“Macau Reframed: The City, its People and their Trace” was the title of the Macau pavilion at the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen that took place between 4 December 2015 and 28 February 2016. This project, coordinated by CURB – Center for Architecture and Urbanism and curated by Nuno Soares, was the winner of the competition for design and curatorship of the Macau pavilion at the UABB 2015, organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macao S.A.R. Government (ICM) and co-organized by AAM (Architects Association of Macau) and MUPI (Macau Urban Planning Institute).

Macau Reframed: The City, Its People and Their Trace embraced the theme of UABB 2015, “Re-living the city” as an opportunity to look to the city we have. It contemplated the needs and skills of its inhabitants, the spaces and small-scale artifacts that populate Macau’s urban landscape, and went a step further to speculate on innovative ways to improve our existing city from the bottom up. The exhibition proposed a shift in focus. Instead of concentrating on the exuberance of urban growth, the glitz of new casinos, or large-scale developments, it reframed and re-examined the existing city that citizens keep building everyday.

The pavilion design was made of the intersection of two spatial and material entities: The Frame and the Audiovisual Shell. The Frame was the overall structure that supported the pavilion and created a permeable exterior boundary. The wooden frame, traditionally used in Macau as a hidden structure in vernacular interior constructions or temporary sidings, was uncovered and brought to view, celebrating its aesthetics and tectonics as a highly flexible structure to customize spaces without changing the buildings’ structures.

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