Croatian Fiasco? No way!

International
Friday, October 8, 2010
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Croatia's floating pavilion suffered structural damage on the way to this year's Venice biennale. (Courtesy Katarina Olujić)

“The biggest fiasco…in the history of Croatian architecture?” Well, not really, but there seem to be some architects in Croatia who are angry that their floating pavilion built for the current Venice biennale was destroyed before it reached its intended mooring at the Giardini. Read More

Venice 2010> Storming the Arsenale & Rem in da Haas

International
Friday, August 27, 2010
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Rem Koolhaas, winner of this year's Golden Lion, at the Arsenale. (Bill Menking)

Nothing much to report from yesterday, as it was a day of formal openings when very little was in fact open to the press or public. It was mostly a day of introductory speeches by biennale directors and city and government officials. Frank Gehry presented some models, made a few brief remarks, and then everyone headed for the hallway, where we had our first free prosecco and great little appetizers. Journalists and media types stood around asking about where the best parties were to be had in the coming days (more on this later). Read More

Venice 2010> The Black Shirts are Coming!

International
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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An installation made from frisbees. (CLICK TO ZOOM)

No, not the Fascists—that was 2008, when the Northern League held its national rally at the entrance gates of the biennale giardini. I mean the architects! They have arrived in droves, and it’s easy to spot them walking along the Grand Canal absorbing the searing heat and humidity of August in Venice. The second day of reading press releases, walking the giardini, and visiting collateral exhibitions reaffirms my sense that there is more art in the 2010 biennale than architecture. This is, of course, not necessarily a bad thing, and many of these installations do consider architectural questions. But it makes one wonder why national pavilions make the decisions they do about the architectural conditions in their country. Read More

10 Things to See…

Other
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
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Gaasitoru Gas Pipe, Estonian Exposition

Gaasitoru Gas Pipe, Estonian Exposition

Architecture Journal writes:

Fresh back from Venice, Christine Murray has recommendations for those planning to visit the Venice architecture biennale.

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Ordinary Spaces

Other
Saturday, September 13, 2008
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Robin Walkers Villa in Cork, c. 1970

Robin Walker's Villa in Cork, c. 1970

Inside Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, up a narrow stone stair in a grand salon with silk walls, dim frescoes, and blue-ish gold brocade curtains, the computer monitors talk about the lives of ordinary rooms with a quiet precision that feels like a salve after days of can-you-top-this architecture installations. Read More

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Acqua Alta

Other
Saturday, September 13, 2008
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One sturdy soul ignores the pouring rain to check out an installation in the Giardini.

One sturdy soul ignores the pouring rain to check out an installation in the Giardini.

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About that pipeline project…

Other
Friday, September 12, 2008
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Sarah Palin isn’t the only one with pipelines on the brain: The Estonian installation in the Giardini recreates a section of Gazprom’s proposed Nord Stream pipeline, that would run directly from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. Naturally, some of the Baltic countries aren’t wildly enthusiastic about this. Estonia doesn’t have a pavilion of it’s own, but that may be a good thing. The group placed a 63-meter-long yellow pipe running from the entry of the Russian pavilion:

Goes straight past the Japan pavilion (hey, geographical accuracy isn’t the point):

And spits out—you guessed it—directly in front of the imposing German pavilion: Read More

Bridge To Nowhere

Other
Thursday, September 11, 2008
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Taiwanese Group Interbreeding Field are making bridge follies all around the Giardini.

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Lost in the Giardini

Other
Thursday, September 11, 2008
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An installation by Ai Wei Wei and Herzog & de Meuron in the Italian pavilion

An installation by Ai Wei Wei and Herzog & de Meuron in the Italian pavilion

The maze-like Italian Pavillion hold the work of more than two dozen architects from all over the world, and while the vast majority of it was not produced for the Biennale, it is well worth tasking the time to get lost inside. It starts out impressively: The grand entrance hall, wallpapered in a dense hot orange-and-white graphic print, frames a spare and enigmatic installation by Ai Wei Wei and Herzog & de Meuron.A framework of massive bamboo poles supports a series of tiny bamboo chairs that are seemingly strapped into place. When I wandered through, it was still very much in progress—stacks of raw material were piled on one side of the room, and while a few assistants had knocked off work to check out something on the computer, the three artists were taking a walk-through to check it. Read More

Biennale Opens

Other
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
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[Editor’s Note: This post was written Sunday.]

It is two days before the opening of the Venice architecture Biennale and as commissioner of the United States pavilion I have been in Venice for a week mounting the exhibition. The Biennale opens on Wednesday for “important media” and the next three days for the rest of the press and anyone else that can find a ticket. This always sets up a huge scrum at the entrance to the grounds between the haves (those with passes) and the have-nots in the media. Read More

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