“We see the earth as Client. This brings with it long-lasting responsibilities. Architecture is the play of light, sun, shade, moon, air, wind, gravity in ways that reveal the mysteries of the world. All of these resources are free. It is 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. Architecture that embodies these qualities and does so with generosity and a desire for exchange is what we call Freespace.”
The text concludes the Manifesto by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, running from May 24th in the Arsenale, Giardini della Biennale and the historic center of Venice. 71 architecture studios were invited to participate in the Freespace exhibition, flanked by two special sections: Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects, with 16 participants, presents works and reflections on known projects of the past, while The Practice of Teaching, with 12 participants, collects works developed in the field of education. The historic pavilions of the Giardini count 63 National Participations that give their own, individual interpretation of the theme chosen by the curators. Italy presents itself at the Tese delle Vergini with an exhibition entitled Arcipelago Italia, supported and promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane and curated by Mario Cucinella.
The official program is integrated by 12 concurrent events and two special projects: the installation by Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson architects in Forte Marghera, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, and the special collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which with the curatorship of Christopher Turner and Olivia Horsfall Turner presents a fragment of the Robin Hood Gardens housing complex, designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in East London and completed in 1972.
The official prizes are three (Golden Lion for Best National Participation, Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Freespace Exhibition, Silver Lion for a young promising participant in the International Freespace Exhibition) were awarded on Saturday 26 May by the international jury made up of Frank Barkow (United States), founder and partner of Barkow Leibinger in Berlin, Sofía von Ellrichshausen (Argentina) architect, artist and lecturer, Kate Goodwin (Australia) head of the architecture sector and Drue Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, Patricia Patkau (Canada) of Patkau Architects, Pier Paolo Tamburelli (Italy) architect, essayist and editor of the Milan-based magazine San Rocco and partner of the baukuh studio.
On the same day, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will also be awarded to Kenneth Frampton.