yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara announce plans for 2018 venice architecture biennale

yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara announce plans for 2018 venice architecture biennale

yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara, the directors of the 2018 venice architecture biennale, have announced more details about the event — which will open to the public on may 26, 2018. titled FREESPACE, the exhibition will develop from the central pavilion (giardini) to the arsenale, and will include participants such as álvaro siza, peter zumthor, and bjarke ingels. ‘the desire to create FREESPACE can become the specific individual characteristic of each individual project,’ says la biennale di venezia president, paolo baratta. ‘but space, free space, public space can also reveal the presence or absence of architecture, if we understand architecture to be ‘thinking applied to the space where we live, that we inhabit’.’

venice architecture biennale participants
image by andrea avezzù, courtesy of la biennale di venezia (also main image)



in june 2017, farrell and mcnamara presented their manifesto, which has been used a reference point for putting the exhibition together. 71 participants (full list here) will be joined by others gathered in two special sections: ‘close encounters, meetings with remarkable projects’ will include 16 participants and works that originate in a reflection on well-known buildings of the past, while ‘the practice of teaching,’ with 13 participants, will display projects developed as part of teaching experiences.

venice architecture biennale participants
solano benítez won the golden lion for best participant at the venice architecture biennale
image © designboom | read more about the project here



the exhibition will also include 65 national participants (full list here) in the pavilions at the giardini, the arsenale, and in the historic city center of venice. seven countries will be participating in the biennale architettura for the first time: antigua & barbuda, saudi arabia, guatemala, lebanon, mongolia, pakistan, and the holy see (with its own pavilion located on the island of san giorgio maggiore). meanwhile, the italian pavilion will be curated by mario cucinella and will be titled ‘arcipelago italia’. a number of collateral events will also take place.

venice architecture biennale participants
NLÉ’s floating school was awarded the silver lion
image © designboom | read more about the project here



curated by yvonne farrell and shelley mcnamara, the forte marghera project in mestre consists of an installation by sami rintala and dagur eggertsson, and will host a series of events. another special project, at the applied arts pavilion in the arsenale, reflects upon the future of social housing by presenting a fragment of the london social housing estate, robin hood gardens, which was designed by alison and peter smithson. the exhibition will be curated by christopher turner and olivia horsfall turner and is a collaboration with the victoria and albert museum.

venice architecture biennale participants
the 2018 venice architecture biennale will run from may 26 – november 25



meetings on architecture, also curated by farrell and mcnamara, will be an opportunity to discuss the different interpretations of the manifesto FREESPACE and to listen to the voices of the exhibition’s protagonists. meanwhile, following the success of previous editions, the biennale sessions initiative will be held for the ninth consecutive year. see designboom’s ongoing coverage of the 2018 venice architecture biennale here, and follow our dedicated instagram account here.

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