BorderLINE Architecture – Installation for the Hungarian Pavilion at the 12th Venice Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2010.

Marcel Ferencz, Andor Wesselényi-Garay


The installation in the Hungarian Pavilion defined the Line as the origin of the architectural idea as opposed to the House. The radical manifesto of the exhibition proclaimed that architects do not build houses, nor do they create spaces: they simply draw. They draw lines with computers, pens and pencils. Lines, which of course by their mere existence do not create spaces since they almost exclusively appear on two-dimensional surfaces. However, the line is the primaeval mode of expression for an architect, and a medium which represents the architectural idea to the same degree as a house. To illustrate this, the exhibition placed architects’ drawings, their drawing techniques and in general the line, which is regarded as the basic material of the architect, at its focal point.

The drawing and discovery of the line take place in a “space”, which is neither local nor international, amateur nor professional; geographical nor utopian but rather universal. This universal space is one for drawing, and in a wider sense, for leaving a trace. The exhibition is built upon the notion – which is of course subjective – that the universe represented by the Line and drawing by necessity bridges the gap between the architecture of nations, and between the professional and the amateur.

The central ideas of the project being the birth of the line and its organisation into a drawing bring into being a truly architectural exhibition in a non-architectural vein. This concept is based not merely on the drawing but rather its creation, and not merely the line but also its translation into a living architectural idea. It is the conviction of the organisers that the act of drawing is the common denominator of the work of all architects; therefore, films screened in the Hungarian Pavilion feature not only participants in the Hungarian but also the international architectural scene, such as Heinz Tesar, Tony Fretton, Gaetan Siew, Eduardo Souto de Moura and Sou Fujimoto.

The films about drawing and the screenings about the creation of lines presented in an installation medium aimed at illustrating how lines are translated into architecture. This installation required thirty thousand pencils and almost one hundred kilometres of thread. So became the space of the pavilion the space of the paper, and the space of a drawing became the space of architecture.

The installation of the Hungarian Pavilion presented the elemental state and borderline position of architecture. The installation programme (BorderLINE) relates to the geographical sensation of borderlineness in just the same way as the state of mind of the designer split between current and atavistic trends. It equally refers to the birth of drawing and architecture and the dichotomy between here and there, the external and the internal, the I and THE OTHER.

Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky