This week the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—Reporting From the Front—will close. Six months have passed and hundreds of thousands of architects, urbanists, designers and tourists have perused both the National Participations (of which more were represented this year than ever before) and the central exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena – the first South American to direct the most prestigious event on the architectural calendar. ArchDaily has compiled our most extensive coverage of the event and, as the 15th incarnation of Biennale shuts its gates for the last time, our collection of articles, interviews and publication excerpts remains permanently accessible.
The Danish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss, is dense with models – "a wunderkammer of architectural prototypes." The exhibition, which attempts to present new insights into how contemporary Danish architecture has been influenced by critics of Modernism (the "Modern approach"), features Jan Gehl—a famed Danish architect and urbanist renowned for his focus on improving the quality of urban life—as its standard bearer. In this exclusive film, shared by the curators, Gehl puts forward his position.
In Wake of Revolution, Francis Kéré Envisions a Transparent New Architecture for the Burkina Faso Parliament Building
On October 30, 2014, as Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré was preparing to make an amendment to the country’s constitution that would eliminate presidential term limits and allow him to extend his 27 year rule, tens of thousands of Burkinabé citizens in the capital city of Ouagadougou broke through police lines to set fire to several government buildings, including city hall, the ruling party headquarters, and the National Assembly Building. The following day, Compaoré stepped down, ushering in a new era of democratic rule and resulting in the country’s first ever pluralistic and competitive Presidential election in 2015.
Google and La Biennale di Venezia Release Online Catalogue of 3700 Images from the 2016 Venice Biennale
Google and La Biennale di Venezia have teamed up to release an online catalogue of the 2016 Venice Biennale. Hosted on Google’s Arts and Culture platform, the digital archive contains over 3700 images and videos from the 15th International Architecture Exhibition “Reporting From The Front”, curated by Alejandro Aravena, and a selection of National Pavilions and ancillary events.
Part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016’s Collateral Events, Branding Islands Making Nations: On Intangible Assets and Value Propositions in Spatial Practice is a public program and case study competition, drawing attention to the application of political power in spatial practice. Intended to open the discourse on added value in design, Branding Islands Making Nations expands upon the 15th International Architecture Exhibition’s call to arms by inviting an extended field of spatial practitioners to Venice. Consultants and communication designers, marketing and advertising experts will gather to speculate on the role of branding in the making of a place.
92 days into the 2016 Venice Biennale we have reached its exact midpoint, and the ArchDaily team, together with photographer Jesús Granada, bring you a video compilation from the opening days. With this video we want to thank the architects and talented teams that worked to produce invaluable exhibitions that were a joy to photograph and document. They showed patience, availability and attention to detail that made our job much easier. We also extend our thanks to architects in general—"viajeros en espiral que imaginan el universo" (spiral travelers that imagine our universe)—who inspire the work of all of us ArchDaily.
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.
At the 2016 Venice Biennale, Peter Zumthor has put his designs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on display for the professional community. Inside the Arsenale building, a model of the tar-pit-inspired building has been suspended to float within a curving display of textile artworks by Christina Kim, while a soundtrack by Walter De Maria – “Ocean Music,” written in 1968 – provides a rhythmic backdrop for the installation.
Update: We've added a video, presented by PLANE-SITE, about the exhibition, featuring quotes from Carla Bechelli.
Video: Curators Discuss "Making Heimat, Arrival Country," the German Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale
In this video, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, the curators of the German Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale discuss their theme of “Making Heimat, Arrival Country.” The exhibition explores the current influx of refugee communities occurring in Germany, and how architecture can be used to improve the “arrival cities” where immigrants tend to settle.
In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Ali Karimi and Hamed Bukhamseen, curators of the Kuwait Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, discuss the architectural identity and potential of Kuwait and the Middle East region as a whole. The duo explain how they approached the pavilion design by asking themselves the question: “How do we imagine a conversation between the different countries of the Gulf?”
For Mauricio Pezo and Sofía Von Ellrichshausen, the architect's job is about much more than dealing with functional issues, as well as social issues, sustainability, and safety. “Of course architecture from its very essence is solving problems, and the problems constantly change,” says von Ellrichshausen in this interview with The Architectural Review outside their Vara Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. “But probably the life span of architecture is many times larger than the problem that it addresses initially. Therefore we think of architecture more in terms of this larger span and hopefully it might embody a set of values and not necessarily propose a solution.”
In May 2016, the After Belonging Agency discussed the theme of the forthcoming Oslo Architecture Triennale—entitled After Belonging: a Triennale In-Residence, On Residence, and the Ways We Stay In-Transit—as part of In Therapy, the exhibition of the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The hour-long discussion, which also includes presentations by Shumi Bose and Füsun Türetken, begins with an in-depth description of how the Triennale intends to focus on the future challenges of migration by investigating how cities and architecture can react to large groups of people moving and resettling.
As part of the Danish contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale Urban Agency embarked on a challenging feat: the construction a 1:50 concrete model. The firm—based in Dublin, Copenhagen and Lyon—contributed three projects to the "Human Architectures" exhibition at this year's Danish Pavilion.
Video: Frédéric Bonnet and Grichka Martinetti Explain "Nouvelles Richesses", the French Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale
In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Frédéric Bonnet of Obras Architecture and Grichka Martinetti of PNG, curators of the French contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale, discuss their commitment to celebrating meaningful architecture in various contexts, and the ways in which this passion was translated into their exhibition. The duo explains the concepts driving the exhibition design, including their choice to exhibit small-scale work from throughout France rather than focusing on the large, high-profile architecture found in the major cities.
In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Pierre Bélanger, curator of the Canadian contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale—explains why Canada's practices of mining and extraction should be carefully understood for their architectural implications. Together with his firm OPSYS, Bélanger conceived of a miniaturized experience of an "inverted territorial intervention" so that Biennale visitors could personally experience and relate to "the complex ecologies and vast geopolitics of resource extraction."
In two lectures delivered by Bart Lootsma, Professor and Head of Institute for Architectural Theory and History at the University of Innsbruck, the 2016 Venice Biennale—Reporting From the Front—is dissected, unpicked and evaluated through the national participations (pavilions) and Alejandro Aravena's central exhibitions. Lootsma, who has broadcast the lectures as publicly available resources on architecturaltheory.eu, is the co-curator of the 2016 Pavilion of Montenegro.
It’s the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena’s habit to look at architecture as a way to help people, and not to simply dazzle them with form. The ethos and practice of Aravena’s Santiago-based firm, Elemental, is essentially the blueprint for each national pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale (through Nov. 27), which he is directing. His brief, “Reporting from the Front,” asks a simple question, one that’s increasingly difficult to address: How can the advancement of architecture, given physical needs and local contexts, actually improve the quality of people’s lives?