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In Search of Well-Tempered Architecture

20 May - 26 Nov 2023

Venice, Italy

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In Search of Well-Tempered Architecture

Between 20 May and 26 November, an exhibition of the Slovenian pavilion will be on display at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.


Over the past decade, ecology has had a significant impact on many disciplines and has become an integral part of developments within these disciplines. And architecture is no exception. Credit for the purported eco-friendly nature of architecture goes, however, to other engineering-related disciplines, with heat pumps, zero-energy house technology, recovery ventilation systems, and other innovations transforming our homes into high-tech machines intended to help us manage our energy consumption economically and efficiently.


In collaboration with 50 European architects and younger generation creators, we have sought out examples of vernacular buildings from Europe that – unlike current contemporary practice – address the issue of ecology holistically, as an intrinsic part of architectural design. The energy principles of vernacular buildings were divided into categories such as a room within a room, heat cell, dropped ceiling, or extended perimeter. The examples presented also show that energy-related inputs in vernacular architecture did not generally serve as mono-functional elements but had a social and ritual role in addition to their primary function. By addressing issues of heating and cooling, they generated and organized the ways buildings were inhabited, and established specific relations between architecture, users, and the environment.


This approach moves away from the common, nostalgic perception of vernacular architecture as a relic of (forever lost) historical periods. Instead, vernacular architecture is understood as a living specimen of energy principles that are relevant to the current time and can be used as the basis for a critical reinterpretation of contemporary architectural production and for thinking about a future architecture – an architecture for which it is not enough to be merely ‘energy efficient’; instead, it has to become ecological.


You can read more about the exhibition, the creators and the participants in the exhibition here.