Redefining Beauty

Colorado architecture firm Rowland+Broughton invited to Venice, Italy to showcase their art installation that displays the importance of sustainable practices in architecture.
01 Reflective Panel

A reflective panel represents water in motion | Photo Courtesy of Rowland+Broughton

From watering your garden to taking a bath, fresh water is an important facet of everyday life. However, this precious resource is becoming scarce. Powerful artwork portraying the dwindling river water supply in Colorado and surrounding states was presented in an installation by Colorado architecture firm Rowland+Broughton as part of the European Cultural Center, in parallel with the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. This exclusive event is an international exhibition of architecture from nations around the world, taking place at venues in and around Venice.

The award-winning firm, whose office is in Aspen, CO, is located close to the Roaring Fork River which flows into the Colorado River. The firm was aware of the river’s water shortage and created an art installation featuring a series of graphic wall panels showcasing the vulnerability of our nation’s rivers.  “One of our mass timber residential projects is showcased, highlighting the utilization of innovative design technology to study day lighting, energy use, and carbon footprint,” explains R+B Principal Sarah Broughton, FAIA, NCIDQ. “Overall, we demonstrate how by embracing timeless, sustainable design, and rejoicing in our natural surroundings, we can redefine beauty.”

53 Installation Space With Viewer

R+B Principal, Sarah Broughton, FAIA, NCIDQ, reflecting on the realization of the team’s journey to the Venice Biennale. | Photo Courtesy of Rowland+Broughton

02 Installation Space

A view of the installation space shows the path of the Colorado River at left and the “Redefining Beauty” concept at right. | Photo Courtesy of Rowland+Broughton

Venice, Italy is the location of the art exhibition, and is situated within a saltwater lagoon stretching along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and Piave Rivers. Residents are dependent upon these waters for survival. Protecting our natural resources and finding alternatives to meet the ever- increasing water demand is a global concern. “We share information about our responsibility as architects to build timelessly to protect our natural resources for future generations and highlight how the concept of “luxury” in architecture can be redefined by using healthy materials and building systems that effect positive change,” says Broughton.

The Biennale committee chose the firm to hear the unique perspective of a Colorado business. The team at Rowland+Broughton were proud to present their point of view at the prestigious event and hope their artwork leaves a lasting impression. “We have a distinct point of view and practice, and the opportunity to share it all with professional peers, international participants, and the attending public was humbling, exciting, and gratifying. Plus, we have a real affinity for Venice. We always learn and experience so much while spending time there.”

25 Pair Of Informational Panels

A pair of informational wall panels, including the path of the Colorado River at right and impact of the built environment. | Photo Courtesy of Rowland+Broughton

12 Rear Wall

The rear wall features informational panels against Colorado photographer Peter McBride’s image of the dry Colorado River Delta. | Photo Courtesy of Rowland+Broughton

Categories: Architects, Art