Architect David Chipperfield is having a busy year. The Hepworth in Wakefield and the Turner Contemporary in Margate are up running and have opened to rave reviews . Now he is turning his focus on the refurbishment off the Neue National Gallery Berlin. The project involves the renovation of an iconic structure designed by Mies van der Rohe. It is an awesome task to tackle the modernisation of such an important building, the only work by Van der Rohe constructed in post war Germany.
Chipperfield has also been officially appointed as curator of the venice architecture biennale 2012 in italy. He is the first British subject to coordinate the event, which is the world’s largest architecture exhibition. On the subject of the theme chosen for the 13th edition of the event, Chipperfield stated; “I want this Biennale to celebrate a vital, interconnected architectural culture, and pose questions about the intellectual and physical territories that it shares. In the methods of selection of participants, my Biennale will encourage the collaboration and dialogue that I believe is at the heart of architecture, and the title will also serve as a metaphor for architecture’s field of activity.”“I am interested in the things that architects share in common, from the conditions of the practice of architecture to the influences, collaborations, histories and affinities that frame and contextualize our work. I want to take the opportunity of the Biennale to reinforce our understanding of architectural culture, and to emphasize the philosophical and practical continuities that define it.
He added; The title ‘Common Ground’ also has a strong connotation of the ground between buildings, the spaces of the city. I want projects in the Biennale to look seriously at the meanings of the spaces made by buildings: the political, social, and public realms of which architecture is a part. I do not want to lose the subject of architecture in a morass of sociological, psychological or artistic speculation, but to try to develop the understanding of the distinct contribution that architecture can make in defining the common ground of the city. This theme is a deliberate act of resistance towards the image of architecture propagated in much of today’s media of projects springing fully formed from the minds of individual talents. I wish to promote the fact that architecture is internally connected. This will be an exciting and groundbreaking time for an innovator who has truly reached his pinnacle.