The Venice Biennale – 15th International Architecture Exhibition – Opening

On the 26th and 27th of May the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice opened the doors of the halls and rooms of the Arsenale, with what appears to be a new mission, of a more concrete and humanist architecture in action as a tool of social and political life.

Stiamo ammirando la preview del padiglione del Belgio! #biennalearchitettura2016 #LaBiennalediVenezia #architecture #igersfvg @valeercole

Una foto pubblicata da ? ???Constraint Magazine (@constraint.mag) in data:

No longer just an exhibition for professionals only, or exposure for architects and artists, but international opportunity for dialogue and to have a comparison of strong and compelling themes related to architecture. “You have to speak to the audience,” says Paolo Baratta, the Biennale president “to all possible decision-makers and agents of the actions with which it realizes the space of our lives, individually and as a community. If the architecture is the most political of the Arts, The Architecture Biennale can only recognize it.”

Representing the Biennale, the curator and Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, chooses in this regard an evocative image: the archaeologist Maria Reiche, the lady on the scale that reaching the summit can take advantage of a wider horizon and thereby conquering his “expanded eye “, a differe vision and one that is more complete, almost a look at the optimistic future and eager for positive change.

archeologa Maria Reiche, la signora sulla scala che arrivando in cima può sfruttare un più vasto orizzonte e così facendo conquista un suo “expanded eye”
L’ archeologa Maria Reiche, la signora sulla scala che arrivando in cima può sfruttare un più vasto orizzonte e così facendo conquista un suo “expanded eye”.

The themes that want to deal with “Reporting from the front,” the title of the Biennale this year, have been deliberately extended and no longer are they only concerned with art and culture, but range from issues related to new migrations, quality of life, the right to urban space, to the suburbs, to talk about pollution, traffic, waste and environmental sustainability.

In addition to the 64 pavilions of countries from around the world, these important issues will be addressed in various shows (Three pavilions dedicated to special projects: Reporting from Marghera and other Waterfronts, A World of Fragile Parts, Urban Age), events that will throughout Venice and Meetings with architects-authors dedicated to the public once a month, for the entire duration of the Biennale, to “share knowledge and exchange experiences.”

For the Gardens we would like to point out:

Pavilion of Spain, with its exhibition Unfinished has won this year’s Golden Lion, a must visit.

SPAINLAB – Cada Loco con su Tema – Presentation Video from SpainLab on Vimeo.

Pavilion of Denmark with the exhibition Art of many and the Right to Space, a pavilion set up with projects of more than 70 Danish architectural firms. They want to make the architecture something really special, and give evidence of a deep social commitment (in Denmark there is a movement for the house that seeks to ensure equal access to a housing at reasonable prices). Take a walk in the pavilion of scaffolding, ladders, and see up close all 130 interesting projects put on display.

Exit Utopia, Gellerupparken
Exit Utopia, Gellerupparken

Pavilion of Belgium with the Bravoure exposition, for the message it brings to our attention, “because in times of scarcity imagination is in danger. While the imagination is precisely the opportunity to find bargains in scarcity. Bravoure through scarcity is BEAUTY. It is an appeal to consider the universal dimension of architecture as the art of thinking by doing. ”

 BRAVOURE, Filip Dujardin, untitled from series Fictions, 2007
BRAVOURE, Filip Dujardin, untitled from series Fictions, 2007 via

What not to miss the Arsenal:
Turkey, Darzanà: Two Arsenals, A vessel. Visit it because the last galley Bastarda created in the pavilion is incredible. Ship in actual size made entirely with waste materials found in the old arsenal of Istanbul and brought to Venenzia, to suggest a new Mediterranean connection.

Darzanà. Foto di Cemal Emdem
Darzanà. Foto di Cemal Emdem

Singapore, now considered one of the most livable cities in the world, at the Biennale with his installation of raw glass lanterns Space to imagine, Room for Everyone. You can walk through a room lit by lanterns made of glass off the man’s height ceilings that create an almost mystical effect. They represent the “Homes of Singapore”, a photographic journey with images collected over a period of three years to portray the diversity, culture, individuality, creativity and colors within the tenements.

Impression of the image lanterns at the Singapore pavilion (© Red Bean Architects)
Impression of the image lanterns at the Singapore pavilion (© Red Bean Architects)

Now Sarajevo: People’s museum, to reach the Hall of Sarajevo you will be ferried to the channel there as Charon, and just for that it deserves. The exhibition highlights the changes of a post-war Sarajevo (Arsenal North, Tesa 100, collateral event, until the 1st of July).

Baier Bischofberger

Data on the Architecture Biennale 2016

  • It is the largest international architectural event in the world with over 60 pavilions
  • It takes place from May 28th to November 27th, 2016 in Venice (Giardini and Arsenale in particular)
  • The first Biennale of Architecture in Venice took place in 1980
  • This year’s theme is reporting from the front
  • The curator of this 15th International Architecture Exhibition is the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena
  • Major prizes awarded this year: the XV Biennale Golden Lion awarded to the Spanish pavilion curated by Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintans; Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement “for his attention to the community” assigned to the Brazilian Paulo Mendes da Rocha; Golden Lion for best designer at the Paraguayan architect Solano Benitez.
  • More info devoted to the Biennale are available on the website: