Navigating around Venice where you’re here for just a few days can be quite a challenge, therefore My Art Guides team has selected 10 National Pavilions that you can’t miss at the 16th Venice Archictecture Biennale.
Indonesia: The Indonesian pavilion is most likely one of the most simple (and quiet) pavilions of the whole 16th Architecture Biennale, the installation consists in strips of white paper hanging from the ceiling and creating long curves all along the room. The aim of the pavilion is to go back to the basics of architecture, also highlighted in the title: “Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness”.
Argentina: An Instagram favorite, “Horizontal Vertigo”, is an invitation to rethink the Argentinian territory. It features an infinite pampas inside a long mirrored cube which aims at highlighting the relationship between geographical spaces, places and architecture.
Bahrain: Centered around the concept of the “Friday Sermon”, something that brings together people in public, it showcases both video and audio works. The structure which fills the pavilion creates an open square on the inside but, at the same time, being opaque from the outside, it highlights the lack of public spaces in the country.
Albania: The Pavilion’s installation is a sensorial experience which combines element aimed at involving all senses and at guiding the visitor in a journey that shows the true essence of Tirana, the country’s capital.
“Zero Space” is a place where cosmo and chaos are fused.
Belgium: The “Eurotopie” project confronts the major challenges and imperatives encountered by the European Union as it analyses its key territorial, physical and symbolic presence in Brussels.
Therefore the blue and white building seeks to create a great space for discussion, debate and commitment which appears to be lacking in the European sphere.
Nordic Countries: The Pavilion showcases an exhibition aimed at exploring the relationship between built environment and nature. The question is how can architecture facilitate the creation of a system that supports the co-existance of both. The spatial experience, titled “Another Generosity” created in the pavilion tries to bring higher awareness of the environment we live in,
Great Britain: The British Pavilion, which received the Special Mention by this year’s jury, has been completely emptied and covered in scaffolding in order to create a rooftop place “of both refuge and exile”.
“Island” is curated by Caruso St John and artist Marcus Taylor and it puts together themes of abandonment, reconstruction, sanctuary and Brexit with a programmed series of performances and debates.
Germany: The German pavilion marks the 28th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall and tries to imagine a borderless world. “Unbuilding Walls” presents and investigation on borders and divisions which characterize today’s world.
Holy See: The Vatican participates for the first time at the Venice Architecture Biennale and has invited ten architects to design and build ten chapels in a wooded area at the island of San Giorgio, just opposite San Marco. “Vatican Chapels” exhibitors include:Norman Foster, Teronobu Fujimori, Carla Juacaba and Eduardo Souto de Moura (awarded this year’s Golden Lion for his project in the Freespace main exhibition).
Golden Lion for Best National Participation:
Switzerland: “Svizzera 240: House Tour” is the winner of the 16th Golden Lion at the Architecture Biennale “for a compelling architectural installation that is at once enjoyable while tackling the critical issues of scale in domestic space”.
- Clockwise: Indonesia, Argentina, Albania, Bahrain at the Arsenale.
- Clockwise: Belgium, Nordic Countries, Germany and Great Britain at the Giardini.
- Holy See (top) and Switzerland.