The inaugural Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans gives you a chance to stroll into a dream

A house from a drawing of Ettore Sottsass by 2A+P/A. Photo Antonio Ottomanelli

ORLÉANS – The number of biennales and triennals around the world are on the rise and it seems the architectural scene still needs more. With this trend, a standard definition and dimension to biennales start to form where the events revolve around the newest projects by the most famous architects with appearances by young emerging architects. The inaugural Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans questions such norms.

Le Dragon Volant by Patrick Bouchain

Curated by Abdelkader Damani and Luca Galofaro it features the visions and works of over forty architects from the 1950s onwards. The theme of this year’s event – Walking through someone else’s dream – should be interpreted as a narrative around the dreams and fears of architects within an international context, from the past and the present.

The Biennale takes as headquarters the FRAC Les Turbulences with the retrospective exhibition of Patrick Bouchain as a centrepiece. Other satellite exhibitions are spread in and around Orléans. Key highlights of these other spaces are the works of Demas Nwoko and Guy Rottier. The exhibitions are then complemented by different urban interventions such as Claude Parents’ les ilots at the foot of the cathedral.

The Narrative of the Flying Floor by Aristide Antonas

Although well anchored into its context in the charming city, it is an extraverted catalogue of works from international architects. When going through the exhibits, visitors experience a collision of different cultures and the surprising proximity found between them all on an architectural level.

Speculation, extrapolation, and utopia are key words that come to mind when walking into someone else’s dreams. These dreams take shape in the numerous drawings, models, and art pieces exhibited. The works featured in the biennale emphasize on the nostalgic and romantic thoughts of architecture from the 1950s onwards with not much of a guide to answer the questions that arise and what the hopes are for the future of architecture.

Works in Progress by Saba Innab

Sky X by Lucia Koch

A bit obscure and perhaps a dash too elitist, it remains a platform very much focused on the representation of architecture rather than architecture itself. When considering the accessible and public nature of biennales around the world, this one in Orléans may be harsh on an uninitiated architectural enthusiast.

However, its true value is in its stance against the growing biennale culture at a global scale. It questions and creates a new point on the spectrum with regards to the architectural biennale format through its focus on collection pieces and its curation. Indeed, this inaugural event is a well-crafted parcours architectural with a comprehensive underlying theme, creating an alternative atlas of architecture.

Miss Pearce Chappelle et Résidence by Demas Nwoko

Sustainable Housing by Tatiana Bilbao

Nostalgia/Form by PIOVENEFABI

The Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans began on Friday 13th October 2017 and will go on until then end of March 2018.

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