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Summer 2012

New Students' Centre at the 2012 Venice Biennale

The New Students' Centre made an appearance at La Biennale di Venezia 2012, the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.


The Director David Chipperfield invited NSC architects O’Donnell Tuomey to contribute to an exhibition with the theme ‘Common Ground’ which is intended to reassert the existence of an architectural culture.  ODT’s entry comprises a series of architectural models, drawings, poetry, prose and symbolic objects.  The centre piece is a free standing timber structure titled ‘vessel’ which takes many of its architectural references from the NSC and is housed within the historic Corderie, part of the Arsenale (Venice’s former naval ship yard).

The NSC features heavily and is clearly a seminal building within the practice’s cannon of work. The craft of brick-making which requires each brick type for the NSC to be drawn by hand is on display.  As ODT explain “Bricks are cast from a mould, each special brick has to be hand-thrown from its own wooden casing.  Clods of clay are dug out from the forest floor and the wood for the mould is cut from the trees. Brick and timber, the raw materials of archaic construction, have not changed much since the ship-builders built their vessels between the brick columns of the Corderie.”


© Alice Clancy IE12

© HY William Chan AU12