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Simon Velez: Une architectue végétarienne

In summer 2012, Boisbuchet presented two exhibitions on the theme of bamboo; one is centered on architecture and is comprised of an open air walking tour of the domain and the second features the work of an artist who utilizes the unique character of this material within the Boisbuchet chateau.

The exhibition placed in the park explores the sustainable properties, tremendous structural potential, and skillful craft of Simón Vélez’s bamboo architecture. Found across Domaine de Boisbuchet, Une Architecture Vegetarienne accompanies visitors as they explore the property, encountering three of Simón Vélez’s pavilions previously constructed on the grounds, as well as photographs and videos of his work. Internationally recognized, Simón Vélez was awarded the Prince Claus Award for his architecture in 2009.

An exhibition conceived and realized by l’Ecole Polytechique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The curators are Deidi Von Schaewen, photographer and Pierre Frey, art historian and professor. They were assisted by Nicola Sartorio, designer from ECAL for the exhibition design and Renato Zülli, graphic designer ECAL for print layout. Exhibition images have been printed by Stanford Mall, Brussels.

Colombian architect Simón Vélez has maintained a long and close relationship with Boisbuchet where he is conducting his fifth studio workshop. Since the ‘discovery’ of his work in the 1980s by Jean Dethier and Alexander von Vegesack, his reputation has continually grown and he is now considered in America, Europe and Asia one of the masters of bamboo architecture.

This international recognition has given Vélez new authority in his country. He’s been credited with furthering the recognition amongst large segments of the population that guadua bamboo is not fatally destined to remain a poor man’s material. Through constructing bridges, public buildings or prestigious private residences he gives this extraordinary resource it’s acclaim.

The title of the exhibition is an excerpt from a text written by Simón Vélez: (…) “Today’s architecture follows an exaggerated and unhealthy diet, it’s totally carnivorous. Nature demands that we return to a more balanced diet, more vegetarian.”