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    Posted November 16, 2012 by
    Venice, Italy
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    Venice Architecture Biennale 2012


    Venice Architecture Biennale 2012


    by Markku Rainer Peltonen


    The first Venice Art Biennale in Italy took place as early as 1895. Since 1980 Venice has also been holding an Architecture Biennale.


    The main locations of the 13th Architecture Biennale are The Venice Giardini where 30 nations have their own pavilions and Arsenale, the former Venice dock area.


    The British architect David Chipperfield, who is this year´s director of the Biennale, has chosen the theme "Common Ground (...) "to encourage my colleagues to react against prevalent professional and cultural tendencies of our time that place such emphasis on individual and isolated actions. I encouraged them instead... to illustrate common and shared ideas that form the basis of an architectural culture."


    The Venice Architecture Biennale is without doubt the "Olympics" of architecture where the latest trends of architectural design can be seen.


    Roaming through the Biennale can take several days, as exhibitions are so extensive.


    The Venice Architecture Biennale has not greatly changed from the 20th century exhibitions: many star-architects of the era are still around and aesthetics remain more important than urban or social issues, public participation in planning or environmental problems.


    During the Biennale the "aqua alta" flooded Venice and "super storm" Sandy devasted many parts of the east coast of the U.S. This impact might perhaps result in a change of focus for the next Biennale when climate change could be adopted as its essential theme.


    Remarkably little participation comes from so-called developing countries; very few African country have exhibited in the Biennale. This does, however, not mean that there is no interest in Africa. The reason for this may be the fact that it is so difficult to obtain EU visas for exhibitors.


    Nevertheless, the Biennale is an outstanding place and atmosphere for exchanging ideas, not only to display but also to discuss and debate for architects and people interested in architecture from around the world.


    The Venice Architecture Biennale will remain open until November 25.




    1. Self-criticism in the Israeli pavilion. The exhibition "aircraft carrier" deals with the "dramatic" changes in Israeli architecture since 1973, and the American influences that have made them possible.


    2. Entrance of The Venice Biennale in Giardini.


    3. Biennale Sessions Sign.


    4. The little wooden Finnish pavilion was designed by Finland´s most famous architect Alvar Aalto and built 1956. In September 2011 the pavilion was damaged when during a storm a tree fell on the building. Now the pavilion has been repaired under the direction of Italian architect Gianni Talamini.


    5. A café in Giardini for Biennale visitors.


    6. Almost 30-year old model of The Shanghai and Hong Kong HQ designed by Norman Foster in the exhibition.


    7. Biennale guests relaxing during sunset.


    8. Entrance to "Common Ground" in Arsenale.


    9. A café in Arsenale grounds.


    10. Arsenale exhibition grounds in the former Venice dock area.

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