The results of the call for applications for the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture, organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), co-organised by the Architects Association of Macau, are now available. The winning team will have the opportunity to present Macao’s characteristic “Freespace” in Venice, Italy, in May 2018.
The Venice Biennale of Architecture was first held in 1980 and is one of the most influential international events in architectural arts and academia, providing an important communication platform for architecture and for cultural exchanges. Since 2014, the IC has twice organised the participation of local architects in this great event. This year, IC strives once again to present projects by Macao architects in the international arena. On October 10, the Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage, Leong Wai Man, and the Director of the Macao Museum of Art, Chan Kai Chon, joined hands with three senior Macao architects, Wong Yue Kai, Carlos Marreiros and Leong Chong In to form the jury. Following a meticulous assessment of the eight projects for the biennale pre-selected by the Architects Association of Macau, the jury selected the project curated by Lam Manuel Lap Yan and authored by architects Ieong Chong Tat, Vong Ka Ian and Chu Hou San, who will thus represent Macao at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture. The architects of the selected team have an average age of 30 and are all registered architects in Macao.
The 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture takes “Freespace” as theme, comprising concepts, time and memories of freedom, connecting the past, present and future. On the basis of inherited culture, the ancient and modern are woven together.
In order to align with the theme, the selected team purposely chose “cards”, a symbol of Macao’s swift economic development, as the core element of their project. Through different combinations and formats of the “cards” and abstract techniques, they reveal constructions rich in local characteristics that have a close connection to residents, such as markets, gardens and stairways, among others. In the process of exploration and reconstruction, one is able to re-experience the local space, reflect on the harmonious relationship between people and space, challenge plans and the limits of autonomy and explore an interactive balance.
The jury considered that the selected project drew on the characteristics of Macau and incorporated elements of cultural value, revealing an image of Macau in a perceptual manner and displaying the traditional in a new way, having therefore a great deal of interest and unity. The winning team was further considered worthy of being the one selected, as it revealed considerable maturity in terms of architectural language and representation and was also able to highlight Macao’s cultural characteristics. More details on the biennale will be announced later.