Calli di Castello

A trip to Italy this month included a visit to the Architecture Biennale in Venice, primarily to see the Special Project exhibition on the Robin Hood Gardens estate. Going between the Biennale locations of Arsenale and Giardini meant walking through the narrow residential streets (calli) of the Castello district. It is as far away from the tourist crush, in the centre of Venice, as can be found.

The Biennale was also fairly quiet with only two other people viewing the Robin Hood Gardens; A Ruin in Reverse exhibition in the Applied Arts Pavilion. It gave a detailed history and exposition on the Smithson’s social ambition for the housing estate and an interesting commentary in a video titled ‘Vision and Value’. Searching for it online finds only this teasing loop of footage of a barge which I presume carried the concrete sections of the building that had been salvaged from East London and then re-assembled around a scaffold at the exhibition. 

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