The Republic of Seychelles will make their debut at the upcoming Venice Biennale with an exhibition titled Between Two Waters, Searching for Expression in the Seychelles. Curated by Andrés F. Ramírez, and featuring the work of local firm ADD.locus, the exhibition faces the Grand Canal and “transports visitors to the 115-island archipelago—the least populated nation in Africa,” exploring the identity of this nation while also investigating the architecture of every day life in the paradise islands.
With the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale almost upon us, architects, curators and artists have already started to migrate to the city to unlock pavilion doors and sweep out the past six months of hibernation from the previous biennale season. This year, however, one pavilion has confirmed that it will remain closed – the Canadian Pavilion will not be opening its doors. Closure of the space has been attributed to a much-needed renovation, which has been mentioned by those who have exhibited in the space, specifically Shary Boyle at the 2012 Venice Art Biennale. Nevertheless, there are whispers that the political nature of this year’s entry may have been another reason to keep the pavilion shut. That said, Canada will be present by staking claim in the Giardini with a provocative installation entitled Extraction.
The Swedish exhibition, “The Forests of Venice,” has been selected as a Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale. Initiated by Kjellander + Sjöberg and Folkhem; and curated by Jan Åman, the exhibit highlights wood as a sustainable material, while looking at "the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources."
The organising committee behind the Pavilion of China at the 2016 Venice Biennale (the China International Exhibition Agency) have revealed that the exhibition will be entitled Back to the Ignored Front, themed around "things and designs that embody traditions of the past and have a lasting presence." Based on the premise that Chinese architecture has been pioneering in the nation’s modernization for the last three decades the show, which will be on display in the Arsenale, intends to tackle how these "developments generally focus only on the new ‘futuristic’ frontier." 'Spectacular’ buildings and cities are, in their words, "erected one after another, seldom taking a glance at the things passed by – ancient traditions and daily lives."
Kristy Balliet, Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture, is the Columbus-based half of BairBalliet, who will be presenting their work as part of the Pavilion of the United States at this year’s Venice Biennale. Her research focuses on the exploration of volume as an architectural medium. Balliet's interest in the city of Detroit began long ago. Related to her interest in contemporary forms of volume, her research started to reimagine the typology of the architectural "midrise" (10-15 story building). Detroit, along with other Midwest cities, requires an innovative tactic for urban infill and associated embedded volumes. This topic has been explored within her own work and as a topic for research design studios at the Knowlton School of Architecture.
In celebration of the four decade career of the late Zaha Hadid, Fondazione Berengo will host an exhibition of her paintings, drawings, and models at the 16th century Palazzo Franchetti in Venice, coinciding with the 2016 Venice Biennale. The exhibition will display the full range of Hadid's design work from built projects, to those under construction, and others ultimately never realized. Some of the early, unrealized work that will be represented includes Malevich’s Tektonic, a bridge concept for the Thames River, which Hadid developed while she was still a student at the Architectural Association School in London (1976-77), as well Peak Club, Hong Kong (1982-83), Hafenstrasse, Hamburg (1989), Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London (1985), the Victoria City master-plan for Berlin (1988), and the Cardiff Bay Opera House (1994-95).
The 2016 Venice Biennale will see the inaugural collaboration between La Biennale and London's Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) with an exhibition located in the Sale d’Armi (Arsenale) entitled A World of Fragile Parts. The show aims to explore the threats facing the preservation of global heritage sites and how the production of copies can aid in the preservation of cultural artefacts.
The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, upon recommendation from Alejandro Aravena, have announced the jury for the forthcoming Venice Biennale who will award the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition Reporting From the Front, and the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the International Exhibition Reporting From the Front. They will also have the opportunity to award one special mention to National Participations and two special mentions to the participants in the International Exhibition.
The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, upon recommendation from Alejandro Aravena, have announced the Brazilian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha as the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Reporting From the Front. Citing the "timelessness" of his work "both physically and stylistically" as "the most striking attribute of his architecture," the board have also stated that "this astonishing consistency may be the consequence of his ideological integrity and structural genius."
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced that eight full-time or visiting faculty members and four alumni spanning five continents will be responsible for ten separate installations at the upcoming 2016 Venice Biennale. The institution have said that their "worldview for meaningful impact [is] deeply aligned with this year’s theme of architecture in action."
Few have ever considered what the Giardini—the park of national pavilions for the Art and Architecture Biennales in Venice—is like during the winter months. In light of the fact that, during their "off-season," the gardens are often left in a state of disrepair, RAAAF—a Dutch multidisciplinary studio based in Amsterdam, alongside architect Marcel Moonen—have proposed a series of installations in an attempt to "reclaim valuable public space" which sits at the heart of an often overcrowded city.
The Russian contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale has been revealed to be "an account of how the V.D.N.H. (the 'Exhibition of Attainments of the National Economy’)—a unique complex in both scale and architecture—is being transformed into a multi-format cultural and educational space, accessible to all." Entitled V.D.N.H. Urban Phenomenon, the show will examine the park's global significance "given that the whole world is concerned by the question of how to develop society’s intellectual potential and how to create effective mechanisms for cultural assimilation." Following the Biennale, the exhibition will be permanently relocated to the V.D.N.H. in Moscow.
Three were originally invited to draw up plans for a ‘Nordic’ pavilion: the Finnish partnership Reima and Raili Pietilä, Sverre Fehn from Norway, and the Swede, Klas Anshelm. Following the selection of Fehn’s proposal in 1959, Gotthard Johansson wrote in the Svenska Dagbladet of the project’s “stunning simplicity [...], without too many architectural overtones” – a proposal for a space able to unite a triumvirate of nations under one (exceptional) roof.
Australian Exhibition at 2016 Venice Biennale to Reveal "The Pool" as Both Artefact and Catalyst of Change
Following the announcement that the swimming pool—"one of Australia’s greatest cultural symbols—will form the foundation of the Australian Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale, more information has been revealed about what will be presented.
The Pavilion of Morocco at the 14th Venice Biennale, Fundamentals, focused on territorial speculations in the Sahara: Inhabiting the Uninhabitable. For the exhibition, which was the country's first representation at the Biennale, Paris-based practice OUALALOU+CHOI proposed an urban structure for this desert territory – "a means of putting down roots, implanting urbanity and civilization. The Sahara, with its extreme geography and climatic conditions, remains unexplored territory for architectural speculation."
The Baltic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, representing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will explore the "transformative efforts at play" that are currently "reprogramming an inert region beyond the delineations of separate nation states." It "intends to explore the built environment of the Baltic States as a shared space of ideas." Located in Enrichetto Capuzzo's Palasport Arsenale Giobatta Gianquinto, a Brutalist architecture sports hall located next to the Arsenale, the exhibition will also be accompanied by a series of related events that will be presented in the form of a cross-section through Baltic space unfolding as "a non-linear stratigraphy."
The 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed this year by Alejandro Aravena, have revealed more information about the central exhibition and associated projects which will be on display at a press conference today in Venice. According to La Biennale, 'Reporting from the Front' will form one single show spanning the venues of the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, featuring work from 88 participants from 37 countries. Of these, 50 will be presenting work for the first time and 33 are architects under the age of 40. "Reporting from the Front" will share work from Architects tackling issues relating to segregation, inequality, suburbia, sanitation, natural disasters, the housing shortage, migration, crime, traffic , waste, pollution, and community participation.
Nine Projects to be Highlighted in 'In Therapy', the Nordic Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale
The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) have revealed that In Therapy: Nordic Countries Face to Face—the exhibition for the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by David Basulto—will partly comprise "a contemporary survey of Nordic architecture." 300 projects, drawn from over 500 submissions to a recent open call, will be complemented by an in-depth study of nine projects completed post-2008 by practices including Tham & Videgård, Reiulf Ramstad Architects, and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki.
"Just as Sverre Fehn’s pavilion is a crystallisation of Nordic architecture—embodying a precise and fluid articulation of structure, light, and nature—the nine we have chosen to focus in on as particularly representative of the contemporary scene have a similar gravitas and complexity – but with their own distinct identities" says Basulto, who has made the selection alongside James Taylor-Foster, Assistant Curator.