Inspired by the large malocas of South America, Simón Vélez et Stefana Simic designed the CONTEMPLATION Pavilion as a 1000 m2 space made of bamboos, propitious for spirituality and meditation.
CONTEMPLATION is a sober and monumental setting for Matthieu Ricard’s photographies. The exhibit takes place in a central room which is surrounded by an outside corridor that creates and allows the contemplation movement. Taking place on the banks of the Rhône, facing the old city of Arles, the Pavilion respects Simón Vélez’s approach which mixes and balances materials and structures with natural elements. The structure can accommodate simultaneously 100 visitors. It is almost exclusively composed of the Colombian Guadua bamboo and of other local materials such as the La Crau pebbles, or the reeds of the Camargue for its roof.
The Pavilion is the first to prefabrication project made by the two architects. It opened up new possibilities for construction and architecture: it can be disassembled, transported and reassembled wherever CONTEMPLATION may go.
“Guadua is extraordinary. It is more resistant than steel, grows much faster than any tree, and can generate more biomass than any other cultivation of any other species. There is nothing that compares to its capacity for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and its impressive ability to produce oxygen.”
— Simón Vélez et Stefana Simic
Born 1949, Manizales, Colombia.
Lives and works Bogota, Colombia.
Simón Vélez is a Colombian architect, worldwide famous for his variations on complex bamboo structures and his architecture based on the use of indigenous, natural, and little processed materials. He places the respect for the work and the workers at the heart of his masterpieces, by promoting the exchange of knowledge and skills. His work has been especially noticed during the 2016 Venice Biennale.