[ Freespace ] : Scotland's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Location: Venice, Italy

Clients: Architecture + Design Scotland

Type: International Exhibition Pavilion

Status: Concept Design


Roots developed a project concept for the Scotland + Venice pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

The theme of the international festival, set by architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, was 'Freespace' and there was a requirement for pavilion proposals to also celebrate Scotland's Year of Young People.

Drawing upon the experience we have gained through Tog Studio, our approach was to work with a group of Scotland's young people to design and build a pavilion that would represent the future of architecture and placemaking in Scotland.

The concept behind the project was to use a live-build project as a medium for exploring what opportunities young people see for constructing interventions in the 'free-space' in the world around them.  The process would explore and challenge the ways in which established architects and technology literate young people design and what can be achieved through collaboration.  Ultimately the pavilion would serve to as a backdrop to a broader discussion about how we support and encourage young people into a career in the construction industry, and what the future of Scotland's places may look like.

Roots teamed up with Class of Your Own* and the new CSIC Innovation Factory**  as part of the bid to form a team that had expertise in educating young people, running collaborative live-build projects and facilitating unique access to cutting edge fabrication and VR technology.  We also proposed to work with Graphical House an experienced graphic design firm and Venice Biennale exhibition veterans.

The proposal was one of four projects shortlisted for interview, but was not ultimately selected to represent Scotland. 



*'Class of Your Own' is an is an organisation which has established accredited construction design courses within High School curriculum across Scotland and England.  These courses called 'Design Engineer Construct' (DEC) train young students in design and the use of professional BIM software and facilitate closer connections between industry to establish a new talent pipeline.

**The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre established the first Innovation Factory in the UK in Glasgow in 2018.  This state of the art facility provides companies with access to digital fabrication technology to encourage greater research, development and adoption of innovative practices throughout the construction sector.