« Ball Theater » French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale by MUOTO

The two partners of the Parisian agency Muoto, Yves Moreau and Gilles Delalex, Jury Member of the already open BigMat International Architecture Award 2023, have been appointed curators of the French Pavilion for the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Ball Theater / La fête n’est pas finie – Crédit photo : © Muoto + Stanishev et La Sagna

The « Ball Theater / The party is not over » project led by the agency, associated with Georgi Stanishev and Clémence La Sagna for the scenography, Jos Auzende for the curator, and Anna Tardivel for the programming, was selected following the call for projects launched by the French Institute. The title of the Biennale, curated by Lesley Lokko, is “The laboratory of the future”.


Earlier this month, they unveiled their project entitled Ball Theater / La fête n’est pas fini, which will respond to the theme of the biennale: “Laboratory of the Future / Le Laboratoire du Futur”:

“The Ball Theater presents itself as a light and modular sphere, conceived as a laboratory of identities. It assumes a poetic and utopian dimension that questions the notion of growth. It can be interpreted both as a place of divination of the future and as a disco ball that brings sound, space and the body into play. It is animated by a monthly cycle of workshops-residences-occupations which stages a plurality of voices and stories. It is a theater open to the world and its globalized challenges. It acts as an echo chamber within which resonate current questions about the fragility of the planet, our colonial heritage, our representations of identity and gender. It suggests a new approach to current crises, through questioning, letting go, the search for alternatives and imaginations.

Ball Theater / La fête n’est pas finie – Crédit photo : © Muoto + Stanishev et La Sagna
Ball Theater / La fête n’est pas finie – Crédit photo : © Muoto + Stanishev et La Sagna

We find in this Pavilion what makes the mark of the Muoto agency: a pronounced interest in superstructures, the desire to express a simple geometry while questioning the human responsibility of constructions on global warming. Themes more extensively developed in the Grand Interview that the architects gave us in November’s No. 303.

The « Ball Theater / The party is not over » proposal by the Muoto agency was selected to represent France at the 18th Venice International Architecture Biennale, which will be inaugurated in May 2023. The jury, brought together by the Institut Français, was « seduced by the sensitive and poetic approach » of the proposal designed with Georgi Stanishev and Clémence La Sagna for the scenography, Jos Auzende for the curator, and Anna Tardivel for the programming. As part of the “Low carbon” roadmap of the French pavilion, the footprint of the installation will be measured in 2022, with the objective of reducing it by 25% by 2026.

Emotions and experimentation
« Ball Theater » presents itself as a place of reflection and imagination, as well as a laboratory for inventing the future. The installation is based on experiences related to space, sound and light. The jury felt « that with this project, the French pavilion will be able to touch visitors first by emotion, then by knowledge and reflection », reports the Monitor. Ball Theater thus aims to offer an original and audacious response to the theme of the Biennale, “Laboratory of the future”. « The Venice Biennale itself is also a kind of laboratory of the future, a time and a space in which speculations about the discipline’s relevance in this world – and in the whole world – can develop », states Lesley Lokko in a statement.

Ball Theater / La fête n’est pas finie – Crédit photo : © Muoto + Stanishev et La Sagna

Founded by Gilles Delalex and Yves Moreau, the architecture agency Muoto pleads for a frugal approach to architecture, where economy of means serves to multiply uses and encourage the evolution of buildings over time. Winner of the Équerre d’Argent 2016 with the Place de vie, sports equipment and university restaurant designed on the Saclay campus for the EPA Paris-Saclay, the agency combines research and project management activities.

BigMat International Architecture Award’23 is here! Who will follow Xaveer De Geyter as winner of the Grand Prize? Registration is open now for all the architects in the participating countries. Find all the info on our webpage (link in bio).

Two Grand Prizes to be awarded on this edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award: apart from the BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture (€30,000) this year’s edition features a new Grand Prize for Small-Scale Residential Architecture, also awarded with €30,000, and devoted to any projects comprising the construction, extension or reform of sin