Australia’s new pavilion 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 Giardini in two decades.
The pavilion itself is simple in concept: a double-layered block, with the outer layer of black granite acting as an envelope for the pavilion. The inner layer is formed by the changeable white walls of the gallery space, which will showcase Hall’s provocative works.
To light the gallery during the day, the granite exterior is comprised of operable panels that can open to let in natural light. This adds a mercurial quality to the building’s aesthetic, appearing either solid or open as interior conditions demand. Placed alongside Venice’s Rio dei Giardini canal, the pavilion’s entrance is a steel ramp that connects to a terrace with a view of the water.
Elaine Chia, the Director for the Australia Council for the Arts, says that the new pavilion will “be an inspirational and limitless place for art and which celebrates the extraordinary contributions of Australia’s preeminent contemporary artists.”