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INTERNATIONAL CURATOR COMPETITION FOR THE ESTONIAN EXHIBITION AT THE 14th INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITION LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA Final Report of the Jury Meetings:

9 May (Estonian Centre of Architecture) 23 May (Estonian Maritime Academy) 24 May (Estonian Centre of Architecture) Participated: Peeter Pere, EAL (Union of Estonian Architects) architect and chairman, Chairman of the Jury Ülar Mark, architect, Commissioner of the Estonian exhibition at the XIV International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia Yoko Alender, architect, Ministry of Culture, Architectural Advisor Veljo Kaasik, EAL architect Liina Siib, artist, EKL (Estonian Artists’ Association) artist Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, ESL (Estonian Society of Interior Architects), interior architect Piret Lindpere, EKÜ (Estonian Society of Art Historians), art theorist (expert, participated on 9 May) Andres Kurg, EKÜ, art theorist (expert, participated on 23 May) Recorded by: Pille Epner, Jury secretary 1. The objective of the international competition for the Estonian exhibition at the XIV International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia was to find the best idea and curator for the Estonian exposition in 2014. The criteria for assessing projects were a good and outstanding idea, the competence of the project team and the feasibility of the idea within the given budget. The jury considered it important that the conceptual design take the ideas of the Biennial’s general curator (Rem Koolhaas) into account (the theme is Fundamentals: Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014), that it should be globally relevant and deal with important aspects of the ideas and practice of Estonian architecture of the last hundred years and of contemporary Estonian architecture. Tying the idea of the exposition in with the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018 added value to the idea. The transportability of the exhibition and the possibility to repeatedly exhibit it elsewhere after the end of the XIV International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia were considered important considerations. 2. Twenty (20) competition entries were received at the Estonian Centre of Architecture by 2 May 2013, the deadline for the anonymous first stage of the international, public, two-stage idea competition. At its first meeting on 9 May, the jury decided to qualify all the conceptual designs received into the first round, including the entry Small is Human, which violated the anonymity requirement. Justification: the jury’s decision by consensus to allow the entry to participate in the competition. In the first stage, the jury selected 7 (seven) conceptual designs by consensus. The name cards of the authors of those projects were opened and they were invited to participate in the second round. Idea outlines and curators selected for the second round:

Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus MTÜ Lai 31, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia Tel +372 611 7436 info@arhitektuurikeskus.ee www.arhitektuurikeskus.ee


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Estonian Worthwhile Architecture (Matteo Poli, Italy) Hygienic Architecture (Villem Tomiste, Estonia) Modern School (Indrek Saarepera, Estonia) Summer Vacationing and Cooperatives (Villem Tomiste, Estonia) New Sensitivity and Intimacy in Estonian Architecture (Karin Paulus, Maria Pukk, Ivar Lubjak, Estonia) Free Space (Johanna Jõekalda, Johan Tali, Siim Tuksam, Estonia) Small is Human (Leonhard Lapin, Estonia)

3. All entries that reached the second round will be rewarded with 300 €, which will be paid out by the Estonian Centre of Architecture. 4. The finalists were asked to develop their presented concepts further in the second round and to elaborate on the significance of the idea in the context of both Estonian architecture and the world, as well as on its connection with the theme proposed by the Biennial’s general curator. The jury wanted to familiarise itself with the visualised vision of the exposition’s structure (media, design, themes and objects), meet the exposition team, and find out which institutions the finalists planned to work with. The jury also wanted to see the work plan for the year leading up to the Biennial and the approximate time schedule. 5. The second stage took place in the form of public “lightening” lectures (9-minute presentations and a round of questions and answers) at the Estonian Maritime Academy on 23 May 2013. Six (6) curators participated in the second stage. The author of the competition entry Small is Human declined to participate and thus dropped out of the final selection. The audience voted after the “lightening” lectures and as a result of the voting, the idea outline identified by the key words FREE SPACE was chosen as the audience’s favourite with a 41% majority of votes. The jury was under no obligation to take the voice of the audience into account. 6. The decision was made at the jury’s second meeting that took place immediately after the “lightening” lecture on 23 May at the Estonian Maritime Academy to invite two collectives of authors to engage in further negotiations – the authors of the competition entry FREE SPACE and Villem Tomiste’s Summer Vacationing and Cooperatives. The interviews with the curators held on 24 May were followed by a meeting of the jury where the jury made the decision concerning Estonia’s participation at the 14th Architecture Biennial. The jury decided by a simple majority (5 in favour, 1 neutral) to declare the idea outline identified by the key words FREE SPACE the winning entry. According to the jury, this is the most interesting, yet also the most complicated project at the competition. The concept of the interweaving of public space with digital strata is well thought out and topical, and capable of bringing Estonia to the fore and entering into dialogue with the biennial’s general theme and chief curator. The jury appreciated not only an intriguing exposition idea and a capable and enthusiastic team in the case of the winning entry, but also the process itself initiated by the authors of the concept – its potential to attract professionals and visionaries from very different walks of life, to function as an open platform in communication between people both at the biennial and beyond it, and also its potential to contribute to general development of ideas on space in Estonia. As a positive programme, this could be a comprehensive Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus MTÜ Lai 31, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia Tel +372 611 7436 info@arhitektuurikeskus.ee www.arhitektuurikeskus.ee


project, where the Biennial exhibition is but one experimental intermediate stage. Risk factors in the context of the Biennial are the technical and visual solutions of the exhibition – its implementation may prove to be technically difficult and the visual side may be difficult to understand for exhibition visitors. The jury considers it important that the visual implementation of the exposition should be interesting to visitors on different levels. It should tie in with the concept and be clearly comprehensible to the public. 7. In addition to the winning entry, the jury decided to single out two idea outlines that stood out in terms of the originality of their idea and the potential for an intriguing exposition – Villem Tomiste’s Summer Vacationing and Cooperatives and Matteo Poli’s Estonian Worthwhile Architecture. 7.1. The idea outline Summer Vacationing and Cooperatives (curator Villem Tomiste) is an original idea that is written humorously, spiritedly and quite convincingly. It could also address an international audience and provide a pleasant, visually diverse exhibition experience rich in details. The negative point of the project is its incapacity to focus and find the core idea that it wants to communicate through the exposition. The concept currently remains a kaleidoscope of flashes of ideas, themes and images that do not add up to a complete whole. The success of this project would depend a great deal on the visual and purely constructional implementation of the exposition in the exhibition space – that aspect would have to be perfect. The jury hoped for the further development of the idea in the second round, that the author would delve more deeply into it. The jury also would have liked to see greater potential for teamwork. 7.2. The idea outline Estonian Worthwhile Architecture (curator Matteo Poli) is captivating by its altogether different and unexpected approach to the theme in correlating architecture and money. A “real estate game” where bids and stakes at some point prove to be reality is clever and worth further development as an idea, yet in its current form, the idea remained somewhat one-dimensional – the jury would have liked to see greater depth and elaboration in the second round. Connections between the theme and the local context remained weak, if not utterly nonexistent. 8. Generally speaking, the jury considered the idea competition a success – there were interesting developments of the theme, of which several merit further work. The Museum of Architecture would have a chance to find intriguing subject matter here for future exhibitions. The jury would nevertheless have liked to see more precise positioning of the proposed ideas in the context of the XIV International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia, which is more a place for professional discussion than an expo-style representative exhibition. The jury was looking for further development and more precise elaboration regarding the teams and visual points of departure from the curators invited to the second round, yet many of them did not make use of that opportunity. Recorded by: Pille Epner

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The jury’s assessment of other idea outlines invited to the second round Hygienic Architecture This is an original idea that would in all likelihood clearly stand out on the background of the entire Biennial. Its generally human theme could address audiences globally and the project description contained interesting angles on the theme. However, the jury was looking for greater depth and concreteness in the second round. The final general impression of the concept was somewhat simplistic and unsettled. Its implementation and cost (transportation, authenticity of materials and the possibility for its exposition) are questionable, yet a smoke sauna and its sooty ceiling can captivate international audiences with its exoticism. Modern School The idea of observing the changes in one type of building over the course of a century is not exactly the most original, yet this subject matter is extremely topical currently in Estonia and it could also be interesting for an international audience. Very diverse topical themes and posed problems concerning architecture, education and regional development could have been tied in to the concept, which could have made the description of one typology along a time axis interesting and attractive for both Estonian and international audiences, yet as such, the curator’s attitude towards his theme remained uncritical and at the same time unsuitable in the context of the XIV International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia. The author should nevertheless consider putting this exhibition together in the local Estonian context. New Sensitivity and Intimacy in Estonian Architecture The concept is elegant, clear and comprehensive. If presented well, it could address international audiences and provide viewers with food for thought concerning the values and quality of the human environment. Its positive aspect is that the exposition can be used as a travelling exhibition. Its greatest disadvantage is the somewhat artificial merging of the themes of education and the environment and the excessive concentration on the positive image. In the context of the Biennial, the jury would have expected a somewhat more critical approach. As such, this exhibition is more of an EXPO type of exhibition. Small is Human This theme is attractive and human. The description of the project creates an effect on the reader with its simplicity and sincerity. The form aspect of the exhibition remains questionable (the danger of remaining nothing more than an exhibition of photographs). It is not clear from the description which objects/installations are planned for display in the exhibition space.

Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus MTĂœ Lai 31, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia Tel +372 611 7436 info@arhitektuurikeskus.ee www.arhitektuurikeskus.ee


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