Weeknote #5

Quelle: Giovanni Betti
Quelle: Giovanni Betti

Last week, on the 22nd of May, the 17th Architecture Biennale opened in Venice. Curated by Hashim Sarkis (MIT), this year’s biennale, delayed by the pandemic, asks the question: "How will we live together?"

The KET is present with an installation called La Montagna Invisibile ("The Invisible Mountain"), part of the Italian Pavilion Resilient Communities curated by Alessandro Melis.

Conceived and designed by Giovanni Betti (Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley) and Arch. Katharina Fleck, the installation narrates the story of the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps and the communities that live with it.

Climate change has already risen average yearly temperatures in the Alps by twice as much the global average. To save this glacier from the rising temperatures the nearby community started covering ports of it in 2008 to protect the snow from solar radiation in the summer. Their efforts paid off and the area that needed protection kept on growing. Today more than 100,000 sqm of glacier are covered every summer in a special geotextile to prevent melting.

Aiming at raising awareness of the increasingly complex relationship with the natural environment the design and fabrication of the installation was supported by the students of the elective course in structural analysis offered by Prof. Christoph Gengnagel.

The resulting aerial structure is a special type of cable-membrane structure that required careful planning to allow the textile to be draped in the shape of the glacier it aims to protect.

After a first installation in the atrium of the UdK in March, a select group of tutors and students have travelled to Venice for the final installation in the Italian Pavilion at the Arsenale.

Special thanks to the tutors:
Diego Apellániz, Saqib Aziz, Felix Deiters, Viktor Reiter

And the students:
Jonas Illigmann, Albert Nierlin, Sebastian Reinicke, Björn Sterz, Axel Thorisson