The Awards Ceremony of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition took place on Saturday 26th May 2018 at Ca’ Giustinian, Venice. Portugese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura has been awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale for “Vol De Jour” project exhibited at the Arsenale, while the Swiss Pavilion has been awarded the Best Pavilion as National Participant at the Giardini.
Venice Architecture Biennale 2018
16th International Architecture Exhibition
May 26 – November 25, 2018
Venice, Giardini – Arsenale
The fundamental parameter of reference is indicated with great clarity. «The desire to create FREESPACE can become the specific individual characteristic of each individual project. 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”. «With the aim of promoting the “desire” of architecture», President Baratta explained. And the International Architecture Exhibition will offer us examples, teachings, and topics of discussion. Therefore, we are thankful to Farrell and McNamara for having accepted our invitation and for the choice, which adds an important link to the chain of Exhibitions held over the years.»
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have used the Manifesto FREESPACE, issued in June 2017, as a reference point for putting this Exhibition together. «We have found it to be a robust tool» they stated. «It has acted as a measure and a guide to finding cohesion within the diversity of an Exhibition of this enormous scale.»
The Exhibition FREESPACE will develop from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale, and will include 71 participants. The 71 participants will be joined by others gathered in two Special Sections: the first, numbering 16 participants, is titled Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects and will present works that originate in a reflection on well-known buildings of the past; the second, which counts 13 participants and is titled The Practice of Teaching, will collect projects developed as part of teaching experiences.
With regard to these sections, the Curators explained they have discovered «invention and creativity at the micro and macro scales historic buildings liberated by the intelligence of the architects; forgotten buildings re-visited and brought to life; transformative typologies of habitation; infrastructural needs translated into public and civic facilities.» Furthermore, «a key component in attending to the continuity of tradition in architecture is the practice of teaching. Many of the invited practitioners are actively engaged in teaching. The world of making and building merges with the imaginative world that is highlighted within the Exhibition.»
«We are hugely appreciative of the enormous dedication and passion invested by the participants» the Curators stated. And finally, in relation to the meaning of the word FREESPACE, the Curators said they are «delighted with the global engagement of participants and participating counties in the process of its translation. When we were writing the Manifesto, we wanted primarily to include the word space. We also wanted a new use of everyday words, which could somehow cause us all to re-frame the additional component that we as a profession can contribute to humanity. We see architecture as the translation of need in its widest sense into meaningful space. In the effort to translate FREESPACE into the many wonderful languages of the world, we hope that it prises open the ‘gift’ which architectural invention has the potential to contribute with each project. Translation allows us all to map and rename intellectual as well as actual territory. It is our hope that the word FREESPACE allows us to burrow into the aspirations, ambitions and generosity of architecture.»
The Exhibition will also include 63 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. 6 countries will be participating in the Biennale Architettura for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Pakistan and the Holy See (with its own pavilion located on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore). This edition will once again feature, selected Collateral Events. Promoted by non-profit national and international institutions, they will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the 16th International Architecture Exhibition.
The international Jury of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia composed of Sofía von Ellrichshausen (President of the Jury, Argentina), Frank Barkow (United States), Kate Goodwin (Australia), Patricia Patkau (Canada), Pier Paolo Tamburelli (Italy), has decided to present the following awards:
Golden Lion for Best National Participation: SWITZERLAND, “Svizzera 240 House Tour”
Commissioners: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia: Marianne Burki, Sandi Paucic, Rachele Giudici Legittimo
Exhibitors: Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, Matthew van der Ploeg, Ani Vihervaara
A special mention has been awarded to the following National Participation: GREAT BRITAIN, “Island”
Commissioner: Sarah Mann- Architecture Design Fashion British Council
Curators: Caruso St John Architects, Marcus Taylor
Golden Lion for the best participant in the 16th Exhibition FREESPACE to: Eduardo Souto de Moura (Porto, Portugal), Souto Moura – Arquitectos, Venue: Arsenale Corderie. Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the 16th Exhibition FREESPACE to: Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck, Jo Taillieu (Ghent, Belgium) architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, Venue: Central Pavilion – Giardini. The Jury has decided to award two special mentions to the following Participants in the 16th International Exhibition FREESPACE: Andra Matin (Jakarta, Indonesia), andramatin and Rahul Mehrotra (Mumbai, India; Boston, USA), RMA Architects.
The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, is also awarding the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement upon recommendation of Curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to: Kenneth Frampton (Great Britain).
The awards of the international Jury are awarded for the following reasons: Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Switzerland for a compelling architectural installation that is at once enjoyable while tackling the critical issues of scale in domestic space. Special mention as National Participation to Great Britain for the Courageous proposal that uses emptiness to create a “freespace” for events and informal appropriation. Golden Lion for the best participant in the 16th Exhibition FREESPACE to Eduardo Souto de Moura (Souto Moura Arquitectos – Porto, Portugal) for the precision of the pairing of two aerial photographs, which reveals the essential relationship between architecture, time and place. Freespace appears without being announced, plain and simple.
Silver Lion for a promising young participant to Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck, Jo Taillieu (architecten de vylder vinck taillieu – Ghent, Belgium), for a project that possesses a confidence thanks to which slowness and waiting allow architecture to be open to future activation. Special mention to the Participant in the 16th Exhibition FREESPACE to Andra Matin (andramatin – Jakarta, Indonesia), for a sensitive installation that provides a framework to reflect on the material and form of traditional vernacular structures. Special mention to the Participant in the 16th Exhibition FREESPACE to Rahul Mehrotra (RMA – Mumbai, India; Boston, USA), for three projects that address issues of intimacy and empathy, gently diffusing social boundaries and hierarchies.