“Bungalow Germania” – Germany’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

. The German Pavilion at the 2014 Biennale.. Image © Nico Saieh

Germany’s contribution to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale scrutinizes the architecture of representation, its crisis, and potential cessation. Aside from the universal ambition of modernism to break with the past, Germany has undergone a number of decisive political and societal breaks during the last hundred years. Through the question of how the nation “(re)builds and represents itself through architecture, we are able to discuss the friction between national identity and architecture expression—however, architecture is not only a mirror to ideology, but a constituting reality and societal context.”

Palazzo Zen / O-office Architects

Courtesy of Interpress Photo & O-office

Architects: O-office Architects
Location: Cannaregio, 30121 , Italy
Architect In Charge: Jianxiang HE & Ying JIANG
Design Team: Thomas ODORICO, Yang LIU
Area: 390.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Interpress Photo & O-office

Bekkering Adams Create Hanging Installation in Venice

© Jeroen Musch

Dutch practice Bekkering Adams Architecten, in cooperation with ABT and BeersNielsen, recently unveiled an at the Palazzo Mora, as part of a collateral event with this year’s Venice Biennale. Entitled Form-ContraForm, the sculptural piece reflects on the conceptual and human perception of space – something which they describe as “a space that surrounds and envelops.” Distilling architecture’s fundamentals (which is also the theme of this year’s Biennale) down to the definition of co-ordinates in space, the experience created by Bekkering Adams is akin to the notion of “the mass versus the cavity.”

Video: Charles Jencks on the 2014 Venice Biennale

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In this extended interview by the Architectural Review, Charles Jencks provides an in-depth description of the 2014 Venice Biennale and critiques his former student Rem Koolhaas’ overall curation and theme: Fundamentals.

Arguing that the previous thirteen Biennales have, “more or less, tried to predict what is going to happen over the next five years,” ”Rem Koolhaas has changed the paradigm:” Rem’s Biennale is about “the past of the present”. Jencks, who describes Koolhaas as ”the Corbusier of our time”, suggests that his Biennale is about analysis rather than total synthesis. He has, however, “shown that research can be creative.”

Denton Corker Marshall To Design First 21st Century Pavilion in Venice’s Giardini

© Denton Corker Marshall

Australia’s new for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale will be, in the words of featured artist Fiona Hall, “a minefield of madness, badness, and sadness in equal measure.” Designed by firm Denton Corker Marshall, (who also designed the Stonehenge Visitor Centre), the project will replace the 25 year old temporary pavilion designed by Phillip Cox and will be the first building constructed on the in two decades. 

San Stae / Project Meganom

© Yury Grigoryan

Architects:
Location: Venice,
Architects In Charge: Yury Grigoryan, Pavel Ivanchikov, Iliya Kulesov, Alexandra Pavlova, Yury Kuznezov, Semen Rastorguev
Year: 2008
Photographs: Yury Grigoryan

A Biennale of “Bold Reminders”

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For CNN’s George Webster, this year’s Biennale is a “bold reminder that architecture is – or at least should be – about a great deal more than blueprints, digital renderings and scale models.” Taking the British Pavilion as a case in point, Webster argues that Koolhaas’ original thematic provocation has paid off, succeeding “because it places people - our history, culture and even our bodies - at the very heart of its thinking.” Travelling through the pavilions of Romania, Germany, the Dominican Republic, and Russia, you can read the article in full here.

Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating “A Clockwork Jerusalem”

The Mound. Image © James Taylor-Foster

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the “mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.” The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how “these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes.” To those who know the UK‘s architectural , this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

We caught up with Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT Architecture (of which this exhibition is their final project), and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, outside the British to discuss the ideas behind, and significance of, A Clockwork Jerusalem.

© James Taylor-Foster

Sverre Fehn’s Drawings for Venice’s Nordic Pavilion To Be Exhibited in Oslo

© Ferruzzi

Norwegian architect and Pritzker Laureate Sverre Fehn’s original drawings for the Nordic Pavilion in Venice are to be presented alongside Ferruzzi’s monochromatic photographs of the building in an exhibition at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Venice: Fehn’s Nordic  documents the incredible task undertaken by Fehn who, at the age of thirty-four, won the competition to design the pavilion and subsequently won international acclaim when the building was completed in 1962.

Video: 14th Venice Architecture Biennale

We’re just coming back from the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, so you can expect a few more posts as part of our complete coverage. Our friends from Crane.tv were also there, and shared with us this video with an overview of this incredible event on this amazing city. Enjoy!

Event: “House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate”

House is the first public presentation of a multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. Situated in the Casa Muraro in Venice and staged as an open house, the exhibition responds unsolicited to the proposal by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, that architecture focus on its “fundamentals.”

According to the organisers, “House Housing replies by considering architecture’s economic fundamentals, which locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network. In architecture, economic fundamentals are built from the ground up. The laws of real estate—relating to the acquisition of land, the financing of construction, the cost of building maintenance and services, profit from rent or resale, the value of equity, or the price of credit—inexorably shape any building component (like a window) and any building type (like a house).”

“They are visible even in the residential work of such singular figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, not least because the Greek oikos, or household, forms the root of the word “economy” itself. But look closely and you will see that what seems fundamental, basic, or natural is, like any other law, a historical artifact permanently under construction and subject to change. House Housing narrates nineteen brief episodes from across the last one hundred years in a mixture of domestic media.”

Find out more about the event here.

Have We Reached the “End of Architecture”?

Biennale 2014 / Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 . Image © Rem Koolhaas. Image Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

This year’s Venice Biennale, curated by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas, is “interested in the banal”. In an article in the Financial Times’, discusses the paradox between exploring generic modernism at an event which celebrates the individual. Heathcote raises interesting questions about the extent to which world architecture has developed in modernity, ultimately arguing that, “in a way, architecture is over.” You can read the article, which neatly investigates the curatorial rationale behind this year’s Biennale, in full here.

Rubens Luciano / Simone Micheli

© Juergen Eheim

Architects: Simone Micheli
Location: ,
Area: 760.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Juergen Eheim

Smith-Clementi Residence / Rios Clementi Hale Studios

© Undine Pröhl

Architects: Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Location: , CA, USA
Rch Studios Team: Frank Clementi, AIA, principal; Julie Smith-Clementi, IDSA, principal; Huay Wee, architect, senior associate; Anthony Anderson, architect; Carolyn Sumida, landscape architect; Claudia Morello, designer
Area: 2,200 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Undine Pröhl

Modern Family Home / Dennis Gibbens Architects

© Ryan Childers

Architects: Dennis Gibbens Architects
Location: , CA, USA
Architect In Charge:
Senior Project Architect: Oren Dothan
Project Architect: Ryan Turner
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ryan Childers

Fashion Retailer Commissions OMA to Convert Venice Palazzo

Courtesy of

Both Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright can be found on a lengthy list of architects who have tried to build in and lost their battle to conservationists. However, OMA has broke through this barrier, as the practice was recently approved – after five years pending – to go forth with a project to renovate a 16th century palazzo for the fashion retailer Benetton near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal.

More details and statements from the architect after the break…

Law-Court Offices in Venice / C+S Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: C+S Architects
Location: Venice,
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of C+S Architects

‘Emerging Realities’ International Student Workshop

Courtesy of Institute for Architecture and Landscape

Taking place November 11-18, the ‘Emerging Realities’ international student workshop will take place in as part of the Biennale to feature international guest speakers. The event, put on by the Institute for Architecture and Landscape, LANDLAB ia&l, envisions the Venice lagoon archipelago as a prototype for a future metropolitan regional system. The new productive landscape proposes that it is capable of supporting such community while establishing an integrated and environmentally stable system that builds upon existing biodiversity, cultural practice, and production. For more information on the event, please visit here.