Siza Vieira and Antarte were present at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023
Mário Rocha, CEO of Antarte, considers it a success to have collaborated with the award-winning Portuguese architect in creating an art installation for the Vatican pavilion, in one of the most prestigious global architecture and art competitions.
The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale closed its doors on November 26th with a very positive result: the 18th edition received 285 thousand visitors, the second largest turnout ever.
Also noteworthy is the presence of six Heads of State and Prime Ministers, including the President of the Republic of Germany, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The event also welcomed 45 Ministers and Vice-Ministers. Young people and students represented 38% of total entries. The event focused on Africa, its diaspora, and the themes of decolonization and decarbonization.
Antarte was present at the event. The commissioner of the Vatican Pavilion at the Biennale invited architect Siza Vieira and Antarte, a Portuguese furniture and decoration brand, to create an art installation to be exhibited in the Vatican pavilion. Under the theme “Encounter”, Siza Vieira designed an installation of 12 sculptures that represent people approaching and greeting each other. The sculptures were produced by Antarte in cryptomeria wood from the Azores, a sustainable raw material in line with the brand's sustainability policy.
The option for sculptures of people is related to the theme of meeting in a time of disagreements. In his youth, Siza Vieira wanted to be a sculptor. As an architect, he won the Pritzker Prize in 1992, an award regularly dubbed the ‘Nobel’ of Architecture. At 90 years old, Siza Vieira fulfilled a youthful wish: to create sculptures. The architect saw this project “as a document and a desire. They are geometric figures, somewhat rough but placed in a beautiful environment, which is the basilica in Venice. There is also an intention in this contrast.”
Mário Rocha, CEO of Antarte, gives a positive assessment of the project with architect Siza Vieira: «The challenge of working with the master of masters of architecture, who had the opportunity to create sculptures when celebrating his 90th birthday, was irrefutable. Building pieces of timeless art designed by Siza Vieira in the second most visited edition of the Venice Biennale ever is a fair tribute to the timeless talent of the first Portuguese Pritzker.”