A Roof for Silence - Fouad Elkoury, Olivier de Bchaaleh 16, 2019 © Fouad Elkoury

Hala Wardé’s A Roof For Silence for the upcoming Venice Biennale of Architecture is as much about the senses as it is about the built environment and it draws on the shape of an olive tree.

The architect’s design is a response to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition’s theme – How will we live together? – and questions ideas around place and emptiness through a mix of disciplines, including music, poetry and video.

‘Why not think about places in relation to their potential as voids rather than solids?’ says Wardé, the founder of Paris practice HW Architecture. ‘How can we fight fear of emptiness in architecture? How can we imagine forms that generate places of silence and contemplation?’

The structure will be based on the shapes of a group of 16 thousand-year-old olive trees in Lebanon, which have been used as a gathering place for generations of Lebanese people. A site-specific soundscape will also be recorded within the Lebanon Pavilion and released on vinyl by The Vinyl Factory.

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition will run from 22 May to 21 November 2021, curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis.

This tiny French chess pavilion pops out of the landscape like a toadstool

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