rem koolhaas revisits fundamentals for the venice architecture biennale 2014
original content
jan 25, 2013
rem koolhaas revisits fundamentals for the venice architecture biennale 2014


rem koolhaas reveals the theme for the 2014 architecture biennale in venice: ‘fundamentals’
image © designboom

 

 

 

as many already know, the 14th international architecture exhibition in venice will be curated by renowned architect and founder of OMA, rem koolhaas. he has recently released a statement revealing the topic for the biennale: fundamentals. starting a year before the usual schedule for preparation, he hopes to better orchestrate a more integrated exposition amongst all the countries. as per tradition, the biennale will take place in the giardini and arsenale located in the historic center of venice, supplemented by collateral events dispersed throughout the city.

 

in his own words:

 

‘fundamentals will be a biennale about architecture, not architects. after several biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years. in three complementary manifestations – taking place in the central pavilion, the arsenale, and the national pavilions – this retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture’s fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today.

 

in 1914, it made sense to talk about a ‘chinese’ architecture, a ‘swiss’ architecture, an ‘indian’ architecture. one hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. national identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity.


2012 architecture biennale theme: ‘common ground’ curated by david chipperfield
image © labiennale

 

 

 

having the decisive advantage of starting work a year earlier than the biennale’s typical schedule, we hope to use this extra time to introduce a degree of coordination and coherence among the national pavilions. ideally, we would want the represented countries to engage a single theme – absorbing modernity: 1914-2014 – and to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in favour of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language in a single repertoire of typologies.

 

the first world war – the beginning of modern globalization – serves a starting point for the range of narratives. the transition to what seems like a universal architectural language is a more complex process than we typically recognize, involving significant encounters between cultures, technical inventions and imperceptible ways of remaining “national.” in a time of ubiquitous google research and the flattening of cultural memory, it is crucial for the future of architecture to resurrect and expose these narratives.

 

by telling the history of the last 100 years cumulatively, the exhibitions in the national pavilions will generate a global overview of architecture’s evolution into a single, modern aesthetic, and at the same time uncover within globalization the survival of unique national features and mentalities that continue to exist and flourish even as international collaboration and exchange intensify…’


rem koolhaas giving designboom a presentation of OMA’s CRONOCAOS preservation tour at the 2010 venice architecture biennale
image © designboom

 

 

 

president of the exhibition paolo baratta explains the evolution of the architecture biennale and the choice of rem koolhaas:

 

‘we are universally recognized as the most important event in the world for architecture; we are the place where architecture talks about itself and meets life and society at large. for this reason over the past few years our choices of curators and themes have been based on the awareness of the gap between the ‘spectacularization’ of architecture on the one hand, and the waning capacity of society to express its demands and its needs on the other hand. the architects are called upon prevalently to create awe-inspiring buildings and the ‘ordinary’ is going astray, towards banality if not squalor: a modernity lived bad. at the culmination of this process we have asked rem koolhaas to engage himself in an original research project. the exhibition is also evolving in the way it is organized. born as an ‘imitation’ of the art exhibition and developed to ‘invite’ architects to bring us their installations, just like for the art biennale, it is evolving into a major exhibition-research project conducted directly by the curator (who is in fact appointed as the director of the architecture sector of the biennale). the countries are offered the opportunity for a better integration into this research project. the exhibition will be enhanced by an increasing number of activities throughout its duration, with workshops and seminars that enrich it as an active-exhibition. for this reason we have decided to anticipate the opening date to the 7th of june and to make the exhibition last as long as the art exhibition (about 6 months).’

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

OMA (108 articles)

product library