Veneta Porta Lignea

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _Venice Biennale, Installations + Exhibitions

The Venice Biennale Architettura 2021: How will we live together?

The Giardino delle Vergini occupies a critical location in Venice, at once a destination at the end of the Arsenale, but also its gateway as one arrives by boat.

Historically, this vaporetto stop has been seen as a back door, but with the Arsenale serving as an important open space during the COVID pandemic, more outdoor installations have been conceived as part of this year’s exhibitions, warranting a gateway that acknowledges this new front door. With assembly and disassembly strategically conceived, our aim was to develop proposals that could be erected in less than two days without having a substantial impact on the context, its fondamenta, and gardens. The final gate proposal has also been an opportunity to recall the symbol of Venice, the winged lion of St. Mark who holds the welcoming words in an open book to the waters: Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus.

With an eye towards optimization, we looked to adopt a panel of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a single member into which we could carve and stencil – without waste of material or labor.

Our first approach adopted a mass-customized strategy to optimize a cantilevered structure, giving depth to the core span, while milling out material at the cantilevered edges, drawing out the herringbone pattern of the CLT to the surface (above animation and below left). Ironically, this approach also increased the use of material and labor.

Our second approach aimed to address the predicament of labor and materials with the idea of building the entire installation out of one CLT slab (shown below right). This effectively relegates the exposure of the CLT end-grain to the edges of the slab, where the silhouette of the CLT plank is excavated with divots to allow nested joints for compressive and tensile members.

Articulating a base, a shaft, and a lintel whose function is to frame the threshold into the Giardino. The base serves as a wood foundation, liberating it from any penetration into the Venetian soil. The “piloti” is triangulated, a figural “V”, and an allusive registration of the open book containing Venice’s welcoming words – all while framing a view of the fortification tower beyond the lagoon.

The lintel is displaced asymmetrically, cantilevering over the passage of arrival, pushing the structural capacity of this installation to its limits; a stone of Venice maintains its balance on the opposing end. Set on the stones of the fondamenta, this wood construction is a reminder of the very wood piles that hold up this maritime city.

We also wished to develop a structure that would help to bring people together, frame the space at the Giardino, serve as an edge for the garden, frame the serene view north towards the lagoon, and provide a foreground for other installations of the Biennale.

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale “How Will We Live Together?” is curated by Hashim Sarkis.

Project Team: Principals: Nader Tehrani, Arthur Chang, Alexandru Vilcu, Eric Cheung

In collaboration with:
Canducci Group, Structural Engineer Consultant
Andrea Canducci, Alessandro Canducci, Alessandra Feduzi, Giulia Leopardi, Antonio Eroi

Means Method Mission
Canducci Group
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Payanini SRL

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NADAAA longlisted for Dezeen awards 2021

Posted on August 17th, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Awards

NADAAA is longlisted for Dezeen’s Architecture Studio of the Year. Shortlists will be revealed from September 6th to 10th, which will be followed by the Dezeen Awards 2021 public vote. Winners will be announced in November.

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Posted on August 13th, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Things We Like

NADAAA is currently seeking a full-time Architect (Designer) to join its architectural team in the design of progressive projects ranging from gallery installations to large institutional buildings.

Applicants must have the following qualifications to be considered for the position:

  • Bachelor of Architecture degree or a Master of Architecture degree
  • At least 5-9 years of professional experience
  • Experience with BIM construction documents and high-level presentation production
  • Computer expertise in BIM management, AutoCAD, and Rhino3d

Other position qualifications include:

  • Strong design and graphics skills
  • Expertise in leading a BIM-based construction document set
  • Knowledge of space programming, contract documents (including detailing, specifications, production management, design production), and contract administration
  • Excellent written, verbal, and visual communication skills with various levels of individuals including clients, consultants, and architects
  • Experience as team leader and project manager
  • Ability to juggle multiple tasks, collaborate on large teams and work well under deadlines

Start date: ASAP

Contact Information: 

Please submit qualified resumes and portfolios in PDF format under 20 MB to Please mention your years of experience in the email’s subject line. Please no phone calls or hard copy portfolios.

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In The Space Between

Posted on August 10th, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Events, Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB

NADAAA recently had the privilege of collaborating with VLA Dance and their Director & Choreographer Victoria Awkward on the set design for their latest work ‘In The Space Between’. Through contemporary dance, the work “challenges audience members to explore uncomfortable spaces between”. Using our workshop NADLAB we were able to both fabricate and install the set pieces ourselves for the dance company at Boston Center for the Arts.

Dancers moved with, on, and around the sheet loops in a spirit of courageous multiplicity: pulling and stretching them, entwining their limbs and other body parts. At points, they had the sheets stand as barriers between them and other performers as all moved, being a literal space in between.

– Kathryn Boland, Dance Informa

Photos Courtesy of VLA DANCE

Lighting by Elmer Martinez

Photos by Melissa Blackall 

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The Adams Street Branch Library Opening!

Posted on August 2nd, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _Adams Branch Library, Events, Press

The new NADAAA-designed Adams Street Branch Library has opened in the Adams Village neighborhood of Boston. We are so pleased to see this project completed for the Dorchester community!

Mayor Kim Janey and leadership from the Boston Public Library spoke at the opening on Saturday:

I am thrilled that the new and improved Adams Street branch will once again provide an accessible, inclusive place for the Dorchester community to gather, learn, and grow. My local library played a huge part in my upbringing. Libraries like the Adams Street branch continue to bring joy and essential services to residents of all ages.

– Mayor Kim Janey

We’re thrilled and we hope the community will be, too. The old branch was much-loved, but this completely new building certainly raises the bar.

– David Leonard, President, Boston Public Library

Local press on the Adams Street Branch opening:

The exterior of the 13,450-square-foot building is striking, its sharp angles finished with glazed terra cotta panels and copper. Inside, the space is brightened by floor-to-ceiling windows that offer substantial views of the surrounding neighborhoods, a lovely rock garden, and beyond to the Blue Hills. Overhead, the undulating ceiling is accented with wood-beam baffles meant to mimic the peaks of the roofs on neighboring homes. 

– Bill Forey, Dorchester Reporter

New Adams Street library ‘raises the bar’, Dorchester Reporter

Editorial: A victory for libraries, Dorchester Reporter

Mayor Janey & Boston Public Library Announce Completion Of $18.3 Million Reconstruction And Reopening Of The Adam Street Branch, Patch

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