Metamorph Installations and Exhibition Design 

Venice Architecture Biennale 2004, Italy

The designs for all the exhibition areas by Asymptote are inspired by historic and contemporary influences and readings of these historically loaded environments. The Arsenale, in particular, has a colorful history as a place once used for navel shipbuilding and the manufacture and preparation of kilometers of rope for the sails of the impressive Venetian ships of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Asymptote’s transformation of the Cordiere was predicted on a modulating spacial sequence developed by producing a morphing animation involving the actions of torquing and “stringing” the entire space. By utilizing the resulting “key-frames,” a sequence of elements with the potential to be used as walls, surfaces and platforms resulted. These resulting forms and surfaces were further designed to accommodate models, drawings and video for the Metamorph exhibition. The displayed works that move along these “trajectories” form a terrain of tendencies and formations as opposed to being simply displays. The experience of the exhibition is therefore spatial and acts itself as an architectural entity celebrating ideas, scale, form and meaning. Asymptote’s seamless integration of architecture, installation, multimedia, graphic design and exhibition design form a spatially integrated back-drop to the Metamorph theme, making explicit a condition of variance, affinities and flux.

Date: 2004


Size: 7,635 m2


Location: 9th International Venice Architecture Biennale Exhibition, Italy


Architect: Asymptote Architecture


Design: Hani Rashid, Lise Anne Couture


Project Director: Jill Leckner 


Design Team: Noboru Ota, Jill Leckner, Christoph Ziegler

Eric Goldemberg, Asako Hiraoka Sperry, Clarissa Lenz, Ana Baltschun, Claudia Cipriani, Tobias Koch, Stella Lee, Simon Nageli, Dominik Sigg, Cara Solomon, Charlotte Schmidt-Jensen, Stephanie Wong, Isabelle Rijnties


Client: Venice Architecture Biennale


Graphic Design: Omnivore New York

Lighting Design: ARUP Lighting Netherlands

Lighting Consultant: Marciano Rizzo/ Venice Biennale