• News
  • Sep 03, 2021

Real Solutions: Weekly News Roundup

"Wetland," the Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates, at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021. Photo by Andrea Avezz

On August 30, the United Arab Emirates was awarded the Golden Lion for National Participation at the 2021 Architecture Biennale. Commissioned by the Abu Dhabi-based Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and curated by architects Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto, “Wetland” explored an eco-friendly cement made from recycled industrial waste brine. The material was then hand-cast into branched shapes and built into a 2.7-meter-tall structure reminiscent of the region’s traditional coral dwellings. The structure was accompanied by New York-based Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi’s large-scale projected photographs of sabkhas (salt flats), which inspired the curators’ research. The international jury praised the curators for “a bold experiment which encourages us to think about the relationship between waste and production at both the local and global scales, and opens to new construction possibilities between craft and high technology.”