Shenzhen Biennale: A Photo Report
Last December, Volume’s editorial team spent three weeks in Shenzhen for the occasion of the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. The outcome of our stay in China will be a Shenzhen-themed issue that will be launched soon. To get you in the mood we’ve prepared this little photo report. Enjoy.
The raised wooden walkway, specifically constructed for this biennale, connects the bus stop with the entrance to Venue A, the former Guangdong Float Glass factory turned into an event space for the occasion of the fifth UABB/Shenzhen. This biennale was deliberately located in the heart of the Shekou industrial harbor zone to kickstart its redevelopment.
The former glass factory (chimney and buildings behind) amidst still active industries and factories. The transformation of the glass factory complex into the Value Factory was a first step to preserve this as industrial heritage and use that as catalyst for future development.
The Laboratorium Room in the Value Factory Volume shares with the Berlage. Berlage shows its Idol Tower winter workshop lead by Madelon Vriesendorp. Volume shows its 37 issues to date plus a video impression of 14 Archis RSVP events. RSVP 15 and 16 focusing on Self Building Building and on Invisible (but very tangible) Borders in the city were held during the first weeks of the biennale. The Volume team worked from this space on the English language catalogue of this UABB, that’ll be published as Volume issue 39 end of February.
The newly built Value Factory Entrance Pavilion (designed by Doreen Liu) hovers above an existing structure housing a café during the biennale. The intermediate zone connects both layers as well as the factory grounds on the left and the road 20 meters above grade on the right.
The Value Factory in use. Where the float glass basins once were, now events and lectures take place. Light emitting stairs in the Value Factory transform the production hall into a casual auditorium.
What looks like a tollgate or the entrance to the ferry is in fact the former border checkpoint when entering Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. This internal border, separating Shenzhen from the rest of China, was abolished in 2001, although there are still big differences with mainland China (tax regime for instance).
A cultural festival in one of Da Lang’s squares. Volume visited this part of Shenzhen, a township with some 500.000 residents, as part of the Invisible Borders event. Da Lang develops all kinds of community building activities as part of a program to create a true citizenry among its young, migrant population (in Shenzhen almost everyone is a migrant). Until now most people live two, three years in a neighborhood and move on.
Atelier Bow-wow delivering a well attended lecture in Venue B.
A lesser known historic fact of The Netherlands is part of Joseph Grima and Tamar Shafrir’s presentation in Venue B on artificial islands, starting from Rose Island, an offshore platform in the Adriatic Sea constructed as independent state by Giorgio Rosa at his own expense.
A visitor of the Value Factory tries one of the virtual reality helmets provided by Het Nieuwe Instituut as part of their installation.