Sleeping Beauty: Reinventing Frei Otto’s Multihalle
Exhibition on occasion of The Biennale Architecture 2018
with Sally Below, Georg Vrachliotis, and Mark Frohn (FAR frohn&rojas)
Exhibition images © Christoph Engel
The exhibition gives visitors a double view of the Multihalle. Looking back at the past, it presents original archival material to relate the building’s experimental history. The exhibition also looks toward the future. Today, after several years of vacancy and 40 years after the construction of the Multihalle, which was originally planned as a temporary building, the City of Mannheim is working together with a dedicated group of artists, architects, local residents, concerned citizens, engineers, and universities on a new sustainable concept aimed at ensuring its long-term preservation. This open and collectively designed process is unique in Germany.
The title of the exhibition makes reference to this current process. Its aim is to embed the Multihalle into the city’s social landscape, reframe the discourse, which was previously more technical in nature, and develop a new interpretation of the building as a platform for an “open society,” as Frei Otto originally intended. The Multihalle has gone from being a built object to becoming a subject of discourse.
The exhibition in Venice introduces the Multihalle and its future prospects to an international scene—and tells more about it to those already familiar with the structure. A portside building on the island of Guidecca, an authentic Venetian location, will serve as the exhibition space.