Venice Architecture Biennale 2016: Golden Lion-winner Solano Benítez presents a brick and timber arch at the Venice Biennale as an example of how cheap materials and intensive labour could “transform scarcity into abundance”.
Benítez’s Paraguay-based studio Gabinete de Arquitectura created the installation in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini, to show how readily available materials and unskilled workman could provide a solution to the global need for rapid urban development.
“The world will need to build the equivalent of a city of one million inhabitants per week with only $10,000 (£7,000) per family,” estimates Alejandro Aravena in the project’s citation.
“Urbanisation will require building at a pace and with a scarcity of means never before seen in human history,” he added. “If we don’t do so, people will not stop coming to cities; they will come anyhow, but will live in appalling conditions. So what can we do?”
The studio created a large, arching structure to demonstrate how unskilled workers could use use low-tech building techniques to produce impressive urban architecture, as migration from rural communities towards cities increases.