The Bienal de São Paulo Foundation has named Rio de Janeiro architect and urban planner Washington Fajardo (RJ, 1972) curator of the Brazilian representation for the next edition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which will be held from May 28 to November 27, 2016 in the Italian city.
Fajardo is president of the Instituto Rio Patrimônio da Humanidade [“Rio World Heritage Institute”] and the Conselho Municipal de Proteção do Patrimônio Cultural [“Municipal Council of Cultural Heritage Protection”], as well as special advisor to Mayor Eduardo Paes on urban planning issues.
Fajardo has worked with projects linked to urban issues throughout his professional career and he has been part of the Rio de Janeiro City government since 2009, first as undersecretary of Cultural Heritage, Urban Planning, Architecture and Design and then as president of the IRPH, from 2012 on. The municipal agency is responsible for caring for cultural, historic and urban aspects of the city, which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2012 in the category of Urban Cultural Landscape.
As a researcher in the Post Graduate Program for Urban Planning (Prourb) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Fajardo studied city planning projects and initiatives for structuring physical space in the major port regions around the world. He was part of the winning team at the National Competition for the revitalization of the Ver-o-Peso Market in Belém, Pará in 1999. He also won first place in the international competition for reconversion project of the Gasômetro in the Rio de Janeiro Port Region in the year 2000.
Fajardo is also the author of the architectural concept of Arenas Cariocas – an initiative of the City of Rio de Janeiro to bring culture and entertainment to the outer city regions – and the revitalization of the “New” Imperator – Centro Cultural João Nogueira in Méier.
As head of municipal heritage, Fajardo was the author of the mechanism that dedicated 3% of the value of the Certificates of Additional Construction Potential (CEPACs) of the urban initiative known as Porto Maravilha [“Marvelous Port”] to the recuperation of the cultural heritage of the port region. He also created the public call Pro-APAC (Areas of Cultural Environment Protection) to directly foment the restoration of private real estate, which won the Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade Award from the Instituto de Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional [“National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage”] (IPHAN) in 2014. Fajardo also created the Centro Carioca de Design [“Carioca Center of Design”] and the public call known as Pro-Design. Located at Praça Tiradentes and inaugurated in 2010, the space is a nucleus for discussion, exhibition and thought in the field of design, as well as cultural expression, containing exhibition galleries and integrated, multifunctional spaces for conferences, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and various activities. Another of Fajardo’s initiatives for this space was to bring an affiliate of Studio-X of Columbia University (USA), a laboratory dedicated to studies of contemporary urban conditions.
In the Rio city center, he was responsible for the re-qualification of Praça Tiradentes, with the removal of the railings, concluding the program Monumenta / BID (the Inter-American Development Bank) created for the area, which today has been converted into a vigorous urban cluster dedicated to design, reclaiming the place’s historical central nature.
About the 15th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia
With the theme Reporting from the front, the director of the 15th edition of the big event, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, envisages works that contribute to the common good and improvements in people’s lives. Known for his projects for social housing and interventions in environmental disaster areas, Aravena declared that “there are countless battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded, with the objective of improving the quality of the constructed environment and consequently the quality of people’s lives.”
About the Brazilian participation
Every two years, the Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia features a large collective exhibition and dozens of national pavilions. The organization of the official Brazilian participation at the event is the fruit of a collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Relations, responsible for maintaining the Brazilian pavilion, the Ministry of Culture, through the application of resources from Funarte, and the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation, which produces the event.
Brazilian Participation at the 15th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia
Commissioner: Luis Terepins, President of the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation
Curator: Washington Fajardo
Venue: Brazil Pavilion Address: Giardini Castello, Padiglione Brasile, 30122 Venice, Italy
Biennale: May 28 – November 27, 2016
Director of the 15th International Venice Biennale of Architecture: Alejandro Aravena