The Venice Architecture Biennale is set to feature the pacific-style architecture of New Zealand including the country’s tradition of light timber buildings.
Auckland architect David Mitchell has been appointed as creative director for New Zealand’s first entry into the world architectural exhibition, which opens June 4.
It will feature a purpose-built whatarangi – a one poled-pataka (storehouse) – which will feature an illuminated model of the Auckland War Memorial Museum inside.
Also on display will be a model tower built from the post-tensioned timber construction technique, EXPAN, which was developed by the Sustainable Building of the Future (STIC) at the University of Canterbury. EXPAN was used to build Massey University’s College of Creative Arts in Wellington.
Additionally, the new Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) and Archimedia, which won the World Building of the Year Award 2013 at the World Architecture Festival, will also be featured.
Rounding out the New Zealand entry will be Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral, which was designed by Shigeru Ban.
Mitchell describes the cathedral as a very pacific building – lightweight and flexible.
He told Fairfax NZ News, “We’re going to show off some of the most unsung architecture in the world, our Pacific architecture. It’s an architecture made out of poles, beams and panels and not out of heaps of rocks, bricks and tiles.”
The cardboard cathedral in Christchurch. Image: Schwede66 via Wikimedia Commons