Ai Weiwei

installation / project management

Forever. Lisson Gallery and Berengo Studio, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Venice Architecture Biennale 2014.

The location, combined with the sheer scale of the works in the show, made this a remarkable project as a whole. Installing the 1179 bicycles that comprised Forever was, however, the greatest undertaking for Mtec.

The site chosen for the piece was a small stretch of the Palazzo’s grounds next to the Grand Canal, bordered by a formal, mature garden that we didn’t want to disturb. Additionally, due to planning constraints/regulations and the temporary nature of the exhibit, we couldn’t set permanent foundations into the ground.

The strategy we devised considered these factors, and after careful planning and consultation we concluded that boats, specialist cranes and access platforms would form the logistics solution for our client. As a result, we were able to deliver a complex artwork constructed in a unique formation. The conditions in Venice meant that we had to conduct work during high tide, which involved elevated levels of efficiency and a bespoke timetable that centred around this schedule.

To solve the issue with foundations, we designed and fabricated a decking that held the weight of the structure, which had to be point-loaded directly through the bicycle wheels of the sculpture on the base row. Credit_Icon_2