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 Thorp (fjmt) and Archimedia; and techniques used to build Shigeru Ban’s cardboard cathedral in Christchurch.
Meili & Peter - Parasite house, Rotterdam 2002. A small project for a craftsman’s workshop built on the site of a former saw mill. The building is constructed out of 7 prefabricated wood panels, each stacked, leaned against, or resting against another to create an assembly similar to a house of cards. Imprecisions in the intersections of these panels are exploited to create gaps for windows and circulation. A large sliding panel with geometric windows allows the owner to control light levels, or open the space up to the garden.
"…the structure avoids an expression of conventional architecture, preferring the doubtful stability of difficult to identify pieces that stand in an open, vague relationship to one another. The design likewise examines whether the coincidence and fragility of an everyday atmosphere that has evolved on a rural yard can live on in a new architecture."