Venice Architecture Biennale announces main exhibitors and expands on its theme

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Venice Architecture Biennale announces main exhibitors and expands on its theme. Gabinete de Arquitectura took home the Golden Lion in 2016 for Reporting From the Front. (Laurian Ghinitoiu)
Venice Architecture Biennale announces main exhibitors and expands on its theme. Gabinete de Arquitectura took home the Golden Lion in 2016 for Reporting From the Front. (Laurian Ghinitoiu)

Curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale have announced more details about the 2018 show, themed Freespace. This year, 71 studios and 65 countries, seven of which are participating for the first time, including the Vatican, will show their work in two separate exhibitions, from May 26 through November 25, 2018.

In the show’s manifesto by Farrell and McNamara, Freespace is described as, “[…] examples of generosity and thoughtfulness in architecture throughout the world that will be celebrated in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition. We believe these qualities sustain the fundamental capacity of architecture to nurture and support meaningful contact between people and place. We focus our attention on these qualities because we consider that intrinsic to them are optimism and continuity.”

As such, Freespace entrants will be given leeway to present works that can range from open civic spaces to material studies, as long as they laud the natural world and “nature’s free gifts.” Freespace is accepting proposals, examples, and pieces of projects, both built and unbuilt, that evoke a hidden beauty through the use of materiality, form, complexity, or place.

Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia, praised this year’s theme and the participants’ commitment to improving society through design. “The absence of architecture makes the world poorer and diminishes the level of public welfare, otherwise reached by economic and demographic developments. To rediscover architecture means to renew a strong desire for the quality of the spaces where we live, which are a form of public wealth that needs to be constantly protected, renovated and created?”

Below are all 71 architects:

  1. 6a architects(London, UK)
    Tom Emerson; Stephanie Macdonald; John Ross; Owen Watson
  2. Alison Brooks Architects(London, UK)
    Alison Brooks
  3. Álvaro Siza 2 – Arquitecto, SA(Porto, Portugal)
    Álvaro Siza Vieira
  4. Amateur Architecture Studio(Hangzhou, China)
    Wang Shu; Lu Wenyu
  5. andramatin(Jakarta, Indonesia)
    Andra Matin
  6. Angela Deuber Architect(Chur, Switzerland)
    Angela Deuber
  7. architecten de vylder vinck taillieu(Ghent, Belgium)
    Jan de Vylder; Inge Vinck; Jo Taillieu
  8. Arrea architecture(Ljubljana, Slovenia)
    Maruša Zorec
  9. Assemble(London, UK)
    Jane Issler Hall; Mathew Leung; Alice Edgerley; Adam Willis; Fran Edgerley; Amica Dall; Giles Smith; James Binning; Paloma Strelitz; Lewis Jones; Joseph Halligan; Louis Schulz; Maria Lisogorskaya; Karim Khelil; Anthony Engi Meacock
  10. Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner(Haldenstein, Switzerland)
    Peter Zumthor
  11. Aurelio Galfetti(Lugano and Bellinzona, Switzerland)
  12. Barclay & Crousse(Lima, Peru)
    Sandra Barclay; Jean-Pierre Crousse
  13. BC architects & studies(Brussels, Belgium)
    Ken De Cooman; Nicolas Coeckelberghs; Wes Degreef; Laurens Bekemans
  14. Benedetta Tagliabue – Miralles Tagliabue EMBT(Barcelona, Spain; Shangai, China)
    Benedetta Tagliabue; Elena Nedelcu; Joan Callís
  15. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group(New York, USA; Copenhagen, Denmark; London, UK)
    Bjarke Ingels; Sheela Maini Søgaard; Finn Nørkjær; Thomas Christoffersen; Kai-Uwe Bergmann; Andreas Klok Pedersen; David Zahle; Jakob Lange; Beat Schenk; Daniel Sundlin; Brian Yang; Jakob Sand
  16. Burkhalter Sumi Architekten (Zürich, Switzerland) 
    Marianne Burkhalter; Christian Sumi
    Marco Pogacnik (Venice, Italy)
  17. Carla Juaçaba(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  18. Caruso St John Architects(London, UK)
    Adam Caruso; Peter St John
  19. Case Design(Mumbai, India)
    Anne Geenen; Samuel Barclay
  20. Cino Zucchi Architetti(Milan, Italy)
    Cino Zucchi
  21. Crimson Architectural Historians(Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
    Ewout Dorman; Michelle Provoost; Cassandra Wilkins; Wouter Vanstiphout; Simone Rots; Annuska Pronkhorst
  22. David Chipperfield Architects(London, UK; Berlin, Germany; Milan, Italy; Shanghai, China)
    David Chipperfield; Alexander Schwarz; Martin Reichert; Christoph Felger; Eva Schad; Harald  Müller
  23. de Blacam and Meagher Architects(Dublin, Ireland; Ibiza, Spain)
    Shane de Blacam; John Meagher
  24. Diller Scofidio + Renfro(New York, USA)
    Elizabeth Diller; Charles Renfro; Ricardo Scofidio; Benjamin Gilmartin
  25. DnA_Design and Architecture(Beijing, China)
    Xu Tiantian
  26. Dorte Mandrup A/S(Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Dorte Mandrup; Frants Nielsen
  27. Elemental(Santiago, Chile)
    Alejandro Aravena; Gonzalo Arteaga; Juan Cerda; Diego Torres; Victor Oddo
  28. Elizabeth Hatz Architects(Stockholm, Sweden)
    Elizabeth Hatz
  29. Estudio Carme Pinós(Barcelona, Spain)
    Carme Pinós
  30. Flores & Prats(Barcelona, Spain)
    Eva Prats; Ricardo Flores
  31. Francesca Torzo Architetto(Genova, Italy)
    Francesca Torzo
  32. Gion A. Caminada(Vrin-Cons, Switzerland)
  33. GrupoSP(São Paulo, Brazil)
    Alvaro Puntoni; Joao Sodre
  34. Gumuchdjian Architects(London, UK)
    Philip Gumuchdjian
  35. Hall McKnight(Belfast and London, UK)
    Alastair Hall; Ian McKnight
  36. Inês Lobo, Arquitectos(Lisbon, Portugal)
    Inês Lobo; João Rosário
  37. Jensen og Skodvin Arkitekter AS(Oslo, Norway)
    Jan Olav Jensen; Børre Skodvin; Torunn Golberg; Torstein Koch
  38. John Wardle Architects(Melbourne, Australia)
    John Wardle, Stefan Mee, Meaghan Dwyer, Bill Krotiris, Jane Williams
  39. Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA(Tokyo, Japan)
    Kazuyo Sejima; Ryue Nishizawa
  40. Kieran Long; Johan Örn; James Taylor-Foster (Stockholm, Sweden)
    ArkDes (Stockholm, Sweden)
  41. Lacaton & Vassal Architects(Paris, France)
    Anne Lacaton; Jean Philippe Vassal
  42. Laura Peretti Architects(Rome, Italy)
    Laura Peretti
  43. Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo(Vittoria – Ragusa, Italy)
  44. Marie-José Van Hee architecten(Ghent, Belgium)
    Marie-José Van Hee
  45. Marina Tabassum Architects(Dhaka, Bangladesh)
    Marina Tabassum
  46. Matharoo Associates(Ahmedabad, India)
    Gurjit Singh Matharoo
  47. Michael Maltzan Architecture(Los Angeles, USA)
    Michael Maltzan
  48. Niall McLaughlin Architects(London, UK)
    Niall McLaughlin
  49. O’Donnell + Tuomey(Dublin, Ireland)
    John Tuomey; Sheila O’Donnell
  50. Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos(Madrid, Spain)
    Angela Garcia de Paredes; Ignacio G. Pedrosa
  51. Paulo Mendes da Rocha(São Paulo, Brazil)
  52. Peter Rich Architects(Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Peter Rich
  53. Rafael Moneo, Arquitecto(Madrid, Spain)
    Rafael Moneo
  54. Rintala Eggertsson Architects(Oslo and Bodø, Norway)
    Dagur Eggertsson; Vibeke Jensen; Sami Rintala
  55. RMA Architects(Mumbai, India; Boston, USA)
    Rahul Mehrotra; Nondita Correa Mehrotra; Robert Stephens; Payal Patel
  56. Robert McCarter, Professor of Architecture(St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
    Robert McCarter
  57. Room11 Architects(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
    Thomas Bailey; Nathan Crump; Megan Baynes
  58. Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura(Mexico City, Mexico)
    Rozana Montiel
  59. Salter Collingridge Design(London and Ludlow, UK)
    Peter Salter; Fenella Collingridge
  60. Sauerbruch Hutton(Berlin, Germany)
    Matthias Sauerbruch; Louisa Hutton; Juan Lucas Young
  61. Skälsö Arkitekter(Visby and Stockholm, Sweden)
    Joel Phersson; Erik Gardell; Lisa Ekström; Mats Håkansson; Axel Wolgers
  62. Souto Moura – Arquitectos, S.A.(Porto, Portugal)
    Eduardo Souto de Moura
  63. Studio Anna Heringer(Laufen, Germany)
    Anna Heringer
  64. Studio Gang(Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, USA)
    Jeanne Gang
  65. Studio Odile DECQ(Paris, France)
    Odile Decq
  66. Talli Architecture and Design(Helsinki, Finland)
    Pia Ilonen; Minna Lukander; Martti Lukander
  67. Tezuka Architects(Tokyo, Japan)
    Takaharu Tezuka; Yui Tezuka
  68. Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects(Tokyo, Japan)
    Toyo Ito
  69. Vector Architects(Beijing, China)
    Gong Dong
  70. VTN Architects(Hochiminh City, Vietnam)
    Vo Trong Nghia
  71. Weiss/Manfredi(New York, USA)
    Marion Weiss; Micheal Manfredi

This year’s biennale will also see pavilions from the aforementioned 65 countries go up in the Giardini, the Arsenale, and the Venice city center. It also marks the first time that Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, and the Holy See will be exhibiting pavilions. The national participants have chosen to tackle the theme in a variety of ways. While some countries have opted to highlight environmental justice, others will prompt discussions on a “lack of free space” or seek to explore the term.

A full list of the 65 national entrants and their pavilion’s theme can be found here. The United States will front a hefty and diverse group of seven design teams for this year’s show to realize Dimensions of Citizenship.

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