Venice Architecture Biennale 2023: David Adjaye creates black wooden pyramid for meetings

3 min read

At this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, visitors can marvel at the Kwaee Pavilion, designed by Ghanaian-Scottish architect David Adjaye, among others. The latter created a pointed structure made of blackened wood, conceived as a place for reflection, gathering and meeting, and located on the former Venice shipyard site.

Inspired by the forest

The name "Kwaee" comes from the Twi language - a dialect of the Akan language spoken in Ghana - and means "forest". The shape and materiality of the pavilion were also designed by Adjaye as an allusion to this meaning. The triangular pavilion is pierced by three openings - including an asymmetrical arch on the main façade that allows visitors:inside to enter the cave-like structure. The lamellar structure of Kwaee also consists of wooden slats of different lengths and arrangements, which form perforations and filter the light. This creates an inviting atmosphere inside as well as an impressive play of light and shadow.

Platform for events

In addition to the main entrance, there are two further openings on the sides of the pavilion. These provide a view of the sky and natural light. A raised platform inside is also accessible via a sloping ramp and steps and offers space for events within the framework of the Biennale - such as lectures and performances on the overarching Biennale theme "The Laboratory of the Future".

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