The Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, headquarters of the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation since 1957, is the stage of one of the world’s most important art exhibitions: the Bienal de São Paulo. Designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, the pavilion is a heritage-listed building (compresp, condephaat and iphan) under trust to the Bienal Foundation through a loan-for-use agreement with City Hall.
The pavilion is located inside the Ibirapuera Park: inaugurated in 1954 for the 400th anniversary of the city, with buildings designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape by agronomist Otávio Agusto de Teixeira Mendes, the park covers an area of almost 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi).
A crucial aspect of the 31st Bienal is the way the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion is understood as divided into different areas, each with its own architectural logic and particular qualities. The ground floor is called Park, and is connected and opened up to the surrounding landscape, to become a space for reception, events and meetings.
The Ramp adapts to the verticality and the circulation of the pavilion’s main access route (the ramp) to create a series of curvaceous spaces linked by a monumental spiral. Here, the artworks and projects are shown without enclosing rooms, and are related to each other both vertically and horizontally.
The Columns articulates the largest continuous space of the pavilion on the second floor, dividing it into densities with areas of light and shadow, or sound and silence, that create an interplay of experiences.
A small, central area isolates some singular artistic statements and the three different areas from each other.