GRÜNMANIA decorates the front of the pavilion, transcoding the GERMANIA letter characters.

These small “shifts” bring about a transformation and inversion of meaning and open up a wide range of ideas: the pavilion is no longer just Germany’s shop window, but a container in which the global challenges can be tackled together.

Concept German Pavilion @ Venice Architecture Biennial 2018, Italy, 1 May 2017



In the anagram, the letters U N are mingling, inverting meanings: Germany acts in the global context as a player committed to sustainability. This is the statement. In a time when important global players are taking back their commitment to sustainability, Germany has a particular responsibility and role to play.


In our time of the Anthropocene, the juxtaposition between nature versus artifact and designed environment is becoming obsolete. In the dissolution of this polarity lays a great chance: architecture (which in the allegorical depiction of the Vitruvian Primitive Hut by Marc-Antoine Laugier and Charles Eisen of 1753 had emerged from nature) merges with nature once again.


The necessity of the integration of nature creates a huge potential for innovation in architecture. The combination of architecture and nature creates new hybrid urban typologies. The pavilion is dedicated to this integration of nature into architecture.
NatureTecture is dedicated to the convergence of “architecture” and “nature”. This includes, for example, integrated, climate-relevant greening systems, the integration of food production into architecture through “vertical farming” (“sky farming”), the consideration of the built environment as a biotope, and innovative biomaterials for construction.


Important, globally relevant themes such as the role of architecture for climate adaptation and environmental justice, for a social environmentally friendly urban development, for food security and neighborhood development are addressed in a serious and at the same time sensuous, spatial and playful way:


The front of the pavilion is decorated by the GRÜNMANIA lettering. An inaccessible staged garden is growing on the roof area. This fictional garden and “natural spectacle” on the roof is not to be accessed; with the help of surveillance cameras inside the pavilion, visitors follow the activity in these higher spheres.

Simulate to Stimulate

The pavilion is transformed with spatial installations, media cinematic-theatrical collages and sounds: in the simulated abandoned “Situation Room” and in the staged “City Makers Lab” still remain traces of past imaginary activities; fragments of speech sound emerge from a simulated staged “Congress” from one of the adjoining rooms of the pavilion.
The tension deriving from the clash of analytical information with the emotional staging helps break perception habits, allowing for a new fresh view. The strategy of overstatement opens up a room for projections. As the simulation offers only a part of the experience, visitor are to supplement it: Moving in this simulated environment, the visitors discover their own – common – fields of action.

Science Friction

The publication has two fronts: the one with the “Science” title page, the following chapters reproduce facts with their sources about NaturTektur’s relevance for the environment as well as NatureTecture techniques and examples.
But you can also start the book with the “Friction” front page, which offers space for visions. Most interesting is the middle part of the publication, where the reality – which often surpasses imagination – mixes with “friction”.


Similarly, integrated in the pavilions’ staging are many “Science” elements, such as environmental data, bio-architecture techniques and – also growing – architectural examples. These “Science” and “Friction” elements are indicated, among other things, by means of dates (e.g. “In 2030 in flooded Venice GRÜNTOPIA grows on the pavilion’s roof …”) Here different levels of “reality” collide. Moving on these limits – between reality and imagination – the visitor develops his free mental space and space of action.

City Makers

The Biennial project provides the framework for an international dialogical action program. Based on our long international record of activities, we are can draw on a large number of relevant international contacts and partners, both in architecture schools and institutions, as well as in the civil society, NGOs and governance.


The installative exhibition with the GRÜNTOPIA urban visions offers the background platform and opens perspectives for the further development of a number of international participatory climate adaptation projects aiming at the appropriation of the city. Workshops with international experts City-Makers take place in the pavilion during the Biennale; the outcomes of these sessions are then being pursuit further and supported by media coverage.

This is not the German Pavilion.

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