The Pavilion is part of Live Uncertainty: An Exhibition after the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo.
Architecture and art work are reactions to a specific context, both in terms of the problems raised by art and the different stimuli that it requires. This is a deep and contiguous relationship that has always existed, a timeless expression that helps us define and characterize time. In this specific case, the exercise that we were asked to respond to is an example of this link between both disciplines: an architecture that simultaneously responds to two needs ― an objective and functional need associated with the idea of designing a support for an art work, and an avant-garde and experimental need, proposing to exhibit different exercises in the singular context of the presentation of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo in Serralves, thereby also promoting an architecture exhibition. Focused on this duality, our proposal is, above all, a work that has a paradoxical dimension, in the search to provoke a rupture with the discipline’s precepts and to play with concepts of scale and object. The Serralves Park is a key reference in terms of Portuguese landscape heritage. The Park is cherished by many people because of the diversity of its spaces and the different species that inhabit it. With the intention of respecting the space of the Park and to create a lightweight object, we developed a construction that is affixed to only two points on the ground and stands out as an object, thus creating a different moment. In this architectural exercise we explored a subtle relationship of respect with its surrounding environment, topography, vegetation and paths.
The pavilion reacts to these surrounding elements with a certain simplicity. We wanted to assume the proposal as if it were an object that did not focus on the precepts of a normal pavilion. Taking into account the need to embrace a work in a projection format, we chose a form that follows the principle of the aperture of light used in a projection, or even that of an hourglass, which in a single gesture is able to filter and play with light, and create a balance between two contexts: the Serralves Park and the exhibited work.
When looking at the main body of the pavilion, there is a tightening of the curve in the central zone, which guarantees control of natural light without physical barriers and, as a result, also a vertical separation from the Park’s ground surface, thereby revealing lightness and inciting an instinct of curiosity about the unknown. The pavilion thereby exists beyond the ‘hole’, creating an almost ‘distressing’ passage through the object until one reaches the other side and finds the space where the art work is projected. Light, the itinerary, the sense of curiosity and discovery are then processed in a single gesture, resulting in a work that is not superimposed over the Serralves Park and over the work of art, but instead exalts them. A connector between two realities, in space and time. It is simultaneously a strange object that escapes the common language of the ‘box’ and which also for this reason awakens the visitor’s curiosity, defying the boundaries between the person and the art work, making them mere nuances.