The Baltic Pavilion represents Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia 2016 with a project that won three separate national competitions with the proposal to represent three states in one joint exhibition. Transformative efforts are at play, that are reprogramming an inert region beyond the delineations of separate nation states. The Baltic Pavilion intends to explore the built environment of the Baltic States as a shared space of ideas.
Recent geopolitical developments around the Baltic States have created a sense of urgency in the initiation of new spatial practices that unite the region and underpin the foundations of the European Union. New infrastructural connections in the Baltic Sea, ‘FSRU Independence’, the natural gas storage ship in Klaipėda, and ‘Rail Baltica’, the pan-Baltic railway project are among many examples of this new kind of architecture.
The Baltic Pavilion will attempt to unravel the conventions and instruments operated by a wide range of spatial practices, industries, and infrastructures that are actively transforming the built space of the three Baltic States and wider region. Without distinguishing between abstract ideas and their material projections, the exhibition will seek to distill parameters and thought structures that enable formulation of a range of spatial interventions to reconfigure the inert built environment.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of related events and will be presented in the form of a cross-section through Baltic space. In the light of the Anthropocene, the new geological epoch, the architecture of the region will unfold as a non-linear stratigraphy.
The Baltic Pavilion will inhabit the Palasport Arsenale, Giobatta Gianquinto – a brutalist architecture sports hall located next to the main Arsenale exhibition grounds. The tall concrete wall, cast in-situ, features an upright perimeter extrusion provides a stepped piazza – a clearing in dense historical city fabric. Designed by Enrichetto Capuzzo, the building is actively used by the Venetian community for sports activities since the 1970s. The Baltic Pavilion provides the occasion for its doors to be opened to visitors of the International Architecture Exhibition for the first time