Rowland+Broughton Showcase “Redefining Beauty” Installation in Venice, Italy

“Redefining Beauty" brings awareness to a global audience about our connection to the once mighty but now significantly challenged Colorado River.

Colorado-based Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design is currently showcasing an installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 in Venice, Italy, an international exhibition of architecture from firms around the world. Part of the European Cultural Centre (ECC), the installation is on view to the public at Palazzo Bembo near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal until  November 26, 2023.

Titled “Redefining Beauty,” the installation brings awareness to a global audience about our connection to the once mighty but now significantly challenged Colorado River, the primary water source for seven states throughout the American West. Through its architecture practice, Rowland+Broughton is testing materials that require less water, investigating building systems that utilize less carbon, and specifying landscapes that are endemic and sustainable.

The installation features a floor-to-ceiling image of the dry Colorado River Delta taken by Colorado-based National Geographic photographer Peter McBride. A series of graphic fabric wall panels by Designtex share information about our responsibility as architects to build timelessly to protect our natural resources for future generations. The optical effect of rippled water provided via reflective stainless steel EXYD panels is further enhanced by continuous audio of the river flowing at varying seasonal levels.

Also highlighted is how the concept of “luxury” in architecture can be redefined by using healthy materials that affect positive change. One of our mass timber residential projects is showcased as well, demonstrating how the utilization of innovative design technology may be used to study daylighting, energy use, and carbon footprint.

Led by R+B Founding Principals John Rowland, AIA, and Sarah Broughton, FAIA, NCIDQ, team members on the project include Partner, Associate Leslie Cope, IIDA, ASID, NCIDQ; Senior Visual Artist Niklos Toldi; Interior Designer Sara Abd Rabbo; Visual Artist+Sound Designer Zak Huff; Sustainability Manager Marisol Foreman, AIA, LEED; and Partner, Associate Brandon Herbst.

“We are so honored to have been invited to participate in the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale,” shares Rowland+Broughton Principal Sarah Broughton, FAIA, NCIDQ. “As a Colorado firm, we have a distinct point of view and practice, and we welcome the opportunity to open new dialogues and present concepts and propositions to professional peers, international participants, and the attending public. The experience is humbling, exciting, and gratifying. Congratulations to the entire R+B project team for their enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work in seeing this come to fruition.”

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