All posts tagged: Venice

A weekend in Venice off the beaten track

Travel: a weekend in Venice off the beaten track

Last weekend I was in beautiful Venice for the opening of the architecture biennale. It’s one of my favourite cities in the world – I’ve been a number of times and stayed for five weeks back in 2012, also for the biennale – so returning to the city of water was like coming home. I found myself fitting back in like a local, dusting off some rusty Italian and knocking back the spritz like I had never left… I wanted to share some tips and places to visit off the beaten track and away from the streams of tourists. There’s so much more than San Marco square and the Grand Canal – there’s old palazzos filled with contemporary art; little cicchetti and bacaro bars hidden down alleyways; sunny squares with shuttered windows; ornate medieval churches tucked away behind doors and narrow streets filled with washing lines and buzzing with local life. So put down the map. I really think Venice is best seen by following your feet, and noses for the food of course, wherever they will take you. …

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Highlights from Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

This year the Architecture Biennale in Venice was bigger and better. There just seemed like there was so much more to see this time round, perhaps because there was a 10 new countries exhibiting and lots more collateral events across the city. The theme of Absorbing Modernity also appealed to my architectural historian self, with lots of pavilions dwelling on the nostalgia of the past. The Biennale is also six months longer this time, to match its sister, the Art Biennale, so there’s still plenty of time to hop over and see it. This time round I was lucky to be involved in the research for the British Pavilion with FAT architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians, it was great to see all the work in-situ, including two concrete cows shipped over from Milton Keynes, photographs of Joy Division by Kevin Cummins and sketches of the Barbican in London. Other highlights included the Central Pavilion, where curator Rem Koolhaas and students from Harvard School of Design broke down a building into 13 essential parts, from the …

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Travel: Venice for the Architecture Biennale

Last week I went to one of my favourite cities in the world: Venice. I had previously lived there for five weeks in 2012 so it was a bit like returning to a home away from home. The real reason I was there was for the Venice Architecture Biennale (more of which I will talk about in upcoming posts). Venice was looking beautiful, with the sun shining, the rain kept at bay and the spritz flowing. We stayed near the biennale in the Giardini, which was a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle around San Marco. Below are some of the photos I took while I was there, including the obligatory gelato and an antique market I discovered in Campo San Maurizio.         All images my own

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I'm off to Venice…

I’m off to Venice for a few days for the opening of the architecture biennale, I’m so excited, I’ve been both in 2010 and 2012 and can’t wait to share my photographs and stories with you when I’m back. (Above is a photo of the Grand Canal that I took last time I was there) And if that can’t get any better, I’m also off to France for ten days total rest and relaxation. The blog may be a little quiet until then, but you can keep up with my travels on Instagram here. Arrivederci/À tout!

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Bang by Ai Weiwei at Venice Art Biennale 2013

Ai Weiwei has installed 886 three-legged wooden stools in the German pavilion for the Venice Art Biennale this year. In fact, the German and French pavilions have traded locations for the first time this year, so the works of Anri Sala, chosen to represent France, are on display in the German pavilion, while Germany has selected four artists, Ai Weiwei, Romuald Karmakar, Santu Mofokeng, and Dayanita Singh, to show their work in the French pavilion. In today’s China, the three-legged stool, manufactured by a uniform method and used throughout China in all sectors of society, is considered somewhat of an antique. Every family had at least one stool, which passed on from generation to generation. However, after the Cultural Revolution production of these stools plummeted and aluminium and plastic have superseded more traditional wood. Ai Weiwei sought out traditional craftsmen to create the 886 stools, and formed a structure out of them which sprawls through the various rooms of the pavilion. Susanne Gaensheimer, curator of the German pavilion said: “The single stool as part of an encompassing …

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

Here’s my pick of three things to do this week, from a Nicholas Hawksmoor exhibition from the Venice Biennale to the big Charles Correa exhibition at the RIBA and Clerkenwell Design Week next Tuesday. STOP What: Nicholas Hawksmoor: Methodical Imaginings Where: Somerset House, London When: Until September 1 Originally shown in the Venice Pavilion at last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, this exhibition focuses on a series of important London churches designed by the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (c.1661–1736) during the early part of the eighteenth century. Curated by Mohsen Mostafavi and lensed by architectural photographer Helene Binet, the immaculate black and white photographs are shown alongside digitally fabricated resin models that celebrate the connections between Hawksmoor’s structures and the city of London. LOOK What: Charles Correa: India’s Greatest Architect Where: RIBA, London When: Until September 4 Designed by architect David Adjaye, this exhibition is a chance to learn about the works of ‘India’s greatest architect’ Charles Correa, whose work can be likened to that of Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil. Born in Hyderabad in 1930, Correa left India in 1949 …

Oysho Spring 2013 campaign

I have to introduce you to Oysho, the European underwear and loungewear brand. I first discovered it when I was living in Venice for six weeks, and would make weekly or sometimes daily trips to the shop to see what was new. They do beautifully soft pyjamas and slouchy t-shirts, as well as good sportswear and yoga wear, and demure lacy underwear. Here is their Spring campaign with Jessica Stam, shot by Matteo Montanari. Images

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Weekend Inspiration #2

This week’s Weekend Inspiration comes from Venetian restaurant, Polpo. Polpo has restaurants in Soho, Covent Garden and Clerkenwell and serves delicious Venetian fare, from meatballs and spaghetti, to cichetti (Italian nibbles) and fritto misto. They also do a mean Campari Spritz, for which I have been scouring London for one as good as I had in Venice. I recently lived in Venice for a month for the Architecture Biennale, and while having withdrawal symptoms from the rich Venetian pasta and mout-watering seafood, I was given the Polpo cookbook. It is beautifully illustrated with ethereal images of Venice and includes all the classic dishes I sampled while I was there. The book itself is also a beautiful object, with exposed stitching on the spine and a drawing of an octopus on the front, as seen below. I can’t wait to try the spaghetti vongole and the zucchini shoestring fries shown in this post.

Rem Koolhaas confirmed as 2014 Venice Biennale curator

Rem Koolhaas confirmed as 2014 Venice Biennale curator

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has been officially confirmed as director of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The board of the Venice Biennale, chaired by Paolo Baratta, met today in Venice to thank David Chipperfield for his achievements at the 2012 Architecture Biennale, and to congratulate Koolhaas on the appointment. Koolhaas said: “We want to give a new look to the basic elements of architecture – used by any architect, anywhere and at any time – to see if we can discover something new about architecture”. The board of the Venice Biennale described Koolhaas as “one of the greatest personalities of the architects of our time “. Via bdonline

The Olivetti showroom in St Mark's Square, Venice by Carlo Scarpa

Olivetti was established as an office equipment company in the 1930s by Adriano Olivetti. Olivetti enriched his technical design teams with graphic designers, architects, writers, artists and advertisers, and commissioned many well known architects of the time to design offices, factories and showrooms, the most beautiful being Carlo Scarpa’s showroom in Venice’s St Mark’s Square, which has recently been restored by Italy’s National Trust, FAI. While recently in Venice I went to have a look.. Images my own