Venice authorities have launched a pilot program for their long-term discussed plan to introduce fees for day-trippers visiting the city. The program, which has been delayed several times citing logistical issues, was officially launched on January 16th, when the online payment platform became operational. While the scope of the program is expected to expand, for now, it will be applied only on certain days during the most crowded season, between April 25 and July 14.
Venice: The Latest Architecture and News
The 3rd edition of Shaping the City, a forum on sustainable urban development, took place in Venice between November 24-25, following successful events in Chicago and New Orleans. Organized by the European Cultural Centre, this forum was running in parallel to the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennial exhibition, Time Space Existence. The event, hosted at Palazzo Michiel del Brusà in Cannaregio, brings together global urban planners, architects, academics, and politicians. Notably, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma was among the experts invited to explore the intersection of nature and the built environment in Japanese architecture.
Over two days, the conference set out to explore crucial themes such as education, urban commons, displacement, nature integration, and the future of architecture media, a subject discussed during a panel talk attended by ArchDaily’s managing editor, Christele Harrouk. While on-site in Venice, the ArchDaily team sat down with Kengo Kuma to discuss his unique approach to nature-inspired and site-specific designs.
A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa
The 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia closed on November 26th. A total of 285,000 people visited the exhibition, making it the second most highly attended Architecture Biennale in its history. Named "The Laboratory of the Future," this edition led by curator Lesley Lokko, has been the first to focus on Africa and its diaspora, exploring the “fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe,” in the words of the curator, with themes of decolonization and decarbonization.
This edition has attracted a wide array of visitors, 38% of whom are represented by students and young people. Visitors organized in groups represented 23% of the overall public, with a large majority of groups coming from schools and universities. The numbers denote an event centered on the transmission of knowledge and circulation of ideas.
On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale
While exploring the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, the ArchDaily team had a chance to engage in conversation with several curators of the national pavilions, along with Lesley Lokko, the curator of the entire exhibition. The discussions delved into the unique character of this year’s edition focused on an understanding of Africa as a “Laboratory of the Future.” Through this lens, the biennale became “a healing experience,” in the words of Lesley Lokko, reinterpreting and deconstructing the meaning behind ideas such as decolonization, decarbonization, resource management, or finding the hidden potential in vernacular forms of practice.
Following Lokko’s curatorial direction, the exhibitions presented at the national pavilions explored the specific conditions of their territories, striving to uncover and highlight the unique challenges and opportunities faced by their local cultural landscapes. During the interviews, the curators opened up in regard to their personal inspirations and the drive behind the choice of program, the messages embedded in the displays, and their hopes for the future of the profession.
In light of the looming climate crisis and the pursuit of sustainability, the concepts of revival and reuse have emerged as crucial strategies in the quest for decarbonization in the architecture industry. These principles preach that creating new structures may be sustainable but encourage architects to minimize their ecological footprint by reactivating and recycling existing resources. This year specifically, innovative projects in line with these themes were displayed as part of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. This world-renowned event’s core purpose is to serve as a platform for architects, designers, and thinkers to collectively reimagine sustainability, decarbonization, resource conservation, and the industry's future.
“Our Mission Is to Preserve and Explore the Neutra Legacy”: In Conversation with Raymond Neutra, the Youngest Son of Richard Neutra
It was, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright who set up the ground for modern architecture to happen in Los Angeles. Then came the Viennese, Rudolph Schindler in 1920 and Richard Neutra in 1925 at the invitation of Schindler. Both worked for Wright choosing to learn from him what they saw as essential—by focusing on spatial and formal clarity, transformability, restrained materiality, and the living environment to achieve a desirable quality of life within. Neutra and Schindler collaborated at first, and then each built a rich portfolio, mainly comprising houses and apartment blocks. Universal in principle, these abstract robust structures defined and led the development of a local building vernacular. These buildings, of which there are several hundred, are now strongly associated with the two architects’ adopted city.
Rethinking the Biennale: In Conversation with Anh-Linh Ngo, Curator of the German Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
The German Pavilion Open for Maintenance / Wegen Umbau geöffnet at this years 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia was curated by ARCH+ and Summacumfemmer Büro Juliane Greb. At its core, the exhibition addresses the resource problem and the material cycles of the biennale. Inside the pavilion is a functioning workshop dedicated to applying these concepts of care, repair, and maintenance to Venice onsite. In Venice, ArchDaily had the chance to speak with the co-curator Anh-Linh Ngo, where he discussed the different aspects of the German Pavilion.
“Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else:” In Conversation with the Curators of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
During this year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, ArchDaily had the chance to discuss with Giacomo Ardesio and Claudia Mainardi of Fosbury Architecture, the curators of the Italian Pavilion together with Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri and Veronica Caprino. The curatorial project, titled “Spaziale: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else,” aims to provide a distinctive and original portrait of Italian architecture within the international context. The curators discussed the origins of their office, their sources of inspiration and the thinking behind the design decisions that led to the creation of the curatorial project for the Italian Pavilion.
"So We Can Be Here in 100 Years": In Conversation with Josephine Michau, Curator of Danish Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
This year’s Danish Pavilion at The 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, was curated by Josephine Michau. Titled “Coastal Imaginaries,” the exhibition addresses solutions to alleviate global challenges such as rising sea levels and storm floods. Onsite in Venice, ArchDaily had the chance to speak with the curator Josephine Michau, where she discussed the thought process behind the pavilion, the collaborations, and her hopes of starting meaningful dialogue as a result of the exhibition.
"A Wall is A Political Statement": Karin Sander on Co-Curating the Swiss Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale
At the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Karin Sander, and Philip Ursprung curated the Swiss Pavilion “Neighbors”. In her interview with Louisiana Channel, Karin Sander talks about expanding the understanding of the pavilion, reimagining the connected role of architecture and art, and explaining her artistic process. “Neighbors” was focused on spatial proximity between the Swiss Pavilion and its Venezuelan neighbor. Sander highlights also the conversation between the two structures, that became possible after the removal of a separating wall.
Contrary to common belief, artificial islands have a lengthy historical background in many regions worldwide. This heritage dates back to the reclaimed islands in Ancient Egypt, the hundreds of Stilt crannogs found in Scottish and Irish lakes and waterways, and the ceremonial islands constructed during the Aztec Empire. By definition, an artificial island is an island that has been constructed by humans rather than formed through natural processes. Artificial islands can be built for many different reasons, and these reasons are only increasing as the world faces the looming issue of space scarcity.
In the past, these islands were intended for ceremonial or agricultural purposes, often verging on solutions for urban space. More recently, the islands have been built to mitigate overcrowding, reclaim land, provide new urban expansions, and meet infrastructure and industrial needs. Artificial islands also have certain strategic advantages and economic gains and can lead to geopolitical benefits. However, these types of projects come at a significant cost to our ecosystem, harming the environment in severe and vast ways.
"It’s the People Who Keep Buildings Alive": In Conversation with SO?, Curators for the Pavilion of Türkiye at the 2023 Venice Biennale
During their visit to the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, ArchDaily had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş, founders of the Istanbul-based studio SO? Architecture and Ideas, curators for the Pavilion of Türkiye. Their exhibition, titled Ghost Stories: Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture, explores the status and hidden potential of abandoned buildings across Türkiye to discover more hopeful proposals for the future. The conversations opened with an exploration of the status of these forgotten structures and their hidden potential, leading into the intentions behind the exhibition in Venice and the curator’s message for the wider audience.
"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023
Neri&Hu presented “Liminality”, a multimedia exhibition selected by Lesley Lokko, at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The exhibition took place in the Dangerous Liaisons section of La Biennale di Venezia at the Arsenale. In response to Lokko’s curatorial statement, Neri&Hu’s display explored the concept of liminality, the “zone” between design practice and theoretical exploration. The display consisted of three adaptive reuse projects that represent the practice’s research in “Reflective Nostalgia, Recasting Vernacular, and Ruinophilia/Future Artifact.”
Since pandemic-imposed restrictions have been lifted, Europe has experienced a surge in tourism, with millions of people visiting some of its most attractive destinations, such as Venice, Barcelona or Paris. The large number of visitors has proved to be a challenge for the cities, creating overcrowding and affecting the local population, urban development, and even the natural ecosystems surrounding the urban areas. In a bid to limit this influx, some of Europe’s most popular cities are taking various measures to address the overcrowding and the subsequent social and infrastructural issues. The measures include fines, entrance fees, and time-slot systems to impose some restrictions.