The UAE National Pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion Award this week for the best national entry in the 2021 Venice Biennale Architettura. The award recognizes a bold design with a message about environmental protection.
A revolutionary and ecological project for construction.
It is a large-scale prototype structure that measures 2.7 m high and 7 m x 5 m wide. Hand-cast in organic shapes in homage to traditional UAE houses built of coral, the structure was constructed from recycled industrial brine. Thus, this prototype of an environmentally friendly alternative could reduce the construction industry’s impact on the environment. A structure that totally represents the opposition between industrialization and the environment, very present in the United Arab Emirates.
An ecological message
The pavilion named “Wetland” is in its 10th participation in the event.
The architects thought of this creation based on a possible answer to the famous question, “how will we live together?“
A message that was not lost on the jury, who described the work as “a bold experiment that encourages us to think about the relationship between waste and production on a local and global scale, and opens us up to new possibilities for building between craft and high technology.”
UAE National Pavilion Coordinating Director Laïla Binbrek said, “After ten exceptionally thoughtful and creative exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, the UAE National Pavilion is honored to be chosen for the Golden Lion for Best National Participation among 60 national pavilions.
“It is a testament to the work we have done to contribute to the UAE’s ever-evolving art ecosystem, and a recognition of our ongoing efforts to tell the country’s untold stories in a globally relevant way,” added Binbrek.
A valuable award
Al-Awar, who accepted the award on behalf of the pavilion at the ceremony, said, “We are honored to accept this award. We are very proud and humbled as we continue to highlight potential solutions to global problems and move forward into the future.”
This is the second time a country in the region has won a Golden Lion. In 2010, Bahrain won the same award at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition. The exhibition will remain on display until November 2021.
For those who can not see the exhibition in person, a virtual tour of the place is possible via the link in biography of the instagram account @nationalpavilionuae.