HENRIQUEZ PARTNERS DEBUTS “GHETTO: SANCTUARY FOR SALE” AT THE VENICE BIENNALE
The Exhibition Launching May 22nd is an Innovative Development Model Creating Housing for Iranian Refugees Funded by Time Share Condominiums for American Tourists
Vancouver, British Columbia – May 12, 2021 – Henriquez Partners, the Canadian architecture practice, known for complex, inclusive, and mixed-use developments, today announced that it will debut its latest theoretical project Ghetto: Sanctuary for Sale at the 2021 Biennale Architettura on May 22nd. The exhibition was created for the European Cultural Centre’s (ECC) invitational TIME SPACE EXISTENCE and responds to theme of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale “How will we live together?”
The installation, housed on the main floor of the Palazzo Mora, which is open to the public, will enable visitors, both in-person and virtually to explore and engage with Ghetto and its theme of inclusivity. It will be on view from May 22nd until November 21st.
For Henriquez, the genesis of the exhibition was inspired by multiple factors – the site of the ECC exhibition in Palazzo Mora located in Cannaregio, home of the Jewish Ghetto, the global refugee crisis, and the studio’s credo that architecture has the potential to be a poetic expression of social justice.
The exhibition takes lessons from Venice’s past and puts forth a theoretical project that proposes the provision of housing for Iranian refugees funded by condominium timeshares for American tourists.
The project is intended to illustrate the leadership role that architects can play in the creation of inclusive cities and shares a framework that leverages the power of the development community to provide social benefit. Through the project, Henriquez in collaboration with the UNHCR, further aspires to spark meaningful dialogue about the issues affecting all cities and a global obligation to create inclusive and engaged communities.
“Contemporary architecture is often revered purely as an aesthetic rather than as a social force. The architect, as a navigator, has a leadership role in pursuing the meaningful intersection of justice and beauty, of ethics and aesthetics,” says Gregory Henriquez, Managing Principal, Henriquez Partners Architects. “In the creation of communities that encourage values of inclusivity, diversity and social benefit, the architect’s role has the potential to facilitate a transfer of equity to those most in need.”
Ghetto imagines a physical conduit for the redistribution of wealth from tourists to refugees by transferring the equity garnered in the development process in a mutually beneficial manner. A 2,000-unit development model provides 1,000 homes for refugees and 1,000 units for tourists fully funded by a time share model over four different island sites in Venice – a sufficient number to create a revenue neutral financial model. The cost of each living unit provides equal access to shared amenities, as well as amenities purpose-created for the refugee or the tourist.
While this project explores one iteration of this redistribution model, it can be applied across geographies, scales and contexts.
Ghetto is among the 212 exhibitors from 51 countries invited to investigate the human relationship with space and time, re-envisioning new ways of living and rethinking architecture through a larger lens. By bringing together a diverse group of participants working across disciplines, the European Cultural Centre aims to stimulate an exchange among all who have a crucial role in shaping the future of living.
About Henriquez Partners:
Henriquez Partners Architects is a Canadian architectural studio, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Led by Gregory Henriquez and his belief that architecture has the potential to be a poetic expression of social justice, the studio seeks to re-examine the role of ethics, activism, and critical commentary in architectural practice. Henriquez Partners seeks to re-establish the role of the architect as one of leadership in the creation of the collective space that form the fabric of our daily lives and communities.
Henriquez is now best known for inclusive zoning within mixed-use projects. The Woodward’s redevelopment, completed in 2011, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, remains unprecedented in Canada due to its scale, humanitarian aspirations and complexity. Since then, the studio’s socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable projects continue to have a major impact on shaping local communities. Current large-scale mixed-use projects include the 5.0 million ft² Oakridge Redevelopment in Vancouver, 1.0 million ft² Mirvish Village in Toronto and 1.5 million ft² 1200 Stewart in Seattle.
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