In response to the theme of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Laboratory of the Future, the Uzbekistan National Pavilion entitled Unbuild Together: Archaism vs. Modernity addresses
different horizons of Uzbekistan’s architectural heritage as a potential tool to envision the future and a key element to challenge the concept of modernity.
Unbuild Together: Archaism vs. Modernity is a research-based project which will be centred around the ruins of the qalas, ancient fortresses of the Karakalpakstan, heritage of the Khorezm civilization, and the multiple possibilities
that earth offers to build, especially the bricks. Bricks, both a universal and archaic material, are the building block of Uzbek architecture.
Together with the architectural students and professors of the Ajou University in Tashkent, and associated artists, Studio KO will explore the materiality of bricks, soil, and clay. Through this collaboration combining theoretical
work experimentation with the students and a reinterpretation of the modes of brick fabrication, its techniques of construction and its types of finishes, the spatial proposal of the Pavilion will emerge.
Certain bricks in the installation will be glazed by Uzbek artist and ceramics master Abdulvahid Bukhoriy, one of
the few craftsmen to master the nearly lost Blue Bukhara ceramics technique.
“Uzbekistan is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and its ancient qalas (fortresses) and traditional craftsmanship are an important part of this legacy. The qalas, which are found throughout the country, are an enduring symbol of the resilience and strength of the Uzbek people, and are a testament to the country's long and
varied history. By promoting their significance at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, we can help to raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage preservation and encourage others to join us in this effort”.
— Saida Mirziyoyeva, Head of the Communications and Information Policy Section of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
“As we look towards the future, our ancient heritage can help us to rethink the trajectory of humanity and the role that architecture plays in shaping our collective destiny. By examining the architectural remains of past societies, we
can gain insight into the values, beliefs, and technologies that shaped their worlds. This in turn can inform our own design choices and decision-making as we work to build a better future. Traditional Uzbek bricks made using centuries-old techniques are durable, sustainable, and beautiful. Manufactured from natural materials, they are still
sturdy and can last millennia, making them a good choice for long-lasting building projects.”
— Gayane Umerova, Executive Director of the Art and Culture Development Foundation of the Republic of