From 10 September, nine Irish architectural practices will be representing Ireland at the prestigious Venice Biennale 10th International Architecture exhibition.
Called 'SubUrban to SuperRural', the Irish entry focuses on the fact that one-third of all homes in Ireland have been built since 1995, the great majority of them outside the major urban centres, and asks if there are new models for development that have been overlooked?
Curated by FKL Architects for the Irish Architecture Foundation and supported by Culture Ireland, the Arts Council, the Devey Group, the RIAI and Tegral, Ireland's exhibition in the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale features nine projects and scenarios that imagine and illustrate a vision of how our SubUrban island can evolve into a 'SuperRural' one between now and 2030.
Some of the exhibitions propose solutions - sinkable seaside holiday villages that are only visible when occupied; concentrating Ireland's population strictly within a five city penta-zone that could support Danish-style high-speed trains to shrink Ireland; a high-speed rail bridge from Rosslare to Fishguard.
The architectural practices also contribute reimaginings of Irish planning laws, ideas of being able to start from scratch and cautionary tales.
Ireland's entry has been commissioned by the Irish Architecture Foundation at the invitation of Culture Ireland.
Culture Ireland Director Mary McCarthy said: "As a newly formed body, Culture Ireland is delighted to partner with the Irish Architecture Foundation in raising these pertinent questions which are shaping Ireland's contemporary culture."
The Irish participation at the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale also features 'Detached', a short film by Jennifer Keegan that was shot on the outskirts of Tallaght.
To coincide with the opening of Ireland's entry in the Padiglione Italia, Giardini di Castello, Venice, a special section of the Irish Architecture Foundation's website has been created and will go live on 6 September at: www.architecturefoundation.ie
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Architectural practices at the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale
Boyd Cody Architects: '26+1'
Bucholz McEvoy Architects: 'Learning Landscape'
dePaor architects: 'tall-house'
FKL architects: 'Hinterland'
Henchion+Reuter Architects: 'Demographics'
MacGabhann Architects: 'Tideaways'
dominic stevens architects: 'Fluidcity'
ODOS architects: 'Vertical Sprawl'