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Hoskins "Gathering Space" set for Venice

May 1 2008


Gareth Hoskins Architects has won the competition to design the Gathering Space, the Scottish presence at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Over 50 practices entered the competition to create the space, which is set to be a hub for a series of debates, film screenings and events. All competition submissions were presented anonymously and only when the winner had been selected were details of the successful practice unveiled.

Gareth Hoskins Architects’ vision, “the stairs as space”, proposes a physical presence in Venice that offers both an indoor auditorium and an external gathering space.

On the outside a set of public stairs, with seating for up to 200 people, will be used both for organized events and informal gatherings. Meanwhile the stairs form a roof which rises above the indoor auditorium, a space which is expected to seat 80-100 people. The design is based on an original idea by Elisa Yon,

“We were impressed both by the number and the quality of the submissions for the Gathering Space,” says Nick Barley, Executive Director of The Lighthouse. “The judges were unanimous in their view that this structure, with its strikingly simple concept, its strong sense of drama and its ability to function effectively in several different ways, is the ideal choice to represent Scottish architecture on a world stage.”

''It is a fantastic opportunity for us to be involved in creating Scotland's presence on the world stage of the Biennale,” says Gareth Hoskins. “The design, developed from Elisa's initial ideas, aims to combine the formal requirements for an events venue with the creation of a memorable new place within the Venice - a new sculptural element that encourages people to pause, look, engage and gather and that creates a strong identity and presence for Scotland amongst the different cultures that will come together within the City.''

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