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Through the Biennale Architettura: 6 Colors to Look for

The 15th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura is taking place in Venice till November 27 and, this year, the focus was the relationship between architecture and civil society.

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Curated by the Chilean archistar Alejandro Aravena, the 15th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura is taking place in Venice till November 27, focusing on the relationship between architecture and civil society. Questioning the needs and desires for architecture within the public sphere, the Mostra offers a new point of view on reality, promoting inventiveness against scarcity and pertinence against abundance.


As usual, the event is taking place in two separate locations, which are the Arsenale, for the solo shows, and the Giardini, for the national pavilions. Whereas the path through the Arsenale may appear more fluid, wandering among the pavilions at the Giardini may result rather tiring and dispersive. Here is a list of the pavilions that succeeded in standing out from the recurring plain white or bare concrete creations.


British Pavilion, Photo Courtesy of the British Council

Venice, Biennale Architettura 2016, British Pavilion. Photo Courtesy of the British Council. Above: Serbian Pavilion. Photo by




  • The Netherlands Pavilion proposes to introduce a design to be used in planning UN peacekeeping bases so that, even once the mission is over, the rebuilt city is left with the necessary infrastructures, resources and knowledge. The pavilion is almost completely blue, to underline the reference to the UN.
  • The Serbian Pavilion presents something reminiscent of a skateboard facility and a short poem suggesting that the blue should embody purity.




  • The Hungarian Pavilion focuses on informing the viewer about projects of recyclability and sustainability through minor activities: the green square cultivated within the pavilion’s courtyard and the big round yellow table where to watch documentaries.


Venice, Architecture Biennale 2016. Czech and Slovak Pavilion, Photo Courtesy of Ben Markel.

Venice, Architecture Biennale 2016. Czech and Slovak Pavilion, Photo Courtesy of Ben Markel.





  • The Czech and Slovak Pavilion is dominated by a majestic, red, lacquered aluminum structure reminiscent of Soviet architecture, raising the question on whether Soviet architecture in the country should be kept or torn down.


  • The red profiles and models of the Korean Pavilion refer to the issues of building in a highly-populated city like Seoul. The material on show appeals to the fundamental principles of a building: plan, volume, and section.
  • The Austrian Pavilion is concerned with creating humane places to live and supporting creative approaches towards good living with coexistence and sustainability. The red color is the vivid, bright, and lively color profiling the proposals.





  • The Egyptian Pavilion uses black, not as a color of grief or blackout, but as a reminder of audacity, endurance, and creative resilience despite all the battles the population has been fighting during the last years.




  • The Australian Pavilion is probably one of the most amusing. The big shallow pool represents what is indispensable for Australian civic architecture and can be used by the visitors of the exhibition.




  • The British Pavilion is presenting innovative, futuristic models for British homes, based on the “science of household management”. The proposals on exhibit directly question the role of space within a domestic environment, reframing the sense of ownership, gender power relations, and metaphors.


Egyptian Pavilion

Venice, Architecture Biennale 2016. Egyptian Pavilion. Photo by Courtesy of Egyptian Pavilion


The above cited are only some of the many remarkable projects on show. The Biennale Architettura has stimulated thinking within a major sector of architecture. Often, architecture for living focuses on structure and practicality, but rarely it is playful and truly lively. Poems, fights, colors, metaphors, feelings: it is people who inhabit architecture, it is traces of people we see in those pavilions.


locandina-biennale-arch-uberauraBiennale Architettura 2016
Reporting From The Front
28 May – 27 November
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Maria Vittoria Di Sabatino recently graduated with a BA in Art History at John Cabot University, with a focus on contemporary art and visual culture. Based in Rome, Italy, she works as an assistant archivist at the Archivio Giulio Turcato in addition to following independent curatorial projects.

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