Arena Calcetto, by Archrival

Dec 26, 2012
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Patrick Fileti
  • Designer
  • Architect Archrival

On exhibition this year at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, emerging architect team Archrival present Arena Calcetto – a live installation with five towers housing bespoke fussball tables. The project is part of this year’s AIA Australian Pavilion exhibition, Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture.

Echoing the form of the surrounding trees, five slender black timber sculptures up to ten metres in height form the landscape of the installation. A playful twist lies in the custom-made fussball tables housed within the structures, and the space becomes activated when the audience engages with these features.

Each table is made functional with handmade fussball players unique to each sculpture, which were created by over 35 teams of architects and designers worldwide.

“The players are symbolic, as the teams represented by human players are a metaphor for the active participation of over 100 individuals from ten countries collaborating to bring this exhibition into fruition,” say Archrival founders Claire McCaughan and Lucy Humphrey. “These players form a rivalry within the game but also in their design. Which player is the easiest to win a game with, or the most durable? Which player is the most seductive or suited to the Venetian landscape?”

Archrival’s work often focuses on architectural installations for public use. The live and interactive elements of Arena Calcetto engage with the public and allow people to interact with and encounter the work in their own unique way. A non-profit organisation formed in 2011, Archrival aims to facilitate unsolicited and innovative architectural projects that unite creative professionals who may usually be commercial rivals  – allowing the development of experimental work outside of their daily practices.

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