Archilovers: Awards of the 15th Architecture Biennale

The international Jury of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia has conferred the awards last Saturday May 28th 2016 at the Biennale headquarters, Ca’ Giustinian.

The Jury was composed of Hashim Sarkis (President of the Jury, Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA).

The Spanish Pavilion curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns


You can see below all the winners and the Special mentions. The five members of Jury of awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Unfinished in the Pavilion of Spain (Giardini) ‘for a concisely curated selection of emerging architects, whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints’.

Pavilion of Japan, curated by Yoshiyuki Yamana


Two National Participations received Special Mentions: en: art of nexus in the Pavilion of Japan (Giardini) ‘for bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting’; and Our Amazon Frontline in the Pavilion of Peru (Arsenale) ‘for bringing architecture to a remote corner of the world, making it both a venue for learning as well as a means for preserving the culture of the Amazon’.

The Peruvian pavilion, curated by Barclay & Crousse


Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ, The Netherlands) was awarded the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant ‘for a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education’.

The floating wood-framed school that he built in Venice (Gaggiandre, Arsenale), referring  to his Makoko Floating School (Nigeria, 2013), will be dismantled after the exhibition and shipped to Nigeria.

Floating School in Venice by NLÉ


Silver Lion for a promising young participant to NLÉ(Kunlé Adeyemi – Waterfront) ‘for a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education’.

Breaking the siege by Gabinete de Arquitectura


Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the 15th Exhibition REPORTING FROM THE FRONT to Gabinete de Arquitectura (Solano Benítez; Gloria Cabral; Solanito Benítez – Paraguay) ‘for harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities’ in the Breaking the siege project.


Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Italy) was awarded a Special Mention as a Participant for ‘her perseverance in using the rigours of her discipline to elevate the everyday into timeless works of architecture’ in Her small-scale work in Sicily Onore perduto (Central Pavilion, Giardini).

Onore perduto by Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo 


The Board of Directors of the Venice Biennale awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Brazil) on the recommendation Alejandro Aravena, director of the 15th International Art Exhibition.