It's almost here! The 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, “FREESPACE”, will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday, May 26. From then until November 25, there will be plenty to see and do at the Biennale grounds — and around already-bustling Venice as well. Planning on going and not entirely sure where to start? Afraid you might've forgotten to include something in your Biennale itinerary? Bustler rounded up a selection of national pavilions and events that we recommend checking out. Read on for our top picks.
And if this is your first time attending the Biennale, prepare for your trip with Archinect's Venice Architecture Biennale for Beginners guide!
Spectres of the State Avant-garde puts on exhibit dislocated time; pasts, which were not systematically gathered or categorized, are summoned, while at the same time new possibilities for the future sought. The Korean Pavilion focuses on the contradictions and paradoxes that are embedded in the Korea Engineering Consultants Corp (KECC) projects from the 1960s.
From sports matches, religious events and concentration camp, the exhibition recreates and revisits the stadium’s freespace condition, congregating dissimilar groups and serving unlikely purposes. This is the story told through a drawing from an event of the past, which foresaw the present of a city within a building.
The exhibition explores the development of Finnish library architecture through architectural samples and their historical and theoretical context. Simultaneously, it looks towards libraries of the future with the new Helsinki Central Library designed by ALA Architects due to open in December 2018. The exhibition also includes a usable library space installation, which transforms the Alvar Aalto Pavilion of Finland into a temporary library space.
Commissioned by the British Council, the design for “Island”, the British pavilion for the 2018 Venice Biennale, responds to the theme of FREESPACE through the construction of a new public space on the roof of the original building. There are many ways to interpret the experience of visiting Island. An island can be a place of both refuge and exile. The state of the building, which is completely covered with scaffolding to support the new platform above, suggests many themes; including climate change, abandonment, colonialism, Brexit, isolation, reconstruction and sanctuary.
The U.S. Pavilion explores seven spatial scales: Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos. Commissioned installations by architects, landscape architects, artists, and theorists investigate spaces of citizenship marked by histories of inequality and the violence imposed on people, non-human actors, and ecologies.
In response to current debates on on nations, protectionism and division, GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will take the parallel as an opportunity to explore the effects of division and the process of healing as a dynamic spatial phenomenon. Taking the experience of the inner-German wall as a starting point, the exhibition will also examine historical as well as current barriers, fences and walls beyond Germany’s specific national perspective.
The traditional Mediterranean typology is transformed into an installation that crosses the boundaries of architecture, art, engineering, robotic fabrication and computational models. Cloud Pergola is the place where Mediterranean architecture becomes an unprecedented landscape of the future.
The exhibition depicts the countryside of contemporary China through six episodes. With poetical dwelling, local producing, cultural practice, agricultural tourism, community building and future exploring, the exhibition outlines a FREESPACE for opportunity and anticipates future development. The exhibition returns to the countryside where Chinese culture originated to recover forgotten values and overlooked possibilities.
The pavilion is based on the “woodland chapel”, built in 1920 by architect Gunnar Asplund in the Cemetery of Stockholm. To help visitors understand this choice, an exhibit space has been set up at the entrance of the pavilion of the Holy See, displaying the drawings and model of Asplund’s chapel. This theme was proposed to ten architects, who were invited to each build one of the ten Vatican chapels, gathered in the wooded area in the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.
A ritual and space organized by oratory practice, the Friday Sermon has historically played an important role in the shaping of collective life, public opinion and common space for Muslim communities. To this day, the sites of the Friday sermon create a network of public spaces temporarily activated through mass assembly. While they’re not quite sites of debate, they represent the most visible expression of public gathering across the Arab world.
The exhibition explores the complex mechanism of the Status Quo, which functions as an informal and fragile, system of coexistence within shared holy places. Through five case studies, it follows the processes through which monumental sites are shaped. It suggests not only the instrumental use of architecture to lay claims in conflicts but also its capacity to negotiate between different identities through spatial occurrences and programmatic possibilities.
The pavilion highlights how the country's architects and urban planners are coming up with unique solutions to create delightful spaces that help enhance everyday life. It features 12 Singapore-based projects that draw inspiration from nature and “turn constraints into possibilities”. With these projects, the Singapore Pavilion team wants to share their country's design approaches with other cities that are dealing with similar challenges.
The exhibition explores the different forms of creativity and responsibility that architecture has in response to emerging technologies in automation. The exhibition examines historical and present-day case studies in Rotterdam, as well as utopian and dystopian visions of a society where full automation is the norm.
Organized by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe with the support of Creative Europe, the YTAA distinguishes top-notch graduation projects from European architecture, urban planning and landscape schools — with China and South Korea participating as guest countries. The exhibition will showcase the projects of the eight finalists and four winners of the competition. The winners will be recognized during an award ceremony in September.
Renowned international sound artist Bill Fontana, through high-resolution media artwork, explores many of the important types of renewable energy systems from a variety of geographic locations which celebrate the visually and sonically compelling aspects of these systems where the Earth is both client and architect.
The new exhibition project Borghi of Italy – NO(F)EARTHQUAKE is dedicated to seismic preparedness, to securing the artistic and architectural heritage of our country as well as the revitalization of the architecturally symbolic places: Italian villages.
The RCR studio was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2017. In the light of this international recognition, we present an exhibition that introduces Rafael, Carme and Ramon's most intimate universe. In Venice, for the first time ever, we are presenting the dreams of RCR.
On this journey of discovery, we will encounter philosophers and anthropologists, writers, musicians and artists, comparatists and social researchers. By discussing their work and its link to architecture, the Salon Suisse will open new perspectives, not only on the potentials of architecture in the 21st century, but also on the hidden connections that have always existed among the different disciplines.
The fourth edition of “TIME SPACE EXISTENCE” presents a wide selection of works from architects, photographers, sculptors and universities from all over the world. What they have in common is their dedication to architecture in the broadest sense of their profession. The exhibition shows a vast spectrum of presentations (models, concepts, research outcomes, thoughts, dreams and ideas), placing classical architectural installations in dialogue with surprising artistic elements.
For more Venice Biennale events, click here.
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