This labyrinth-like Vara Pavilion, made of 10 intersecting cylinders, was created by Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen for the Venice Architectural Biennale 2016. Each cylinder touches at least one another, creating a complex network of open spaces.

The authors has defined the project as “the series of exteriors in the other exteriors”, which has to cause sensory experiences in the visitors.

In the words of Mauricio Pezo “this is very conceptual and intellectual and, simultaneously, sensory and material. You’re trying to understand everything you see, but at the same time you’re feeling and smelling, having an experience you can’t avoid.”

It may be said that the pavilion is a kind of continuation of the authors’ previous project Infinite Motive Project, a mega structure made of 100 overlapping cylinders; In contrast, each cylinder of Vara Pavilion is different from another and the radius of each cylinder is a reference to the ancient measuring tool Vara. Vara was used by the Spaniards during the colonial migration in America and it was known as one of the most imprecise measuring tool. “It varied form 64 to 94 centimeters, so when you count a block in some cities it is 90 meters, while some others are 120 meters”, – Pezo explains.

Every steel-framed surfaces are coated in plaster and bear the marks of the tools, and then are painted in rich shade of teal.

According to the authors, the materials used in Vara Pavilion are absolutely incidental and despite the strict geometric calculations, the purpose of the construction is to cause experiences, not to be described. The architects firmly believe that a piece of work, architecture doesn’t need any explanation, that today, when the world is full of so many social, political and economical problems, the purpose of architecture should be reestablish the lost connection between nature, time and people.

Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen established their architectural studio in 2002 in Chile. Vara Pavilion is presented within Venice Architectural Biennale along other pavilions and it can be visited until 27 November 2016.


Author: Nuka Zurashvili




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