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La Biennale di Venezia

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Somatic Collaborative

Manaus: A New Contractual Agreement between City and Forest in Urban Amazonia

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Anthony Acciavatti (American, b.1981), Felipe Correa (Ecuadorian, b.1976), and Devin Dobrowolski (American, b.1982) of Somatic Collaborative (USA, est.2010) in collaboration with Konstantina Tzemou (Greek, b.1991), Evan Shieh (American, b.1989), Inhwi Hwang (South Korean, b.1997), Chengxin Sha (Chinese, b.1990) and Xingyu Zhang (Chinese, b.1997)




Through a specific design project sited at the confluence of three rivers (Black, Amazon, and Mindú), Manaus argues for a new contractual agreement between city and territory by looking beyond the traditional definitions of cities and what constitutes the urban in the context of the Amazon Rainforest. The city of Manaus exemplifies the predominant disconnect between city and the soils of urban Amazonia. Western models of urbanization in the region continuously since the 1500s have cleared the forest rather than engage it, conceiving of cities as external to their immediate, botanical environs. Sited along the Mindú River, a spine that connects the Black River to the Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke, the project proposes a series of urban interventions that forge a new civic infrastructure fostering social and economic cooperation between the cycles of the river, forest, and city. Through the careful examination of five archetypal elements—the tower, the mat, the linear bar, the island, and the bridge—the project proposes an urban imaginary that advocates for the co-existence of ecological conservation and urban development, tempering the harsh divide between city and forest in the Amazonian region.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
The aerial view along the transect of the Amazon River basin, from the Atlantic to the Andes, depicting a region that supports a complex ecology of river, forest, and city. A region which must rethink how to coexist in the 21st century.


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
A perspective of linear infrastructure connecting bus and watercraft networks that facilitate vital connections between the city and smaller settlements along the Amazon and Black River.


University of Virginia

Production credits

The preview video also features the track Fragile Data by the composer Blear Moon, which is available for use, royalty free through creative commons.

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura