The 5th edition of Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB 2019) www.tab.ee, organised by the Estonian Centre for Architecture and curated by London-based architect Dr. Yael Reisner, has closed its Opening Week (September 11th – 15th, 2019) having welcomed a new record of circa 2.000 visitors from more than 25 countries, spanning from Europe to Australia, from the USA to Japan, from Canada to Mexico.
Dedicated to the provocative theme Beauty Matters, this promising edition of the international architecture festival, which continues until November 17th, 2019 celebrates the aesthetic experience in architecture, after almost 80 years of cultural bias. The Official Programme consists of five main events: A Curatorial Exhibition, a Symposium, a Vision Competition Exhibition, an Installation Programme, and an International Architecture Schools’ Exhibition.
In parallel, these events have been enriched by a Satellite Programme, comprising of 20 collateral activities and events – exhibitions, lectures, installations and architectural film screenings all over the city; and by TAB Club, an information hub and a meeting place at Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel). Held in the Great Hall of the Rotermann Salt Storage the Curatorial Exhibition Beauty Matters, aims to elevate the status of beauty in response to alienating and ecologically unfit built environments.
Designed exclusively for the exhibition, the projects focus on the main topic through the lens of habitation: The Open Cave by Sou Fujimoto Architects (JP); Augmented Nature by Elena Manferdini (USA); The Venn Room by Space Popular (UK); Tick by KTA (EST); Beauty-Ful(l) Life by Kadri Kerge (EST, USA); Temporal Environment by soma (AT); TRANSOCCUPATION by March studio (AU); and Growing Cities by Barnaby Gunning Studio & Yael Reisner Studio (UK).
The eight large-scale spatial installations together form a Street in the museum’s main exhibition space, where each is a segment of a habitation project, part of it or a hybrid of parts, capturing its essence. The installations are also presented via large screen projections, at mezzanine level above. The street is accessible through a woodland of local birch trees, a necessary injection of nature to any urban landscape. On one of the Street’s back sidewalks, visitors find the virtual reality experience The Talking Trees of Tallinn.
At the end, a large Arne Maasik photograph wraps the Street back to a birch tree woodland. In the first-floor foyer, an exhibition of the models created by the 12 finalists of the Installation Programme Competition Huts and Habitats preludes the main Curatorial Exhibition, whilst the winning installation Steampunk by Gwyllim Jahn, Cameron Newnham (Fologram, AU), Soomeen Hahm Design (UK), Igor Pantic (UK), Format Engineers (UK) stands fiercely on top of a small mound outside the museum.
The timber installation gives the topics raised during TAB a prominent visual manifestation in the cityscape and will remain in place until the next edition in 2021. Recognising that beauty cannot be reduced to simple concepts, the Head Curator treats it as a plurality with the two-day Symposium — Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, It’s Real, which takes place in the unique industrial setting of Tallinn Creative Hub Kultuurikatel.
The Symposium’s 17 speakers have formed different interdisciplinary panels to reflect on new buds of beauty in architecture. In addition to the eight Beauty Matters exhibitors, the list of guests include the philosopher Graham Harman (USA), the poetess Maria Lee (EST), the mathematician Ron Aharoni (IL), the researcher Taylor Enoch (UK), the DJs and audio-visual artists Jakob and Nathan Tulve (EST), the architectural designer Paula Strunden (NL), and ABB Automation & Grid Technologies, Research Department Manager Dr. Kim Listmann (DE), among others. Source and photos Courtesy of TAB 2019.