Following the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, it was a pleasure to collaborate once again with the team at Kere Architecture on a two-room installation for The Biennale Architettura, Venice. For this interactive art experience, the team built three structures predominantly from ply with textured finishes including clay and textured paint.
Having never worked with clay plaster before, the team incorporated R&D into the process to gain an understanding of the material, and how it would work on curved walls. Our installation team had to create a texture that replicated traditional stone application methods with modern tools to allow for speed due to the build schedule.
The team tested various consistencies: too thick and it wouldn’t dry in time, too thin and the textured scraping method would reveal the mesh underlayer. Two layers, with a drying time of 48 hours between, allowed our team to create the texture without compromising the design.
Before the team could start the application of the textured clay plaster wall on site, they had the tricky challenge to accommodate hand-made pots that would sandwich the wall with the neck protruding out of the front wall, and the base out of the back. This took time to get right.
In total, approximately 720kg of clay plaster was applied by hand to the installation.
The Biennale Architettura will be open until November 2023.