Caro highlights from Biennale Architettura 2018

Image credit: Alison Brooks Architects

The Biennale Architettura is finally upon us, taking place from 26 May to 25 November 2018 in the Giardini and Arsenale, as well as other locations in Venice. Curated by architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the 16th edition is titled FREESPACE – a word which describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda. Under this theme, the Biennale will present for public scrutiny examples, proposals, elements – built or unbuilt – of work that exemplifies essential qualities of architecture which include the modulation, richness and materiality of surface; the orchestration and sequencing of movement, revealing the embodied power and beauty of architecture.

Caro Communications is delighted to return to the Biennale this week for the Vernissage, representing the Pavilions of Greece, Ireland and Singapore; Alison Brooks Architects, as part of the Central Exhibition; and the Sharjah Architecture Triennial which will announce its 2019 theme.

National Pavilion of Greece, The School of Athens

Opening Thursday 24 May 5.15pm, Giardini

Curated by Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser, and entitled ‘The School of Athens’ the project examines the architecture of Universities and Academia around the world, focusing on the common spaces outside of the classroom, and addressing their importance as informal spaces of debate, exchange and ultimately, learning. The curatorial duo reimagines the Greek Pavilion as its own kind of learning ‘free space’, adopting the architectural trope of the stepped landscape. Dotted around the stepped elements, almost 60 3-D printed architectural models of common spaces within academic buildings, both realised and non, will be on display. The models include spaces across the five continents, and across history, in recognition of the common space – un-programmed spaces for impromptu conversation, casual gossip, heated debate, pop-up lectures networking and informal teaching – as vital to Academia’s continued relevance and vibrancy. Spaces that demand and deserve intelligent critique and update. The project is delivered in collaboration with architectural courses at Architectural Association in London and the University of Athens.

National Pavilion of Ireland, Free Market

Opening Thursday 24 May, 3pm, Arsenale

The exhibition curated by six young architects and designers, examines the role of markets in rural Irish communities, their gradual demise and their importance for economic and social engagement. During the Biennale the pavilion will be transformed into a rural Irish market square, complete with market stalls, goods, soundscape and a daily newspaper with a range of contributors. After the Biennale the exhibition will return to Ireland touring small towns around the country gathering new stories and participants.

National Pavilion of Singapore, ‘No More Free Space?’

Opening Friday 25 May 3pm, Sale d’Armi, Arsenale

Under the direction of lead curator Dr Erwin Viray, Head of Pillar, Architecture and Sustainable Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design, ‘No More Free Space?’ Exhibition responds to Singapore’s unique environment: densely populated, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic island city-state. The exhibition comprises twelve Singapore-based architecture projects, spanning residential, commercial, private and public buildings, each demonstrating how to turn constraints into opportunities for ‘free space’ by re-imagining what a highly compact city can be. Each project incorporates light, air, greenery or water to create oasis and delightful free spaces in dense urban environments, bringing joy and connectivity to the community. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be an interactive installation – an ethereal cloud of handcrafted acrylic knots with multi-sensory sounds, light and image projections, re-creating the experiences of Singapore for the audience. Singapore Pavilion is commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council of the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Central Exhibition | Alison Brooks Architects

Alison Brooks Architects has been invited by the curators, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to be part of the central exhibition in the Arsenale, responding to this year’s scheme, FREESPACE. Within this context, Alison Brooks Architects has drawn on its housing and education projects to demonstrate how unsung architectural elements such as circulation routes, roof space, and thresholds can be designed with a generosity of spirit to create enjoyable space for public use or benefit. Images and press release are available from 23 May at 3pm.

Outside the Biennale | Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Adrian Lahoud in Conversation with Ellis Woodman

Friday 25 May, private event, invite only

Curator Adrian Lahoud will discuss the theme of the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial, the first platform on architecture in the MENASA region, in conversation with Ellis Woodman of The Architecture Foundation. Sharjah Architecture Triennial, which will take place in Autumn 2019 in the Emirate of Sharjah, is responding to a growing architecture and urban planning community of professionals in the region. The organisers are creating a new, much needed platform for discourse on Middle Eastern architecture – within its particular social, economic, environmental and cultural context.

For further details on any of the events above, please contact Caro Communications:


T: +44 (0)20 7713 9388

You can also follow us and check out our activity in Venice on Twitter and Instagram.