The UAE wins Golden Lion for best pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

The United Arab Emirates has been awarded the Golden Lion for National Participation at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale for the Wael Al Awar- and Kenichi Teramoto-curated Wetland.

The winning pavilion, commissioned by the Abu Dhabi-based Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, explores the possibilities of natural salt as a viable alternative to traditional Portland cement in building construction. Central to its exploration, the Wetland team realized a large-scale prototype structure at the Arsenale with a recycled industrial waste brine-based building material known as MgO that, per the team, can “reduce the climate impact of the construction industry.” For the exhibition, the material was hand-cast “into organic shapes recalling

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