GK community library wins Philippines’ 1st Venice Architecture Biennale award

GK community library Venice Architecture Biennale award
The Philippine Pavilion’s exhibit of the Gawad Kalinga farm village library titled “Structures of Mutual Support” won the country’s first award in the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale. Photos from Venice Architecture Biennale, Andrea Avezzu.

The Filipino community library of the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan won the Philippines’ first-ever award in the Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy.

The farm village library exhibited as “Structures of Mutual Support”, the Philippine Pavilion’s official entry to the prestigious international art event, bagged the Special Mention as National Participation Honor during the awards ceremony held in Ca’ Giustinian in Venice, Italy on August 30, 2021.

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The Philippine installation was given the special award, alongside Russia in the world architecture showcase, and was recognized for being an “exemplary community project that creates a rich archive and experience of collaborative construction practices.”

The international jury was composed of Kazuyo Sejima (Japan), Head Juror and members Sandra Barclay (Peru), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Lesley Lokko (Ghana-Scotland), and Luca Molinari (Italy).

The theme of the project revolves around the concept of “Bayanihan” or the Filipino term for mutual support and the community spirit.

“Thank you so much. We really want to thank the jury; the Biennale, Mr. Hashim – for really recognizing that Bayanihan and dugnad can be real alternatives to how we can live together. The way we build is really the way we live. So this is really important to us,” Alexander Eriksson Furunes, one of the curators of the Philippine pavilion said in his acceptance speech.

Curated by Framework Collaborative, “Structures of Mutual Support” is a community library built by architects Alexander Eriksson Furunes and Sudarshan Khadka, Jr. together with members of the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Community in Angat, Bulacan.

The Bayanihan-themed wooden structure sprang from the community’s desire to have its own library in the village. The volunteer residents of the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm were involved in the design and construction of the structure that best reflects their shared needs, desires, and values as a community.

The community library is now on display together with its collection of stories and experiences of mutual support in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale which runs until November 21, 2021.

This year, the Philippines’ Clark International Airport’s (CIA) new terminal building has been chosen to be a finalist in the 2021 World Selection of the prestigious Prix Versailles Architecture and Design Awards.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Philippines and Framework Collaborative for winning their first-ever award in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy for the Filipino community project, “Structures of Mutual Support.”

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.