Unfolding Pavilion: Rituals of Solitude, 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

Unfolding Pavilion: Rituals of Solitude, 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

​On May 22nd 2021, from 10:00 to 19:00, the Unfolding Pavilion will open its doors to the public. Now in its third edition, the Unfolding Pavilion will pop-up on the occasion of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia, inside of the belly of an old mercantile sailboat - a trabaccolo - moored at Punta della Dogana. Now managed by a non-profit organization, the trabaccolo once belonged to Countess Luisa Albertina di Tesserata: an eccentric art collector who in the 1970s commissioned the construction, on a small island of the Venetian archipelago she owned, of an almost exact replica of an unrealised project by John Hejduk: the House for the Inhabitant who Refused to Participate.

The curators of the Unfolding Pavilion came to know about the house by pure chance, and decided to organise an exhibition inside of its spaces. An agreement was made with the current owners of the island, who were about to demolish the house in order to build a luxury glamping facility in its stead: the house could be temporarily occupied for artistic purposes, but no images of the event were to be published before the demolition took place. It is so that, in the summer of 2020, twelve architects and scholars were invited to spend one week of residency locked inside the replica of John Hejduk’s house. One per room. Each room equipped with only one piece of furniture, which they couldn't choose. The outcome of the one-week residency were twelve site-specific works dealing with issues of privacy, domesticity and isolation.

Unfortunately, the house was demolished in December 2020.

Titled Rituals of Solitude, the 2021 edition of the Unfolding Pavilion and its digital counterpart, the website www.ritualsofsolitude.com, are the first documentation of the installations made by the twelve contributors during their one-week residency.

In coherence with the concept of Rituals of Solitude, and as a health-related safety measure as well, the exhibition can be visited by only one person at a time.


All the exhibited works have been exclusively produced for the Unfolding Pavilion by:

(ab)Normal, Aristide Antonas, Bart Lootsma, Cruz Garcia & Nathalie Frankowski (WAI Architecture Think Tank), ErranteArchitetture, Fosbury Architecture, Giovanni Benedetti, James Taylor-Foster & Anton Valek, Fala Atelier, Mariabruna Fabrizi & Fosco Lucarelli (Microcities / Socks-studio), MAIO, Matteo Ghidoni, Shumi Bose & Space Popular and Traumnovelle.


The Unfolding Pavilion is an expanding curatorial project that pops-up in the occasion of major architecture events, with an exhibition featuring each time a different theme inspired by the space it occupies, made of commissioned original works that react to it as well as to its cultural and historic background.

In its first edition, the Unfolding Pavilion entered Ignazio Gardella’s Casa alle Zattere on the occasion of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia, transforming one of its apartments in a temporary gallery of installations made by some of the most unique authors of architecture-related curated archives. In its second edition, the Unfolding Pavilion entered Gino Valle’s Giudecca Social Housing on the occasion of the vernissage of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia. In order to do so, it refurbished one of its empty dwellings to convert it into a temporary gallery of works, and use the common spaces of the complex as the poetic backdrop for a three days-long program of public events.

The Unfolding Pavilion was recognized by international magazines such as Dezeen, Metropolis and The Architectural Review, as one of the top venues of the past Biennale. During the three days of its opening, it brought around 1000 visitors to the Giudecca island.


title: Unfolding Pavilion / Rituals of Solitude

curators: Daniel Tudor Munteanu, Davide Tommaso Ferrando

date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 hours: from 10:00 to 19:00

venue: Il Nuovo Trionfo

address: Punta della Dogana, Fondamenta Salute, Dorsoduro, 30232 Venezia


Curators: Daniel Tudor Munteanu, Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Exhibition Design and Model Making: ErranteArchitetture (Sarah Becchio & Paolo Borghino)

Web Design and Development, Sound Design: hund (Ernesto Bellei, Federico Bergonzini, Antonio Alessandro Di Cicco, Simone S. Melis)

Photography and Video: Laurian Ghinițoiu; Stefano Di Corato (atelier XYZ)

Illustrator: Giovanni Benedetti

Cover: Marialuisa Montanari

Graphic Design: Magda Vieriu & Octavian Hrebenciuc

Photogrammetry and Digitalization: Cenk Güzelis; Uwe Brunner

Narrator: Alina Mihăescu

Production: Marco Ballarin; Carnets (Matteo Vianello, Davide Cecconello, Caterina Barbon, Marco Andreatta); Elisabeta Rabiniuc Mocanu, Ana Victoria Munteanu.


Italien Zentrum / Innsbruck University,

Department of Architectural Theory / Innsbruck University,

Dean’s Office / Innsbruck University,

Office of the Vice Rector for Research / Innsbruck University,

Faculty of Design and Art / Free University of Bozen-Bolzano,

Fondazione Ordine Architetti PPC di Genova.






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Cite: "Unfolding Pavilion: Rituals of Solitude, 17th Venice Architecture Biennale" 17 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/961775/unfolding-pavilion-rituals-of-solitude-17th-venice-architecture-biennale> ISSN 0719-8884

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