A father-son architectural team from Michigan will exhibit their workin Venice. The motivation that John and Christopher Myefski, a father and son duo who graduated from the University of Michigan, discovered in the buildings designed by the renowned architect Albert Kahn all across the university's campus has carried them all the way to Venice.
They’re just so different from the designs people think about with the factories and industrial landscapes (Kahn) created in Detroit. What’s really powerful is how students and just everyday people are able to take that in,- Chris Myefski
Chris Myefski said.
The father and son team, who now work together at John Myefski Architects in Chicago, have become famous across the world for the designs that they have created on their own. This recognition on a global scale will continue through the Architecture Exhibition that will take place at the Venice Biennale beginning on May 20.
According to John Myefski, the Italian exhibition was first held in 1895 with the purpose of promoting art and architecture with Venice serving as the "center of that cultural experience."
According to John, who received his degree in architecture from the University of Miami in 1984, both of this year's entries, "Vilnius Connect" by John and "American Construct" by Christopher, display intricate architectural designs that are rarely seen by the general public.
The two projects we're showcasing were designed to do just that, to reimagine the traditional journey of transportation, creating a new sense of wonder and excitement for travelers. We're showcasing projects that were designed to do just that,- Myefski
The exhibition titled "Time Space Existence" will be on display at Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo, and Giardini della Marinaressa from now until November 26. It will also include other works of art.
Chris' "American Construct" is more theoretical, he says, and is intended to raise awareness of the military's physical and social influence on the American West. It displays an armed countryside amid a succession of rest stations on a road journey.
The intention is to have it exist as an idea and proposition for people to kind of re-understand and rethink what sort of the impact architecture can have on not only certain places, but also sort of our way of thinking of places in its own right. We look at this beautiful landscape as this place to escape, but what actually is going on there, adding that “American Construct” also challenges European romanticism of the region.- Chris
said Chris, who graduated from UM in 2018.
Keeping with the transportation theme, John's "Vilnius Connect" was a prior proposal given to Vilnius, Lithuania, to establish an arrival hub for travelers arriving by rail.
Normally, railway stations separate cities, he remarked, echoing the classic term "living on the other side of the tracks." According to him, the Vilnius artwork demonstrates how a train station can link rather than divide cities.
Former professor Gunnar Birkerts' design of the underground library at the University of Michigan Law Quad was one of the key initiatives that influenced John. He recalled Birkerts' ability to construct something so large while maintaining the traditional appearance of the now-100-year-old quad.