[Home at Arsenale]

Pavilion of Slovenia at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Venice / Italy / 2016

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A curated library addressing the notions of home and dwelling



Commissioner Matevž Čelik, director of MAO, appointed as curators for the presentation in Arsenale the internationally acclaimed architects and educators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič, the project responds to ‘Reporting from the Front’ by addressing the topics of home and dwelling as current, critical social and environmental issues. The curators conceived a 1:1 site-specific inhabitable spatial wooden structure, an abstract compact home performing as a curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the concepts of home and dwelling during the exhibition and beyond. Invited architects, artists, critics and curators from various backgrounds are participating with their selection of some 10 books addressing the notions of home and dwelling to share their experience and expertise ‘from their fronts’ in order to build the curated library of collective knowledge. Ultimately, the installation with around 300 books will relocate to the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, to be continually available for public use. The installation [Home at Arsenale] reflects the curators’ approach to thinking and making architecture, underlining its social position, material manifestation and architectural legacy, where the user experience and participation are the central objectives.


commissioner Matevž Čelik, Museum of Architecture and Design
curators Aljoša Dekleva / Tina Gregorič, Dekleva Gregorič architects


The installation [Home at Arsenale] reflects the curators’ approach to thinking and making architecture, underlining its social position, material manifestation and architectural legacy, where the user experience and participation are the central objectives.



The material definition of the installation reflects the historical linking of Venice and Slovenia, since wood from the Karst region was used extensively for the foundations of the city on water. Wood also represents Slovenia’s primary resource and therefore opens up its underused potential as a construction material of domestic spaces. Furthermore, using and presenting the wood in its raw condition highlights its properties and textures.



The ‘low-tech and low-res’ approach organizes generic horizontal and vertical bookshelf elements into a complex site-specific spatial system reacting to the material as well as immaterial context and defining all required cavities of the abstract compact home/curated library. The main cavity performs as living/library and is defined by the presence of books which represent the physical evidence of the exhibitors’ contribution. Sunlight, as a metaphor for knowledge, is materialized in the wooden structure with the distribution and orientation of its vertical elements.



The installation references the seminal Patio & Pavilion project (1956) by Alison and Peter Smithson and their statement ‘Patio & Pavilion represents the fundamental necessities of the human habitat… The first necessity is for a piece of the world, the patio; the second necessity is for an enclosed space, the pavilion.‘ The patio of [Home at Arsenale] is furnished with objects of domesticity to serve as the public/private open space in front of the entrance to the pavilion.
[Home at Arsenale], a space of knowledge, is open to visitors and participants to be explored, discussed and experienced.


The full-scale material installation with its knowledge content emphasizes the enduring capacity of architecture to respond to current social and environmental questions and presents the stage for six-month long exhibition process of research and exploration on the topics of home and dwelling by exhibitors and their invitees. Finally, a forthcoming publication after the Biennale Architettura 2016 will reflect curators’ and exhibitors’ research, statements and questions opening up further polemics and tangible projects relevant for the current role of home.

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    A curated library addressing the notions of home and dwelling Commissioner Matevž Čelik, director of MAO, appointed as curators for the presentation in Arsenale the internationally acclaimed architects and educators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič, the project responds to ‘Reporting from the Front’ by addressing the topics of home and dwelling as current, critical social and environmental issues. The curators conceived a 1:1 site-specific inhabitable spatial...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Work finished in 2016
    • Status Temporary works
    • Type Pavilions
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