canada pavilion restored after 60 years at venice architecture biennale
 

canada pavilion restored after 60 years at venice architecture biennale

after six decades of presenting some of the country’s most celebrated artists and architects, the canada pavilion in venice has been newly restored for la biennale di venezia 2018. inaugurated in 1958, the original building was designed by italian architecture studio BBPR (banfi, belgiojoso, peressutti, rogers) and was classed as a ‘small jewel of a showcase’ and the most ‘advanced’ of the pavilions in the giardini. as alberico barbiano di belgiojoso, heir to BBPR, carefully restored the structure, its surrounding landscape was revitalized by enns gauthier landscape architects within the context of a larger giardini di castello renewal in 2013.


image © andrea pertoldeo (main image also)

 

 

this was an unusual and important architectural statement at the time,‘ said national gallery of canada director and CEO, marc mayer. ‘we are deeply appreciative of the collaborative work between canadian and italian agencies that have permitted its rejuvenation and fresh understanding today. canadian artists also understand the unique opportunity the canada pavilion offers us on the world art stage in this magical city that is venice.


image © andrea pertoldeo

 

 

the canada pavilion continues to embrace its wooden site, where two large living bagolaro trees, which have been preserved, are integrated within its perimeter walls. shaped like a nautilus shell, the building spirals out from a tapered octagonal column at its center to support the roof’s beams. the undisguised materials, including the exterior walls, roof and glass facade, have been completely restored, as well as the lighting systems.


image © andrea pertoldeo

 

 

the national gallery’s commissioning of the pavilion to enrico peressutti and studio BBPR was nothing less than a coup for canada, as well as an enlightened decision. the result is a truly modern building in terms of structural articulation, spatial organization and material expression,said réjean legault, curator of canada builds/rebuilds a pavilion in venice. ‘the restoration project offered an ideal opportunity to examine the pavilion’s original design, explore its long life as an exhibition space, and reflect on the spirit of collaboration that was central to its birth and its reconstruction.


image © andrea pertoldeo

 

 

on the occasion of the 2018 venice architecture biennale, the pavilion hosts a special exhibition called ‘canada builds/rebuilds a pavilion in venice’ that commemorates the building’s important 60 year history. it explores an unprecedented study of the modern piece of architecture, being supported by a series of short documentaries and a photo-documentation. the former, produced by the national film board of canada, features interviews with key canadian and italian contributors to the restoration project, whilst the photography project by andrea pertoldeo, professor at università IUAV di venezia, records the work and people involved. the exhibition was organized by réjean legault, associate professor at the école de design of the université du québec à montréal, with the support of architectural and design historian cammie mcatee.


image © andrea pertoldeo

 

 

as well as the restoration project and exhibit, canada’s official representation at the biennale is an immersive installation at the arsenale di venezia. called ‘UNCEDED: voices of the land’, it celebrates the work of 18 indigenous architects and designers from turtle island (canada and the USA). led by architect douglas cardinal, co-curators include gerald mcmaster and david fortin.


image © andrea pertoldeo


image © andrea pertoldeo


image © andrea pertoldeo

 

venice architecture biennale golden lion

designboom’s coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale is in partnership with leading energy company edison. edison is taking part in the 16th international architecture exhibition of la biennale di venezia by initiating a path towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources. the collaboration between edison and la biennale is based on awareness that energy is one of the fundamental elements of architecture and of the places, spaces and cities of contemporary life.

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