Liquid Light by Flores & Prats, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Liquid Light by Flores & Prats, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Liquid Light by Flores & Prats, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Liquid Light’, the replica of Sala Beckettt by Flores & Prats. Photography by Adrià Goula.

Liquid Light by Flores & Prats, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Oxymoron by Sauerbruch Hutton. Photography by Jan Bitter.

"Somewhere Other" by John Wardle Architects Revealed at Venice Architecture Biennale | Yellowtrace

"Somewhere Other" by John Wardle Architects Revealed at Venice Architecture Biennale | Yellowtrace
‘Somewhere Other’ by John Wardle Architects. Photography by Peter Bennetts.

V&A Demolished Robin Hood Gardens, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

V&A Demolished Robin Hood Gardens, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
V&A museum has staged an exhibition in honour of the demolished project Robin Hood Gardens, including a series of photographs and films that offer a look at the building at different stages in its history.

Becoming at The Spanish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Becoming at The Spanish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Becoming’ at the Spanish Pavilion, curated by the architect Atxu Amann Photography by Ana Matos.

Vardiya The Shift at The Turkish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Vardiya The Shift at The Turkish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Vardiya The Shift at The Turkish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Vardiya (the Shift)’ at the Turkish Pavilion, curated by Kerem Piker. Photography by Emre Dorter.

Unbuilding Walls at The German Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Unbuilding Walls at The German Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Unbuilding Walls at The German Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Unbuilding Walls’ at the German Pavilion, curated by GRAFT and Marianne Birthler. Photography by Jan Bitter.

Cloud Pergola at The Croatian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Cloud Pergola’ at the Croatian Pavilion, curated by Bruno Juričić. Photography by Jan Stojkovic.

Mind Building at The Finnish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Mind Building’ at the Finnish Pavilion, curated by Dr Anni Vartola. Photography by Alexander Mayes.

 

Doesn’t it feel like everyone is in Europe at the moment and specifically, the ? If your mates are like mine, they’re probably pavilion-hopping in the Giardini, ambling through the Arsenale, zooming across the canals and sipping spritzes into the sunset. La dolce vita, indeed! But for the rest of us, we’re left to make sense of these experiences (and our intense fomo) through , reviews and articles. Yes it’s cold and no we can’t use the hashtag #myofficefortheday ironically, but we can still be in the know when it comes the foremost international architecture and urbanism event, can’t we?

Full disclosure, we haven’t been to the Biennale this year but not wanting to leave you high and dry, we’ve put together a review of some of the pavilions that piqued our interest. So instead of powering through prosecco, we’ve pored through press releases, reviews and surveyed numerous opinions to bring you this little event review. Go ahead and make yourself a spritz or better yet, a hot tea then settle in and enjoy!

This year marks the 16th International Architecture Biennale which has been curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects and organized Biennale chair Paolo Baratta. This year’s theme ‘Freespace’ focuses on the question of space, the quality of space, open and free space (quite broad, I know!). The curators explain that it celebrates “architecture’s proven and enduring contribution to humanity” and aims to go beyond the visual to emphasise the role of architecture in the choreography of daily life. 71 participants in an exhibiting or teaching capacity are involved in this year’s event and each have their own interpretation of the theme with varying levels of success.

 

Related:
Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.
All Articles Related to Venice Biennale.

 

Grassland Repair at The Australian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Grassland Repair at The Australian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Grassland Repair at The Australian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Grassland Repair at The Australian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Grassland Repair at The Australian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Repair’ by Baracco+Wright Architects and Linda Tegg at the Australian Pavilion. Photography by Rory Gardiner.

 

In the Australian Pavilion, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects present ‘Repair’ by creative Directors Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright of , in collaboration with artist . The multi-sensory installation gathers over 10,000 plants including a number of indigenous grassland species native to southeast Victoria. Although the plants abundantly snake through the exhibition, in reality, less than one percent of this grassland still exists in Australia when compared to the time of European settlement in 1788. The exhibit hopes to confront the impact the built environment can have on the natural environment and the consequences of this disregard. According to the curators, ‘Repair’ focuses on architecture that integrates built and natural systems to effect repair of the environment, and in so doing, mend or improve other societal, economic and cultural conditions.” This interpretation of ‘Freespace’ hopes to provoke new roles for the discipline, one where architecture is “among the many players it takes to restore something.”

 

Another Generosity at The Nordic Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Another Generosity at The Nordic Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Another Generosity at The Nordic Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Another Generosity’ at the Nordic Pavilion, curated by Eero Lundén and Juulia Kauste. Photography by Sergio Grazia.

 

The Nordic Pavilion also examines the potential for architecture to have a more symbiotic relationship with nature. ‘Another Generosity,’ curated by and Juulia Kauste, introduces four huge cell-like bubbles that inflate and deflate in response to surrounding conditions. The cells are fitted with sensors that monitor temperature, humidity and the level of carbon dioxide in the immediate environment; and so the cells expand, contract and change colour accordingly. Like humans, these forms are responsive, adaptive and as the curators explain, “they have a little bit of their own life…something that is close to an animal.” The exhibit playfully invites us to consider how we experience space and also urges us to re-establish our position towards nature.

 

Horizontal Vertigo at The Argentinian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Horizontal Vertigo at The Argentinian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Horizontal Vertigo at The Argentinian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Horizontal Vertigo at The Argentinian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Horizontal Vertigo at The Argentinian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Horizontal Vertigo’ at the Argentinian Pavilion, curated by Javier Mendiondo, Pablo Anzilutti, Francisco Garrido and Federico Cairoli. Photography by Federico Cairoli.

 

‘Horizontal Vertigo’ is presented in the Argentinian Pavilion and through the lens of ‘Freespace’ it explores the “cross-cutting dialogue between geography, place, and architecture.” A garden extends down the centre of the pavilion and is contained within a long mirror-lined box. The optic scheme challenges the spatial relationship between container and content “by confining the immensity of the landscape in a glass box” while also opening up new ways of perceiving space. Flanking this sculptural form is a series of sketches that illustrate some of the architecture produced since Argentina’s return to democracy in 1983 to now such as public parks, social infrastructure and other collective initiatives.

 

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘ReCasting’ by Alison Brooks Architects. Photography by Luke Hayes.

 

responds to this year’s theme by addressing urban dwellings with the exhibit titled ‘ReCasting.’ Four large-scale inhabitable totems have been created to interpret threshold, inhabited edge, passage and roof space. The architects explain that “each totem offers a particular spatial, emotional and sensory experience, harnessing the…specific qualities of light and volume. It has been this practice’s mission to reveal housing architecture’s civic role and its potential for meaningful, subjective experience.” Within each totem, mirrored surfaces and forced perspective are used to create expansive illusions and together the forms combine to create an amphitheatre and an informal gathering space.

 

Svizzera: 240 House Tour at The Swiss Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Svizzera: 240 House Tour at The Swiss Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Svizzera: 240 House Tour at The Swiss Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Svizzera: 240 House Tour at The Swiss Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Svizzera: 240 House Tour’ at the Swiss Pavilion, created by Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg and Ani Vihervaara. Photography by Christian Beutler.

 

Over at the Swiss Pavilion, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d totally botched the scale. But alas, Zurich based architects Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg and Ani Vihervaara created a series of unusually scaled rooms to accentuate the bland and commonplace interior design of rental properties. The exhibit ‘House Tour’ abnormally scales fittings such as windows, doors, cupboards and switches all of which usually fade into the background, to draw attention to their ingrained and standardised banality. The curators explain that they wanted “to bring this topic into architectural discourse. It’s just taken as given, and no one really questions why the walls are white, or the light switches are always the same.” With the manipulation of scale, we’re left to interrogate and hopefully move past these stale conventions.

 

Sunyata The Poetics of Emptiness at The Indonesian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Sunyata The Poetics of Emptiness at The Indonesian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Sunyata The Poetics of Emptiness at The Indonesian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Sunyata The Poetics of Emptiness at The Indonesian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness’ at the Indonesian Pavilion, commissioned by Indonesian Creative Agency and Indonesian Institute of Architects. Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu.

 

Let’s leap over to one of the more ephemeral exhibitions ‘Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness’ presented in the Indonesian Pavilion. Over 20 meter long strips of paper are hung from frames to form sweeping curves within the cavernous Arsenale building. Ary Indrayanto of architecture firm Aboday, along with five other curators, delve into ‘Sunyata’ or the concept of emptiness which is “strongly rooted in Indonesia’s Architecture.” Visitors are invited to experience this amorphic reality and interact with the scale, tactility and volume of spaces created. Indrayanto explains that the exhibit “provokes new possibilities in understanding architecture and… how future architecture in Indonesia can be.”

 

10 Chapels in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
10 Chapels in a Venice Forest Comprise The Vatican’s First Ever Biennale Contribution.

Sean Godsell, Australian Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Sean Godsell, Australia.

Francesco Cellini, Italy Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Francesco Cellini, Italy.

Teronobu Fujimori, Japan Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Teronobu Fujimori, Japan.

Eduardo Souto de Moura, Portugal Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Eduardo Souto de Moura, Portugal.

Norman Foster, United Kingdom Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Norman Foster, United Kingdom.

Norman Foster, United Kingdom Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Norman Foster, United Kingdom.

Flores & Prats, Padiglione Vaticano Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Flores & Prats, Padiglione Vaticano.

Flores & Prats, Padiglione Vaticano Chapel in a Venice Forest, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Chapel by Flores & Prats, Padiglione Vaticano. All photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu.

 

The Holy See (Vatican City) presents their first contribution to the Architecture Biennale with ‘Vatican Chapels’ – a series of shelters that reinterpret the meaning of the chapel in the 21st century. Dispersed in the isolated and tree-covered island of San Giorgio Maggiore, 10 new chapels have been designed by , , , , , , , Javier Corvalán, , Terunobu Fujimori and who designed the Asplund Chapel. The chapels symbolize the Ten Commandments and dwell on orientation, encounter, meditation and salutation. After the Biennale they will be relocated to sites around the world.

 

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition runs from May 26th to November 25th 2018 in the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and in other locations in Venice.

 

Related:
Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.
All Articles Related to Venice Biennale.

 

Danish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Danish Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
Danish Pavilion celebrated collaborative innovation with projects by BIG, praksis arkitekter, CITA, and vandkunsten. Photography by Rasmus Hjortshøj.

Greek Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Greek Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘The School of Athens’ at the Greek Pavilion, curated by Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser. Photography by Ugo Carmeni.

Dutch Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace

Dutch Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 | Yellowtrace
‘WORK, BODY, LEISURE’ at the Dutch Pavilion, commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut and curated by Marina Otero Verzier. Photography by Daria Scagliola.

 


[Photography credits noted.]

 

About The Author

Fenina Acance

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

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