Being in a Biennale – interview #07: Rahul Mehrotra

Dans l’entretien qu’il nous a accordé à Venise, l’architecte indien Rahul Mehrotra -lauréat de la mention spéciale pour son intervention Soft Thresholds- souligne l’importance des seuils symboliques et physiques dans l’élaboration d’espaces libres. Il porte également un regard enthousiaste mais critique sur les biennales, trop retrospective alors qu’elles devraient permettre de questionner le présent pour imaginer un futur meilleur.

Soft Thresholds

RMA Architects: Rahul Mehrotra with Nondita Correa Mehrotra, Robert Stephens & Payal Patel
Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 - Central Pavilion

Soft thresholds are crucial to the construction of free spaces. As points of entry and exit, thresholds have a dual coding in society as both physical and symbolic markers of separation and connection. Too often, thresholds divide human activity, and architecture can unwittingly contribute to different forms of separation, manifested through interpretations of culture, religion, or legislation. Can architecture and planning intentionally construct soft thresholds – lines that are easily traversed, even temporarily erased – thereby allowing for productive transgressions and  multiple perspectives across different modes of practice and social connection?

RMA Architects,  presented three projects emblematic of the compulsive drive of the practice to create spaces of inclusiveness, exchange and empathy situated in the diverse landscapes of India. The installation is organized around representing three components, one crucial to each project: the gardeners' cat walk of the KMC Corporate Headquarters, the shared courtyard of the Hathigaon: Housing for Mahouts and their Elephants, and the foot bridge in the courtyard of the CEPT University Library.  Each of these spaces is the embodiment of the project ideals as an architectural interface -- between interior and exterior, new and old, gardener and corporate executive, human and animal.  These spaces are represented in part or whole at full scale, defined by layered, transparent, floating scrims which provoke multiple readings of occupation, overlap and blur. Visitors are invited to experience and inhabit the scale and atmosphere of these spaces, but not their material presence.  

The  installation was printed on viola fabric - scrims and was transparent as a way to metaphorically and literally suggest the sift thresholds. this was complimented by videos that were projected on the screens.

Pour plus d'informations: Soft Thresholds - Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

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