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Werner Sobek has been invited by the curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Alejandro Aravena, to contribute an exhibit to the show in the “Arsenale”. For this he designed “Beyond Form”, a white textile structure that is partially veiled by a black cloth. Werner Sobek describes the idea behind his design as follows:

“The quest for tomorrow’s architecture is no longer a search for shape or form. Instead it aims at finding the answers to the two major questions the construction industry will be facing in the future. In view of the global population explosion the first concern is to provide an increasing number of buildings using less and less but at the same time recyclable material. And the second problem to be dealt with is to renounce the use of any form of energy obtained from burning fossil fuels. The gigantic CO2-emissions produced by the construction and operation of our buildings irresponsibly exacerbate the problem of global warming.

Unfortunately most have not yet grasped the fact that continuing with all the past approaches the energiewende is destined to fail. In addition, all the questions arising with the need of creating structures for another 16 billion people over the next 16 years are completely ignored. In my opinion we cannot afford to waste further years with doing nothing or with persisting in mere announcements. We have to act now. Also and especially we as designers.

For the Biennale Architettura 2016 I refrained from presenting drawings and models. Instead we further developed the Egyptian abaton, the most sacred room within a temple without any door and housing the unrecognizable truth as Schiller chose to describe it in his poem “Das verschleierte Bild zu Sais”. The abaton in Venice is a minimum-weight fabric cube, the final statement of the IPCC translated into nine languages shimmering through its diaphanous envelope. Because of the black cover only a small part of the truth is recognizable. The sides of the cube itself are each 4.66920…m long which corresponds to the Feigenbaum constant delta. The Feigenbaum constant describes the transition of a non-linear system to chaotic behavior. We are at this threshold now.”

Further information and more images can be found here: