Source: La Biennale di Venezia
Photography: Francesco Galli, Maria Azkarate
Architecture wants to be an architecture of relationships.
Relationships arise through a closeness to people and things. In understanding them, the essential questions of architecture are answered: the approach to topography, construction and material, the meaning and value of building types and their hierarchies. Beyond their material character, these things are embedded in meanings, emotions and events.
Visiting the work of Gion A. Caminada, embedded deep in the mountains of Switzerland, is to experience a weave of contemporary and ancient, where existing patterns are reinterpreted, enlivened and transformed. Of history, Caminada asks, “Can I use it for the moment I’m in?” Trained initially as a carpenter, he immerses himself in enriching experiences and multiple influences. He uses the term cosmopolitanism, which differs from globalism, defining the former as focusing on a specific location while at the same time being fully informed about how the world functions. Interested in everything, he refers to bricolage as a method of synthesis. Focusing on a place, he strengthens difference in order to register and respect separates identities. This strategy of reinforcing the local has consequential ecological beneficial repercussions.
His submission for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition is on the remote village of Vrin which was affected badly by migration. Beginning in the 1980s, the Pro Vrin foundation initiated a project to improve the village’s infrastructure and to try to reduce the loss of its population. In orther to prevent speculation, the municipality bought all the aviable building land. For over thirty years, Caminada, the son of a local farmer, has been building projects on this land.
Gion A. Caminada
“Steinholz” with pigments on wood/polystyrene
16. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia, FREESPACE