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Venice Biennale: The Latest Architecture and News

Australia Withdraws from the 2020 Venice Biennale

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced it will no longer participate in the 2020 Venice Biennale. Last month, organizers postponed the event's opening until August in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Australia’s exhibition, titled In Between, was to be curated by creative directors Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway, and it aimed to explore connections between indigenous cultures across Australia and the South Pacific.

Hungarian Pavilion to Reimagine 12 Modernist Icons in Budapest

The Hungarian Pavilion at the 2020 Venice Biennale will feature the work of twelve design studios that will reconsider twelve iconic modernist buildings in Budapest. For the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, the pavilion's curator Dániel Kovács wants to explore the value and heritage of architectural modernism to reconcile past and future architecture.

Courtesy of Venice Biennale, Hungarian Pavilion Courtesy of Venice Biennale, Hungarian Pavilion Courtesy of Venice Biennale, Hungarian Pavilion Courtesy of Venice Biennale, Hungarian Pavilion + 7

UAE Pavilion Searches for Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Portland Cement

Wael Al Awar from Lebanon and Kenichi Teramoto from Japan, both principals of Dubai based Waiwai designed, have been appointed as the curators for the National Pavilion of the UAE at the 2020 Venice Biennale. Entitled Wetland, the exhibition presents an experimental solution to the critical environmental impact of the construction industry.

© Dina Al Khatib courtesy of waiwai © Sahil Abdul Latheef courtesy of waiwai © Sahil Abdul Latheef courtesy of waiwai © Dina Al Khatib courtesy of waiwai + 12

Roberto Cicutto to Take Over as Head of the Venice Biennale

Veteran Italian film producer and CEO of Luce Cinecittà Roberto Cicutto has been appointed president of the Venice Biennale. Cicutto was appointed by the Italian minister of culture Dario Franceschini, and will replace Paolo Baratta, who presided over the Biennale for 8 years. Cicutto’s term will run for four years with a maximum of three renewals.

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli to Curate the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2020

OMA'S architect and urbanist Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli will serve as the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2020. Moreover, Teresa Iarocci Mavica, co-founder, and director of the V-A-C Foundation was appointed as commissioner of the Pavilion by the Russian Ministry of Culture. The exhibition entitled Open! will showcase young Russian architects and will focus on the renovation of the century-old building of the pavilion, built by renowned Russian architect Alexey Shchusev in 1914.

How Will We Live Together?: Hashim Sarkis on the Venice Biennale 2020

Today the President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta and the appointed Curator of the 17th International Exhibition Hashim Sarkis introduced the theme of the next year’s event “How will we live together?”. La Biennale Architettura 2020 will take place at Venice’s Giardini and Arsenale from May 23 to November 29, 2020.

“We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together,” reads Sarkis’ Statement. The theme that explores architecture as material, spatial, and cultural field, encourages the participating architects to engage other professionals in their research — inviting artists, builders, politicians, social scientists, and everyday citizens the Curator wants the society to acknowledge the role of the architect “as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract”.

David Adjaye to Design Ghana's First Ever Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale

While the next edition of the Venice Biennale for Architecture is still more than a year away, the Art Biennale sister event is right around the corner. Ghana, for whom this will be their first ever foray into the major art event, has announced their pavilion lineup and designer - none other than Sir David Adjaye.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: U.S. Pavilion at 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale

The U.S. Department of State and the National Endowment for the Arts Design Program announce that the call for applications has been posted for the U.S. presentation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition held in Venice, Italy, from May 23 to November 29, 2020. The Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition is the premier showcase for revolutionary ideas in contemporary architecture and design through national venues.

This call for applications is specifically for the exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion. The award amount is $325,000 (including $125,000 for pavilion management), with potential additional funding pending availability from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Venice Biennale’s ‘Lightbox’ Exhibition Explores Material Memory

Still from the PLANE-SITE video. Image Courtesy of PLANE-SITE
Still from the PLANE-SITE video. Image Courtesy of PLANE-SITE

The European Culture Center’s Time Space Exhibition during the Venice Biennale 2018 features a new short film depicting the spatial qualities of light in architectural design, both as a material and metaphor.

This collaboration between architect and professor Jorge L. Hernández and photographer Carlos Domenech explores their endeavors in providing a lighting-based design solution for the Williamsburg, Virginia courthouse. Battling the issues of security and privacy of the court with the need for natural daylight, Hernández recreated the cupola, a vernacular roof turret intended for ventilation for illumination instead. Light, entering the courtroom from above, transforms the previously dull space and becomes, “an allegory for justice.”

Venice Biennale’s ‘Lightbox’ Exhibition Explores Material Memory

The European Culture Center’s Time Space Exhibition during the Venice Biennale 2018 features a new short film depicting the spatial qualities of light in architectural design, both as a material and metaphor.

This collaboration between architect and professor Jorge L. Hernández and photographer Carlos Domenech explores their endeavors in providing a lighting-based design solution for the Williamsburg, Virginia courthouse. Battling the issues of security and privacy of the court with the need for natural daylight, Hernández recreated the cupola, a vernacular roof turret intended for ventilation for illumination instead. Light, entering the courtroom from above, transforms the previously dull space and becomes, “an allegory for justice”.

How (Not) to Design a Biennale: Is Freespace Free?

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine under the title "Taking a Second Look at This Year's Nebulous Venice Architecture Biennale."

One of the few incontrovertible truths to emerge from the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which opened in Venice on May 26 and runs through November 25, is that sensitivity and skill in making architecture do not necessarily transfer to the work of organizing an architecture exhibition.

Repair: Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed Australian Pavilion. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post, "Australian Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale to Explore Architecture's Relation to Endangered Plants."

The theme for the Australian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale is Repair. Created by Baracco+Wright Architects in collaboration with Linda Tegg, it consists of a living installation, Grasslands Repair, that presents more than 60 species of Western Plains Grasslands plants from South East Australia. By covering the ground of the pavilion with these plants, it explores the relationship between architecture and the natural environment, especially in regards to the ecologically sensitive landscape of Australia and the cultural importance of the land for the Indigenous people.

© Rory Gardiner © Rory Gardiner © Rory Gardiner © Rory Gardiner + 6

"Mind-Building": The Finnish Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed Finnish Pavilion. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post, "Finnish Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to Examine the Future of Libraries."

Conceived by Commissioner Hanna Harris, Director of Archinfo Finland, and Curator Dr Anni Vartola, the Finnish Pavilion presents Mind-Building at the 2018 Venice Biennale, an exhibition that explores the importance of the public library in Finnish culture. With exhibition design by Tuomas Siitonen and graphic design by Johannes Nieminen, it showcases Finnish libraries through a thematic selection of architectural designs, objects and specially commissioned sound and video work.

© Ugo Carmeni and Archinfo Finland © Alexander Mayes and Archinfo Finland © Ugo Carmeni and Archinfo Finland © Alexander Mayes and Archinfo Finland + 16

Stefano Boeri Combats Rural Decline With Free Initiative

For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Stefano Boeri Architetti presents Slow Food Freespace, the first Slow Village to be constructed in Sichuan, China. Made in collaboration with Slow Food Movement, speakers Stefano Boeri and Carlo Petrini discussed the project at the event “Across Chinese Cities - The Community.”

For the Slow Food China project, Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed a school, a library and a small museum for the villages involved, free of charge. The program attempts to encourage millions of Chinese farmers to stay in their rural districts, combatting the unprecedented emigration to cities which has grown in the last few years. By offering educational facilities and cultural landmarks to these rural communities, it inspires the preservation of local culture and acknowledges the importance of the agricultural economy.

Library Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti School Visualization. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti Masterplan. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti Elevations and Plans. Image Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti + 7

10 Chapels in a Venice Forest Comprise The Vatican's First Ever Biennale Contribution

Aerial view. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Aerial view. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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.

Kenneth Frampton Awarded Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at 2018 Venice Biennale

Kenneth Frampton. Image Courtesy of The Venice Biennale
Kenneth Frampton. Image Courtesy of The Venice Biennale

British architect, historian, critic and educator Kenneth Frampton has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2018 Venice Biennale. The decision was made by the Board of The Venice Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation from the Biennale’s curators, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects.

Having studied at the Architectural Association in London, Frampton has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, New York since 1972. He has also lectured at several leading institutions, including ETH Zurich, the Royal College of Art in London, and the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. Perhaps his most influential work, “Modern Architecture: A Critical History,” was described by Biennale President Paulo Baratta as a book which “no student of the faculties of architecture is unfamiliar with.”

Foster + Partners Reveal "Sanctuary" Chapel for Vatican Pavilion at Venice Biennale

Foster + Partners has released details of their proposed chapel to form part of the Vatican’s inaugural entry to the Venice Biennale. The Holy See Pavilion will comprise ten chapels designed by ten architects, to be situated on the Venetian Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Among the architects contributing to the circuit of chapels are Foster + Partners, Eduardo Souto de Mourao, and Francesco Cellini.

Courtesy of Norman Foster Courtesy of Foster + Partners Chapel Plan. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners Chapel Section. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners + 6