NEOM stages first international exhibition at the Venice Architectural Biennale
Arab News: The futuristic avant-garde designs of The Line, Saudi Arabia’s trailblazing linear city, are on view for the first time outside of the Kingdom during the 18th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The Line is part of NEOM, a smart city being constructed in the Kingdom’s Tabuk region of the country — a city that, in many ways, fits perfectly with the theme of this year’s biennale, “The Laboratory of the Future,” and with its focus on architecture from historically under-represented parts of the world.
The designs are on show in the exhibition “Zero Gravity Urbanism: Principles for a New Livability,” which is being staged in a former church, the Abbazia di San Gregorio, one of Venice’s oldest buildings, and injects high-tech futurism into the Renaissance and Gothic architecture of its location. It also provides a glimpse of the riveting architecture of The Line, the world’s first linear city.
As soon as visitors step inside the building, they will come face to face with the exhibition’s focal point: a large-scale 9×13 meter relief plan of NEOM set in in the central courtyard, highlighting The Line’s futuristic design, its non-disruptive interaction with its natural environmentm and its passage through coastal, mountain and desert landscapes.
The exhibition uses high-tech maquettes, simulations and installations to explain Zero Gravity Urbanism, which the show’s organizers define as “a linear and three-dimensional concept that provides an innovative alternative to our current urban model.”
The design is intended to address key global challenges, not just in terms of climate change but also the growing demand for urban land, and rising social and economic inequalities. People from all classes, cultures and walks of life will reportedly be able to find a home in The Line, which also aims to provide a model for developing cities with a radical approach to conservation and standards of living.