Hollmén Reuter Sandman selected for the main exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects have been invited to participate in the main exhibition at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. There the office will present three community-based design projects: The Women’s Centre (Rufisque, Senegal, 2001), The KWIECO Women’s Shelter (Moshi, Tansania, 2015), and Learning Centre for garbage collector children (Cairo, Egypt, 2010, unbuilt). The 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice will take place on 28.5–27.11.2016.
Architects Saija Hollmén (b. 1970), Jenni Reuter (b. 1972) and Helena Sandman (b. 1972) are known for their work in humanitarian architecture in, for instance, Senegal, Tanzania and India, and have received extensive international recognition for their work. The architect trio takes their expertise to developing countries through Ukumbi, the NGO they established in 2007. In February 2016, the office was nominated by The Architectural Review, one of the world’s most prominent architectural publications, for The Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture in the Women in Architecture Awards 2016. The shortlist features women who are using innovative architecture to effect positive social change. The winner will be announced on 4 March in London.
The Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena (b. 1964) has been chosen as curator for the main exhibition of the 2016 Architecture Biennale in Venice. Aravena, who recently was awarded the Pritzker Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture, has taken as his starting points the social dimensions of high-quality architecture as well as the potential provided by progressive architecture to increase people’s well-being. The theme of the exhibition, Reporting from the Front, wants to draw attention to new ways of influencing developments by means of architecture. The front lines envisioned by Aravena are located, for instance, in the relation of architecture to global inequality, environmental crises, natural disasters, the problems of uncontrolled urbanization, capital markets looking for short-sighted profits, and conservative-thinking administrations.
In the declaration commissioned by the Architecture Biennale in Venice the architects describe their objectives as follows:
Voice to the ones who are not heard. Strength to the powerless, condidence to the quiet and to the ones who fear. In the course of time grows beauty, in beauty trust and dignity. Brick by brick, grant by grant – few are the architects where needed the most.”
— Slowness Dignified (excerpt) by Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman.