Venice Open Form Pavilion of Air

Padiglione Dell'aria di Venezia Modulo Aperto
Image: design for audiowork accessible via Echoes app
Duration variable.
Specific installation area: 60m x 75m
Location: Giardini della Biennale, Venice

Part of the pan-European Open Form Pavilion of Air series

Other Pavilions in the series - launches & events with European festivals include: Vorspiel CTM/Transmediale Berlin (DE), New Music Dublin (IRL), Sounds from A Safe Harbour Festival (IRL), Struer Tracks (DK), Lofoten Art Open (NO) Open City Europe and the Open House London (UK), Open House Bergen (NO) & Open House Dublin (IRL) Festivals.

The Pavilion is easy to access, just:
1. Download the Echoes app
2. Grab a mobile phone & headphones
3. Download the audiowork in the app (not a browser) using the link or QR code, save it to your phone so then its ready to open when at the location in Giardini della Biennale in Venice.

An extra-national Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, a floating acoustic architecture, the 15th geo-located audiowork in the pan-European "Open Form Pavilion of Air" series. Presented in conjunction with Dirk Yates & Speculative Architecture (AUS).

Information on other Pavilions in the series here and read an overview of the series via RTÉ Culture (Irish RAI equivalent) at

Map view of audiowork as installed (invisibly) in Giardini della Biennale in Venice within the app

Padiglione Dell'aria di Venezia Modulo Aperto (Venice Open Form Pavilion of Air) is a floating roof of sound across Giardini della Biennale in Venice, triggered by GPS and accessed via a smartphone, headphones and the app. Inspired by Polish architects Oskar & Zofia Hansen’s “Open Form” architectural concept (ca. 1959), this audiowork is one of 15 locations in 9 countries in the pan-European Open Form Pavilion of Air series, using sound and site-mapping to offer a playful renewal and reframing of public space as an essential place of engagement for the community. 

By walking through different zones within Giardini della Biennale, while using your mobile phone, the Echoes app and headphones, you become a participatory listener producing a composition in real-time. Your navigation creates a unique choreography via GPS, combining and changing sounds mapped within the Giardini through the app. Hear this unique coastal and quasi-urban international arts & architecture location become transformed by the sounds forming this floating acoustic architecture, revealing an immersive, profoundly spatial and physical experience. The Pavilion has no visible presence outside the app and can only be accessed and enjoyed at Giardini della Biennale.

This piece is the final work of 15 in the Open Form Pavilion of Air series - it aims to provide a link between Umberto Eco's writing on "Opera Aperta" (Open Work) and the Hansen's Open Form Architecture - creating an overarching structure but also aperture between these points through which politics and architecture as a kind of 'opera scultpture' can meet and exchange a spatial dialogue. Originally devised for and mapped to the dimensions  of the Piazza Duco D'Aosta which stands before Central Station in Milan, where Curgenven nearby in 2008, the audiowork's design also functions as a response to the classic (fascist) architecture of the Milan's Central Station.

Also in the Open Form Pavilion of Air series:

Access VENICE PAVILION OF AIR audiowork in Echoes app
Lublin Pavilion of Air
Prague AGENESIS Pavilion
Folldal Pavilion of Air
Bergen Pavilion of Air
Bornholm Pavilion of Air
Dublin Pavilion of Air
London Pavilion of Air
Inis Oírr Pavilion of Air
Piteå Pavilion of Air
Sound Art Lab Pavilion of Air
Cobh Pavilion of Air
Lofoten Pavilion of Air
Berlevåg Pavilion of Air
Berlin Pavilion of Air

Additional information - Hansen’s pavilions employing hyperbolic paraboloid in Open Form architecture:
Stockholm International Fair (1953) with Stanislaw Zamecznik and Wojciech Zamecznik [info]
Hansen-Tomaszewski (HT) structure -  Izmir (Turkey, 1955) with Lech Tomaszewski [image] 
Sao Paolo (1959) with Lech Tomaszewski & Zofia Hansen [image]

Approaches underlying Hansen’s pavilions using the logos of 'Open Form' architecture:
The Pavilions of Air parallel Hansen’s move to use the designs for the international fair pavilions as* “testing ground for designs that shifted focus from the object to ‘cognitive space’: to the individuals using them” – the modulation of the individual’s perception by the Pavilion of Air occurs at a variety of levels, among them the individual’s experience and apprehension of “space” ie location around them and its context. [* quote: Krzysztof Kosciuczuk - Frieze magazine]

Equally, as a spatial choreography through which listeners each move through on their own paths to compose their own piece through this movement, the Pavilion of Air echoes Hansen’s “pavilion for the Warsaw Autumn Music Festival (with Zofia Hansen, 1958) [which] were not only meant to expose the displayed products (or music in the case of the latter), but also turn the visitors into active participants and co-creators of their spatial experiences”. In the case of the Pavilion of Air the displayed content is the site over which the invisible roof rests without the material support of walls, only sound, air and imagination… [quote: Institute of the Present - Aleksandra Kedziorek]

Furthermore, as Hansen commented during the Team 10 meetings in 1960 “Open Form has the task of helping the individual find himself amid the collective, to make himself indispensable in the formation of his own environment,” – the Pavilion of Air aims to allow, produce or effect a realization within the individual that reframes their engagement with the location, the site and thereby society-at-large.

It would seem that society should facilitate (and not impose, as Closed Form does) the development of the individual. There needs to be a synthesis between the objective, collective, social elements, and the subjective, individual elements.” Similarly the individual sound elements of the Pavilion of Air combine and are combined by the listener’s movement to produce a gestalt effect that facilitates this shift in site-perception.

A concert performance comprising electronic elements from the Open Form Pavilion of Air series combined with live pipe organ has been commissioned by New Music Dublin for the NMD Festival in April 2023

Project background in previous sound/architectural works:
Open Form Pavilion of Air follows on from these previous selected architectural works:

- Climata (2015): recorded entirely in 15 of James Turrell’s skyspaces in 9 countries where each Skyspace was briefly transformed from an architectural light installation into a sound installation where you can hear the air move.
Climata was realized as an:

Climata Installation
Climata Double album
Interactive sound atlas
Climata Concert performance

- SPECTRES (2019/20) - composed entirely of in-situ recordings with tone generators in 9 post-Communist architectures, it presents an interrogation of contemporary society across the threshold of the architecture from a former, but recent, epoch. SPECTRES was realized as an:

SPECTRES Installation
SPECTRES live sound/light concert

- Threshold Works No 17 (2021/22) – is a single 40minute multichannel work commissioned by the National Museum in Krakow (MNK) and permanent MNK collection acquisition. The work is presented as the entrance sound installation for MNK's permanent exhibition  ‘Sections: Gallery of Polish architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries’ ('Przekroje: Galeria Architektury Polskiej XX i XXI Wieku'). The installation was made using the resonances of the architecture of the bulidings of several branches of the MNK's buildings as a threshold, filter and frame for the city of Krakow, Watch an interview (in English and Polish) recorded at MNK's Hotel Cracovia branch about the project here.