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Bustler Winning participants revealed

Bustler: Winning participants revealed

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The 2016 Venice Biennale is off to a positive start with the announcement of the National Participation winners during opening inauguration this past Saturday. Throughout the Biennale grounds, 63 countries are showcasing their unique architectural responses to the 2016 theme “Reporting from the Front”. After evaluations, the 2016 jury — which includes President of the Jury Hashim Sarkis (Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA) — decided which countries had the most outstanding exhibits.

Spain scored the Golden Lion for Best National Participation with “Unfinished”. This year’s top winners also include Japan, Peru, Gabinete de Arquitectura, NLÉ, and Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.

Last but not least, Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha was presented with the honorable 2016 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

Read on for a little more about the winning participants.

Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Spain – “Unfinished”. Photo via La Biennale di Venezia.

Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Spain – “Unfinished”
Commissioner: Iñaqui Carnicero + Carlos Quintans
Curator: Carnicero + Quintans
Exhibitor: Contemporary Spanish Architecture

The jury selected Spain’s “Unfinished” for being “a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.”

Special Mention: Japan – “en : art of nexus”. Photo via La Biennale di Venezia.

Special Mention: Japan – “en : art of nexus”
Commissioner: The Japan Foundation
Curator: Yoshiyuki Yamana
Exhibitors: Seiichi Hishikawa, mnm (Mio Tsuneyama), Osamu Nishida+Erika Nakagawa(Osamu Nishida, Erika Nakagawa, Naruse Inokuma Architects (Jun Inokuma, Yuri Naruse), Naka Architects’ Studio (Toshiharu Naka, Yuri Uno), Nousaku Architects (Fuminori Nousaku, Junpei Nousaku), miCo. (Mizuki Imamura, Isao Shinohara), Levi Architecture (Jun Nakagawa), Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (Shingo Masuda, Katsuhisa Otsubo), Koji Aoki Architects (Koji Aoki), 403architecture [dajiba] (Takuma Tsuji, Takeshi Hashimoto, Toru Yada), BUS (Satoru Ito, Kosuke Bando, Issei Suma), dot architects (Toshikatsu Ienari, Takeshi Shakushiro, Wataru Doi).

Japan received a Special Mention for “bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting.”

Special Mention: Peru – “Our Amazon Frontline”. Photo via La Biennale di Venezia.

Special Mention: Peru – “Our Amazon Frontline”
Commissioner: José Orrego
Curators: Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse
Exhibitors: Elizabeth Añaños; Sebastián Cillóniz; Claudia Flores; Jose Luis Villanueva; Militza Carrillo, Gino Fernández; Miguel Chávez, Alvaro Echevarría, Alfonso Orbegoso; Karel van Oordt, Daizuke Izumi, Alejandro Torero; Carlos Tamayo; Luis Miguel Hadzich

Peru received a Special Mention 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.”

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Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award in 2016

Golden Lion for Best National Participation – SPAIN

Spain has been awarded the Golden Lion for best pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, for the exhibition ‘Unfinished’ ; Gabinete de Arquitectura has been awarded the prize for best exhibition.

‘Unfinished’, Pavilion of Spain:
Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award 2016 Pavilion of Spain
photo © Fernando Maquieira

Unfinished_Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award 2016 Pavilion of Spain
photo © Fernando Maquieira

The Spanish Pavilion was curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero, co-founder of Rica Studio, and Carlos Quintáns.

Spanish Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2016:
Venice Biennale Pavilion Golden Lion Award 2016

The international Jury of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia composed of Hashim Sarkis (President of the Jury, Lebanon, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italy), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brazil), and Karen Stein (USA) has decided to confer the awards as follows:

Golden Lion for Best National Participation

SPAIN
UNFINISHED
Commissioner: Iñaqui Carnicero + Carlos Quintans.
Curator: Carnicero + Quintans
Exhibitor: Contemporary Spanish Architecture.
Venue: Giardini

Spanish Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016:
Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award 2016 Pavilion

Two special mentions have been awarded to the following National Participations:

Archilovers Awards

Archilovers: Awards of the 15th Architecture Biennale

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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.

Venice Biennale 2016 Gabinete de Arquitectura and the Spanish Pavilion Win Golden Lion

Venice Biennale 2016: Gabinete de Arquitectura and the Spanish Pavilion Win Golden Lion Awards

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The five members of international Jury of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition today 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’.

The Spanish Pavilion “Unfinished”. Photograph © Stefan Tuchila

The Spanish Pavilion was curated by architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns. Photograph courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

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 work of Gabinete de Arquitectura. Photograph courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

The Golden Lion for the Best Participant was awarded to Gabinete de Arquitectura (Central Pavilion, Giardini) for ‘harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to under-served communities’.

Floating School in Venice by NLÉ. Photograph © Stefan Tuchila

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), similar to his Makoko Floating School (Lagos, Nigeria, 2013), will be dismantled after the exhibition and shipped to Nigeria.

Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Italy) received 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’. Her small-scale work in Sicily (Central Pavilion, Giardini) emphatically rejects banality and mediocrity.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Via Bustler

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.

Archinet Dispatch from the Venice Biennale- Unfinished processes and unseen industries-min

Archinet: Dispatch from the Venice Biennale: Unfinished processes and unseen industries

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Main room (front view), Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.

Main room (front view), Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.

The lady on the ladder chosen as the image for the 2016 Biennale Architettura sees, amidst “great disappointments[,] creativity and hope,” states Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale. “[S]he sees them in the here-and-now, not in some uncertain aspirational, ideological future.” Several pavilions choose this approach to portray “trends going […] towards renewal”; encouraging instances of the how profession addresses the challenges outlined by Aravena.

This year’s recipient of the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, Spain’s Unfinished, showcases 55 different projects that have reimagined the “unfinished remains of […] the largest construction enterprise in Spanish history,” as described by co-curator Iñaqui Carnicero. The Pavilion, located at the entrance of the Giardini, feels open and easy to navigate. The language of the unfinished comes out in every detail. Suspended metal stud frames make of the main room a playful sequence to the exhibition. Additional projects are displayed in adjacent rooms, with photographs and axonometric drawings in wooden frames that stabilize the metal studs which support them. Every part of the exhibit builds on another, bringing together the many layers of the proposal.

The Pavilion allows for multiple readings: from a 30-second selfie to an in-depth description of each project on the website or through the QR codes along the walls. It also sets the stage for a broader discussion that the curators hope to spark on social media through the #Unfinished tag. Unfinished also has a pamphlet for free distribution during the Biennale, two print books, and three online publications to contribute to the debate. “We want this to generate a lot of expectation, of hope; it is a very optimistic project”, says co-curator Carlos Quintáns.

The Poland Pavilion, Fair Building, shows another side of the unfinished. “We know where our food comes from, where our clothes are stitched—why don’t we talk about how our buildings are made? Is it possible to have ‘fair trade’ buildings?” asks co-curator Dominika Janicka. Across the small canal in the Giardini, Fair Building places the focus on construction workers and instigates a discussion on the hidden participants of architecture. The Pavilion is divided into two rooms that evidence the industry’s dichotomy. The first room screens videos of the construction industry projected on screens along metal scaffolding. Videos of 15 workers wearing Go-Pro cameras on their helmets are complemented by interviews with 50 others about the realities of working on site. The second room opens into a pristine layout of leather sofas and flat-screen televisions to resemble a sales room for luxury projects.

The other walls of the second room exhibits the realities of the architecture industry, where the architect comprises a minuscule fraction of a project and the construction work is the real backstage sweatshop that we fail to acknowledge. “We want to show the hidden cost of the architecture business,” says Janicka, “not only architecture how the user sees it.” The Polish Pavilion steers clear of the judgmental, although the curators feel passionate about declarations like those of the late Zaha Hadid on her work in Qatar. Fair Building wants to have an open discussion, highlighting the problem but also asking “is Fair Building possible?”

Main room, Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.
Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Photo by Laura Amaya.
Exhibited projects, Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.
Unfinished in the details. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.
Interviews, Unfinished. Spain Pavilion. Image courtesy of Fernando Maquieira ©.
Fair Building, Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016, exhibition view. Photo courtesy of Maciej Jelonek.
Construction site at Fair Building, Polish Pavilion. Photo courtesy of Maciej Jelonek.
Fair Building, Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016, exhibition view. Photo courtesy of Maciej Jelonek.
Fair Building, Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016, exhibition view. Photo courtesy of Maciej Jelonek.
Sales room at Fair Building. Polish Pavilion. Photo by Laura Amaya.
Fair Building, 2016. 5-channel video installation, film still. Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016.
Fair Building, 2016. 5-channel video installation, film still. Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016.

 

Dispatch from the Venice Biennale Unfinished

Dezeen: economic crisis made spanish Architecture more radical

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016: this year’s Golden Lion-winning Spanish Pavilion focuses on unfinished structures left in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and architects who are developing a “radical” approach to rebuilding Spain (+ movie).

Titled Unfinished, the pavilion presents a series of photographs of incomplete construction projects, alongside 55 recent buildings that demonstrate a range of solutions to working under economic constraints.

According to co-curator and architect Iñaqui Carnicero, the economic crisis – which hit Spain harder than many other European countries – forced local architects to become more resourceful.

Unfinished: the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Fernando Maquieira
The main room of the Spanish pavilion displays photography of unfinished buildings in the country after the economic crash

“[We have become] more radical, and more intelligent in many cases,” he told Dezeen.

“My own experience of working under this economic constraint [is that] when you are suffering from budget cuts sometimes the solution becomes more intense, more radical, and even better.”

The exhibition is a direct response to Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena‘s request for architects to show work that responds to the major challenges in their countries as part of his theme, Reporting from the Front. TheSpanish Pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion for best national pavilion at the 2016 Biennale.

Unfinished: the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Fernando Maquieira
Photographs by seven different artists are displayed on a steel frame that hangs from the ceiling

Carnicero and fellow curator and architect Carlos Quintáns Eiras collected photographs by seven different artists of structures they describe as “contemporary ruins”. These are displayed in the pavilion’s central space on steel frames hanging for the ceiling, and range from major construction projects to small private houses and apartments.

Carnicero said there were few places on earth where so many unnecessary construction projects had been started in such a short period of time, and then abandoned because they couldn’t be finished or maintained after the economy collapsed.

Unfinished: the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Fernando Maquieira
New projects by Spanish architects are displayed in side rooms, grouped into nine categories

“Many of the buildings that were under construction remain unfinished,” said Carnicero. “We wanted to present this problem, but we didn’t want to do it in a narrative way. We didn’t want to find who was guilty or be complaining about it.”

“When you look at these pictures you discover a certain beauty, the beauty of architecture in process, the beauty of things that are meant to be hidden,” he said.

The rooms around the main space are devoted to displaying 55 contemporary projects in Spain or by Spanish architects, grouped into nine categories.

Unfinished: the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Fernando Maquieira
Projects are displayed with photographs and drawings in wooden frames mounted on a steel structure to suggest and unfinished building

Carnicero said that the projects were selected for “under economical constraints, showing new solutions and new strategies to intervene in what already exists, instead of building new things.”

The Consolidate section features examples of architects who have helped save historic buildings, with examples including the installation of new structures by Morales de Giles Arquitectos inside the Convento de Santa Maris de los Reyes in Seville.

Reappropriation focuses on the revival and reuse of abandoned heritage buildings like churches, industrial spaces and military complexes. These include the renovation of a Baroque palace in Palma de Mallorca by Flores & Prats and Duch-Pizá to create a new cultural centre.

Unfinished: the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016. Photograph by Fernando Maquieira
A room at the rear shows video interviews with architects and academics, projected onto stack of empty cardboard boxes

Adaptable looks at projects that explore changing use and flexibility in buildings, with projects like an an apartment in Madrid by PKMN Architectures, which features sliding chipboard units that can be used to change the space. Also in this section is Casa Luz, a renovated Spanish home organised by Arquitectura-G around a new central courtyard.



Infill displays structures that fill in the space between existing buildings, like the Museuo de Bellas Artes de Asturias in Oviedo, where Francisco Mangado added a crystalline glass building behind the leftover facade of a demolished block.

Naked is about buildings that are “nude” and make the most of their incomplete appearance. These include Casa OE, a house in Catalonia that is split into two parts for summer and winter, and a concrete pool house by FRPO Rodriguez and Oriol Arquitectos.

Casal Balaguer Cultural Centre by Flores & Prats and Duch-Pizá
The renovation and transformation of a Baroque palace into a cultural centre by Flores & Prats and Duch-Pizá is among the “radical” projects in the exhibition

Perching features structures that “perch” on top of others, built in “places where they don’t belong”. Grupo Arenea’s Casa Lude, a sculptural grey apartment on top of an old house in Cehegin, southern Spain, is included here.

Reassignments focuses on examples of projects that “questions the established uses of materials and alter their typical position, dimensions, connections and uses. Casa 1014 by H Arquitectes – a home in Catalonia that is hidden behind a brick wall slotted between two crumbling facades – is among the examples.

Guides shows projects that aim to offer a blueprint or propose solutions for future structures, like H Arquitectes and DataAE’s student housing for the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Finally, Pavements is about public space interventions, including the renovation of Malpica Port by CreuseCarrasco.

Casa-Lude-by-Grupo-Aranea
Casa Lude by Grupo Aranea – an apartment “perched” on top of an old building – is another example of Spain’s new architecture selected by the exhibition’s curators

These are all shown as photographs and plans, in wooden frames mounted on steel structures to suggest an unfinished building. A room at the back also features short interviews with leading architects, academics and critics about the state of Spanish architecture, the legacy of the economic crisis, and the potential of unfinished buildings.

Many of the buildings share a similar aesthetic driven by the available materials, like brick and plywood, and the history of the structures that formed the foundations of each project.

“I wouldn’t call it a style, but I guess you recognise certain solutions that put value into what already exists,” said Carnicero.

“The materiality of our structures – the stone, the wood, what is already there, even the history of the buildings – becomes part of the new image,” he added. “Not because it’s a new aesthetic, but because it’s part of the history. And you don’t have a choice. And people like it!”

Photography by Fernando Maquieira and video by Miguel de Guzmán.

Dezeen - economic crisis made spanish Architecture more radical

Wallpaper: World tour Best national Pavilions

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World tour: the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale’s national participations

While the Padiglione Centrale and Arsenale’s centrally curated part of the Venice Architecture Biennale is half the point (and fun) of the grand celebration, the event’s numerous national participations, spanning locations in and out of the official sites, provide the all-important global context and other half. Responding to Alejandro Aravena’s 2016 theme, ‘Reporting From The Front’, some 60-plus countries took part this year, presenting a show that is rich, layered and varied.

Thirty or so national participations are spread across the Arsenale complex’s various buildings and other locations across Venice, forcing the visitor to take a thoroughly welcome stroll through the magical canal city. As always, the Giardini park hosts some 30 of the biennale’s constants – including this year’s Golden Lion for Best Pavilion winner, Spain. Entitled ‘Unfinished’, the Spanish display, curated by the architects Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintáns, looks at the country’s economic and construction crisis, urging for ways to turn a difficult situation into a positive one through an attractive and thought provoking combination of design and photography.

Several more shows offer a well-planned, eye-catching installation. Australia’s ‘The Pool’ – a full scale paddling pool – was the perfect spot to relax and take on the role of one of the country’s key cultural institutions; while Belgium’s ‘Bravoure’ show depicts examples of craftsmanship within the mundane and in the context of our economically-challenged times, through full-scale mock-ups and beautiful shots by photographer Filip Dujardin.

Meanwhile, execution aside, simply by taking note of each pavilion’s chosen theme, a map of the key issues dominating architectural debate in each country soon emerges. Migration, asylum and the refugee crisis take centre stage at the German and Finnish pavilions, while the Dutch offers an arresting study in blue; an exploration of the architecture of peacekeeping missions. The Brits identify housing as their key theme. This also appears in Japan and Korea’s participations – though seen through very different means and angles, adding urban density, social issues and regulatory constraints to the mix.

The US presents a series of architectural proposals for Detroit, using the North American city as a case study for their response to urban and socioeconomic issues. Greece aims to touch upon almost all of the above themes, while Denmark and the Nordic Pavilion look into their countries’ legacy and future. France investigates transformation in ordinary, everyday locations and neighbourhoods. Turkey’s Pavilion, ‘Darzanà’, focuses on dockyards, ports and cultural interchange between countries, represented through a fascinating deconstructed vessel, hanging from the Arsenale’s Sale d’Armi.

This was also a Biennale of firsts – the Seychelles, Nigeria, the Philippines, Yemen and a trio of Baltic countries all created debut displays for the show.

In addition, a brand new pavilion made its appearance within Giardini. Solo Galerie teamed up with Chilean architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen to create ‘Vara’, a deep green, labyrinthine concrete structure, nestled among the national participations – the first ever of this scale to pop up in the park.

TAGS: VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE, ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITION

Read more at http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/we-tour-the-globe-through-the-2016-venice-architecture-biennales-national-pavilions#xIBbq2DxqBB8d6Lx.99

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Architectural Record on the Spanish Pavilion and the Golden Lion

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Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch: Young Firms and Starchitecture Given Equal Weight
Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Spain’s pavilion won the Biennale’s Golden Lion award for its exhibition called Unfinished.

Photo © Thomas Mayer

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Spain’s pavilion won the Biennale’s Golden Lion award for its exhibition called Unfinished.

Photo © Thomas Mayer

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Urban Force, in Venezuela’s Carlos Scarpa-designed pavilion, showcases dozens of community-funded projects.

Photo © Thomas Mayer

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Urban Force, in Venezuela’s Carlos Scarpa-designed pavilion, showcases dozens of community-funded projects.

Photo © Thomas Mayer

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti.

Photo © Luke Hayes

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti.

Photo © Luke Hayes

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti.

Photo © Luke Hayes

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti.

Photo © Luke Hayes

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Palazzo Franchetti.

Photo © Luke Hayes

Venice Architecture Biennale Dispatch
Revelers board Bjarke Ingel’s party pirate ships.

Photo © Architectural Record

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June 1, 2016
Fred A. Bernstein
KEYWORDS Exhibitions / Venice Architecture Biennale
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Many of the architects participating in the current Venice Architecture Biennale are newcomers, and that’s how director Alejandro Aravena wanted it. The biennale’s five-member jury (including editor Karen Stein and MIT dean Hashim Sarkis) gave the Golden Lion, the highest award for national participation, to Spain for Unfinished, an exhibition of work by young architects who have created compelling buildings in the wake of that country’s financial crisis. Spain’s show, like the biennale overall, is about doing more with less. Still, there were plenty of starchitects at the biennale.

Bjarke Ingels was one of them. Hundreds of revelers joined him on a pair of chartered “pirate ships” for one of the biennale’s rowdiest parties.

The late Carlo Scarpa was also a presence. His small body of work includes the Giardini’s astonishing Venezuelan pavilion, an indoor-outdoor display case with signature Scarpa details, including hardware crafted as carefully as jewelry and collages of rough and smooth concrete. But the 60-year-old pavilion is badly in need of repair. Two years ago, the pavilion sat empty during the 14th Architecture Biennale. But this time it contains a terrific installation, mounted on a shoestring budget. Called Urban Force, it showcases dozens of community-funded and community-operated projects, all by young architects.

Urban Force’s sensibility couldn’t be more different from Scarpa’s. When asked about the pavilion, curator Alejandro Haiek said it’s “too much” for a country in the throes of an economic crisis. Perhaps. But even Haiek would like to see the building returned to its original glory. On a vaguely-worded sign, Venezuela announced plans to renovate the building, without giving a timetable. But if it wants to do something great for the next biennale, and indeed for architecture, it will tackle the renovation soon and then keep mounting shows like Urban Force.

The late Zaha Hadid, meanwhile, was the subject of a retrospective at the Palazzo Franchetti, assembled in just weeks. It contains hundreds of drawings, paintings, and models, crowded into vast, heavily-decorated 16th-century rooms (alarmingly, without climate control, which would seem to be necessary for such precious works). Dozens of Hadid’s friends gathered in the courtyard of the palazzo for a dinner to mark its opening. Even those who followed her career closely were astonished by the amount of material on display, and had to be wondering about plans for a permanent Hadid museum. Venice, already overcrowded, isn’t the place for such an institution, but it was nice to see Hadid’s work, ornate in its own way, in such exquisitely detailed surroundings.

Architect- Spanish Pavilion ¨Unfinished¨ Iñaqui carnicero, Carlos Quintans

Architect: Spanish Pavilion ¨Unfinished¨ Iñaqui carnicero, Carlos Quintans

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2016 Venice Biennale: Spanish Pavilion, “Unfinished”

Iñaqui Carnicero, Carlos Quintáns

SHARED BY

Morgan Day

LOCATION

Venezia

CLIENT/OWNER

The Spanish Pavilion

PROJECT STATUS

Built

YEAR COMPLETED

2016

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

FROM PATI NÚÑEZ AGENCY:

The exhibition consists of nearly 67 proposals and 7 photographic series presenting answers to the problems arising in Spain after the housing boom post crisis. The inherited situation has led to many architectural studies to reflect on the passage of time in architecture and to respond from the serenity and wisdom against the excesses of the past.

The proposal of the Spanish pavilion responds to the mission statement of the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the curator of the 15. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura – La Biennale di Venezia, who aims to present a combative and decisive architecture that managed to solve the major challenges the world is facing today.

Concepts such as reassignment, adaptability or reappropriation, among others, appear in in the projects selected by the Spanish Pavilion for the exhibition, offering a new vision of how the Spanish architects have reflected and reacted with new strategies.