Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Venice: The 15th International Architecture Biennale di Venezia

Logo courtesy – La Biennale di Venezia

The Awards
15th International Architecture Biennale
Reporting From the Front
Curated - Alejandro Aravena
Chaired -  Paolo Baratta

“In his trip to South America Bruce Chatwin encountered an old lady walking the desert carrying an aluminum ladder on her shoulder. It was German archeologist Maria Reiche studying the Nazca lines. Standing on the ground, the stones did not make any sense; they were just random gravel. But from the height of the stair those stones became a bird, a jaguar, a tree or a flower. We would like the 15th International Architecture Exhibition to offer a new point of view like the one Maria Reiche has on the ladder”.
Curator - Alejandro Aravena
Venice: The 15th International Architecture Biennale Exhibition, titled Reporting from the Front, until November 27, is curated by Alejandro Aravena and organized by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.  The exhibition is at the Giardini and at the Arsenale.

The Awards – The Jury: President - Hashim Sarkis - Lebanon, USA - Pippo Ciorra – Italy - Sergio Fajardo – Colombia - Marisa Moreira Salles – Brazil - Karen Stein – USA

  Photograph Giorgio Zucchiatti - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
15th Golden Lion - Lifetime Achievement
Paulo Mendes da Rocha – Brazil


The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement upon recommendation of curator Alejandro Aravena to architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha – Brazil. Amongst other points, the motivations note that;

“…the most striking attribute of his architecture is its Timelessness. Many decades after being built, each of his projects have resisted the test of time, both stylistically and physically. This astonishing consistency may be the consequence of his ideological integrity and his structural genius. He is a nonconformist challenger and simultaneously a passionate realist. His fields of interest are beyond architecture, in political, social, geographical, historical and technical realms. The role model he played for many generations of architects in Brazil, Latin America and everywhere is that of a person able to join shared and collective efforts as well as someone able to attract others to the cause of a better built environment."

Alejandro Aravena, Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Paolo Baratta
  Photograph Giorgio Zucchiatti - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

The Awards - 15th International Architecture Biennale di Venezia

 Golden Lion – Best National Participation
Spain – Unfinished
for a concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints
Commissioners and curators - Inaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintans
Unfinished -  “The exhibition gathers together examples of architecture produced during the past few years, born out of the renunciation and economy of means, designed to evolve and adapt to future necessities and trusting in the beauty conferred by the passage of time.  These projects have understood the lessons of the recent past and consider architecture to be something unfinished, in a constant state of evolution and truly in the service of humanity.  The current moment of uncertainty in our profession makes its consideration here especially relevant.”
Spanish Pavilion – Unfinished 
Perimeter Building and Urban Space Surrounding the Temple of Diana Single Family House in Tebra

  photograph by Francesco Galli – Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
Special Mention National Participation
Japan – Art of Nexus
for bringing the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban setting
photograph by Andrea Avezzu – courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
Special Mention National Participation

Peru – Our Amazon Frontline
for bringing architecture to a remote corner of the world, making it both a venue for learning as well as a means for preserving the culture of the Amazon

Photograph Giorgio Zucchiatti - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Dario Franchescini with Solano Benitez and team

Best Participant Reporting From the Front

Gabinete de Arquitectura 
Solano Benitez; Gloria Cabral; Solanito Benitez – Paraguay
 for harnessing simple materials, structural ingenuity and unskilled labour to bring architecture to underserved communities

 Photograph Giorgio Zucchiatti - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Nle Kunle Adeyemi and team with Paolo Baratta

photograph by Italo Rondinella – Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia

  photograph by Manfredi Bellati

Silver Lion - Promising Young Participant

Nle Kunle Adeyemi – The Netherlands
for a powerful demonstration, be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic, can amplify the importance of education

 Photograph Giorgio Zucchiatti - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

 Alejandro Aravena, Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo and Paolo Baratta

Special mention  - Reporting From the Front

Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo – Italy
for her perseverance in using the rigours of her discipline to elevate the everyday into timeless works of architecture


The Work of Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo in Sicily as Resistance Against the Banality and Mediocrity of the Built Environment
Small Scale, The Reservoir of the Lost Honor of Architecture






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