fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | NADAAA
La Biennale di Venezia

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Veneta Porta Lignea

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

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

Nader Tehrani (Iranian-American, b.1963) and Arthur Chang (American, b.1977) of NADAAA (USA, est.2010)



With an eye towards optimization, this project adopts a panel of cross-laminated timber as a single member which has been carved and stenciled, without waste—articulating a base, a shaft, and a lintel—whose function is to frame the threshold into the Giardino. The base serves as a wood foundation, liberating it from any penetration into the Venetian soil. The piloti is triangulated, a figural “V,” and an allusive registration of the open book containing Venice’s welcoming words—all while framing a view of the fortification tower beyond the lagoon. The lintel is displaced asymmetrically, cantilevering over the passage of arrival, pushing the structural capacity of this installation to its limits; a stone of Venice maintains its balance on the opposing end. Set on the stones of the fondamenta, this wood construction is a reminder of the very woodpiles that hold up this maritime city.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
View Along Portico. The cross-laminated timber (CLT) portico defines the edge of the Giardino delle Vergini; it is, at once, a civic yet domestic structure, operating at the scale of the lagoon on the water side, while intimate and responsive to the garden on the other. Attenuated as it is, it anticipates community, whether in isolation, physical distancing or social engagement.


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
View Across the Lagoon. The cross-laminated timber exposes a latent grain when it is routed on a diagonal axis, revealing V-shaped herringbone configurations that are an innate part of the layout of the stacked timber. This pattern speaks to the structure of the wood being used, it also speaks to the ornament it exposes as a result; with a semantic richness of its own, it speaks to Venice, and to a tradition of iconography its construction systems have held for centuries.


Means Method Mission
Canducci Group
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Payanini sr

Production credits

Project coordinators: Alexandru Vilcu, Eric Cheung

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura