Venice Architecture Biennale returns: what's new in this edition

From May 26 to November 25, 2018, Venice will host the 16th edition of the Architecture Biennale. In the article the new features of this edition.

Starting May 26, 2018, the Architecture Biennale will return to Venice: now in its sixteenth edition, the international exhibition will close its doors on November 25, 2018.

The beating heart of the event will be the Central Pavilion at the Giardini and the Arsenale: here 71 architects from all over the world will present to the public their interpretations related to the theme that curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have chosen as this edition’s Manifesto.

A common thread for all participants is FREESPACE, or space understood as free and unfettered; the sense of humanity and generosity that architecture should place at the forefront.

Participants will offer visitors proposals and elements of works intended to model the essential qualities of architecture: the modulation, richness and materiality of surfaces, the orchestration and sequential arrangement of movement, revealing the multiple potentialities of architecture.

Regarding the Manifesto and the meaning of the word FREESPACE, the curators said they were “delighted with the global commitment of the invited architects and participating countries to its translation process. When we wrote the Manifesto, we wanted it to contain above all the word space. We also wanted to unearth new ways of using everyday words that could somehow lead us all to rethink the additional contribution we, as professionals, can make to humanity. For us, architecture is the translation of necessity - in the broadest meaning of the word - into meaningful space. As we attempt to translate FREESPACE into one of the world’s many beautiful languages, we hope it will unlock the ’gift’ that architectural invention has the potential to bestow with every project. Translation allows us to map and rename intellectual and real territory. Our hope is that the word FREESPACE will allow us to probe the aspirations, ambitions and generosity of architecture.”

In addition to the 71 participants, there will be another 16 under the special section"Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects" that focused on reflecting on well-known projects from the past, and another 12 participants under the other special section"The Practice of Teaching" with works developed in the practice of teaching.

The 2018 Architecture Biennale will also present two special projects: the Forte Marghera Special Project in Mestre, curated by Farrell and McNamara, for which architects Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson have created an installation that will also be used to host events scheduled at Forte Marghera.
The Special Project at the Pavilion of Applied Arts, on the other hand, focuses on the future of social housing, presenting a fragment of the popular housing complex, Robin Hood Gardens, which was designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in East London. The project is curated by Christopher Turner and Olivia Horsfall Turner.

New this year will be the participation, in addition to the 63 national participations, of Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Pakistan and the Holy See, the latter with its own pavilion on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale is curated by Mario Cucinella and has the title Arcipelago Italia.

Throughout the entire period of the Architecture Biennale 2017 there will be a rich program of Meetings on Architecture and side events.

For more details:

Hours: Closed Mondays (excluding Mondays May 28, August 13, September 3 and November 19).
Gardens: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Arsenal: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Through Sept. 29 on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets: Full 25 euros, reduced 22/20 euros

Venice Architecture Biennale returns: what's new in this edition
Venice Architecture Biennale returns: what's new in this edition

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