Venice Biennale 2016: Collateral Events Announced

The Venice Biennale has released a list of 19 Collateral Events that will take place alongside the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Reporting from the Front, curated by Alejandro Aravena and chaired by Paolo Baratta. Previews of the main event begin May 26th and 27th, and it is open to the public from May 28th to November 27th 2016.

The collateral events, each selected by Alejandro Aravena and promoted by a non-profit sponsor, take place around Venice, and, in the words of Paolo Baratta, "[they] contribute, along with a good number of participating countries that do not have a pavilion in the Giardini or in the Arsenale, to spread the 15th International Architecture Exhibition by turning it into an urban phenomenon, that would engage every corner of the city."

The complete list of events can be found below, and make sure to follow ArchDaily's complete coverage of the Venice Biennale.

*Event Descriptions via La Biennale di Venezia*

Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision

Across Chinese Cities is an international program organized and promoted by Beijing Design Week (BJDW) since its launch at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia (2014). As part of this ongoing series the exhibition curated by Beatrice Leanza (BJDW) and Michele Brunello (DONTSTOP Architettura), stems from theHouse Vision project, a Pan-Asian platform of multidisciplinary research and development started by designer Kenya Hara for Japan in 2013. House Vision is an exploration in 'applied futurity' in domestic habitation exercised by match-made teams of architecture practices and industry-leading companies from various sectors.

Across Chinese Cities – House Vision features for the first time the body of research so far produced with a team of China-based architects and experts. It addresses the changing role and habitat of architecture practice in today China by rendering manifest the contextual phenomena and research trajectories behind 14 architectural proposals. Grouped in five thematic clusters (The Hybrid Unit, Dematerialized Space, Rural Frontiers, Community Plus and Home Kitchen) they are presented by way of an integrated system of material, digital and documentation archives devised to guide visitors’ fruition in a series of interactional scapes.

Venue TBC
Promoter: Beijing Design Week

Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture Beyond Architects

Aftermath focuses on lived-in architecture when architects are no longer present and users continue daily the architectural experience. The selected works have been created over the last 10 years by Catalan architects. The audiovisual representation of the structures invites you to evaluate their quality and observe and listen how they are inhabited and roamed in multiple and changing ways. All of the works selected share a distinctly public character and the ability to integrate the natural, urban and human landscapes, extending architectural functionality to the creation of common good.

Cantieri Navali, Castello, 40
May 28 – November 27
Promoter: Institut Ramon Llull

Architecture Ukraine – Beyond the Front

Architecture Ukraine  – Beyond the Front begins a dialogue on a crucial issue of our time: how to envision rebuilding and revitalizing cities in places of ongoing conflict. The exhibition features work from Izolyatsia’s research residency program, “Architecture Ukraine 2015”, which brought together professionals from diverse creative fields to examine the infrastructure challenges marking Mariupol, an embattled border city in Eastern Ukraine. It further explores a parallel examination of the foundation’s home city of Donetsk, currently under conflict, as circumstances create a divergence of the sister cities of Donbas to outposts on either side of a volatile de facto border. The exhibition seeks to hold up a mirror from beyond the front, examining anthropological, economical, social and cultural history, while analyzing social and geographical boundaries that limit or expand the cities’ dynamics. 

Spazio Ridotto, San Marco, 1388 (calle del Ridotto)
May 28 – June 30
Promoter: Izolyatsia

Branding Islands Making Nations

Branding Islands Making Nations is a case study competition intended to open the discourse on added value in design, expanding upon the 15th International Architecture Exhibition’s call to arms by inviting an extended field of spatial practitioners to the Biennale Architettura 2016. Consultants and communication designers, marketing and advertising experts shall speculate on the role of branding in the making of a place. Facilitated by the Vertical Geopolitics Lab think-tank, the conceptual framework is based on the understanding that the politics of representation determine the success of an intervention in the built environment. In the case of a government seeking to determine the feasibility of a territorial claim, entrants are tasked with the presentation of a branding package surrounding an artificial landmass instrumental in legitimizing a nation’s territorial claim. Select teams will represent the mix of stakeholders and issues at play, expanding possibilities rather than shifting responsibilities by exposing the glitches, loopholes, and grey areas in systems as first step toward conflict resolution.

Ca’ Tron, Santa Croce, 1957
November 25 and 26
Promoter: Vertical Geopolitics Lab


Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade in Chinese territory, became a Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century and returned to China in 1999. The “Historic Centre of Macao” is a collection of a series of locations in the old city centre that witness the unique assimilation and coexistence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, and represents the architectural legacies of the city's cultural heritage. This exhibition provides the interactive opportunity to review how we can learn from the “old” buildings and the existing urban context of Macao in a “new” way.  The exhibition explores the idea for reconditioning historical spaces for domestic use. By presenting a series of recent restoration and regeneration projects, as well as displaying the traditional (perhaps disappearing) building techniques and local materials that are being rediscovered, reused and applied during the re-making process in the past and present days, one might be able to understand the coexisting east-and west relationships between the architectural approaches and the Historic Centre.

Arsenale, Castello, 2126/A (campo della Tana)
May 28 - November 27
Promoter: Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E. de Macau (I.C.M.)


Gangcity documents the phenomenon of urban clusters devoid of any kind of legal controls, in order to enable processes of reappropriation and the care of private and public spaces. The project aims to reveal the reciprocal influence between the violence and geography of cities, paying particular attention to the gangs as primary groups born in, and spread throughout the urban ghettos, predominantly through the involvement of teenagers. Encouraging a mix of disciplines and methodologies, Gangcity will be staging an international symposium and a photography exhibition in addition to a variety of events and scientific workshops. The narrative tone that emerges from the scientific analysis of the gangs complements the narration of social scientists, architects, urbanists and artists, who, along with the inhabitants, are also players in the new life cycles of urban clusters. However they’ve finally been freed from gang violence through socially inclusive practices rather than repression.

Arsenale Nord, Spazio Thetis
May 26 – November 27
Promoter: DIST - Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio – Politecnico di Torino, Università di Torino

Prospect North

Prospect North explores Scotland and its relationship with its northern neighbours with a focus on people and place. This macro to micro approach delivers a series of innovative mapping strategies, individual narratives, portraits and imagery highlighting Scotland’s place and identity within an economically emerging northern region. Prospect North explores the relationship between people, culture, places, industries and economies and how ‘peripheral’ communities are re-energising through grassroots actions and local endeavours whist at the same time recognising Scotland’s geographic horizons are expanding.

Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello, 450 (fondamenta San Gioacchin)
May 26 – June 26
Promoter: Scottish Government

Re: Made in Taiwan - Common Construction

In responding to the theme of REPORTING FROM THE FRONT, the exhibition explores the aspirations and possibilities demonstrated via common civilians creations around their daily architecture. In the face of global / local environmental challenge and social issues, the event re-investigates the concept of civic construction and re-invents materials from recycled waste to set forth the next-step towards “improving the quality of the built environment and, consequently, people’s quality of life”, as stated by the Curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Alejandro Aravena.

Palazzo delle Prigioni, Castello, 4209 (San Marco)26
May 26 – November 27
Promoter: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA)

Revitalisation by Reconciliation

The IBA method, giving cities and regions an economic, social and cultural boost, will be presented for the first time at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Roundtables and conferences will contribute to this discourse by focussing on relevant experiences from IBA Parkstad and others, and their cross-border regional impact. They will explore new ways to address the urgent need of democracy in spatial design, urban transformation in Europe, sustainability, and the potential of cross-border cooperation. Experts, politicians, stakeholders and architecture students from throughout Europe will contribute to the debate.

Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Castello, 5252 (campo Santa Maria Formosa)
May 28 – November 27
Promoter: IBA Parkstad

«Salon Suisse»: “Wake up! A path towards better architecture”

Curated by Leïla el-Wakil, the two-fold aim of the 2016 Salon Suisse is to discuss and re-evaluate fundamental ideas resulting from a balanced conception of modernity, and to participate in setting these as adapted guidelines for architecture in the 21st century. Currently, thanks to the global diffusion of ideas, a multitude of innovative, cost-free and meaningful architectural solutions, often based on lessons from the past, proliferate worldwide. One can observe an empowerment of architecture by the users themselves. The Salon Suisse will offer a space for reflection on topics such as tradition as modernity, reuse and recycling, auto-construction, the priority of human beings and human needs, “Small is beautiful”, Existenzminimum for all, and bio-climatic methods. Swiss and foreign architects, engineers, researchers, crafts(wo)men, filmmakers and artists are invited to share their knowledge and experiences around the theme of “a better architecture for tomorrow”.

Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, Dorsoduro, 810 (campo Sant' Agnese)
May 26 and 28; June 16 - 18; September 8 - 10; October 20 - 22; November 24 - 26
Promoter: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Sarajevo now: People's Museum

For centuries, Sarajevo has served as a crossroads and urban frontier. Like other cities transformed by exponential growth or unanticipated shrinking, post-conflict Sarajevo is confronted with its very own modes of informal practice. These conditions expose emerging practices and lessons from a city breaking down divisions and energized as a site for the production of citizenship.

These dynamics echo similar forces running through Urban-Think Tank’s research and design projects, which inspired a collaboration between ETH Zurich, the City of Sarajevo, and the Historical Museum through the ‘Reactivate Sarajevo’ initiative. One of the highlights of this partnership is the collateral event at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, presenting emerging lessons and practices.

Arsenale Nord, Tesa 100
May 28 – July 1
Promoter: Matica of Bosnia and Herzegovina


In an agreed upon and fixed point, an aerostat with the features of a terraqueous world map is raised. It will show the writing WITHOUT LAND that keeps rotating around itself. It will be a sign for all who do not have a land of their own, a place where to pause, a place where to meet, to converse and argue, to relate with others. At the bottom of the aerostatic balloon, a plate will be placed with the inscription of all the names of the artists participating in the projectWITHOUT LAND. The names will be in alphabetical order but without the mention of functions and activities as sculptor, painter, photographer, musician, literatus or whatever else. There will be only names and last names of human beings who have zeroed their social functions.

Isola di San Servolo
May 27 – September 30 (aerostat until June 30 only)
Promoter: A.I.A.P. (Associazione Internazionale Arti Plastiche) 

Shaping European Cities. Urban confrontation, democracy and identity

Young Talent Architecture Award Granting Ceremony

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona will organize the debate Shaping European Cities. Urban confrontation, democracy and identity and will grant the Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA).

Both events, funded by the Creative Europe programme, will highlight the conviction that high-quality architectural solutions foster growth, social inclusion, democratic participation and – ultimately – individual and societal well-being for city residents. The newly created Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award brings under the spotlight the architects' education and their first steps into professional life. Speakers and participants will be announced at the beginning of Biennale Architettura 2016 and the discussion will be open to people involved in the construction of our territories, from citizens to stakeholders, from policymakers to architecture experts and from critics to students.

Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Castello (campo della Tana)
October 28
Promoter: Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Sharing & Regeneration

The exhibition takes human beings demands and desires about their livelihoods as the starting point. It especially aims at the residents simple wishes about their lost space:  appeals and dreams that are buried deeply in their minds and never before have been woken up. The exhibition consists of three parts: the regeneration of urban central areas, the regeneration of countryside, and new experimental areas. It can be schematically represented by a series of concentric circles, going from the city internal areas to the outside and vice versa, representing the idea of sharing:  sharing of knowledge, skills, emotions, thinking, wishes, cares and respect of our common past looking towards the future. These projects represent the process that goes from the reconstruction of community relationships to the reshaping of city and rural images, in which architects play an important role. The transition from a blueprint-led planning / design process to an action-led, communication oriented, and culture-based planning / design process can give an important contribution to the renewal of social development ways.

Palazzo Zen, Cannaregio, 4924 (Gesuiti); ex Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Cannaregio, 4941/4942
May 28 – November 27 (closed in August)
Promoter: Fondazione EMGdotART

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice

Hong Kong is a city known for its versatility and resilience; yet what is often seen in daily life is rigidity and lack of alternatives. Architecture, under such circumstance, becomes an agency reflecting on human, social and even political conditions, and at the same time moulding the values of the public. On one hand, it conforms to the rules of capitalism and private demand; on the other, it seeks to transcend the norm and open up imagination. What lies in between could be conflictive and creates endless and ever-changing battlefields. New ideas are put to test at the borderline; they may fail or they may transform into new set of values.

The classical Chinese essay Thirty-Six Stratagems is a collection of military tactics applied at wars in ancient China that categorized into chapters that illustrate different situations. The wisdom provides guides in politics, business and civil interaction in modern time. Drawing reference from the classic, the exhibitors examine the challenges they face and attempt to provide solutions to the complexity of reality.

Arsenale, Castello, 2126 (campo della Tana)
May 26 – November 27
Promoters: The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation; Hong Kong Arts Development Council

The Forests of Venice

Initiated by Kjellander Sjöberg Architects and curated by Jan Åman, the exhibition presents a sensual, thought provoking spatial installation in the Serra dei Giardini, a greenhouse from 1894. It suggests wood as a regenerative construction material, elucidating a vision of architecture and urbanity co-existing with nature in a restorative and adaptive way. Cities worldwide are threatened by rising sea levels, Venice - a city built on ten million trees - can serve as an example of how to handle this global problem. The exhibition investigates if ten million new trees could become a solution, creating new ecological and adaptive urban landscapes. Seven Swedish architects have been invited to transform an element of the Venetian palace into an architectural strategy for our time. The starting point is the fact that Venice is the result of a dynamic process between the natural environment and civilization.

Serra dei Giardini, Castello, 1254 (viale Giuseppe Garibaldi)
May 28 – September 18
Promoter: Swedish Institute

The Horizontal Metropolis, a Radical Project

“Horizontal Metropolis” is an oxymoron to conjugate the traditional idea of Metropolis (the center of a vast territory, hierarchically organized, dense, vertical, produced by polarization) with horizontality (the idea of a more diffuse, isotropic urban condition, where center and periphery blur). In contrast with main trends that see figures of urban dispersion mainly as a phenomenon to be contrasted, the Horizontal Metropolis concept consider them beyond the theme of “peri-urban” and as an asset, not a limit, for the construction of a sustainable and innovative territorial project. Here horizontality of infrastructure, urbanity and relations, mixed use and diffuse accessibility can generate specific habitable and ecologically efficient spaces. In this frame of thinking, the Horizontal Metropolis works as natural and spatial capital, as a support and place of potentiality.

The exhibition investigates the Horizontal Metropolis, its space, its traditions and its inhabitants’ lifestyles, its relevance today as an energetic, ecological and social design issue, it explores scenarios and design strategies for the re-cycling and upgrading of cities-territory in a radical project.

Isola della Certosa
May 28 – November 27
Promoter: Archizoom

THERAPY OF LIVING/Terapia del vivere

5,000 years of respect of Natural Environmental, wearing jades of Heaven as research of quality of life,translated in today creations

Living – or the inherently architectural datum thereof – as the research for a better quality of life. Today, it cannot but be influenced by social, cultural, geo-political, historical, environmental, scientific factors. Project THERAPY OF LIVING/Terapia del vivere revolves all around man and evolution with respect to the primary architectural environment, that is, living space (the body) and a space to live in (the environment). Our reflection starts with history, the history of the Near East in particular, and writes it by means of a capsule collection, a precious collection of jade artefacts – symbol of protection of the individual from curse and hazard. Hence, a lesson and principles to understand, translated into the contemporary languages of art and scientific research (three artists and one hundred students of local “Marco Polo” Art School of Venice).

Magazzino 11, Stazione Marittima (San Basilio); Liceo artistico "Marco Polo", sede di Santo Spirito, Dorsoduro, 397 - 460 (Zattere)
May 28 – November 27
Promoter: Biobridge Foundation


The exhibition Time Space Existence presents architects from 6 continents brought together in an extraordinary combination. It shows current developments and thoughts in international architecture, presenting architects with different cultural backgrounds and in different stages of their careers, what they have in common is their dedication to architecture in the broadest sense of their profession, presenting architecture through a focus on the concepts Time, Space and Existence. Architects should be very conscious about the impact their activities have on living beings and on our environment. This exhibition aims to enlarge our human awareness of our own personal existence as human beings within a specific space and time.

Palazzo Bembo, San Marco, 4793 (Rialto, riva del Carbon); Palazzo Mora, Canaregio, 3659 (San Felice, Strada Nova); Palazzo Rossini, San Marco, 4013 (campo Manin)
May 28 – November 27
Promoter: Global Art Affairs Foundation

About this author
Cite: Vladimir Gintoff. "Venice Biennale 2016: Collateral Events Announced" 15 Apr 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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