Awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, the exhibition Unfinished finds a new host in the historic Walled City of Manila as the San Ignacio Church becomes the venue where local enthusiasts will be able to view it for three months from its opening on June 26 (7pm), a project made possible by the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Intramuros Administration, with the support of Base Bahay Foundation and the collaboration of WTA Architecture + Design Studio. Showcasing man´s ingenuity in the face of adversity, the exhibit is a photographic series of possible solutions to problems that have emerged from the financial crisis affecting Spain since 2008 that has made the practice of architecture unfeasible and has thus led to the abandonment of construction projects, consequently resulting into many unfinished buildings.
Using photography as a filter to portray this reality, the exhibition represents the optimistic view of those who have fought back against the recent past, understanding these inherited constructions as an opportunity. The exhibit Unfinished, presented in the Spanish pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016, seeks to direct attention to processes more than results in an attempt to discover design strategies generated by an optimistic view of the constructed environment.
The exhibition gathers examples of architecture produced during the past few years, born out of renunciation and economy of means, designed to evolve and adapt to future necessities and trusting in the beauty conferred by the passage of time. These projects have understood the lessons of the recent past and consider architecture to be something unfinished, in a constant state of evolution and truly in the service of humanity. The current moment of uncertainty in the architectural profession makes its consideration here especially relevant. The connection of this exhibit with the reality of Philippine architecture likewise turns out to be relevant, for similar and yet very different reasons, certain self-built, unfinished or constantly changing buildings in this country make it possible to reflect on the underlying socio-economic dynamics in the architecture of this country. Known for its ability to tackle its national state of affairs in the past and all difficulties, Spain is a country famous for its architectural tradition but with a brilliant present and future as shown by the Golden Lion Award received two years ago by Unfinished as well as the Pritzker Prize garnered by the Spanish atelier RCR Arquitectes. The exhibit Unfinished comes to Manila after travelling around Europe and other parts of Asia, and will run until the 26th of September this year.
(Photo credits: © Luis Díaz Díaz)