Zero-waste German Pavilion opens at Venice Architecture Biennale


A man walking past the "Kitchenette" installation at the German pavilion at the Biennale International Architecture exhibition. Photo: Antonio Calanni/AP

This year's German Pavilion at the renowned Venice Architecture Biennale is taking a stand against waste management and sustainability.

The contribution, entitled "Open for Maintenance", was presented and opened by its eight-member curatorial team May 19. It pushes the boundaries of conventional exhibitions by calling for a new, sustainable approach to building, said the team.

"You can't go on like this in the future," said Christian Hiller, one of the curators, pointing to a "waste of resources" in the building and architecture sector.

The demand for housing is on the rise, said German Minister for Urban Development and Building, Klara Geywitz, at the opening. At the same time, the harmful environmental impact of construction is unsustainable in the long run, especially the high level of emissions produced by cement.

The team used material from 40 old Biennale pavilions to create infrastructure that visitors and Venetian initiatives can use, such as an accessible ramp, meeting room and kitchenette.

The design harks back to the 1980's squatter scene in Berlin, aiming to be more interactive than speculative.

The curators also wanted to tackle the Biennale's "waste problem" in a "constructive and optimistic way". Every year, large quantities of exhibition material are largely disposed of afterwards.

"Why should we ship new material to the Giardini at great expense when everything is actually already available on-site?" the curators asked themselves.

The 18th Architecture Biennale began on May 20, with 89 participants from different countries showcasing their ideas on the theme, "The Laboratory of the Future". – dpa

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