All posts tagged: Venice Biennale

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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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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 …

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Designs of the Year 2013 at the Design Museum

The Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition at the Design Museum presents over 90 designs from the past year spanning architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product design and transport. It lists as a who’s who in the design world- with the Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio, The Shard by Renzo Piano, a glass table by Zaha Hadid, and the Louis Vuitton collection by Yayoi Kusama. Notable designs include a non-stick ketchup bottle invented by the Varanasi Research Group at MIT, which uses a special edible solution sprayed on the inside of the bottle, and a portable 3D printing kiosk by Antwerp-based designers Unfold. Also on display is graphics from the David Chipperfield-curated Venice Architecture Biennale last year and the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican. Architecturally, the ones to note are: A Room for London by David Kohn Architects and Fiona Banner, which placed a small ship balanced on the roof of the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Astley Castle renovation by Witherford Watson Mann, and also a French project by Frederic Druot, Anna Lacaton, and Jean-Philippe Vassal …

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

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Nicholas Hawksmoor: Methodical Imaginings at the Venice Pavilion

As an architectural history masters student I was bound to like this pavilion. For its own pavilion, Venice commissioned Mohsen Mostafavi, architect and Dean of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, alongside architectural photographer Helene Binet, to exhibit the work of architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736). Perhaps an unusual choice for a Biennale that often focuses on contemporary architecture, but such has been the common theme (or should I say common ground) with other pavilions with references to John Soane, Palladio and Piranesi to name but a few. The exhibition at the Venice Pavilion focuses on eight important churches designed by Hawksmoor in London: St Luke, Old Street in Finsbury; St George-in-the-east; St John Horseleydown; St Anne in Limehouse; Christ Church in Spitalfields; St Mary Woolnoth in the City; St Alfege in Greenwich; and St George in Bloomsbury. Organised by Louis Vuitton, the exhibition shows Binet’s black and white photographs alongside small, digitally printed models of the churches’ variety of spires.

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New Forms in Wood, Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The Finnish Pavilion is a small but perfectly formed space at the Venice Biennale, recently reopened after restoration works. Designed by Alvar Aalto in 1955, it was originally designed to be temporary while the Giardini awaited a pavilion for all of the Nordic countries. The blue and white wooden structure took inspiration partly from Sámi tents- a temporary dwelling used by the Sámi people of northern Scandinavia- and partly from Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel in Florence. Even after Sverre Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion, built a little later in 1962, Aalto’s structure survived for another fifty years, until a tree fell on the pavilion in a storm last year. Since then, architect Gianni Talamini has carefully restored and reassembled the pavilion to its former glory, just in time for this year’s Biennale. To celebrate the reopening of the Aalto Pavilion, the Finns decided to showcase an exhibition celebrating the use of wood in Finnish architecture today. Six young architects were chosen to exhibit a work: ALA Architects, Avanto Architects, Eero Lunden and Markus Wikar, K2S Architects, Lassila Hirvilammi …

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Architecture. Possible here? Home-for-All, Japanese Pavilion, Venice Biennale

Winner of this year’s Golden Lion award for best national pavilion, Toyo Ito’s proposal for the Japanese Pavilion proposes a “Home-for-All” to people who lost their homes in Japan’s tsunami of March 2011. ‘Architecture. Possible here? Home-for-All’ presents the process by which three Japanese architects- Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto (who I’ve already dedicated a fair few posts on this blog to already) and Akihisa Hirata- collaborated with Ito on a support centre for those affected in the city of Rikuzentakata. The exhibition curls chronologically around timber columns and wooden plinths, showing the project from conception to construction. Alongside models of the project, there are also photographs by Rikuzentakata native Naoya Hatakeyama, including a floor-to-ceiling print of the town post-tsunami around the perimeter of the exhibition. This is a great project, unlike some pavilions purely documenting the problems, Ito has come up with viable solutions, and indicated the steps toward recovery for East Japan.

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The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

For the month of October I am here in Venice working in the British Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale. For those of you who don’t know about the British proposal for David Chipperfield’s Common Ground theme, here are a few words and photos. As you can probably tell I’ve kept this post pretty impartial… Here’s what the British Council say: The British Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale presents the work of ten architectural teams that have travelled the world in search of imaginative responses to universal issues. Venice Takeaway charts their course in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand and the USA and demonstrates the creative potential of sharing ideas across borders. Research, in the form of photography, drawing, film and objects will be displayed in a Research Emporium, while in the galleries of the pavilion you will find Takeaway Proposals – installations and objects that encapsulate their ideas for change. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Vanessa Norwood and Vicky Richardson, Venice Takeaway responds to Venice …