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//10 must-see pavilions at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2018

10 must-see pavilions at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2018

The Venice International Architecture Exhibition 2018, which has reached its 16th edition, is entitled Freespace. Officially opened on 26 May, it will be held at the Giardini and Arsenale until November. Curated by the Irish firm Grafton Architects, Freespace is also the theme organisers have assigned the 63 nations participating in the Venice Biennale 2018. They have been invited to revisit their pavilion spaces with the utmost freedom, based on their cultural background, national identities and personal style.

The fascinating concept of creating Freespace inside closed boxes (pavilions) has inspired highly heterogeneous installations, which have stemmed from the most diverse interpretations of project planners and designers from the world over, determined to set the trend in the sector.

Tosilab’s selection of 10 must see Pavilions at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2018 is described below.

  1. ‘Arcipelago Italia’, the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Exhibition 2018

The journey through pavilions at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2018 can only commence from the Italian Pavilion, a must for visitors to the Exhibition.
Designed by Architect Mario Cucinella, the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale Architettura includes 5 projects, 8 itineraries and several side events. The goal is to explore the objective complexity of areas in the Italian hinterland made up of over 1,000 small towns, and contemporary architecture’s key role in relaunching them.

  1. Building a Future Countryside, the Chinese Pavilion

China’s impressive installation looks to the future of rural development in the country (hence the project’s title), and poses the question of how technological innovations can be exploited to create new buildings for self-sufficient communities.

The leading exhibitions include a bamboo roof model in the shape of eight, and a scenic tower made of the remains of a demolished house that was originally built in the province of Yunnan and sent directly to Venice for the Biennale.

Technology is increasingly merging into the world of architecture and design. We discussed this in the article published in A.I. Design (read the article here).

There is also an entirely 3D-printed installation designed by Archi-Union and called “Cloud Village”.

  1. Switzerland 240, House Tour, the Swiss Pavilion elected as the best at the 2018 edition

Acknowledged as the best pavilion at the Biennale 2018, the Swiss Pavilion is an absorbing installation centred on the gradual reduction in space experienced by society. Switzerland 240: House Tour offers an experience that recalls the world of Alice in Wonderland, where spaces, furnishings and objects become either huge or too small, windows overlook emptiness and the usual canons of living are decidedly undermined.

  1. The Holy See: The Vatican City makes its first appearance at the Biennale

Revisited spaces of religious worship, this is the theme of the Vatican City’s installation on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore. It is one of the most debated exhibitions of this year’s biennale.

With the participation of famous names, such as Norman Foster and Eduardo Souta de Moura, besides cult figures such as Smiljan Radić, Flores & Prats and Terunobu Fujimoro, the exhibition, which features the installation of 10 chapels disseminated on the island, is studied to reflect on the meaning of the Church’s space in the 21st century.

  1. Finland, Norway and Sweden in the Nordic Countries Pavilion: Another Generosity

The installation is intriguing with four huge bubbles inside the Nordic Pavilion. They are inflated and deflated in response to environmental conditions.

The goal is to present a vision of a future in which architecture can adapt to its surroundings, just as humans do

  1. The Dutch Pavilion: Work, Body, Leisure

An apparently simple space that is rich in contents studied to explore how mankind will be transformed in an age characterised by the rapid evolution of robots and artificial intelligence, which is now able to perform several tasks that were conventionally carried out by humans.

The project attempts to answer all these changes by encouraging a creative and responsible approach even in the field of architecture.

  1. The Luxembourg Pavilion: The Architecture of the Common Ground

The outcome of deep reflection, the Luxembourg Pavilion studies how architecture can be more generous in a nation where 92% of the land is private property.

A series of scale models present hypothetical projects that have not been implemented, with large buildings rising from the ground on stilts to create underlying public space.

  1. The Portuguese Pavilion: Without Rhetoric

The Portuguese Pavilion celebrates some of the public infrastructural projects completed in the country over the past ten years, despite the global economic crisis.

The rebirth of Portugal and of aesthetic trends related to the Lusitanian nation are mentioned in the article published HERE.

Projects proposed include Teatro Thalia, a theatre designed by architects Gonçalo Byrne and Barbas Lopes, and the Arquipélago Centre of Contemporary Arts, a museum of art and culture curated by Menos é Mais Arquitectos and João Mendes Ribeiro.


  1. Germany: Unbuilding Walls

On entering the German Pavilion, we are faced with a seemingly continuous solid wall. When you approach it, you find that the wall is actually made up of a series of fragments. On the back of each one you will find details of a building or of a space situated along the path of the Berlin Wall.

The reflection is on the impact barriers and fences have on public spaces, cities and entire nations.

  1. The Argentinian Vertigo Horizontal Pavilion

A large mirror garden stretches along the centre of the Argentinian Pavilion, creating a space designed to represent an urban oasis, a green refuge in the heart of the Arsenale.

The goal is to recover the many parks and social public spaces that developed in Argentina after democracy was restored in the country in 1983.

A very interesting 2018 Biennale Architettura. There is time until November 25th to admire the installations located all around the most evocative areas of Venice. An event not to be missed!

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