Venice Biennale 2012: The Piranesi Variations / Peter Eisenman

15:00 - 31 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: The Piranesi Variations / Peter Eisenman, Field of Walls / Dogma © Nico Saieh
Field of Walls / Dogma © Nico Saieh

Inspired by the 13th International Architecture Exhibition‘s theme Common Ground, Peter Eisenman has formed a team to revisit, examine and reimagine Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 folio collection of etchings, Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Derived from years of fieldwork spent measuring the remains of ancient Roman buildings, these six etchings depict Piranesi’s fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like and represent a landmark in the shift from a traditionalist, antiquarian view of history to the scientific, archaeological view.

Video: 13th Venice Biennale / Venice Takeaway, the British

14:36 - 31 August, 2012

Venice Biennale 2012: Originaire / China Pavilion

18:00 - 30 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Originaire / China Pavilion, "Sequence" by Shao Weiping © Nico Saieh
"Sequence" by Shao Weiping © Nico Saieh

From the curator Fang Zhenning:

Koolhaas to be the Biennale's next Director?

17:49 - 30 August, 2012
Koolhaas to be the Biennale's next Director?

Hot on the heels of the Jencks Award, yet another accolade is rumored to be coming Rem Koolhaas‘ way. The claims are flying about the twitterverse: OMA’s Koolhaas will be the next Director of the Venice Biennale.

Venice Biennale 2012: CANCHA - Chilean Soilscapes / Chile Pavilion

17:30 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: CANCHA - Chilean Soilscapes / Chile Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Cancha is a pre-hispanic Quechuan word that indicates a void that enables connections with our ground as well as among people. In urban terms, it is similar to the Spanish Plaza Mayor – the word is used in South America to designate an open space where the harvest is measured and distributed. Cancha is also the field for the ancient game of Palín, traditional of the Chilean Mapuches. Then, Cancha is the word used to comprehend the Chilean Ground, a common ground, which is not urban but territorial.

Venice Biennale 2012: The Magnet and the Bomb / ELEMENTAL

17:00 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: The Magnet and the Bomb / ELEMENTAL, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

An installation highly commented by the visitors of the Vernissage of the Biennale. The Magnet and the Bomb presents two projects from the Chile based practice Elemental, lead by Alejandro Aravena. These projects are urban interventions that were required for specific social issues, that have required a common ground between several stakeholders. A ticking clock bomb counts down at the entrance of the exhibit, that will last the 100 days fo the Biennale, around the same time that both these projects took.

Venice Biennale 2012: Light Houses, On the Nordic Common Ground / Nordic Pavilion

14:30 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Light Houses, On the Nordic Common Ground / Nordic Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nordic Pavilion designed by Pritzker laureate Sverr Fehn in 1962, “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground” invites 32 architects from Finland, Sweden and Norway born in that year to present a model of a conceptual house that reflects their philosophy. The models not only offer a visual proposal, but some also include smells, sounds or tactile experiences.

Kazuyo Sejima appointed as Rolex’s first architecture mentor

15:00 - 29 August, 2012
Kazuyo Sejima appointed as Rolex’s first architecture mentor, Kazuyo Sejima, Mentor © Takashi Okamoto
Kazuyo Sejima, Mentor © Takashi Okamoto

News from the 2012 Venice Biennale: Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been appointed as the first architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative – a unique program that pairs major artists with young talents. Recognized as “one of the most important creative disciplines”, architecture has added as the seventh category in the Rolex’s global philanthropy program, which already includes literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.

Venice Biennale 2012: Awards ceremony, big winners: Alvaro Siza, Japan and Urban Think Tank

12:50 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Awards ceremony, big winners: Alvaro Siza, Japan and Urban Think Tank, Urban Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, Golden Lion for International Exhibition
Urban Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, Golden Lion for International Exhibition

A few minutes ago we attended to the awards ceremony at the Biennale, after which it opened officially to the public (until Nov 25th).

Venice Biennale 2012: Venezuela Pavilion

20:00 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Venezuela Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Venezuela’s participation at the 13th Venice Biennale is presented through a series of reflections about the urban situation – the city of the 21st century.

Venice Biennale 2012: Radix / Aires Mateus

18:00 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Radix / Aires Mateus, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

In the exteriors of the Arsenale we found Radix, the installation designed by Portuguese office Aires Mateus (Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus), an elegant contemporary response to the architectural setting of the Biennale.

Venice Biennale 2012: Dialogue in Details / Toshiko Mori

11:30 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Dialogue in Details / Toshiko Mori, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Curated by Toshiko Mori. All architecture must inevitably contend with history and gravity. These two forces are both fundamental and universal; to confront them is accordingly not only to take the crucial step in any attempt to reinvent the contemporary language of architect but to connect to a vast lineage of historical precedents, creating a platform for developing the discipline’s future as well as reflecting on its past. In Toshiko Mori’s case a series of dialogues with five American masters transpired from projects that required her to work next to, in addition to, or in reference to their creations.

A History of the Venice Architecture Biennale

08:30 - 28 August, 2012
A History of the Venice Architecture Biennale, The Corderie at the Arsenale © ArchDaily
The Corderie at the Arsenale © ArchDaily

For over a century, the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. The avant-garde institution has remained at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends, while leading international events in the field of contemporary arts that are amongst the most important of their kind. Over the past thirty years, the Biennale has given growing importance to the Architecture Exhibition, which is still a young component of the Biennale considering that its first exhibition was held in 1975. Today, the Venice Biennale captures a multitude of interest from around the globe and attracts over 370,000 international visitors.

Venice Biennale 2012: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle / German Pavilion

19:00 - 27 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle / German Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Dealing with existing infrastructure has become the most important task facing German architects today. The greatest, most problematic challenge that lies ahead is the downsizing and conversion of postwar buildings, erected from 1950s to the 1970s, which are described as “too unsuitable, too slipshod, too inefficient to serve as housing in the future”. A complete reevaluation of not only of the structures themselves but also the social and historical implications of their unbuilt energy and resources is necessary in order to improve the urban fabric and achieve climatic goals.

Venice Biennale 2012: Possible Greenland / Denmark Pavilion

18:00 - 27 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Possible Greenland / Denmark Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The Danish Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale will feature a collaboration between Greenlandic and Danish Architects called “Possible Greenland”. The exhibition will address the current development of the Arctic Region as Greenland undergoes a shift towards political independence and business development in the midst of dramatic climate changes. “Possible Greenland” attempts to look optimistically at the climate changes that are causing ice melts throughout Greenland. The shifting planes result in the exposure of vast mineral resources that can kickstart new industries and allow new urban cultures to emerge.

Venice Biennale 2012: Walk in Architecture / Republic of Korea Pavilion

16:20 - 27 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Walk in Architecture / Republic of Korea Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The pavilion aspires to shed new light onto the status of Korean Architecture allowing the outside world to acquire a deeper and more in-depth understanding of what is currently relevant in the field of architecture in the country. “Walk in Architecture” expresses an idea and at the same time its paradox; it treats architecture as a place or a subject, like “Walk in Venice” or “Walk in a forest”. Walk is a collective action which combines associations: when you walk you think, you meditate, you observe, you dream, you wonder.

Venice Biennale 2012: Croatian Pavilion

15:00 - 27 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Croatian Pavilion, Territorial devices for free management, exchange and production of the city. - Courtesy of Pulska grupa
Territorial devices for free management, exchange and production of the city. - Courtesy of Pulska grupa

This year’s Croatian pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Exhibition presents different struggles currently taking place in various Croatian cities. The exhibition, Unmediated Democracy demands Unmediated Space, interprets the topic of common ground by directly asking the protagonists of those collective conflicts how they imagine a common future across and beyond market or state, private or public mediation. The “desires, constrains and potentials expressed in these sites of conflict” are a part of the wider wave of international protests that are demanding a real direct and unmediated democracy. The demands, gathered on the ground through a series of investigative interviews, form the basis for a possible planning strategy, while their resistance tactics become patterns that could shape a common territory.

Venice Biennale 2012: Migrating Landscapes / Canada Pavilion

14:59 - 27 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Migrating Landscapes / Canada Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

We visited “Migrating Landscapes”, the installation at the Canada pavilion for the 13th Venice Biennale. This exhibit has been organized and curated by Winnipeg- based 5468796 Architecture and Jae-Sung Chon, who joined together for this project to form the Migrating Landscapes Organizer (MLO). MLO invited, through a national competition, young Canadian architects and designers from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds to create scale models of ‘dwellings’ and accompanying videos that draw on cultural memories.