Monocle 24's 'Section D' Reports from 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 24 June, 2016
Monocle 24's 'Section D' Reports from 2016 Venice Biennale, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

In the latest edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, Chiara Rimella reports from the Veneto in northern Italy for a report on the best at the 15th International Architecture Biennale – La Biennale di Venezia. Covering Aravena's central exhibitions, Reporting From the Front, and the designers and curators of the 61 national pavilions, the show seeks to understand how architecture can tackle some of the pressing social and political concerns of our time.

Video: Living with History in the Russian Pavilion of the 2016 Venice Biennale

15:30 - 21 June, 2016
Video: Living with History in the Russian Pavilion of the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

In his latest video, Jesús Granada visits the Russian Pavilion, “VDNh”, at the 2016 Venice Biennale. In the clip, viewers are introduced to the pavilion’s curator, Sergey Kuznetsov, who explains that “VDNh” is an acronym for a large area of Moscow known as Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva or Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy. Kuznetsov describes the territory as “[an] advertisement for the Soviet Union lifestyle…[meant] to meld lots of people and one nation."

Inside "The Baltic Pavilion" at the 2016 Venice Biennale

07:00 - 20 June, 2016
Inside "The Baltic Pavilion" at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects’ Light Pavilion is on Display at the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

12:00 - 19 June, 2016
Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects’ Light Pavilion is on Display at the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Courtesy of Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects
Courtesy of Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects

Commissioned by the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities, Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects’ Light Pavilion design is open and transparent, encouraging participation. With an area of 1,200 square meters, the multi-purpose structure will house a range of planned and spontaneous activities. The architects’ vision was to create a space in which a multitude of events could take place in and around it.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro Meets Aldo / Inside Portugal's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

09:30 - 18 June, 2016
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro Meets Aldo / Inside Portugal's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu.
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Where Alvaro meets Aldo / Curators Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli. Portuguese Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu.

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Monocle Films Report from the National Pavilions at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 18 June, 2016
Monocle Films Report from the National Pavilions at the 2016 Venice Biennale, Central Pavilion, Giardini. Image © Francesco Galli
Central Pavilion, Giardini. Image © Francesco Galli

In a short film exploring some of the National Participations at this year's Venice Biennale, Monocle Films take a considered look at how different countries have responded to the Biennale theme, Reporting From the Front in both explicit and more indirect ways. Visiting the Austrian Pavilion, the Nordic Pavilion, the Turkish Pavilion, the British Pavilion, the Irish Pavilion, the Australian Pavilion and the Romanian Pavilion, the film studies what discourses are being waged in the compressed geo-political world of the Giardini di Biennale.

Losing Myself: Inside the Irish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 17 June, 2016
Losing Myself: Inside the Irish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Niall McLaughlin Architects and Yeoryia Manolopouplou
© Niall McLaughlin Architects and Yeoryia Manolopouplou

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Video: Take a Dip in the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

16:00 - 16 June, 2016
Video: Take a Dip in the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

In his latest video, Jesús Granada visits ‘The Pool,’ inside Australia’s Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Curated by Amelia Holliday, Isabelle Toland & Michelle Tabet of Aileen Sage Architects, the exhibition explores the architectural typology of the swimming pool and its place in Australian culture.

The Worst Thing About the 2016 Venice Biennale Was the Response of its Sanctimonious Critics

09:30 - 16 June, 2016
The Worst Thing About the 2016 Venice Biennale Was the Response of its Sanctimonious Critics, "Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
"Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

To many, it might seem that the goals of Alejandro Aravena's 2016 Venice Biennale—as he describes it, "to understand what design tools are needed to subvert the forces that privilege the individual gain over the collective benefit"—are beyond reproach. In spite of these aims, a number of commentators nevertheless have emerged, perhaps led most vocally by Patrik Schumacher, criticizing the biennale. In this article, originally published on The Architecture Foundation's website as "Holier than thou," Phineas Harper responds to those criticisms.

Video: Inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

16:00 - 14 June, 2016
Video: Inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

In this video, Jesús Granada takes us inside the Austrian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The exhibition, titled Orte Für Menschen (Places for People), focuses on the creation of innovative housing solutions required to handle Austria’s current refugee crisis. The pavilion displays three projects currently underway in Vienna, where three architect teams have been paired with NGOs to convert abandoned buildings into temporary accommodation for asylum seekers, and later, into long-term residences.

Aravena's "Reporting From The Front" Is Nothing Like Koolhaas' 2014 Biennale—But It's Equally as Good

09:30 - 14 June, 2016
Aravena's "Reporting From The Front" Is Nothing Like Koolhaas' 2014 Biennale—But It's Equally as Good, The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

As director of the 2016 Venice Biennale, Alejandro Aravena has sought to shift the very grounds of architecture. Rather than an inward-looking interrogation of the profession's shortcomings, as Rem Koolhaas undertook in 2014, the Chilean Pritzker Prize-winner asks us to gaze in the opposite direction—to the vast swathes of the built horizon that traditionally lay beyond the profession's purview: urban slums, denatured megacities, conflict zones, environmentally compromised ports, rural villages far off the grid.

"We believe that the advancement of architecture is not a goal in itself but a way to improve people’s quality of life," states Aravena in his introduction to event. In other words, his biennale does not ask what architecture ought, yet often fails, to be, but rather what it could, yet often forgets, to do.

The "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Gabinete de Arquitectura's contribution to the "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Vo Trong Nghia's contribution to the "Reporting From the Front" exhibition. Image © Francesco Galli The Spanish Pavilion. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +13

Home Economics: Inside the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 14 June, 2016
Home Economics: Inside the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Britain is suffering from a terrible housing crisis – one that is an incredibly predictable outcome of decades of neoliberal economic policy. The Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has become well-known for building “half a house” – only completing core infrastructure in social housing, then encouraging residents to finish the other half with their own money over time. In effect, the first generation get a significantly cheaper home, but once the house has been doubled it could be sold at market rate. The discount, and profit, only applies to the original owners.

From Chile to the World: Reporting From the Venice Biennale 2016

06:00 - 10 June, 2016
From Chile to the World: Reporting From the Venice Biennale 2016, Grupo Talca. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Grupo Talca. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

In early March, at the Presidential Palace in Chile, a never before seen event took place for Chilean architecture. Architects, government officials as well as the media gathered for the first Venice Biennale press conference to be held in Spanish.

LifeObject: Inside Israel's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

12:00 - 8 June, 2016
LifeObject: Inside Israel's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show. Here, Arielle Blonder, one of the curators (along with Dr. Ido Bachelet, Bnaya Bauer, Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen and Noy Lazarovich) of the Israeli Pavilion, gives us an insight into one of the exhibited works in the pavilion: LifeObject, "a freestanding structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird's nest." The essay was originally published in LifeObject: Merging Biology and Architecture.

Architecture as a Means of Synthesis – Monocle Films Report from the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 8 June, 2016
Architecture as a Means of Synthesis – Monocle Films Report from the 2016 Venice Biennale, Both the opening rooms of Biennale Architettura 2016 – at the Central Pavilion at Giardini and at Arsenale - were built with the 100 tons of waste material generated by the dismantling of the previous Art Biennale: 10,000m2 of gypsum board, 14km of metal studs. Image © Andrea Avezzù
Both the opening rooms of Biennale Architettura 2016 – at the Central Pavilion at Giardini and at Arsenale - were built with the 100 tons of waste material generated by the dismantling of the previous Art Biennale: 10,000m2 of gypsum board, 14km of metal studs. Image © Andrea Avezzù

"Scrutinizing the horizon and looking for a new perspective" is what Alejandro Aravena has encouraged in the 2016 Venice Biennale, Reporting From the Front. "[He] has staged one of the most socially charged Biennales," Gillian Dobias reports, by "exploring the different ways that design can add value." In this, the first of two film reportages from the Biennale, Monocle talks to Aravena about his hopes for stimulating the debate on improving quality of life in the built environment, and tour the Central Pavilion and the Arsenale to uncover what's on show.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Vara Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is a Maze of Circular Forms

16:20 - 7 June, 2016
Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Vara Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is a Maze of Circular Forms, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s Vara Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale is described by the architects as “a series of exteriors within other exteriors.” Breaking down this crypticness, what emerges is a maze-like complex of circles – ten of them – formed with steel, cement, and painted plaster, which collectively create a series of walls, but no roof, thus forming a pavilion that is open to the elements from above. The 324 square meter pavilion’s title, “vara,” refers to an imprecise and obsolete Spanish unit of measurement, that was employed during the country’s conquering of America to trace and measure cities. Each of circles of the Vara Pavilion is a diameter of the unit, ranging from two to eleven.

Prospect North: Inside Scotland's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

08:00 - 7 June, 2016
Prospect North: Inside Scotland's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale , Courtesy of Dualchas Architects
Courtesy of Dualchas Architects

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

12 Things You Need to See at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 6 June, 2016
12 Things You Need to See at the 2016 Venice Biennale, "Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella
"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella

There is an enormous intensity of information, knowledge and ideas on display at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting From the Front. With all the Executive Editors and Editors-in-Chief of ArchDaily's platforms in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese in Venice for the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—plus co-founder David Basulto and European Editor-at-Large James Taylor-Foster, who curated this year's Nordic Pavilion—we've pooled together twelve of our initial favourite exhibitions and must-see shows.