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Christian K체hn (Ed.) Catalogue Austrian Pavilion La Biennale di Venezia 2014
Parliaments are both representative assemblies of the people and monuments of political and national identity. This catalogue for the Austrian contribution to the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice features 196 national parliaments of the world. It fans out a comparison of the various messages to be conveyed by the architecture of parliament buildings: perpetuity, conformity with historical precedents or the fervent manifestation of a new beginning. However, neatly ordered by name and presented in a homogeneous fashion, their monumentality is somewhat lessened. The cold light of analysis brings forward numerous formal similarities of buildings that serve completely different political regimes.
Albania Tirana Unitary Parliamentary Republic 27.400 km Built 1955
Volume (m 3) 12.500 Architect S. Luarasi (AL), D. Vasilef (RU)
»Kuvendi i Shqipërisë« means »Albanian Assembly« and is a building in the style of socialist realism from the mid-20th century. The unicameral parliament may soon make way for a Coop Himmelb(l)au building. Whether or not their design from 2011 will replace the Enver Hoxha Mausoleum or an older project for an extension will be built has yet to be decided.
Tirana, Albania 19°49'E | 41°18'N
Argentinia Buenos Aires Federal Presidential Republic 2.736.690 km Built 1906
Volume (m 3) 218.000 Architect Vittorio Meano (IT)/ Julio Dormal (BE)
The source of inspiration for the Argentinian »Palacio del Congreso Nacional Argentino« is obvious: the distinctive dome is immediately reminiscent of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Avenida de Mayo connects the building directly with the seat of the executive, the unmistakable »Casa Rosada« (pink house).
Buenos Aires, Argentinia 60°00'W | 36°30'S
Austria Vienna Federal Semi-Presidential Republic 82.409 km Built 1883
Volume (m 3) 549.800 Architect Theophil Hansen (DK)
The tympanum on the Austrian parliament’s portico shows the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I in a very prominent spot – handing over the constitution to personifications of the various nations of the Habsburg Monarchy. However, the emperor’s actual interest in democracy was quite limited: he never once visited his box in the chamber of the Austrian Imperial Council.
Vienna, Austria 16°22'E | 48°12'N
Brazil Brasília Federal Presidential Republic 8.459.420 km Built 1960
Volume (m 3) 326.700 Architect Oscar Niemeyer (BR)
The Monumental Axis (Eixo Monumental) in Brasília, a key work of Oscar Niemeyer’s Brazilian modernism, merges different buildings at its western end, each corresponding to the separation of powers: the Congresso Nacional (legislature) is flanked by the Presidential Palace (executive) and the Supreme Court of the Brazilian Federation (judiciary).
Brasília, Brazil 47°55'W | 15°47'S
Finland Helsinki Unitary Parliamentary Republic 303.890 km Built 1931
Volume (m 3) 195.600 Architect Johan Sigfrid Sirén (FI)
The classicist building of the Finnish parliament was extended twice in the course of its history – in 1978 and 2004. Europe’s most densely wooded country opted for panelling in different types of wood for the conference rooms in the most recent annex: ash, maple, birch, black poplar, alder, pine and elm are also the names of the various rooms.
Helsinki, Finland 25°03'E | 60°15'N
Senegal Dakar Unitary Semi-Presidential Republic 192.530 km Built 1956
Volume (m 3) 55.400 Architect Daniel Badani (FR), Pierre Roux-Dorlut (FR)
Senegal’s national assembly represents the lower house of the country’s bicameral system, whose seat is at the former building of the »Grand Conseil de l’Afrique Occidentale Française«. This building’s imposing block structure is intersected by a flatter wing with a prominent ramp ascending to its main entrance. Inaugurated in 1956, this building was erected with French financial aid.
Dakar, Senegal 17°29'W | 14°34'N
Zimbabwe Harare Unitary Presidential Republic 386.850 km Built 1895
Volume (m 3) 55.800 Architect —
Zimbabwe's parliament house is a former hotel for white settlers in close proximity to where British colonialists hoisted their flag upon invading the country. It was expanded many times over the course of the years to accommodate the growing needs of an enlarging parliament. Today, expenditures for its legislators amount to 17,000$ daily, leaving it highly indebted. A new building, funded partly by China, is under construction outside the capital city.
Harare, Zimbabwe 31°02'E | 17°43'S
Published on May 19, 2014
Published on May 19, 2014
This is a brief selection of this year's Austrian Pavilion at Biennale Architettura exhibition guide. To learn more on the project please vi...