The Philippines took front and center in the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale after the community library of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan was recognized in the prestigious art event held in Venice, Italy last August 30.

The village library, which entered the competition as ‘Structures of Mutual Support,’ served as Philippine Pavilion’s entrant into the famed showcase, bagging the ‘Special Mention as National Participation Honor’ title.

The one-of-a-kind information center was acknowledged for its role in the Bulacan community of Enkanto for creating “a rich archive and experience of collaborative construction practices.”

The project was the brainchild of Architects Alexander Eriksson Furunes and Sudarshan Khadka Jr., who collaborated with members of the barangay to put their plan in action. 


Photo from Alexander Furunes; NCCA-PAVB

Photo from Alexander Furunes; NCCA-PAVB

In his acceptance speech, Furunes attributed the realization of the project to the Philippine tradition of ‘Bayanihan’ and ‘Dugnad,’ a similar practice in his homeland of Norway. 

“Thank you so much. We really want to thank the jury; the Biennale, Mr. Hashim – for really recognizing that Bayanihan and dugnad can be real alternatives to how we can live together. The way we build is really the way we live. So this is really important to us,” he said.

The wooden infrastructure will be displayed at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale until November 21st – accompanied by its collection of stories and experiences of mutual support.

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Positive News Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: Alexander Furunes; NCCA-PAVB