Compression is nature’s glue. Case in
point: the Armadillo Vault, a self-supporting pavilion comprising 399 limestone
slabs and spanning 52 feet, curving and bending around the columns of
a 13th-century Venice building at this year’s Architecture Biennale. No glue,
no mortar, no hidden substructure to ensure the 24-ton
edifice doesn’t collapse—just really smart architecture.
MORE. 24 Tons of Towering Stone, Held
Together With Compression
Žilvinas Kempinas (Lithuanian, b. 1969, Plungė, Lithuania, based New York, NY, USA) - TUBE, Scuola Grande della Misericordia, Lithuanian Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009 Top Photo: Angela Okajima, Bottom Photo: Godromil
Don’t turn away: A team of architectural historians rebuilt a Nazi gas chamber.
The stark-white plaster casts of work—on display at the Venice Architectural Biennale as “The Evidence Room”—does more than just make visitors uncomfortable (though it does that, too). In responding to the Biennale’s theme, “Reporting from the Front,” the reconstruction both remembers the Holocaust and refuses to let its literal architects escape without blame.