the international jury of the 2018 venice architecture biennale has announced the golden lion for best national participation has been awarded to the swiss pavilion, while a special mention was given to the british pavilion. the jury, which comprises sofía von ellrichshausen, frank barkow, kate goodwin, patricia patkau, and pier paolo tamburelli, also presented portuguese architect eduardo souto de moura with the golden lion for best participant in the freespace exhibition, with belgian firm architecten de vylder vinck taillieu receiving the silver lion for promising young participant.

 

the jury also decided to award two special mentions to andra matin, an indonesian architect, and rahul mehrotra, principal of mumbai-based architecture firm RMA architects. finally, the board of directors of la biennale di venezia, chaired by paolo baratta, bestowed the golden lion for lifetime achievement — upon the recommendation of curators yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara — to kenneth frampton. see each of the awarded participants below, and follow designboom’s ongoing coverage from venice here.

 

 

golden lion for best national participation

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the swiss pavilion has been awarded the golden lion for best national participation
image by christian beutler / keystone (also main image)

 

 

the jury praised the swiss pavilion’s curatorial team ‘for a compelling architectural installation that is at once enjoyable while tackling the critical issues of scale in domestic space’. ‘svizzera 240 is about looking at empty flats,’ explains alessandro bosshard, li tavor, matthew van der ploeg, and ani vihervaara, a young team of architects from ETH zurich. ‘we want to take the visitors on a house tour, which offers you an exaggerated architectural sensibility through which you see the peculiarities of your own home from the perspective of an outsider.’

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the exhibit was commissioned by the swiss arts council pro helvetia
image by christian beutler / keystone

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the pavilion is located inside venice’s giardini
image by christian beutler / keystone

venice architecture biennale golden lion
swiss pavilion project team: alessandro bosshard, li tavor, matthew van der ploeg, and ani vihervaara
image by christian beutler / keystone

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the british pavilion has been covered with scaffolding that supports a roof-level piazza
image © hélène binet

 

 

meanwhile, great britain received a special mention for ‘the courageous proposal that uses emptiness to create a ‘freespace’ for events and informal appropriation’. the pavilion has been covered with scaffolding that supports a roof-level piazza. contrasting this new public gathering space on the roof, the interior of the pavilion has been left intentionally abandoned — untouched after the last exhibition in 2017. read more on designboom here.

 

 

golden lion for the best participant

venice architecture biennale golden lion
eduardo souto de moura paired two aerial photographs inside the arsenale
image by giovanni multari

 

 

eduardo souto de moura was praised by the jury for ‘the precision of the pairing of two aerial photographs, which reveals the essential relationship between architecture, time and place. freespace appears without being announced, plain and simple.’

 

 

silver lion for a promising young participant

venice architecture biennale golden lion
architecten de vylder vinck taillieu is a belgian practice based in ghent
image by italo rondinella, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

 

 

ghent-based firm architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, comprising belgian architects to jan de vylder, inge vinck, jo taillieu, was awarded the silver lion for a project that ‘possesses a confidence thanks to which slowness and waiting allow architecture to be open to future activation’.

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the studio is led by jan de vylder, inge vinck, and jo taillieu
image by italo rondinella, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

venice architecture biennale golden lion
indonesian architect andra matin presented a project called ‘elevation’ within the arsenale
image by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

 

 

andra matin received a special mention for ‘a sensitive installation that provides a framework to reflect on the material and form of traditional vernacular structures’.

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the structure is a cross laminated timber joinery system
image by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

venice architecture biennale golden lion
RMA architects presented a project titled ‘soft thresholds’ inside the central pavilion at the giardini
image by italo rondinella, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

 

 

rahul mehrotra (RMA architects) also received a special mention for three projects that ‘address issues of intimacy and empathy, gently diffusing social boundaries and hierarchies’.

venice architecture biennale golden lion
the installation comprises a printed fabric scrim and support hardware
image by italo rondinella, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

venice architecture biennale golden lion
paolo baratta awards the golden lion for lifetime achievement to kenneth frampton
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia

 

 

the board of directors of la biennale di venezia, chaired by paolo baratta, bestowed the golden lion for lifetime achievement — upon the recommendation of curators yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara — to kenneth frampton.

 

 

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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