The Cairo-based design firm’s pavilion will be built on Egypt’s richest resource: its people.
Algorithm Architecture, a design firm based in Cairo, is representing Egypt in the Venice Biennale’s 17th edition with ‘The Blessed Fragments’, a pavilion that will encapsulate the foundations of Egypt’s social fabric… its people.
La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the global design space, having hosted events and exhibitions for 125 years in Venice, Italy. In 1980 it hosted its first architecture exhibition. This year’s Biennale – running from May 22nd to November 21st - is curated by Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis and features 112 participants from 46 countries.
Algorithm Architecture was founded in Italy 2012 before its founder, Egyptian architect Mostafa Rabea moved it to Cairo, Egypt. Along with a team of architects from the firm – including Lebanese architect Riad Al-Halaby, designer Amr Allam and model-maker Ahmed Essam - Rabea created The Blessed Fragments pavilion to shed light on local Egyptian workers and the effect they have on their local communities, emphasizing the significance of every individual in a society.
The pavilion is split into two sections, each with its own story. The left section, labeled ‘One in All’ features randomly placed black frames with black and white pop-art illustrations capturing the facial expressions of different individuals who make up Egypt’s social fabric. A red frame is placed in the centre of ‘One in All’ enticing observers to merge themselves with the portraits.
The right section- labeled ‘All in One’ touches on the importance of unified communities by blending all the faces together into a mesmerizing doodle. Arbitrarily positioned fragments are suspended from the ceiling to link the portraits to the doodle, and to ensure that the doodle is the focal point of the section three large frames are placed before it.
Beyond the entrance, frames that are fixed to the ground and suspended in air appear to be freestanding and have an illusionary effect of being shut. However, upon walking around them and altering the viewing perspectives, the images within the frames uncover themselves.
Visitors to the Venice Biennale can find the Egyptian pavilion at the Giardini venue.
To follow their journey at the exhibition, visit arch-algorithm.com