Philippine Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

Place: Venezia, Country: Italy

Philippines Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 3 Inexhibit

A view of “Structures of Mutual Support”, the exhibition of the Philippine Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale. Photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

The Philippine Pavilion – Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

At the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition of the Philippines focuses on the idea of mutual support through built architecture, represented here by a small wooden building that occupies almost entirely the Philippine Pavilion in the Venetian Arsenal Artiglierie gallery.

Inspired by the concept of Maaliwalas, a Filipino language word that roughly translates to a space that is bright, spacious, and well-ventilated, the building on show in Venice is a small library and hangout space (aTambayan) for the local community created in November 2019 through a collaboration between the pavilion’s curators, architects Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. and Alexander Eriksson Furunes, and the members of the GK Enchanted Farm – a collaborative platform aimed at helping local farmers and creating inclusive wealth in the Province of Bulacan, north of Manila.

Largely built by members of the local community, the library was then disassembled and reassembled in Venice to present the concept of Bayanihan as an answer to the question “How will we live together?” posed by the curator of this year’s Biennale, Hashim Sarkis. The term Bayanihan expresses a spirit of mutual support and a culture of sharing and cooperation widely present in the Philippines, especially in the countryside.

As the curators say: “The library was planned, designed and built through a process of Bayanihan, the Filipino concept of Mutual support. As a tradition that predates the market economy, social and environmental sustainability determines the way decisions are made, resources utilized, the process of construction, maintenance, and operation. As such, it offers a different set of values that can give shape to our built environment.”

In this sense, the Philippine Pavilion exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale is a seminal example of the collaborative self-creation of architecture as a means to improve resilience and mitigate the consequences of natural disasters, social inequalities, and armed conflicts.

Philippine Pavilion
Structures of Mutual Support

Commissioner: National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Chairman
Curators/Exhibitors: Framework Collaborative (GK Enchanted Farm Community and architects Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. and Alexander Eriksson Furunes)

Philippines Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 Inexhibit

The exhibition features a small library building rebuilt in Venice to illustrate the Filipino concept of Bayanihan (mutual support). Photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

Philippines Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 1 Inexhibit

Largely built by volunteers from the GK Enchanted Farm, the pavilion is almost entirely made of local wood. Photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.

Philippines Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 2 Inexhibit

The wooden building on show in Venice is a small library and a “Tambayan” (a place for hanging out) built in 2019 for the local communities of Bulacan, a province north of Manila. Photo © Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit.


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How will we live together? 17th International Architecture Biennale, Venice

How will we live together? 17th International Architecture Biennale, Venice

How will we live together? 17th International Architecture Biennale, Venice


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