RRR - 13th Architecture Biennale
Reduce / Reuse / Recycle
Architecture as Resource
13th International Architecture Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia
29th August – 25th November 2012
The population of Germany is dwindling and aging. A large-scale process of demographic change is taking place. Working on the existing inventory has long become a priority, focusing on shrinkage, downsizing, regeneration, conversion and refurbishment of existing buildings and on closing the gaps in the urban fabric.
We need to start recognizing existing stock, including the little-appreciated buildings and housing estates of postwar modernism, as an important energy, cultural, social and architectural resource in shaping our future, and adopt a fundamentally positive attitude towards the architecture that already exists.
Reduce/Reuse/Recycle stands for a successful shift in value from waste to reusable material. The three R’s form a waste hierarchy in which avoidance comes first followed by direct reuse and, in third place, recycling which changes the properties of the material. The same logic may be applied in setting up a new value system to address existing buildings: the fewer changes that are made and the less energy used, the better the process.
Valuing what exists is the best starting point for a completely open-minded approach: appreciating that the dilapidated, the strange and the ordinary are architectural resources worth taking seriously can open up potential new directions in architecture. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle shows projects and perspectives by architects who take a positive, empowering view of existing structures as an inspiration and motivation for further development.