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15th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2016

15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia

28 May - 27 November 2016

Central international exhibition:
88 participants

62 National Pavilions

Tour through the International Exhibition:

Reporting from the Front

The Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena is the Artistic Director of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, which takes place from 28 May - 27 November 2016 under the title Reporting from the Front.

"In his trip to South America," explains Aravena, "Bruce Chatwin encountered an old lady walking the desert carrying an aluminium ladder on her shoulder. It was German archaeologist Maria Reiche studying the Nazca lines. Standing on the ground, the stones did not make any sense; they were just random gravel. But from the height of the stair those stones became a bird, a jaguar, a tree or a flower." He hopes that the Biennale 2016 might "offer a new point of view like the one Maria Reiche has on the ladder."

Alejandro Aravena - video statement"Reporting from the Front is about sharing with a broader audience, the work of people that are scrutinizing the horizon looking for new fields of action, facing issues like segregation, inequalities, peripheries, access to sanitation, natural disasters, housing shortage, migration, informality, crime, traffic, waste, pollution and participation of communities. And simultaneously it is about presenting examples where different dimensions are synthesized, integrating the pragmatic with the existential, pertinence and boldness, creativity and common sense."
+ Text by Alejandro Aravena

According to Paolo Baratta, the President of la Biennale, "This time, we wish to investigate more explicitly whether and where there are any trends going in the other direction, towards renewal; we are seeking out encouraging messages." And further, "We feel the need to highlight how positive outcomes have been achieved through the evolution of decision-making chains which link need - awareness - opportunity - choice - execution in a way that leads to a result where 'architecture makes the difference', as Aravena puts it."
+ Text by Paolo Baratta

The International Exhibition is laid out in a unitary exhibition sequence from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale, and includes 88 participants from 37 different countries. 50 of them are participating for the first time, and 33 architects are under the age of 40.
+ List of participants

The Biennale also includes 62 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. Five countries are participating for the first time: Philippines, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Seychelles, and Yemen.
+ List of National Pavilions


Three Special Projects:

Reporting from Marghera and Other Waterfronts
Curated by Stefano Recalcati at Forte Marghera (Mestre, Venezia), showing projects for the urban regeneration of industrial ports.

A World of Fragile Parts
In collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Curator: Brendan Cormier. Venue: Applied Arts Pavilion, Sale d'Armi, Arsenale.

Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age
Organized by the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Society. Curator: Ricky Burdett. Venue: Sale d'Armi, Arsenale.


The Biennale Architettura 2016 will be accompanied throughout its duration by a wide-ranging programme of conversations and encounters to discuss the themes and phenomena presented in the Exhibition.

Besides the Guided Tours, Creative Workshops, and Educational activities, the Biennale Sessions project is held again following the success of its previous editions. This initiative is dedicated to institutions that develop research and training in architecture, the arts and related fields, and to Universities and Fine Arts Academies.

This year's edition also includes selected Collateral Events, presented by international entities and institutions, which present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the 15th Exhibition.

(From press information)


Awards - 15th International Architecture Exhibition

Golden Lions: National Pavilion of Spain, Gabinete de Arquitectura (Solano Benítez, Gloria Cabral, Solanito Benítez - Paraguay).
Silver Lion: NLÉ (Kunlé Adeyemi - The Netherlands).
Special Mentions: National Pavilions of Japan and Peru, Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.
+ more information

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement:
Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Brazil)


2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize
to Alejandro Aravena

Organizer, contact:
La Biennale di Venezia
Settore Architettura
Ca' Giustinian
San Marco 1364/A
30124 Venezia, Italy
Website | Email

Architecture Press Office:
Tel. +39 041 5218 – 849/846/716

See also in UiU:

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