National Pavilion of the Republic of the Seychelles
at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
NATIONAL PAVILLION OF THE SEYCHELLES
BETWEEN TWO WATERS: SEARCHING FOR EXPRESSION IN THE SEYCHELLES
A nation, like a person, forms its identity by relating to its surroundings-its networks and borders. How, then, does a nation 1500 kilometres from its nearest neighbour develop a cultural language, or more specifically, an architecture? For the Seychelles, contact with water, is, in a geographical and symbolical sense, all-encompassing. No single force-whether diverse colonial heritage, insatiable global tourism, rising sea levels or warming waters-can define the island's emerging architectural language. Isolated, and yet essentially open to the international currents brought by the sea, the Seychelles searches for its own voice. The islands are home to a reservoir of cultural influences and people, where architecture interacts with water, rather than stylistic undercurrents. Caught in between sporadic rainfall and the boundless sea, the islands face an ironic dilemma of resourcefulness and fantasy. ADD.locus reports on the timeless nature of the Seychelles and the contemporary state of its architecture. On a journey for self-expression, the firm interprets how daily life shapes the built environment- like the wind combs the sand. Tactical responses adopted from island vernacular rescue local traditions and celebrate resilient principles of simplicity. In a unique context, ADD.locus searches for expression to question the substance of local architecture and its place in today's paradise islands.