Robabecciah: The Informal City – The Egyptian National Pavilion at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2018

The Egyptian National Pavilion aims at the upgrading and “governance” of large urban areas allowing a “free use” that contributes to a better living of contemporary metropolises.

Proposed as part of a competition hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, the curators of this year’s pavilion are Dubai-based Egyptian architects Islam Mashtooly and Mouaz Abouzaid, as well as assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah, Cristiano Luchetti. The curators proposed the theme of redevelopment and strategies of requalification of spontaneous commercial spaces across the entire country.


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Text from the Curators:

The phenomenon of “free”, unstructured, often abusive and illegal trading is predominant in many urban and suburban areas. The traditional souk is no longer confined to narrow streets and interstitial spaces of the historical fabric. Indeed, the space of commerce extends its tentacles seamlessly along the lines of urban streams without any apparent rule. The project for the pavilion focuses on these strategic spatialities but also on their content. The trading of Roba Becciahis a large portion of all market activities. Disused items produced and dismissed by consumerist societies are first collected, and then stacked in areas of such dimensions to create mono-functional enclaves for future trading purposes.

The Roba Becciahrepresents for the curators an important metaphor of the anthropological-urban condition of the contemporary world.

Therefore, the design of the “urban market” seeks rethinking the role of “free space” within the dense morphological and social fabric of the city. It is a proposal that aims at the upgrading and “governance” of large urban areas allowing a “free use” that contributes to a better living of contemporary metropolises.


Read more on herskhazeen coverage of the Venice Biennale 2018.


 

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