Renowned architect Hala Wardé designed “A Roof for Silence” for the Lebanese Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The design of the work was based on a poem-in-paint by Etel Adnan, as well as on the Antiforms of Paul Virilio, hung facing a series of sixteen ancient trees of Lebanon that were photographed in daylight by Fouad Elkoury, then plunged into darkness by Alain Fleischer, who filmed them in their sleep, with the musical accompaniment of the Soundwalk Collective. The Lebanese Pavilion is conceived as a musical score, resonating disciplines, shapes, and periods to provoke the sensory experience of a thought, articulated around the notions of emptiness and silence, as temporal and spatial conditions of architecture.
Treated as a manifesto for a new form of architecture, Hala Wardé’s project is based on the cryptic shapes of a group of sixteen olive trees that are a thousand years old in Lebanon. These legendary trees, whose hollowed forms are home to various species, are the tutelary figure of the Lebanese Pavilion. They are places of recollection or gathering, where peasants have convened for generations to decide on village affairs or to celebrate weddings.
This book tells the story of the Lebanese Pavilion and explains, through plans, sketches and models, the intentions, and concepts behind the spatial organization of the exhibition.