The 2016 Venice Biennale is off to a positive start with the announcement of the National Participation winners during opening inauguration this past Saturday. Throughout the Biennale grounds, 63 countries are showcasing their unique architectural responses to the 2016 theme “Reporting from the Front”. After evaluations, the 2016 jury — which includes President of the Jury Hashim Sarkis (Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA) — decided which countries had the most outstanding exhibits.
Spain scored the Golden Lion for Best National Participation with “Unfinished”. This year's top winners also include Japan, Peru, Gabinete de Arquitectura, NLÉ, and Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.
Last but not least, Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha was presented with the honorable 2016 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
Read on for a little more about the winning participants.
Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Spain - “Unfinished”
Commissioner: Iñaqui Carnicero + Carlos Quintans
Curator: Carnicero + Quintans
Exhibitor: Contemporary Spanish Architecture
The jury selected Spain's “Unfinished” for being “a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.”
Special Mention: Japan - “en : art of nexus”
Commissioner: The Japan Foundation
Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana
Exhibitors: Seiichi Hishikawa, mnm (Mio Tsuneyama), Osamu Nishida+Erika Nakagawa(Osamu Nishida, Erika Nakagawa, Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma, Yuri Naruse), Naka Architects’ Studio (Toshiharu Naka, Yuri Uno), Nousaku Architects (Fuminori Nousaku, Junpei Nousaku), miCo. (Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara), Levi Architecture (Jun Nakagawa), Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (Shingo Masuda, Katsuhisa Otsubo), Koji Aoki Architects (Koji Aoki), 403architecture [dajiba] (Takuma Tsuji, Takeshi Hashimoto, Toru Yada), BUS (Satoru Ito, Kosuke Bando, Issei Suma), dot architects (Toshikatsu Ienari, Takeshi Shakushiro, Wataru Doi).
Japan received a Special Mention for “bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting.”
Special Mention: Peru - “Our Amazon Frontline”
Commissioner: José Orrego
Curators: Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse
Exhibitors: Elizabeth Añaños; Sebastián Cillóniz; Claudia Flores; Jose Luis Villanueva; Militza Carrillo, Gino Fernández; Miguel Chávez, Alvaro Echevarría, Alfonso Orbegoso; Karel van Oordt, Daizuke Izumi, Alejandro Torero; Carlos Tamayo; Luis Miguel Hadzich
Peru received a Special Mention for “bringing architecture to a remote corner of the world, making it both a venue for learning as well as a means for preserving the culture of the Amazon.”
Golden Lion for the Best Participant: Gabinete de Arquitectura (Solano Benítez; Gloria Cabral; Solanito Benítez - Paraguay)
The Gabinete de Arquitectura team won for “harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities.”
Silver Lion for a promising young participant award: NLÉ (Kunlé Adeyemi – The Netherlands)
NLÉ received the Silver Lion award for “a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education.”
Special Mention to a Participant: Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Italy)
Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo from Italy was distinguished with a Special Mention for “her perseverance in using the rigors of her discipline to elevate the everyday into timeless works of architecture.”
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