The Philippine Pavilion Employs Urban Acupuncture to Address the Flawed Ecology of Manila at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale
At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Philippine Pavilion presents an exhibition that investigates the ecology and social implication of the Tripa de Gallina estuary in Manila. The body of water, once a mechanism for flood mitigation, has now become congested and polluted, affecting the lives of the nearby communities. The Pavilion aims to present the initiative that set out to gather and investigate the guts of the estuary and to work with the residents to find adequate and sustainable architectural solutions. Titled “Tripa de Gallina: Guts of Estuary,” the exhibition in Venice is co-curated by Architect Choie Funk and Sam Domingo and presents the work of the Architecture Collective, represented by Bien Alvarez, Matthew Gan, Ar. Lyle La Madrid, Noel Narciso and Arnold Rañada.
The exhibition presents the modular urban acupuncture materialized by a bamboo structure designed to serve as a place for gathering and investigation. It creates space for the investigation into the flawed ecology of humans, waters, and dregs that define the conditions in the estuary. The windows and screens in the installation provide glimpses into the tenacious urban struggle. The narrative of the space leads to the center, where visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the ethnographic projections and videos directed by filmmaker and educator Jag Garcia.
The bamboo structure has its roots in a project from 2018 initiated by a group led by Ar. Choie Funk to explore the circumstances surrounding Tripa de Gallina and its residents. The Architecture Collective, a group of independent practitioners from the fields of architecture and community development, have collaborated to leverage architecture as an enabler for social connection and sustainability. The structure is meant to be a gathering space from where community members can engage and join in the efforts to address and improve their surroundings.
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The exhibition aims to make these efforts known to a wider audience, to encourage empathy, collaboration, reflection, and gathering. In the words of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, “the Philippine Pavilion creates a pathway for exploration and discussion on how we can take intentional action towards a more sustainable future. This exhibition serves as a foundation for the hope of cleaner surroundings and stronger relationships.” The Pavilion will also be made accessible through its digital programs and virtual tours.
Through the exhibition, the world will have the opportunity to understand the realities faced by Filipinos and realize that this issue is something that they, too, are facing, potentially cultivating more in-depth and meaningful discussions that lead to collective action and a more sustainable future. – National Commission of Culture and the Arts Chair and Philippine Pavilion Commissioner Victorino Mapa Manalo
Responding to Lesley Lokko’s invitation to explore laboratories of the future, many other national pavilions chose to highlight the conditions and challenges of their respective countries as a potential source for creative problem-solving and innovation. The National Pavilion of Ireland set out to explore diverse cultures, communities, and experiences of Ireland’s remote islands in the search for new ways of inhabiting the world, Bahrain’s exhibition explored the potential of its cooling infrastructure, while the Ukrainian Pavilion responded to the threats faced by Ukrainian citizens by exploring the protective structures that offer them respite.
We invite you to check out ArchDaily’s comprehensive coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.