Antón Garcia-Abril & Ensamble Studio: Balancing Act

An installation that creates a real and immediate spatial experience
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Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

1 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

2 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

3 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

4 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

5 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

6 / 6 Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio, Balancing Act (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy


Balancing Act, the installation by Anton Garcia-Abril - Ensamble Studio at the Venice Biennale, is dominated by two enormous, horizontal I-beams, stacked on top of each other, the upper beam seemingly held up at one end by a muscular metal spring but weighted down at the other with a giant, rough-hewn rock. The size of the elements neatly relate to the hefty columns and walkways of the Corderie, the sixteenth-century former rope-making factory that houses half of the Biennale exhibition.

The arrangement is also a scaled-up version of the structural system of Ensamble Studio’s 2005 Hemeroscopium House in Madrid, illustrated in a video made by the firm. Hemeroscopium House is one of several projects also on display as part of the installation. It is shown both as a scale model and as the setting for a short film in which the inhabitants host a party for Spain’s recent World Cup victory.

Like many of the successful installations in this iteration of the Biennale, Balancing Act creates a real and immediate spatial experience for the visitor, but it also relates that experience to Garcia-Abril’s built work and the life that goes on in and around it: a deft balancing act in it’s own right.

More of Anton Garcia-Abril & Ensamble Studio’s work is featured in Phaidon’s 10x10_3 and The Atlas of 21st Century Architecture

 

By Sara Goldsmith
Project Editor, Architecture & Design, Phaidon


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