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Media information  Werner Sobek AG

4. Juli 2016

The Truth “Beyond Form”

Werner Sobek brings urgent environmental issues to the fore with his installation at the Biennale Architettura 2016.

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Alejandro Aravena, curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia), invited Werner Sobek to make a contribution to his show in the Arsenale. In response, Sobek designed a textile-covered cube that is partially veiled by a black cloth. Entitled “Beyond Form”, this artistic, philosophical work brings the urgent issues of our time – the population explosion and global warming – to the fore.

According to a recent piece in ART magazine, “Alejandro Aravena stands out from many of his colleagues, not just as an architect, but, indirectly, as a climate protection advocate with a sense of social responsibility.” The Chilean architect has used his role as artistic director of the Biennale Architettura 2016 to shape the exhibition in a correspondingly critical, thought-provoking way.

Like Alejandro Aravena, Werner Sobek is regarded as a visionary who uses his ideas for the built environment to fight for better living conditions. Sobek responded to Aravena’s invitation to exhibit in the Arsenale by creating an installation in the shape of a textile-covered cube. This mysterious, abstract work challenges viewers to look “beyond form” and address the urgent issues of our time.

Defining the architecture of tomorrow

In Sobek’s opinion, “the search for the architecture of tomorrow is no longer focussed on issues of form. Instead, it is concerned with answering the two major questions surrounding the future of construction. Firstly, due to the population explosion, we must find a recycling-friendly way of using fewer and fewer materials to produce greater numbers of buildings that function without any need for fossil fuels. Our second challenge is to avoid consuming fossilised sources of energy altogether. The enormous volume of CO2 emissions generated during the construction and operation of our buildings exacerbates the problem of global warming in an irresponsible manner.”

“Beyond Form” – a lightweight cube with a serious message

The installation’s visual and textual message is not the only thing that surprises visitors – the striking contrast between the cube’s seemingly massive volume and its ability to float above the floor also prompts numerous questions from curious onlookers. This effect is made possible thanks to the work’s extremely light, textile-covered supporting structure. The installation can be seen at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia) until 27th November 2016. After that date, it will be dismantled within the space of just a few hours and separated out into its discrete constituent parts.

Werner Sobek will speak on the topic “Materials/Structures” in the Teatro alle Tese at 3pm on August 27, 2016.

Cube details:
• Volume: 100 m3
• Floor area: 22m2
• Weight of the timber construction, including textiles: 620kg

About Werner Sobek AG

Founded by Werner Sobek in 1992, the company is internationally synonymous with engineering, design and sustainability and employs over 350 employees with offices located in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Istanbul, Moscow, New York, Stuttgart and Vienna. Every Werner Sobek project is characterized by a winning combination of outstanding design and premium engineering, incorporating ingenious concepts to minimize the use of energy and material resources.
Werner Sobek AG is run under the management of Roland Bechmann, Prof. Dr. Lucio Blandini, Stephen Hagenmayer and Prof. Dr. Thomas Winterstetter. Prof. Dr. Werner Sobek acts as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

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Contact details

Werner Sobek AG
Albstr. 14
70597 Stuttgart / Germany

Dr. Frank Heinlein
Tel.: +49 (0)711.76750-38
Fax: +49 (0)711.76750-44


Contact person for journalists

Heike Bering
bering*kopal Büro für Kommunikation 
Tel. + 49 (0)711 7451759-15


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