A Roof for Silence
The Lebanese Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Hala Wardé in collaboration with poet & artist Etel Adnan
The architect Hala Wardé will represent Lebanon at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia from the 22nd May to the 21st November 2021, with the project “A Roof for Silence”. As an international cultural platform, the Biennale di Venezia is considered as one of the most prestigious artistic events in the world.
THE VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE 2021
Following a national competition, the architect Hala Wardé was selected to design and curate the Lebanese Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale. Born of a privileged collaboration with the poet and artist Etel Adnan, “A Roof for Silence” is designed around one of her seminal artworks entitled « Olivéa : Hommage à la déesse de l’olivier», and through the observation of a set of sixteen millennial olive trees in Lebanon’s hinterland.
The project evokes the theme of living together through the notion of emptiness as a necessary condition of architecture, as well as poetry, painting and music. It brings together different eras and disciplines through the participation of both Lebanese and French artists, such as Paul Virilio, Alain Fleischer and Fouad Elkhoury. More than an architectural project, it is a manifesto for a new form of architecture that restores the importance of the void and of silence.
By resisting the shock of the 4th of August Beirut explosion, “A Roof for Silence” symbolically, if not tragically, takes on its full meaning, offering its Roof to all those who have lost their own, and its Silence to their cries.
From Venice to Beirut
The Lebanese Pavilion will be installed in the famous Magazzini del Sale in Venice, the historic site of the very first Biennale of Architecture.
After the Biennale, the Pavilion will travel to different cities of the world before ending its journey in the heart of Beirut on a highly symbolic site, where it will become a new architectural and cultural emblem of the city. A place of reunion, refuge and contemplation for a city in the throes of unrest.
The City of Water will thus be the first symbolic harbour of a Pavilion destined to convey to the world a universal and timeless message from the Land of the Cedars... and of Olive Trees.
Ecole Le Fresnoy - Alain Fleischer
Bits to Atoms Beirut
The project with an estimated budget of 410 000 euros will be fully funded by private donations. Its message will also be transcribed back to Beirut, by contributing to associations in charge of restoring Beirut’s cultural and architectural heritage, damaged following the tragic events that have shaken the city.
Architect and curator
Commissioner of the Lebanese Pavilion
Poet and artist