The Venice Biennale, one of the most talked about events on the architectural calendar, has opened its doors to architects, designers, and visitors from all around the globe to witness the pavilions and installations that tackle this year’s theme: "Freespace." The curators, Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, described the theme as “a focus on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers, providing the opportunity to emphasize nature’s free gifts of light—sunlight and moonlight, air, gravity, materials—natural and man-made resources.” As the exhibition launched at the end of May, the architecture world rushed to Venice to be immersed in what the Biennale has to offer. But while the 2018 Biennale undoubtedly had its admirers, not everyone was impressed.
Read on to find out what the critics had to say on this year’s Venice Biennale.
Fusing elements typical to Mexican architecture with local London references, the pavilion centers on a courtyard enclosed by two rectangular volumes constructed using the characteristic celosia method.
At first glance, The Stealth Building looks like a pristinely-restored cast iron apartment building. That’s because technically, it is. But upon closer inspection, the Lower Manhattan building is rife with innovative restoration and renovation practices by WORKac.
Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. Each of the previous eighteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 18th Pavilion, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.
The 2018 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Frida Escobedo, was unveiled today in London's Hyde Park. Escobedo's design, which fuses elements typical to Mexican architecture with local London references, features a courtyard enclosed by two rectangular volumes constructed from cement roof tiles. These tiles are stacked to form a celosia, a type of wall common to Mexican architecture which is permeable, allowing ventilation and views to the other side.
Red is everywhere. From stop signs to bricks and lipstick to wine, our constant use of the color in everyday objects has slowly taken over our subconscious. Red is a color that always blends with the context, telling us how to feel or what to think, but why are we attracted to it? Why did cavemen choose ochre-based paint to draw on their walls? Why do revolutions always seem to use red to stir support? Why do we parade celebrities down red carpets, when green or blue would surely do the same job? While the answers to these questions may be vague and indefinite, red’s use in architecture is almost always meticulously calculated.
The pavilion representing the United States at this year’s biennale brings together the work of seven different transdisciplinary teams who each prepared an installation addressing the concept of citizenship at a different scale. Entitled Dimensions of Citizenship, the exhibition is intended to challenge the definition and conception of citizenship, examining issues and citing examples on the scale of the citizen, civitas, region, nation, globe, network and cosmos. The pavilion was commissioned on behalf of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.
As always, this year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale is brimming with exhibitions and installations—the result of thousands upon thousands of hours of research and work. When arriving at the Arsenale or Giardini, the overwhelming amount of "things to see" are neatly tucked into the national pavilions, or, in the case of the Arsenale, hidden on the sides of the sweeping corridor. In the likely event that you have limited time to enjoy all that FREESPACE has to offer, ArchDaily's editors have selected our favorite works displayed at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.
Here, presented in no particular order, are some of our top suggestions from across the Biennale sites.
https://www.archdaily.com/895621/11-must-see-exhibitions-at-the-2018-venice-biennaleAD Editorial Team
Arguably the leading name of a generation of internationally high-profile British architects, Norman Foster (born 1 June 1935)—or to give him his full title Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank of Reddish, OM, HonFREng—gained recognition as early as the 1970s as a key architect in the high-tech movement, which continues to have a profound impact on architecture as we know it today.
As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed Spanish Pavilion. Below, the curatorial team describes the exhibition in their own words.
Becoming, the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018, seeks to respond to the general theme of the event through the proposals and research being developed in the different learning environments within the country, placing special emphasis on the architect's new multidisciplinary profile.
The exhibition, curated by the architect Atxu Amann, has occupied most of its budget in restoring the building in which it is located, "tattooing" its interior walls to load them with 143 proposals that are unified through 52 relevant concepts to our discipline today.
With the opening of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale comes a look at the first ever contribution by the Holy See, an exhibition that brings together architects to design chapels that, after the Biennale, can be relocated to sites around the globe.
Located in a wooded area on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore, 10 chapels by architects including Norman Foster, Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Smiljan Radic, are joined by the Asplund Chapel by MAP Architects. This 11th structure serves as a prelude to the other chapels, while reflecting on Gunnar Asplund's 1920 design for the Woodland Chapel.
A +100 meter stretch of land beneath a train overpass in Koganecho, a district of Yokohama, Japan, underwent a progressive refurbishment in which seven different types of community space, each designed by a different architect, were built within a pre-set spatial grid. Historically there were many social issues in the area, largely in relation to its profitable but dangerous black market and red-light district. Once the illegal activity was eradicated in 2005, the underpass presented a great opportunity for social re-development, and the resultant project - the Koganecho Centre - emphasized an age-old Japanese cultural commitment, where what was once broken is used to make something new.
I’m sitting in a busy suburban coffee-and-donut shop with the quiet, grandfatherly Indian architect, Jitendra Vaidya. When I started my life as an architecture intern in the late 90s, Jitendra was one of the most experienced technical designers I knew. Equally comfortable weighing the relative merits of various flashing details as he is discussing abstract design concepts, Jitendra is an old-school, universal architect. After more than half a century in a profession famous for grinding deadlines, Jitendra still maintains a joyful twinkle in his eye when he talks about architecture. So it’s no surprise that Jitendra is visibly animated today as he tells me about his teacher, the man who was just recognized as one of the world’s greatest living architects, B.V. Doshi.
For the Pritzker Prize—the profession’s highest honor—to be awarded to a 90-year-old academic urbanist who spent his long career primarily teaching architecture students and serving poor communities in India is a stunning development. To be fair, the caricature of Pritzker winners as arrogant, scarf- wrapped, Euro-American, Starchitects, is overblown and outdated. Recent winners such as Alejandro Aravena, Wang Shu, and Shigeru Ban, are connected in their mutual dedication to serving poor and displaced communities through innovative, culturally authentic designs. But even accepting this nuance, Doshi is fundamentally different from recent winners.
Ada Louise Huxtable once described him as “a poet who happens to be an architect.” Italian architect Aldo Rossi (3 May 1931 – 4 September 1997) was known for his drawings, urban theory, and for winning the Pritzker Prize in 1990. Rossi also directed the Venice Biennale in 1985 and 1986—one of only two people to have served as director twice.
"When The New Yorker published Ian Parker’s 11,000-word story on BIG’s rise in 2012, I knew Surface should put a pause on any major coverage, at least for several years, just to see how the firm’s story would evolve," says Surface editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey to explain the magazine's apparent omission. "I think that inkling was right: BIG has grown to five hundred employees, twelve partners, and three offices, with twenty projects under construction and fifty in development. His clients include Google, WeWork, and Audemars Piguet. There’s so much to unpack now."