our Pacific architecture,” described Mitchell. “It’s an architecture made out of poles, beams and panels and not out of heaps of rocks, bricks and tiles.”

Projects featured will include a purpose-built whatarangi - one poled-pataka (storehouse) - that will feature an illuminated model of the Auckland War Memorial Museum; a model tower that displays the post-tensioned timber technique EXPAN, developed by the Sustainable Building of the Future (STIC); WAF World Building of the Year winner Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) and Archimedia; and techniques used to build Shigeru Ban’s cardboard cathedral in Christchurch.


Christchurch Cathedral / Shigeru Ban. Image © Bridgit Anderson

Christchurch Cathedral / Shigeru Ban. Image © Bridgit Anderson

Reference: NZIA, Architecture & Design