Architecture Biennale 2016: Reporting from the front



Architecture Biennale 2016. This year the Venice Biennale in dedicated to architecture and is directed by the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena.
I joined in the intense “giornate della Vernice”, and I told you on my social channel my impressions and my feelings, showing the first images.

In this post I will explain you what I liked and why, as far I’m concerned, it is worth visiting it if you end up in Venice.

Last update 18 january 2017


The Architecture Biennale 2016 is entitled REPORTIG FROM THE FRONT and, as I explained in the post in which I revealed the themes of this edition, will shows some examples of construction which, instead of expressing resignation to what we don’t have anymore, will illustrate and create something from what we have at our disposal, with the aim of improving the quality of life of cities and their inhabitants.

The exhibition will be laid out in a unitary itinerary from the Central Pavilion to the Arsenale, going through the National Pavilions.
A string of projects and different but concrete points of view which will prove how it is possible to try to change the world and make it a better place, also starting from the form of the places we live in. Or, at least, you can try to do it.
This Architecture Biennale 2016 is made by architects and addresses to everybody: citizens, politicians, builders, children and adults.
You will not find Starchitects, but groups of architects who collaborate on a common project, because, basically, architecture is a collective job and consists of ideas sharing.

A Biennale which addresses to the public 

Anyone can go to Venice and understand the stylistic and practical choices of all projects on display, because brief panels will explain the sense of the proposals along the whole itinerary, and anyone can reflect on the value of each project.
After all, as a huge panel inside the French Pavilion says “Architecture affects everybody”, because it is about the place we work in, we live in, and where we interact with the others.
The Architecture Biennale 2016 is about cities and integration, peripheries and migration, museums, materials which respect environments and tradition, neglect and desire for beauty.

The Biennale 2014 showed the fundamental elements of architecture and did it by very dramatic installations, and the pictures I posted prove that, but in this edition you will not find any light, sound and colour show, because architecture is capable of explaining itself and without magic tricks.

Why I should go to the Architecture Biennale 2016

A lot of people are asking me: “Why should I go to the Architecture Biennale 2016?” Well, my answer is that in an architecture exhibition you will find the representation of the world of today, as you can see it and how you would like it to be. But the Architecture Biennale 2016 is the other side of the same coin, because it can be considered to be the daughter of the Art Biennale (see also the photos of last Biennale).
On show there will not be masterpieces but ideas.
You will not admire works by an artist, but the depiction of the real world and imagined by the architects who, for better or for worse, have shaped a territory. That’s what is happening in Medellìn. Here architects are trying to erase the neglect, to eliminate violence, and create meeting places where street life could be a resource, and not a danger.

Awards of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition

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 to Spain for a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints.

Special mention as National Participation to Japan for bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting.

Second special mention as National Participation to Peru 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.

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.

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

Special mention to the Participant in the 15th Exhibition REPORTING FROM THE FRONT to Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo (Italy), for her perseverance in using the rigours of her discipline to elevate the everyday into timeless works of architecture.

Shelley and Yvonne_Fotor

curators of biennale architettura 2018 (update 18 january 2017)

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in 2018.
Famous for working as a team, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara live and work in Dublin, where they graduated from the School of Architecture of University College and co-founded the firm Grafton Architects in 1977.
The firm were represented at the Biennale Architettura 2002; won the Silver Lion at the Biennale Architettura in 2012, where they presented their Project for the UTEC University campus in Lima, Peru, together with the work of Paula Mendes da Rocha; they were represented at the Biennale Architettura 2016 under the title “The Physics of Culture”.
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday, May 26 and will conclude on Sunday, November 25, 2018.

Biennale architettura 2016


Giardini BiennaleREPORTING FROM THE FRONTBiennale | Alejandro AravenaBiennale 2016

Venice Biennale Biennale Architettura 2016Biennale Architettura 2016

Biennale architettura 2016Biennale architettura 2016Biennale architettura 2016Biennale architettura 2016

The 15. International Architecture exhibition – REPORTING FROM THE FRONT
28 may – 27 november, 2016
Venice (Arsenale e Giardini)

Biennale website

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