American Framing, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Place: Venezia, Country: Italy
La Biennale di Venezia
American Framing
The U.S. Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

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Exterior view of the monumental wood-frame installation built outside of the United States Pavilion for the 17th Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale; photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

American Framing, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

At the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the United States Pavilion presents American Framing, an exhibition dedicated to wood-framed construction in American architecture.
We want to work with a particularly American theme and open up new possibilities for design. (…) As practicing architects and educators, we often explore how ordinary architecture might be a platform for new ideas and discourse.” said Paul Andersen, U.S. Pavilion Co-Curator.
The theme of the exhibition is anticipated outside the pavilion by a monumental 3-story installation, designed by the curators, that allows the public to physically experience a real-size example of wood-framed architecture.
Inside the U.S. Pavilion, American Framing will present the history of the wood-framed construction system through two photographic series – one by Daniel Shea documenting the forests of pine and fir trees from which the timber is sourced, and one by Chris Strong dedicated to the people involved at various levels in the framing materials industry -, site-responsive furniture, building models, and an extensive set of documents about wood-framed construction history and techniques.
By committing the entire exhibition to wood framing—the great forgotten basis of American architecture—our presentation at this year’s Biennale will elevate an often dismissed or ignored form of construction,” said Paul Preissner, U.S. Pavilion Co-Curator and Commissioner.

American Framing is organized by The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) together with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Curator: Paul Anderson
Commissioner and co-curator: Paul Preissner.
Exhibitors:
Photographic Series by Daniel Shea, and Chris Strong
Furniture designed by University of Illinois Chicago students in collaboration with UIC School of Architecture faculty, including Clinical Assistant Professor Ania Jaworska, Assistant Professor Thomas Kelley, and  Carrie Norman.

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Some other views of the wood-framed installation of the U.S. Pavilion; photos © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

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The courtyard of the U.S. Pavilion also contains bespoke furniture designed by the University of Illinois Chicago students; photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

 

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A scale model of the United States Pavilion. Photo by Paul Anderson.

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The exhibition inside the pavilion – by the means of scale models, documents, and photographs by Daniel Shea, and Chris Strong – illustrates the history, techniques, and productive processes of wood-framed architecture in the United States. Photos © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.


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