Biennale Architettura 2018: "Freespace" in the spotlight

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition, titled FREESPACE and curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, organized by the Venice Biennale and chaired by Paolo Baratta, will be open to the public from Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, November 25, 2018, at the Giardini and Arsenale.

«With the aim of promoting the architecture "desire"», the President Baratta explains that this edition will focus on “Space, free space, public space”.

Besides the 71 participants, there will be the ones of two special sections: 16 participants in the section “Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects”, including projects based on well-known projects from the past; the second section, with 13 participants, entitled “The Practice of Teaching”, will collect works developed within teaching.

About these sections, the Curators explained they had discovered «invention and creativity on micro and macro scale: historical buildings renovated by the intelligence of architects; forgotten buildings revisited and brought back to life; transformative typologies of living; infrastructural needs translated into public and civic structures». Similarly, «an essential element for ensuring the continuity of tradition in architecture is the practice of teaching. Many invited professionals are active in teaching. The universe of making and building merges with the imagination, which is thus enhanced in the exhibition».

Moreover, there will be 7 countries present for the first time at the Architecture Biennale – Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, and the Holy See – while the Italian Pavilion, at the Tese delle Vergini in Arsenale – supported and promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, General Directorate for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries – will be curated by Mario Cucinella and will be entitled Arcipelago Italia.

International organizations and institutions will propose a series of Collateral Events, setting up their exhibitions and their initiatives in Venice, in conjunction with the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.

This year, the Special Projects of the Architecture Biennale will be two: the Special Project Forte Marghera in Mestre, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, consisting of an installation by the architects Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson; the Special Project at the Pavilion of Applied Arts, at the Arsenale's Arms Rooms, curated by Christopher Turner and Olivia Horsfall Turner who wonders about the future of social housing by presenting a fragment of the popular housing complex, Robin Hood Gardens, designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in East London and completed in 1972.

As moments of debate on the theme of FREESPACE, a series of Meetings on Architecture, curated by Farrell and McNamara, will mark the Biennale Architettura 2018.

Besides the Meetings, there will be contributions from the participating countries and a timetable of activities organized in collaboration with international institutions such as the London School of Economics/Cities and Alfred Herrhaussen Gesselschaft and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Finally, the Historical Archive of the Venice Biennale will present a study day on architecture in the archives. The detailed agenda of the activities will be available online within the next weeks.