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Interview with the Curators of the Golden Lion Awarded Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

This video is part of a partnership between ArchDaily and the Spanish photographer Jesús Granada. Granada's stock images of the Biennale can be obtained on his website, here. ArchDaily’s complete coverage of the 2016 Biennale can be found, here; with coverage focused on the Spanish Pavilion, here.

In an interview conducted by Jesús Granada, the curators of this year’s Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns, discuss their reasoning and intentions for the Golden Lion awarded national pavilion’s design. Titled “Unfinished,” Quintáns describes the project’s influence as “the detection of reality that we show only through photography, of what happened (in Spain) after the housing bubble, first the real estate boom and then the crisis, and how we can offer solutions thanks to the many talented architects of the many projects which have been realized in Spain and have been partially obscured.” The pavilion answers Director Alejandro Aravena’s call for national pavilions that identify domestic responses to architectural dilemmas that could be the solutions for other places facing similar issues.

LifeObject: Inside Israel's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show. Here, Arielle Blonder, one of the curators (along with Dr. Ido Bachelet, Bnaya Bauer, Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen and Noy Lazarovich) of the Israeli Pavilion, gives us an insight into one of the exhibited works in the pavilion: LifeObject, "a freestanding structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird's nest." The essay was originally published in LifeObject: Merging Biology and Architecture.

A matter of resilience: LifeObject is an architectural installation, which transposes the resilient properties of a bird’s nest, through scientific analysis, into a spatial form rich with new architectural perspectives. At the core of the installation are free-form volumetric airy surfaces undulating in space that are composed out of over 1500 slender and light components, inspired by twigs; relying on tension only, they form a light-weight, porous and resilient structure. The LifeObject combines smart, composite and biological materials in the formation of a ‘living structure’ that responds to its environment. Human presence around it triggers the opening of ‘cabinet de curiosités’, revealing a variety of innovative biological elements to visitors.

The LifeObject materializes a series of abstract ideas, preoccupations and potentials in present and future architectural field. The concepts proposed by the structure sketch alternative formal and structural languages informed by external disciplines. It hints at future applications and integration of biologically inspired materials that originate from various settings, scales and orientation.

Gallery: Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which opened in 1959, was controversial for being “less a museum than it is a monument to Frank Lloyd Wright.” Although Wright intended to display paintings on the curved interior walls of the central open space, the concave walls made it unworkable. Instead, the central atrium became a place for procession and the uncovering of space through movement. The continuous ramp overlooking the atrium allows people to interact from different levels.

Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu places people at the core of his photography which perhaps explains how, in this photoset of the Guggenheim Museum to mark Wright's 149th birthday, he captured the essence and vitality of the Guggenheim Museum. While some images depict the museum’s atrium as a place for passing-by, wandering or socializing, others grasp the growing influence of photography and self-representation on visitors’ experience. Some shots also show the building in its urban context with people involved in daily life activities.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 30

Gallery: The Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier today, the 17th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was unveiled with a press preview ahead of its public opening this Friday. With its 13-meter tall "unzipped wall" of square fiberglass tubes, the pavilion is an impressive presence in Hyde park, standing next to the single-story Serpentine Gallery. As described by Bjarke Ingels in his design statement, the pavilion is all about its visual effects from various angles - going from an expansive, transparent rectangle when viewed from the side, and an opaque, curving sculptural shape when seen from either end.

With so much visual intrigue, the project offers plenty to be explored through photography - and accordingly, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu was there at the opening to investigate the project's visual effects. He also captured the pavilion's neighboring Summer Houses, by Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. Read on to see the gallery.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 72

Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Vara Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is a Maze of Circular Forms

Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s Vara Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale is described by the architects as “a series of exteriors within other exteriors.” Breaking down this crypticness, what emerges is a maze-like complex of circles – ten of them – formed with steel, cement, and painted plaster, which collectively create a series of walls, but no roof, thus forming a pavilion that is open to the elements from above. The 324 square meter pavilion’s title, “vara,” refers to an imprecise and obsolete Spanish unit of measurement, that was employed during the country’s conquering of America to trace and measure cities. Each of circles of the Vara Pavilion is a diameter of the unit, ranging from two to eleven.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 38

12 Things You Need to See at the 2016 Venice Biennale

"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella
"Reporting From the Front". Image © Italo Rondinella

There is an enormous intensity of information, knowledge and ideas on display at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting From the Front. With all the Executive Editors and Editors-in-Chief of ArchDaily's platforms in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese in Venice for the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale—plus co-founder David Basulto and European Editor-at-Large James Taylor-Foster, who curated this year's Nordic Pavilion—we've pooled together twelve of our initial favourite exhibitions and must-see shows.

Against The Tide: Inside Chile's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Against the tide presents the efforts of a generation of young architects who have conceived, designed, and constructed works of architecture, while also arranging their financial and contractual aspects as part of the requirements for their professional degree in architecture. All they have in common is that they belong to the Central Valley of Chile, where they have returned following their academic training to contribute to their communities, creating architectural projects which connect to a set of places where the region’s campesinos and their families can live and work.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy of Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 15

AD Interviews: Golden Lion Winners Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns / 2016 Venice Biennale

At the opening of the 2016 Venice Biennale, ArchDaily and PLANE—SITE had the unique opportunity to interview Carlos Quintáns & Iñaqui Carnicero and ask them about "UNFINISHED"—an exhibition that uncovers design strategies that take an optimistic view of the built environment. This idea of exhibiting architecture that revels in the patina acquired through the passage of time and that shows how architects have learned from Spain's recent economic crisis earned the Pavilion the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. The jury cited Quintáns & Carnicero's "concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints."

To see the video with subtitles, make sure that the "CC" button is selected.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 9

Gabinete de Arquitectura’s “Breaking the Siege” – Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

Bricks are an iconic element of Solano Benítez’s studio. An ancestral material, forged by man using an ancient technique of modeling and baking. Bricks are very versatile, cheap and easy to manufacture – even marginalized areas of the world can afford to build houses with brick. Benítez feels the poetry of brick and has experimented with its versatility, relying solely on bricks as the main construction material. [1]

Gabinete de Arquitectura's exhibition, designed by Solano Benítez, Gloria Cabral and Solanito Benítez, was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition, Reporting From the Front, for “harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities.”

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 11

BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions: Inside the Netherlands' Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, and increasingly since 9/11 and the “War on Terror” that followed, warfare has moved into the city.

While the wars of the 20th century were waged largely between nations, over territorial sovereignty and along disputed borders, the wars of the 21st century are internal and borderless. They are fought between large multinational coalitions and insurgent networks.

BLUE: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu BLUE: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu BLUE: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu BLUE: Architecture of Peacekeeping Missions. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 15

In Therapy: Inside the Nordic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

You are part of another’s shadow.
—Sverre Fehn in conversation with Per Olaf Fjeld

A central impetus for this exhibition is to acknowledge the presence of the ‘ghosts’ of Nordic architecture – those architects, theorists and educators—the most famous of which are often described as ‘Modern Masters’—who continue to exert influence on contemporary practice and pedagogy. Indeed, one of the most prominent of these gures, the Norwegian Sverre Fehn, designed the Nordic Pavilion. This exhibition addresses a common challenge faced by Finns, Norwegians and Swedes today: how can a building (or an exhibition, in this instance) exist in a dialogue with its setting when that setting is so charged? For us, this ties into a broader question: how can architecture occupy a legacy while still making progress?

The pyramid, built from Swedish pine, represents an inhabitable installation – an urban artefact in a very public pavilion. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Intimate "Rooms Without Walls" sit next to the main installation. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu The pyramid is a "discourse machine," designed to allow people to critically discuss the issues at the heart of the exhibition in an open air environment. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu The pyramid exists in dialogue with the building. Here, it's relationship with the existing staircase is made apparent. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 42

Selfie Automaton: Inside Romania's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

The Romanian Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia showcases “Selfie Automaton”, an exhibition by Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. The exhibition consists of 7 mechanical automata, featuring 42 built in marionetes — 37 human and 5 creatures. Three of the automata will be placed in the Romanian Pavilion in Giardini, another three in the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research, and one nomad that will wander through the streets of Venice.

SELFIE AUTOMATON / curated by Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu SELFIE AUTOMATON / curated by Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu SELFIE AUTOMATON / curated by Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu SELFIE AUTOMATON / curated by Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă, Oana Matei, Andrei Durloi. Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 20

Why the FAR (Floor Area Ratio) Game?: Inside Korea’s Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Of the few dozen articles on architecture and urbanism I have contributed to the Korea Joongang Daily, it was the one entitled “The FAR Game” that received the biggest response from readers. While FAR (Floor Area Ratio) appears to be technical jargon for professionals, it seems that almost every Korean either knows what it is, or has heard about it. If you type yong-jeong-nyul (용적률, the Korean word for FAR) on Korean search engines, an endless stream of news, articles, and commentary pops up. The word speaks to the hunger for living space in a hyper-dense environment, as well as the desire to satisfy that hunger by any means possible, whether by proper planning and tactics or through trickery and obfuscation. It touches both the rich and the poor, the white-collar and the blue-collar, as they navigate their lives together in and around the urban fabric. Upon reading that article, where I had stated that without a doubt it is FAR that drives the architectural character of Korean cities, a renowned urban researcher told me I had hit the nail right on the head.

The Architectural Imagination: Inside the US Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Biennale

The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

The Architectural Imagination presents twelve new speculative architecture projects designed for specific sites in Detroit but with far-reaching applications for cities around the world.

As the home of the automobile industry, the free-span concrete factory, Motown, and techno, Detroit was once a center of American imagination, not only for the products it made but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle, which captivated audiences worldwide.

Today, like many post-industrial cities, it is coping with the effects of a declining population and an urban landscape pockmarked with blight. Nonetheless, having emerged from bankruptcy, there is new excitement in Detroit to imagine the city's possible futures, both in the downtown core and in its many neighborhoods.

The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu The Architectural Imagination / curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon. The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 12

The Pool: Inside Australia's Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

As an architectural device the pool represents a physical edge but it also expresses a social and personal frontier. This is explored through the narratives broadcast in the exhibition space for which we have selected eight storytellers: Olympians Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe; authors Anna Funder and Christos Tsiolkas; musician Paul Kelly; environmentalist Tim Flannery; fashion designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales from Romance Was Born; and Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins. Their interviews reveal stories of fulfillment and accomplishment, of segregation and inclusion, of learning from the past and reflecting for the future, all through the lens of the pool.

@1to1Billion: Inside Canada’s Contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale

Opening ceremony of EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Friday, May 27th, 2016. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Opening ceremony of EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Friday, May 27th, 2016. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

At a scale of 1:1 billion, the geological map of the world reveals planetary scales of operation for the largest resource extraction nation on the planet whose foreign policy is borne from legacies as colony, as confederation, country, and now, as global resource empire. In its divine, legal power to separate surface rights from mineral rights, the royal domain of the government—the Crown—exercises supreme authority over 95% of its territory making it the biggest landlord in the world. Not surprisingly, its coat-of-arms, commonwealth, constitution, even its parliament building look practically the same, it shares the same Head of State—Queen Elizabeth II. As the last remaining royal monarchy in the Americas, Canada is the brainchild of Queen Victoria II, the most powerful woman in history, who grew the British Empire to unprecedented magnitude in late 19th century.

Opening ceremony of EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Friday, May 27th, 2016. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Opening ceremony of EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Friday, May 27th, 2016. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Opening ceremony of EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Friday, May 27th, 2016. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu EXTRACTION / curated by Pierre Bélanger, OPSYS. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 13

Spain's "Unfinished" - Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.

Spain is one of the countries where the practice of architecture has been most affected by the economic crisis. There are few places on earth where such large numbers of buildings were built in such a short period of time. The lack of reflection over whether these projects were necessary or valid resulted in the subsequent abandonment of many buildings when their completion or maintenance was discovered not to be economically viable. Their appearance throughout Spanish territories has generated a collection of unfinished buildings where the factor of time was eliminated from the formula for making architecture. 

UNFINISHED / curated by Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns. Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu UNFINISHED / curated by Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns. Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu UNFINISHED / curated by Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns. Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu UNFINISHED / curated by Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns. Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 16

Venice Biennale 2016 Winners: Spain, Japan, Peru, NLÉ & Gabinete de Arquitectura

Alejandro Aravena and the jury for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia have just announced the winning participations.

The Golden Lion for Best National Participation went to Spain for UNFINISHED. The jury cited Carlos Quintáns & Iñaqui Carnicero's "concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints."

Gabinete de Arquitectura. Image © Pola Mora NLÉ accepts their Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the International Exhibition "Reporting from the Front". Image © Pola Mora Paulo Mendes da Rocha receives his Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Image © Pola Mora Iñaqui Carnicero & Carlos Quintáns with their Golden Lion.. Image © Pola Mora + 15