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Venice Biennale 2012: Shifting Grounds (Beyond National Architecture) / Ireland Pavilion

12:00 - 5 September, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Shifting Grounds (Beyond National Architecture) / Ireland Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The Irish Pavilion, designed by heneghan peng architects with the support of Arup, and curated by John McLaughlin, charts a position for Irish architecture in a global culture where the modes of production of architecture are radically altered. Ireland has developed a national culture of architecture derived from local place as a material construct. They now have to evolve our understanding in the light of the globalized nature of economic processes and architectural production which is largely dependent on internationally networked flows of products and data. They have just begun to represent this situation to themselves and others. How should a global architecture be grounded culturally and philosophically? How does it position itself outside of shared national reference points?

Venice Biennale 2012: An Interview with David Chipperfield

19:00 - 4 September, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: An Interview with David Chipperfield

Director David Chipperfield discusses the ideas behind Common Ground and shares his response to the exhibitions featured inside the Arsenale at the 13th Architecture Biennale.

Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture as New Geography / Grafton Architects, Silver Lion Award

13:15 - 4 September, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Architecture as New Geography / Grafton Architects, Silver Lion Award, © Alice Clancy
© Alice Clancy

Inspired by Pritzker Prize laureate Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s call “to get architecture out of the making and thinking of isolated objects and to show it as an inexorable transformation of nature”, Dublin practice Grafton Architects presents Architecture as New Geography at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The exhibition explores the work of the Brazilian architect in the context of Grafton’s first South American project for a university in Lima, Peru.

AD Interviews: Alejandro Aravena / ELEMENTAL, Venice Biennale

12:02 - 4 September, 2012
AD Interviews: Alejandro Aravena / ELEMENTAL, Venice Biennale

Alejandro Aravena, Executive Director of ELEMENTAL, tells us more about The Magnet and The Bomb, their exhibit at the Venice Biennale. You can learn more about the projects presented at this installation: PRES Constitución and Calama PLUS.

Venice Biennale 2012: Elbphilharmonie / Herzog & de Meuron

19:55 - 3 September, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Elbphilharmonie / Herzog & de Meuron, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Herzog & de Meuron’s exhibition at the Biennale is focused on the architecture of a symbolic project, with a complex history: The Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall on top of a former industry in Hamburg, which also includes a 250 room five-star hotel, and 47 apartments. The project, in a very advanced state, remains halted since last year due to legal issues with the contractor.

Venice Biennale 2012: The Piranesi Variations / Peter Eisenman

15:00 - 31 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: The Piranesi Variations / Peter Eisenman, Field of Walls / Dogma © Nico Saieh
Field of Walls / Dogma © Nico Saieh

Inspired by the 13th International Architecture Exhibition‘s theme Common Ground, Peter Eisenman has formed a team to revisit, examine and reimagine Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 1762 folio collection of etchings, Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Derived from years of fieldwork spent measuring the remains of ancient Roman buildings, these six etchings depict Piranesi’s fantastical vision of what ancient Rome might have looked like and represent a landmark in the shift from a traditionalist, antiquarian view of history to the scientific, archaeological view.

Video: 13th Venice Biennale / Venice Takeaway, the British

14:36 - 31 August, 2012
Video: 13th Venice Biennale / Venice Takeaway, the British

This year’s 13th Venice Architecture Biennale provided the backdrop to the British Pavilion’s Venice Takeaway exhibition. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Vanessa Norwood and Vicky Richardson, Venice Takeaway responds to Biennale director David Chipperfield’s theme of Common Ground. The project began in April this year when ten teams went to ten countries to gather ideas to change British architecture. Crane.tv interviewed the ten teams, including Aberrant Architecture and Smout Allen, to hear about their findings and their proposals for the future of British architecture. The exhibition will run in Venice until 25 November 2013 before relocating to London where it will be housed at RIBA from 25 February-27 April 2012.

Venice Biennale 2012: Arum / Zaha Hadid

06:04 - 31 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Arum / Zaha Hadid, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

With their early work inspired by Russian Suprematism, Zaha Hadid Architects’ pays homage to the historical lineages of collective research that has led to the major works of today’s contemporary architecture at the 2012 Venice Biennale with the installation ‘Arum’. The pleated metal structure is derived from the work of German architect Frei Otto, who paved the way for material-structural form-finding processes. This installation is a response to David Chipperfield’s belief that the theme of ‘Common Ground’ is meant to “reassert the existence of an architectural culture, made up not just of singular talents but a rich continuity of diverse ideas united in a common history.”

Venice Biennale 2012: Originaire / China Pavilion

18:00 - 30 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Originaire / China Pavilion, "Sequence" by Shao Weiping © Nico Saieh
"Sequence" by Shao Weiping © Nico Saieh

From the curator Fang Zhenning:

Koolhaas to be the Biennale's next Director?

17:49 - 30 August, 2012
Koolhaas to be the Biennale's next Director?

Hot on the heels of the Jencks Award, yet another accolade is rumored to be coming Rem Koolhaas‘ way. The claims are flying about the twitterverse: OMA’s Koolhaas will be the next Director of the Venice Biennale.

Venice Biennale 2012: CANCHA - Chilean Soilscapes / Chile Pavilion

17:30 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: CANCHA - Chilean Soilscapes / Chile Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Cancha is a pre-hispanic Quechuan word that indicates a void that enables connections with our ground as well as among people. In urban terms, it is similar to the Spanish Plaza Mayor – the word is used in South America to designate an open space where the harvest is measured and distributed. Cancha is also the field for the ancient game of Palín, traditional of the Chilean Mapuches. Then, Cancha is the word used to comprehend the Chilean Ground, a common ground, which is not urban but territorial.

Venice Biennale 2012: The Magnet and the Bomb / ELEMENTAL

17:00 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: The Magnet and the Bomb / ELEMENTAL, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

An installation highly commented by the visitors of the Vernissage of the Biennale. The Magnet and the Bomb presents two projects from the Chile based practice Elemental, lead by Alejandro Aravena. These projects are urban interventions that were required for specific social issues, that have required a common ground between several stakeholders. A ticking clock bomb counts down at the entrance of the exhibit, that will last the 100 days fo the Biennale, around the same time that both these projects took.

Venice Biennale 2012: Light Houses, On the Nordic Common Ground / Nordic Pavilion

14:30 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Light Houses, On the Nordic Common Ground / Nordic Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nordic Pavilion designed by Pritzker laureate Sverr Fehn in 1962, “Light Houses: On the Nordic Common Ground” invites 32 architects from Finland, Sweden and Norway born in that year to present a model of a conceptual house that reflects their philosophy. The models not only offer a visual proposal, but some also include smells, sounds or tactile experiences.

Kazuyo Sejima appointed as Rolex’s first architecture mentor

15:00 - 29 August, 2012
Kazuyo Sejima appointed as Rolex’s first architecture mentor, Kazuyo Sejima, Mentor © Takashi Okamoto
Kazuyo Sejima, Mentor © Takashi Okamoto

News from the 2012 Venice Biennale: Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been appointed as the first architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative – a unique program that pairs major artists with young talents. Recognized as “one of the most important creative disciplines”, architecture has added as the seventh category in the Rolex’s global philanthropy program, which already includes literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.

Venice Biennale 2012: Awards ceremony, big winners: Alvaro Siza, Japan and Urban Think Tank

12:50 - 29 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Awards ceremony, big winners: Alvaro Siza, Japan and Urban Think Tank, Urban Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, Golden Lion for International Exhibition
Urban Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, Golden Lion for International Exhibition

A few minutes ago we attended to the awards ceremony at the Biennale, after which it opened officially to the public (until Nov 25th).

Venice Biennale 2012: Venezuela Pavilion

20:00 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Venezuela Pavilion, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Venezuela’s participation at the 13th Venice Biennale is presented through a series of reflections about the urban situation – the city of the 21st century.

Venice Biennale 2012: Radix / Aires Mateus

18:00 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Radix / Aires Mateus, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

In the exteriors of the Arsenale we found Radix, the installation designed by Portuguese office Aires Mateus (Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus), an elegant contemporary response to the architectural setting of the Biennale.

Venice Biennale 2012: Dialogue in Details / Toshiko Mori

11:30 - 28 August, 2012
Venice Biennale 2012: Dialogue in Details / Toshiko Mori, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Curated by Toshiko Mori. All architecture must inevitably contend with history and gravity. These two forces are both fundamental and universal; to confront them is accordingly not only to take the crucial step in any attempt to reinvent the contemporary language of architect but to connect to a vast lineage of historical precedents, creating a platform for developing the discipline’s future as well as reflecting on its past. In Toshiko Mori’s case a series of dialogues with five American masters transpired from projects that required her to work next to, in addition to, or in reference to their creations.