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Venice Biennale 2020: The Latest Architecture and News

2021 Venice Biennale Comes to an End with New Themes, Materials, and Responses to Global Challenges

Despite a year-long postponement and strict pandemic regulations, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia has finally come to an end with over 300,000 visitors, exceeding the previous edition. Titled "How Will We Live Together", the 2021 edition of the event featured 112 participants and 60 national participations hailing from 46 countries, displayed across the Giardini, Arsenale, and the streets of Venice from May 22nd to November 21st, 2021. UAE's Wetland by curators Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto took home the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, for presenting an innovative contextual alternative to cement, one of the key emitters of the world's carbon dioxide.

Italian Pavilion: Resilient Communities. Image © ArchDailyUAE Pavilion Wetland. Image © Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITEGrand Duchy of Luxembourg: Homes for Luxembourg by LUCA Luxemburg Center for Architecure (Andrea Rumpf). Image © Laurian GhinitoiuSerbian Pavilion . Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 12

Leonmarcial's Installation at the Venice Biennale 2021 Celebrates the Dialogue Between Architecture and the Environment

© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera
© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera

© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera© Lucho Marcial and Gregori Civera+ 25

Peruvian architectural firm leonmarcial arquitectos has been invited to take part of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale with an installation at the Arsenale as part of the "As New Households” exhibition space. Titled Interwoven, the installation encourages the action of sharing and celebrates the exchange between homes and their environments through architecture.

UAE / Wetland Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2021 Venice Biennale

The United Arab Emirates has won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2021 Venice Biennale, with its contribution entitled Wetland curated by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto. Selected by a jury that consists of Kazuyo Sejima (president-Japan), Sandra Barclay (Peru), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Lesley Lokko (Ghana-Scotland), and Luca Molinari (Italy), the winning contribution at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale explores the local geography of the United Arab Emirates to find alternatives to cement, one of the key emitters of the world's carbon dioxide.

The award ceremony, broadcasted live on the Biennale’s official page also presented the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition How will we live together? to RAUMLABORBERLIN- Instances of Urban Practice while the Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition How will we live together? went to Border Ecologies and the Gaza Strip- Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST). Other recognitions included a special mention for the national participation of the Philippines and Russia, and to Cave_bureau for the Anthropocene Museum: Exhibit 3.0 Obsidian Rain.

© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE© Frederico Torra for PLANE-SITE+ 20

Renovation of Russian Federation Pavilion at Venice Biennale / KASA / Kovaleva&Sato Architects

© Marco CappellettiCourtesy of KASA© Marco Cappelletti© Marco Cappelletti+ 35

Venice, Italy

Could Volcanic Rock Be the Latest Material to Help Us Combat Climate Change?

Climatic conditions throughout the world are changing and with extreme temperatures and scarce resources becoming the norm, architectural materials and techniques are having to innovate to prepare for the future.

'Carbon to Rock' is an installation by IGNEOUS TECTONICS (Cristina Parreño and Sergio Araya) being presented in the 2021 Venice Biennale that highlights volcanic rock as a promising material in the global push to mitigate climate change. 

Open Air: New Ways We Can Live Together in Nature

“We need a new spatial contract." This is the call of Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Venice Biennale 2021, as an invitation for architects to imagine new spaces in which we can live together. Between a move towards urban flight and global housing crises, the growth of more low-rise, dense developments may provide an answer in the countryside. Turning away from single family homes in rural areas and suburbs, modern housing projects are exploring new models of shared living in nature.

© Shu He© HG Esch© Christian Wöckinger© Dio Guna Putra+ 13

More from the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale Exhibitions

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale invited architects to ponder the question “How will we live together”, eliciting various answers and interpretations. The International Exhibition unfolding in Giardini, the Arsenale and Forte Maghera presents 113 participants in the competition, coming from 46 countries, whose contributions are organized into five scales: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet. The following participants explore a variety of subjects, prompting a holistic re-evaluation of the collective in relationship with issues ranging from the urban and natural environment to climate action or the relationship with other species.

ANTARCTIC RESOLUTION by Giulia Foscari / UNLESS. Image Courtesy of UNLESS ©️ Delfino Sisto LegnaniBeirut Shifting Grounds by Sandra Frem and Boulos Douaihy. Image © Carla AramounyAlive: A New Spatial Contract for Multispecies Architecture by The Living. Image Courtesy of The LivingTHE HAND OF A DEAD MAN exhibition by SKULL studio. Image © BoysPlayNice+ 31

Architecture of Transitions: BAAG's Installation for the 2021 Venice Biennale

Arquitectura de las Transiciones. Image Cortesía de BAAG
Arquitectura de las Transiciones. Image Cortesía de BAAG

Una Casa . Image Cortesía de BAAGCasa Scout. Image Cortesía de BAAGJuana Azurduy 1635. Image Cortesía de BAAGAráoz 967. Image Cortesía de BAAG+ 20

Can architecture foster better relationships between people, creating an equalized and respectful use of space? Can tools be designed that strengthen the bonds between humans and objects? BAAG (Buenos Aires Arquitectura Grupal) studio explores the architectural elements that mediate between people and objects, the natural and artificial, public and private, individual and collective, and humans and other living things.

Flocking Tejas: BASE Studio's Exhibit for the Venice Biennale 2021

How does systemic thinking and generative design contribute to new forms of convivence? Can they become tools to connect tradition and identity in a modern way? Can they help to design customizable architectural strategies that offer locally accessible solutions? Can they contribute to the creation of dignified spatial experiences that can be replicated on a mass scale? 

Miralles Tagliabue EMBT Presents The Design Process of ‘Plateau Central’ Masterplan at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Benedetta Tagliabue - Miralles Tagliabue EMBT participates in the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale with an installation detailing the design thinking behind Plateau Central Masterplan at Clichy-Montfermeil, Paris. Entitled Living within a Market - Outside space is also Home, the exhibition showcases a series of models, drawings, prototypes and collages which illustrate the principles of community building and social integration that underline the project. The installation also brings to Venice a display structure designed by Enric Miralles in 1996, reproduced for the first time this year for the Miralles series of exhibitions in Barcelona.

© Marzia Faranda© Marzia Faranda© Marzia Faranda© Marzia Faranda+ 21

SOM Presents Vision of Lunar Settlements at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Invited to participate in the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) exhibits Life Beyond Earth, a vision for a Moon Village. Developed together with the European Space Agency (ESA), the installation presents a proposal for a sustainable ecosystem that would support human presence on the Moon, exploring the opportunity of expanding the scope of architecture. The project reaffirms the importance of space exploration while also highlighting its potential to advance knowledge that would help address issues on Earth.

Courtesy of Skidmore Owings and Merrill© Laurian GhinitoiuCourtesy of Skidmore Owings and MerrillCourtesy of Skidmore Owings and Merrill+ 9

AAU ANASTAS Explores Stone's Potential for Contemporary Design at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Having been invited to participate in the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, architecture and design practice AAU ANASTAS presents the exhibition All-Purpose, which translates the craftmanship of stone into a new form of contemporary architecture. Exhibited within the Giardini, the structure featuring an undulating parametrised stone slab supported by thin, slender columns is a material exploration that builds on the Palestinian construction tradition to create a new architectural discourse around stone.

Courtesy of AAU ANASTAS© Antonio OttomanelliCourtesy of AAU ANASTASCourtesy of AAU ANASTAS+ 18

"Blurring Out Boundaries Between Domestic and Institution": In Conversation with Korean Pavilion Curator Hae-Won Shin at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale is currently unfolding, and its 60 national pavilions reveal a wide range of answers to the question "How will we live together". This year's edition restates the Biennale's role as a platform for inquiry, prompting a collective re-evaluation of pressing issues such as migration, inequality, climate change or the role of technology. While in Venice, Archdaily met virtually within the Korean pavilion with curator Hae-Won Shin, as the pandemic prevented the exhibition's creators to be present at the Biennale. The conversation explored the thinking behind "Future School" and how it creates a framework for collective learning and exploration.

Portugal Explores the Democratic Role of Public Space at the Venice Biennale 2021

In Conflict, the Portuguese Official Representation at the 17th Architecture International Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2021, is co-curated by Carlos Azevedo, João Crisóstomo, and Luís Sobral of depA architects, and Miguel Santos. The exhibition addresses public spaces as arenas of conflict, understood as the action of opposing forces translated as dissension. In Conflict responds directly to the question 'How will we live together?' posed by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Biennale Architettura, and is based on seven architectural processes involving collective dwellings that were the subjects of broad media coverage and public involvement.

© José Campos© José Campos© José Campos© José Campos+ 15

Meet the Full List of the 60 National Pavilions at the Venice Biennale 2021

Due to the complex worldwide pandemic situation that erupted in 2020, the Venice Biennale 2020 declared a one-year postponement. Finally, the Venice Biennale 2021 will be holding the 17° International Architecture Exhibition —How will we live together?— curated by Hashim Sarkis, from May 22 to November 21, 2021.

The 2021 edition of La Biennale di Venezia also includes 112 participants in competition from 46 countries, with 60 national participants in the Giardini, at the Arsenale, and in the historic city center of Venice, Italy. Moreover, the international exhibition welcomes three countries, being part of the most important architectural biennale of the world for the first time: Grenada, Iraq, and Uzbekistan.

Korea (Republic of). Image © Ugo CarmeniSpain. Image © Dima StouhiTurkey. Image © Dima StouhiUnited States. Image © Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner+ 413

"We are Not the Protagonists, Architecture is Just the Background": In Conversation with Alejandro Aravena

The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale invited architects to ponder the question “How will we live together”, eliciting a variety of answers, readings and interpretations. The International Exhibition unfolding in Giardini, the Arsenale and Forte Maghera presents 112 participants in the competition, coming from 46 countries, whose contributions are organized into five scales: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, and As One Planet. Answering “How will we live together as a community? “ is Chilean office ELEMENTAL and Archdaily met in Venice with Alejandro Aravena to discuss the idea behind the project KOYAÜWE, which creates a space that recovers the tradition of parleys, as a means to address the historical Chilean-Mapuche conflict.

© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi+ 8